Wrestler of the Day – December 6: Nexus

We’re looking at another group today with the Nexus.

I’ll be doing matches with each member and hitting all their high points, including the New Nexus stuff from 2011.

The team of course got started when the NXT rookies banded together and tried to take over the company. Their first target was John Cena, setting up this match on Raw, July 12, 2010. I was actually at this show live.

Nexus vs. John Cena

In a weird moment before this there was an ad for Rise and Fall of WCW and Russo got incredible heat. Weird. Cena got more boos than earlier but it was maybe 25% at the very most. The heels have to tag here and the no Raw guys can help. Cena gives Cole his dog tags which is a bit strange. Tarver starts off and Cena shows some psychology by taking the guys to the opposite corner. That makes perfect sense which is always a good thing.

He just mows people down one at a time which makes sense too. The thing about Nexus is it’s the gang mentality rather than the individual nature. In the original NWO any of the three were legit threats. Here there’s just arguably one guy, Barrett, who is a big threat. Together though they’re deadly, which is a nice twist on the idea. They hit the floor and huddle before Slater gets a cheap shot in to take over.

The finishers start up and Slater hits three straight belly to back suplexes on him which is stupid looking. Cena fights back a bit but the numbers get to him. He gets Barrett in an FU but Sheffield takes him down. The 450 ends it clean which is exactly how it should have been. There is absolutely no way you can have Cena win here and they realized that.

Rating: B. This is how you have a match like this. Cena looks human and the Nexus looks strong. There was no way you could make Cena win here and have it be believable so they didn’t try to force it which is a good thing. This worked very well and I liked it quite well. It sets up an aura of mystery for the PPV which is the best thing you can do. Well done and a good ending to the show.

From the next night on NXT as the team is all together again.

Battle Royal

Nexus, Alex Riley, Cody Rhodes, Eli Cottonwood, Husky Harris, John Morrison, Kaval, Kofi Kingston, Lucky Cannon, Mark Henry, Michael McGillicutty, MVP, Percy Watson, Miz, Zack Ryder

Nexus immediately hits the floor and everyone gets rid of Henry. Nexus jumps him, as in another MITB guy. Scratch that as they go for Cottonwood. MVP goes out but some guys hit the floor to get some shots at the Nexus. This is less about the match and more about the gang war thing. Everyone has a standoff and we take another break.

We’re back and Nexus is in there now. After a few eliminations, everyone kind of goes to different corners. They beat up Harris and now I want a Nexus shirt because they’re awesome. Riley busts his head open again and it’s BAD. It’s five pros, no rookies and Nexus left. Kofi, Morrison, Rhodes, Ryder and Miz vs. Nexus. Miz throws out Ryder and they’re all pissed at him for it.

Miz eliminates himself and it’s 6-3. And here we go. Cody hides on the top rope and looks for a spot. Morrison and Kofi try to do all the work and it just isn’t going to happen. Cody gets a word from the referee and then does nothing. Morrison gets caught and eliminated. Rhodes has been out of the action for a long time.

There goes Kofi so it’s just the Dashing one. I got a funny image of Dusty going insane over his name in his comedy voice. Not bad. He tries to make friends and Gabriel gets a word from the referee again and the gang beatdown begins. Well that didn’t last long and Nexus wins it all. They beat down a bunch of pros and then Striker goes in to talk to Barrett. The booing is insane as he can barely talk. Barrett eventually says you’re with us or against us.

Rating: B-. It’s hard to grade battle royals but this one was fine for the purpose it served. We got the Nexus on the show and that’s what counted. They beat up both rookies and pros as you would want them to so you can’t complain there. This was pretty good for a main event battle royal on the C show.

Back to Raw on July 26, 2010.

Nexus vs. Mark Henry/Jerry Lawler/Evan Bourne/Yoshi Tatsu/Goldust/Hart Dynasty

This is elimination rules. Tarver and Tatsu start us off here. Tarver gets rid of him in like 30 seconds with a reversed powerslam. What I mean by that is that he starts a powerslam and then whips him the other way. That looked awesome actually. Lawler comes in to beat up Gabriel to a solid pop. He kind of messes up a dropkick but the punch lands for two.

Back from a break we see Lawler going on to a Russian legsweep to Slater during commercial. The Harts beat up Slater for a bit. Smith has a powerslam ready but Gabriel interference leads to a jumping legsweep (in other words the Zig Zag) from Slater to end Smith and make it 7-4. Young interference and the one standing spinebuster from Otunga end Goldust.

Henry, the only chance they have, comes in and dominates. Sheffield and Henry have the power man showdown but the power of affirmative action makes Henry win. Garbiel comes in again and allows the huge clothesline to put out Henry. Kidd and Bourne are all that’s left and they don’t know who to send in. Kidd tries the springboard clothesline but takes the huge clothesline. Young comes in and uses the flipping full nelson to end it.

Bourne and Barrett come in and this doesn’t look good for the Raw guy. That lasts about 10 seconds as Wastelands end it. They beat up Bourne afterwards. They all cut short promos and say they’re a team but Cena’s team isn’t.

Rating: D. The wrestling here was just awful as it was everyone comes in and takes two moves and is gone. Nexus looks dominant and that’s good, but Bourne or Henry getting beaten inside of a move each? That’s just so stupid. Henry DOMINATED and a single clothesline beats him? Not liking it as it just went on too long. This being like 4-4 would have worked FAR better.

We hit PPV now with the big showdown at Summerslam 2010.

Nexus vs. Team WWE

Nexus: Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Michael Tarver, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Skip Sheffield

Team WWE: John Cena, Bret Hart, Chris Jericho, Edge, R-Truth, John Morrison, ???

You should know most of the Nexus, though Sheffield later changed his name to Ryback. As for Team WWE, Miz isn’t the last man. He comes out but Cena stops him, because it needed to be someone who made his decision earlier. Instead it’s……DANIEL BRYAN! This requires a backstory. The night Nexus debuted, Bryan was a member of the team. However he got fired for choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with a necktie as it wasn’t PG. Tonight is Bryan’s return and he wasn’t a surprise at all. See, WWE.com actually spoiled the return by mistake, ruining it for anyone who saw the website before the match.

It’s a huge brawl to start and Cole RIPS into Bryan for the sake of Miz. Bryan starts with Young and a quick LeBell (YES) Lock makes it 7-6 in less than 45 seconds. Justin Gabriel is in next and gets to fight Chris Jericho for his troubles. Some kicks to the ribs allow for the tag to Truth as things speed up. A suplex into a Stunner is good for two but Gabriel comes back with a spin kick to the face. Off to Tarver who was about as worthless as you could ask for a man to be.

