Michael Cole hates your face and Jerry Lawler makes him sick like Strawberry Quik, but he's still here.
Instead of Jerry, though, we have Josh "Announcing Was My Plan B" Matthews instead.
The King is back home, but the matches are not.
All the way from Manchester, it's time for Raw and we have a show ready to rock you like a Hurricane…er, without the Hurricane, I mean.
Rock you without the Hurricane.
He got released.
Either way, you're getting rocked, so just smile and thank the Head Cole Miner in Charge for his bountiful gifts because it's uncensored, uncut, and pretaped…It's Raw!
You're either Nexus or you're not in the opening segment because the Natural Born Thrillers are taking the stage and there's a podium, so you know this is official.
As The Nexus Slaveboy, John Cena, reads an overblown introduction from a 1776-style scroll, The boys in N take to the ring and defer the spotlight to their hometown leader, Wade Barrett.
Wade starts things off with a big thank you for Johnny The Butler.
Although Barrett admits to writing the intro himself, he still commends John's speaking ability before basking in the glow of his hometown crowd.
Greasy Wade and his 1950s hairdo announce that he has a party planned for his Manchester brethren.
Ain't no party like a Nexus Party 'cause a Nexus party don't stop.
But first, he has to address some issues from last week.
Roll the footage, daddio.
Video Clip: David Otunga's Smackdown Invasion Epic Fail.
Brill Cream Barrett dresses down David for his inability to lead when taking control.
After hearing some harsh words, Otunga was sent back to his place in line so the boss can turn his attention to Cena.
Once more, we get some long explanation that leads to a video package…
Video Clip: Last week, referee John Cena's inattention to detail lead to a tainted loss for the Nexus.
Dangerous Danny Davis would be proud.
Dubya-Bee demands that the Doctor of Thuganomics explains himself.
Always the joker, J.C. starts to tell his personal story dating back to a Smackdown Halloween (he calls it Thanksgiving) episode dressed as a rapper.
He jabbers on the timeline of his career until a frustrated Barrett shuts him down.
The two exchange some unpleasantries but John reminds him that come Survivor Series, his slave days are over.
When that day happens, he'll give them all "the beating of a lifetime."
"Real cute, Cena, but we know that I hold your destiny in the palm of hands."
- Wade Barrett
Then, in a scene similar to U.S. Bates making Ned Beatey drop his pants in the movie "The Toy", Wade makes Johnny Boy announce him as the new WWE Champion.
Despite not winning the title yet, Barrett insists and then, well, then the crazy head voices man comes out to play.
Randy Orton's music hits and the Texas Rattlesnake, er, uh…Viper comes out to speak his mind.
He tells the Cheif ExecutiveNexuser that he'll get his title shot at Survivor Series.
But forget all about the referee.
Focus on Ace Cowboy Bob's kid.
- Ding, Ding, You've Got GM-Mail -
"I've received an email from the anonymous Raw General Manager.
And I quote, 'Wade Barrett's championship celebration preview has been officially canceled.
Also, to insure that there is a decisive victory the WWE title match at Survivor Series must be won by pinfall or submission only.
And furthermore, I am officially announcing that the remaining members of Nexus will be banned from ringside!
But Wade, that's at Survivor Series.
As for tonight, since Wade Barrett has an army behind him, Randy Orton will have one as well.
Team Barrett comprised of Nexus will take on Team Orton in a ten man tag team match!...The special guest referee for this match will be John Cena!" - Michael Cole
John Cena will serve as the special referee because that's what he does now.
He's a special enforcer referee.
His gimmick used to be that of a white soldier rapper.
Now it's that of a big name star who just debuted in TNA.
In a fit of rage, Cena then pushes the podium down.
This leads to David Otunga, who really loves podiums, to come and confront him.
John pushes him down too and everything ends. We move on to other things.
"The Diva's Cup".
Hey! That's also the nickname Batista gave his jockstrap.
Burger King is giving away a Kinect accessory to a customer every 15 minutes.
Nothing like a giant Whopper to get you in the zone for a good workout.
1. The Bella Twins and Eve defeated Maryse, Alicia Fox, and Tamina
This match had a football theme because they're really into it over in Manchester.
The two teams wore competing jerseys.
In America, we call football "soccer".
We also call it "something the U.S. pretends to care about only when the World Cup is on because they think it makes them seem really sophisticated".
