It’s the night following Bragging Rights, where Team Blue put Smackdown one notch closer to pretending like Smackdown isn’t necessarily the 2nd rate show… even though WWE typically treats it that way aside from what they’ve done since the move to SyFy… but I digress.

The Unified World Tag Team Championships are now on RAW, and how will this change the dynamic between John Cena and the rest of Nexus, now that David Otunga and Cena are the ones holding the belts with the funny helmets on them?  I still can’t decide whether those are Roman solder helmets or Trojan ones.

Daniel Bryan (Danielson) won his match against Dolph Ziggler to give RAw another leg-up at the pay per view, so where does he go from here?  Will he start something back up with The Miz?  Will Alex Riley get a chance, now that he has proven he can be a Canadian stand-in for R-Truth?  DiBiase got his belt back from Goldust, maybe he’d like to go after “American Dragon”?  There’s always Sheamus, who Bryan fought twice before Bragging Rights.  Maybe a member of Nexus?

As always, there’s a possibility that we’ll find out who the Anonymous GM is, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Are Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty going to get another chance to join Nexus, or were their efforts last week good enough to earn them a spot?  Maybe they’ll get a shot against Cena & Otunga and we’ll see a short reign with the tag straps for The A Lister and The Man Who Never Gives Up.

Will John Cena be punished by Nexus for stopping Wade Barrett from winning the World Championship last night?  All signs point to yes, but will he be punished for not helping them beat down The Undertaker during the Buried Alive Match when all the rest of the team got involved?  Wade Barrett doesn’t have a nickname (that I can remember), why not give him access to a sub-culture of potential fans by acknowledging the fact that he’s got plenty to punish John Cena for, and just go with “The Disciplinarian” as a nickname for Wade?

All that and more as we head into the October 25th edition of Monday Night RAW!

Disclaimer:  I didn’t get much sleep this weekend and today was rough for me (personally and professionally), so if this article isn’t up to par (golf pun unintended), forgive me.

We start the show off with Nexus coming to the ring, as if anything else could’ve happened….  If John Cena has to do whatever Wade Barrett says, why is John still wearing his Cenation shirt and “U Can’t See Me” hat?  Shouldn’t Barrett make him pimp some Nexus gear?  Is Wade afraid that the Cena Haters have too much cross-over with the Nexus fans, and it would cancel out any of the potential sales they might get?

Is it just me or does Justin Gabriel seem to have trouble staying strong in his heel role, whereby he’s supposed to be a dick to John Cena?  He appears to want to send John Cena an invitation to come stand in the Nexus line instead of telling him he’s being ORDERED to stand there (albeit at Barrett’s request).

John Cena using a loophole at Bragging Rights to keep himself employed by not letting Wade Barrett lose to Randy Orton:  possibly the smartest thing John Cena has ever done in WWE?  I think so.

Match – John Cena & Justin Gabriel vs Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel

Wade Barrett gets some mastermind points for finding a way for Cena to win the tag titles and then pass them along to the other two members of Nexus, and in a very surprising move, instead of ordering Cena to lay down for the title switch, he inexplicably tells Otunga to do it.  Was anyone else surprised at how pissed off Otunga was?  Might he be considering an exodus from Nexus?

Outcome – Wade Barrett forces David Otunga to lay down to be pinned to allow the titles to change hands.

John Cena isn’t happy about losing the belts to Slater & Gabriel?  How long until David Otunga is no longer a member of Nexus after being forced to lay down and lose the tag titles?

Does anyone else hate Vickie Guerrero less when she’s standing next to Kaitlyn?  I’m not even sure I’ve heard a word she has said when Kaitlyn is on screen.

With the blonde hair that’s really dark underneath, does anyone think that Ziggler and Kaitlyn look a bit like siblings?  Granted Ziggler’s hair is freshly dyed, but give it a couple weeks.

Match – Ziggler vs Daniel Bryan (Danielson) in a rematch from Bragging Rights

So apparently CM Punk decides to show up, and I give him tons of credit for wearing that D.A.R.E. shirt, which makes me wish I knew where mine is from High School.  Not since high school has the D.A.R.E. shirt been so heavily booed as it is tonight.

For any of the other Ring Of Honor fans out there, did anyone else mark out and hope for the opportunity to make the “whoooooaoooaoohh” noise when Daniel Bryan (Danielson) started in with the surfboard?  Bryan even did the delayed pull-back.  Great stuff.

Great comment by CM Punk, saying that William Regal did more work to train Bryan than Shawn Michaels did, saying that Michaels basically just took $3000 from Bryan.

Would anyone else love it if CM Punk did commentary every Monday on RAW like he basically offered?

Might not this be a great opportunity for Punk to say something about Bryan being the “American Dragon”?  I think more people would embrace Bryan with a nickname like that.

With Punk claiming that last night’s failure by Team RAW was not a bad team effort, rather just a bad captain, does CM Punk get himself more “face” points by throwing some hate in The Miz’s direction?

Does anyone else think that Punk & Ziggler could have a 4 or 5 star match if they could just have a longer storyline and some extra psychology involved?

Outcome – Bryan gets the win, even though Vickie put Ziggler’s foot underneath the bottom rope, and then Bryan stares out at CM Punk for a minute while the Straight Edge Superstar just claps at the United States Champion’s victory.

