- We open tonight’s RAW with the normal Nickelback-themed opening video. Michael Cole welcomes us to RAW from the Bridgeport Arena in Nashville, Tennessee as the WWE Tag Team Champions Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov make their way out with Tamina. As the champions enter the ring for a match, Nexus charges the ring and beat them down. Husky Harris, Justin Gabriel, Michael McGillicutty, David Otunga and Heath Slater clean house as CM Punk makes his way into the ring.
Punk says tonight’s tag team title match has been rescheduled. Punk says Nexus has been the most dominant force WWE has ever seen since they debuted. Punk says they are even stronger now. They’re wearing new yellow and black shirts with CM Punk’s logo on it. Punk tells them he can give them the tools to succeed, unlike Wade Barrett. Punk talks about taking Cena out a few weeks ago and says he will be here to speak tonight. The crowd chants for Cena. Punk says Cena’s days of hustle, loyalty and respect are over. While his are just beginning.
Punk announces that he will initiate himself as the new leader of the new Nexus tonight. Punk says his won’t be the only initiation tonight. The other Nexus members must prove to everyone tonight that they have what it takes to belong in the new Nexus. Punk says they will be at their apex of power and will take over not just RAW but the entire WWE. David Otunga says they would be honored to be initiated into the new Nexus tonight. Punk says the honor will all be his. Punk starts with McGillicutty. Punk says Nexus is famous for their group beatdowns. McGillicutty’s initiation is to be on the receiving end of a Nexus beatdown. Punk tells Husky to start the beatdown. Husky faces McGillicutty but just stares at him. Otunga turns McGillicutty around and drops him with his finisher. Slater hits his finisher also. Husky still is just staring at McGillicutty. Husky runs the ropes and hits the big senton on McGillicutty. They drag him over to the corner and Gabriel hits the 450, after hesitating for a minute. Punk drops to one knee as the Nexus members put McGillicutty’s body on his shoulders. Punk hits him with a GTS. Punk looks at McGillicutty, who is knocked out, and leaves the ring as the Nexus music hits. The other members follow him out as we go to replays. Punk walks up the ramp as Nexus walks behind him with McGillicutty’s body on their shoulders. We go to commercial.
R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio
Back from commercial and out comes R-Truth to the ring. Ricardo Rodriguez is introduced next and he does the intro for SmackDown’s Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio comes driving out in a Bentley. Truth charges but Del Rio moves. Truth connects with right hands and they go at it. Truth takes it to the corner and hits a bunch of right hands. Del Rio brings him out of the corner with an atomic drop. Del Rio with two knees to the back and a 2 count.
Del Rio misses a clothesline and Truth takes him down with a headscissors then a clothesline. Truth clotheslines himself and Del Rio over the top rope and out to the floor. The referee begins to count. They trade right hands. Rodriguez comes over and starts yelling “what’s up” at Truth. Truth turns around and drops Rodriguez with a right hand. Del Rio makes it back in the ring before the 10 count but Truth can’t.
Winner by Count Out: Alberty Del Rio
– After the match, Del Rio takes the mic and declares the victory. Del Rio says his destiny is to win the Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania. Del Rio starts talking about Nashville and insults the people’s music. Del Rio says they know about music and culture in Mexico. Del Rio wants Ricardo to do mariachi but he protests. The music hits, Ricardo sings and dances. We go to a John Cena graphic and hype for Sheamus vs. John Morrison later tonight as Ricardo continues to sing. We go to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see a clip of The Miz attacking Jerry Lawler a few weeks back. Lawler says he is still sore from that. Cole says Randy Orton won’t be able to take the WWE Title from The Miz. Cole tells Lawler he needs to apologize to Miz. The e-mail alert goes off and Michael Cole steps up to the podium to read the GM’s mail. The GM says Cole has been on the receiving end of a lot of hate recently but he supports him. The GM calls Cole a conceited, pompous, arrogant, self-centered, pretentious jerk. Cole says just kidding and reads a message putting himself over. Sounds like he’s making this up now. Lawler has had enough and interrupts him on a mic.
