raw(lite): holding court


Answer one of the following questions in no more than 1300 words. All outside material and electronic devices must be left outside the assessment room.

1) There are several schools of thought on Maryse and Ted DiBiase Jr’s union; romantic love, the pursuit of money and status, the strengthening of international relations between France and the US, for example. Align yourself with one school of thought and give detailed reasons for your answer.

2) Discuss the events which took place following King Sheamus of Ireland’s ascent to the throne on 23rd August 2010.

3) Alicia Fox is the most accomplished female wrestler in the WWE. Discuss.

All answers must be your own. Those who plagiarise the work of others will be punished with a mark of zero.


On 23rd August 2010, Sheamus of Ireland began his appearance on Monday Night Raw by tormenting the Los Angeles townsfolk’s children, much to their distress. He insinuated that one of the children was overweight, although the famous Irish/British football chant beginning “Who ate all the pies?” was unfamiliar to the courtiers in attendance, sparing Sheamus legal action from the child’s parents.
It was expected that such deplorable behaviour would be punished, but Sheamus was unexpectedly made King of the WWE and was required to take his throne immediately. It was suggested by the new King’s advisor, known as The Anonymous GM, that he choose his very own opponent for the defence of his crown at the forthcoming Night of Champions gathering. Possible suitors were to parade their skills in front of King Sheamus throughout the evening to assist him in selecting a worthy opponent.

Knights of Canadian descent proved to be most successful in the early part of the evening. Edge of Toronto beat R-Truth of North Carolina, followed by Indian The Great Khali’s defeat at the hands of Chris Jericho of Winnipeg. Both Edge and Jericho spoke highly of themselves as they passed the king on their exit from the arena. Although, those in attendance were particularly impressed with Jericho, who applied an excellent Walls of Jericho move on a man significantly larger and taller than himself.
Despite Edge and Jericho’s vocal recommendations for themselves, King Sheamus remained silent while he pondered his choice. It is then thought that the competition to be the number one contender departed while the ladies of the king’s court performed for the gathered crowd. Melina, a beauty native to the town who held the jewelled title of most successful Diva at the time, was to defend her crown against Jillian Hall. Ms. Hall of Louisville, who was known for her deluded operatic skills and infamous decolletage, was unsuccessful during this particular contest and Melina remained the most important lady in the House of Raw. However, before she departed the arena, Melina received a video message from the most important women in the House of Smackdown.
Not only was there fierce competition within each House, but the desire to be the most important competitors in the land was true for both men and women. Although, male competition was presented significantly more regularly and was held in far higher esteem. In my opinion, this was grossly misguided.
The king’s advisor called a young renegade group of knights known as The Order of the Nexus to the court to inform them in front of crowd that the previous treaty barring them from competing for any royal titles had been revoked. The lead knight (an Englishman known as Wade Barrett) spoke for the group, informing Sheamus that their gentleman’s agreement to avoid competing against each would now be broken.
The competition continued with one of the most famous of all knights, John Cena, competing against The Miz. He was much revered at the time, as he held the prestigious chest known as ‘The Money in the Bank Briefcase’. Unfortunately for the young fighter, an old rival sabotaged his match and assisted John Cena in beating him. The rival, sometimes known as Daniel Bryan but thought to be born Bryan Danielson, continued to fight with the Miz after the initial tussle had ended.
One of the court transcribers, Michael Cole, had much to say on this particular happening. His angry and personal outbursts concerning Daniel Bryan are well documented. King Sheamus is known to have left the arena at this juncture while the court jester, an Italian named Santino Marella, performed a comedy skit for the audience. This performance also involved a Russian known as Vladimir Koslov and two American-Samoans – The Usos. The skit is thought to have culminated in an unusual alliance between Santino and Tamina, the female companion of the Usos. She is thought to have saved him from a beating at the hands of her regular companions, even blowing him a kiss before leaving.
King Sheamus returned to arena briefly while one of his most recent rivals, Randy Orton of St Louis, took on the local fighter John Morrison and Ted DiBiase Jr, the wealthy heir to his famous father’s fortune. Knowing that he did not wish to defend his crown against any of the competitors in the ring, King Sheamus left the arena to prepare for his announcement. After an even fight, Randy Orton won the match by applying an RKO and pinning the hirsute John Morrison.
King Sheamus was ready to announce who he would defend his title against at the Night of Champions Ball and appeared in front of his subjects in a jolly mood. After his evening of entertainment he decided that he would fight Zack Ryder of Long Island, New York. But the king would not wait until Night of Champions. He was to defend his crown immediately that evening. The crowd did not approve of this as they believed he had deliberately selected a weaker opponent to guarantee a win. Ryder, however, was grateful for the opportunity and took King Sheamus on with relish.
As the image above depicts, the young pretender lost in grand fashion. Having a clear and firm grasp of the rules within the boundaries of the WWE, Sheamus announced that, having defended his crown that evening, he would not be required to defend it again for 30 days. He spoke of his plans to return to Ireland and bathe in the adoration of his home country’s people, while the rest of the courtiers and courtesans continued to perform. However, in his haste to leave the country, Sheamus had missed a few minor loop-holes in the rules.
He was joined by Wade Barrett, who reminded Sheamus that as the winner of the first run of NXT bouts, he was entitled to an opportunity to take any crown he wanted at any time. With the treaty barring him from competing lifted, Barrett revealed that he would be tendering for Sheamus’s crown at the Night of Champions event.
With this loop-hole so carelessly missed, King Sheamus had no choice but to cancel his voyage to the homeland and put his crown on the line. As he would be obliged to compete anyway, The Anonymous GM decided the make the fight even more competitive with the addition of Chris Jericho, Edge, Randy Orton and John Cena. King Sheamus was extremely unhappy with this developement, but had no choice in the matter. The evening ended when the veterans put young Barrett to the test, attacking him as a group and then attacking each other.


raw(lite): brothers in armbands

With Summerslam 24 hours in the past, last week’s Raw had a whole load of questions to apply answers to. Summoning the resolve of many a magnificent British leader, Wade Barrett assembled his allies in the ring to impose upon everyone the notion that their team was more unified than ever. Of course, this kind of solemn reflection could not go on for long before John Cena pounced out in his purple shirt to drop a gaggle of pop culture references (technical term) on us all. Some of which made sense, some of which were confusing to even my knowledgable Transatlantic self.