That has to be one of my favorite RAW matches, all things told, in the past six months, if not year.

The LED Spinner Belt – better or worse than the Cena-made Spinner Belt?

How great was Santino’s song he sang for Toby Keith?  I’d like a whole album… that I’d listen to once.

Did anyone else laugh when Toby Keith had to ask Santino who Sheamus was?

Whoa, wait, a Smackdown Recap?  I don’t care if this is just a recap of what LayCool did, it’s still a good start.  This is probably the first Smackdown recap I’ve seen on RAW in years.

Match – Gail Kim & Melina vs LayCool

How long is it going to take WWE to realize that they just need to make the Diva’s title a tag title?  This would be a great chance.

Wait, did the match just end without Gail Kim getting into the ring?  This is the second time in a week that sort of thing has happened, with Kelly Kelly failing to get into the ring back on Smackdown.

Outcome – Melina gets pinned after Layla makes a blind tag which leads to McCool kicking Melina in the head.

Nice reference by Lawler & Cole to the Connecticut ban on voters wearing WWE merchandise to the polls next week… too bad they didn’t tell people what that was all about.  I understood it, but that’s because I saw the video on by Vince where he said that ban was basically unconstitutional.

Does anyone care that I mostly skipped The Miz’s promo until Eve Torres showed up?  It’s the same decent promo he has given week after week, with the only notable comment being that he’s issuing an open challenge to Rey Mysterio for next week.

I want to take a moment to personally thank whomever picked out that outfit for Eve Torres, which was VERY flattering.

When Eve Torres said that The Miz was the furthest thing from Awesome, it actually made me wonder if he was going to consider smacking her.  Not very TV-PG, but I wouldn’t have put it past them.

Did anyone doubt that R-Truth was going to show up to face The Miz?  It was pretty obvious from the point she showed up that Truth would be wrestling, it was just a question of whether the opponent would be Alex Riley or The Miz.  Am I the only one who wishes it would’ve been Alex Riley?

How funny was it when R-Truth called The Miz “Kermit”?  Actually made me like The Miz a little more.  Would’ve marked out if he had followed it up by saying “It’s not easy being me”.

Match – The Miz vs R-Truth

What the heck kind of crazy jawbreaker did R-Truth just use on The Miz?  That was crazy!

Did anyone else thoroughly enjoy the sequence of events where R-Truth got attacked outside the ring by Alex Riley, and then Riley gets SMACKED by Eve, only for R-Truth to hit a dropkick between the ropes to the outside which takes Alex down?  Phenomenal, with some great timing.

Outcome – The Miz gets the win with his faceplant finisher whose name I can’t recall at the moment after R-Truth gets back into the ring following the dropkick on Alex Riley.

Match – Santino vs Sheamus

Does anyone actually think that Santino stands a chance in this match?  If Sheamus loses this match, does he lose TONS of credibility?  Santino hasn’t been anything other than a joke in a while, aside from one fluke win last week to qualify for the Bragging Rights team.

How bad could Santino use some encouragement from Tamina?  Are they just dropping that angle?

So John Morrison shows up and tries to keep Santino from getting killed, and as Santino lucks into a victory after some John Morrison involvement, we now get an awesome start to a probable feud between John Morrison and Sheamus.  Didn’t they fight prior to Summer Slam with Jericho’s spot on Team RAW in the balance?

Outcome – Morrison pulls Santino to the mat, causing Sheamus to get tripped up, and Santino falls forward into a pinfall

Whoa, did David Otunga just reveal a significant storyline point – that being Nexus’ attack on The Undertaker not being random…. and the segment gets even more awesome as we find out that Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty are now officially part of Nexus.  Is anyone else thinking that the in-ring line-up just got a little more crowded?

How… far… into the dredges of society… did WWE go….   Seriously, Pee Wee Herman is the guest host next week?

Match – John Cena vs Randy Orton

Stipulations reminder:  the winner of this match gets to determine who the special guest referee will be for the Barrett vs Orton match in the future.  Cena nearly quit earlier in the evening, but Barrett apparently had an offer which might mutually benefit Cena and Nexus.  Are we supposed to think they already talked?  Are we going to find out what that offer is before the end of the night?

If John Cena didn’t want Wade Barrett heling him outside the ring when Orton was prone to be attacked, wouldn’t he realize that Cena doesn’t want him pulling the rope away from Orton when John had the champ in the STF?

Why would the announcers think that John Cena MIGHT win the match with his legdrop from the top rope?  Has he ever won a match with that move?  Why would they think he’d win with that move against the World champion who has looked extremely unbeatable over the past few months?

Between this match and the earlier one involving Ziggler and Bryan, does anyone else think this was a great night of RAW for in-ring action?

Outcome – John Cena wins by similar means to how Barrett won last night, with Barrett clotheslining Cena outside the ring to get Orton DQ’ed.  Did no one see that coming?

Wade Barrett picks John Cena as the special guest referee, and I think we all saw that coming.  In a nice move by WWE, Wade Barrett announces that if he doesn’t become World Champion at Survivor Series, Cena gets fired, whereas if Barrett does win the belt, Cena is relieved of his Nexus obligations.

It looks like Cena didn’t know the stipulation ahead of time, but couldn’t he have guessed that might be coming?  It would be mutually beneficial to both of them, and I can’t think of anything else which would’ve worked.

Other Picture of the Night: