American Airlines Arena – Dallas, Texas – October 3, 2010
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Triple Threat Submissions Count Anywhere Match for the United States Championship – Daniel Bryan vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz
Bryan has been the champion since 9.19.10 and this is his first defense. Everyone makes good use of the stipulation in the early going, trying some unique submissions. Bryan even busts out Cattle Mutilation and Striker gets made fun of for knowing what it’s called. All three fight down the aisle and through the crowd. Of course Morrison jumps off of the set to wipe out both opponents. Morrison uses the Texas Cloverleaf and Cole actually namedrops Dean Malenko, but Miz’s apprentice Alex Riley comes out and hurls Morrison down the aisle. That gives Bryan the chance to cinch Miz in the LeBell Lock and Miz taps out at 13:34! That was ridiculously fun and a hot opener; even Cole now admits that Daniel Bryan is the Real Deal.
MATCH #2: Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship – Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Orton has been the champion since 9.19.10 and this is his first defense. This is the twentieth ever Hell in a Cell match; the third for Orton (1-1) and the first for Sheamus. Despite never having competed in the Cell before, Sheamus dominates the opening minutes and utilizes the cage to his advantage. He tries to use the steps but Orton avoids them and uses the cage himself, and then is able to connect with the steps. They continue to trade control back and forth, with both men asserting their dominance at various points in time. Sheamus focuses on the ribs, which makes it hard for Orton to complete the RKO. He tries to use the steel steps in the ring, but Orton is able to powerslam him on them instead! Sheamus fights back and hits a Brogue Kick but Orton kicks out. He grabs a chair but misses wildly and Orton hits an RKO. Sheamus wisely rolls to the floor to avoid getting pinned. Orton follows him out but misses the Punt and Sheamus connects with another Brogue Kick. Back in the ring Orton kicks out again. Sheamus tries the High Cross off the steps but Orton counters it and hits the RKO to get the pin at 22:51. That was a really solid brawl that had a few lulls in it but for the most part was well worked.
Alberto Del Rio comes out to cut a promo, bragging about his recent accomplishments and badmouthing the state of Texas. Edge comes out to interrupt him, because he was battling stupidity at this time. He badmouths Del Rio, and then Jack Swagger comes out to interrupt them. Swagger beats on Edge until the Anonymous Raw General Manager sends an e-mail stating that Edge and Swagger will have a match right now!
MATCH #3: Edge vs. Jack Swagger
The crowd is not interested in this at all. Swagger dominates the opening minutes, since he already had an advantage before the bell even rang. Edge makes the comeback but Swagger survives the offense and traps Edge in an Ankle Lock, which is a smart move due to Edge’s previously torn Achilles tendon. Swagger continues to control the match, but when he goes for the Vader Bomb Edge kicks him in the gut and follows up with the Impaler. Edge sets up for the Spear but Swagger catches him in the Gutwrench Powerbomb and Edge kicks out at two! Swagger locks on the Ankle Lock again but Edge rolls through it and is able to finally hit the Spear and get the win at 11:30. I really like both guys but this was pretty dull and the crowd had absolutely no investment in it, nor did they have reason to.
MATCH #4: If John Cena Wins, The Nexus Must Disband. If Wade Barrett Wins, John Cena Must Join the Nexus – John Cena vs. Wade Barrett
If anyone in the Nexus interferes, Barrett will automatically lose the match. I don’t see how that’s a special stipulation, since outside interference is generally cause for a DQ, but they’re making a big deal about this. Barrett dominates Cena early, keeping him on the mat. The other four Nexus members watch on from ringside, making sure not to interfere. Eventually Cena powers up and hits his signature comeback sequence. The Nexus surrounds the ring and then the Big Show and a host of others from the locker room come out and beat them all down! When the dust settles, Barrett resumes control while the crowd gets behind Cena. Barrett is the first one to hit a finisher, the Wasteland, but Cena just barely kicks out at two. Cena is able to lock in the STF, but a “fan” (Michael McGillicutty) tries to get in the ring, and while the referee is distracted, Husky Harris runs by and drills Cena with a foreign object, giving Barrett the pin at 17:49. The women and children in the crowd are quite upset. The match was quite good, and Barrett looked to be at Cena’s level in the ring, which makes it all the more puzzling as to why he’s persona non grata now.