During this match we had an ad for next week's three hour "Old School Raw" complete with classic WWF symbol.
It's always nice to get a show like that.
You know, where they bring out Sgt Slaughter in full gimmick just to remind you how old you are.
Maybe we'll get Jimmy Snuka in his tinted grandpa glasses.
If you've noticed, I'm not really talking about this match because there was nothing to really talk about.
Even wearing the cheap heat-getting jerseys, these six couldn't get a reaction.
When things finally came to a close, it was "Twin Magic" (Masked Confusion Bzzzz) that swaps out the Bellas for a pinfall. Oh, and here's the kicker - there's no actual cup.
"You don't actually think we would have spent money on a cup for this match, did you?"
- Michael Cole
Maybe it's me.
I know it's funny and all, but there's a stinging realism to what Cole says and it makes me sometimes wonder why I'm even watching.
It's like, "Ha ha, Michael!
That match sucked!
I wish someone was paying me to watch it too."Click.
Nexus is backstage and they're just standing in a locker room shoulder-to-shoulder.
As luck would have it, when Davey Otunga finally opens his mouth, Greasy Wade Barrett walks in.
GWB calls The Old Tounger out for this big talk lately.
As punishment, he will not be a part of Team Nexus tonight.
Instead, he will face John Cena.
He'll do it next…us.
Actually, he didn't say that it was next or the "us" part at the end.
It just sort of fit so I put it in there.
Commercial Break. Big Show's new movie "Knucklehead" is out on DVD.
They gave it that title so that it would be easier for the checkout people to think of a word to describe you as you buy it.
1992 St. Matilda Elementary School
Mrs. Smith, thank you for joining us today.
It seems that David has been having some trouble with other students lately which has lead to some physical altercations.
We've tried to explain to him that he can't resort to violence even when the children call him - hang on, I have it written down here - "son of a man with Tracy Chapman hair."
Also, the glittery Union Jack cape you dressed him in on picture day didn't do him any favors.
The Uso Twins defeated The Hart Dynasty
How many twins do they have on this show?
I'm pretty surprised that they haven't hooked the Usos up with the Bella Twins yet.
That would be pretty cool.
Maybe have one set on Raw as faces and one set on Smackdown as heels.
Have all their opponents get confused and jump the wrong people all the time.
It would be funny.
At this point, though, I think the Usos are alright.
After all, they go from WWE Superstars afterthoughts to defeating the Harts.
No clue what that's all about.
Must be the nonsensical tag team repush they used to do to Cade and Murdoch every other month.
The dissention between DH and TK continued and it Tyson looks like he's leaning heel.
Michael Cole likes him better.
That's how you know. He compares Smith's personality to a "chalk board", which is an insult because a chalk board isn't a person.
It's a thing!
Things don't have personalities!
Chalk board, bitch!
This match was the second that seemed to be mired in an apathetic crowd.
As it dragged on, so didthe reactions.
By time the British Bullpup was nailed by Jey Uso's very creative "big splash" finisher, it was all over.
Still to come:Santino Marella throws a Tea Party for Sheamus.
Cole exclaims "A TEA PARTY!"
Weird - the stuff that gets this dude excited.
I think those "5 Hour Energy Shots" have to have some sort of black magic in them.
I don't be messin' with dat black magic.
Matt Striker is backstage with Randy Orton and the question everyone wants to know.
Who does Randy think the GM will choose as his partners?
Dandy Randy says he has no clue, but then the Miz shows his face.
Grinning like a goon, Mike tells Ort that he's one of those hand-picked partners and he makes the team…Awesome!
Elsewhere, Nexus is doing that weird locker room side-by-side thing again.
This time, they're laughing and playing grab-arse or whatever.
When David Otunga arrives, they all clam up.
Obviously sensing the resentment, he asks his bro-hos to have his back and everything.
The group, however, doesn't have his rah-rah "Nexus or Against Us" attitude.
When Justin Gabriel questions whether D.O. has gone through Wade for this, he's told to forget about all that.
Otunga says that it's their decisions to make.
As David walks off, they all mutter amongst themselves about the goofy gargoyle and his delusions of grandeur.
Empire City Casino has a commercial featuring a talking pony in a casino.
Here's the deal.
If you see a talking donkey in a casino, you've been gambling too long.
Probably drinking too.
Now Ted DiBiathhhhy, if you weel, the 'Merican Dream done say my thhhhhon isth gonna give ya boy a whoopin', yaseewha'umsayn?
