– Tonight’s WWE RAW opens up with clips from last week where Nexus beat down John Cena. We see where CM Punk revealed himself as the new leader of Nexus and laid Cena out. We go ringside to Michael Cole. Cole says Cena likely won’t be here tonight due to injuries from last week’s attack and a live event match against Wade Barrett. Cole says we hope to have a lot of questions answered tonight on RAW. Cole also hypes up the WWE Title Match tonight and sends us to the RAW opening video.
– Cole welcomes us to the first RAW of 2011 from Phoenix, Arizona and we go right to the ring for the opener.
WWE Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match: The Miz (c) vs John Morrison
They start brawling on the stage. Riley comes over to assist Miz but Morrison fights him off. Riley holds Morrison and Miz swings but he ducks and Miz hits Riley. Morrison drops Miz and gets a 2 count on the ramp. Morrison with an uppercut. Morrison throws Miz into the set and gets another 2 count. Riley comes back over to interfere. Morrison grabs him and slams him into the big WWE symbol. Morrison lays out Miz as well with a clothesline. Morrison climbs on top of the big W and leaps off onto Miz and Riley. Another 2 count by Morrison.
Morrison brings Miz back down to the ring. Miz drops him with an elbow to the jaw for a 2 count. Miz stomps on Morrison now and rams him back in the corner. Miz takes Morrison to the top for a superplex. Morrison counters and knocks Miz back to the mat. Morrison comes off the top with a missile dropkick for another 2 count. Morrison takes Miz to the corner and beats him down. Morrison with a roll up for another 2 count. Miz counters but misses a clothesline. Morrison with a spin kick to the jaw off the second rope. Morrison with a big knee to the face and another 2 count as Riley pulls Morrison out to the floor. Morrison and Riley go at it on the floor. Morrison sits Riley up on the fan barrier. Morrison runs up on the barrier and hits a knee to the face, laying Riley out. Miz has used the time in the ring to recover. We go to commercial as Morrison prepares to enter the ring.
Back from commercial and they are beside the ramp. Miz sets up a steel barrier and tries to suplex Morrison onto it. Morrison counters and tries the same. Miz fights out and backdrops Morrison on the steel. Miz with a 2 count. Miz puts Morrison on the stage and hits a big running knee for another 2 count. Miz grabs Morrison by his head and tosses him down the ramp. Another 2 count and Miz is frustrated. Miz brings things back down to ringside, hitting Morrison with a crate. Another 2 count.
Miz kicks Morrison around in the ring and talks trash. Morrison recovers and fights back with kicks and right hands. Miz fights back but Morrison drops him with two clotheslines and a heel kick to the face. 2 count by Morrison. Morrison with a side leg sweep in the corner. Morrison goes for Starship Pain but Miz rolls out of the way. Morrison gets caught in a backbreaker and a neckbreaker for another Miz 2 count. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale but Morrison counters. Miz charges but runs into the ringpost. Morrison hits Starship Pain this time but only gets a 2 count.
Morrison charges with a knee but Miz rolls him up for 2. Morrison throws a kick to Miz’s face and knocks him back out of the ring where a table is set up. Morrison puts Miz on the table and goes up to the apron. Morrison does Starship Pain through the table on the floor but Miz rolls out of the way and Morrison crashes through the table. Miz covers but still can only get a 2 count. Miz picks Morrison up and hits the Skull Crushing Finale on the floor for the pin and the win.
Winner: The Miz
– A steel cage #1 contender’s match to determine The Miz’s Royal Rumble opponent will be held tonight. The announcers promise a Cena injury update later as well. Back to commercial.
– Superstars announcer Scott Stanford is backstage with The Miz and Riley. Miz says all that matters is that he’s still champion and he’s awesome.
Melina, Alicia Fox and Maryse vs. Brie Bella, Eve Torres and Natalya
Out for the next match comes the team of Alicia Fox, Melina and Maryse. They enter the ring and we go to commercial. Back from the break and in the ring is Brie Bella, Eve Torres and Divas Champion Natalya. Brie and Maryse start things out going at it. Brie sends Maryse out to the floor and chases her back in. Maryse drops Brie’s face to the mat and covers for a 2 count.
