Night Of Champions 2010 really - and I stress oh so heavily on that word - outdid itself. The matches were all great and all ended the way they should. Kane beating his "brother" showcased the dominance he bragged to possess all the weeks leading up to the PPV. The win for Mr.Ziggles did the same thing, as he showed the WWE Universe why he was Champion and why he was going to remain Champion for quite possibly a very long time. CM losing to Big Show gave the SES Leader - if that group still exists anymore - a breath of fresh air as his Manson-type character was honestly staring staleness in the face. With his loss, CM can look forward to changing his image or at least bringing his current character up a few notches. LayCool sticking together worked to their advantage and the advantage of the entire WWE Diva's division (seeing as the Divas have either taken off somewhere, gotten buried in the barrage of superstars, or have simply been sentenced to a lifetime of being arm candy - Maryse and Eve come to mind here). And last but most certainly not least, Randy Orton became the new WWE Champion.
And from there gentle readers, RAW has never been more stable.
Night Of Champions happened. And now it's onto the forefronts of Hell In A Cell. This past episode of Monday Night RAW showcased some of the major matches that would be occurring at the upcoming PPV. For all of you who watched this past RAW, you can already guess what I'm going to tell you. But either way, I'll just take the time to reiterate the happenings, and offer some form of criticism in the mix.
First on the docket, RKO. The WWE Champion enters the arena to the sound of his music and the deafening cheers of the overjoyed fans. Finally, RAW had a real Champion. The title drought had obviously been taking a toll on Randy even more than his fans, as the Viper walked out to the ring with a huge not-so-creepy smile on his face. Yes. Had Randy grown dimples then and there you could have sworn he was John Cena. The Apex Predator was smiling his ass off -
Sheamus - the loser that he is - came out to blab about being discriminated and something or the other. He reached the ring to demand a rematch with Orton stating that Orton didn't beat him because it wasn't a one on one, Mano-e-Mano type of Championship match. He then went on to say that he wanted a rematch at Hell In A Cell. RAW was not going to waste anytime letting this fire burn out, and so they chose to strike while the iron was hot. Pit Sheamus (Arguably the most hated man) against the new found anti-hero Randy Orton, lock them in a cell, and throw the title in there for the heck of it = Brilliant move.
It's no secret that Randy vs Sheamus has been hot since Royal Rumble of this year. Granted, at the time it wasn't the hottest feud, however it would taste a lie to say that people didn't want to see The vicious Viper square off against the pale-man-with-no-character (actually he has now evolved to having little character). The feud fizzed out on it's own momentum, but it certainly didn't die. After Randy ended his spiff with Edge, he re-focused his gaze to the WWE Championship and subsequently to Sheamus. With the tides turned - RKO being an anti-hero that everybody loves and Sheamus being the one garnering constant hate - WWE has decided to keep the ball rolling on this feud. And I can't blame them. Let's just hope for their sakes that they don't use Randy as a scapegoat to make Snow White look good. If that happens, consider the golden days over.
Next, John Cena vs Wade Barrett. On the RAW program this was the last match, but it's basically the next in line for RAW's money-maker come Hell In A Cell. The match on RAW between the two aforementioned men did not happen. Instead, Wade - having some sort of GM power for the night - made the match into a gauntlet. Cena had to face each member of Nexus one after the other and beat each member to earn the right to face Wade Barrett. I could tell from this match which members of Nexus had a future in the WWE. Those two are Justin and Wade.
Heath Slater came out first and was pinned for elimination. Otunga came in and lost. Traver got in the ring and attacked Cena like a vicious dog would to a fresh piece of meat. Soon he tapped out to the STF. Lastly was Justin. He lasted an incredibly long time (basically the time of all his team members combined and then some) and held his own against John. Every move he did was executed dare I say with veteran-like perfection, and he sold Cena's moves to (dare I say again) the same form of perfection. But all good things come to an end as no sooner did John have Justin down, the Nexus came in to use the advantage of numbers to take down John Cena. Cena grabbed the chair that Wade had dropped after stepping into the ring, and Nexus fled to the safety of the ramp.
It was there that Wade announced a match between himself and Cena come HIAC. Control went straight to Barrett as he laid out the stipulations of the match that they would have. If he wins, John joins the Nexus. Now like almost everyone else, I at first found this stipulation quite straightforward - straightforward in the sense that John Cena was now guaranteed a victory. However, those thoughts went bye-bye once Cena threw Barrett his stipulation. He beats Barrett, and the Nexus leave everything that is WWE and go back to their "day jobs".
Now to my understanding, WWE is recruiting the younger folk to keep the business thriving, and since my doctor says I have 20/20 vision, I know for a fact that all those Nexus signs and Nexus shirts littering the crowd were actually there. With that all in mind, the question now comes: "How could Cena win at HIAC when it would mean the loss of possibly two very potential RAW superstars?" I know many would disagree and say if Nexus left it wouldn't be any problem, but if you think like that let me ask you this.
