It’s Monday night, 9 pm, and since this isn’t a “special” week, RAW is getting started.  This show is the proverbial bowl into which WWE puts most of its major chips, so it’s almost always a fun time.

If you’re new to these articles, I furiously type while watching RAW, doing my best to analyze what’s going on with the matches and segments, presenting my analysis with my brand of humor (which some have compared to Jerry Seinfeld) with a series of questions, comments and analysis (hence the name of the article) on

Whether or not you find this article funny, I hope you enjoy it.

John Cena starts off the night for the first time in a while, and if I’m not mistaken, he has one thing on his mind:  chicken taquitos.


Oh, right.  CM Punk, and if I’m not mistaken, cena’s going to talk about the fact that they have a match tonight, predicting that CM Punk wants to back out of it, and Punk is going to show up and say that he’s totally willing to fight, and then the GM is going to say something about how Nexus is banned from ringside.  Yes?  Let’s find out.

Cena confirms that the video we just saw wasn’t ‘doctored’ footage, and apparently he’s ready for Nexus, since this is 2011 and the attack… that’s old news, since that was 2010.

John has his new year’s resolutions, and while CM Punk is the first thing on Cena’s list, that doesn’t stop The Miz from showing up before anyone else can step up to Cena.  Apparently as the current champion, Miz takes umbridge at the fact that Cena says he’s going to win the WWE World Championship at Wrestlemania.

Whoa, big announcement here, just sorta dropped on us by The Miz:  There’s going to be 40 individuals in this year’s Royal Rumble match.  Might I suggest WWE start calling one of the Japanese organizations for filler talent ASAP?

For the first time in the night, I’m agreeing with Michael Cole.  Not something he said (at least verbally), but he shook his head in disgust when John Cena mentioned that Jerry Lawler should be WWE Champion right now.  If Lawler were champion, I probably would’ve stopped watching… at least for those segments of the show… at least until he lost the belt.

Might the Jonas Brothers be taking offense at the fact that John Cena is comparing their street cred to that of Michael Cole?

John Cena just referred to Alex Riley as The Miz’s Human Mogwai.  Is anyone else surprised to hear that the original Gremlins movie was only rated PG?  I would’ve thought Gremlins was at least PG-13.  On further review, the second Gremlins was rated PG-13, but not the first one.

Did John Cena forget that The Miz defended the WWE Championship against John Morrison, if not cleanly, at least “within the rules”, back in the Falls Count Anywhere match a couple weeks ago.  Maybe because Cena was at home nursing his injuries, he didn’t see that match.

So finally CM Punk and his members of Nexus (Otunga, Harris and McGillicutty) show up, and in his first order of business, CM Punk reminds The Miz that despite Cena’s “the champ is here” catchphrase, John isn’t champion, so The Miz doesn’t have to answer to him.

Punk sends his new Nexus into the ring to attack Cena, but the World Tag Team Champions, Santino & Kozlov (since I’m sure you might’ve forgotten who currently holds the belts), show up and clean house.  Punk then leads Nexus to the ring, as 4 out-numbers 3 (which Punk could’ve realized prior to Nexus retreating), but the Anonymous General Manager rings in with his opinion, and Michael Cole announces that Nexus is barred from ringside tonight when Punk faces Cena (looks like I was right about that), and if any of them do interfere, they will be removed from the Royal Rumble.

Tonight, Dolph Ziggler is yet again in the house, and the top contender on Smackdown (which is Ziggler) will take on the top contender from RAW (which is Randy Orton… which you might not expect because he wasn’t the one trash talking with the World Champ at the start of the show).  WWE has a great opportunity here to help Ziggler be seen as more credible threat, but I’m guessing they’ll just find a way to make Randy Orton look good at the expense of Ziggler… even though Orton has nothing to lose from this match, a multiple-time World Champion, and Ziggler has everything to gain as a one-time former Intercontinental Champion who hasn’t ever held another title.

