It’s the night after WWE produced OVER THE LIMIT for the pay per viewing audience, and what has changed as we head into the May 23rd edition of RAW?

John Cena is still the champion, and perhaps now we will have a main event scene which doesn’t revolve around Cena trying to retain the belt against arch-nemesis The Miz.

There’s still the chance that WWE might not think Alberto Del Rio and his car-driving, destiny-touting ways are ready to hold the belt yet, and because they might not want his credibility to take a hit as a result of losing to John Cena in a pay per view main event, RAW “Creative” might find themselves in a position to once again put John Cena up against The Miz.

It’s not like they’d actually let him defend against R-Truth one-on-one at a pay per view, would they? He did defeat Rey Mysterio at the pay per view, so he could be in line for a shot.

What about Jack Swagger and Drew McIntyre? The former Smackdownians each could be seen as a potential future main eventer.

Tonight, RAW begins paving the way towards the Capitol Punishment, so let’s see what they come up with!

RAW starts off by displaying an “In Memory of Randy Savage” image, and I’m hoping that’s not the only acknowledgment they give him tonight. It’s already a farce that he’s not a member of the WWE Hall Of Fame, so they should give him some significant recognition in his passing. Whatever personal difference they have with one another are now put aside… But that’s a rant for another day.

Portland is live and excited and they give a warm welcome to Jerry Lawler, and I have to think that part of the reaction he got was due to the fact that the feud between Lawler and Cole is finally finished.

One of the most important things I’ve seen so far – the Cole Bubble announce position is not at ringside this week!

I was happy he showed up last night, but I’m even happier to see him in the opening segment… Bret Hart is in attendance!

Apparenty Bret Hart isn’t a fan of Michael Cole, and he was more than happy to be there to force Cole to live up to the stipulation of the match. Before Bret can tell us more about what we already know, R-Truth interrupts Bret.

R-Truth talks about how Bret had more championship reigns than he’s had championship matches… and then R-Truth wants to try an experiment. He borrows the sunglasses from Bret, gives them to a fan and suddenly he’s expecting a title shot… but because that doesn’t happen, Truth takes back the glasses and gives them back to Bret.

Questioning why he’s never gotten his shot, R-Truth wonders about whether he’d increase his position in the championship contenders list if he were to beat up a WWE Hall Of Famer. Bret sees the spraypaint writing on the wall and says he’s welcome to fight him if he’d like… but Bret clears things up and says that the reason he got so many title shots, it’s because he’s a huge talent… and R-Truth is basically a lunatic.

As the cray man wanting a title shot walks away, John Cena’s music hits, he comes to the ring, exchanges some pleasantries with Bret Hart, and then he gets down to business with R-Truth.

R-Truth basically rants for a bit about how he wants to be respected, and he doesn’t care about the fans and he isn’t friends with John Cena.

The Anonymous GM speaks up, letting us know that the GM isn’t Bret Hart (which would’ve been awesome), and if R-Truth wants a title shot, he’ll have to prove he’s worthy through tonight’s main event: a tag match featuring John Cena & Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk & R-Truth… with Bret Hart as the special guest referee!

Backstage, Big Show and Kane are talking about strategy, being wary of the Nexus, and Alberto Del Rio’s special ring announcer shows up and starts yelling at them in Spanish, probably because Big Show is sitting on the side of a Ferrari (which probably “belongs” to Alberto Del Rio), but he gets cast aside. Alberto Del Rio shows up and does the same yelling… and Big Show somehow decides to listen to ADR?

Commercial time!

WWE Tag Team Championship Match – Big Show & Kane (c) vs New Nexus

Instead of Punk & Ryan, tonight the title shot goes to David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty… with CM Punk joining Josh Mathews and Jerry Lawler on commentary.

Punk gives an excuse for Nexus not coming away with the championships last night… apparently Mason Ryan had a fever and wasn’t at his best last night.