Maryse sets Brie up on the ropes and charges her, sending Bella to the floor. While Brie is on the floor, she switches with Nikki who is under the ring. Maryse brings Nikki into the ring and DDT’s her for a 2 count. Alicia comes in as does Natalya. They go at it. Natalya dropkicks Alicia in the back of the head and slams her. Natalya goes for a Sharpshooter but Melina comes in. Melina holds Natalya’s foot while Alicia kicks her. Natalya comes back with a suplex. She gets into it with Melina on the apron. Melina drops Natalya on the rope as the ref isn’t looking. Melina is tagged in now but Natalya lays her out and tags in Eve. Eve hits a neckbreaker for the pin and the win.
Winners: Eve, Brie and Natalya
The Usos vs. Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella
Back from commercial and The Uso Twins are in the ring waiting. Out next come the WWE Tag Team Champions Vladimir Kozlov and Santino Marella, with Tamina, the former valet of the Usos. Vladimir starts it out with Jimmy. Cole says the titles aren’t on the line in this match. Kozlov takes Uso to the mat and they go back and forth. Santino is tagged in but gets taken off his feet by Jey. Jimmy is tagged back in for a bit of double teaming. More offense on Santino as Uso taunts Tamina. Santino takes Uso to the corner and tags in Kozlov who unleashes on Uso.
The other Uso comes in off the top rope and drops Kozlov. More back and forth action between the Usos keeping control of Kozlov. Jimmy tries to pull Kozlov by his leg to stop the tag to Santino. Kozlov makes it and in comes Santino with right hands on Uso. Santino with a big hip toss and headbutt for a 2 count. Santino dumps Uso out of the ring. He goes for the Cobra on the other Uso but gets caught in a Samoan Drop to give the Usos the win.
Winners: The Usos
– After the match, one of the Usos comes in the ring and gets into it with Tamina as she checks on Santino. Kozlov cleans house. Tamina and Santino hit a double Cobra on Jimmy and pose with Kozlov and their belts.
– Cole talks about WWE Tough Enough returning this Spring and Matthews talks about being a part of the first Tough Enough.
– We see CM Punk backstage adjusting his Nexus armband and heading to the ring as we go to commercial.
– Back from the break and out comes CM Punk. Punk says he’s been looking for John Cena all day but “can’t see” John Cena and does the hand gesture. Punk says Cena isn’t here tonight because of him. Punk goes on and mocks Cena, getting the crowd to chant for him. Punk says he is taking over Nexus and RAW. Out comes Wade Barrett. Barrett says Cena isn’t here tonight because of him and they go back and forth. They both call out Nexus and here they come. The RAW GM chimes in and it’s announced that Wade Barrett will be in the #1 contender’s cage match tonight. Punk says if Barrett loses, he’s out of Nexus. We see the cage hanging high above the ring as we go back to commercial.
Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth
We go to the ring and Ricardo Rodriguez awaits. He introduces Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio comes out and says he’s destined to become World Heavyweight Champion. He enters the ring and says his destiny is to destroy everyone on SmackDown. Here on RAW, the name Alberto Del Rio will be emblazoned in the heart and the mind of the WWE Universe, he says. He says his destiny is to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania. Del Rio says the fans have no destiny but is interrupted by R-Truth’s music. Out comes Truth to the ring.
Truth says Del Rio’s only destiny is to go back where he came from and the truth is, he’s the man to send Del Rio there. Truth slaps Del Rio and here we go. Del Rio charges but Truth ducks and unloads with rights. More offense from Truth and a big spin kick. Truth clotheslines Del Rio over the ropes and to the floor. Truth comes flying over the ropes and lands on Del Rio as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial and Truth is landing a series of rights on Del Rio in the corner. Truth with a scoop slam for a 2 count. Del Rio comes back with a kick to the face and an armbar drop for a 2 count. Del Rio with right hands on Truth now. Del Rio continues to work on Truth’s arm now. Truth fights back now but his arm is hurt. Del Rio hits a big kick to the gut and slams Truth by his arm. 2 count by Del Rio. Del Rio drops knees into Truth’s arm and shoulder now. Del Rio with another 2 count. Del Rio applies a submission on Truth’s arm now.