Lawler says he just received a message from the entire WWE Universe and they tell him to shut up. Lawler calls Cole a coward. Cole says Lawler will be fired if he touches him. Lawler shuts the laptop and walks away. The e-mail alert goes off again. Cole says the GM doesn’t think he’s a coward, and neither is Lawler. Lawler and Orton vs. The Miz and Alex Riley is announced for tonight.
– We see CM Punk backstage with Nexus. Husky Harris is up to be initiated next. Punk brings out whips and says Husky must take 3 lashes from each Nexus member. Husky accepts and turns his back. Punk tells him to take his shirt off and he does. Otunga whips Husky first. Gabriel whips Husky three more times. Punk orders them to lift Husky up. Punk unleashes and whips Husky repeatedly. We go to commercial.
Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry vs. Tyson Kidd and Ted DiBiase
Back from commercial and both teams are already in the ring. Ted and Bryan start the match off. Bryan takes control early on and unloads with kicks. Ted turns it around by throwing Bryan to the floor. Kidd comes over and kicks Bryan while the ref’s back is turned. Ted brings Bryan back in for a 2 count. Kidd comes in and goes to work on Bryan, beating him down in the corner. Ted is tagged back in and keeps control of the United States Champion.
Bryan makes a comeback and tags in Henry as Kidd comes in. Henry runs right over Kidd. Henry charges for a big splash in the corner but Kidd moves. Ted comes in and they try a double dropkick but it won’t drop Henry. Henry takes them both down and hits the World’s Strongest Slam on Kidd for the win.
Winners: Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry
– We get hype for tonight’s tag team main event. We see Big Show backstage walking around as we go to commercial.
– After the break and a NXT recap video, out comes SmackDown star Big Show to the ring. Show is all smiles as he enters the ring. Show says its great to be back here on RAW and thanks the General Manager to have some time. Show addresses Wade Barrett first. Show says he’s going to knock Barrett out this week on SmackDown. Show talks about the Royal Rumble next and lets every Superstar know they’re on notice. Show says he’s coming to the Rumble and not playing games. The Nexus music hits and out comes CM Punk, Heath Slater, David Otunga and Justin Gabriel.
Nexus stops at the ramp. Otunga makes his way down to the ring, hesitating just a bit. Otunga stops and turns around to look at Punk before entering the ring. Otunga slaps Big Show. Otunga just stands there waiting on Show to hit him. Show kicks Otunga to the mat and tosses him out of the ring like a rag doll. Show comes after him and tosses him over the announcer’s table. Show hits Otunga with a huge knife edge chop and scoop slams him on the floor. Show then throws Otunga into the steel steps. Show brings Otunga back into the ring and chokeslams him as Punk and Nexus look on from the ramp. Show lifts Otunga’s head up and lays him out with a knockout punch to the head. Show’s music hits as Slater, Gabriel and Punk hold their fists up in the air from the ramp.
– We get hype for John Cena’s address tonight and Morrison vs. Sheamus. Back to commercial.
John Morrison vs. Sheamus
Back from commercial and out comes John Morrison for the next match. Out next comes Sheamus. The bell rings and they go back and forth. Sheamus hits a big knee to the gut and Morrison goes down. Sheamus stomps away an Morrison and drops more knees. Sheamus with another knee to the gut and a 2 count. Sheamus continues the beatdown on Morrison. Morrison tries to fight back but Sheamus won’t have it and gets another 2 count.
More back and forth action. Morrison with two clotheslines and a big heel kick to the jaw. They go at it in the corner. Sheamus kicks Morrison’s leg out from under him. Morrison counters Sheamus with a kick to the face. Morrison goes to the corner for Starship Pain but Sheamus stops him and dumps Morrison out to the floor. Morrison is out on the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Sheamus has Morrison down on the mat, working on his arm. Morrison fights out of it but Sheamus hits him with a big powerslam for a 2 count. Sheamus works Morrison over on the apron now and takes it back in the ring for another 2 count. Morrison tries to kick from the mat but Sheamus just stomps him and goes back to work on the arm.
