It’s 9pm on a Monday night that WWE doesn’t consider “special”, so RAW is getting set to kick off and tonight, I’ll be doing my best to give you my perspective on things LIVE!  What does the red show have in store?

We’ve got a new #1 Contender to the World Title… and once again it’s going to be Randy Orton directly targeting The Miz.

As we saw in the main event last week, Wade Barrett got attacked by CM Punk to keep him from winning the main event, effectively booting him from Nexus.  Will Wade Barrett show up tonight?  He was on Smackdown 72 hours ago, so there’s a distinct possibility that he won’t be here.  What does CM Punk have in store?

Will Tyson Kidd ever get his shot at the United States Championship like he said he was directing his efforts at?

Royal Rumble qualifiers matches, we get any of those tonight?

As the show starts, we find out that tonight will mark the announcement of the first inductee to this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class (officially inducted the night before Wrestlemania).  Odds are that’ll be a fairly big name, as this is going to be a person who is mentioned every week between now and when the full list of inductees are named.  Is there ANY chance it’ll be Macho Man Randy Savage?  That’d be my pick.

In something of a shock, Santino Marella and Vladamir Kozlov are going to be starting off the show, and something tells me that WWE isn’t going to be using this opening segment to give us another part in the saga between SantiKoz and The Usos.

World Tag Team Championship – Champs (Santino & Kozlov) vs ????

Before we can even find out who the opponents are set to be, Nexus rushes the ring and gives the champs a beatdown, and CM Punk mozies on into the ring without throwing a punch.

New Nexus shirt?  Very nice, the Straight Edge Lightning Bolt in gold with an N on the shoulder.  Even if CM Punk weren’t the leader of Nexus, I’d consider buying it.

Last Week's Shirt. Spot the Deathly Hallows.

Isn’t it odd that for the first time since the start of NXT Season 1, a WWE Superstar is offering ACTUAL assistance in making these rookies better.  I have no doubt that their alliance with CM Punk will make Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty, Husky Harris and Heath Slater all the better.

Why is CM Punk going to wait until later tonight to initiate himself as the new leader of Nexus?  What’s wrong with the opening segment?  Furthermore, why would he have to initiate himself?

Is it ironic that CM Punk is talking to Michael McGillicutty about beating down WWE Legends and Vince McMahon, since that was before McGillicutty joined Nexus?

So the first part of Punk’s initiation for the members of Nexus involves the rest of the group giving Michael McGillicutty a beatdown?  Just so long as they don’t go too “frat” and make a three-lettered paddle board, we’re still good.

How many college campuses right now have kids thinking about making those black and yellow paddle boards?

Why is Husky Harris the member of Nexus who is the least interested in attacking McGillicutty?  Is it because they were NXT Season 2 contestants together?  Thanks, announce team, for not reminding me of that.

I take that back, Justin Gabriel seemed less interested in attacking Michael McGillicutty than Husky Harris did.

One of the things I must have missed during Punk’s speech that was reiterated by the announce team, apparently CM Punk has promised to make the ultimate sacrifice later tonight during his induction into Nexus.

Match – Alberto Del Rio vs R-Truth

Why do we have ADR on RAW yet again?  I don’t usually have problems with the occasional competitor showing up on the show for which they’re not a member of the roster, but this is two weeks in a row, and they’re just helping to build him up towards the Royal Rumble… which I don’t think he’s actually going to win.

Michael Cole does mention that Alberto Del Rio defeated Rey Mysterio 71 hours ago in a Best 2 Of 3 match, with a bit of assistance from his ring announcer… and that’s likely to be the closest thing Smackdown gets to the equivalent of the “RAW Rebound”

Outcome – Alberto Del Rio wins by count out when R-Truth gets distracted outside the ring by the personal ring announcer for ADR.

Apparently tonight we get another installment of John Morrison vs King Sheamus.  Having tons of matches with one another isn’t the only ingredient needed to make something a great feud… but WWE is going to try to sell us on it anyway.  These aren’t house shows.  The same fans are seeing each and every installment.  Sometimes less is more!

After we get a SECOND recap of the night from The Miz attacking Jerry Lawler at the announce booth from two weeks ago, Michael Cole further pushes the “feud” between Lawler and The Miz with Michael Cole telling Lawler he should apologize to The Miz.  Thankfully we get an email from the Anonymous General Manager… but the email turns into a love-fest for Michael Cole, and it’s hard to type with all of my eye-rolling going on.  Yet again, an interruption makes this segment better, and Jerry Lawler tells Michael Cole to shut up.  We get reminded by Michael Cole that Jerry Lawler can’t touch Michael Cole, less he gets fired (because of the stupid ladder match main event from weeks ago).  And now yet again, Jerry Lawler gets pushed back into the scene with the current World Champion, as the GM makes a match involving Lawler teaming up with Randy Orton to face The Miz and Alex Riley.

