The WWE Vengeance pay per view has come and gone, and while none of the championships changed hands, a lot did happen and it paves the way nicely for Survivor Series.

Above all else, Kevin Nash is back, and he looks to be getting involved in things in a major way.

The Game starts out the show, obviously not happy about how things settled out last night, with Kevin Nash powerbombing him in the ring.

Triple H talks about having friends in the business, and how some of the “friends” seem to have hung around BECAUSE he got some backstage power. Interestingly enough, Triple H doesn’t mention Scott Hall when he’s mentioning the members of The Kliq.

Apparently Trips thinks Nash tried to break his neck last night. If he really thought Nash was in this for the money, he’d give Nash credit for wanting a big pay day match against The Game at an upcoming pay per view (or two or three).

The gauntlet is thrown and The Game invites Nash to come to the ring.

John Laurinaitis (who really needs a nickname), shows up and tries to convince everyone that Nash is at home. Interim General Manager JL is told to shut his mouth, know his role, and track down Nash.

The tasking is for IGM-JL to not only find Nash, but also offer him a contract, bring him back to WWE so The Game can kick his ass.

The Game walks out, gets to the top of the ramp, turns his back on the entrance curtain so he can tell IGM-JL to shut his mouth again… and Nash hits him in the back with a sledgehammer. IGM-JL makes it seem like Nash wasn’t supposed to be there tonight, The Game sells it like he’s near paralyzed, and guys backstage cower in fear to avoid the 7 footer with the 3 foot hammer.

EMTs put HHH on a stretcher after he collapses backstage, and Nash gets to them before Hunter gets put into the ambulance, then drills him again with the sledgehammer.

And we get a second commercial break, making this one of the longest opening segments in the past few years.

In case you weren’t watching, you get a 5 minute video recap to tell you what happened the first 20 minutes of the show.

First quarter of RAW is over, and we’re about to get a tag team match…

Match – Randy Orton & Great White Sheamus vs Christian & Cody Rhodes

Oh good, so the two feuds that could’ve been completed at the pay per view are going to continue directly. I suppose with Survivor Series coming up, that makes sense.

Outcome – Sheamus pins Cody Rhodes after the Celtic Cross, an ending which doesn’t give any of the guys feuding with one another any additional momentum in their respective feuds

John Cena walks in on a segment with David Otunga and IGM-JL talking backstage. Cena gets a laugh out of me by comparing Otunga to Carlton Banks, but then tries to throw in three one-liners all at once and he gives us a reason to roll our eyes while Otunga leaves.

Because of what happened last night, Cena demands a match with The Miz and R-Truth, and while IGM-JL will grant him the tag match, apparently Cena can’t pick his own partner.

Match – Santino Marella vs Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler’s third match in the last 25 hours, and it’s Santino’s third match in the past 25 weeks.

Santino gets in some offense, and he sets up for the Cobra, but a distraction from Swagger on the outside makes it easy for Ziggler to avoid the knockout shot.

Outcome – Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag and gets the win.

After the match, Mason Ryan gets the chance to gain some points with the fans by showing up to run Ziggler & Swagger off, stopping the beatdown of Santino.

Backstage we get a quick look at the Bella Twins, who don’t end up showing much personality in the quick segment as it was basically used as an opportunity for Zack Ryder to announce that he’ll be Cena’s tag team partner later in the evening.

Commercial time, we’re learning that for the first time in 7 years The Rock will be in action at Survivor Series.

Alberto Del Rio time, and because I’m a few minutes behind, I get to Fast Forward through the champion’s entrance.

The champ says he pans to keep the belt for a while… and before he can continue with the cliches, he’s interrupted by CM Punk who saves us from a boring diatribe.

Punk essentially says he should be the next challenger and ‘berto Del Rio says Punk should be at the back of the line…

…and then Punk says he might just put The Champ to sleep anyway.

Before things get physical, IGM-JL comes to the ring yet again with his raspy voice, says that ADR and Punk both make good points… even though they’re both basically making one point each and they’re opposites.

For Punk to get the title shot, IGM-JL says that Punk needs to declare that he respects him.

Punk says that HE deserves more respect than IGM-JL does, and nothing IGM-JL has done over the past month or two deserves respect (the ring collapsing last night, The Miz & Truth running around everywhere, Nash doing the same).

