WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 8/16: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live Raw on USA Network - Summerslam fall-out
Aug 16, 2010 - 10:15:53 PM
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WWE Raw Results
August 16, 2010
Live from Los Angeles, Calif.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Tonight's WWE Raw started with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler speaking over a still shot from Summerslam about Team WWE "barely squeaking out a victory" over Team Nexus after Team WWE stayed together long enough to win.
In-ring: Nexus's music hit to start the show and Wade Barrett led the group to the ring not happy with events last night. Cole said they faced their first real adversity last night, but "proved they belong in the main event." Good intro setting up Nexus to get their heat back. Once in the ring, Barrett took the mic to describe the events last night. Barrett said they defeated six WWE stars last night and rumors of their demise are greatly exaggerated. Barrett said they are still united and focused on dominating WWE. He said they're still focused on taking down WWE and last night's events were a mere aberration.
Cue up John Cena's music with the interruption. Cena came out on-stage with a big smile on his face after the win last night at Summerslam. Cena mocked Barrett's attempt to talk tough, then reminded Barrett that he tapped out last night. Cena said, "To hell with Stallone, Willis, and Austin, the Nexus are The Expendables." He referenced Daniel Bryan, noting Nexus made a mistake kicking him out of the ring. He said Bryan eliminated half of Nexus by himself. Cena said Nexus was viewed as an indestructible group going into Summerslam, but the events at the PPV proved they are human. Cena said they're going to do something never before - look at the Nexus members as individuals.
Cena started with David Otunga. He called him a "below average male escort who clings to someone's arm on the red carpet." He called Michael Tarver a cheap male escort moon-lighting as a bank robber. Heath Slater is next. He must be the chick from Wendy's. Oh no, WWE Photoshop is back with Slater's face on the Wendy's logo. Cena waited out a "Wendy's" chant and addressed Darren Young. Cena noted the resemblance to him and said he knew it - his mom had an affair with Buckwheat. He said Justin Gabriel has an "alternative way of thinking." The joke bombed, so Cena said if you didn't get it, he'll be on the Late Show to explain. He said it must have gone over Skip Sheffield's head. And he can actually read Skip's mind right now: "Meow meow meow meow meow."
After the "PG interlude for the kids," Cena went back into promo mode to suggest Summerslam last night was the place where Nexus was history after they claimed to have a higher power leading them to total domination. Darren Young tried to interrupt, but Cena cut him off, noting he tapped out in less than a minute. He called him the weakest link. Right from the Livecast before Raw. Nexus started to talk amongst themselves, with Barrett examining Young.
The MacBook then buzzed and Michael Cole walked to the podium. Cole said they're continuing Summerslam tonight. Each member of Nexus will compete against Team WWE in a series of matches. Outside interference from Nexus will be met with "swift and appropriate consequences." Barrett followed with more words. He said it's an opportunity for redemption and a chance to re-examine Nexus. The crowd chanted, "You tapped out," to interrupt Barrett. Cena said Barrett is going to need a whole lot of redemption. Barrett didn't take too kindly to the interruption. He said they'll examine whether there are any weak links here in Nexus. He said if there are any weak links, they will be weeded out. Barrett said if anyone in Nexus is not victorious tonight, they will be exiled from the group. "One way or another, by the end of tonight, Nexus will be stronger than ever."
David Otunga took the mic and told Barrett that also applies to him. Otunga said if he loses, any one of them will be more than happy to take over. And the MacBook buzzed. Cena noted the annoyance. Cole read the latest email, that Nexus gets to choose who they face tonight. Well, except for Wade Barrett, who is up next against his NXT Pro, Chris Jericho. Nexus then talked to each other, with Barrett pointing to the other members to get the job done tonight. PYB (3) talk time: 12:10. Overall, good start to the show setting up an intriguing follow-up from Summerslam. The Cena joke routine had its moments, but should have been scratched, and nearly killed the segment.
In-ring: Wade Barrett was alone in the ring as Cole said it's a potential ground-breaking night for Nexus tonight. Out came Chris Jericho to a strong reaction, complete with entire right elbow taped up.
