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CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 8/23: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Raw on USA Network - Cena vs. The Miz

Aug 23, 2010 - 10:06:57 PM

WWE Raw Results
August 23, 2010
Taped 8/16 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Tonight's WWE Raw started with a recap of last week's show when members of the Nexus group were put in a series of singles (and a tag match) to see who the "weakest link" is, which turned out to be Darren Young, who was booted from the group. We had a very interesting discussion on the Livecast before Raw on how the story might flip with Darren Young stepping up to face the toughest competition in the Nexus vs. WWE match-ups, while Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel essentially won their matches out of sheer luck. Will the storyline unfold, perhaps next week, where Wade Barrett re-evaluates the "winners" and loser from last week's show? Or, it could be means for Cena and Young to form a team with Young stepping up to pick Cena as his opponent and going toe-to-toe with him, unlike other Nexus members who won and stayed in the group via luck.

Arena: The show started with pyro and fireworks, but with ring announcer Justin Roberts introducing WWE champion Sheamus to the ring. Sheamus stomped out to the ring as they recapped Randy Orton bashing Sheamus over and over with chair shots last week on Raw. Once in the ring, Sheamus brought up American kids being spoiled brats. A promo aimed at the PG audience to begin the show. Sheamus pointed to the "spoiled runts" in the crowd, then he left the ring and walked over to the kids on the front row.

After running some kids down, Sheamus re-entered the ring and said Orton is the biggest spoiled brat of them all after he didn't win the WWE Title at Summerslam, then attacked him on Raw. Sheamus burst the audience's bubble by reminding him Orton isn't the WWE champion; he is. Sheamus said he hasn't been on the same page with the Raw GM, but with Night of Champions coming up in four weeks, he doesn't want the GM to give into Orton and give him another shot at his title.

Cue up the MacBook with an interruption. Michael Cole annoyingly asked for the audience's attention and he walked over to the laptop. Cole read off the screen that the Raw GM has no problem with Sheamus and he should be rewarded. Cole read that a throne will be brought out. Two stagehands brought out a throne on stage, which left Sheamus stunned. Cole said the GM will not decide Sheamus's next opponent, but Sheamus will decide after watching a series of matches to see who impresses him. Sheamus thanked the GM for finally seeing it his way. Cole said there is one other thing - the first match begins right now.

Cue up Edge's music to bring out Edge to a relatively strong reaction. Edge slowly walked out to the ring as Sheamus slowly walked by him on the way to the throne. Edge then stormed the ring ready for the opening match next.

[Commercial Break]

Raw #900: A plug aired for the 900th episode of Raw. Included were old-school clips of The Rock, Steve Austin, Bret Hart, the epic Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin match, and more. They plugged Smackdown wrestlers, including Undertaker and Rey Mysterio, appearing on the show next week.

In-ring: Edge was shown in the ring back from break. Sheamus shot him a glare from the throne as R-Truth walked out doing his rap. Sheamus was not amused by this. Truth tried to get the audience involved with this being the second-half of a long Raw TV taping. Michael Cole was very upset at this repetitive rap. WWE just needs to reveal Cole as the mystery Raw GM already to get on with the full-fledged heel persona.


1 -- EDGE vs. R-TRUTH

Truth knocked Edge to the floor early on with a clothesline, then tried a plancha, but Edge bailed and Truth planted himself on the padding. Edge looked like he got the worst of Truth's airball, as he was limping around on the outside before taking Truth back into the ring to begin a methodical attack. Edge continued to wear down Truth as Cole defended the heel champion, Sheamus, and predicted he'll make the right decision on who to face at Night of Champions. Truth and Edge had a double knock down after colliding mid-ring, then Truth mounted a comeback.

Truth nailed a hip toss, did a split (which Cole questioned), and then got caught by Edge with a tackle. Edge got that look in his eyes, then went to the corner to measure Truth for a Spear, but Truth leap frogged Edge. Edge kinda fed his head for Truth to nail the Lie Detector, but Edge pulled his head away to avoid Truth's finisher. Edge then hit the Spear for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Edge took the mic and told Sheamus he can set up there "sitting on his stupid little throne" and brag about the wrestlers he's beaten, but until he beats "the man who led Team WWE to victory," he hasn't beaten anyone. Edge was in Sheamus's face at this point on the stage. Sheamus didn't flinch from his seat, but breathed heavily after being insulted by Edge.

