Forgive me for missing last week but I had a bit of a commitment. Seems I missed the debut of the FCW champion as a part of Nexus but, since he's green as hell, I doubt much will come of it.
-By the way, I think the 40-man Rumble is a really bad idea because it's only going to drag the match down. When are the most boring portions of the match? When all the jobbers are laying on the ropes pretending to try and toss people out. This match is going to have TONS of that.
-LIVE! from Detroit, Mich. (home of whining hockey fans and no jobs)
-Edge hits the ring to call out the Miz right this very minute but Mr. Mystery Raw GM chimes in and books him in a mini-Rumble. Whoever tosses Edge gets to be No. 40 (that's so weird to type).
Edge vs. Jack Swagger vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Drew McIntyre
Swagger looks like such a goon when he runs with his buck teeth hanging out. Edge takes him out with a spear and adds a suplex to Kidd before depositing him on the floor.
McIntyre tries to toss Edge but Swagger saves and gets tossed for his effort. Future Shock DDT is countered by a back body drop and Edge wins...nothing?
-Total nothing match with about 30 seconds of action DUD.
-Edge threatens to smash the laptop again but Nexus interrupts. How the hell was it David Otunga who survived the bleeding of the original group? Is McMahon seeing something the rest of us aren't or does he have naked pictures of someone?
Anyways, Punk hypes the Rumble (smartly not pausing after mentioning the 40 entrants, as to not let the audience boo) and introduces Mason Ryan to the crowd. He says he only has one thing to say (WE'RE TAKIN' OVER!) but just says "faith." Thrilling.
The Corre (the reject Nexus guys plus Ezekiel Jackson, apparently faces) join us in the ring and we have ourselves an old-fashioned staredown. Barrett says his group has no leader and they are all equals...by God, that sounds like COMMUNISM!!
Yet another GM email books Punk vs. Barrett with the losing man having his group kicked out of the Rumble. John Cena also gets to hog the spotlight as the special guest referee.
John Morrison & Mark Henry vs. Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio
Funny story about Morrison's push: Rumor has it that McMahon lost trust in him once Batista banged Melina and Morrison didn't try to fight Big Dave. What a wuss.
Del Rio kicks the wuss's ass to start and Sheamus tries his luck but gets taken down with flying headscissors.
The heels quickly regain control but Morrison makes another comeback with a Russian leg sweep on Del Rio, forcing the heels to take a powder and WE GOTTA TAKE A BREAK!!!
We return with Morrison fighting out of a Del Rio chinlock but Alberto works the back and brings in Sheamus, who floors Morrison with a clothesline.
Michael Tarver, former Nexus member, looks on in the back for some unexplained reason while Sheamus works a submission. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Sheamus and he looks to finish with the pump kick but Morrison catches him with a kick to the head.
Morrison finally gets the hot tag to Kool Ai...I mean, Mark Henry, who runs through Del Rio for two until Sheamus breaks. Henry gets distracted with Del Rio so Sheamus hits the pump kick but Morrison takes out Sheamus with a corkscrew plancha.
Del Rio recovers and sneaks in from behind, applying the cross armbreaker on Henry and getting the submission.
Winners: Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio
-Del Rio is clearly the one set for the push, so the match made sense. I would question Henry tapping out after no even getting kicked in the arm once, but that's a minor point **1/4.
Natalya vs. Melina
Michael Cole calls Natalya "hefty" to really drive home the fact that he's a moron. They brawl to the outside and Melina gains control, getting two inside and locking on a chicken-wing with her legs.
Natalya powers out and almost breaks Melina's neck with a hiptoss. Melina counters and tries to legdrop the midsection but Natalya uses the Bret-Perfect finish from SummerSlam 91 to apply the Sharpshooter (and lean WAAAAAAY back) to get the tap out.
Winner and STILL Champion: Natalya
-Melina should be happy she's still walking but the finish was impressive to see *1/4.
-LayCool promises to end the Neidhart title reign at the Royal Rumble.
-Recap of the Batista Clone debut last week.
-Backstage, Punk calms down the troops and reminds everyone that HE is to win the Royal Rumble. Punk is so effective in this role, it's not even funny.
-John Cena attempts to interview but the Miz interrupts and causes shenanigans.
The Miz vs. Edge
If you think you're getting a finish here, you're insane. Dolph Ziggler joins us on commentary to ensure a non-clean finish.
Feeling-out period leads to Edge hammering away until the Miz goes to the injured ribs and we get another neutral period. Boring segment concludes with Miz getting clotheslined to the floor and we head to commercial...