1 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. WADE BARRETT -- If Barrett loses, he's out of Nexus
The bell sounded and the crowd started a "Y2J" chant. Jericho then took the attack to Barrett early on. Cole recapped Daniel Bryan re-joining WWE last night at Summerslam and said they'll have more on that development later tonight. Wait for it, wait for it...wait, no promo from Cole on Bryan. Jericho went up top for a high-risk attack, but Barrett big-booted him off the top to the floor. Barrett pounded on Jericho, then took him back into the ring and slapped on a submission hold. Lawler noted the odd aspect of this match with the crowd cheering for Jericho, who made a comeback at 3:30. Lawler also noted if everyone on Nexus lost, the group would be wiped off the mat.
Jericho teased the Walls of Jericho, but Barrett countered with a leg whip. He tried to follow with his finisher, but Jericho rolled to the ground and slapped on the Walls of Jericho. Barrett made it to the bottom rope, through, for a break. Jericho complained to the ref, giving Barrett an opening for a big boot for a two count. Jericho then tried to come back with the codebreaker, but Barrett grabbed Jericho around the legs and pulled him into overhead slam position to execute his finisher. Barrett quickly made the cover for the win. They cut to the locker room to show Nexus nodding their approval with the victory. Barrett, holding his head, left the ring with a smile on his face as he stared back at Jericho in the ring.
WINNER: Barrett at 5:20 to remain leader of Nexus. Nice match. Barrett is definitely a star and Jericho helped make him look good during their five minutes in the ring. Good start to the WWE vs. Nexus individual matches. (*1/2)
Still to come: The remaining six members of Nexus vs. the remaining six members of Team WWE. Yes, Bret Hart will be in action.
In-ring: Justin Roberts was in the ring to introduce tonight's guest hosts. It looked like Roberts practiced pronouncing their names all day long before Raw. Out came Justin Long, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis. They acted like they had never seen a live camera before. After filling some time just making noises, they noted they're in Staples Center, home of the NBA champs. They filled some more time saying the Miami Heat will win the next NBA Title, which drew boos. Justin Long said the Lakers are "two-time" World champions. Maybe he meant the Rockets. Long tried to get to the point introducing Hart Dynasty, the Unified tag champions. Hart Dynasty walked to the ring and got their shine.
Suddenly, the MacBook buzzed. "Maaan," Lawler said. Cole walked up to the podium and said, "From this moment forward, the Unified tag titles will be officially known as the WWE Tag Team Championships." The email read that Bret Hart will present the new tag titles. Out came Hart with some shiny new belts over both shoulders. Hart clapped for Hart Dynasty and presented them with the belts. Good-looking gold belts, but without a distinct feature on the front. From the locker room, Nexus interrupted. Wade Barrett announced they have chosen Bret Hart's opponent tonight, Justin Gabriel. Gabriel told Hart he's experienced a lot in his career, but he's never experienced the 450 splash. Hart leaned against the ropes as they cut to break.
Los Angeles: They showed the Walk of Fame in the Los Angeles area. Just as expected, the camera found Vince McMahon's star on the Walk of Fame. Announcers: Cole and Lawlere were shown on-camera to break down the events on Summerslam when Daniel Bryan was inserted in Great Khali's spot as the seventh man. Lawler cut off Cole trying to cut a promo on Bryan, then Cole noted Miz caused Bryan to be eliminated during the match.
In-ring: Michael Tarver walked out to the ring for the next Nexus vs. WWE match. Daniel Bryan came out to a heavy rock theme and a nice Titantron intro. Cue up Cole with the promo on Bryan.
2 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. MICHAEL TARVER -- If Tarver loses, he's out of Nexus
The crowd opened with "Daniel Bryan" chants. Cole cut a promo on Bryan, saying he spent ten years on the minor leagues. Lawler defended Cole that he headlined in front of 50,000 in Japan. Cole continued his anti-Bryan spiel as Bryan executed some strong offense on Tarver. Bryan landed kick strikes, then a rapid-fire series of kicks in the corner. Bryan then ducked underneath Tarver and executed a dropkick. He went up top and landed a double-foot missile dropkick before firing himself up. Suddenly, Miz and Alex Riley stormed ringside to taunt Bryan. Apparently that didn't count as outside interference. Tarver then rolled up Bryan from behind and scored a pin.