MATCH #5: Unified Divas Championship Match – Michelle McCool vs. Natalya
Lay-Cool have been the champions since 9.19.10 and this is their second defense. These two actually battled in the inaugural Divas Championship match back at the Great American Bash 2008, with McCool coming out on top then. McCool mostly dominates but Layla tries to interfere anyway and it backfires. Natalya locks on the Sharpshooter but McCool counters it to a heel hook but Natalya reverses it right back. Layla gets on the apron and throws her show at Natalya for the DQ at 4:51. They might have had a good thing going but they cut it off before that could happen and the finish bites.
MATCH #6: Hell in a Cell Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Kane vs. Undertaker
Kane has been the champion since 7.18.10 and this is his third defense. Obviously this is the twenty-first Hell in a Cell match; the eleventh for Undertaker (5-4-1) and the second for Kane (0-0-2). Kane attacks his half-brother before the bell can even ring and takes an unfair advantage. The door has to be locked before the bell can ring, and that takes a minute but here we go. This is a similar brawl to the Night of Champions match two weeks ago, as in it’s really boring. They do the silly corner mounted punches spot so that Undertaker can hit the Last Ride but Kane kicks out at two. Undertaker tries the Tombstone but Kane reverses it to one of his own but it only gets two. A frustrated Kane lays out the referee. Paul Bearer gets into the Cell when they pull the injured referee out, and the distraction allows Undertaker to come back and hit the Chokeslam. Undertaker produces some lightning somehow and goes for the Tombstone, but Bearer opens the urn and there’s a light inside that temporarily blinds the Undertaker. Bearer then gives the urn to Kane while Undertaker looks shocked. Kane cracks the urn across Undertaker’s skull and follows up with a Chokeslam for the pin at 21:40. The match was plodding and having Paul Bearer turn on Undertaker for the eighteenth time didn’t do anything to make it any more interesting.
Monday Night RAW: Conseco Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN – Monday, September 27, 2010
MATCH #1: Daniel Bryan & John Morrison vs. The Miz & Alex Riley
Bryan is the United States Champion at his point, eight days removed from beating The Miz for it at Night of Champions 2011. The Champ starts with Riley and gains the advantage, which continues when Morrison tags in. Riley cuts Morrison off with a hot shot, and now he and Miz take control. Miz and Riley keep Morrison away from his partner for a few minutes, and then Bryan gets the hot tag. Bryan is on fire, hitting Miz with an IED for two. Miz is able to shove Bryan into Morrison (knocking him off the apron) and Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale to get the pin at 5:13. As a truncated version of the tag team formula match this worked well enough.
Miz continues the attack after the bell and Morrison comes to the rescue. That leads to Bryan taking offense and leveling Morrison with a forearm! All three men brawl around ringside so the anonymous RAW General Manager announces that they will all face each other in a Triple Threat Submissions Count Anywhere match for the U.S. Title at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. Sounds good to me.
MATCH #2: Divas Battle Royal to Determine the #1 Contender for the WWE Divas Championship
The participants are Eve, Maryse, Gail Kim, Jillian, Natalya, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Tamina, and Melina. Michelle McCool and Layla, the co-holders of the Divas Title, come out to get a closer look at their next challenger. McCool and Layla bury the match on commentary and Melina is the first one eliminated. Tamina dumps Gail next. Eve takes Tamina out and we’re down to seven. The Bella try to eliminate Alicia and Jillian but they end up eliminating themselves. Maryse charges at Eve and gets herself eliminated. We’re down to the prestigious final four. Alicia kicks Eve to the floor. Jillian and Alicia join forces on Natalya. They think they eliminated Natalya so Jillian is the first one to turn. Alicia eliminates Jillian, and moments later Natalya eliminates Alicia to become the Number One Contender at 4:18. That was the usual Divas Battle Royal.
MATCH #3: The Great Khali vs. Sheamus
Sheamus issued an open challenge and Khali was the first one to answer. Khali lands a hard chop and that just angers Sheamus so he unloads with a flurry of strikes that send Khali to the floor. Sheamus starts throwing pieces of the announce table as well as the announcer’s chair and the ref calls for the DQ at 1:07. Obviously that wasn’t much of a match, but it made Sheamus look tough going into his title match on Sunday.
The brawl continues after the bell and Sheamus dominates, hitting Khali with a Brogue Kick.
