It's the final Raw of 2010! I'm exhausted from a crazy holiday weekend and the last Raw of the year is always iffy, but we're live blogging anyway! Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show!
Starting things off with Mr. WWE himself, John Cena! Cena's not happy that CM Punk crashed his party last week, but c'mon, it's CM Punk, he's the responsible one, not the partier. Cena apologizes for spilling Punk's diet soda, but somehow I think it's about a little more than that. Well, let's hear from the man himself, CM Punk is here and back in his ring gear, maybe we'll even see him compete tonight? Punk confirms my suspicions, this is about more than his Diet Rite, it's about the fact that John Cena is a hypocrite. He gives a heartfelt speech about going home to mom, but never actually leaves WWE, he drops a pile of chairs on a guy, and then cracks jokes about it. I'm loving this back and forth because there's finally someone that's putting the mirror up to Cena; it's not just "I hate Cena, RAWR!" it's a point-by-point description of many of the legitimate things that are wrong with Cena's character.
Cena calls Punk to the ring, but Punk continues to know exactly what Cena will do and tells him he'll call him out later and that he'll give him a real "eye-opener." Fantastic opening and it builds anticipation for later in the show without simply hyping a match we've seen multiple times in the last few weeks, like Miz vs. Jerry Lawler or Sheamus vs. Randy Orton, both of which are happening tonight.
Santino Marella vs. Ted DiBiase is our opening contest, and hopefully this means DiBiase is going to find a new tag team partner soon, since it's clear he's just not clicking as a singles wrestler yet. Match is over before it even begins and afterward, Santino has a belated Christmas present for Tamina, it's his Cobra in a box!
One: cut a hole in the box
Two: put your Cobra in the box
Three: make Tamina open the box.
Woo! Dated SNL references make my job much easier tonight, because I am a wild and crazy guy.
Backstage, it looks like A-Ri will be taking on John Morrison later tonight. If Morrison wins, he gets to determine the time and the stipulation for his match against The Miz, but if he loses, he will forfeit his #1 contender spot. C'mon Coal Miner's Glove match tomorrow night on NXT!
Speaking of which, John Morrison vs. Alex Riley is up next and this one's pretty fun, including one of my favorite spots - manager ejection! Miz gets tossed to the back, Morrison picks up an easy win after that and announces he's challenging for the WWE Title next week in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Ugh, if he's not waiting till the Rumble, does that mean we're going to get a Triple Threat with Orton at the Rumble? Please no.
Backstage, The Miz berates Alex Riley, not unlike many of the internships I've had over the years.
Tyson Kidd & Daniel Bryan are teasing a feud backstage. I believe a "oh hell yes" is in order?
And Orton comes in first place in a talking... like... this... contest... that... no... one... else... was... compe...ting... in.
Tyson Kidd in action against Mark Henry, and I believe the phrase "styles clash" will come into play in this one. And hey, how do you push a guy that claims he's going to be the US Champion in 2011? Have him lose clean to a guy that hasn't been on TV in weeks and then have his bodyguard get schooled too. Wait, no, you do the opposite of that. Sigh.
Let's just forget about that last segment and let things get AAAAWWWWEEEESSSSSOOOOOOMMMMMEEEE!!!! The Miz, excuse me, the Must-See WWE Champion, The Miz is here! According to the WWE Champion, he's also a "scientific master of wrestling," he has data to back that up. Miz handles the ridiculous "WHAT?!" chants brilliantly and delivers a fiery promo to set the tone for his match with Jerry "The King" Lawler. Miz demolishes Lawler, but John Morrison provides the distraction and the King picks up a count-out win! Of course they had to cheat to beat Captain Awesome, just sayin.
Melina & Alicia Fox vs. Eve & Gail Kim with Natalya on commentary to satisfy the Divas quota for the evening, but the match isn't that bad. Crowd couldn't care less though. Natalya returns the favor from last week and slaps Melina in the face, making this the least complicated Divas feud, ever.
Well, I got up to get some water during the break, and when I come back, Daniel Bryan vs. Zack Ryder is already in progress and it's over almost as quickly as it began. When was the last time a match started in progress? Besides Coliseum Video SuperTapes? The G?M sends an e-mail after the match, but before Cole can read it, The Miz mugs Jerry Lawler in the commentary booth! That's what you get for cheating... and I guess now we can call you the King... of Pain! Oh come on, it's the end of the year, I'm out of good material.
Randy Orton vs. King Sheamus is perhaps our final match of the evening with Punk calling out John Cena as the "main event." Match is definitely not their best this year, but the slingshot shoulderblock into an RKO was a pretty slick ending. Hard to get excited for this though, bring on CM Punk vs. John Cena!
And I'm shocked, John Cena is one step ahead of his rival once again, coming out before he was called out, but Punk isn't answering Cena's challenge. Instead, we get The Nexus... interesting. No Wade Barrett though, instead, David Otunga is leading the charge and claims that the group is "under new management" and he's offering Cena a truce. Cena refuses the deal and tells Otunga to walk away or fight, and Nexus chooses to fight, laying out Cena with all their finishers, just like they did back in June. And just as Nexus is leaving the arena, CM Punk returns to ringside and nails Cena with the GTS, but shows mercy with a steel chair. Instead, he sits down and picks up a Nexus armband that Otunga left at Cena's prone body and puts it on. CM Punk is the new leader of Nexus, and my friends, we might just have a saved storyline.
The Straight Edge Nexus has arrived, and I'm not quite sure what that means for Wade Barrett, but Nexus isn't going anywhere. Looks like Cena vs. Nexus could make it to WrestleMania after all.
Not a great Raw, but it was helped by a big "WTF?!" ending. I'm not 100% sold on the idea of Punk just deciding to join Nexus, unless perhaps he is a part of the "winds of change" that Barrett had talked about, but if anyone can make it work, it's him. It's definitely not Empire yet, but at least we're getting a second act.