Cena took it upon himself to throw jibes at each one of Nexus individually. Otunga’s a gigolo to his much more famous wife, Tarver is a bank robbing MMA fighter who strips in his spare time, Heath Slater looks like an illustrated child who happens to be the face of an American fast food chain, Darren Young is his brother from another ….errrrr…..daddy, Justin Gabriel – he’s gay (hehehe) and Skip Sheffield is dumb as a donkey. Right, that’s John Cena’s stand-up out of the way. Now on to some action. It was agreed that each one of the Nexus would have a match against a member of the roster. If any of them lost, they were out on their ear.

Serious times indeed.

Wade was up first against his former mentor-man Chris Jericho. A nice little match but there’s no way they’re getting rid of Wade, so he picked up the first win for the big N. This was followed by a hideous guest host bit, which lead us to the arrival of the Hart Dynasty and Bret Hart. Justin Gabriel appeared on the titantron and announced that Bret may have experienced many a move in his long career, but he’d never been at the business end of his……

Is this not the strangest looking bunch of boys you've ever seen?

The prodigal son, Daniel Bryan, was back in the fold and ready to take on Michael Tarver. Michael Cole flicked his dick switch on and continued to slag Bryan off throughout.  If you think you’re getting seven clean matches, you need your head read and this match certainly wasn’t sanitary. Still angry that his former tutee had taken his place in the Summerslam main event, the Miz marched out with his plastic briefcase in hand and his new rookie in toe to take Bryan out of the match. Tarver wins.

Justin Gabriel was all excited about taking an old man out with his furr fufty splush, but it seems the still anonymous GM wasn’t too keen. So who, pray tell, might replace Bret in this match?

Well the Twix ladies were happy anyway.

Long story short, Sheamus interfered and caused Randy to lose as the result of a count-out. Justin did get to feel the wrath of an RKO though…. as did the champ. He’s a moody sod, that Randy Orton. Skip Sheffield and David Otunga beat JoMo and R-Truth to secure their places in the Nexus, then we were “treated” to a 6-Diva tag match which had no impact upon the rest of the show or the Divas title itself. If you can’t hear me, I’m sighing. Sighing hard. The bad kind of sigh. Not the good kind.

Maryse may have had one too many white wine spritzers at the Summerslam after-party.

Heath Slater managed to keep himself in a job when he eliminated Edge by count-out AGAIN. Edge then asserted his authority by leaving Slater doubled over in pain. Death by snarl!


There was just one match left and amazingly all six guys had managed to dodge the dole queue. Darren Young, however, left through the back door and with his P45 in hand. The boys in black and amber warned him earlier in the show that his opponent of choice might be a step too far and he really should have listened. I’ll spare you any Black John Cena jokes. They’re six months old now and while I’m guilty of a little recycling from time to time, even I’m fed up of them. And I love a cheap joke. Poor old Darren Young. Even with his brothers in armbands spectating from the top of the ramp for support, he of the scary hair met his fate at the hands of an excessively confident Cena. And what was to become of the only little boy to lose his match?

We're a gorgeous race of people.

Survival of the fittest, baby! And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

raw(lite): thar she blows!

It is widely agreed that last week’s Raw was one of the best of the year. So, ‘last week’s Raw’…..what made you so great?

The Money in the Bank PPV was 24 hours in the past and it was time to look forward to Summerslam. With Sheamus the WWE champ, he needed an opponent. So without a second to lose, Randy Orton, Edge and Jericho fought it out to decide who got to be the Number One Contender. They had a spectacular  match in which all three could easily have taken it at any point. But with Randy Orton the only partial face in the ring, he was the most likely winner.

Orton did indeed win and the WWE Universe became so obsessed with The Viper that they started a Twitter campaign in which they called for him to join Twitter. I spent most of Tuesday grumbling about the fangirls filling their Twitter-feeds with #RANDYORTON #RANDYORTON #RANDYORTON #RANDYORTON, but fair play to the kids, they got their man. John Cena texted Randy to let him know that Twitter wanted him and by the end of the day both Mr. RKO and Mrs. RKO were in possession of Twitter accounts. People power! Of course, far more interesting than all this is that William Regal now has an account. The only shame is that it looks as if he won’t be updating that often. Still…….


Back to the show. With the N1C out of the way, Edge and Jericho were left with nothing to do. Edge called Jericho back out, they squabbled a bit, then the Nexus arrived and mauled Edge. Jericho found this to be fantastic, but he too found himself at the business end of beating when leader-man Wade Barrett expressed his displeasure that Jerchico’s been claiming that Wade’s success is his success. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing how much impact Wade Barrett’s had lately. In March he was an FCW regular, now he’s ruling the roost on Raw. Even Josh Matthews now refers to him as ‘Mr. Barrett’ and ‘sir’. Nice.

If you remember, the MITB PPV ended with John Cena in a fit of rage. Come Raw, the fury had subsided but John was in full ‘Serious-Times’ mode. Live via satellite from……the locker room, John asked to meet Mr. Barrett in the ring later in the show to deliver a message. Jerry Lawler, who was most concerned about this, questioned John on why he would do such a thing.

...assemble a team of your pals to help you beat 'em? Wait. That's not a spoiler or anything. Actually, sod it, it's been a week. You already know how this works out.

The Raw Divas division is lacking, to say the least, so they can’t really afford for Maryse to spend a month or so flouncing about on the arm of a millionaire. She was back in the ring again last week against Eve. Sadly, by the time I managed to pick up my mug of tea, take a few sips and put it down again, it was over. Ted DiBiase, who happened to spend a few seconds on commentary, lost his rag with the ref when he realised Maryse had been duped out of a win. We all love a hero, but dude, don’t fight her battles for her. It’s not becoming. You know what else isn’t becoming? John Morrison.