If the Nexus never existed in the first place, then what do you think Cena would have done in all this time? Face it people, WWE needs the Nexus. They're a group of rookies learning the trade under the guide of themselves, and yet they're working so well as a team and have proven to be (somewhat) dominant individually.
Thirdly comes the obvious Drew McIntyre/Cody Rhodes vs The Hart Dynasty rematch. I was glad to see the tag belts go to Drew and Cody, because the Hart Dynasty is quite positively the most boring tag team to ever set foot on high ground. I agreed fully with Cole when he himself called them boring. Their in-ring ability is phenomenal and no one can deny the obvious talent for wrestling, however it stops there. The Harts have brought absolutely nothing to the tag title table and so NOC was the best time to hand the belts over to people of interest. Enter the "Dashing" and the "Chosen" ones. I don't have to watch SmackDown (even though I most definitely will) to know that the Harts are gonna get that rematch only to do one of two things:
1. Win....should Cody and Drew implode before HIAC.
2. Lose...since they bring nothing to the table.
The list of RAW-related HIAC bookings basically ends here for me as the tag titles really belong to SD and as we all know, Kane vs the Undertaker is also part of SD's bookings. However, this article does not end here. Instead, it takes a different turn. A turn to how much better RAW is since Randy Orton has been crowned WWE Champion.
-Edge. It's sad to see the Rated-R superstar in this predicament - by that I mean constantly in matches that don't matter only to be proclaimed the loser by the "annoymous GM", and to go and lose in matches he main events in - NOC, Fatal Four Way, OTL, SummerSlam...etc. To add salt to the gaping wound, he's straddled with the unwanted sidekick named Zack Ryder, and for that he has become comic relief. For weeks upon weeks upon weeks Edge was underused, misused and often not-used at all. All of that changed on RAW.After being proclaimed the loser by the "GM" in his match against Daniel Byran, Edge snapped, ranted, and then stormed off. I've seen this behaviour before. It happened in the weeks leading up to Backlash '09 when Edge could not get his hands on John Cena. No matter what he did, SuperCena was still WHC. Eventually Edge got desperate and took matters into his own hands. Thus we return to RAW with that in mind: Thanks to Orton being Champion we now have the return of a desperate Edge as the man proclaims to have nothing. And a desperate Edge can only mean a drastic turn of events. What those events are reside in the mind of the ultimate opportunist.
-Chris Jericho. Rumors have it that the Y2J superstar is running on borrowed time when it comes to his stay in the WWE. Hence, we are all basically waiting for the moment when he will either quit on his own, leave mysteriously, or suddenly get fired by Vince. Then and only then will we be able to say goodbye to Jericho. However, right now he isn't looking to go anywhere. Currently he has a match with Orton - should he win, he gets to challenge Orton for the title anywhere and anytime. Should he lose, well he's gone. Maybe next week is the end of Chris Jericho, however thanks to Orton being Champion, Jericho won't have to suddenly vanish into the mist to never be heard from again - an act that would obliterate his 20 year star-studded career.
-Sheamus. Surprise. Who knew that having Randy as WWE Champion would give this man - aka Snow White - a remote ounce of credibility. When he came in the ring demanding the title from Orton, I for one saw the man to be on equal footing with the Viper. No he's not a threat, but he somehow seems like the best opponent/challenger for Randy. It's like a perfect fit in a very odd way.
-John Cena. Yes. Superman NOT being Champion while Randy walks around with that prestige means good things for John. He can focus on Nexus without the threat of losing a title to them. Arguably, becoming part of the Nexus fold is worse than losing a title to Wade, however I prefer to see the silver lining here. John Cena NEEDS a change. Adding a dropkick to his move set - even now I can't get over seeing that TWICE! - is a start, but it's not the right change. He needs a change of character... or some form of addition to his character. No he shouldn't become nicer (is that even possible?), he should become meaner. Aggressive. Don't be Orton here, but just be like a coin that has heads and tails instead of just two heads. I want Cena to surprise us like his dropkick did. Come out to the ring to face somebody only to kick them in the balls when the ref's not looking, or drop the smile when facing the camera and addressing and talking about the WWE fans rather than the enemy. I want Cena to just do something entirely different... it doesn't have to be permanent. I'll live with a once in a blue moon kind of thing.
-Wade Barrett. Once over, Randy being Champ gives Wade a shot at Cena. Had Cena been Champ, Barrett would have to wait his turn.
Well, that's all folks. Randy Orton is WWE Champion (I still can't believe I'm saying that :D) and not only does that bode well for his former NOC opponents, it also bodes well for the WWE. The supporting pillar that had been lost for some time has now returned in the form of the Viper.
RKO FOR LIFE!