January 24, 2011 – Detroit, Michigan Announcers: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler [ REVIEWED BY STEVEN POST ]
DARK MATCH: “Showtime” Percy Watson defeated William Regal..
IN THE RING Edge + Michael Cole: Edge grabbed a mic and went on for a bit about how much he hates waiting, called Michael Cole a tool, and seemingly was about to challenge the Miz to start their match right that moment but he was interrupted by the anonymous general manager’s email alert. Michael Cole took great joy in reading this message to Edge. The GM said that Edge versus the Miz was scheduled for later that night and due to the disrepect that Edge has shown the GM the last time Edge was on RAW, the GM had scheduled an exhibition match for Edge to begin right then and there. An over the top rope challenge, three men get the opportunity and if any of them can throw Edge over the top rope they will have the honor of being the 40th (last) man to enter the Royal Rumble match.
OVER THE TOP ROPE EXHIBITION Edge defeated Tyson Kidd and Drew McIntyre and Jack Swagger: The three men were trying to be the first to throw Edge over the top rope. However, Edge was able to eliminate each of them pretty quickly. Edge grabbed the mic again, thanked the GM for getting his blood pumping. He threatened to smash the laptop like he did the last time he had been on RAW. Michael Cole got in Edge’s way, and before Edge could dispatch Cole, the music of the Nexus came on and they came out with C.M. Punk in the forefront.
IN THE RING Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty & Mason Ryan) + The Corre (Wade Barrett & Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater & Ezekiel Jackson): Punk reminded us of the change to the Royal Rumble match allowing 40 men to compete in it. Punk officially introduced the newest member of Nexus, Mason Ryan. Mason was handed the microphone, and he said the only thing he had to say was, “Faith”. Punk took the mic back and said Punk couldn’t have said it better himself. Punk took a moment to call “The Corre” the poor man’s Nexus. Punk also predicted that with the help of the Nexus he would win the Royal Rumble. The Corre’s music came on and the four members came out to the ring to face off against the new Nexus. Barrett was the first to speak and countered that the new Nexus was actually the poor man’s Nexus. Ezekiel Jackson made an interesting claim that the Corre was going to enter into the Royal Rumble with each member trying to win the match for themselves they would still team up together long enough to eliminate C.M. Punk. Mason stepped up to Ezekiel and the two men stared each other down for a moment. We were notified of another message from the anonymous general manager which was read off by Michael Cole again. C.M. Punk and Wade Barrett will face each other later in the evening and whichever man loses, their team will be out of the Royal Rumble. There will also be a special guess referee, John Cena.
TAG TEAM MATCH King Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez defeated Mark Henry & John Morrison: There was a lot of back and forth action. Just as it appeared Sheamus and Del Rio were going to dominate the match Morrison change things up. After commercial, Del Rio and Sheamus were dominating the match and preventing Morrison from tagging Henry into the match. They took a moment to show former Nexus member Michael Tarver watching the match on a monitor in the back. Morrison was able to make a hot tag to Henry who got in the ring and dominated for a moment until Sheamus kicked him in the face. Del Rio put Henry in the cross arm breaker and Henry almost immediately tapped out.
WWE DIVAS TITLE MATCH WWE Diva’s champion Natalya Neidhart defeated Melina Perez by submission: Shortly into the match, Melina took control by knocking Natalya out of the ring. Both women were very aggressive in the match. But in the end Natalya put Melina into the sharpshooter. Natalya pushed so hard into the sharpshooter that Melina looked folded in half. Melina tapped out. As Natalya was celebrating Michele McCool & Layla El came out to the top of the ramp and told Natalya that they never got their championship rematch and therefore they were going to be taking the championship back at Royal Rumble. They didn’t say which of them would face Natalya though.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT Nexus (C.M. Punk & David Otunga & Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty & Mason Ryan): After showing the footage last week of the first televised appearance of Mason Ryan we got to see how worried Nexus members are of not getting their shots in the Royal Rumble. C.M. Punk stressed the importance of sacrifice and how he expects all the members of Nexus to sacrifice themselves to make sure he wins the Royal Rumble. Harris voiced a concern that Punk could be in the Rumble early on and the other members of Nexus might not get into the match until after he’s eliminated. Punk asked that he not worry about hypotheticals. McGillicutty was concerned that Cena wouldn’t let Punk win in his upcoming match against Wade Barrett. Punk confidentally told them that Punk would win. And to have faith. He asked them all to take a knee. Once on their knees they all raised their fists into the air touching them together in camaraderie.
BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW Josh Mathews & John Cena + WWE champion The Miz w/ Alex Riley: Josh Mathews asked John about his mindset being the guest referee later. Cena skipped ahead to talking about how he’ll eliminate all the members of the Nexus if they make it to the Royal Rumble. As he was about to make fun of the Corre but he was interrupted by the Miz. Both men talked some basic trash. Cena predicted the Miz would lose at the Royal Rumble. Cena said both men smell like raw sewage and then he walked out. The Miz asked Josh Mathews if he thought that the Miz would lose at the Royal Rumble. Miz stopped him from replying and took the microphone off of him. The Miz looked directly at the camera and asked if we thought he would lose at the Royal Rumble. The audience seemed to think that the Miz would lose. They then replayed the footage of the Miz & Riley beating up on Orton last week on RAW. After the footage was over, Michael Cole went on for a minute about how the WWE Universe needs to show the Miz respect. Then the Miz’s music came on and he came out for his match against Edge.