WINNER: Edge at 4:28. A much more intelligent-looking Edge this week after the bogus count-out loss to Heath Slater last week. Edge needed a comeback victory this week. (*1/4)

Still to come tonight: A super-smiling John Cena vs. The Miz. ... Coming on Tuesday: Cody Rhodes on Syfy's "Warehouse 13" episode. WWE and Syfy are putting tons of hype behind this in the media, which means they're pretty confident in Rhodes's performance on the show. We'll have full details and video on the episode tomorrow.

[Commercial Break]

China recap: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler did a voice-over on WWE's trip to China, including the Wall Street Journal covering the debut show in China. Lawler said they'll have more on this next week.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked about Sheamus looking "very regal" sitting on the throne tonight. Cole noted he has his own king, that being Lawler, sitting ringside. Lawler asked Cole if he would be upset if he brought his own throne next week.

In-ring: Great Khali came out to the ring with Runjin Singh not looking happy. Khali trying to sell a knee injury by placing his hand on his knee as he walked made for great unintentional comedy. Chris Jericho then came out with the taped right elbow to face Khali. Jericho sold concern with the opposition tonight as he entered the ring. They cut to a shot of Sheamus watching intently.


2 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. GREAT KHALI (w/Runjin Singh)

Khali squeezed Jericho's wrist and lifted him up into the air for a slam early on to get a reaction from the crowd. Khali then did a Big Show-style frying-pan-like chop to the chest. Cole suggested Nexus looked "very impressive" last week only losing one match. Jericho recovered from the early setback by attacking Khali's knee. Jericho went Ric Flair-style with a forearm smash to the knee before stomping away on the leg. Jericho comically tried the Walls of Jericho, but Khali blocked with the Vice Grip. Jericho squirmed out of the ring to avoid getting his head squeezed, then he went back into the ring and attempted kicks to the knee. Khali hobbled around the ring, then Jericho tried the Codebreaker, but Khali flung him away. Khali then nailed a series of clotheslines, followed by a scoop slam. They cut to a close-up of Khali and Cole sarcastically said he'd like to know what Khali is thinking right now. Jericho then cut off Khali and slowly, slowly, slowly turned over Khali to slap on the Walls of Jericho. Jericho struggled to hold onto the move as Khali hung in there before tapping out to Jericho, who released the hold with a sense of exasperation.

Post-match: Jericho caught his breath, took the mic, and asked Sheamus if he saw that. Jericho said he hopes Edge didn't take that to heart because he's not the first Undisputed champion in the history of wrestling because he is. Jericho said Edge didn't make a giant tap out, so it's only natural Sheamus picks him as his opponent. Sheamus just glared back at Jericho, who found himself caught in the corner as Khali recovered to his feet. Khali got some measure of revenge by chopping Jericho off the top rope to the floor, leaving Jericho to clutch his chest selling the chop.

WINNER: Jericho at 4:01. Jericho created a lot of movement to make the match passable. It was also a fine recovery from a clean loss to Wade Barrett last week. The first two matches so far have been about getting heat back on Edge and Jericho after a silly and clean loss, respectively, last week. And then Jericho had a silly ending to his night. (*1/2)

Raw last week: They recapped events from Monday when The Miz and Alex Riley cost Daniel Bryan his match last week. They showed Bryan "nearly blowing a gasket" on Miz and Riley in the post-match before the numbers game with Michael Tarver caught up to Bryan.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in smilin' John Cena. Mathews wanted to know what he thinks about what Miz did last week on Raw. Cole called it petty and classless. Cena said he doesn't regret picking Bryan for Summerslam, as he did a great job, and Miz is the one who almost cost Team WWE the match putting his ego ahead of the team. Cena said Miz has a big mouth and a bigger attitude problem, so he'll shut it with an Attitude Adjustment tonight.

This fall: Smackdown moves to Syfy. They aired the slow-motion-style video package with Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, and Kofi Kingston doing moves in slow motion. No voice-over, just a brief plug to plant the seed.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Jillian Hall was in the ring back from break saying she has been Divas champion before and she should get another title shot. She was champ for about - what was it, four minutes? - when Melina was traded to Raw in October 2009 and took the title. So, here we are in 2010 with Melina vs. Jillian Hall.