Tarver charges into a boot in the corner and it’s off to Morrison to clean house with some dropkicks. The Fying Chuck (Disaster Kick) sets up Starship Pain (split legged twisting moonsault) for the second elimination. The remaining five members of Nexus hit the floor for a meeting before everything falls apart. Sheffield gets the nod and easily throws Morrison around. A big powerslam puts Morrison down and some snap suplexes work on his back even more. Morrison tries a comeback but Gabriel kicks him in the back of the head, allowing Sheffield to hit a big clothesline for the elimination.

Truth comes in and another clothesline ties the match up maybe twenty seconds later. Jericho comes in but gets sent into the buckle, allowing for the tag off to Barrett. Otunga is in a few seconds later, before he got good in the ring. Now let that one sink in for a minute. Anyway back to Barrett to crank on his NXT mentor’s arms but Jericho gets a boot up in the corner. A clothesline puts both guys down and it’s a double tag to Slater and Hart.

Old Man Bret pounds away on Heath for a few moments and doesn’t look half bad doing it. It doesn’t have the same snap that it used to but Bret’s offense still looks good. He puts on the Sharpshooter but Wade slides in a chair. Bret lets go of the hold and cracks Sheffield over the back in self defense, drawing a DQ. There really wasn’t another way to get rid of him due to an inability to take bumps. Sheffield staggers to his feet and walks into a Codebreaker from Jericho followed by a spear from Edge to tie us up.

To recap it’s Cena, Jericho, Edge and Bryan vs. Gabriel, Barrett, Otunga, Slater. On paper, this should be pure domination. Gabriel is in to face Edge but after scoring some kicks to the chest, Justin walks into an Edge-O-Matic for two. A big spin kick puts Edge down and it’s off to Slater, whose shorter hair makes him look like an even bigger tool than he does today. Slater pulls Edge into the corner for the tag off to Barrett who hooks the chinlock. Edge quickly fights up and scores with a spinwheel kick but gets caught in a swinging neckbreaker.

Back to Otunga who is almost booed out of the building. A standing spinebuster is easily countered into Edge’s Impaler and there’s the tag off to Jericho. Has Cena even been in yet? The running bulldog sets up the Lionsault and the Walls are good for the submission from Otunga. Jericho immediately knocks Slater off the apron and into the announce table to take him down. Back in and the top rope back elbow has Heath reeling but Jericho almost runs into Cena, allowing Slater to hit his running sleeper drop to pin Chris.

Edge comes in to yell at Cena but Slater rams him into John for a rollup pin thirty seconds later. Edge lays out Cena and Jericho adds a few kicks to the ribs of his own. So we have Cena/Bryan vs. Slater/Gabriel/Barrett with Cena getting caught in the Nexus corner. Barrett comes in to pepper Cena with rights and lefts before it’s off to Justin to crank on the arm. Cena tries to fight back but walks into a side slam from Barrett for no cover. John comes back with a quick fisherman’s suplex but Slater breaks up the hot tag attempt.

Cena hits a hard clothesline to put Slater down and dives for the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel comes in with a quick German suplex on Slater as Striker calls for Cattle Mutilation, which means absolutely nothing to most WWE fans. Bryan backflips over Slater in the corner and hits the running clothesline before sending him to the floor for the FLYING HAIRLESS ANIMAL! Back in and Bryan hits the missile dropkick and counters a rollup into the LeBell Lock to get us down to two on two.

Bryan looks at Nexus but here’s Miz to blast him in the back with the MITB case, giving Barrett an easy pin. Gabriel hits a hard right hand in the corner to put Cena down but Cena comes back with his finishing sequence to take Gabriel down. He loads up the AA but Barrett makes a blind tag and breaks it up with a shot to the head.

Nexus stomps away on Cena in the corner and a big boot from Wade sends him to the floor. Gabriel and Barrett peel back the mats at ringside and a DDT on the concrete knocks Cena out cold. Back in and Gabriel misses the 450, allowing Cena to score a quick pin. Barrett comes in and gets caught in the STF out of nowhere for the final elimination 20 seconds later.

Rating: C+. The match was entertaining and never dragged, but the ending doesn’t hold up when you take it out of the moment. Now one thing that does need to be kept in mind is Cena wasn’t in the match until over twenty minutes after the start so he was hardly banged up until the very end. That DDT on the concrete is a bit too much to take though, as Cena goes from out cold to fine in less than a minute. I can’t quite buy that.

This also brings up to the problem with Nexus: they never really won anything. At the end of the day, Barrett was the only one to have any success for a long time and to this day he’s one of two of the seven here to do much of anything. You have Ryback doing pretty well, but the rest are all midcard to lower card guys who haven’t accomplished much. As of August 2013, Tarver is gone, Otunga and Young are lucky to have jobs, Slater is a comedy jobber and Gabriel is a Superstars mainstay. That’s what killed Nexus: at the end of the day, they were a bunch of jobbers who swarmed big names and nothing more.

Now we’re going to split things up a bit with nearly every member of the team in action on Raw, August 16, 2010. The next six matches are all from that show.

Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho

Well this should be good. Pretty back and forth match to start as I really don’t know who is going to win here. I’d bet on Barrett though if I had to pick someone. Barrett controls for the most part but this is pretty clearly going to be a quick match. Jericho is wrestling like a face here which fits him very well. Walls get reversed as does Wasteland.

There are the Walls to a BIG face pop but he makes the ropes. There of course is a big boot for two. Jericho gets a nice counter into a running enziguri. Codebreaker is reversed into Wasteland for the totally clean pin. I wouldn’t have be on that one. Wait yes I did. I’m a genius!

Rating: B. Solid opening match actually. This is how you put someone like Barrett over as Jericho was in the main event of a PPV last night and is a 6 time world champion. He then put Barrett over as the expression goes clean as a sheet. This worked very well for what it was and I really liked it.

Daniel Bryan vs. Michael Tarver

Bryan gets a chant to start us off and Cole hates him even more. Tarver throws punches which is all he can seem to do. Bryan takes over and hits a missile dropkick. And here are Miz and Riley. Tarver gets a rollup to beat Daniel Bryan! Let the IWC explode. Danielson fights all three of them and it goes badly, ending with a Skull Crushing Finale on the MITB case. He actually DENTED THE CASE. FREAKING OW MAN!

Rating: C+. They went short again here to protect Bryan which is smart. He’s good but he needs more time to get used to the WWE style because it’s what the fans are expecting. He was entertaining here though and it worked pretty well. Tarver is finally throwing punches which is the point of his gimmick, making me wonder why he never has before but whatever. This was fine.

Justin Gabriel vs. Randy Orton

Uh…sure. Well cue Sheamus’ run in I’d bet. This is kind of a long standoff with Gabriel doing a lot of martial arts looking stuff. Orton uses clotheslines of course. I like that powerslam. This is one sided already. DDT drills Gabriel and it’s RKO time. Sheamus is here for the brawl but there’s no DQ called. They head into the crowd and it’s a count out. Cheap but effective. RKO to Gabriel just because he can. Orton KILLS Sheamus with a chair afterwards, hitting like 10 SICK shots to the back. Sheamus gets up of course and takes the RKO on the floor.