I know, right? Look at him there with his airbrushed jeans, silicone-like abs and the hair-do of a small girl. Yet nothing. Not a single heart-beat skipped. It seems being able to string a sentence together is more important to me than I even realised.

Sheamus came out to announce that he’d made a gentleman’s agreement with the Nexus that if he didn’t get involved with their business, they’d leave him alone. Seems fair. The Miz, now in possession of a special briefcase, had something to add. It’s amazing how such a rubbish piece of plastic can mean so much, isn’t it? Anyway, Miz just wanted Sheamus to know that he was to become his very own stalk-machine, primed and ready to swipe the WWE title from his waist/shoulder (delete as appropriate) at any moment. A Sting impression later and Sheamus was angry enough to throw a tantrum.

....because I've been waiting for ages for a legitimate reason to post a picture of Paul Newman. (And everyone loves taking the mick out of Sting.)

The GM was fed up with all this throwing of wobblers, so he sent Evan Bourne out to teach Sheamus a lesson. The Miz sat at ringside stroking his briefcase in the manner of  Blofeld, waiting for his moment to pounce. Sheamus went on to win the match, which you would think might give Miz pause for thought regarding the pounce. Not our Mizzy. While Sheamus was lording it up in celebration, Miz jabbed the briefcase into his ribs and, pacing back and forth, he pondered whether to cash in the contract or not. Miz applied his finisher, chucked his briefcase over the ropes and declared himself officially ‘cashing-in’.

The ending seems pretty much a given, right? Nope. R-Truth ran out, Miz called off the match just before the bell ding-ding-dinged and they chased each other out of the arena.The saga continues……..

Santino and Koslov had a pretty uneventful tag match against Zack Ryder and William Regal, then Wade Barrett swung himself down the ramp, pursed his lips repeatedly and hung round for a match against Mark Henry. Nexus were under strict orders not to show up at ringside, but nobody said anything about the stage, so they appeared just long enough to distract Mark, allowing Wade to do a John Cena and spread him across his rather fine shoulders. In real life news, apparently Wade’s back isn’t quite as strong as Mr. Cena’s and he managed to do a spot of damage to the ole lumbar region.

Thar she blows!

I hear it’s none too serious though, so all should be well come tonight’s show. With another victory in the bag, it was time for John Cena to make his big announcement. Would John Cena join Nexus? How exciting would that be, eh? A HEEL JOHN CENA! John thought about it for a minute. He pontificated and pondered but after a lingering look to the crowd, Cena decided that his merchandising sale percental just couldn’t handle it. Following another promise of GBH from Barrett, John marched back up the ramp, turned around and vowed to take all seven heathens out one-by-one at Summerslam. But wait, he’s no dummy. Quietly, calmly and secretly, John had been assembling a crack-team of assailants to bring down this brood of cheeky youngsters. So, which members of the roster had ‘leader-of-the-good-guys’ persuaded to join him?

Team Good-Guys chased Team Bad-Guys away and the crowd rejoiced. But by far my favourite thing about this unveiling of the team members was Wade Barrett’s ‘Fucking hell’ (or something along those lines) when presented with Bret Hart. He probably didn’t swear. But I’ll just pretend. Dear Wade Barrett, you don’t know me, but I think I love you. Tweet me, yeah?

So, yeah, this was a pretty great Raw. I was impressed for two hours. But you know what’s really impressive? Being consistently great. Go on, Raw. Make it two weeks in a row. I dares ya!

raw(lite): nnnnnnnno!

I’m fully aware that the pages of this blog have been a little sparse of late. Sorry about that. These are busy times and summoning up the energy to be funny at the end of the day when you’re not feeling especially well isn’t all that easy. Thankfully, there’s some free time in the not too distant future, so the pages should be all plump and juicy again very soon. I appreciate your patience.

In the meantime, let’s take a swift look back at this week’s Raw before tonight’s PPV.

The Nexus unveiled their cheapy, new t-shirts:

Alicia Fox beat Gail Kim in an early Divas match while Eve Torres, lovely as she is, stumbled and fumbled through her ringside commentary. Please give these girls some extra mic training. They deserve some guidance. On the plus side, Eve will be getting a title rematch at the PPV.

Could someone tell me where this dress is from, please? Not kidding.

In more exciting Women’s Wrestling news, the Hart Dynasty vs the Usos + Tamina was far more entertaining and their tag-title match at the PPV should be even better.

Wade Barrett thanked Chris Jericho for his mentorship…..I swooned a little. Then Barrett pulled all his pals together to beat up nice-guy Yoshi Tatsu. I frowned a little.

Maryse made me feel totally in adequate in her bejewelled frock, but I felt much better when John Morrison, of all people, managed to successfully insult her and turn her angry enough to make her scrunch her face up and look mildly less attractive.

Some woman from The Brady Bunch was randomly guest hosting, which only had merit in that it made William Regal even more awesome.

Edge and Orton had a solid match, in which Jericho interrupted to help Edge win, before Codebreaking Edge himself and finding himself at the business end of an RKO. To add to the excitement of it all, Evan Bourne ran in get his piece of the Orton pie. And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more thrilling……

I know. I. KNOW.

Miz cut an in-ring promo during which he crowed about injuring R-Truth to such an extent that he can no longer compete in the MITB match. He looked a little frightened when the GM sent Mark Henry out to take Truth’s place, but Miz held him at bay by emptying the cleanest bin-full of rubbish ever compiled by an intern over Henry’s head. Mark Henry – the World’s Strongest Man – brought to his knees by a snotty tissue and couple of carrier bags.

