This week’s Raw was far from exciting. It did do a good job setting up for next week’s show which should have plenty of action. We’ll get to that in a bit. The main reason tonight was lackluster was because it was a rare tapped edition of Raw. Spoilers came out earlier in the day for tonight’s show and the WWE probably didn’t want to waste any big surprises only to have them spoiled before Raw went on air. It’s understandable.
As for tonight, Edge and Chris Jericho are no longer a part of Team WWE vs. Nexus at Summerslam. Edge quit the team before having a match with Wade Barrett. The match was never completed as Nexus rushed the ring and Edge escaped through the crowd. Jericho lost to John Cena in a “loser leaves Team WWE match.” Edge and Jericho are now forming a bond once again, but the Raw GM set up a mega match for next week. It will be Y2J and Edge against Cena and Bret Hart. Nexus will surround the ring as lumberjacks.
Few things on this. One, it’s great to finally see Hart back on Raw. We haven’t seen him since he was revealed as the seventh member of Team WWE a few weeks ago. With Team WWE falling apart it was only a matter of time before Hart made some kind of appearance. I see Hart as the guy who will mend the team before heading into Summerslam. He as is the senior member of the team, I wouldn’t be shocked if he hand-picked the two new members of the team to replace Edge and Jericho.
As for who could replace those guys. If Bret has the power to pick, we might see the Hart Dynasty get the nod which would be an obvious choice with Bret. Evan Bourne would be a great pick since he has a history with Nexus. Hell, why not Vince McMahon? Nexus took him out and Vince might be craving some revenge. The one problem with Vince and Bret on the same time, despite their hate for each other, it’s hard for fans to see Team WWE with two non-wrestlers on the same team opposing Nexus. It’s just not a realistic team.
The other big thing in this angle going forward is what role does Edge and Jericho play? Do they come back to the team? Do they try and screw the WWE and join the Nexus? Or do they screw the WWE and take out Nexus as well and play the tweener role? These two guys are the wild card here and this adds an interesting layer to this feud which has been missing for a while. I have all the respect in the world for Edge and he has been one of the most solid heels in the WWE over the last five years. Jericho proved tonight in his match with Cena that he still has it in the ring. These two could be an interesting pair once again and cause a lot of destruction within Raw.
Randy Orton faced the Miz in what was the second best match of the night. I give first place to Cena/Jericho. Orton beat the Miz although it was not one-sided. Sheamus watched from the entrance ramp and even though this has been booked as a one-on-one match, Miz has played the third wheel very well. You almost get the feeling like this is a triple threat and that goes to show you how effective the Miz has been. He’s inserted himself beautifully into this feud and held his own against the WWE Champion and arguably the most popular star on the brand in Orton.
I realized one thing tonight about Randy Orton. Back in late 1998, Stone Cold Steve Austin was the guy in the WWE. People paid to see him as he was the face of the company. However, there was a guy right underneath him that fans loved very much, the Rock. Even though Austin got louder pops there was something that the fans just loved about the Rock that they could not get enough of.
Now, I’m not saying Cena is on par with Austin and Orton is on the same level as the Rock. What we had in 1998 we once again have in 2010 on Raw with different stars on a much smaller scale. Mostly 90% of the people that go to Raw are there to see Cena and hold up signs for him and wear his paraphernalia. However, when Orton enters the arena, people just gravitate toward him instantaneously. He may not be Cena, but he sure as hell as a strong following on par with Cena.
Just throwing it out there, the following year, 1999, Rock became the guy in the company. Can the same be said for Orton in 2011? Only time will tell.