Post-match: Bryan came flying through the ropes with a suicide dive taking out Miz and Riley. Bryan pounded on Miz with right hands until Riley got from behind. Tarver tried to join in and Bryan fought him off. The numbers game caught up to Bryan and they rammed him into the guardrail. Miz then placed the MITB briefcase on the floor and he nailed the Skullcrushing Finale into the case. Miz and Riley talked trash and Bryan sold face-first on the mat. Cole, Miz, and Riley talked trash in various forms as Bryan sold to draw sympathy to conclude the segment.
WINNER: Bryan at 2:09. Good booking. Tarver won to push Nexus to 2-0 tonight, they got heat on Miz and Riley as a unit, Bryan got in some fired-up offense, they built up Bryan as a sympathetic figure, and set up a program with the audience ready to see him be the one to give Miz his comeuppance. (*)
Up next: Bret Hart vs. Justin Gabriel.
Legendary: They aired the standard trailer for John Cena's "Legendary" movie.
Moments Ago: Cole and Lawler recapped the events from the end of the previous segment, with Lawler saying Miz's actions were "totally uncalled for" on Daniel Bryan. ... Backstage: Mathews caught up with Miz and Riley in the hallway for Miz to explain his actions. Miz said ever since Daniel arrived on NXT Season One, the fans have heckled him. He said, then, at Summerslam, every single Superstar begged him to be on the team, but then they put him on the back-burner in favor of Daniel Bryan. Miz said everyone thinks Bryan is so special, but how special is he now? Miz got serious and said Riley is the next break-out star. Riley mocked "boring" Bryan and said he's lucky to even have a job here in WWE. Riley said he'll be the winner of NXT Season Two and he owes it all to Miz.
Backstage: Nexus was shown talking amongst themselves. Darren Young then stepped up to the plate and said he wants John Cena after Cena brutalized him last month. Slater did a bug-eyed facial to sell shock. David Otunga said he respects Darren stepping up. They all slapped him on the chest to pep him up before facing Cena later tonight.
In-ring: Justin Gabriel came out to the ring for the next Nexus vs. WWE match.
In-ring: Before Bret Hart came out as Gabriel's opponent, the MacBook buzzed again. Cole read that the anonymous GM is replacing Bret Hart. The GM doesn't like Bret, never did like Bret, and doesn't want to see him wrestle. Okay, that was odd considering the GM just booked Hart to present the new tag titles. Anyways, the new opponent will be out next, the GM's message read. Out came Randy Orton to a big pop. Cole recapped Orton not winning the WWE Title against Sheamus at Summerslam the night before.
[Q5 -- second hour]
3 -- RANDY ORTON vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL -- If Gabriel loses, he's out of Nexus
They came face-to-face after the opening bell and Orton glared down at Gabriel, who shoved him in the chest. Gabriel landed a few kick strikes, but Orton began dominating the match. Orton was in control, ready to take it home, but, suddenly, WWE champion Sheamus showed up ringside. Orton rolled to the outside and they started fighting on the outside before taking it over the guardrail to the front row. The ref reached a ten count and Orton was counted out, giving Gabriel the win. Meanwhile, Orton and Sheamus continued to brawl among the fans. Roberts then announced Gabriel as the winner, giving Orton pause.
Orton, having taken out Sheamus, then charged the rung, spun Gabriel around, and dropped him with the RKO. Orton wasn't done, as he left the ring to find a chair to his liking. The crowd was hot for Orton, who blasted Sheamus over and over across the back with the chair. Refs tried to intervene as Orton shouted to let out his frustration from not winning the WWE Title at Summerslam. "Randy Orton has snapped here tonight," Lawler said. The crowd chanted his name as he rubbed his face on the way out. Orton then stopped and decided he wasn't done. Orton sprinted to the other side of the ring by the announcers and dropped Sheamus with an RKO on the padded floor. Orton pounded the announce table, shot a sinister grin to the crowd, and his music played. Orton looked at his hands and Cole said something at Summerslam sent him off. He posed on the entrance ramp to conclude the segment.
