We now go backstage to John Cena with his referee shirt, when he is joined by Wade Barrett who takes Cena on a trip down memory lane with the rise of The Nexus. Cena makes it clear to Barrett that he knows exactly what he is going to do tonight in the main event.
WWE Tag Team Championship: Heath Slater and David Otunga vs. Santino Marella and Vladmir Kozlov
There isn’t any buildup shown for this match other than a small reference that Marella and Kozlov earned their opportunity six days earlier on Old School RAW. This seems quite a come down for Kozlov who when he debuted was feuding with the likes of Triple H, but he is clearly another big man Vince quickly lost interest in. The action remains pretty basic and The Nexus seem to dominate the action. Santino is eventually tagged in, and is able to mount a comeback until he is distracted by the various members of The Nexus at ringside allowing Slater to hit an almost reverse neck breaker to pick up the win. The Nexus continue to attack them until an email is received by the anonymous RAW general manager, Michael Cole receives probably the biggest heel reaction of the night and reminds The Nexus they are barred from ringside in the main event.
Match Rating: 1.5 out of 5.0 Stars
WWE Championship – Special Guest Referee John Cena: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
A nice promo is shown depicting the struggles of John Cena and The Nexus over the past few months but also how much Cena’s career means to him but there is very little mention of Randy Orton, it is more about Cena and The Nexus. We are first welcomed to Cena, the guest referee who comes out to his usual mixed reaction but his face does tell a great story. Barrett comes out next to a pretty cool heel reaction, followed by Orton to a pretty nice reaction which then soon disappears…sadly the fans throughout this show have had difficulty maintaining interest. The match itself starts off very back and forth until Barrett maintains a continual defense but Cena seemingly isn’t overly aware of his referee role duties. After a pretty decent match, Orton wins following an RKO after Cena shoves Barrett with extreme force. The consequence, Cena is free from The Nexus but he is fired. The remainder of The Nexus make their way out and are quickly attacked by Cena and Orton before Cena then almost begrudgingly hands the title back to Orton before they embrace (exceptionally strange given their history). Cole then embraces MICHAEL COLE – what the hell is going on, this is just bizarre, we all know he’ll be back in a few weeks.
Match Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0 Stars
The overall show sadly is pretty forgettable and lacks something that would make it an event you would happily go back and watch. I won’t deny that some of the match were very good, but they seemed to lack the long-term planning need to help fans engage in the future. There were several clear opportunities on the show, especially with DiBiase and Bryan but also Sheamus and Morrison, they had the potential to be exceptional matches, I won’t deny they were good but they weren’t great and really allow the fans to invest in a long term feud. For me, the most enjoyable match was Bryan and DiBiase, absolutely cracking match but could have benefited with having longer. If you’ve got not much else to do, then it’s an okay event to watch but it has taken me three attempts to get through some of it. If you’d like to view the event yourself, you can view it here courtesy of the WWE Network!
Show Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars
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