Literally and figuratively

Falling into the category of kisses I never want to see again was:

Followed by a kiss that only exists in my head:

John Cena fought off all six Nexus members present in the main event, applying all his signatures and finishers to leader-man Wade Barrett in quick succession. But the might of the Justin Gabriel 360-Splash left Cena a broken man. Nah. I kid. John Cena is never truly broken. Even while bleeding from the eye-socket. He slipped under the ropes, whacked Heath Slater with a chair and was supported in the fight-back by Sheamus. SHEAMUS! Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.

raw(lite): master of the microphone

A couple of weeks ago I was preparing myself for a month or so without Wade Barrett at the helm of the good ship Nexus. It turned out that a few hours at the American Embassy in London was all it took to get the illustrious leader back on our screens.


Wade had received an email from the still anonymous GM of Raw, where he was ordered to assemble the Nexus boys in the ring at the beginning of the show to receive a punishment for the way they’ve been behaving of late. As Wade told me the GM in his email reply, the reasons for Vince McMahon’s mauling are part of a bigger picture, which will become clear at a later date. Rumour has it that Nexus is the brainchild of one HHH which, quite frankly, makes me tingle in strange places. Heel Triple H and Wade Barrett working together? Yeah. That’ll work. Anyway, while Skip Sheffield went on about how great it was to injure Ricky Steamboat (Ricky’s out of the woods now by the way) the GM was composing a new email to Michael Cole. To summarise…

It took about five seconds for John Cena to show up and question the rookies on why they’ve not had a fair, scheduled match on Raw yet. Errr because nobody’s let them, John? Cena seized power and brought some good friends along to help him deal with these pesky kids.

But wait! What’s this? All the heel guys from the locker room helping Nexus? What’s that you say? The Nexus storyline seems to have the haphazard feel of NXT season one? I couldn’t have put it better myself fake assistant. So yeah, the youngsters ran away leaving all the good guys fighting off the bad guys. Said bad guys then ran up the ramp and Sheamus informed Cena & Co. that they had no interest in helping them put Nexus out of action. John was getting a bit upset. His bottom lip was trembling and everything. So secret BFF Randy Orton took over.

Another melee was about to ensue when the incommunicado GM flashed the lights and sent Cole another email. Heh. I flashed the lights to make people think Undertaker was coming out. I’m so clever.  It was suggested that John Cena come out later in the show and shake Wade Barrett’s hand. Despite my love of wrestling it really does irk me when people don’t get along. John, however, disagreed with me, looking straight into the camera and discussing his preference for punching Wade’s teeth out instead.


The GM wasn’t happy with this response and suggested that if John couldn’t be the bigger man in the situation, he would be punished accordingly. Oh and just to mix things up a bit, the email ended “And that’s the bottom line ’cause the GM said so!” Hah! That’ll fool all the dullards, right? In amongst all this nonsense, it was also announced that rather than have the whole roster fight in one match, they would fight in individual matches throughout the night. The first of these matches was to be between John Morrison and Ted DiBiase, with lady-friend Maryse misunderstanding Michael Cole’s questions on commentary.

The match was passable but it had no chance at making an impact while Maryse took phonecalls on her mobile and Jerry Lawler announced that his favourite French word was derrière.

Maryse distracted the ref by strutting around in John Morrison’s horse-skin coat like a show pony, leaving Teddy time to win the match.

William Regal and the Great Khali tagged against Santino and Koslov in a predictably silly match leaving Regal exiting the arena alone, while the rest of them attempted to dance Bollywood style. Regal did call his opponents ‘oxygen thieves’ though, which I’m on a mission to use somewhere in everyday life.

Sheamus had a backstage moment with Arn Anderson, then we were on to R-Truth’s match against The Miz. Actually the match never really got started. Following Truth’s standard “Nashville, Tennessee….What’s Up?” bit, Miz rapped his way out and walloped Truth with the mic while he scoffed at Miz’s rapping technique and before he could get as much as a punch in.

It has just occurred to me that the run-up to this PPV is much like the run-up to the Royal Rumble, in that all the feuds are kind of stagnant until it’s out of the way. The good news is that Summerslam is to follow, so all should pick up again after next weekend. The lost little boy known as Edge was up next in a special MITB episode of The Cutting Edge. After a rant about how he planned on winning the Raw MITB match, he introduced his guest for the evening – Evan Bourne. Wheeeee…….

They shared some verbal, then started having a scrap among the display ladders. This got tedious so the GM flashed the arena lights and sent Cole another email. After a few more Stone Cold red herrings, the bad guys in the ring were informed that they had to let the real Evan Bourne play in their game. Wheeeeee……

It wouldn’t be fair to let Evan Bourne take on both Edge and Jericho by himself, even though he’s got the spunky spirit to do so. Randy Orton was announced as his tag partner and they went on to have an impressive match, lasting more than 13 minutes; that’s almost unheard of on Raw. If you usually skip through Raw, it’s definitely worth a watch. Evan won the match with an AirBourne on Jericho. Of course, this was all a little too easy. While Evan celebrated this run of good times, Randy RKO’d him into the middle of next week.

So Randy Orton is being a mean bastard and Evan Bourne is someone’s doormat…..

Backstage, some of the Nexus kids tried to recruit Randy Orton to their side of the battle-line. No dice! Then the Usos + Tamina picked on Josh Matthews, who was punished further by having to accompany Alicia Fox through a horrible promo.

Seriously, get this girl to a voice coach immediately. That dialogue was choppier than a lumberjack convention. (I’m sorry.) This was followed by a Divas title match between Alicia and Eve, which was mildly better than the promo. Alicia retained after pretending to damage her ankle and before delivering a bitchin’ scissors-kick to Ms. Torres’ head. Then she danced around a bit and fake-limped out, mocking the ref for believing her pain.

She'll also be needing an acting coach.

And so we’re back to where we began. By order of the GM, Wade Barrett made his way to the ring and, like a gentleman, asked that John Cena come out and shake his hand, you know, like a real man. Cena’s music sang out as he walked all sullen-faced to the ring. Wade was left to be the bigger man Cena was supposed to be and offered to let the past be just that. A tentative John Cena clarified the terms of the handshake, then went into full-on John Cena mode – cracking jokes and calling upon a classic 80s movies for cultural references. John wasn’t buying what Wade was selling and suggested he stuff his gentlemanly behaviour up his Nexus. John’s joke, not mine. My jokes are awesome.