Back and forth action now. Del Rio goes for a move on the ropes but misses it and slides right out to the floor. Del Rio’s announcer tries to get him up as Truth recovers in the ring. Del Rio comes in the ring but Truth drops him. Truth mounts an offense now but only gets a 2 count. Truth goes for his spin kick but Del Rio rolls to the apron. Del Rio pulls Truth’s arm into the ring post. Del Rio comes back in and applies his cross armbreaker finisher. Truth finally taps out to give Del Rio the win.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
– Still to come tonight, a #1 contender’s cage match with Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett. We go back to break.
– Backstage we see Wade Barrett talking to Nexus. He says they know he’s the real leader of Nexus. Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel say they have his back and he says he made them champions and can make everyone else champions. David Otunga suggests Barrett just work things out with CM Punk. Barrett says Punk is in it for himself. Punk hears this and walks in. Punk says everyone in Nexus wishes Barrett the best of luck tonight and the all agree. Barrett walks off and Punk shakes hands with everyone in Nexus.
– Scott Stanford is backstage with Randy Orton. He brings up last year and Orton says last year meant nothing to him. Orton says he was too nice last year. He says he let his guard down every now and then and showed compassion. Orton say its a new year and he’s resolved to nice guys finish last. We see the cage being lowered over the ring as we go to commercial.
#1 Contender’s Triple Threat Cage Match: Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
The winner of this match faces The Miz at Royal Rumble. The only way to win is by escaping the cage. Out first comes Sheamus, wearing his King of the Ring garb. Sheamus enters the cage and out next comes Wade Barrett. It’s announced as breaking news that John Cena may return to RAW on next week’s show. Barrett makes his way inside the steel as Randy Orton comes out to a big pop from the crowd.
The bell rings and all three wrestlers test each other out. Barrett runs for the cage wall and tries to escape. Orton and Sheamus double team Barrett in the corner. Sheamus turns around and goes to escape. Orton sees this and pulls him down. Orton with right hands on Sheamus. Orton comes out of the corner and clotheslines Sheamus but runs into a big boot from Barrett. Barrett goes for Wasteland but Orton slides out. Orton climbs the cage but Barrett and Sheamus both go after him. Orton is pulled back in and double teamed.
Back from commercial and Orton is trying to escape. He makes it over the wall but Sheamus grabs him. Barrett comes over and helps Sheamus bring Orton back over. Orton fights back and throws them both into the cage wall. Orton with a big dropkick on Sheamus, sending him into the steel. Orton hits the second rope DDT but stops as he sees Barrett trying to escape. Orton stops him and launches him into the steel on the other side of the ring. Orton grabs them both for the second-rope DDT but can’t hit it. He tries it on Sheamus but its countered. Sheamus dumps Orton into the steel.
More double teaming from Sheamus and Barrett. Sheamus attacks Barrett now and they trade blows. Barrett slingshots Sheamus into the corner and begins to climb the cage. Orton runs up and stops him. Orton superplexes Barrett back onto the mat. Orton goes for an RKO but Sheamus catches him in the Irish Curse. Sheamus tosses Barrett into the steel and he finally goes down after the third shot and a big slam. Sheamus goes to escape out of the door but Orton grabs his leg. Sheamus starts climbing but Barrett stops him. They go at it. Barrett takes control with cage shots and goes at it with Orton. Barrett drops Orton on his head and starts climbing. Sheamus comes over and stops him. Sheamus goes down and Barrett is still on the top rope. Barrett leaps down with an elbow drop but Sheamus puts his knees up.
Orton with scoop slam and clotheslines on Sheamus. Orton with the Angle slam on Sheamus. Orton goes to Barrett and hits the second-rope DDT. Orton runs into a boot from Sheamus. Sheamus tries to escape but Orton stops him. They fight on the top rope until Barrett drops them both. Barrett hits each with a big boot to the face. Barrett climbs the cage. CM Punk runs out and climbs to sit on top of the cage. He extends his hand to Barrett and helps him climb. Punk rips Barrett’s Nexus armband off and kicks him back onto the mat. Punk then leaves.
Sheamus drops Barrett again with a boot to the head and looks to leave through the cage door. Orton stops Sheamus with a huge RKO. Orton walks out of the cage door to earn the WWE Title shot at Royal Rumble.
Winner and New #1 Contender: Randy Orton
– RAW goes off the air with Orton celebrating the win.