Skip Sheffield/David Otunga vs. John Morrison/R-Truth

So I guess that means Edge vs. Slater and Young vs. Cena. Those aren’t that appealing. There isn’t much here as Sheffield dominates for the most part as you would expect. Truth gets knocked off and Morrison takes the big clothesline from Sheffield to have 5 Nexus members staying around.

Rating: N/A. Nexus looked very good here. Totally clean win with solid heel tag team wrestling technique from the heels. Perfectly done.

Heath Slater vs. Edge

I have a feeling Slater goes home here. Slater misses a splash and Edge takes over. This is a rather boring match as they’re just kind of going through the motions here. We hit the floor and Edge waits on the spear forever. Slater steps to the side and slides in for the WIN! Spear afterwards. Total face match for Edge here.

Rating: N/A. Once is fine, but this is getting a bit hard to believe. Edge or Jericho need to go face to give Sheamus another challenger though.

Darren Young vs. John Cena

No intro for Young. That’s likely a bad sign. There’s a good amount of time left though so this might not be so bad. We hear that WWE’s Facebook has over 1 millions fans as of right now. That’s kind of cool I guess. Nexus stands on the stage for this. Young actually dominates here for the most part with some basic stuff. He dropkicks the steps into Cena’s head and they tease another count out. Cena is of course in 9.8 but it was a nice false finish.

Cena initiates the ending sequence but the FU is countered. STFU goes on and Young is out of Nexus. Nexus surrounds Cena after the match but cena gets away. Yep Young is about to get a beatdown. Lawler calls him Daniel Bryan for some reason as he gets destroyed.

Rating: C. This was fine. There were people actually freaking out about Cena beating Young. Are you kidding me? He beat up a guy that is most famous for looking like John Cena. Why is this supposed to be a shock or a surprise? This did what it was supposed to do and it came off fine as Nexus gets rid of its weakest guy. Fine.

Another elimination tag from Raw, August 30, 2010.

Sheamus/Randy Orton/John Cena/Edge/Chris Jericho vs. Nexus

This is elimination rules and the bell rang at 10:59. Jericho walks out after a few seconds and it’s 5-4. Edge immediately shoves the referee and it’s 5-3. Tarver and Cena are in now and Cena dominates for the most part. Sheamus beats up various people for awhile and this is just awful. High Cross is blocked and Nexus takes over. SLATER PINS SHEAMUS! Totally clean for the most part too. He hit his finisher and that was it. Hokey smoke.

FU gets rid of Slater. Big beatdown and Cena is in trouble. Otunga goes out to the STFU. 450 to Cena and he’s out! Orton vs. Gabriel, Barrett and Tarver. Make that Barrett and Tarver as an RKO takes out Gabriel. It’s Barrett vs. Orton now. That happened in less than 15 seconds. Wasteland and it’s over. Less than a minute passed between Cena’s elimination and the end of the match, which included the eliminations of Gabriel, Tarver and Orton.

Rating: F+. Just a total reversal of what we saw at Summerslam. This was boring and not interesting in the slightest, although BIG props for the clean pins on the three mega stars from the non-Nexus team. Those were very unexpected and made them look like they were human. That being said, the match was just awful. Three eliminations in about 40 seconds? Seriously? Just a bad match if there ever has been one and a fitting end to an awful Raw.

Back to PPV at Night of Champions 2010 with Barrett cashing in his World Title shot earned by winning NXT.

Raw World Title: Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho

Pin or submission only for eliminations. MONSTER reaction for Edge. The trenchcoat is back too. Face pop for Jericho but not as big as Edge’s. Barrett is in his second PPV main event less than five months after making the main roster. Not bad. Elimination rules here. Orton is out last and gets a nice reaction but still pales in comparison to Edge. Striker asks Lawler for strategy here. Lawler says avoid elimination, which sounds really simplistic but Lawler follows it up by saying you’re going to have a better chance with three or four opponents than with five so if you can hang on your odds improve. Sometimes the simplest answer is best.

Tornado rules here too which is nice. We get a Hulk reference kind of as Cole lists off champions. Cena and Jericho stare each other down which makes me think Jericho is a jobber by comparison. RKO maybe 90 seconds in ends Jericho. WHAT THE HECK? He makes the big sad exit and everyone, myself included, is shocked. Y2J chant picks up of course as I’d love a face run from him.

Everyone surrounds Barrett and the beatdown is on! Orton and Cena have an eventual staredown but Barrett breaks it up. Striker calls Edge, Sheamus and Barrett rulebreakers. CENA THROWS A DROPKICK! The superpowers fight it out but Barrett saves Cena for some reason. Sheamus kicks Barrett in the face. He dominates for awhile and goes around kicking everyone in sight.

High knees to Cena which I can’t think of a Too Many Lies joke for. Cena blocks the High Cross as everyone else has apparently died. Edge comes back in and stops the top rope Fameasser. Double suplex off the top to take Cena down for two. Edge and Sheamus work together which tells me he eliminates the Irishman.

Orton pops up for like two seconds and Sheamus takes him down almost immediately. Spear misses and the Irish Curse takes Edge down. Brogue Kick misses but Edge gets the spear. Orton takes one too but Edge takes a very nice FU to get rid of him and we have four left. Barrett takes down Cena and stomps the tar out of him.

He and Cena fight it out for awhile until Cena makes his comeback. 5 Knuckle Shuffle but Sheamus accidently hits Barrett. Cole keeps calling the FU the A.A. now. Sheamus is in the STF FOREVER and has one of the best teases of getting there I’ve ever seen. He manages to do it and you can feel the crowd just stop. Nexus comes out and the distraction allows Barrett to hit Wasteland on Cena and ELIMINATE HIM!

Nexus beats down Orton and since there are no disqualifications this is all gravy baby. Nexus tries to run in again but Cena KILLS one of them with a chair. Orton gets the backbreaker on Barrett and an RKO gets us down to Sheamus vs. Orton. Brogue Kick KILLS Orton but it only gets two and a big old pop. High Cross is countered and the RKO gives Orton his seventh title!

Rating: C+. This was ok. It wasn’t the mess I thought it would be and getting rid of two people relatively early, especially Jericho, made this run a lot more smoothly. It’s an ok match but really nothing worth going out of your way to see. They went with the usual multi-man formula here which I’m not a fan of at all. Barrett pinning Cena clean is a good thing but it’s probably going to lead to a Hell in a Cell match which I don’t think anyone wants to see at this point. Fairly good match, but not a great one at all.

