It’s time again for the Monday night review of WWE RAW by  If you’re new to these articles, I’ve been writing them weekly for RAW and Smackdown for the better part of the past 8 months.  Lately I’ve been trying to get these things done live while RAW happens.  It’s tough to inject my brand of humor into the article and keep things up to the minute, but I do my best to give analysis and pose questions in a Seinfeld-type style.  Not that I’m as funny as Seinfeld, but that’s who I’ve been compared to with these articles.  Some people find it funny, others just read it to get a recap of RAW or to vote in the polls (exclusive to the version of this article).

If you’re reading the article and it’s not current with what’s going on with RAW at that minute, you’re probably not reading the version of the article, which gets updated first, prior to anywhere else it’s posted.

Anyway, it’s 9 pm, so away… we… go!

We start right off with a recap from the end of last week’s RAW where CM Punk revealed that Nexus now has his back.

2011 is starting off hot, with a Falls Count Anywhere match for the WWE World Championship, as John Morrison challenges his former tag team partner The Miz.  Anyone want to bet that the belt doesn’t actually change hands tonight?  I’m almost certain that The Miz will find some way to retain his championship.

Falls Count Anywhere World Championship Match – John Morrison vs The Miz (c)

Did anyone notice that The Miz’s crazy face on the Titan Tron looks nearly identical to the one Kofi Kingston has as part of his logo?  Talk about an odd pairing.

Obviously John Morrison sees Alex Riley coming to the ring with The Miz, why not recruit R-Truth or someone of that ilk to be at his side for this match?  I can understand the reasons for WWE not doing things this way (stacking the odds against Morrison, for example), but it would help the other competitor start a decent feud.

If John Morrison has such great parkour skills, why would he take the match back into the ring?  There are four sides from which Alex Riley can catch him from behind, and there are tons of fewer objects off of which to launch an attack.  The advantage would seem to be in Morrison’s favor backstage, whereas the ring would definitely favor the champion.  Again, I’m sure it’s WWE’s choice to stay in the ring in front of the live crowd, but smart fans should be wondering the same thing I’ve just mentioned.

Why, with The Miz on the mat in the ring, would John Morrison just grit his teeth and pace outside the ring?  Shouldn’t he be in the ring on the attack?

When John Morrison put himself through the table with the Starship Pain as The Miz moved out of the way, did anyone else resign themselves to the fact that the match was going to be over at that point?

Outcome – The Miz gets the pinfall after the Skull Crushing Finale puts John Morrison down for the count following Morrison going through a table outside the ring.

Does anyone else think that maybe John Morrison should’ve held off on cashing in his guaranteed title shot until the Royal Rumble pay per view?

After the match, we find out that tonight’s show will host a steel cage match to determine the number one contender to the WWE Championship.  That’s quick.  What if John Morrison had won?  Wouldn’t The Miz have been next in line?  Or what if The Miz had left the building, ending the match in defeat but keeping the belt?  Wouldn’t John Morrison be deserving of another shot?  I guess none of that matters now, but it will be interesting to see who will be getting the title shot for the second biggest pay per view of the year – Royal Rumble!

After a quick self-hype promo from The Miz (is there any other kind from him?) and a recap of what has been happening between Natalya and Melina, we find out that there’s a Six Diva’s Tag Match

Six Diva’s Tag – Melina, MARYSE, Alicia Fox vs Natalya, Eve Torres, Brie Bella

Does it get any better than watching Brie and Maryse rolling around the mat with one another?  Maybe if WWE would use the slow-motion camera on Maryse instead of reserving it solely for John Morrison.

You’d think that after all the time, the Diva’s would know to watch the Bella Twins for the Twin Magic swap-a-rooni.  No dice.

Outcome – Eve Torres is in the ring for two moments and gets the pinfall over Melina

So how does that outcome help progress things between Melina and Natalya?  And why am I spending so much time thinking about the logic surrounding a Diva’s match when the WWE Creative Team obviously doesn’t?

Match – The Uso Brothers vs Vladamir Kozlov & Sanitno Marella

Finally, after months of wasted opportunity, we finally get an opportunity where Tamina is potentially put in between Santino and The Usos (who she came to the WWE with and quite possibly is related to), and there’s no real direct build-up.  They almost make it out to be something of a coincidence.