Back from the break and Sheamus has Morrison down on the mat, working on his arm. Morrison fights out of it but Sheamus hits him with a big powerslam for a 2 count. Sheamus works Morrison over on the apron now and takes it back in the ring for another 2 count. Morrison tries to kick from the mat but Sheamus just stomps him and goes back to work on the arm. Morrison finally unloads on Sheamus in the corner. Sheaus charges but misses. Morrison goes for the flash kick but Sheamus ducks. Sheamus charges and Morrison dumps him over the ropes. Morrison flies over the ropes at Sheamus but Sheamus hits him with a big knee to the gut in mid-air. Back in the ring now and Sheamus gets ready for the big kick. Morrison falls to the mat and Sheamus just kicks him in the back. Sheamus takes Morrison to the top. Morrison counters and sends Sheamus flying to the mat.
Morrison comes from out of nowhere with a running knee to Sheamus’ face and gets the pinfall and the win.
Winner: John Morrison
– We go backstage with CM Punk, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel. Punk is holding two kendo sticks. He says their initiation will be them beating other with the sticks until he tells them to stop. They hesitate and won’t hit each other. Punk says they’re out if they don’t. Punk yells at them to hit each other. They stop and turn their attention to Punk. Punk holds his arms out and tells them to hit him then. Slater and Gabriel drop their kendo sticks and walk off.
– We get more Hall of Fame hype before going to commercial.
– We go to the ring with WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler. Lawler puts over WWE’s Hall of Fame and announces Shawn Michaels as the first member of the 2011 Class. We cut to a career highlight video for Michaels. We go back to the arena and Shawn’s music hits. He comes out to the stage and poses for the fans as his music and pyro goes off. Shawn heads down to the ring and takes the mic but doesn’t get a chance to speak as Alberto Del Rio’s music hits.
Del Rio comes out and introduces himself. He says Shawn used to be the Showstopper but isn’t anymore. He says the people used to cheer Michaels and this makes them start cheering or him now. Del Rio says he is the present and the future of WWE. Shawn is history, he says. Del Rio goes on talking trash until Shawn lays him out with Sweet Chin Music. Shawn’s music hits again and he dances around the ring, posing more for the fans. Shawn takes Del Rio’s scarf and puts it on before heading to the back, never having said a word.
– Back from commercial and The Miz is backstage looking at his WWE Title. Alex Riley walks up and is excited about their match tonight. Miz isn’t happy that everyone is talking about Randy Orton becoming the #1 contender. Miz says people should be talking about him. He’s upset about not getting respect and wants to demoralize Lawler and Orton tonight.
– We go to the ring where Michael Cole is preparing to introduce John Cena. CM Punk appears standing on top of the Titantron. Punk says this is his show now and we’re not talking about Cena. Punk wants to talk about the new Nexus. He says Husky, McGillicutty and Otunga sacrificed themselves tonight and proved worthy. Punk says he is prepared to do the same tonight. Punk says his initiation will be the ultimate sacrifice. Punk says this will prove he was a member of Nexus and was their leader. Punk asks the fans if he should dive off the tron and they cheer. Punk asks them if he should break every bone in his body and they cheer more.
Punk has one more question. Punk asks the fans how gullible are they. He shows that he’s wearing a harness under his shirt and has two guys spotting him. Punk says he is safer up there than anybody in their seats. Punk asks what kind of idiot jumps from the tron. Punk tells them to consider themselves initiated. Punk calls them the biggest, mindless group of sheep and laughs. Punk’s theme music hits as he poses on top of the tron. McGillicutty, Harris and Otunga, all looking beat up, come walking down the ramp as we go to replays of their initiations.
