The annual Survivor Series pay per view was last night, and you know what that means?  Today’s Monday, and with this otherwise terrible day of the week comes Monday Night RAW, WWE’s flagship show of the week (no matter what they say about Smackdown).  In case you’re new to this, I do an article for every RAw and every Smackdown in which I share my analysis, typically consisting of questions, comments and analysis.  Some people consider it humor along the lines of what Jerry Seinfeld does.  I don’t know that I’d go that far, but there are parallels (like the fact that I’m televised on NBC every Thursday night).  Maybe you’ll enjoy it along with the dozens and dozens of fans I’ve currently got… or maybe you won’t think it’s funny at all.  Maybe you’ll think my questions are too “common sense” or “stupid”.  You’re welcome to your opinion, just try not to share it above a whisper.

Most of you know what to expect and you’re here because this is a weekly habit for you.  Until the medicine kicks in and this “habit” goes away, try to enjoy it!

So before I begin, let me just say that if you’re reading this article on Bleacher Report, not only are you missing the last portion of the article, but you’re also missing my polls as well, which are super sweet and fun to click on.  Okay, so maybe not THAT much fun, and super sweet is probably an exaggeration (think “Green Lantern” to the super sweet’s “Superman”, it’s still good, just not as much so).  Anyway, I digress. has the hookup (where polls are concerned), holler if you hear… nevermind.

Prior to the show starting, let’s look at the questions that last night’s Big 4 ppv gave us:

First, and probably the most important thing which came from the events from 24 hours ago, as it’s likely the thing most of you are wondering the most… are we going to see LayCool try to get their rematch, and which of them will end up in the ring with Natalya.  Surely not both?

Okay, seriously, what’s up with John Cena?  He’s apparently fired, but how long will they keep him off television?  Maybe he’s shooting a movie, maybe he just needs a rest, but one thing is for certain:  nothing’s for certain.  He could be there in the opening segment of tonight’s RAW or he might not be back until the Royal Rumble.  They might pretend to take the firing seriously, they might let him have a chance to “say goodbye”, and they might not have him live on camera at all.  One thing you can bet is that they’ll definitely have dozens of recaps from the past month to remind everyone just why they’re pretending John Cena is fired.  No chance was last night his final appearance involved in a WWE match.

Wade Barrett has now lost two straight pay per view World Title matches.  Will he be the one to fight Randy Orton yet again at the upcoming pay per view?  Since it’s the TLC pay per view, maybe there will be multiple challengers.  John Morrison just beat Sheamus, so he could possibly end up in the match.  Will we find out tonight, or will they make us wait to find out?  Some pay per view cycles, we don’t find out who has the title shot until the last RAW prior to the pay per view.  Other pay per view cycles, the opening match on RAW and Smackdown each provide the #1 contendership for the pay per view, not wasting a moment of time.

Will Daniel Bryan keep feuding with Ted DiBiase?  Can we even call what they’ve been doing “feuding”, since DiBiase and Bryan had one interaction the past month?  Will The Miz or Alex Riley be entered into the fray, or take over the US Title feud from DiBiase entirely, given what happened last night?

Though Barrett didn’t end up bringing home the World Championship, Nexus is still holding the World Tag Titles, and after dispatching with Santino and Kozlov, who will they fight next?  Will WWE continue with its trend of just repeating a three-week angle month after month after month?  They like to ignore the tag titles, and that’s just as bad as ignoring the titles, so I wouldn’t bet against it.

And what about John Morrison’s beard?  Are we ever going to get the heel turn it all but promises?

It’s 9 pm eastern time, let’s get down to it!

Is it just me, or are these fans more heated and anti-Nexus than any other crowd which has set its live eyes on Nexus thus far?  They’re booing so much it’s interrupting the segment.  Has anyone ever been booed so much the night after losing a World Title match?

So Wade Barrett is considering last night’s outcome to be an injustice.  Is anyone surprised?  I doubt it.  Certainly he wasn’t going to sit back and accept the outcome and move on with his life.  If Wade Barrett thinks that a neutral referee would make all the difference, how does he explain what happened in the main event of Bragging Rights when he lost to Randy Orton?

Wait, the Anonymous GM has something to say about this?  Shocked.

Did anyone else laugh when the crowd yelled “WHAT?” after Michael Cole read the word “Supposition” from the Anonymous GM’s email?  My guess is that most people in attendance didn’t know what the word meant.

So Wade Barrett is getting the title shot tonight… does anyone else think this means there’s no chance Barrett will have the shot at Orton one-on-one at the TLC ppv?