3 -- Divas champion MELINA vs. JILLIAN HALL - Divas Title match

Melina busted out a split early on to avoid a clothesline, but then airballed an attempted move against the ropes when Jillian ducked. Jillian then went to work on Melina to build Melina's comeback. Jillian showboated while going for a top rope move, which was her undoing, as Melina avoided the move and followed with her modified Canadian Destroyer for the pin and the win. After the match, Women's champion(s) Lay-Cool appeared on the Videotron to pick up where they left off at Summerslam taunting Melina with an "offer she could not refuse" on next week's #900 episode.

WINNER: Melina at 2:38. Fine match setting up the more important developments next week. (*)

Backstage: Mathews caught up to The Miz in the locker room. Mathews recapped Cena's statements earlier. Miz laughed and said he nailed Bryan in the back of the head, but Cena put Team WWE at risk by choosing Bryan over him at Summerslam. "John Cena wants to talk about ego. Really? Really?!" Miz said. He said after the WWE Title match at Summerslam, Sheamus was so beaten down that he could have cashed in his MITB briefcase, but he was thinking about Team WWE. But, what did Cena do? "He tried to embarrass me in front of the entire world," Miz said.

Miz said he's going to show Cena that his actions will result in consequences. As for Sheamus selecting an opponent at Night of Champions, it doesn't really matter because he can pick off Sheamus anytime he wants. Miz held up his MITB briefcase and teased he could do it tonight. Great heel promo covering for the gap in logic on why Miz didn't cash in at Summerslam and twisting the truth on Cena. Psychological and in-your-face. That's a good combination for a wrestler who wants to be a top heel.

[Commercial Break]

On-stage: Sheamus was sitting on his throne having a good laugh, then Nexus's music hit to bring out Wade Barrett, followed by Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, and Michael Tarver. Sheamus asked Nexus what he owes the honor. The Raw GM buzzed and Cole walked over to the podium to read a word. Cole read that the GM requested Nexus come out to acknowledge their good work last week. He also announced that Nexus's ban to compete for titles has been lifted. Barrett smirked and walked over to Sheamus, who stood up from his throne. "Consider our truce over," Barrett sternly told the champ. Barrett stared down Sheamus then walked off, leaving Sheamus stunned. Sheamus stared down at the ground contemplating the events unfolding in the first hour of the show.

Backstage: They showed Cena and Miz on a split-screen walking down the hallway in anticipation of their "top of the second hour" main event to come. They could have built an entire episode around this match and re-visited their history last year to show Miz coming around to being an actual threat to Cena, but the back-and-forth pre-match promos have been effective by WWE's standards of pre-match hype.

[Commercial Break]

[Q5 -- second hour]

In-ring: At the top of the second hour, Miz came out holding the MITB briefcase and flashing it in Sheamus's face as Sheamus stared back at him unhappy with events tonight. Cole defended Miz as Miz completed his ring entrance, then a pause, and John Cena's music hit to a still-strong reception on the second-half of a Raw TV taping. Cena ignored Sheamus on the way to the ring, which Cole noted. Once in the ring, Cena turned to Sheamus and smirked at him while Cole said Cena might not think he needs to audition for a title shot.

4 -- U.S. champion THE MIZ vs. JOHN CENA -- non-title match

The bell sounded and Cena paused before locking up. Cena absorbed some inaudible crowd chants, then approached Miz, who landed a kick to the gut and left hand strikes. Cena was bumping hard for Miz early on, making Miz look good. Miz slowly stalked Cena, but Cena came back with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Cena then posted himself charging Miz in the corner. Cena sold a shoulder injury and Miz landed a side suplex for a two count. Miz then went to work on the shoulder and slowed the pace to wear down Cena. Cole dejectedly talked about his lack of social networking popularity as Miz continued to work on Cena. Miz then bounced off the ropes and landed a Hulk Hogan-style leg drop for a two count. I don't think I've seen Miz use that before.

Cole finally brought up the history between Cena and Miz last year as a talking point before Cena made a comeback. Cena then slowly went up top and teased the guillotine leg drop, but Miz crotched Cena and knocked him to the floor. Cole, biased, said Miz is showing the world why he is awesome. The camera did three rapid-fire shots of Miz, Sheamus, and then Cena on the floor selling to send it to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Miz was on Cena's back with a sleeperhold. Cena broke free by ramming Miz into the ringpost. He then tried his signature bulldog out of the corner, but Miz flung Cena away to cut off Cena's momentum. Miz then delivered a big boot to the face before placing Cena throat-first across the ring apron. Miz delivered a running knee smash before slingshotting Cena throat-first across the bottom rope. Nice sequence. Miz made a cover, but Cena kicked out. Sheamus was shown shooting an interesting look as Miz continued to control the match. Miz then went for a charging corner clothesline and connected flush with Cena. Miz made a cover, but Cena kicked out.