Making a joke of the ordeal, Punk mocks IGM-JL the first go-round, then calls him SIR and says he respects the fact that IGM-JL comes to the ring each week, live, and does soo much with such little talent.

IGM-JL doesn’t like what Punk just said, so he’s going to wait a week to think about whether Punk will get a match… probably because he doesn’t have another credible contender setup to face Del Rio for the belt… so Punk attacks Del Rio and ends up laying out Ricardo Rodriguez with the Go2Sleep.

Match – Natalya Neidhart vs Alicia Fox

I don’t expect people to love the Diva’s division, but I was really surprised at how quiet the response was for Alicia Fox.

Natalya works a decent match, going after Alicia’s leg and fighting a brutal match…. Still not sure why they went the “brutal” route with Kelly Kelly a few weeks ago. Didn’t make sense then and it isn’t something they’re building upon.

Outcome – Alicia Fox gets a cheap roll-up victory, the fans don’t seem to care much, and then Natalya and Beth Phoenix try to beat her down in the ring before Alicia escapes.

Does anyone else miss Layla El?

Match – John Morrison vs Wade Barrett

With the significant declcine by John Morrison and the fact that Wade Barrett will likely be World Champion before 2012 is over, this outcome is likely to be a no brainer.

Outcome – Yet another well-fought match for John Morrison, but he continues to be the jobber-to-the-stars as he nearly hits Starship Pain but gets caught with Wasteland anyway

Michael Cole gets up onto the announce table and talks some smack about Jim Ross, then pretends like Jim Ross sent out some lame photos on Twitter which were obviously photoshopped.

Another gauntlet is thrown, as Michael Cole challenges Jim Ross to “The Michael Cole Challenge” for next week in Atlanta, and if Jim Ross wins, Michael Cole vows to quit.

And apparently we have to wait to hear what a “Michael Cole Challenge” entails… probably because the writers haven’t decided yet.

We get a commercial hyping up the Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart rivalry DVD, otherwise known as one of the items on my Christmas list.

Backstage, Zack Ryder gets interviewed before his first RAW Main Event, and after he brags about his fist-pumping, he gets beaten down by Awesome Truth. The referees show up and get R-Truth and The Miz to back up, and I’m guessing they’re still going to have the tag match anyway…

Match – Awesome Truth vs John Cena & ???

During their entrance, The Miz has a mic and talks about the revolution which he claims to have started. More talk about the conspiracy, and then after bragging about beating down Zack Ryder, The Miz also takes credit for what happened to Triple H… so they’re essentially claiming to be in an alliance with Kevin Nash.

Cena doesn’t show any ill effects from last night’s brutal match (and beatdown), and holds his own until he gets stopped by the almighty “waterbottle shot to the head” from R-Truth, the worst weapon in WWE history.

Things devolve into a beatdown which gets broken up by IGM-JL, who forces The Miz & R-Truth to leave the ring.

There will be another tag match at Survivor Series between Awesome Truth and a pairing of John Cena and a partner… and because the choice is Cena’s, he picks The Rock

Post-show Analysis:

RAW was decent tonight. Things between Kevin Nash and Triple H progressed… but with the way The Game sold the sledgehammer shot, I’m not sure how realistic it is for them to fight at the pay per view… and if they’re not fighting at the “Big 4” Survivor Series event, then why do this at all?

CM Punk seems destined to get the title shot against Alberto Del Rio at the pay per view, and I’m not sure who IGM-JL thinks he’s fooling by saying he’ll have to wait another week to make up his mind.

Mason Ryan looks to be getting more involved in a budding feud with Vickie Guerrero’s guys, which means WWE is likely considering going in a different direction with the United States Championship other than Zack Ryder… which means they’re missing out on cashing in on his popularity while it’s still somewhat hot.

Diva’s division? Starting to fizzle…

Tag division? Got only a brief mention while Ziggler was out there.

Did Cody Rhodes even wear the Intercontinental Championship to the ring? The fact that it wasn’t on the line last night tells you something…

I said it on Twitter but I’ll say it again, if next week’s “Michael Cole Challenge” involves some sort of embarrassment for Jim Ross, such as a “Kiss Cole’s Ass Club”, Good Ole JR should just stay home.

I could’ve done with a little less John Laurinaitis on this show, but it was a decent episode of RAW.

Stay tuned for an article on Tuesday where I give my early perspective on what the Survivor Series card will look like!

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