Punk is back down in the arena now as we see him making his way to the ring. Punk takes the mic and starts laughing at the fans for thinking he was actually going to jump off the tron. Punk takes off his one shirt to reveal the safety harness. Punk says he is mentally superior and would never think of doing something like that. Punk says he doesn’t need initiations. He is the leader of the new Nexus, he declares. Fans start chanting for Cena. Punk says Cena isn’t here, he got rid of him. Cena appears up on the big screen.
Cena says that he is here. He says that we saw the act of a delusional phony. He says that Punk is insincere and then insults him some more. Cena says that Punk is also wasting everyone’s time. Cena asks why would Punk put them through a physical initiation since he already did that. Cena says that there is one member that he has not initiated. Cena says that it is Punk.
Punk says that he is not afraid of Cena and he will not be intimidated in his ring on his show.
Cena wants Punk to prove it in a match next week on Raw.
Punk accepts the challenge and Cena says that he was hoping that Punk would. Cena says that everything that Punk said about him are right. If he is provoked, he will be the most animalistic person on the planet. Cena says that Punk will be dealt with next week. It ain’t about t-shirts or arm bands, it is about Cena whooping Punk’s ass.
We go to commercial.
The Miz and Alex Riley vs. Randy Orton and Jerry Lawler
Back from commercial and out comes WWE Champion The Miz with his tag team partner Alex Riley. Josh Matthews has joined Michael Cole on commentary. Out next comes WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler to a nice reaction from his home state crowd. Randy Orton is out last and gets the biggest pop of the night, besides Shawn Michaels.
It’s going to be Lawler and Riley starting things out. Miz talks trash to Lawler and distracts him, allowing Riley to beat Lawler down. Miz is tagged in now for a bit of double teaming. Miz with a big right hand to Lawler’s eye. Lawler fires back with a right then a series of rights on Miz. Miz goes outside and Lawler chases after him. Lawler slams Miz’s head into the announcer’s table a few times and rams him back into the apron. Lawler tosses Miz into the steel steps now. Lawler sends Miz back in the ring with a right hand. Miz catches him with a punch and tags in Riley. Lawler scoop slams Riley and tags in Orton.
Orton comes in and unloads on Riley in the corner. Riley catches Orton with a kick and tags in Miz. Miz comes in but Orton clotheslines him. Orton starts stomping on Miz now. Lawler comes back in and hits Miz with right jabs. Lawler takes it to the corner and continues to control Miz with right hands. Miz drops Lawler with a boot to the face and mounts him with a series of right hands. Miz stomps away as the referee pulls him off. Miz with a headlock on Lawler. Miz continues the assault on Lawler as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Lawler is going at it with Riley in the ring. Riley charger shoulder first in the corner and Lawler moves. Lawler drops Riley with another right hand and goes for the tag. Orton comes in but the referee didn’t see the tag. Miz comes in behind the refs back and stomps on Lawler, dragging him back. Miz drops Orton off the apron to the floor. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale on Lawler but Orton comes in from behind and drops him with an RKO, all while the ref was distracted by Riley. Lawler covers Miz but only gets a 2 count after the RKO. Orton is tagged in and comes in to hit clotheslines and a powerslam on Riley. Orton with the backbreaker now. Orton catches Riley on the apron and brings him back in with the second rope DDT. Orton hits the mat but gets back up when he sees Miz behind him. Riley is recovering and takes advantage. Riley charges Orton from behind but Orton counters with an RKO. Orton stares down Miz some more.
Orton tags in Lawler and goes back to staring at The Miz, keeping him from entering the ring. Lawler comes off the rope onto Riley and covers him for the pinfall and the win.
Winners: Randy Orton and Jerry Lawler
– After the match, Orton continues to stare right through The Miz as he picks up the WWE Title and heads up the ramp. Riley is trying to recover on the floor but is still down as Miz backs up the ramp. Cole and Matthews plug Punk vs. Cena next week. RAW goes off the air with the staredown between Orton and Miz still going on.