Did they even mention that this is a non-title match?  At least, I’m assuming that’s the case.  The announce team should do a better job of selling that aspect of things.  It’s definitely a different tone to a match when the champs have nothing to lose and the challengers have everything to gain.

Outcome – Uso #2 (I still can’t tell them apart) ducks The Cobra from Santino and hits the weakest looking Samoan Drop I’ve ever seen to get the pinfall.

After the match, Tamina helps give some gray area to the feud by doing what?  Oh, wait, she hits The Cobra on one of the Uso brothers.  So much for trying to make this a more complex angle.  Now if she’s backstage talking to them and they question her allegiance, there’s not much to think about.  We know which side she’s on.

CM Punk is backstage, and I’m glad they showed he’s still wearing his Nexus armband, because I wondered whether or not he was actually joining them because they left SOOO much gray area in that situation last week and at the beginning of the show when they mentioned he was the new leader of the pack.  Was there ever any doubt he was going to show up?  The only question in my mind is how deep they’re going to say the alliance between Punk and the Nexus goes back.  Did it start months ago or days ago?  How much plotting was there?

I am curious whether Wade Barrett is showing up tonight, and if so, how does he fit into the equation with CM Punk looking like the figure head right now.  And furthermore, if Punk is walking around backstage, wouldn’t he want Nexus following him around?  Aside from just being able to get him a soda, wouldn’t it be helpful to know that no one was going to attack you from behind?

Now Punk comes to the ring, and it’s explanation time.

I love how people boo CM Punk when he says he loves being in Phoenix.  Does that mean that most of the fans are coming from Tuscon?  Maybe Flagstaff?  Did they drive all the way there from SCOTTSDALE?!  Such derision out in Arizona.

How classic was it when CM Punk shook his hand in front of his face and said that despite looking for Cena all night, he couldn’t SEE him?

We get one of our answers.  Cena claims that Nexus came to him and BEGGED him to be their new leader, so that would cause one to believe that the alliance betwixt them doesn’t go back very far, which is disappointing because I was really hoping Punk was part of the full masterplan which involved helping Kane beat The Undertaker.

How great would it be if CM Punk were to get WWE Shopzone to alter one of the “Hustle, Loyalty and Respect” tshirt designs to be the new shirt design for Nexus, now that CM Punk says it applies more to him and Nexus than it does John Cena?

Wade Barrett shows up, and apparently he’s not happy with Punk’s claims.  First, he says that Punk isn’t here because of a match that Barrett and Cena had last week at a local show.  Secondly, Wade claims that Punk isn’t the new leader of Nexus, as Barrett is still in charge. This could be interesting, because we’re quite possibly about to get a forced face turn for Wade Barrett, because Nexus is going to either side with CM Punk or the group’s going to be split in two… which could be interesting if Skip Sheffield and others make their return.

Before David Otunga can tell us how Nexus truly feels, the Anonymous RAW General Manager sends in an email… and I quote…. “Before things get out of hand, there will be three participants in a number one contenders Steel Cage match later tonight”.  I’m done quoting.  Essentially it’s King Sheamus vs Randy Orton vs (either CM Punk or Wade Barrett).  How are they going to determine whether it’s CM Punk or Wade Barrett?  Apparently CM Punk is going to allow Wade Barrett to take the spot in the match tonight… but if Wade Barrett can’t win the Steel Cage Number One Contenders match later in the evening, Wade Barrett is OUT of Nexus.  Interesting…. especially because I can’t imagine The Miz taking on Wade Barrett or King Sheamus at Royal Rumble, which means Wade Barrett is going to likely have to turn in all of those trendy black and yellow shirts.

Apparently the king of cars is in attendance, as Alberto Del Rio’s personal announcer makes the introduction.

After Alberto Del Rio talks all about how its his destiny to win the Royal Rumble and main event Wrestlemania, ADR gets interrupted by R-Truth, who apparently wants to send Alberto “back where he came from”.  Is anyone else thinking that R-Truth is destined to send ADR back to Smackdown… victorious?

Match – R-Truth vs Alberto Del Rio

Is anyone else surprised with the fact that R-Truth was dominating the early part of this match?  I fully expected him to be getting beaten when they returned from commercial break.