Time for Cena to run the gauntlet on Raw, September 20, 2010. It starts off a bit differently though.

Wade Barrett vs. John Cena

Nexus comes out with Barrett and I’m expecting an E-Mail soon. They stay on the stage though just to mess with our heads. Wade grabs a mic and climbs up on the announcers’ table. Since Cena wants to pick apart Nexus one by one, it’s a gauntlet match. Slater comes out first and Cena hits a gutwrench suplex for two. Slater gets a neckbreaker for two and controls for a bit. He goes up for a top rope cross body but Cena rolls through into an FU for the pin.

Otunga comes down as we go to a break. After nothing of note a small package takes care of Otunga. This was pretty worthless.

Tarver is next and Cole says he’s one bad dude as we go back to the 80s I guess. STF ends him in like 45 seconds.

Gabriel comes in and does some nice stuff, hitting a spinwheel kick to get two. After a long beating Cena hits a dropkick just to piss off the smarks. VERY good one too actually. It doesn’t do much though as Gabriel takes over, hitting an AWESOME moonsault where he jumped from the mat to the top rope with Cena like a foot from the ropes and hit it perfectly. That was awesome.

Nexus is still at ringside as Cena and Gabriel punch it out. Cena initiates his ending sequence and here’s Nexus for the DQ. Barrett stood on the table the whole time. Barrett gets a chair but Cena takes him down and steals it, scaring the Nexus off.

Rating: C. This is hard to grade as it’s really a bunch of quickies thrown together. Gabriel continues to be absolutely awesome in the ring as Tarver keeps coming off as a clueless putz which fits I guess. The ending kind of sucked but I’m very glad they’re saving this for the PPV which they should to. This was ok but I went with an average grade because I have no idea if you can say this was good or not.

Off to the blue show on October 1, 2010.

Nexus vs. Big Show

Show needs to lose the dew rag, period. The big man throws out as many guys as he can but gets caught in the corner. In a very cool idea that I’ve never seen before, Barrett wraps his legs around the neck of Show and each grabs a limb for a five man submission and Show is out cold very soon. That was really cool looking and makes perfect sense. There was no logical way Show could beat all five guys and they didn’t try to have him do so. Gabriel adds a pair of 450s but slightly messes up the second one. This was like 3 minutes total counting beatdown.

Cena was sick of Nexus and agreed to face Barrett at Hell in a Cell 2010. If Cena won, the Nexus was gone but if Barrett won, Cena had to join the team.

John Cena vs. Wade Barrett

If Barrett loses Nexus is disbanded. If Cena loses he has to join the Nexus. It’s kind of amazing that this is I believe his 5th singles match and his first PPV singles match. You can’t say they’re not pushing this guy to the moon. Long feeling out period to start us off here. Cena gets his dropkick for his first big offensive maneuver. Barrett drops an F Bomb but not an audible one.

We slug it out a bit and Cena sets for the FU but Slater comes out as a distraction. Barrett throws the Nexus out which is an interesting touch. Barrett controls and hits a second rope elbow drop for two. Their colors are now black and gold instead of black and yellow. Neckbreaker gets two as Barrett is finally getting to showcase his offense. This is already his longest match and it’s not even 8 minutes long.

Dueling chants begin and you can tell it’s mainly men shouting for Barrett and higher pitched voices chanting for Cena. Cena makes his comeback and he initiates his finishing sequence. Nexus surrounds the ring as the definition of interference is getting kind of shaky here. Big Show comes out and leads the charge of the locker room who come out to beat down Nexus. It says a lot when it takes about 15 people including Big Show to beat up four glorified jobbers. And it’s not jobbers coming out to beat them up. You have guys like Show, Kofi, Ziggler, Bryan, Hart Dynasty and MVP, as in former and current champions.

Wasteland is blocked and this is a pretty solid back and forth match. Also it’s good that they got rid of the Nexus about halfway through. FU is blocked and Barrett hits a butterfly suplex for two. Boss Man Slam gets two. Fameasser off the top is blocked the first time but Cena gets it for two. Barrett gets Wasteland out of nowhere for two. Cole is WAY into this. Lawler says something and I had forgotten he was there.

FU hits out of nowhere for two as we’re into the good part of this match now. STF goes on as Cena looks extra quick here. Cole is SCREAMING at Barrett to tap out. A planted fan runs into the ring, allowing the guy that appears to be Husky Harris to pop up and blast Cena in the head, allowing Barrett to get the pin and kill the souls of millions of children. This is likely Otunga’s plan, which he didn’t run past Barrett.

Rating: B. Solid match here with the ending working rather well. The Nexus wasn’t really involved all that much here and it helped a lot I thought. Barrett looked VERY impressive out there with a nice offensive moveset and solid ring presence. This was better than I expected and things worked very well here. Good match and it sets up some stuff for the show in the upcoming weeks. Also Harris and potentially another member joining is a good thing. Good match.

Nexus puts Barrett on their shoulders as the celebration is on. On a replay the fan that distracted things appears to be Michael McGillicutty but I can’t tell for sure. The fan that hit Cena was definitely Harris but he’s not named. Cena takes a long time to leave and various ages of fans are STUNNED.

From the next night on Raw.

Evan Bourne/Mark Henry vs. John Cena/Michael Tarver

Bourne and Cena start us off and they shake hands. Bourne is skeptical about it, I guess because the months and months of Cena being a good guy, the helping Bourne and losing last night via cheating in a match Bourne tried to even the odds in and the proclamation that Cena read so begrudgingly, Bourne isn’t quite sure if Cena can be trusted. Cena tags out almost immediately and Tarver takes over as we go to a break.

Back with Henry beating on Tarver. Does someone want to explain to me why Bourne and Henry are a team again other than they both wear red? Tarver tries to make a tag but Cena keeps pulling his arm back. Every time I see that weightlifter on Henry’s tights I think it’s a pair of testicles with a penis hanging down from them. Tarver finally breaks Bourne’s momentum and goes to tag Cena but Cena drops to the floor and pulls out a Sharpie to sign some autographs. World’s Strongest Slam ends Tarver.

Rating: C. Going with average here because this wasn’t about the match whatsoever obviously. This is a nice introduction to the story that they’re going with here and it seems to be intriguing. I could see a few possible endings to this with the main one being Cena keeps rebelling until one day he joins willingly and turns full heel but I doubt it. Either way it’s something for him to do which doesn’t involve the title so all is fine there. The C grade isn’t indicative of the wrestling here but rather that the wrestling wasn’t the point here.

And then from Bragging Rights 2010 in an unannounced match.

Tag Titles: Cody Rhodes/Drew McIntyre vs. David Otunga/John Cena

WOW. Well this isn’t what I was expecting at all. Otunga and Rhodes start us off. It’s so weird to see Cena in a match 35 minutes into the show. The champions (can’t say heels I guess) control to start with very fast tags. Off to Cena who doesn’t want to tag. Cena refuses to tag out so Rhodes can drill him.