How is it up to Wade Barrett whether or not John Cena can appear at a given RAW?  Wasn’t it up to the General Manager to enforce the firing?  Apparently Wade Barrett can grant John Cena the opportunity to “say goodbye”, which answers one of the questions I posed at the start of the article.

The announcers are questioning whether or not John Cena will accept Wade Barrett’s invitation to appear to say goodbye, and you’d have to think that Barrett would want to issue the invitation prior to the start of RAW, just in case Cena wasn’t planning on actually staying in a hotel in the same city as tonight’s show.

Is anyone else really excited that King of the Ring is back?  Sure, it’s just going to be on RAW (a 3 hour version), which means it won’t be as good as when it was on pay per view, but it’s a tournament nevertheless.

Whoa!  It was rumored a couple weeks ago that cm Punk was going to be on commentary during his injury, and this is pretty much the best news I’ve heard in weeks, as Punk is great in the announcing role.

We’re getting some King of the Ring qualifying matches, which brings up a few questions:  how many spots are there in this year’s bracket?  are Smackdown guys showing up tonight to participate in the qualifying matches, or are they going to qualify on their own show?

Qualifier match – Sheamus vs R-Truth

Is it possible that “The Truth Hurts” is one of the worst selling shirts on  Orlando, Florida might know what’s up, but I bet they’re not buying the shirt.

Sheamus lost to John Morrison last night, and now he switches up his arsenal to include a lot of headlocks.  Is he taking a page out of Randy Orton’s Guide To Success?  What’s next, will he give himself a nickname to match the national snake of Ireland?

Coming back from commercial we find out that there are four qualifying matches tonight, and if that’s any indication, there will be 8 individuals in the tournament (assuming Smackdown has their own 4 qualifying matches), meaning it’s the same size as the 1993 version which I really enjoyed, where Bret Hart was crowned.

Wow, such… great… references.  Mention of a runaway train brings about references to the Unstoppable movie and then The Little Engine That Could.  Sarcasm doesn’t come through very well in articles, but if it did, you’d probably laugh – or at least chuckle – at that comment.

Outcome – Sheamus wins with his crucifix bomb High Cross, and we get the look in her eyes that tells us that Eve Torres doesn’t seem to think it’s as cool to dance during R-Truth’s entrance as it was yesterday.

I didn’t want to mention anything about this promo for the John Cena Experience DVD, but where, oh where, do I get one of those Gorilla Monsoon shirts?  Why is this the first time I’m seeing this?  It should’ve been heavily promoted on last week’s Old School throwback RAW.  Immediately following the writing of this article, my friends and family can find me at looking for that shirt.

Did anyone else notice that the clock struck 3:16 while John Cena was watching the countdown timer leading up to Wrestlemania?

There’s LayCool, and that answers my question about whether or not they’re showing up… and I’m guessing Natalya Neidhart just gained a ton of fans, since she’s the reason LayCool isn’t being allowed entrance into the arena.

Santino’s upset, Kozlov assures him that there will be a “tomorrow”… did anyone else think that maybe that means there will be a rematch on Smackdown?

Tamina shows up, plays a little ditty on the ukulele, and then Santino goes over and kisses her.  How is this going to play into the fact that one of the only other tag teams on RAW is managed by Tamina?  Could we see a triple threat tag match at the pay per view?

Wow, so “Rear View” Josh Matthews sneaks up from behind Randy Orton to get an interview?  Every time I think that nickname is going to die, WWE keeps finding ways to assure

Whoa, is anyone else surprised that one of the qualifying matches will feature Ezekiel Jackson taking on The Miz?  I would’ve figured they’d BOTH be in the tournament, and now only one of them will qualify for the tournament?  Is there any chance we’ll get a double DQ, a double count out, or another way for both of them to advance?  Either way, that’s some intriguing booking.  Nice work, WWE Creative Red Crew.

I don’t know if other markets got this commercial or not, but I just saw a commercial where they advertised that the RAW World Tour was making a stop in my city on December 30th, and they specifically advertised John Cena as being part of it.  Spoiler, or did I miss them saying “subject to change”?

Okay, so now is this another spoiler?  Ezekiel Jackson being pushed as an unstoppable force which has torn through the RAW roster.

Someone should tell the WWE’s video director that showing a woman in the front row drinking a beer isn’t necessarily TV-PG.

Qualifier Match – The Miz vs Ezekiel Jackson

Wait, I guess I typed too soon… as Alex Riley has an announcement and apparently The Miz had an anxiety attack… so Alex Riley is going to be facing Zeke in the qualifier match instead.

Obviously The Miz is afraid of Zeke by ducking out of this match and making Alex Riley take his place with the bait and switch… but did we really need them to take it a step further for the folks who might not have understood the obvious?  We didn’t need to have the “anxiety attack” thrown in our face to PROVE he’s afraid of Zeke.