My name's not Ted DiBiase.
It's Rob. I work at this McDonald's.
Do you want to order something?
I take a happy meal, if you weel.
…And why are you talking like that?
You're not Dusty Rhodes.
I know who that is.
You're an old lady.
Well, I just like, to, uh, it's fun to, um…shut up.
Leave me alone.
Just give me a Filet-o-Fish and a small Sanka.
3. Goldust pinned Ted DiBiase
You know how some kids scream at their dads, "Leave me alone!
I'm not like you!
I don't want to be you!"?
Well, Ted used to scream the exact opposite at his old man.
He's a bushy beard and tin foil tuxedo away from totally being the Million Dollar Poppa at this point.
This feud isn't bad, but at this point, I thought Ted would be much further along on the ladder. Things take time, I guess.
In a weird moment, Michael Cole talks about his jealousy of Maryse.
She gets to have "money and love thrown at her by Ted DiBiase."
He's into Ted too.
In fact, he hasn't been the same since Heidenreich.
Anyway, in the ring, the battle between both of Sapphire's illegitimate children (JG Note: Shhhh…it's a secret) rages on.
Suddenly, Ted's girlfriend realizes the whole point of what's happening here.
It’s not about the match.
It's about getting the belt back from the Golden One.
She runs over, grabs the title, and happily stands at ringside with it.
All looks lost until Mrs. Aksana Dust runs up the aisle and snatches the belt from the French Canadian.
Mary goes nuts but it only gets worse.
In the ring, Dustin rolls up Teddy Jr and gets himself a three count.
Ding, ding, ding.
It's all over. Goldy eagerly runs off to Tweet some sort of batshit insane message about golden urine and breakfast cereal.
I still haven't seen Avatar.
I don't want to either.
I saw the Smurfs as a kid.
To me, that's good enough.
4. John Cena defeated David Otunga via submission.
Michael Cole and Josh Matthews hype this match as our opportunity to see John Cena be John Cena rather than a Nexus member.
Just to solidify this point, Otunga was joined by the entire N Army.
But just as it looked like he had some back up, they all turned around…and walked away.
Oh, I'm not livin' without you,
I'm not livin' without you.
I don't wanna be free.
And you! And you! And you!
You're gonnnaaaaa ditch me.
The only statement on this was Wade Barrett's stop and surly stare.
Amazingly, Cole is able to glean a two paragraph monologue going on in Barrett's head.
It was some crazy ass Derren Brown stuff.
But, long story short, David's Nexus are now his exes and he has nothing to do but fight on his own.
There was a dueling "Let's Go Cena" and "Cena Sucks" chant which is always fun.
What's truly amazing is that these two huge groups of people with such differing views on the show's top star, manage to still work together in a finding a balanced rhythm for their screaming five word debate.
One says, "Let's go Cena" while the other listens quietly.
The respond back, "Cena Sucks".
Again, the opposing side politely sits by.
And so on. If only the world leaders would deal with one another the way Cena fans and haters do…if only.
While all this is going on, Ortunga taps.
Way to go, Smelly.
No wonder your friends hate you.
This commercial didn't air on TV, but I have to talk about it.
Canadian Bulldog today on the message board mentioned that Ric Flair is charging $1000 for a five minute video call with him.
That's right, fans.
Just $200 a minute.
Or, of course, you can just run up to him at the mall and go, "HEY RIC FLAIR!"
That's still free.
But yeah, $1000.
A regular phone call is just $500.
I gotta tell you - and I've really thought about this - there is nothing at all in the world - nothing - that I would pay Ric Flair $1000 to do for five minutes.
Paint my house?
Longer than five minutes.
Give me a haircut?
Walk the dog?
Not unless I have ten million dogs.
But just when I think there will be no one on this Earth who would pay him such an insane amount of money for such a short period of time, I keep thinking, "Oh yeah.
David Otunga is all crying like a girl as he ices his neck.
When Wade Barrett comes in, he puts his arm around the injured A-Lister.
He reminds him how he's been defeated three times in a row and gives him one last chance to not be against us.
Go to Smackdown.
If you don't, you're out of the group, Shmitty.
Tea Time with Santino Marella is up.It's insane.
Both Tino and Vladimir Kozlov are dressed like fine Englishmen and it's just shocking how goofy they've decided to make Kozlov.