WINNER: Gabriel via count-out at 2:53. The needed emphasis was on Orton back on the WWE Title chase taking his game to the next level. Although these non-finishes are coming too frequently lately, this one served a bigger purpose. The crowd was hot for Orton, which really added to the segment. Meanwhile, Nexus goes to 3-0. Sure, it was no thanks to Gabriel's effort, but that fit the group being heels distorting the truth and the match story was more about Orton-Sheamus. (*)
Moments Ago: They recapped Orton picking apart Gabriel and Sheamus in the previous segment.
In-ring: Skip Sheffield and David Otunga, who they probably don't trust with a one-on-one match, were assembled in the ring for a tag match. Out first as the opposition was John Morrison. R-Truth then came out second to back up Morrison. Truth did his complete rap as Skip shot him a great look of complete annoyance with this. Cole, agitated, interrupted Truth's rap to say, "I get it, I get it." Lawler asked Cole what's wrong with him. Cole stuttered and said Orton just freaked him out moments ago...and Daniel Bryan gets under his skin.
4 -- R-TRUTH & JOHN MORRISON vs. DAVID OTUNGA & SKIP SHEFFIELD -- Otunga and Skip are out of Nexus if they lose
They cut to a shot of the Nexus watching things from backstage while licking their wounds from various matches earlier in the show. Cole and Lawler drew attention to the crawler on the bottom of the screen noting the "historic international tour" coming up this week, including a first-ever trip to China. Morrison took a hot tag from R-Truth and worked on Otunga. Skip blind-tagged in for Otunga, though, and clubbed Morrison from behind with a clothesline. Skip then wanted his big running clothesline and he connected center ring. Skip with the cover for the win. Backstage, Nexus nodded approvingly as Skip shouted to the camera, "It's my time." Skip and Otunga then stood tall in the ring before they replayed high points from the match. Cole announced Heath Slater has Edge tonight. Back to Skip and Otunga celebrating in the ring.
WINNERS: Skip & Otunga at 2:55. Smackdown is probably looking like a pretty good option for Morrison right now, unless this recent de-emphasis is part of a story to eventually rebuild him. Skip is certainly being built up as the next Dave Batista on the roster. They're limiting his exposure in the ring, which is a good thing, and just emphasizing the strengths of his character. And they kept Otunga in the background, which was safe for everyone involved. Fine booking as it relates to Nexus. (*)
Backstage: Gail Kim, new Divas champion Melina, and Eve Torres were shown walking backstage smiling it up. They're in a six-Divas tag match up next.
In-ring: The aforementioned babyface Divas came to the ring as the announcers noted Melina's Divas Title victory at Summerslam. Alicia Fox then brought out the heel trio, doing her cartoon strut to the ring ahead of the other two heels, not pleased with events from Summerslam after the title loss. They cut to a shot of Jon Lovitz, former Raw guest host, ringside screaming at the camera.
5 -- GAIL KIM & EVE TORRES & Divas champion MELINA vs. ALICIA FOX & MARYSE & JILLIAN HALL
Gail and Maryse looked like they were having a legit fight to open things up, which set an aggressive tone for the match. The action proceeded to break down with Melina and Alicia brawling on the outside. Gail and Maryse took their fight to the outside as well. Back in the ring, Eve dropped Jillian in the corner and wanted a moonsault, but Jillian countered with a powerbomb from the second rope for the pin and the win. Afterward, Jillian celebrated a very rare win. Maryse and Alicia joined in the "celebration," which turned into more bickering amongst the heels.