Backstage, it’s initiation time, and it’s Husky Harris’ turn.  CM Punk says Husky has to take, without retaliation, three lashes with leather straps from each present member of Nexus (apparently not including Michael McGillicutty).  Punk says that McGillicutty passed the test with flying colors, and although Husky Harris went to his knees during the bare back lashing, he didn’t ask anyone to stop – not even CM Punk, who whipped him more than the three promised turns.

Returning from commercial, it’s tag team action time!

Tag Match – American Dragon (with Bellas at ringside) & Mark Henry vs Ted DiBiase (complete with Maryse outside the ring) & Tyson Kidd (who doesn’t have his big bodyguard anywhere to be found)

Why am I calling Daniel Bryan (Danielson) “American Dragon”?  I’ll explain in an upcoming article.  It’s not meant to be smark’ish, it’s more by habit.

Dare I say FINALLY… an outfit which flatters Maryse!  The past couple months they’ve almost dressed her in burlap sacks!

So is this basically the battle of the United States Title division?  It’s playing out more like the squashing of the bad guys!

Outcome – Mark Henry pins Tyson Kidd after his big slam

I’m not entirely sure that Ted DiBiase or Tyson Kidd had more than one or two offensive maneuvers between them this match.

For those of you with the benefit of DVR and HD television, I’d imagine you might want to take another couple looks at how SHORT the Bella Twins skirts were.  WOW.

NXT Season 4 gets its first elimination… and is it just me, or is that guy the love child of Chris Nowitzki and Lucky Cannon?  Don’t know who those two guys are?  Then you’ll understand why he got eliminated.

Yet another crossover from Smackdown, it’s The Big Show… and something tells me that we’re going to get word from Wade Barrett during this segment.

And there we go… Wade Barrett is Topic #1 on the Big Show’s list to talk about… and apparently he’s going to knockout Wade Barrett this week on Smackdown.

Topic #2, Big Show plans to win the Royal Rumble… proving he’s not really any different than anyone else in WWE in his approach.

CM Punk brings Nexus out to the top of the entrance ramp, and it appears that David Otunga’s initiation is to confront The Big Show on his own.  So apparently when Wade Barrett puts David Otunga into a bad spot, Otunga forms a coup.  When CM Punk does the same for Otunga, it motivates The (non) A-Lister.

Otunga slaps Big Show in the face, then stands there and gets whupped inside the ring and then outside the ring.  Kicked, punched, thrown into the steps, multiple slaps to the chest, his shirt torn… and then chokeslammed.  A lot of folks thought this is how the Nexus guys should’ve been treated from their first appearance on RAW, and I guess now is their comeuppance.  At least they got months of feuding with John Cena, the top guy in the business, to provide the opportunity to shine… or at least glimmer from time to time!

Match – John Morrison vs King Sheamus

What else is there to say about this match that hasn’t been said in their matches over the past few months?  Remember the time they squared off in John Morrison’s first public display of parkour?  Jericho showed up and cost Morrison the win.  Remember all those times they interacted when Sheamus was bullying Santino?  Remember how they squared off on PPV?  Remember how they also squared off in the King Of The Ring?  Remember how they fought at the TLC pay per view?  WHEN WILL IT END?!

WWE Creative is killing this rivalry for me.  I think some people probably agree with me.

John Morrison gets beaten all over the ring, but as soon as Sheamus gets him on the top rope, he pulls out some innovative offense to get back on the attack.

Outcome – John Morrison hits Sheamus with a running knee to the head and gets the pinfall

Initiation time once again, and this time it’s with Kendo Sticks!  Gabriel and Slater both get a Kendo Stick, and CM Punk tells them to beat the hell out of each other with them.  There’s a lot of indecisive moments where they can’t decide what to do, and they both size up CM Punk, as if they might hit him instead.  No one gets hit though, as Gabriel and Slater simply drop the Kendo Sticks.  Tough to say how Punk is going to ultimately react to Slater and Gabriel not attacking each other.  If that means they’re not in Nexus, I like Gabriel’s chances of staying on the roster, but as for Heath Slater?  It’s probably Florida Championship Wrestling for him.

