Raw begins this week with Ricardo Rodriguez announcing Alberto Del Rio! Sounds like he's beginning to add to the accolade again, but since his voice isn't actually BUILT for announcing, and I can't hear him over the music, I still have no idea if he's slipping crap past us English-speakers. Doesn't matter. Del Rio didn't even get a chance to give us his name before John Cena's music hit and the former perpetual champ came down to continue what he started last week. He accused Alberto of renting his cars (as well as not knowing what the hell any of them are), and introduced himself as the guy that was gonna take the belt from him.
Punk didn't waste any time in joining the party and generally berating John. Both men declared that they were going to cash in their rematch clause for the title. Del Rio laughed and declared he was ignoring him. Just about then HHH came out to settle the matter. The solution seemed like a pretty obvious one. John Cena and CM Punk get set for a #1 contender main event. Maybe that's a little misleading, but then I'm not sure the COO was super clear on it. The main event was to determine who was going to exercise his rematch clause FIRST. So, presumably, the loser of the match will get his rematch after Night of Champions.
Anyway, that was the end of the opening promo, and the first match of the night was up. Del Rio took on John Morrison in a surprising non-title match. Surprising because no one in the Girls Watch Wrestling home expected Del Rio's opponent to be Morrison. I'm beginning to realize that this is another point to the new regime. It's refreshing to give us these unexpected matchups rather than have the same two guys face off week after week after week. Also, Morrison's pants were fabulous. This match was pretty unpredictable, and not without incident. Del Rio took a fall from top rope to the floor at one point, and it just looked like his feet came out from under him. Not sure what happened earlier, when Del Rio just shoved Morrison down and into the barrier, but that spot felt odd to me too. Del Rio eventually locked in the cross armbreaker, and after the match, he grabbed Morrison outside the ring to apply it again.
Divas were early this week. Eve (with Kelly Kelly) beat Nikki Bella (with Brie). This one didn't quite work for me as well as other Diva matches recently. The first thing to note in this match is that the Bellas weren't dressed alike for once. That made me a little more interested in them as a team. It meant there was no chance of pulling Twin Magic. Actually, that's the only thing I can think of TO note. Near the end of the match, Brie attempted to interfere, which caused Eve to fall from the top of the corner, but Eve pinned Nikki anyway. The Divas of Doom walked out after to slow-clap the victory.
After last week's proposal from Jack Swagger, it looks like Vickie decided to put him to the test. His potential was to be showcased in a match against Alex Riley. A match that Swagger should have won, but for the distraction from Dolph Ziggler. Dolph made his way down the ramp mid-match to tell Vickie that she only needs one client, and that's him. Swagger tried to help Vickie up, but only ended up getting rolled up.
Time to play the Game again! Trips came out and claimed to have worked everything out with Nash over the last week. And to prove it, he called Nash out to the ring to corroborate his story. Nash told HHH he believes him about the text message. However, when it comes to Punk, the apology he was apparently going to give him was now out the window after the way Punk spoke to him. Triple H told Nash that he doesn't work for him and he can't be beating up his employees on his watch. Clearly he was trying to get this over with quickly, and he asked Nash to leave, but before the conversation could go very much further, CM Punk came out and joined them.
After referencing both Clue and Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories (Punk is Rick James, bitch!), Punk accused Trips of having it in for him from the beginning. He also alleged that Stephanie McMahon was the one who sent the message. Triple H issued a verbal warning, but one more insult was all it took for Nash to boil over and lay Punk out. The COO and Nash both left the ring, arguing, while Punk looked positively giddy. Backstage, Trips urged Nash to leave, and Nash accused Trips of having changed since he took over the company.
It's time for a tag team match! "Tag-Us" (as I've come to call Otunga & McGillicutty) defended their titles against... Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne? I gotta be honest, I wasn't watching the beginning of this match. I had my glasses off and my head down, and was just being entertained by listening to Jerry Lawler talk about how the champs had no personality, and the only reason they've had the titles for so long is that they haven't defended them. I loved hearing that, but I was more than slightly amused by the entire commentary team using the term "tag team division" like there is one. The only reason I put my glasses on was because about this time, a stray cat showed up outside our place and our cat was sitting in the window totally losing his shit. But I'm glad I did put my glasses on. I am ashamed that I wasn't going to give that match a chance. Evan and Kofi worked very well together, actually. I guess that's why their our new tag team champions! Mehe wants to call them "Jungle Fever" for some reason...
Meanwhile, backstage, Johnny Ace found Triple H and told him that Nash had been in a bad wreck and taken to the hospital. Trips did the stupid thing and took off, leaving Ace in charge. Seriously? How obvious can this be?
Apparently, we were supposed to see Zack Ryder against Santino Marella next, but before Santino even made it to the ring, he was attacked by R-Truth and Miz. The Awesome Truth have decided to declare war on The Conspiracy and take back their main event statuses! Unfortunately, this segment ended with R-Truth rapping, although Miz backed him up with some extra "You Suck!"s (as opposed to "What's Up") and that ALMOST made up for it.
After a commercial break, it's Main Event time! Mehe commented that it seemed like a wise business decision to give us this match on pay-per-view twice before giving it to us for free on regular cable. Especially since this was better than the second pay match. Del Rio and Laurinaitis sat ringside for this one, Del Rio for obvious reasons, Ace... well, also for obvious reasons, to be honest. Come on, I'm just the recruit. If I can call the outcome, it's pretty freaking obvious. Before the match started, both men followed the traditional pre-match ritual of removing his shirt and throwing it to the crowd. John Cena's came back to him. Twice. The local crowd's mood didn't phase him, however (remember when getting booed really used to shake him up? I think he's getting used to it), and he had one more square, even match with CM Punk.
Well, almost even. At the end of the show, Kevin Nash showed up from out of nowhere with a microphone and just said "This isn't over." The distraction opened up an opportunity for John Cena, and the man took it. Looks like Cena gets his rematch first. I say looks like, because clearly there is legitimate gripe for Punk. With Mysterio out of the picture, I am still looking for a triple-threat match for Night of Champions. If not, then I think Punk gets to be special guest referee. Either way, I think HHH is gonna be super pissed next week.