I said sorry, didn't I?

From there things got serious. Cena got up in Barrett’s face, then tried to walk away. Barrett, Master of the Microphone himself, persuaded Cena that it was in his best interests to shake hands. So he did…..

But before Barrett had time to draw his hand back, Cena threw him up on his shoulders and tried to adjust his attitude. The rest of Nexus ran out immediately to rescue their leader. It was as if they were waiting behind the curtain or something! Of course, now that it was seven-on-one, Cena’s pals had to even the score. So they ran out to rescue their leader.  The children managed to make it up to the ramp (minus Darren Young) but before they could disappear, the lights flashed and Michael Cole was compelled to read out another email. The GM was furious and ordered that as the result of Cena’s lack of diplomacy, he’d have to face all seven of Nexus by himself next week. Figuring the damage was already done, John went on to beat up Darren Young.

You know what dream where you meet a version of yourself with a different skin colour and you beat them with some steel stairs? No? OK. Just me then. And John Cena.

raw(lite): memo from the connecticut office

Here’s the thing. This was supposed to be a much quieter work week. That’s why we had Guest Post Week last week.  Unfortunately, much as I adore you all for visiting this blog as often as you do, when the people who pay you present you with things to do, they have to come first. Of course, if any rich benefactor would like to pay us to run this website full-time, we’re definitely open to offers. In the meantime, let’s look back at what happened on this week’s painfully mediocre Raw.

The majority of the Raw roster may be living in fear of the Nexus boys, but not our Sheamus. He’s well chuffed. He bleated about how much he detests John Cena and instructed him to go to the back of the queue with regard to the WWE Championship. You know what that means, don’t you?

John was in stellar comedy form, but his serious point in the midst of the fun-times was that, being the new champ, Sheamus was Nexus’ new target. Ergo, the two of them should fight alongside each other against those arm-banded heathens and frighten them away with an intimidating display of unity. Seems reasonable.

You may remember last week that there is a new anonymous GM for Monday Night Raw. Well, the identity of the new GM is still very hush-hush, but when I said “…when the people who pay you present you with things to do, they have to come first.” I may have been dropping you a hint. Ssssshhh. Fingers on lips. By the way, isn’t Connecticut beautiful this time of year? Oops. I’ve said too much.

But I did tell Michael Cole to wear a BLACK suit that night. Ugg. I want to see you in my office immediately, Cole.

The new GM continued their chosen method of involvement in the show and emailed Michael Cole whenever they felt like butting in. This first interference of the night demanded that neither Nexus nor the rest of the roster have any physical contact with each other for the remainder of the night. They also instructed that Sheamus put his WWE title on the line against……Mark Henry. What kind of idiot would think THAT would be an entertaining match? Ahem. Then after some more silliness I…..I mean….. THE GM lowered a steel cage over the ring as way of announcing that Sheamus would have to defend his title against John Cena at MITB, inside a cage. This new GM is marvellous!

Following this, the Hart Dynasty match against the Usos ended before it even started, then R-Truth spun Josh some garbled message about being a zoo keeper. If anyone has a phrase book for whichever country Truth comes from, please shoot me a copy. I’m totally lost. Zoo keeping out the way, we were then presented with a brief filler match between Koslov and Santino. Koslov won and was congratulated by William Regal, his mentor in life, as he exited the ramp. Regal went on to kick Santino for good measure. Hmm. I think I’ll stick with Matt Striker for all my mentoring needs, thanks. Regal continued the kicking but out of nowhere, Koslov grew a conscience and went to Santino’s rescue. Nice to see Southern Europeans and Eastern Europeans looking out for each other.

Rob Zombie came out to celebrate a year of guest hosts on Raw, if you can call coming out and reading a list of names hosting, then he had a heated tete-a-tete with Edge over musical copyright or something or other. It was as thrilling as it sounds. We did, however, get to watch a clip of Edge winning the very first MITB match way back in 2005. Then he started being psycho-Edge again and vowed to snap Randy Orton’s head off with a ladder. It think. I dunno. Raw was rubbish this week. I’m not sure how much I really absorbed. Anyway, the GM was a bit confused by all this chatter, so he OR SHE sent Mr. Cole a new email to announce that all eight MITB competitors would appear in a tag match later in the show.

Phew! We made it through the rough patch, now on to the good stuff. A match! Sheamus against Mark Henry. Oh. Maybe we’re not through the rough patch yet then. Stay with me! Hold me tight! Why oh why did I give last week’s Raw recap away? Raw was great last week. Let’s just keep running away from the rough patch……Sheamus did not lose his title to the WSM. Shocker!

With neither Nexus nor their more experienced counterparts allowed to even gently caress each other, the newbies were itching for a scrap. Skip Sheffield battered a lowly cameraman, then the entire crew (minus Wade Barrett)(minus Bryan Danielson) started bullying little Josh Matthews.

I won’t stand for bullying of any kind. Sit tight, folks. When I’m fully in charge of the catastrophe that is Raw, all those caught bullying will be called to my office and severely chastised.

I’m going to skip the next segment. Ricky Steamboat and a collection of legends were attacked by Nexus and stretchered out of the arena. But then in real life, Ricky was rushed to hospital with a suspected brain aneurism. In light of that, it doesn’t seem right to make crude Michael Hayes jokes and mock the old-timers for attempting to take out men half their age, so I’ll just wish Ricky the very best of health and a speedy recovery.

With Natalya and Tamina showing us how exciting the Women’s division could be on Raw, the current ‘Divas’ seem somehow even less skilled. Alicia Fox and Maryse tagged and won against Gail Kim and Eve Torres. It was impossibly uneventful. Thankfully, the main event was a little more engaging. Edge, Jericho, Miz and Ted DiBiase teamed up against R-Truth, John Morrison, Evan Bourne and Randy Orton in a preview of what we can expect at the PPV. The good guys won when Randy Orton scaled the ladder and grabbed at the cheapest looking briefcase imaginable.