Jerry Lawler is in the ring and is going to be announcing the name of the first member of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class.  Who will it be?  Lawler says the roof is going to be blown off when this person’s name is announced, claiming that this guy is one of the all time greatest competitors.  I was guessing it was going to be The Rock, as I didn’t think he was in the Hall of Fame yet…. but it turns out to be Shawn Michaels.  I suppose he’s a First Ballot Hall of Famer, but I’m a little let down.  That’s partially my Bret Hart Bias speaking, but I don’t begrudge him a spot in the Hall Of Fame.  I’ll be interested to see who inducts him into the Hall of Fame.  I would guess Triple H would do the honors.

That considerably decreases the odds of Randy Savage being inducted in 2011, which is a shame because he did a lot of great work down in Atlanta during his WCW days.

Unless something interesting happens during this Shawn Michaels segment, I’m probably not going to comment on it any further.  Like I said, sure, he’s a Hall Of Famer, but I’m a little let down based on the build-up and the things I was hoping for.

How ironic, I was just looking to add more polls to the version of this article, and I went back to when Alberto Del Rio first showed up tonight… and then I hear his music and I’m forced to stop what I’m doing to comment on the segment at hand.

I swear, if HBK simply kicks Alberto Del Rio in the mouth and gets cheered to end the segment, I’m going to be REALLY disappointed.

So… I predicted it… and I hated it.  Thanks WWE Creative.

Just when it comes time for John Cena to come out and talk about what has happened with the recent continuation of things with Nexus.  Instead, CM Punk interrupts the broadcast, standing atop the Titan Tron, talking about how he’s going to be making the ultimate sacrifice.  He asks the fans whether he should jump of the tron, breaking all the bones in his body… and the fans in the arena tell him he should jump.  Punk then tells them that they’re stupid for believing him, because he’s wearing a harness and he’s got two guys behind him to make sure he doesn’t end up hurting himself, calling the fans gullible for believing he was going to jump.  Part of me thought John Cena was going to show up atop the Titan Tron and push Punk off (causing him not to crash down, but yet to just dangle there by his harness), but instead the members of Nexus come to the ring… Otunga, Harris and McGillicutty, anyway.  No word on what’s going on with Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel.

So CM Punk calls people stupid again, and then John Cena shows up on the Titan Tron (via satellite, not reenacting Punk’s Tron-top jump-threat) and tells Punk that he will be there next week, and challenges him to a match – if Punk were man enough.  Did John Cena really wonder if Punk was going to be willing to face him in a match?  How stupid would CM Punk be if he didn’t expect to have to eventually face John Cena in a match?  Of course the match is going to happen, and Cena promises to be ready for it.  Naturally, because he “never gives up” and says he’s not done with Nexus until he’s done beating down CM Punk.

What are the odds that Heath Slater and/or Justin Gabriel are going to end up helping out John Cena next week (or at some point in the next couple months)?  Will they have forgotten how John Cena whupped their asses, threw them into cars, compared them to female fast food mascots?  Of course they will, because it’s WWE Creative… which isn’t actually as creative as you might think.  Or maybe it’s just logic they lack.

Main Event Tag Match – Jerry Lawler & Randy Orton vs Alex Riley & The Miz

How awkward does it seem that Lawler would tag up with “The Legend Killer”?  Seeing as how Lawler is basically just a Hall Of Famer and not necessarily a “Legend”, I guess he doesn’t really have anything to worry about.

Did the announcers just say that Randy Orton is going to help give the Blue Print on how to beat The Miz?  Here’s the blue print:  put him on the mat, get the referee to count to three.  Maybe a piledriver involved there somehow.  That’s all the more planning Lawler ever did for his matches.

Can you tell that I really dislike Lawler being involved in the ring on a weekly basis against the World Champ?  I’m not really trying to hide it…

Thank God for Alex Riley!  For the second time in this STUPID rivalry, it looked as though Jerry Lawler was going to pin The Miz  follow the same formula (The Miz goes for Skull Crushing Finale on Lawler, then Randy Orton hits an RKO on The Miz, leaving him to be pinned by Lawler), but Alex Riley saves us from another travesty of justice by diving into the ring, breaking up the pinfall and forcing Lawler to have to continue the match.

For the first time ever, Michael Cole uses the term “Vintage” to describe a competitor’s move, and it’s actually appropriate!

Outcome – Jerry Lawler pins Alex Riley after a “Vintage Lawler” fist drop from the second rope

I still prefer Jerry Lawler not to be a competitor, but if he’s going to score the fall to finish a match, at least it was on Alex Riley (a guy who most people don’t believe belongs on the roster… an idea I disagree with).

If you’re just reading the most recent portion, go back and look at what you might’ve missed, because there are now POLLS ADDED!!!