LOUD dueling Cena chants with the sucking crowd winning out over the going crowd. Not a very exciting match after the legit surprising announcement. The comeback sequence is initiated as Cena still won’t tag out. Futureshock is avoided but Drew gets a blind tag and Cross Roads are countered into the STF to give Nexus the belts. I don’t think Otunga landed a single punch.

Rating: D+. This was a glorified handicap match. I get that Cena is a far bigger star than either of the champions but to beat them both in just a matter of minutes is a bit of a stretch I think. This wasn’t much but I like them surprising us for a change on PPV. It wasn’t bad and I’m glad it wasn’t on TV, but this wasn’t much.

They would defend the next night on Raw, October 25, 2010.

Tag Titles: John Cena/Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater

Barrett stops this before it starts, saying that someone has to lay down and do the right thing because this is Nexus vs. Nexus which can’t happen. He says that person is…..David Otunga? David doesn’t like this at all and Barrett has to order him to get in and lay day. He finally does it, making Slater and Gabriel the champions.

Here’s the showdown between the former champions on Raw, November 8, 2010.

John Cena vs. David Otunga

This should be a somewhat long match as it’s the ending segment of the first hour. Otunga has a Nexus hoodie now. Nexus comes out with him, including Barrett. And so much for that as Barrett sends them away and leaves with them, making this one on one. Otunga tries to run and fails miserably at that and the fight is on.

Dropkick puts Otunga down but Cena’s shoulder is acquainted with the post so the A-List can take over. That’s a very short list as he’s just one guy. Dueling Cena chants. After a very short offense by Otunga, Cena makes the comeback, hits his sequence of moves and the FU/STF ends this. Nothing match.

Rating: C. Oddly enough I liked this though as the idea was just for Cena to run through Otunga and that’s exactly what he did. At the end of the day Cena is a guy that shouldn’t have any issues with Otunga and he didn’t. That’s all you need to have sometimes and this worked very well. Solid little glorified squash.

After a break Otunga has a bag of ice on his neck in the back. Barrett comes in and is all ticked off at him. He says go back to Smackdown and fight Edge. If Otunga loses, he’s out of the team. And here’s the match from November 12, 2010.

Edge vs. David Otunga

All of the Smackdown roster comes out and stalks Nexus. For no apparent reason they don’t close from both sides. Why is Goldust on a Smackdown show? Even Finlay is out there. Edge gets a spinwheel kick to start as Nexus is on the ramp rather than around the ring. We take a break less than a minute in and it’s all Edge. The Smackdown guys (including the Harts too) beat on Otunga before sending him back in.

Del Rio trips up Edge as he’s getting back in the ring so Otunga can take over a bit. His offense is so generic his finishing move might as well be called the vanilla ice cream drop. Edge makes his comeback after Otunga’s biggest move in his offensive flurry is a suplex. How could Edge come back after THAT? Edge gets a rollup for two.

He pauses to baseball slide Del Rio which starts a big brawl on the floor. In the ensuing chaos McGillicutty comes in and takes the spear that was supposed to be for Otunga. Edge sets for another on the A-List but Kane comes through the crowd and chokeslams him as Otunga crawls over for the pin to stay in Nexus at approximately 6:30 of 10:00 total.

Rating: D+. This just didn’t do it for me at all. Otunga is a solid talker and definitely has the look but he can’t back it up in the ring at all. This was just barely ok and the gimmicks were pretty clearly there to give us some cover for all of the inadequacies in David’s game. This was pretty bad and it never really went anywhere at all.

Off to Survivor Series to defend some freshly won gold.

Tag Titles: Nexus vs. Vladimir Kozlov/Santino Marella

Slater and Gabriel are the champions here and have Harris/McGillicutty/Otunga with them. Santino and Slater start things off and Marella gets to use some of the martial arts that Kozlov has been teaching him. Off to Gabriel and Kozlov who tags himself in. Remember that two years ago, Kozlov was in the world title match against HHH and now he’s here. That’s quite the fall. Gabriel dives at Kozlov and gets caught in a kind of spinebuster to give the challengers control.

Gabriel gets in a kick to take Koz down and Slater drops a knee for two. Back to Justin for a cravate and then a front facelock. Kozlov is about to get to Santino when Slater draws Cobra Man in. That’s some good old school tag stuff there and it’s awesome. Slater hooks a front facelock of his own but it’s a hot tag to Santino. He hits all of his usual stuff and loads up the Cobra, but the other members of Nexus distract him (not that hard really) and Slater hits the sleeper drop for the pin to retain.

Rating: D+. Nothing to see here that wouldn’t be on Raw on any given week. The tag titles were absolutely nothing at this point but then again that could go for any show for a good six year stretch or so. It makes the current tag team resurgence look more impressive as they took it from nowhere to something decent, which is a big deal. The match here was fine but it was another breather for the fans.

And from later in the night with Cena as guest referee. If Barrett doesn’t win the title, Cena is fired but if Barrett does win, Cena is free from the Nexus.

Raw World Title: Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton

Oh and you can only win by pin or submission. Feeling out process to start with Orton grabbing a headlock. A shoulder puts Barrett down and Orton fires away elbows and uppercuts in the corner. Cena finally does something and it’s correct procedure, but the fans boo because it’s against Orton. He goes the same thing to Barrett and Orton hits a dropkick to take over.

We head to the floor where Barrett hits a kick to the ribs to take over. Orton gets sent into the steps and punched down back in the ring. Barrett covers and gets a fair one count. We hit the chinlock for a good while until Orton fights back with his usual comeback stuff. The backbreaker gets two and Orton glares at Cena. Barrett gets in an uppercut and hits a top rope elbow for two.

Barrett hits his pumphandle slam for two and now Barrett glares at Cena too. This is pretty dull stuff so far. Wasteland is countered and there’s a Boss Man Slam (called a Black Hole Slam by Striker) for another close two. The fans do the usual pro/anti Cena chants as Orton hits the Elevated DDT. Barrett gets in a knee to the head and Wasteland hits, but Orton grabs the rope at two. I do love how the idea that Barrett could just win the title on his own is a completely non-factor. Barrett shoves Cena so Cena shoves him back, right into the RKO and the clean pin to fire Cena. Striker: “Cena’s free!” Cole: “Cena’s fired.” Striker: “Oh.”

Rating: D. This barely worked as the focus was entirely on Cena and the match was really dull for the most part. It was someone hitting a move that would be lucky to get two and then glaring at Cena when they didn’t get a pin off of it. Cena was “fired” as a result, but would of course be back on PPV the next month. I don’t think he ever missed a Raw. I like the moment with him counting the pin because that’s him being himself which is the essence of Cena’s character, but the match sucked.