He looks ridiculous.
This is the guy who got the coveted Triple H feud first, right? Right. Even Michael Cole brings up the Laurel and Hardy comparisons while the duo stand among their tea set and Marella addresses the crowd.
I kept trying to review this, but it was basically a standup comedy act.
I'm not going to write out all his jokes.
He shouts out Mr. Bean and talks about the way the Manchester folks drive on the other side of the road.
(JG Note: This is something I learned from Matt Hardy's "I Must Not Have Been Sent Home Because I'm Not At Home" video)
Eventually, Sheamus hits the ring and joins the vaudeville act at the tea party table.
Santa offers him many teas, but stops short at "ginger tea."
He gets a cheer but also a sneer from "Shay-moose".
As Santino picks at S.O.S. for his milky white skin and anger issues, he actually gets laughs from the audience.
"When you were growing up, you probably got excluded from activities with the other kids because you are ginger."
- Santino Marella
The whole segment was so bizarre.
In the U.S., they'd be throwing chairs into the ring at this point.
The UK crowd sat and watched.
It was all fun and games until Marella tries to make peace.
He fibs and says that he can't remember why there's heat between him and The Celtic Warrior.
That's when Vladimir finally speaks up and reminds us all that The Miracle of Milan had once pinned Sheamus and it was the "biggest upset in Double Double E history".
Shaken, Santino tries to calm the simmering Ginger Pale Kid with a pot of piping hot tea.
But as he pours, he slips and the angry Irishman gets a steaming lapful.
He angrily stands up and pushes the table aside when we get the ol' 1996 style computer beep followed by…
"Can I have your attention, please?
I've received another email from the Raw gm.
And I quote, the time for tea and crumpets has come to an end.
It's now time for action.
Clear the ring and clear Vladimir Kozlov from ringside as well because Santino Marella is going one on one with Sheamus." - Michael Cole
Much better segment than it seems on paper.
With a proper audience, things like this can get over.
In front of a hostile crowd, it would have had a much different impact.
Call of Duty Black Ops comes out at midnight.
Grab your noob tubes.
"Folks, you're not going to want to miss this train wreck."
- Michael Cole
5. Sheamus defeated Santino Marella via disqualification
As the match begins, Santino rips off his shirt and reveals his ring gear underneath.
When Josh Matthews asks why it's on, Michael Cole tells him that all superstars do that.
As the match began, Marella ran away from his angry Irish challenge. Into the crowd, he cowered. That's when the beep beep rings out…
"And I quote, Santino Marella, you have two choices.
Get back in the ring and compete or be immediately suspended."
- Michael Cole
No word on whether he'd be suspended from just wresting and still be able to do silly skits where he mispronounces the celebrity host's name.
Either way, he returns to the ring and Sheamus goes to town.
He pounds away on S.M., but is eventually doubled over by a stunning low blow to the babalones.
Ring the bell.
We have a disqualification.
That doesn't stop the bright white hope.
Sheamus lifts Santino up for a post-match powerbomb until he's saved by…John Morrison!
The crowd goes wild!
Of course, "wild" is Manchester slang for "bored".
Johnny Nitro saves his pisan and they all live happily ever after.
Backstage, John Cena watches a WrestleMania commercial as Wade Barrett approaches.
He urges the Mighty J.C. to do what's right.
Award him the WWE Championship at Survivor Series or else you're fired…and you'll miss WrestleMania.
No more glory.
No more pay-per-view.
No more teachers' dirty looks.
But get it all back just by doing what's right.
Wade's the champ and you just have to confirm it.
You're either Nexus or you're sick of this catchphrase.
Feel like Aretha Franklin?
Eat a Snicker's.
Stand Up For WWE Campaign - Second and Third Generation Stars talk about why they love WWE.
It's a nice segment that's ruined by the whole "Stand Up for WWE" gimmick.
It seems too defensive.
Why not just show the videos rather than painting it out like, "We're doing this because people hate us"?
Just do it.
Up Next: Nexus vs. Against Us
Newsflash…In a recent Facebook post, Eric Bischoff referred to the Nexus angle as boring.
We caught up with him to verify these statements and, again, he stood by them.
When asked why a show dominated by a "boring" storyline was drawing three times the audience of TNA, Mr. Bischoff promptly pretended to get an important telephone call, politely excused himself from the room, and then shot himself in the face.