Miz went back to the well for a second corner clothesline, but Cena moved. Cena then did his signature comeback routine with the sit-out slam setting up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Miz took the blow, then came to his feet. Miz countered out of the Attitude Adjustment into his signature Reality Check sequence for a close two count. The crowd popped for the nearfall as Miz absorbed the close call almost scoring the win. The crowd rallied behind Cena as Miz stalked Cena. Great close-up on Miz's facial expression as he measured Cena for the Skullcrushing Finale, but Cena blocked, then slapped on the STF center ring. Miz reached out for the bottom rope and grabbed just before tapping.

At 12:00, they reset with Cena walking into a big boot from Miz, who practically fell on top of Cena to make a cover for a two count. Miz rolled onto his back to sell frustration, then both men slowly came to their feet. Miz landed a boot, then teased the SCF again, but Cena blocked. Miz ended up on the ring apron, then bailed to the floor when Cena swiped at him. Suddenly, Daniel Bryan came running down to ringside and clotheslined Miz from behind, causing a DQ.

[Q6] Miz fell into the ring and Cena dropped him with the Attitude Adjustment. Cena met eyes with Bryan, then left the ring, and Bryan entered the ring to slap on a modified Crossface on Miz. Miz tapped out repeatedly until referees entered the ring to pull Bryan off Miz. Cue up Bryan's music as Cole complained about Bryan interrupting a main event on Raw. Lawler said, "What goes around comes around." Cole got in the key phrase for Night of Champions that Miz is the United States champion...and Mr. Money in the Bank. More seeds planted for Miz vs. Bryan for the U.S. Title at NOC.

WINNER: Miz via DQ at 12:58. Miz doesn't have too many very good matches on his resume, but this was up there. A very strong TV "main event" that came across like a sporting event-type match with pre-match hype, the announcers focused on the back-and-forth action in the ring, and some good nearfalls. Miz looked much more comfortable than when he worked with another "big boy," Randy Orton, a few weeks ago on Raw. The key was Miz maintaining his aggressive approach and good heel facial expressions rather than looking timid and forgetting to be The Miz. The finish almost positioned Bryan and Cena as heels and Miz as a sympathetic figure, but they can correct that in the weeks to come likely setting up Miz vs. Bryan at the NOC PPV. (**3/4)

Still to come: Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison.

This Friday on Smackdown: Double main event of Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler for the IC Title, plus Rey Mysterio vs. World Hvt. champion Kane. And, The Undertaker returns. "He has risen," was the marketing label. Kane's promo on Smackdown had so many Biblical references positioning Kane as the devil and Taker as Jesus. Your standard good vs. evil storyline.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Santino Marella and Kozlov came out for some tag action. I don't believe they'll be impressing Sheamus for a future title shot. Cole said Santino is like Will Ferrell's character from "The Other Guys" where women are just smitten with him for no reason, e.g. Tamina. The Usos and Tamina then came out as Cole noted the new WWE tag titles. The problem with how WWE presents wrestling matches was exemplified by the lack of immediate follow-up on the Miz vs. Cena match, as they just moved along to the next piece of action. It was a golden opportunity to reinforce the consequences, ramifications, and expected follow-up after a very strong TV match that was built up effectively with pre-match hype. The lack of follow-through was disappointing.


Cole said the Usos are looking to get back in the WWE Tag Title hunt before Night of Champions when Hart Dynasty defends the titles. The Usos isolated Santino, prompting Kozlov to start an awkward "San-tin-o" chant from ringside. The Usos cheap-shooted Kozlov, but Kozlov shook it off and took a hot tag. Kozlov cleaned house on Jey, the action broke down, and then Kozlov finished off Jey with the Iron Curtain.

Post-match: Santino found himself on the floor next to Tamina in the post-match. Jimmy measured Santino for a post-match attack, but Tamina stepped in the way and told Jimmy it's over. Tamina stared down at Santino, then helped him to his feet. Tamina walked off, with Jimmy upset not getting a chance to finish the job. Tamina turned back to look at Santino and blow him a kiss before shooting an imaginary "love arrow." Santino sold by acting like he was stabbed in the cheek by an arrow. Kozlov checked on Santino, who continued to sell. Cole sarcastically said he can't wait to re-live this magic...when it appears on Classics on Demand. What a segue.