Alberto Del Rio with some great in-ring psychology, attacking the left arm of R-Truth in about six or seven different ways.  Such a subtle science that he does so well.

Outcome – Alberto Del Rio gets the victory with the cross arm breaker submission hold

I understand what the announcers are saying about the win being impressive for Alberto Del Rio, and while he did a good job of making a comeback and working over R-Truth, the man formerly known as K-Kwik isn’t exactly elite competition.

Nexus has a little pow-wow backstage, where Wade Barrett is telling the members of Nexus about how he was there to support each and every one of them… and that’s not exactly how I saw things go down at all, as he underminded them and made them his bitch at several turns along the way.  CM Punk shows up and wishes Wade barrett well in his match, and the members of Nexus look like they’re supporing Punk… though the Straight Edge Superstar still doesn’t have his own Nexus tshirt, which I see as a bit of a problem.

Just prior to the final match of the evening, the announcers mention that there were two main events of the evening, one of which opened the show – The Miz vs John Morrison.  How weird is it that the MAIN EVENT would start the show?  I suppose it is a big part of the reason a lot of people tuned in tonight, and I understand the timing of it all, but it still seems awkward to think about.

Steel Cage #1 Contenders Three-Way Match – Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett vs King Sheamus

How classic was it that Wade Barrett tried to escape the match almost immediately?  Fits him just perfectly, and it nearly worked.  Does anyone else wish that they’d actually have something like that WORK sometime?  The moment I saw him trying it, my first thought was “that NEVER works”, but it would only take ONCE.  Maybe if the match involved a different stipulation like “first guy out of the ring becomes the #1 contender, second guy out gets to be #30 in the Royal Rumble”.

When Randy Orton had the cage door open and then turned around to see his two opponents, then he hit the mat like he was getting ready for the RKO… did anyone else think that maybe he should just slide himself backwards quickly?  He probably could’ve slid underneath the bottom rope and won the match without being touched.  Sure, it would’ve ruined the final ten minutes of the show, but they could’ve filled it with something… like the fallout from Wade Barrett NOT winning… or they could’ve even used my idea about the secondary stipulation.

Randy Orton nearly escaped the cage, but Sheamus climbed up like a champ to stop him, and Wade Barrett went up there for the assist.  Sheamus tossed Orton back into the ring and then climbed back down, why didn’t Barrett stay up there and try to escape?  There’s no reason for him to have climbed back down.  No one forced him.

How great would it be if the members of Nexus show up and knock Wade Barrett off the top of the cage to show their allegiance to CM Punk as the new leader of the group?  Wouldn’t you really like to see Husky Harris try to climb the cage?  He’d probably go through the door.

When Wade Barrett and Randy Orton were battling near the top of the cage, was anyone else hoping we’d get to see a Super RKO?

With the swiftness, CM Punk not only charges to the ringside, but he scales the steel cage, climbing all the way up to the top, and when it looks like he’s going to help Wade, Punk reaches out a hand… and takes Wade’s armband from him in a fitting end to Barrett’s membership in Nexus.

Outcome – Sheamus with the big boot to Wade Barrett, followed by an RKO on Sheamus, making it easy for Randy Orton to simply stroll out the ring and go down the steps to the floor to pick up the big victory.

RAW ends with the newly dedicated Randy Orton, who vows to be more violent in 2011.  Is anyone else thinking this sets up very well for Randy Orton to be the World Champion heading into Wrestlemania?  Now we just have to figure out who he’s going to be facing… unless the Elimination Chamber switches things up immensely yet again this year.

I’ll be updating this article as the night goes on, doing as much as I can to keep it current with RAW, but where computer problems and article quality are limiting factors, I might not be able to stay current (though commercicals do help).  In the meantime, you might be interested in checking out one of these recent articles:

– The results and awards for my Quest For 75 in 2010!

– The chance to review the candidates for Playboy Playmate of the Year and vote for your favorite one!

– The GuysNation Winning Take article for Week 17 NFL Football Games!

– NCAA College Football Bowl Games Breakdowns!

– The second trailer released for Batman: Arkham City or the parody video for an Arkham spin on Shawshank Redemption!