Here’s the final blowoff of Cena vs. Barrett from TLC 2010.

John Cena vs. Wade Barrett

This is PPV main event number……five for Barrett in his seven months on the main roster. Not that WWE made a new star or anything. BIG reaction for Cena as this is a chairs match. DUELING CHANTS!!!! Barrett hits the floor and Cena cuts him off as the fight is on. There must be twenty chairs at ringside. Barrett gets the first one so instead of picking up another, Cena slowly backs up and tries to keep fighting.

Both guys in the ring with chairs which last a few seconds as we’re back to the slugout. The idea here is that neither guy can get to the chair which they’re treating as something special here, which I like. They hit the floor with Barrett in control. Barrett gets a chair shot to the back of Cena but it’s in the aisle. Barrett sets up the steps which would be illegal wouldn’t they?

Cena slams him on the stage and goes to the back. He comes back with a rolling chair in a rather funny moment. He puts Barrett in it and wakes him up with some water. Cena gets a running start and throws Barrett down the ramp in the chair into the steps. Awesome spot and kind of funny at the same time. Barrett gets control way too quickly and we’re back in the ring and the English dude has a chair.

He chokes away with it as someone as the announce table can’t stop coughing. In an amazing strength move, Cena has Barrett sitting on the chair on top of him. Cena is like screw it and bench presses his way out of it. HOW STRONG IS THIS GUY? Barrett gets a chair up to stop a shoulder block and Cena hits the floor. Cena gets tied up in the ropes and Barrett has a freaking field day on him with the chair.

Cena fights out and hits the Protoplex and the Shuffle but can’t get the FU. Bossman Slam gets two. Chair is wedged in between the top and middle rope. STF is countered with Cena being launched into the wedged chair. Barrett goes up with the chair and dives off (think Foley diving off the apron with one) but gets canvas instead. Top rope Fameasser with the chair but Cena won’t cover.

He sets up about six chairs in a two rows of three facing each other. I think I see an FU coming. Hey what do you know I’m right. In the FREAKING OW MAN spot of the night, the chairs DON”T MOVE and Barrett just stops cold. The pin is academic and for once and for all, the feud is OVER.

Maybe it isn’t as Barrett crawls away and Cena picks up another chair. Let the beatdown begin. They’re up by the stage and Cena gets some kind of a metal pallet thing. Cena looks up at all the chairs hanging from the ceiling and THEY ALL FALL ON BARRETT. Nice job as Barrett is BURIED to end the show and the year. The visual on the replay of a bunch of them just falling straight down is great.

Rating: B. Not a great match or anything, but it certainly worked. I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to include the post match stuff in the rating for this one. That part is the real aspect here, as Cena didn’t beat Wade Barrett. He defeated him. That’s a key difference here. Cena did exactly what he said he’d do: he defeated Nexus. It’s not a great match, but it’s a great ending. That’s what the important thing is here, and it worked like a charm.

Off to the new year now and a lot of things have changed. CM Punk has taken over as the team’s leader and we’ll pick things up on Raw, January 24, 2011 as Barrett has now started the Corre, taking Gabriel and Slater away from the Nexus.

Wade Barrett vs. CM Punk

Cena is referee and the winners group gets to stay in the Rumble. Before the match, Cena throws Nexus out. Hey Corre, youre out too. Cole gets on Cena for abusing his power with those ejections. Ah theres the bell but Cena shoves Punk down almost immediately. Punk comes up with a fist but Cena points out the referee. Theres a slap to Barrett from Punk and again with the shirt.

Punk jumps Barrett and were finally on. Barrett is thrown to the floor and Punk jaws at Cena, saying thats him on Sunday. Naturally Cena throws Punk over the top. Punk charges back in but wont hit him because it would mean hes out of the Rumble. Barrett jumps him from behind, but Cena hits the floor to sign some autographs instead of counting a pin.

Back in the ring and it’s…a bell? It’s a double DQ for use of excessive profanity on a PG show at 2:00. Both teams are out of the Rumble! Cena starts to leave but it’s an E-Mail. The teams are back in, but if Cena doesn’t apologize to both guys then he’s out. Cena of course beats both guys up.

From Raw, February 14, 2011.

John Cena vs. CM Punk

There must be a winner to this. During Cenas entrance we see a clip from last week where Lawler slipped Cena a chair to keep Cena from getting destroyed. Cena gets on the mic and thanks Lawler for helping him out last week. He talks about how its Valentines Day and how nothing says I love you like a pair of tickets to WWE. During this part theres a Rocky chant. Love isnt the only thing in the air. WRESTLEMANIA is in the air!

Cena talks about the guest host could be, throwing out names like Sammi from Jersey Shore, Lady Gaga and Michael Cole. Using the clues that Vince gave last week, he proves that Cole is in a love triangle with Miz and Riley and that Michael Cole may not be a man. More importantly though, this Sunday is the Elimination Chamber and after the year Cena has had, he needs this Wrestlemania moment. He dealt with a group of radicals all year called the Nexus, but Sunday theres only one member to deal with.

Cue Punk with a mic of his own. Punk says that the record in Grays Sports Almanac (Love those movies) it says that the last two times theyve fought Punk has won. Punk says hes a good person unlike Cena and the bell rings. If anyone gets involved in this theyre out of the Chamber match. Cena hits the post shoulder first and hits the floor. Punk takes him down with a flying clothesline as we take a break.

Back with Punk getting a two count off a big kick. If Nexus gets involved, Punk is out of the Chamber. Punk works the arm but Cena hits an armdrag to get free. Body scissors by Punk takes more energy out of Cena. Cenas shorts are a bit shorter tonight and are above the knees. Cena fights back and gets the Protoplex and 5 Knuckle Shuffle but cant hit the FU.

Punk takes him down with a leg lariat and we get a headscissors. Cena is like man please and just stands up. Back to their feet and Cena hits a gutwrench suplex for two. Cena goes up for the top rope Fameasser but Punk makes the stop. Corner knee hits but the bulldog is reversed into a failed STF attempt. Swinging neckbreaker by Punk sets up the GTS which cant connect.

CM goes up and tries a cross body but Cena rolls through into the FU. Punk gets to the ropes though and hits the floor. A Nexus clad arm sticks out from under the ring and hands Punk a chair. Punk slides it into the ring and the referee goes to get it. The arm comes out again with a wrench. Punk drills Cena with it and the GTS ends it at 10:36.

Rating: B. Good match here especially for free TV. The ending was a nice little touch with the two weapons being handed in. Cena losing is good as it builds Punk up even more also. This was one of the better TV matches I’ve seen in a good while and a great way to start Raw. I love February Sweeps because we get stuff like this.