So on return from the first commercial break, we get a World Tag Team Championship match, totally forgoing any in-show build they could be doing, given the familial ties between Santino’s girlfriend Tamina and the Uso brothers.

World Tag Team Championship Match – The Usos vs Santi-Koz (c)

Apparently this match was supposed to take place last week, and as that’s mentioned by the announcers I am recalling that Santi-Koz were attacked by Nexus last week.  They still could be doing more to push this angle aside from just booking nearly-random matches and giving a 10 second explanation of why these teams might have heat with one another.

Maybe if these teams actually got more time to work together, Kozlov wouldn’t look so rusty when he goes for his moves which were once crisp.

Outcome – Santino Marella pins one of the Usos after the Cobra, helping Santi-Koz retain the championships.

Something tells me that The Usos are going to remain the top contenders desite the fact that they won’t have done anything to prove they deserve staying there.

Nexus is in the locker room, complaining about about something, and CM Punk shows up, and he looks happy about something.

Match – John Morrison vs “American Dragon” Daniel Bryan (Danielson)

Some competitors are known to take off their signature designed shirts and launch them into the crowd before a match.  What if Bryan were to triple our pleasure by having the Bellas join him in that pursuit?

Unless I’m mistaken, this isn’t a championship match.  Something tells me this one won’t end cleanly.  John Morrison should be poised for a heel turn, and there’s no reason he should lose a match two weeks in a row.  The idea of having the United States Champion lose cleanly doesn’t thrill me either, unless the opponent needed enough credibility to deserve a championship match… but with John Morrison having fought in a World Championship match not two weeks ago, it’s easy enough to consider him a contender.

The series of pinfall attempts in this match not only made for some fun moments, but the mat wrestling involved was really sound.  Sometimes WWE is too quick to just have guys share pinfall attempts back and forth without working logic into the equation.

Outcome – John Morrison avoids the LaBell Lock and hits his springboard flash kick, then the shining wizard knee, leading directly to a pinfall on the United States Champion.

After the match, Sheamus shows up and talks about how he’s better than John Morrison and Daniel Bryan, targeting not only both of them, but also claiming that he believes he’ll be the first entrant into the match (he didn’t exactly say that, but what else could he mean by saying he plans to go through 39 other competitors?  If he shows up at #23, he wouldn’t get that opportunity, would he?).

So we get closer to the midpoint of the show, and apparently Randy Orton vs Dolph Ziggler is going to be the first main event of the evening, rounding out the first hour and starting the second.  I suppose that makes sense, because they’re both the #2 guys on their respective shows, and the final match of the evening will simply feature two former champions who are working to get back into the title scene.


Backstage, we find out that the Bella Twins are working to be Daniel Bryan’s “first”.  Are they implying he’s a virgin?  Did they just make a wager to see who could sleep with him first?  I suppose that’s an interesting twist on the angle, but does WWE think that’s a good way to help Daniel Bryan gain any credibility with an audience prone to machismo?

Match – Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton

Before the match gets started, we get a commercial for the upcoming episode of Smackdown, and for about ten seconds we get a little recap of what happened a few days ago on the “B” show, and if you’re expecting more of a recap than that… you’ll have to read my article covering that show, because WWE isn’t going to tell you about it.

Is it just me, or when Dolph Ziggler moved himself out onto the ring apron underneath the bottom rope, wasn’t that one of the most natural setups to Orton’s patented rope-assisted DDT you’ve seen?

Am I the only one surprised that Michael Cole referred to it as the “patented” DDT instead of saying “Vintage Orton”?  I guess he only says that about heels… a concept I’m fine with.

Did Ziggler’s blocking / counter-attacking of the rope-assisted DDT look natural or VERY natural?  Congrats, Dolph, you’re getting better and better each week!

If Dolph Ziggler is going for his sleeperhold and Randy Orton is fighting it, why not switch over into the Zig-Zag?  Isn’t that basically the same setup?

Orton is “the viper”.  Am I the only one who saw Ziggler holding onto that sleeperhold and immediately thought that he should be nicknamed The Boa Constrictor?

