A Somewhat Detailed Account of the Major Goings On Within WWE From Late Spring 2010 to Present
The roster of season one of NXT, led by winner Wade Barrett, formed the stable “The Nexus.” Their aim was to get back at the WWE for treating them so poorly and dominate the company. Here is there debut which was awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLrUmWwvrYc . Daniel Bryan was actually legit fired for this, the official reason being that his choking of ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie was too harsh/violent. Supposedly Mattel, a big sponsor and creator of WWE action figures nowadays, objected to it and urged the move. Essentially Bryan was fired for a couple months and then brought back so the heat could die down.
Everything after that pretty much failed, as they never let Nexus gain any real ground. They attacked random people, including GM Bret Hart to force him out of the role, until Vince McMahon agreed to give them contracts (they then attacked him, inexplicably.) The main target was John Cena, and their attack on him at Fatal Four Way allowed Sheamus to win the match and become WWE Champion again. At Summerslam, The Nexus lost a huge 7 vs. 7 match, against a team that had Bret Hart, a returning Daniel Bryan, and John Cena, who would win the match for his team 2 vs. 1 (and did so after taking a DDT to exposed concrete and a few finishers.) Every major match thereafter the Nexus seemed to lose, and its members became little but bit players as the focus remained on Cena being defeated and Barrett becoming champion.
At Night of Champions, Barrett eliminated Cena in a 6 man elimination match, but he was quickly eliminated by Randy Orton, who would go on to win the title. Cena and Barrett finally had a match at Hell in a Cell – if Cena won, the Nexus would disband, but if he lost, he would join them. Barrett defeated Cena with distraction from the other Nexus members, and Cena was forced to join. However, Cena basically did whatever he wanted, wearing his own gear and promising to destroy the group from the inside out (regularly assaulting his Nexus teammates.) Though he was humiliated a few times, fetching water only to have it thrown in his face, and ultimately was forced to be in Barrett’s corner during his title opportunity against Randy Orton, with the threat of his firing if Barrett didn’t win the match. Cena interfered on Barrett’s behalf at the end of the match, forcing a disqualification, resulting in Orton keeping the title and Barrett technically winning the match, thus leaving Cena safe.
At Survivor Series (where the Nexus strangely did not compete in a traditional tag match,) Barrett received another shot at Orton, with Cena serving as referee. Cena was caught between the promise of being released from the Nexus if Barrett won, and the threat of being fired if Barrett did not win the gold. Ultimately Cena did the noble thing and counted the clean pin for Orton, effectively sealing his own fate.
Though Cena was “fired” and gave an emotional speech on RAW the next night, he interrupted the WWE Title rematch and rallied the RAW roster to chase the Nexus out of the building. Promising to continue to show up in an unofficial capacity to make the Nexus’ lives miserable (similar to the Nexus’ own method of securing contracts,) Barrett agreed to rehire Cena (under pressure from his mutinous Nexus teammates threatening to kick him out if he didn’t,) and a final match at TLC – a chairs match. Cena won the match conclusively, ending it by throwing a large piece of equipment on Barrett and then pulling down on of the decorative strings of chairs on the stage to rain them down on Barrett: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHRgj5TwWvE
Barrett’s loss and increasing frustration from his underlings allowed a new face to take control – CM Punk. After the failure of the Straight Edge Society (who suffered similar strings of losses and was compounded by its members being released one-by-one,) CM Punk set his religious-like philosophy on the Nexus, at first promising to work with Barrett and then viciously exiling him. The group had since been joined by Husky Harris and Michael McGillicutty from NXT Season 2, and Punk managed to recruit them, as well as the debuting Mason Ryan (who many call a Welsh Batista.) Together they formed “The New Nexus.” Punk put his group through harsh trials, hitting them with kendo sticks and forcing them to take beatings, which resulted in Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel leaving to join Wade Barrett on Smackdown (where they would form a new group.)