Randy Orton would start going after the Nexus, knocking each one out week after week. This led to a showdown at Wrestlemania XXVII.

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk

The cylinder from last year is now a cube which still has the videos playing on them. Orton immediately takes it to the floor and pounds away, but Punk jumps over the steps and kicks them into Orton’s knees. Back in and Orton stays on the knees for a quick two count. Punk of course mocks the knee injury before stomping at the legs even more. Randy grabs a quick backbreaker but Punk comes back with a kind of Stunner to the leg for two.

Punk hits the running knee in the corner but Orton falls down before he can hit the bulldog. The straightedge one stays on the knee and puts Orton in the Tree of Woe. In a cool bit, Orton tries to pull himself up but Punk drops a top rope knee to take Randy right back down. The GTS is countered but Punk breaks up the RKO with a high kick for two. Punk loads up the Macho Elbow but Orton crotches him down instead. A superplex puts Punk down but the cover is very delayed and only gets two.

Punk wraps the knee around the post a few times and Orton is in big trouble. Off to a modified Indian deathlock for a bit but Orton fights back and slugs Punk down to take over. Punk comes back with a basic kick to the knee and there’s the Anaconda Vice. Orton rolls over and the fans never once seemed nervous about a tap out. CM heads out to the apron and is rammed into the post, followed by the Elevated DDT. Orton loads up the Punt but the knee gives out. Punk heads to the outside and loads up the springboard clothesline but dives right into the RKO for the pin by Randy.

Rating: B. Good solid match here which should have been the end of the feud, but since this is WWE, there was a gimmick rematch the next month because that’s how WWE books feuds. You know, because WRESTLEMANIA isn’t good enough to end a story at. Anyway, very good match here between two guys with solid chemistry together.

Off to the tag team ranks on Raw, May 16, 2011.

Big Show/Kane vs. Michael McGillicutty/David Otunga

Kane vs. McGillicutty to start us off and that goes badly for Genesis dude (NXT 2 reference if you didnt watch the show). Does that make Kane Nintendo Boy? Big Show comes in and the Nexus actually manages to take him down. Cole keeps apologizing for the tiniest things that tick Jerry off now which is a nice touch. The nonchamps work on Shows leg as Punk runs his mouth a lot.

Show actually uses some nice leg work to get out of the hold but Otunga stops the tag. Show gets a belly to back suplex to put both guys down and theres the tag to Kane. Otungas boots look like the ones Swagger usually wears. Kane beats up both guys but heres Ryan in for the…..not DQ as he doesnt get any contact in. Show takes him down on the floor and its chokeslam time. Punk gets a kick to the back of the head and the McGillicutter ends Kane at 4:50.

Rating: C. Not bad here and nice to see a little surprise as Nexus might actually be getting a push for a change. Nexus is never going to be as strong as they were at first but this is nice to see as instead of just standing around they actually get a few wins. Hopefully the tag titles change hands soon though as Kane and Show can only do their unstoppable giants deal so long before it gets incredibly dull.

Here’s one of the only Mason Ryan matches. From Over the Limit 2011.

Tag Titles: CM Punk/Mason Ryan vs. Big Show/Kane

Kane vs. Ryan to start us off here and the fans chant Batista. This crowd is getting on my nerves in a hurry. Power vs. Power of course and heres Show. Ryan goes all Big Zeke on him, taking him down with a clothesline. Off to Punk vs. Show. The giants take turns beating down Punk, probably jealous of all the hair gel. Ryan comes in to work on Kane as Punk has the word Macho on his tape.

Show stomps on the steps and it sounds like the building is falling down. The bulldog out of the corner is blocked and Punk is almost shoved into the big punch. Instead Punk dropkicks the knee and brings in Ryan who hits an old school Oklahoma Stampede. Bearhug time and Ryan just throws Kane around which is ultra rare. Kane grabs a suplex but Punk comes in to stop the tag.

Punk goes up top in a rare move for him. Is that a theme for this match or something? The elbow drop from the top misses and I cant help but smile. Its enough to bring in Show who cleans house as he is known to do. Double chokeslam to Ryan and were done. Sometimes theres no substitute for just picking someone up and drilling them like that.

Rating: C. For the elbow alone this isnt a failure. Its very cool to see someone throw that out in a tribute to one of the best of all time and something told me it would be Punk. Just seems like something hed do. Anyway, Show and Kane winning isnt that surprising as it can play into the problems in Nexus a bit more. This was fine for what it was.

Another pairing got the shot the next night on Raw, May 23, 2011.

Tag Titles: Big Show/Kane vs. David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty

I don’t get why these two didn’t have the tag title shot last night since they won last week. Punk has boots up to his thighs that are white/yellow and look a bit odd. He sits in on commentary here. Kane and Otunga start us off and David heads to the floor to avoids a seated dropkick. A small chase starts but Otunga misses an elbow drop as Kane fakes him out.

Show comes in to a big pop and here’s Michael as well. Show sends him to the floor with ease as we take a break. Back with Nexus working over Kane as Punk says he doesn’t care which Nexus team wins the titles. Orunga gets a neckbreaker on Kane for two. Show comes in soon thereafter and the beatdown is on. Punk talks about how everything is going to be ok and Ryan tries to come in. Kane takes him down but Punk says he has faith and kicks Show in the head. A double DDT to Show and we have new champions at 8:54 total.

Rating: C. Not a bad match here and it’s probably a good thing to see the giants lose the titles. They can only go so far with the titles before things get really boring with them. Nexus needed something to go with here and the tag titles tend to be the first thing you’re given to get something established.


Here’s Punk at Capital Punishment. Before the match he promises to win and then do the most honest thing the WWE has ever seen. I think you know what’s coming.

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk

Loud Punk chant by the smark crowd. Basic back and forth stuff to start as Cole talks about how all of Punks tattoos have meaning. He doesnt say what those meanings are but they have meanings. They trade strikes until Rey sends him to the floor and hits a baseball slide. A seated senton off the ropes is countered into a hot shot into the barrier by Punk who takes over.

Surfboard goes on by Punk as I smile because Rey is screaming. Rey tries to speed things up but walks into a tiltawhirl backbreaker to set up that body scissors that Punk uses rather often. Rey gets him into the 619 position, only to have his head taken off by a Punk clothesline. Abdominal stretch goes on and Punk has to lean WAY down to get that hold on. Drop toehold sends Punks nose into the buckle, only to get caught in the Tree of Woe. Little masked freak deserves it.

Rey sends him to the floor and a big old Asai Moonsault takes Punk down. Punk is shaking his hand like he lost some feeling in it for a bit. Back in and Mysterio gets something resembling a top rope shoulder block for two. Punk rotates through the spinning cross body for two. They speed things up and it turns into a kick off. Swinging kick to the head gets two for Rey.