WINNERS: Team Jillian at 2:50. Melina-Alicia continues, Gail-Maryse picks up, and they're apparently back at square one. Good energy from the Divas trying to audition for more TV time on Raw. (*)
Backstage: Mathews brought in Edge to ask him about helping hand Nexus their first loss last night. Edge said it wasn't surprising since he was on the team. Heath Slater walked into the shot and Edge told Mathews to leave. So, Mathews left with the mic, and we could still hear Slater and Edge talking. Slater talked up Edge, saying he modeled his entire career after him. He suggested Edge take a hike and give him the win. Edge said he might consider that on another night, but he doesn't want the record books to show he lost a match to a "Wendy's-lookalike, ginger-haired, Edge wannabee." He turned his back on Slater, who blasted him from behind with a forearm smash that knocked Edge to the floor. The camera zoomed in on Edge selling and telling the story with his eyes that Slater would pay for that.
Ringisde: Joe Manganiello from "True Blood" was shown on-camera. ... In-ring: Heath Slater was in the ring as Cole noted Nexus has had a good showing thus far. Edge then came out with his full ring entrance and babyface pyro. Edge hit the ring and pointed at Slater. Before the bell sounded, Edge charged at Slater to jumpstart the match.
6 -- EDGE vs. HEATH SLATER -- If Slater loses, he's out of Nexus
Edge pounded on Slater with kicks and stomps in the corner before running to center ring to gauge the crowd reaction. The crowd was pro-Edge, but not nearly as behind Edge as they were for Jericho in the "heel playing a babyface" role. The match moved to the floor where Slater baited Edge into taking a dive into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Slater focused on the upper back that Slater softened up in the backstage segment pre-match. Edge fought back from his knees before Slater yanked him down to the mat by his hair. Edge made a comeback, but Slater cut him off with a modified spinebuster for a two count. The match moved to the corner, then to the floor where Edge ducked a clothesline and dropped Slater with a big boot.
On the floor, Edge slowly backed up to the guardrail and measured Slater for a spear as the referee applied a very fast ten count. Edge then went for the spear, but Slater ran into the ring to avoid the move. The ref reached ten and Edge was still standing on the floor, giving Slater a count-out win. Back in the ring, Slater celebrated, turned around, and Edge dropped him with a spear for the final word. Cole said Nexus is showing there's no hangover from Summerslam. Lawler said they've been lucky. Cole and Lawler gave a plug for Cena vs. Darren Young still to come.
WINNER: Slater via count-out at 4:31. Slater held his own in the ring as one of the better wrestlers in the group. It didn't make sense for Edge to lose clean here, so the finish made sense on paper. So many non-finishes, though, is adding up. Nexus has to be able to get on the mic to get heat distorting the truth on their wins because the audience won't buy them as a credible threat right now with the "lucky" wins combined with the loss at Summerslam. (*1/2)
NXT plug: Two more NXT Rookies will be eliminated on tomorrow night's show after Lucky Cannon was eliminated last week.
Los Angeles: They showed the exterior of the Staples Center and a shot of the Magic Johnson
Backstage: Great Khali was standing there trying to look tough. Raw guest host Justin Long was next to him saying he now understands why he doesn't do the Kiss Cam anymore because he has a girlfriend now. Ranjin Singh interjected that Khali is in a long-distance relationship and he needs some tips. Singh handed over a picture of Khali's girlfriend. The other two guest hosts then jumped in and mocked the picture. "Is this a human being?" they asked. Long told them that just because he doesn't speak English doesn't mean he doesn't understand it. They ran off and Khali was left standing next to Long. Long tried to talk up the girlfriend pictured, but Khali just admitted, "Yeah, she's butt ugly," in humorous broken English. Raw guest host arm candy the Bella Twins then walked in and took Khali away, leaving Long dumbfounded.
Announcers: Cole expressed disdain over the happenings backstage. Cole then plugged all of the events happening in Los Angeles this past week. Cue up the Summerslam Recall, going back to, well, last week. They showed the "Summerslam Week" recap video that aired during Summerslam.
Backstage: The camera zoomed in on Cena's new purple and gold merchandise, being worn by a stagehand. Cena walked past the stagehand, thanked him for putting money in his pocket, and walked down the hallway in anticipation of the main event.