Outcome – Ezekiel Jackson wins the match, which was the most obvious thing in the world once we saw Alex Riley coming to the ring instead of The Miz.

Any chance that squashing was a result of Riley being arrested for a D.U.I.?  They could’ve gone a different route.

Did Michael Cole really say that a World Title match is a rare occurrence on RAW?  Don’t we get one of these matches every other pay per view cycle?  I’d say that the appearance of Yoshi Tatsu backstage during the quick build-up for Cena’s big “goodbye” is more rare than a World Title match.

So the first main event of the evening, the segment they put right around the 10 o’clock hour to keep viewers here, is John Cena’s goodbye?

If Cena’s really leaving, he might’ve wanted to keep that hat instead of throwing it into the crowd.  And if he took off the armbands last night and left them in the ring, did WWE decide to give him another set for tonight, or did he have those at home?

Hey John, “IF” you’re leaving?  Are you planting the seeds of doubt?  What are the odds that someone else shows up during this segment and keeps you from leaving?

Wait, John Cena didn’ tthink he’d be fired last night… so does that mean he thought Wade Barrett was going to be the winner, or that Wade Barrett and/or the Anonymous GM were going to change their mind about the stipulation?

The speech John Cena is giving actually sounds legit.  Maybe the acting lessons are paying off.  Part of me wants to try to buy into the fact that, just like HBK and JBL, we could be seeing John Cena do a short-notice retirement.

How great was it that John Cena acknowledged that the Ladies and Kids are the ones chanting “Let’s Go Cena” and the guys over the age of 18 are the ones who chant “Cena Sucks!”?  Did anyone wish that Cena had convinced them to do the “You can’t wrestle” chant?  It’d be more appropriate tonight than during other events, because tonight, he literally can’t wrestle.

Is peeing in someone’s coffee TV-PG?  The Male 18+ crowd just decided they like Cena a bit more.

Did John Cena just acknowledge the existence of Billy Kidman?  That’s the first and last time that’ll happen in a 14 year span (7 years back, 7 years forward… 2003 to 2017).

Just so you know, I’m expecting someone to tell me that Kidman’s last match (or mention) was sometime in 2004 or 2005.  To that – OOPS and THANKS and WOW.

Is anyone else surprised that John Cena didn’t get interrupted or attacked there on stage, or even in the ring?

I think the live crowd is just stunned.

Cena getting applause from the wrestlers in the back as he walks down the hallway, is anyone else getting flashbacks to McMahon’s limo blowing up?

Did anyone else notice John Cena pointing at someone (probably Billy Kidman) and saying “you owe me”?

Why does John Cena have to walk out of the arena?  Didn’t he get a rental car?  Would they really make him park way outside like that?  Some lucky fan who’s an hour late getting to the arena just got a thrill.

So how many times during the rest of the evening (all 45 minutes of it) are we going to get a recap of John Cena actually leaving?  Stuff like that doesn’t really encourage people to tune in to the whole show, does it?  Doesn’t WWE realize that people are just going to tune in randomly, knowing they’ll see recaps?

Returning from the commercials, Michael Cole gives us a verbal recap of what just happened.  I won’t count that as a recap.

Qualifier Match – Daniel Bryan (Danielson) vs Ted DiBiase

So we get a rematch from last night as the qualifier match for the United States champion.  Clever.  Again with the failed sarcasm.

One of the Bella Twins shows up a bit late, but she accompanies Bryan to the ring and stays with him at ringside?  That’s almost as surprising as someone actually mentioning that Bryan’s theme song is Wagner (it was CM Punk, so I’m not THAT surprised.  he’s this era’s RAVEN)

Are we going to get any hints or mentions back to a month ago when CM Punk first made his way to the RAW announce table – which occurred during a Daniel Bryan match – with a staredown afterward.

Outcome – In a somewhat short match, Daniel Bryan wins as he gets DiBiase to tap out to the LaBell Lock, and Nikki Bella shows up and for one night, we have the opportunity to tell the twins apart – with Bree wearing blue and Nikki wearing red.  Makes me want to rewind and look for other distinguishing features.

Did anyone else laugh when Daniel Bryan got the Bella Twins to stop fighting over him and hug each other?  I’m sure plenty of guys out there were yelling “threesome” at their televisions, and those guys are probably bigger fans of Bryan than they were prior to the match.

If you’re not sure what I mean by “threesome”, don’t look it up on Google, don’t ask your parents, and don’t comment on this article asking about it.  You’re too young.  Go to bed, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200.