Belly to back off the top gets two for Punk who is still shaking his arm and hand a bit. Rey goes up but a splash eats knees which gets two for Punk. CM calls for the GTS and fires off some knees but the GTS is countered into a hurricanrana. A kick to the head gets two for Punk as the crowd is finally getting into this. Another GTS is countered into the 619 but Punk grabs that into the GTS for the pin, his second on PPV since he beat Taker via submission and both have been over Rey.

Rating: B+. Good match here as these two definitely have chemistry together. Punk’s speech pre-match is rather interesting as I’m curious as to what the most honest thing in the WWE is and given Punk, that could be a lot. Maybe a feud with Cena? As in a proper one minus Nexus? One can only hope.

Of course he was foreshadowing the Pipe Bomb, which leads us to Money in the Bank 2011 and one of the best matches ever.

CM Punk vs. John Cena

Punk’s entrance is a sight to see as the fans EXPLODE as he comes into the arena. Cole talks about how Punk hasn’t signed a new contract and therefore tonight at midnight, he’s done with WWE. The booing for Cena’s entrance borders on hatred as the fans can’t stand the sight of him. It isn’t quite as bad as One Night Stand 2006 but it’s still very intense. Cole lists off a brief history of the WWE Championship. That’s a man after my own typing.

The fans are immediately all over Cena with a YOU CAN’T WRESTLE chant. Cena controls with a quick headlock but has to duck a quick high kick from Punk. The chant continues and Punk makes sure that they’re talking about Cena. Punk tries his Anaconda Vice submission finisher but Cena counters into an armbar. Back up and Punk hits a quick hiptoss and dropkick before grabbing a headlock on the mat.

Back up and the AA and Punk’s GTS (fireman’s carry into a knee to the face) are both quickly escaped. Cena’s bulldog gets one and it’s off to a front facelock by the champion. Back up and a hard clothesline puts Punk down again and it’s off to a chinlock. We get the dueling “let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chants with the anti-Cena fans having far deeper voices. A release fisherman’s suplex gets two for John but Punk escapes the AA and hits a DDT for two.

Off to a figure four necklock by the challenger for a few moments before he sends Cena to the outside for a knee to the back of the neck. Back in and Punk charges into the corner but goes shoulder first into the post. Punk doesn’t seem to be fazed by it and hooks a chinlock but now there are audible pro-Cena chants. Punk comes back with a cross body for two but more importantly, Cena may have hurt his knee. Cena goes to the apron and is able to sucker Punk in for a suplex to the floor.

Back in and a sitout powerslam gets two for the champion but Punk comes back with some right hands. Cena goes old school with an abdominal stretch for a few moments until Punk hiptosses his way out of it. Both guys are down but as they get back up, Cena tries his finishing sequence and despite a quick comeback attempt, Cena hits the ProtoBomb, only to be kicked in the head by Punk. A knee in the back sends Cena to the floor and there’s a suicide dive (and a high five to Punk’s longtime friend and wrestler Colt Cabana).

Back in and Punk misses his top rope elbow which allows Cena to load up the AA. Punk lands on his feet anyway though and kicks Cena down for two. The GTS is countered into a gutwrench suplex for two for the champion. A few knees to the face hit Cena when he’s against the ropes and Punk’s bulldog takes Cena down. Punk hits a springboard clothesline for a close two and CM fires off some kicks. A big one misses though and it’s the STF from Cena. Punk FINALLY makes the rope and gets a near standing ovation for his efforts.

Back up and Punk hits a high kick for two and both guys are down again. Punk tries a top rope cross body but Cena catches him in mid air and tries the AA. CM counters that into the GTS but Cena counters THAT into the STF in the middle of the ring to put Punk in serious trouble. Punk somehow rolls out of the hold and hooks on the Anaconda Vice. Cena fights up from THAT and hits the AA for a close two. John goes up top and loads up the top rope Fameasser but gets caught in a powerbomb for two.

Punk tries the GTS but Cena grabs the rope to escape. He punches Punk down and hits the Fameasser for a VERY close two. Another AA gets two and Cena gets in the referee’s face. Cena tries an AA off the middle rope but Punk escapes into a top rope hurricanrana to send Cena into the opposite corner. The running knee in the corner sets up the GTS but Cena falls to the floor.

CM tries to throw him back inside but here are Vince and his head crony John Laurinitis. Cena puts on the STF and Vince tells Laurinitis to go and ring the bell. Cena intercepts him, saying that he’s winning this himself. With a harsh glare at Vince, Cena charges back into the ring and walks into the GTS to give Punk the title and send Chicago into euphoria.

Rating: A+. This is one of the best matches of all time with some of the greatest drama you’ll ever see. The question of who would win here went back and forth for over thirty minutes until the perfect ending. Cena was on top of his game here tonight but he couldn’t beat Punk in this city with these stakes on this night. This is an excellent match and the crowd made it all the better.

Vince comes to the announcers booth and says cut the music. He tells Alberto Del Rio (a Mexican aristocrat who won MITB earlier in the night) to get out here right now and cash in his title shot. Here comes Del Rio but Punk kicks his head off before the bell rings. Punk gets the title and leaves through the crowd, blowing a kiss to Vince in the process.

That would be the end of the New Nexus, but Otunga and McGillicutty just wouldn’t let it die and teamed as Nexus until this final match on Raw, August 22, 2011.

Tag Titles: David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty vs. Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne

This is a rematch from last week. Lawler points out that the champions havent done anything with the belts. We get a Bushwhackers reference as Lawler says they had better charisma. Thats true at least. Bourne beats on McGillicutty to start but that doesnt last long with Kofi coming in. After some more attacking he goes outside after both champions and gets caught easily.

Otunga comes in to work over Kofi, hitting a corner clothesline for a very delayed two. Off to a chinlock for a few seconds and heres McGillicutty who hits a double team dropkick/atomic drop for two. JR says that was an almost perfect dropkick. Off to another chinlock and McGillicutty yells at Lawler, asking if that was impressive. In a cool move Kofi nips up into a headscissors and brings in Bourne. He cleans house with jumping knees and a spin kick for two. Kofi sends Michael to the floor and hits Trouble in Paradise to Otunga. Shooting Star Press gives us new champions at 5:00.

Rating: C. Eh just a quick match here. Otunga and McGillicutty arent horrible but they were boring as champions. Either way this wasnt too bad but hopefully this starts a new thing in the division as JR and the announcers make it seem like its kind of a big deal. This wasnt bad and them winning that fast was probably a good thing.

So that’s Nexus. Like, almost ALL of Nexus. The team was a good idea for awhile but they died as soon as Barrett didn’t win the title. After that, they were a bunch of jobbers and an upper midcard guy in WAY over their heads. Other than that the matches were ok, but the team went on too long to make them mean anything. Punk made it better but he got out when he should have.

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