Of course, just when it looked like Dolph Ziggler was going to get the ultimate upperhand, they end the match and give it to Randy.

Outcome – Randy Orton reverses / counter-attacks the Zig-Zag by hitting the RKO on Ziggler for the win.

After the match, The Miz and Alex Riley show up and attack Randy Orton.  Why couldn’t they have shown up during the match, attacked while the ref was distracted, and Ziggler gotten the win?  It would’ve been a huge feather in the cap of Dolph Ziggler, down the road it could’ve been the catalyst for a feud between Orton and Ziggler, and instead, two days from now no one is really going to care that Orton won yet another match, especially given how he got his ass handed to him afterwards by The Miz and Alex Riley.

WWE Creative, I invite you to think at the next level.

WWE Diva’s Match – Maryse vs Natalya

Yet again Maryse shows up and all the other Divas in attendance are showing more cleavage than she is.  Natalya (her opponent), Eve Torres and Melina (both of whom are at the announce table with Michael Cole as Jerry Lawler is backstage nursing an injury).

Yet again it takes me longer to type the first part of this match than for the match itself to transpire.  Basic update:  Melina doesn’t want to talk to anyone, despite coming out to the announce table on her own volition, Eve Torres struggles to find something nice to say about anyone other than Natalya.

Outcome – Natalya gets a win by submission over Maryse using the Sharpshooter.

After the match, Maryse and Eve Torres get into it a little bit, and then Ted DiBiase Jr shows up and they exchange words, with Maryse calling DiBiase a loser.  DiBiase gets a mic and says he’s going to win the Royal Rumble, then says he’s issuing an over the top rope elimination challenge RIGHT THEN AND THERE.  For some rason, given the way they’ve treated DiBiase lately, I’m fully expecting Mark Henry to show up and for DiBiase to end up getting eliminated and then throw a fit.  Let’s see what happens after the commercial.

Over The Top Challenge respondee:  Mark Henry

Did anyone NOT see this coming?

Within thirty seconds of things getting started, Ted DiBiase is thrown out.  From there, the ring gets filled with competitors.  William Regal, Tyson Kidd, Zack Ryder, R-Truth, Darren Young, Santino Marella, Primo Color… Why are we getting an impromptu Battle Royal?  And now Sheamus is involved?  Oh well at least Jerry Lawler didn’t get involved.

Outcome – Mark Henry wins by remaining as the final…. nevermind.

Apparently Alberto Del Rio is not only in attendance, but it looks like he wants to be in the impromptu Battle Royal.  Or…. not.  I guess ADR just wants to show up, wink at Mark Henry, and then leave without competing.  So Mark Henry IS the winner of that impromptu Battle Royal?  That makes it the least interesting Battle Royal in the history of Battle Royals.  Good job, WWE Creative.

After we return from commercial, we get a fake commercial from a guy named Derek Bateman, who apparently is on NXT Season 4, and he does a cologne commercial for Mark Henry, and from the voice-over, it sounds like Mark Henry is going to be making a return to a gimmick similar to back when he was called “sexual chocolate”.  I sigh at the thought, but at least if he gets that gimmick he’ll have a gimmick other than just being “World’s Strongest Man”.  If they’re going to push Mark Henry like they obviously plan to push him, he may as well have a gimmick.

Next, we get a hype video for the Royal Rumble match, featuring some of the pertinent statistics about how many guys have been involved, the number of eliminations, etc.  Because I’ve heard those numbers before (and I’ve seen all the Rumbles before, so the clips weren’t new to me), so my mind wandered a bit and I’m wondering if WWE has 40 guys who they can put into the Rumble.  I suppose they’ll have to pull most of the guys from NXT, and in that case, does that make this year’s Rumble better… or worse?  Water down the talent, decrease the quality.

John Cena walks backstage, and apparently WWE Creative wants to give us more reason to side with CM Punk, because John Cena hangs up the phone on some random guy who was talking on a cell phone, tossing it into his dinner for a double-whammy of asshol’ishness.