The New Nexus wouldn’t see any more success than the old one, and Punk would lead them all to face Randy Orton in singles matches as revenge for Orton punting Punk back in 2008. They all fell to Orton, including Punk at Wrestlemania. Punk would also lose a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules and his philosophies waned. The group would set its sights on tag champs Big Show and Kane and then on Rey Mysterio, with Punk using the tried and true method of calling Mysterio a coward for hiding behind a mask. After Punk defeated Mysterio and Otunga and McGillicutty defeated Big Show & Kane for the tag team titles, the group began to splinter due to Punk’s newly renewed main event singles push (see below.) With Ryan out with an injury, and the tag champs coming out to new music, this effectively killed the Nexus for good.
The World Heavyweight Championship and Edge’s Retirement:
As you may know, Chris Jericho retained the World Heavyweight Championship (henceforth, WHC,) against Edge at Wrestlemania XXVI. Jack Swagger, as the winner of the MITB at that event, cashed in on Jericho to become champion. Swagger defeated Randy Orton at Extreme Rules and won against The Big Show via DQ at Over the Limit. Rey Mysterio would win the title at Fatal Four Way in a four way match and go on to beat Swagger in singles competition. The highlight of Swagger’s mediocre reign was the fact that he would bring his “dad” to boast about his amateur and college accomplishments and also be accompanied to the ring by the “Swagger Soaring Eagle,” an eagle mascot that act goofy like a regular mascot (played by poor Chavo Guerrero.) At Money in the Bank, Mysterio defeated Swagger, but was then cashed in on by the Smackdown MITB winner, Kane.
Kane would begin the lengthiest title reign in his career as WHC. He berated Rey for wearing a mask, as he once had, and defeated him. His brother, The Undertaker, would challenge him to No Holds Barred, Hell in a Cell, and finally Buried Alive – a series that Kane would sweep, due mostly to the fact that Paul Bearer turned on Taker and aligned himself with Kane. In a bit of ridiculousness, their match at Summerslam ended when Bearer opened the fabled urn and stunned Taker with the power within (basically a flashlight.) Kane also managed to bury Taker alive once again after The Nexus interfered and saved him (for reasons that were never mentioned or brought up again, though Barrett vs. Taker was hinted at as a Wrestlemania match at one point.)
Edge, who had recently begun a campaign against the RAW Anonymous General Manager, the person who took Bret Hart’s place and communicated through a computer, for being “stupid,” was suddenly transferred to Smackdown, where he targeted Kane and Paul Bearer. Edge would taunt Kane with Bearer, kidnapping him and forcing him to do ridiculous things. Eventually, Edge won a four way TLC match to win the WHC, thus beginning a program with Dolph Ziggler and his ex-wife Vickie Guerrero. Vickie served as the consultant to the general manager Teddy Long and was essentially given the green light by Vince McMahon to do whatever she wanted. Despite numerous title matches, Edge managed to defeat Ziggler each time and retain in the Elimination Chamber (though Vickie ruled Dolph champion at one point in a move that was quickly written off.)
Edge faced Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio at Wrestlemania XXVII, making a mockery of his heritage and damaging his expensive cars. He won a fairly dull match that actually went on first. It was after the event that Edge learned that a recent MRI showed he had cervical spinal stenosis, and mentioned that he would feel numbness in his arms at times, due in part to his previous neck injury where his cervical vertebrae had been fused. Edge made the difficult decision to retire, not wanting to risk being paralysed from the neck down. He relinquished the WHC and left active in-ring competition.
His good friend Christian, who had backed him up against Del Rio, now faced the Mexican in a ladder match for the vacant title and won, finally achieving his dream of becoming champion. However, Randy Orton immediately challenged Christian and won the title on Smackdown, making Christian’s reign a mere five days. Del Rio would be drafted to RAW, leaving Christian open to facing Orton several more times. Christian began blaming and threatening legal action against Teddy Long for allowing Orton to swoop in and take the title, while denying him proper rematches. Christian would lose again, despite his foot being on the bottom rope, prompting another rematch.