MATCH #4: John Cena vs. Edge
Edge got into an argument with the anonymous RAW General Manager, so he has to face Cena as punishment. Cena starts with some chain wrestling and Edge puts a stop to that. Edge kicks Cena to the floor and then delivers a baseball slide. He follows Cena out and whips him into the ring steps. Back in the ring Edge continues to control the action. Cena fires back but misses a flying shoulder tackle. Edge goes back on offense but gets too cocky and Cena hits him with a suplex. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Edge counters to the Implant DDT for two. Both men make it back to their feet and Cena hits the Throwback. Cena puts Edge up on the top rope and goes for a super Attitude Adjustment. Edge slips out and drills Cena with a Spear and even though Cena’s foot was under the bottom rope the referee counts the pin at 6:56. While Edge celebrates, the anonymous RAW GM declares that since Cena’s foot was under the bottom rope the match must continue. Edge goes for another Spear but Cena avoids it and locks on the STF. Edge eventually taps out at 8:48 (total match time including GM stuff, since there wasn’t another bell to restart the match). These two could have a good match together in their sleep, and aside from the finish designed to put heat on Edge versus no one feud this was good stuff.
After the match Edge destroys the anonymous RAW General Manager’s computer and podium.
MATCH #5: Evan Bourne & Mark Henry vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel
Slater and Bourne start the match. The Nexus duo takes the early advantage while Wade Barrett, David Otunga and Michael Tarver watch on from the floor. Bourne eventually fights back and is able to take Slater down with a high knee. Henry gets the hot tag and he’s a sweaty man house afire. He throws Slater and Gabriel around the ring and puts Gabriel in position for Bourne to hit the Air Bourne. Slater takes Henry out and Gabriel is able to knock Bourne down to the mat. Gabriel then goes for the 450 Splash but Bourne avoids it. Bourne goes back up top now and hits Air Bourne. He covers but Slater pushes Gabriel over and he’s able to hold Bourne down to score the pin at 3:19. They did as much as they could with less than three-and-a-half minutes. I would have liked to see more of Bourne and Henry as a team actually.
All five members of the Nexus take Henry out on the floor, and then turn their attention to Bourne. Nexus beats Bourne down, Barrett hits Wasteland, and Gabriel follows with a 450 Splash. Barrett declares that he will defeat John Cena at Hell in a Cell and Cena will be forced to join Nexus.
MATCH #6: WWE Tag Team Championship Match – “Dashing” Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre vs. The Hart Dynasty
Rhodes and McIntyre have been the Champions since 9.19.10, and this is their second defense. Tyson Kidd and Rhodes start the match. There is dissension in the Hart Dynasty here, and Cole is burying them for being boring. Rhodes hits the Beautiful Disaster kick. That keeps Kidd down and the Champions isolate him. Kidd fights back with a dropkick and he makes the tag. Smith is a house afire and the crowd is getting behind him. He goes for the Running Powerslam and Rhodes slips out, but Smith is able to catch him in a Back Drop Driver for two. McIntyre comes in and gets tossed out. That actually leads to victory, as when the Dynasty goes for the Hart Attack 2K9 McIntyre shoves Kidd off the ropes and right into his own partner. Rhodes then hits Smith with the Cross-Rhodes to get the pin and retain the titles at 3:12. These teams could have had really good matches if they were given any amount of time, but there is only so much you can do with three minutes.
MATCH #7: Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho’s pre-match promo in which he lists everyone he ever beat is awesome. Orton’s WWE Championship is not on the line here. Orton takes the early control and Jericho has to take a cheap shot to gain an advantage. It doesn’t last too long as Orton clotheslines Jericho to the floor. Jericho reverses a whip and sends Orton into the barricade. Time for a commercial! Back from the break and Orton is firing up on Jericho, stomping away. Michael Cole says this is the first time these two have ever met on RAW but that is positively untrue. Sheamus comes out to watch the match and Jericho hits an enziguiri for two. Orton avoids a charge in the corner and goes for the RKO but Jericho counters that to a backslide for two. Jericho hits a dropkick for two. He continues to keep Orton on the mat. Orton comes back and hits the snap powerslam. Jericho cuts him off with the bulldog. He goes for the Lionsault but Orton avoids it and hits the backbreaker. Orton goes for the RKO but Jericho shoves off and hits the Lionsault for two. A series of reversals ends with Jericho locking on the Walls of Jericho! Orton comes out of it and hits the elevated DDT. The RKO is imminent and Sheamus runs into the ring to attack Orton and the match is over at 9:24 (shown). Both men were working their tails off here, and since it was Jericho’s last match for a while I see he wanted to go out on a high note. It would be ranked higher if it had a better finish.
Orton hits Sheamus with the elevated DDT and is coiled for the Punt. Jericho breaks that up with a Codebreaker! He goes to hit Orton with a chair but Orton hits an RKO! The crowd is chanting Punt and Orton delivers, knocking Jericho unconscious and out of the WWE for quite some time.