Match – John Cena vs CM Punk

Before the match, CM Punk stares down each member of his Nexus, sending the message that they have to have faith in him to get things done against John Cena… which they’ll have to have, because they’re not allowed to interfere in the match.

Punches are traded, Punk gets whipped across the ring, Cena takes Punk down with a flying bulldog.  Cena definitely gets the upperhand early on in the match, getting Punk down on the mat in the corner with punches to the body, then he throws him across the ring into the far corner, chest first.  Punk really getting his ass handed to him by Cena, and John really looks aggressive here before CM Punk slows the momentum with a kick to the face and chest when Cena telegraphs a back body drop.  After a low dropkick sending John Cena out of the ring under the bottom rope, we get a commercial break to slow things down even more.  How about that, some outside interference by the backstage video production crew.  I’m betting they will still get the opportunity to fight in the Royal Rumble.

Or maybe not.  I realize that was an absurd comment.

We come back from the commercial, and it’s no surprise that Cena is in a headscissors getting elbows to the head, as Cena isn’t going to make a comeback in the match until the entire viewing audience is watching.

Cena shows some decent strength by lifting Punk up over his head while still having the head scissors locked in, and is anyone else surprised that CM Punk almost immediately got things back in his favor?

As no surprise to anyone, Cena gets back into the match, then hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle.  Cena then tries for the Attitude Adjustment too early, and Punk not only escapes, but also takes down Cena with a flying leg lariat.  Putting Cena back into the corner, Punk does his trademark leaping knee to the chin, followed by the bulldog out of the corner.

Punk signals for the Go 2 Sleep, and in a fun little counter, John Cena escapes, drops to the mat, grabs Punk by the leg and locks in the STF.  Punk got to the ropes, which surprised me just a little bit.  Wouldn’t it have been just like WWE for them to have given Cena the win right there?  That’s basically what they did with Randy Orton earlier against Dolph Ziggler, right?

Both men to their feet, and again John Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment.  Punk grabs the top rope to block, gets out onto the apron, hits a high kick which flattens Cena and then hits a springboard clothesline.  Punk can’t get the pinfall, but he peppers Cena with some shots.  John goes for the Attitude Adjustment, and then in one of the craziest spots I’ve seen in a while, CM Punk gets him down to the mat with a move that looked like Ken Anderson’s Mic Check finisher, then twists around his legs into some crazy submission hold locking Cena’s head and arm in between Punk’s knees, with Punk almost in a kneeling position.  They called it an Anaconda Vice, and while it didn’t even look like a variation of that move, I might be wrong. Does anyone know the name of the submission hold CM Punk had locked in?

The match briefly goes outside the ring, Punk gets thrown into the corner ringpost, it goes back into the ring, and when Cena goes to the top rope, Punk gets back into it with kicks, then goes for a Superplex – Off The Top Rope.  Cena blocks, knocks Punk down with a headbutt, but Cena’s looking dazed…. but probably is just waiting for Punk to stand up so he can do the Super Rocker Dropper / Super Fameasser.    YEP, that’s exactly why he did it, and for a move that never leads directly to a pinfall for Cena, why would he use it?  It’s such a crazy high risk for him.

Outcome – Just when things are looking bad for CM Punk, the lovechild of Steve Blackman and Dave Batista shows up, fights off security, then gets into the ring.  Punk stands up, puts his arms out to the side and legs the guy kick him in the head, knocking him over and giving Punk the win by disqualification.

Match over, the guy then attacks John Cena with a crazy Rock Bottom / Sidewalk Slam move.

Punk’s version of Nexus rushes the ring, but Punk doesn’t let them  attack the guy.  Apparently the guy is the newest member of Punk’s Nexus, and if anyone knows his real identity, it will likely score you a point in the GuysNation points-for-a-free-shirt contest, but only if you’re first.

If you didn’t know about it, GuysNation does a weekly contest where the top comments on a RAW or Smackdown “Questions Stemming From” article can earn you points, and those points can win you a free shirt.  So leave comments, and make them good.