Seriously, I could have knocked up something less shoddy using some craft glue and a cornflakes box. And wait til you see it in blue!

Dear Raw,

For two weeks you were actually pretty good. This week, you returned to your usual awful self. Be better next week. Please.

Thanking you in advance,

GUEST POST WEEK: joey’s raw (lite)

Hello! Me again. I know, I know… It’s guest post week, not Joey week but hell I just love Raw so much *sniff*. On Monday night I snuck into the WRESTLEGASM bunker, threw on Andrew’s dressing gown and snuggled up to Ray’s lifesized cut out of CM Punk to watch one of the best episodes of Raw in a long while.

The show kicked off with the esteemed Chairman of the Board Mr McMahon, who strut his stuff down the ramp and the crowd went wild. I honestly believed that it’d be the end of the whole Mr McMahon angle, and I don’t get why they make him a villain when the crowd clearly love him. I think Vince has become such a legend, it’s not needed for him to be anything different. Vince took the mic and explained that Bret Hart made a bad decision in firing Barrett and not giving the NXTers contracts and that, even though he’d be been bashed about in a limo, he should’ve turned up. God, what a tough boss… I ring in sick if I have Hayfever! Vince then gave the words that both he and I have been waiting for; “Bret, YOU’RE FIRED!”. Oh hallelujah. I was grinning almost as much as Vince was.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands… *clap*

Vince then went on to explain that there was to be a new GM who preferred to remain anonymous for the time being but how will the GM communicate I hear you ask, well, I’m glad you asked because the idea is that the new GM would send an email to Michael Cole and Cole would read it out. Everytime the GM sends an email there’s a loud ding. Interesting fact, fact fans, my iPhone message tone is exactly the same as the email ding sound. The result? An entire episode of Raw where I checked my phone without fail everytime forgetting it was on the TV. Boo. Before McMahon could continue his smugness, the ding went off and the first big announcement was made. ALL the NXTers would be given contracts. You know what that means, right? JUSTIN GABRIEL. ON RAW. FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. Evil Justin Gabriel is SEXY.

McMahon then went to leave the ring but Sheamus came down and had a few words to say. He had the gold over his shoulder but something was missing. He just wasn’t happy. He looked sad, but why?

Turns out Sheamus didn’t agree with the way he won the title. It was dishonest and he didn’t get it fair and square and, well, he just couldn’t carry the burden anymore. PSYCH. He was totally playing. He then went on a rant about how he didn’t give a damn how he won because he would’ve won anyway. He thanked the NXTers for their hand in helping him win but said that he could easily take the NXTers on. Not to be outdone, John Cena camp to the ring and had a few words with Sheamus. Sidenote: has anyone notice how Sheamus is rocking the Jedward hairstyle? Cena thanked the new GM saying that now the NXTers were officially superstars, they were guaranteed to turn up (yeah, tell that to half the roster who never get a bloody look in) and that meant he could get his revenge.

Then he told Sheamus that he has a rematch clause and he wants to use it there and then. Sheamus, obviously, refused and demanded Mr McMahon kick Cena out of the ring. Then I got a text… wait, no, it was another anonymous email. Cole took to the mic and read out the email “would you like the enlarge YOUR penis by 4 inches?”. I joke, of course, it’s PG. I just hope Cole didn’t give his bank details to a Nigerian Prince in return for “millions of dollars”. Anyspam, Cole announced that Cena and Sheamus WILL go head to head in the main event but there was a twist. There was to be a special enforcer, a man everyone listens to, a man who is wise and strong…

No, not him, silly.

Mr McMahon! With that all three left the ring to go get ready.

Next up we had another chapter in what is looking set to be a great feud. I’ve never really rated Evan Bourne but he’s really impressed me and I can see him rising up in the ranks. Before the match began, Jericho took to the mic and explained that Bourne is a fly by night wannabe and he is sick of being pushed around and that if he doesn’t win tonight. He will quit! Oh dear, could this be the DOWNFALL of Jericho? See what I did there? Because Downfall is the name of the gameshow he presents…

The match was really good and Bourne and Jericho gave it their all. Bourne has got some really cool moves and the hurricanrana he does is just great. Also is it just me but are Bourne’s tights like, really tight. I get the clues in the title but you can see EVERYTHING. Bourne pretty much had the upper hand but after a few near falls and two Walls of Jericho, Jericho managed to avoid a flying Air Bourne and hit the Code Breaker for the win. After the match it seemed like Jericho wanted to make friends.

I cannot wait to see how this one develops!

We then went backstage where Vince was on the phone to the anonymous GM. He said it was a great idea but he doesn’t like being surprised. Wow, his birthdays must be fun. He also revealed that the new GM had “complete and ultimate control”. Uh-oh, that’s never good.

We then zoomed over to Ted DiBiase’s dressing room where Virgil was waiting anxiously. DiBiase came in and explained how sorry it was and how he didn’t mean to upset Virgil. Virgil accepted the apology and then DiBiase fired him. Guess he just can’t catch a break. DiBiase then explained Virgil had been “upgraded”. I figured that maybe DiBiase had stabbed Virgil with a USB wire and then tried to download the new IOS4 so that Virgil could multi-task, but no. It was Maryse. Then came the most painful moment in a long while… (around the 0:55 mark)

Staying backstage, Josh Matthews guests at that time were Natalya and The Hart Dynasty. They were rather pissed off that Bret had been fired and Natalya was pretty much doing all the talking. I liked that. Natalya said there is no doubt this time that Vince screwed Bret and that her match tonight is dedicated to her uncle. Aw, sweet. She then said that “these Harts won’t stop beating”. Um, okay. Then a huge limo pulled up. Who could it be?