In-ring: Back from break, Darren Young was in the ring trying to pump himself up before John Cena's music hit and he stormed the ring with nothing on the line for Cena. Cole played up Cena overcoming the 2-on-1 odds at the end of Summerslam to prevail for Team WWE. Lawler then plugged Night of Champions, the next PPV. Cole said, "everyone is talking about the main event of Summerslam right now." Yes, for a variety of reasons. He plugged WWE's Facebook numbers. Nexus then walked out on stage as a unit to get a closer look at the main event before the bell sounded.
7 -- JOHN CENA vs. DARREN YOUNG -- If Young loses, he's out of Nexus
Lawler suggested there's an "uneasy feeling" hovering over the match due to Nexus being able to re-establish dominance tonight with all victories thus far. Lawler, as the babyface color commentator, should have noted that not all of the wins were due to Nexus's efforts, but because of extenuating circumstances. That wasn't brought up due to WWE needing to distort the truth to re-build the group as a threat in the eyes of the fans. Cena and Young exchanged holds early on as the audio picked up some mid-ring chatter talking through the match. The crowd started dueling chants of "Let's go Cena" and "Cena Sucks." Cena powered out of a chinlock and Lawler noted Cena can "seem like Superman" at times. Young methodically worked on Cena before chucking him to the floor.
[Q9 -- over-run] They reached the top of the hour with Young following Cena to the outside and ramming him head-first into the ring steps. Cole reset the show as they cut to a shot of Nexus standing on the stage watching intently. Young then dropkicked the ring steps into Cena and re-entered the ring. Ref Jack Doane did a very slow ten count, exposing the lack of consistency following the super-fast count during Edge vs. Slater. Doane reached nine, then Cena hopped up and baseball slid into the ring. Naturally, Cena started his big comeback routine and gritted his teeth to suggest he was just fine. Cena set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle and connected. Young then walked into the Attitude Adjustment, but Young elbowed out. He tried a sunset flip, but Cena countered into the STF. After a few moments, Young tapped out, giving Cena the win. Young is gone from Nexus.
WINNER: Cena at 7:58. Pretty much a repeat from Cena's Superman routine at Summerslam where he quickly recovered from a beating on the outside, did the full routine, and slapped on the STF for the win. It's pretty comical at this point, but WWE's PG audience eats it up. (*1/2)
Post-match: Nexus ran down to ringside to surround the ring. Cena looked around as Nexus collectively hopped onto the ring apron. Cena had a back-door exit out of the ring and he opted to take it. Cena hopped down to the floor and watched as Nexus stared back at him. Nexus then walked into the ring and circled Darren Young, who pulled himself up and apologized to Barrett. David Otunga then jumped Young from behind and they mauled him. Lawler slipped and called him Daniel Bryan. Cole didn't take the bait for a Bryan promo and focused on the beat down.
Nexus pounded on Young with forearms, leading to Skip hitting his trademark lariat. Barrett picked up jelly-legged Darren Young and dropped him with a big overhead slam. They dragged Young to the corner, then Gabriel was instructed to finish him off. Gabriel paused, then hit the big 450 splash. Gabriel stared down at Young, somewhat remorseful for having to take out a former member. Tarver put his hand on his shoulder, as if to say it was necessary. The six remaining members of Nexus then stood tall in the ring with the camera focused on Wade Barrett to close the show.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a love it or hate it kind of a show. The booking and the idea for the two-hour show made sense on paper, but the sum of the parts wasn't necessarily stronger than the individual parts. WWE depended on Nexus to carry the entire episode and that might have turned away some viewers not sold on the group as individuals, or not sold on the group as a threat anymore after the Summerslam main event. Also, WWE didn't create much of a hook for next week or a sense of anticipation to see what the next chapter is. Yes, Nexus might find another member to replace Darren Young, and, yes, Young could side with Cena or Daniel Bryan in the follow-up - unless he's shipped back to FCW - but the lack of a hook involving established stars, e.g. Cena, Orton, Edge, Jericho, and Sheamus, might impact viewers's interest in the program going forward to the all-important fall season up against Monday Night Football. WWE needs a strong follow-up to the follow-up on next week's Raw, which is being taped tonight. Like the Summerslam PPV, I'm at a mild thumbs up for this show. There needs to be more substance to the follow-up going forward.
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