Heath Slater Untrue Fact: As a child, Heath played the role of annoying neighbor, Harriet, on TV's "Small Wonder."
Wade Barrett, Husky Harris, Justin Gabriel, Michael McGillicutty, and Heath Slater defeated Randy Orton, The Miz, Mark Henry, R-Truth, and Daniel Bryan
I know I mocked it in the prematch mocking, but Eric Bischoff's point of view on Nexus makes no sense.
This is the best thing WWE has done in years for a number of reasons.
One is that if any of these guys has the potential to be a true star, this is the biggest chance they have to show everyone.
If even just one of them breaks out big time, it'll be a success.
John Cena could do little to restore order as the referee as both teams had a hard time staying out of the ring action.
When the absentee and estranged Nexus member, David Otunga stepped out from behind the curtain and up the aisle, we all held our breath.
Well, I did.
No I didn't.
But I'm sure someone did.
Anyway, he showed up and no one knew what to expect.
He didn't do much at first.
Rather, Dave stood at ringside and simply watched the action in the ring.
As that went on, the debate at the broadcast table was whether Cena had done too much to his legacy to ever go back to "the way he was".
I guess it's true.
Who'd have thought he'd end up being such a beeotch for a heel stable?
The biggest reactions came from Mark Henry's confrontation with Husky Harris, Daniel Bryan's big offensive moves, and Randy Orton's hot tag in.
When Randall finally hit the ring, the Miz closely followed behind.
After a brawl that saw the members of both teams share a chance to shine, the Real World star pounced.
Quiet and inconspicuous the whole match, Mike waited for Orton to spring for the RKO before rushing in and hitting the Skull Crushing Finale.
Miz is not in Nexus, but it doesn't appear he's against them either.
Miz broke the Space Time Continuum.
After the bell, we rewatch the finish, which also saw Miz's Alex Riley run in with a briefcase shot, and Matthews says we're rewatching it so we can all figure it out what happened together.
It's not really that complicated, Josh.
Haven't you ever watched this show?
Raw ends with Wade Barrett being carried away on the shoulders of his N World Order.
God Save The Barrett as we fade to black.
All in all..Better than a typical show for WWE.
That's the best way to put it.
Not the best show you'll ever see.
But not awful. It was a'ight. Something to watch if you don't like "The Event".
It all was saved by Santino… in a way.
Hear me out.
We know we're getting a Marella segment nearly every week.
If that segment gets over, it sort of sets the pace for everthing else.
Santa got a ton of time tonight and made it work.
The crowd loved it and helped make the whole thing come off funnier than it would have in front of another.
So, it's Santino…with an assist from the audience.
You know what I hate though?
They have talk shows in the ring now.
What the hell am I talking about?
Back in the 80s, the talk segments had a cheesy backdrop.
Piper's Pit had the photos on the wall.
Adrian Adonis had a full blown flower shop.
Brother Love had a big red velvet stage.
Now, they toss some chairs in the ring and they call it a talk show.
It seems like such a step back.
Speaking of 80s, keep your old school Raw.
If you want to show a three hour "best of WWE" video, I'll watch it.
But to parade out the same list of retirees that they do each time gets tiring.
I liked them in 1990.
I also liked fingerboards and Simpsons T-Shirts. Stop shaking the nostalgia tree.
It's going to fall soon.
So I covered things I don't like, but you know who I like?
He really lucked out that his face paint and outfit nearly cover him entirely.
He can play this gimmick at 60 and still look fairly similar.
He could be a gorilla under all that make up and we'd have no clue.
Thankfully this whole Cena-Otunga- Nexus-Hillbilly Jim thing comes to an end soon.
When you're at this stage of a storyline developing, you know you have to wait for things to happen.
Right now we're in a holding pattern - teasing developments and hyping future dates.
It'll be interesting to see where this goes.
That does it for me.
Be sure to check out Mike Johns and his TNA Turning Point review.
Mike Johns holds the distinction of being the most read writer online by people who search for "Mike Johnson" on Google and accidentally press the enter key too early.
He also has a keen eye for what he likes and never apologizes for his thoughts, which makes his recaps some really honest and hard-hitting stuff.
Plus, Aaron Wood has a live report from the scene of this show up now.
Tomorrow, he'll have the same for Smackdown.
Been a hell of a night.
It felt just like the old days again, except this time we're closer to the Mayan Apocalypse.
Other than that, it's the same.