After we went to what seemed like 6 minutes of adverts, we came back to Natalya making her way to the ring. Tonight she finally got to wrestle in a singles match against Tamina. I think both these women are fine wrestlers and I haven’t been this excited about the Divas division since the days of Trisha and Lita. The mixed tag at Fatal 4way was outstanding so I had high hopes for this one and it started of great but a few minutes into it the NXTers invaded. Barrett took to the mic and said that the group wanted to apologise but Tyson Kidd didn’t give him the option and flung himself over the ropes. That was a mistake as then the NXTers beat the holy hell out of the Hart Dynasty.


The NXTers got into the ring and we went to ANOTHER break. Once the show returned all the NXTers were stood in a line and I noticed that Justin Gabriel’s trunks seemed to have got lower. I don’t know if that’s possible. He’s like reverse Simon Cowell. Anyway, Otunga took to the mic and explained that they’re really sorry and they did what they did through love of the WWE and now they have their contracts, they can get back to normal. Heath Slater took to the mic and I zoned out because I just kept thinking about how small his face is. I think he said something about the attacks not being personal and they had a few people to apologise to. My interest perked up when Justin Gabriel took to the mic. I know, I know, his mic skills sucked but he did pretty well. Gabriel apologised to Bret and the Hart Dynasty and said they hope that Bret is doing well. He said that the attack before on Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith was self-defence. I agree although I think I’d agree with anything Justin said.

Darren Young then got on the mic and apologised to Cena. He FINALLY referenced the fact that he looks like a “black John Cena” and that he truly believes Cena will win the title back. I hadn’t ever noticed before but Darren Young has a REALLY gay voice. Like REALLY. Skip Sheffield was next up and he apologised to the WWE Universe. He says he misses the days when the fans were behind him and shouted “yep yep yep”. I hate to be a party pooper but I don’t ever remember the fans doing that. I don’t think they did either so they just booed. Awkward. He said he hopes everyone can forgive and forget. I don’t know if he’s referring to the attacks or just the entire first season of NXT.

The scary guy of the group, Michael Tarver, was next up and he basically apologised for scaring kids. I have a feeling he does that quite often. He then said that he is sorry to his own children and then named them all. He has like 50 kids. He said that they shouldn’t do what he does which I guess makes him a hypocrite. Finally we ended with Barrett who said that the reason he did what he did was out of loyalty and respect for his fellow NXTers. He then referred to them as a “Nexus” which I have a feeling is their new name. Barrett also said that as well as his contract, his PPV title shot was also reinstated. He warned Sheamus that he will put a target on him just as easy as they did Cena. They also had new music. If you’re interested it’s “We Are One” by 12 Stones.

We then had a snoozefest that was a match between John Morrison and Zac Ryder. If you read my blog about Tag Teams then you’ll see why this was boring. Morrison is good at what he does; he just needs a better gimmick. The whole “Shaman of Sexy” thing is getting old. Morrison won the match with Starship Pain which Cole called “gorgeous”. OK…  Then Morrison did a weird celebration with his rookie Eli Cottonwood.

We then went back to the backstage area where John Cena was flagged down by Josh Matthews who asked what Cena thought of the apology. Cena said that his career and body were put at risk so it was, actually, personal so the apology wasn’t accepted. I bet Darren Young is crying into his John Cena pillow now. Mr McMahon then interrupted and said nobody had any excuses tonight and that it would be a fair match. I somehow doubt it.

Then there was a mixed tag between Great Khali & Eve Torres vs Primo & Alicia Fox. It was pointless, I don’t want to recap it so I won’t. There.

Up next we had Randy Orton coming to the ring. Orton was annoyed because he felt the NXTers ruined his opportunity but he said that he accepted their apology. How nice. He then said he wanted Barrett to win the title… wow, Orton is so sweet! He said once Barrett wins it he’s going to beat the crap out of him and take it off him. Oh. Maybe not so nice. Orton then glared down the camera and I did a sex wee.

Before Orton could continue, The Miz came out. Two sexy men in the same ring? WOO. Miz says he also hears voices in his head and they’re telling him that he’s bored of Orton getting title shots. He then said that he wants to be the first man to ever hold the US and WWE titles at the same time. Orton looked like he wanted to snap him in two but Miz had something to tell him. He said he had an industry secret to tell Orton. What could it be? Is he the new GM? No. He just wanted to tell Orton that HE IS THE MIZ AND HE IS… gonna kick Orton and then beat on him. He did just so but before Orton could retaliate, Miz ran out of the ring and then Edge ran in and speared Orton. Then he did that weird pully thing at his hair he does, like doing the spear REALLY takes it out of him. It’s stupid.

Has anyone notice that Edge is looking kinda frail lately? Hope he’s not ill or anything.

Then we finally got to our main event and Mr McMahon was up first. Rather than his usual swagger, he opted to run down the ramp. Must’ve been running out of time. Cena was pretty much beaten up throughout the entire match but managed to get into SuperCena mode a few times. McMahon pretty much did nothing as Special Enforcer but kick it back with the time keeper. Dude gets paid for this! After what was actually getting to be quite a good match the NXTers all invaded once more and Sheamus ran for the hills. Everyone basically ran away leaving McMahon and the NXTers. McMahon took to the mic and invited the Severe Seven into the ring and was all smiles. He explained to everyone that he was partly responsible for what had happened and that he should get some credit. What’s this? Is McMahon is cahoots with the invaders?! He also said that next week the new GM will reveal something big. There was a weird atmosphere though and the NXTers got bored of McMahon’s boasting. So they gave him the evils.

At first they laughed it off and Vince said they scared him for a moment but then they circled him. What happened next was shocking, brave and bolshy TV and a big surprise considering the PG era. Vince was absolutely annihilated, I mean really. After a pretty harsh clothesline from Sheffield, Barrett scooped Vince up for The Wasteland. It was a sickening thud and it sounded like every bone in Vince’s body had been snapped. This was then followed up with a 450 splash from Gabriel. The men left the ring and the crowd were left in shock. A cameraman then abandoned post and ran in the ring and screamed “WE NEED HELP IN HERE! WHERE’S STU?! STU!” I don’t know who Stu is, but I totally want to find out.