In a sign that McGillicutty & Otunga are going to be a tag team beyond just tonight… matching ring attire!

In a sign that Mason Ryan is likely on his way out of the group… his ring attire hasn’t changed.

Mason Ryan gets involved for the distraction, CM Punk gets onto the apron to kick Big Show in the back of the head… double DDT by Otunga and McGillicutty…

Outcome – Nexus become the new champions by pinfall

In the aftermath, it’s looking like Mason Ryan is still happily a member of the team… a team that now has championship gold!

Backstage, Big Show is pissed o about having been “robbed” of the tag straps, and Alberto Del Rio shows upto add insult and injury to injury, as he not only smacks Show in the face, but as Show runs to chase down Del Rio, the personal ring announcer for ADR, driving the Ferrari, drives into Big Show, running over his leg, and somehow trapping Show’s hand in with the wheel. How? We’ll never know, because a guy Big Show’s size would put a serious dent in a car like that.

Commercial time, and while I don’t typically comment on commercials, did USA Network SERIOUSLY just try to say that Nic Cage’s character in National Treasure is the same quality of a treasure hunter as the legendary Indiana Jones?! Absurd.

Match – Jack Swagger vs Evan Bourne

Yet again Evan Bourne shows his poor decision-making skills. As a guy who has been injured for a significant portion of his WWE tenure, he still enters the ring by diving feet first under the bottom rope.

Evan Bourne with not only some good speed and high flying, but some decent striking, too. Swagger gets back on track as a singles competitor as he shows some good reversals in this match, namely at the end where he reverses out of a hurricanrana attempt by Bourne and decides to give him a huge powerbomb.

Outcome – Jack Swagger gets the pinfall victory

After the match, Swagger prances around the ring and celebrates his win… until Evan Bourne gets up off the mat and gives a huge leaping backwards kick right to the upper chest / head of Swagger, knocking him to the mat, letting the smaller competitor have something to celebrate as well.

Backstage, Michael Cole is in attendance, and with his head hanging in shame, he tries to shake the hand of Eve Torres, who he has been making fun of for months, but instead of shaking his hand, Eve simply offers Cole her foot as a way to mock him for the KISS MY FOOT Match loss last night.

Commercial time!

Back from commercial, Michael Cole comes out to the ring and apologies to everyone, begging people to accept his apology because he wants to return to the announce table… and that he really really means it.

Jerry Lawler appreciates what Cole did, and then mocks Cole and shows him a picture from last night when Cole was sucking toes after the match, then gives him a canister of breath mints.

While Cole sits down at the announce position, The Miz makes his entrance, and the suited duo don’t look happy.

The Miz says Alex Riley is to blame for The Miz not having the WWE Championship… and someone is losing their golden ticket to show up on RAW every week.

Pleading to the anonymous general manager for another one-on-one title shot against John Cena, The Miz says this time it should happen with Alex Riley banned from ringside.

Either something is wrong with the GM’s internet connection… or he’s got nothing to say to The Miz…. who actually looks like he’s wearing a retainer in his mouth.

Finally the anonymous RAW GM speaks up, and the request is denied. Josh Mathews announces that The Miz is DONE with John Cena… and that’s music to my ears!

The Miz starts berating Alex Riley, who kindly points out that The Miz is the one who said “I Quit” last night. The Miz then runs down A-Ri some more and calls him a worthless coat-tail rider, then fires Riley.

When The Miz takes it too far and shoves A-Ri, the former lackie goes apeshit on The Miz, throwing him all around, beating the holy hell out of him inside and outside of the ring, ripping his shirt and just all around giving him an ass beating. When The Miz tries to get up… Alex Riley kicks him in the head, leaving him on the mat until long after Riley has walked back up the ramp and disappeared backstage.

Looks like Smackdown just got another “face” on their roster.

Commercial time!

Getting back to RAW, and it’s DIVA time, with The Bellas getting into the ring with Melina and MARYSE already in the ring.