Match – Natty Neidhart vs Alicia Fox

I’m not actually going to try to comment during this match aside from saying that it was entertaining to hear CM Punk rate the Divas.

Outcome – Natty Neidhart wins with the Sharpshooter, getting a submission victory

We see Melina and John Morrison together backstage for the first time in a very long while.  Has it been so long that most people in attendance had forgotten that they were actually a couple?

John Morrison puts on that robe/jacket as he walks away from Melina… what are the chances that when he actually makes the entrance for his match, he’s still wearing the robe/jacket but the shirt he was also wearing has disappeared?

So we get a recap of last week’s split between Tyson Kidd and DH Smith… I’m guessing that means one of them is going to be in our next match?  Given that John Morrison is in the match, you’d have to think they picked the heel, so that’s Tyson Kidd (which I still maintain was the wrong choice of the two guys to turn heel).

Wow, I guess I stand corrected, John Morrison is STILL wearing that shirt underneath his robe/jacket.

Qualifier Match – Tyson Kidd vs John Morrison

Wow, did anyone else hear CM Punk mention that Melina is “a 2”?  While I certainly don’t agree that the Bella Twins are a 4, I will say that Melina is half as attractive as either one of them.  I’m not saying that WWE should stop using the slow-motion camera on Morrison if Melina starts accompanying him to the ring, but I certainly won’t be as happy about it as I would be if they’d start using it for Maryse.

Outcome – John Morrison bucks the trend and doesn’t hook the leg, but he gets the pinfall on Tyson Kidd anyway… and does anyone else think that WWE missed an opportunity by not having DH Smith show up during the match?  You’d think he’s in attendance, and you’d think that he’d want to intimidate the much smaller Tyson Kidd.  More examples of WWE not caring much about the tag team division.

So Nexus bum-rushes Randy Orton prior to the main event, going after his knee, and all the announcers can say is that they don’t understand what’s going on?  Could it be more obvious that they’re weakening him for Wade Barrett?

That begs the question: if Wade barrett wins the belt tonight, is that a potential loophole for Cena to return, saying that Wade Barrett DID beat Randy Orton for the belt, which means Cena didn’t have to retire?  I don’t remember the specific wording, but it’s entirely possible that WWE set it up to not limit it just to Survivor Series.

If Cena did use the loophole to return, would he get some heel heat from the fans who were happy for Cena’s mom that she gets a visit from her son on her birthday?  Would it mean that Cena didn’t really care about visiting his new niece?  They’re not likely to use such a loophole, but part of what I do with these articles is to just speculate about stuff.

Wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity for The Miz to use the Money In The Bank briefcase?  He used it to attack Daniel Bryan last night, so I don’t know why he’d switch up his targets like that, but if Orton is injured, The Miz might want to consider getting himself a championship here and now.

World Title match – Wade Barrett vs Randy Orton

Despite being attacked during his initial entrance by Nexus, Orton’s going to try to give this match a try.  Who knows what’s in store for us, but I would predict John Cena will be showing up.

Just as Wade Barrett was going for the Wasteland finisher slam, who else shows up except John Cena, knocking out Wade Barrett with the Attitude Adjustment before being chased out of the arena by Nexus and security.

Outcome – Randy Orton retains after hitting an RKO, with the assist to John Cena, who proves that karma IS a bitch.

Oh here we go, The Miz shows up, his anxiety attack seems to be all better, and he’s cashing in the Money In The Bank briefcase.

World Title Match – The Miz vs Randy Orton

Does anyone else realize that if The Miz loses in this attempt, he will be the third person within the span of 5 weeks to lose when cashing in their guaranteed title shot?  First Wade Barrett at Bragging Rights, then Kaval at Survivor Series last night.

Didn’t John Cena and The Miz have beef WAY before Nexus ever showed up?  Might not John Cena want to get after The Miz if he’s still in the arena?

It’s not looking good for The Miz, as Randy Orton is setting up for the RKO… and The Miz counters into the Skull Crushing Finale… TO BECOME THE NEW WWE World Champion!!!

Outcome – The Miz becomes WWE Champion, and women all over the arena – young and old and in-between – look dejected.

How crazy good was this episode of RAW?  CM Punk on commentary (for the forseeable future), the announcement of King Of The Ring returning next week Daniel Bryan getting a little extra personality with the Bella Twins fighting over him, LayCool being kept out of the arena, an empassioned speech by John Cena.

What are the odds that we eventually find out that The Miz and Alex Riley are part of the Nexus masterplan?

Plenty to be answered next week, I’m not going to get into all of it right now, but the landscape is surely changing!

Other favorite images of the night:

You know he wanted Cena to stay in Nexus