We were then left with the harrowing final image of McMahon curled up in pain. What will happen next? Well, we’ll have to find out next week won’t we!

raw(lite): 37 fingers

Last week’s Raw ended in chaos that left the entire internet flipping out. First they flipped out over how incredible to NXT ambush was. Then a few days later they went even nuttier when Bryan Danielson was ejected from his post ‘Indie Boy Made Big’.

With things beginning to settle again, Raw needed to get back to normal. Although, starting with Wade Barrett in the ring was hardly burying the past.  Bret Hart had demanded that Wade return to Raw and apologise for his actions. Wade did not. In fact, he brought the rest of the rookies (minus Indie Boy Made Big) down to the ring and asked them all to apologise.

Lawler and Cole are outta there.

At this point I mused out loud how it seems odd that the WWE had even let them through the doors. Apart from Mr. Barrett, who has a contract, wouldn’t the other six be ejected by security before getting into the arena? They’re not exactly difficult to spot, sporting their over-tanned skin and tiny trunks. At this point, I was reminded that none of it was real. I stopped musing.

To cut a long story short, Wade asked each rookie individually to apologise for their appalling behaviour. They did not. Also, this segment just didn’t seem right without Matt Striker’s wide grin. I love you, Wade, but gameshow host material you ain’t.

This was followed by a rant from their contracted leader, who took issue with the fact that they were treated like scum while on NXT; left to change in corridors and broom cupboards, forced to humiliate themselves in pop-drinking contests for the amusement of pros and plebs alike etc. He’s got a point.

Wade Barrett cuts a cool promo, but Bret Hart had heard enough and went out to put an end to it. Wade mentioned the much missed Danielson…..

Yeah. He's TOTALLY coming back to the WWE.

Anyway, what Wade wanted was for all his buddies to have guaranteed WWE contracts, private dressing rooms and their first class travel paid for. Dude, that’s a little ambitious, doncha think? Bret Hart certainly thought so. Not only did he refuse their demands, but he also fired Barrett. Bret was so worked up he also referred to the WWE as WWF. Oh Bret! Only YOU could get away with that. Something tells me the NXT fellas won’t be throwing the towel in just yet.

Let’s move on to a match with R-Truth attempting to retain his US title against The Miz, John Morrison and Zack Ryder. Did R-Truth retain?

Props to Zack Ryder for finishing the match after slamming his head into the mat and picking up a nice little concussion. He certainly didn’t look too well.

Oh dear.

*Obligatory guest host Bella Twins segment

Courtesy of John Cena, Evan Bourne is now making his way out of jobbing hell. This week he humbled Chris Jericho. Jericho has been totally lost since coming to Raw. Everyone will suffer with timing issues even more when King HHH returns to his throne. PLEASE give Jericho a proper feud against Bourne while there’s still some airtime up for grabs.

It’s been a bizarre week for John Cena. First he gets attacked by eight angry men, then he gets stretchered out of the arena, then he signs an online petition to have one of his attackers reinstated, then he appears on the radio suggesting that the WWE Universe should request that Bryan gets his job back too. He was offered the opportunity to have a night off from Raw, but this is a PPV week and John doesn’t do self-pity (unless the script tells him to).

So, John came out and did one of his trademark speeches. You know the type. The kind where he assumes the persona of a South Western Sheriff from the early 1900’s. (Yes, I’m playing Red Dead Redemption now and yes I’m mildly obsessed). All those long drawn out vowels, all those messages of hope, all those good intentions to chase away the posses of varmints. I start every John Cena speech with the intention of rolling my eyes and scoffing. I generally end feeling empowered, impassioned and punching the air. Was this one any different?

It was not.

Cena kept talking but those blasted ransacking rookies were back for more. This time, there was back-up. Lead by Jerry Lawler, of all people, the locker room gradually spilt out into the arena and helped Sheriff Cena fight off the rookies. Ahhhh. So nice to see petty rivalries set aside to protect our hero. Sheamus brought weapons, Santino cobra’d Skip Sheffield, William Regal shouted a lot and Mark Henry …. well…. he got to the ring eventually. It warmed the cockles of my heart as the legion of pros chased the whippersnappers out of the arena.

Ladies aren’t allowed to fight with boys, so the Divas didn’t take part in the NXT fight-off. They did, however, have a match straight afterwards to give everyone time to recover. Maryse and Alicia Fox tagged against Eve and Gail Kim in a fairly uneventful match leaving the nice ladies the winners. The great news is that there will be two, yes TWO, Diva Fatal 4-Way matches at tonight’s PPV. Exciting times! If there is so much as one feather duster in sight, I may weep. [CORRECTION: There is no Smackdown Divas match. Never come to me for hard facts!]

William Regal and Santino had a filler match, which Santino won. But while they squabbled over the details after the bell had dinged, Bret Hart appeared and instructed them to join the rest of the roster at the top of the ramp. A preview of the Raw Fatal 4-Way match was about to take place and Bret wanted a barrage of brawn to be on hand, you know, should it all start kicking off again. Seems reasonable.

Hmm. Zack Ryder's concussion is worse than I thought. He's forgotten where the ring is.

Edge and Sheamus tagged against Cena and Orton in what turned out to be a pretty decent match. It was all pretty standard fare. Edge and Sheamus fought over who should be allowed in the ring at any one time, while BFFs John and Randy strained to touch each other’s hands throughout.

Reeeeeeach! You can make it, John.

I know what you’re thinking. Why show this match when we’ll be watching all over again at the PPV a few days later? But it’s all good. The match never actually finished. While the entire Raw roster watched from the ramp, those sneaky NXTers were in the car park getting up to mischief.

They trashed the backstage area and dragged our GM into a limo. Once inside said limo, Bret was driven around the car park in a haphazard fashion while Barrett & Co cheered and jeered. After this impromptu dodgem ride was over, Wade demanded that Bret change his mind about their contracts by Sunday.

Rule Britannia!