Eight Diva Tag Match – Eve Torres, Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly & Beth Phoenix
vs Melina, Maryse, & The Bellas

Oh I’m more than happy to have any match where Maryse is on the ring apron with her back turned directly at the camera…

I’m sorry, is there a match going on?

Not anymore… it’s kHARMa time!

The eight Divas stand tall in the face of this big adversary, and she gets to ringside and spies all the ladies in the ring… even getting up onto the apron to get a closer look… ducking into the ring… and she must be nuts to think she could fight off all of those ladies.

Maryse looks like she’s ready to run out of the ring, just showing how awesome she is at all aspects of her character.

In a VERY weird display, kHARMa just drops to her knees and starts to cry, rocking back and forth, the Divas all around her not sure how to respond. She starts talking to herself… her lip quivers, and she looks somewhat terrified as she looks around her.

Match – Kofi Kingston vs Drew McIntyre

Is it a coincidence that the night Bret Hart is in attendance for RAW, Drew McIntyre does the corner ringpost figure four leglock?

With a bum leg due to Drew McIntyre working it over, wouldn’t you think Kofi would realize he could do his BOOM BOOM LEGDROP without running into the ropes first?

Does anyone else think that Kofi is doing a good job of selling leg injuries? Seems like this isnt the first time he’s done this in the past couple weeks.

So Kofi’s leg is too hurt to leap into the air to do his TROUBLE IN PARADISE kick, but he can flip himself over with that crazy pinfall setup move?

Outcome – Kofi Kingston wins the match by pinfall

After the match, they show an edited press conference where they have fake reporters ask questions, and then they edit in responses from past Obama press conferences… all for Capitol Punishment. As a resident of the D.C. Area… I’m disappointed in how lame this is getting.

Alberto Del Rio requests some microphone time, and although he says Big Show had it coming, he disavows responsibility for Big Show getting hit by the car, instead blaming it on Ricardo Rodriguez. I’m sensing that in the future, we’re going to see Big Show & Kane vs Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez

Jerry Lawler takes a moment to speak about Randy Savage’s untimely death, in the process saying he will “always be a Hall Of Famer”, which is odd, because WWE still hasn’t inducted him… something they need to make right ASAP.

The video they put together for “Macho Man” Randy Savage is one of the best they’ve done, and if you haven’t seen it, you should look for it on and/or YouTube.

Time for the main event, and it’s awesome to hear Bret’s iconic music hit just prior to a main event (at least) one last time!

Match – CM Punk & R-Truth vs John Cena & Rey Mysterio

Is it ironic that R-Truth, whose gimmick was so tightly tied into his theme music from the time he returned to WWE unti a month ago, now has NO theme music?

Any chance CM Punk is wearing pink ring attire in honor of Bret Hart? He’s even got white stars on his attire, just like Bret. Though the homage could be two-fold. Pink tights with yellow boots… that’s something along the lines of what Randy Savage might’ve worn early in his career.

What are the odds that R-Truth thought the fans were going to boo when he got the “C.M. Punk! C.M. Punk!” chant going? Seems like Punk’s maybe more popular than R-Truth realized.

When you see CM Punk in the ring with John Cena and you compare it to how R-Truth seems in the ring, isn’t it hugely obvious how much better Punk is as a heel?

That’s probably not a fair comparison, as CM Punk is a better heel right now than basically everyone on the roster.

With all the tattoos he has on his arms and chest, how is it that CM Punk doesn’t have a single tattoo on his back, where most competitors get one of their first ones?

I like Bret Hart as much (or more) than the typical fan, but how does he justify putting CM Punk in the Sharpshooter DURING the main event? It was a cool moment where Rey Mysterio hit the legdrop on the back of Punk’s neck during the Sharpshooter.

Outcome – Rey Mysterio gets the pin on CM Punk

What are the odds that the Anonymous General Manager didn’t see enough out of R-Truth to justify a pay per view title shot?

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