We return with Miz hitting a running knee lift and stomping away on the ribs for two. Edge comes back with a neckbreaker and looks for a spear but Miz takes a powder. Edge gives chase and tosses Miz into the ring barrier but gets caught heading to the top and Miz looks for a superplex.
Edge drops him with a headbutt and hits a high cross body (stupid with injured ribs) and gets two. Edge stomps away in the corner but Riley pulls Miz out to avoid a blind charge and Miz drops Edge ribs-first on the top rope. Hey, guess what? Time for another commercial.
We return with Miz in control and going after the Ken Shamrock-taped ribs but Edge backdrops out for a brief double KO. Flapjack triggers an Edge babyface comeback and a face-first slam gets two.
Miz drives Edge to the corner but misses a charge and Edge rolls him up for two. Riley gets involved and distracts Edge, allowing Miz to recover and hook a small package for two.
Baseball slide takes out Riley and a impact DDT sets up a spear attempt. As predicted, Ziggler runs from his commentary position and draws the DQ, triggering a brawl and drawing out Randy Orton for the save.
Winner by DQ: Edge
-I hate that they don't announce DQs anymore. Match was long and dull, but chalk that up to the inexperience of Miz and his lack of a real heel moveset. Crowd loves Orton though **1/2. Does anyone honestly buy DOLPH ZIGGLER as a real main event threat?
-Backstage, Wade Barrett puts over the Communism part of his Corre group and promises victory, of course.
Daniel Bryan & The Bellas vs. Ted DiBiase, Maryse, & Alicia Fox
Word is that Evan Bourne was the "lucky" one who got the Bella storyline before getting injured...oh well. DiBiase and Bryan start quickly, exchanging some stuff but Maryse bitchily tags herself in and goes against Nikki.
Meanwhile, Brie is flirting with Daniel on the apron and Nikki gets rolled up for three.
Winners: Ted DiBiase, Maryse, & Alicia Fox
-What a waste of time DUD. Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella? I can smell the money from here!
-Backstage, the Bellas argue again and walk in on Daniel Bryan making out with...Gail Kim??? *Cue Joey Styles voice* CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT!
Husky Harris & Mike McGillicutty vs. WWE tag team champions Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov
McGillicutty gets taken down by Kozlov and Santino takes his turn but he gets quickly overpowered and trapped in the heel corner. Harris gets two off a slam and clotheslines Santino down for another near fall.
Santino breaks a submission hold and Harris cuts off a tag but Santino makes the comeback and tries for the Cobra. McGillicutty draws his attention, allowing Harris to recover and drop Santino on his head for the win.
Winners: Husky Harrison & Mike McGillicutty
-The tag team champions are a joke anyways, so this loss means nothing (same as the tag titles). Not a bad short match *1/2.
CM Punk vs. Wade Barrett
Winner gets his team in the Royal Rumble. John Cena, glory hog to the end, immediately ejects Nexus from ringside because he's an ass like that. More stalling from Cena leads to him also kicking the Corre from ringside.
These are two very simple refereeing actions that Cena dragged out to about four minutes because that's what he does.
Cena shoves Punk down then slaps Barrett across the face, allowing Punk to take over with stomps and toss Wade to ringside. Punk badmouths Cena, so John dumps him over the top rope as well. Can't say I like the structure of this match so far.
Barrett returns and gets a back suplex but Cena takes the time to sign autographs at ringside. Both guys clothesline each other and Cena...calls for the bell?
Cena disqualifies both guys for "excessive profanity" and neither group gets in the Rumble.
-This was completely stupid and only fed the Cena marks in the crowd DUD.
-Thankfully, the Raw GM emails in and allows BOTH groups to compete in the Rumble and...the crowd boos? How is that unfair to anyone? Logic really escapes wrestling fans sometimes.
Also, the GM orders Cena back to the ring to apologize to Punk and Barrett or else be banned from the Rumble match.
Predictably, Cena apologizes and then immediately attacks, drawing out the Corre, Nexus, and the entire Raw locker room. A huge brawl carries us off the air and into the Royal Rumble....
Can't say the wrestling was very strong but they did their best to get the Nexus vs. Corre vs. Cena feud over with only six days to spare. Honestly, most everyone buys the Rumble PPV for the Royal Rumble itself and consider the match secondary.
This episode wasn't too great, but most fans already knew if they were buying the PPV before this show even aired.