NON (WWE CHAMPIONSHIP/WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP) TITLE MATCH World Heavyweight champion Edge defeated WWE champion The Miz w/Alex Riley by DQ: Before the match got underway Dolph Ziggler‘s music started and Dolph came out with Vickie Guerrero; they joined Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler at the commentator’s table to help call the match. Michael Cole kissed up to both of them. The match went back and forth a lot. Eventually Edge tried to spear the Miz but the Miz escaped outside the ring. Edge followed him out and threw the Miz into the barricade. But after the action got back in the ring Edge over extended himself further damaging his already injured ribs allowing the Miz to take advantage. The match was heavily back and forth with no clear winner. It looked like Edge was going to spear the Miz when Ziggler grabbed the legs of Edge to trip him up. Ziggler then got in the ring and began beating on Edge. The referee called for the bell. Edge won by disqualification. Randy Orton then ran into the ring and began beating on the Miz. Both Riley and Ziggler attempted to stop Orton but he was able to take both of them out very quickly and then chase after the Miz. After Ziggler and Riley tried again to interefere and getting RKO’d for the effort the Miz was able to take out Orton’s knees with a briefcase shot and finally get away.
BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW Josh Mathews & Wade Barrett + The Corre (Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater & Ezekiel Jackson): Josh asked what the difference is between Wade Barrett’s Corre and the new Nexus. Wade explained that his own greed for having a championship and embarrassing John Cena got in the way. The Corre does not have leadership issues because the Corre doesn’t have a leader. They are all equals. Josh asked about Theodore Long getting attacked on SmackDown!, and Wade said he wouldn’t even dignify that with a response. Wade said he knows John Cena will never like him, but he hopes in time he will come to respect him, just like he respects Cena.
MIXED TAG TEAM MATCH Ted DiBiase Jr. & Maryse Ouellet & Alicia Fox defeated Daniel Bryan & the Bella Twins: DiBiase and Bryan started the match but Maryse tagged herself in yelling at DiBiase to back off as she got in the ring. The announcers talked about the Bella’s making a bet to see which one could be Bryan’s “first.” When the Bella twin in the corner tried to kiss Bryan (without success), it distracted the Bella twin in the ring, allowing Maryse to pull a schoolgirl pin to win the match. Sorry I couldn’t tell which Bella twin was doing what. I can’t tell them apart.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT the Bella Twins + Daniel Bryan & Gail Kim: Both of the Bellas were arguing about Daniel Bryan – when they walked into the dressing room they caught him kissing Gail Kim. Apparently, they’ve been seeing each other for months and Bryan was only hanging out with the Bella twins because since there’s been no celebraties around there is nothing for the Bellas to do. The Bellas called Gail Kim an “after thought” and commented that she hadn’t been on television for a while causing a fight to break out between the three of them. Bryan did his best to intervene and got slapped for his efforts. Referees had to break it all up.
NON (WWE TAG TEAM) TITLE MATCH Michael McGillicutty & Husky Harris (w/ Mason Ryan & David Otunga) defeated Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella w/Tamina: Tamina is looking more glamourous every week. Harris & McGillicutty clearly dominated for the majority of the match. When Santino tried to use the cobra he missed trying to strike McGillicutty, and Harris struck Santino and then covered him to get the pin. After the match, Otunga got a microphone and spent a long time introducing C.M. Punk. Punk came out and they raised their fists to him in respect and he reciprocated.
SINGLES MATCH C.M. Punk (w/David Otunga & Husky Harris & Michael McGillicutty & Mason Ryan) defeated Wade Barrett (w/Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater & Ezekiel Jackson): John Cena was the special guest referee appointed by the Anonymous General Manager. Cena immediately ejected the new Nexus from ringside. Cena acted like he had forgotten about the Corre for a moment before he ejected them as well. After the bell rang, Cena shoved Punk to the mat and threatened to disqualify Punk if he struck him. Then Cena slapped Barrett and did the same to him. After Punk threw Barrett out of the ring, Punk got in Cena’s face and then later Cena threw Punk over the top rope to the floor. When Punk got back in the ring Cena began threatening again to disqualify Punk if Punk struck Cena. Later when Barrett tried to pin Punk, Cena was outside the ring giving autographs. When both men were knocked down in the ring Cena disqualified both members of the match due to excessive profanity (it’s a PG show) and ruled that both teams are banned from the Royal Rumble. The RAW general manager interrupted and ruled that both teams will be in the Royal Rumble since Cena abused his power as referee. And that if Cena doesn’t go back into the ring and apologize to both Punk and Barrett then Cena would be banned from the Royal Rumble. Cena got back in the ring apologized to each of them and then attacked both. All the members of the Corre and the Nexus came running back down to the ring and began attacking Cena when WWE wrestlers galore ran out to the ring and mayhem ensued as a sort of preview of the Royal Rumble.