WINNERS: Kozlov & Santino at 3:02. It happened and we move on. (*)

Flashback: August 1986 in Toronto - They went to exterior shots of WWE holding a "massive event" in an outdoor setting at "The Big Event." It looked very cold. Heenan, Okerlund, Steamboat, Muraco, Hogan, Bundy, Jimmy Hart, JYD, Roberts, Race, and Morales were shown. They transitioned into clips of WWE going to the Silverdome for WrestleMania III, which set in motion a series of large venue shows, including each year's WrestleMania at venues like the Astrodome, Citrus Bowl, Ford Field, Reliant Stadium, etc. They went back to clips of "where it all really began" at The Big Event.

On-stage: They showed an empty throne where Sheamus was previously seated. Apparently he took off to the back during the tag match. The final match with Randy Orton involved is up next.


[Commercial Break]

Raw #900: Rock, Austin transitioning to Sheamus, Orton, and Cena. "This epic night is only the beginning," the voice-over man said.

On-stage: Sheamus was back on the throne after his tag team comedy bathroom break. Cue up Ted DiBiase's music for the next "impress Sheamus" match. Maryse was sporting something out of the Killer Bees wardrobe collection from "The Big Event." Cole and Lawler debated whether DiBiase could earn a title shot if he looks impressive. Cole said Maryse is looking "very bumble-beeish tonight." He was paying attention to the Flashback. John Morrison then came out to a tepid reaction in the fourth hour of a lengthy Raw TV taping. Randy Orton came out last and stopped on the stage. Orton cocked his head sideways and stared down Sheamus, who stood up to his feet. They glared at each other as Orton slowly took steps down the entrance ramp never losing sight of Sheamus on the stage. Orton then entered the ring and stared back at Sheamus, who huffed and puffed staring back at Orton. Orton was shown doing his sinister smile toward Sheamus as they cut to break. The triple threat match is next.

[Commercial Break]

6 -- RANDY ORTON vs. JOHN MORRISON vs. TED DIBIASE (w/Bumblebee Maryse) -- triple threat match

Sheamus took off from his throne after the bell sounded. Cole also noted the history between Orton and DiBiase from Legacy. That seems like a distant, distant memory with how far DiBiase has fallen since WrestleMania. Cole also noted every title will be defended at Night of Champions. Lawler said he couldn't think of a better place for NOC than Chicago. Earlier, he said he couldn't think of a better place for Raw episode #900 than Boston. Orton absorbed an early beating from DiBiase, then ducked an attempted Flying Chuck from Morrison and dropped DiBiase with a trademark spike DDT from the second rope.

[Q8] Orton stalked DiBiase for the RKO, but DiBiase shoved him off and Morrison blasted Orton with a kick. Morrison then went flying over the top rope to the outside trying to attack Ted. DiBiase tried to follow up on Orton with Dream Street, but Orton blocked and shoved him away. Morrison then tried a springboard splash on Orton, but Orton caught Morrison in mid-air with an RKO. It was a bit off (with Morrison's foot hitting the mat before Orton hit the RKO), ala the mid-air RKO on Evan Bourne countering the Air Bourne, but the crowd popped big for the visual. Orton made the cover on Morrison for the win. Post-match: DiBiase tried to attack Orton, but Orton dropped him with the RKO for good measure. Orton still in control and looking strong.

WINNER: Orton at 4:42. More reinforcement that Orton is WWE's #2 babyface next to John Cena...and that Morrison and DiBiase are slowly sliding down the ladder to obscurity. Maryse's association with DiBiase has to be in jeopardy with DiBiase continuing to lose. Maryse's character is not to associate with losers. The triple-threat format is stale and old, but they created some interesting spots trying to use the format. (*1/2)

Backstage: They showed Sheamus standing next to Josh Mathews. Sheamus said he's seen enough of Orton and in just a few minutes, he's going to announce his decision on his NOC PPV opponent.

[Commercial Break]

Another Smackdown plug for Friday? WWE didn't even acknowledge Smackdown-related events at Summerslam last Monday on Raw. Double main event, plus Undertaker returns.

In-ring: WWE champ Sheamus was in the ring back from break. Sheamus said he's not going to wait until Night of Champions to defend his title. Instead, he's defending it right now. A referee was conveniently located ringside to enter the ring. Sheamus said he's seen a lot of great competitors tonight, but the only reason he became WWE champ was because of opportunity. So, he's decided to into left field by determining a new #1 contender - someone who has never had a title shot before. He said his next opponent is...Zack Ryder.

Ryder came out on stage all-smiles. He said Sheamus made the biggest mistake of his life because everyone is looking at the next WWE champion. Cole said one thing is true - that Ryder has never had a title shot before. Lawler said there's a reason why. Cole said he deserves one more than Ryder. Justin Roberts actually handled formal ring intros for this. Lawler wondered if the matches on the show were a sham by Sheamus. Cole said the GM did say Sheamus could decide his opponent.

7 -- WWE champion SHEAMUS vs. ZACK RYDER -- WWE Title match

The bell sounded and Sheamus blasted Ryder with the brogue kick to the face. Sheamus smiled and made the cover for the win. "What a joke," Cole said.

WINNER: Sheamus at 0:12. Pretty humorous and decisive, but perhaps not quite the way to get over Sheamus as a tough heel. It was set up for Sheamus getting instant comeuppance, though. (n/a)

Post-match: Sheamus took the mic and gloated about "another successful championship retention" for him. He said he would like to reference some WWE rules and regulations, including he doesn't have to defend the title for another 30 days. So, at Night of Champions, he's taking the night off. Sheamus vowed to take the month off, and maybe even take a trip back to Ireland.

Nexus's music interrupted and Wade Barrett stomped out to the ring alone. Barrett said Sheamus is technically correct, but he was the winner of NXT Season One, which guaranteed him a PPV title match. Barrett said he's cashing in at Night of Champions. "No way, fella!" Sheamus shouted back. Barrett told him his next title defense is against him.

[Q9 -- over-run] The Raw GM buzzd and Cole, annoyed, said he has received another email from the GM. Cole opened up the laptop and said the GM would like everyone to know he has upheld Barrett's request. That drew a pop. But, that's not at all. Cole read that Sheamus spoke of opportunity earlier tonight, so he's giving four other wrestlers a title shot. So, at NOC, Sheamus will defend in a Six-Pack challenge. Sheamus had a great facial expression with his countenance dropping. He flipped out. Barrett was perplexed.

Also in the match will be...Chris Jericho. Jericho's music hit and Jericho walked out on stage to the ring with a big grin on his face. Also, Randy Orton. Sheamus just closed his eyes and stared down at the mat as Orton slowly walked out to the ring with a half-smile on his face. Orton and Sheamus had a brief stare down, then Cole announced Edge as another competitor. Edge bounced out to the ring as Sheamus surveyed the scene. After a pause, Cole announced John Cena as the final competitor. Cena hit the ring as Sheamus wiped his brow.

All five challengers circled around Sheamus, who shoved Barrett into the circle. Cena, Edge, Orton, and Jericho circled around Barrett, who told them that Sheamus is the champ, so go after him. The announcers noted Barrett is usually the one circling up folks. Barrett tried to reason with Cena, who led a beat down on Barrett. Sheamus then chucked Barrett out of the ring, with Barrett smacking the ground head-first. Sheamus then turned around and took a codebreaker from Jericho. Edge speared Jericho, then Cena dropped Edge with Attitude Adjustment. And, finally, Orton dropped Cena with an RKO. Orton did his big IED wild flailing as the crowd popped big for Orton. Cole said Orton is "slithering his way to Boston" for episode #900 in control going to Night of Champions. Orton posed in the ring as they faded out.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The idea of another multiple-man title match gets a thumbs down, but they at least set up a plausible reason for having multiple competitors challenging for the title. WWE also subtly made the case for each contender, as Cole noted throughout the show during the matches how many championship reigns each of the top stars have had. The downside of this show was Nexus being a complete after-thought, no follow-up on Darren Young's removal last week, and Wade Barrett looking weak at the end of the show. The crowd did pop for the idea of Sheamus vs. Barrett, so there is audience intrigue in Nexus, even if it wasn't the right response with a babyface reaction to the supposedly super-threatening leader of Nexus. WWE setting up Barrett for a babyface reaction concerns me on the future of the group. If Nexus is going to be a strong part of Raw going forward, they'll have to start rebuilding the group as menacing heels next week by fleshing out some of the issues in-play from last week's Nexus-heavy episode. Overall, the show was focused, and not flashy. The lack of follow-up on Cena vs. Miz was a major thumbs down on this show. WWE missed a big opportunity to reinforce Miz as a top star who hung with Cena in a big "spotlight" match.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to using our Feedback form.

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-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


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