At Money in the Bank, Christian won the title via his own lawyer-imposed stipulation that if the referee made a bad call or if Orton was DQ’d, he would win the title. Christian spit in Orton’s face, causing Orton to low blow him in a fit of rage and get disqualified, thus losing the title. Christian gloated, though Orton remained vigilant that he was the better man. At Summerslam, in a No Holds Barred match, Orton conclusively defeated Christian after striking him with weapons, avoiding a con-chair-to, and hitting an RKO on the ring steps. Mark Henry is next in line for a shot at the title. Henry has, arguably for the first time in his 12+ year career, been portrayed as the monstrous World’s Strongest Man. He’s assaulted several wrestlers, thrown staff clear across barricades when they were eyeballing him, and has defeated the likes of Big Show and Sheamus, throwing the former through a cage and the latter clear through the barricade. He gets his first title shot at Night of Champions.
NXT, A Lesson In Writing A Major Television Show At Denny’s:
The main thing you need to know about NXT is that after season two, they stopped giving a damn. Season two would be won by Kaval (Low-Ki of indy wrestling fame and Senshi in TNA,) despite the fact that his pros were Lay-Cool. Kaval would lose a bunch of a matches and finally request his release, citing that he wasn’t being used properly. He did challenge for the IC title with NXT won title shot, but lost.
Season three of the show was an all diva season, and the funniest yet. Go out of your way to watch it. It really has to be seen to be believed, but it’s important for a few things:
*Michael Cole (and the announcers in general,) commenting on how much of a waste of time it was. Cole would even have a gong that he would strike when things got too awful (this would sow the seeds for the current heel Cole.)
*Goldust getting engaged to his rookie Aksana to keep her in the country and then being slapped by her at the in-ring wedding, turning her heel and into a gold digger who only wanted a green card (Goldust divorced her when she got eliminated – now she’s seducing Teddy Long on Smackdown.)
*An entire episode getting leaked with director audio from the production truck.
*Primo developing a small connection with his rookie AJ, that was never mentioned again.
*Vickie Guerrero constantly getting upstaged by her rookie Kaitlyn, finally kissing her boyfriend Dolph Ziggler.
*The Bella Twins turning heel after getting upset that the rookies thought they were better than them (spoilers: they are.)
*The entire thing being a big circus with Matt Striker, the pros, and the announcers just having fun since none of it mattered.
The season would be won by Kaitlyn, for her goofy personality and probably because she made Vickie a fool so many times. She and best friend AJ team up on Smackdown, but Kaitlyn hasn’t really done jack shit herself.
Season four of the show was the blandest yet, though memorable due to Derrick Bateman, the Andy Samburg-like rookie of Daniel Bryan and his wacky antics. The season was inexplicably won by Johnny Curtis, a guy who looks like your average create-a-wrestler and with the same personality. Curtis would cut a series of promos on Smackdown that would play on popular phrases, for example, not crying over spilled milk over his pro R-Truth leaving him, and then actually faking crying while physically pouring a pitcher of milk on the floor. Curtis finally debuted and was squashed by Mark Henry and hasn’t done jack shit since.
Season five of NXT is still on-going, after six months. It was to be the redemption season, where previous contenders fought to win ….. a spot on NXT season six. Seriously. It’s come down to Titus O’Neil and Darren Young (even though Young already had a roster spot after being kicked out of Nexus,) and now Derrick Bateman as a heel and Maxine from season three are there. Also Hornswoggle is O’Neil’s pro and is dating AJ from season three. We don’t watch it anymore either.
So NXT is essentially where they send people to kinda sorta get ready for the main roster, and the winners don’t really do jack shit.
Moments of Glory At Wrestlemania – The Undertaker vs. Triple H And SNOOKI:
Around February a strange promo started to air on RAW, promising only a date – 2.21.11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5KMKzPeRXA It would be revealed on that date that it was signaling the return of the Undertaker. As Taker came out and was about to speak, Triple H also made his return and the two men had a silent standoff. Eventually, Triple H laid out the challenge to Undertaker to try and break his undefeated streak. Before the event, Shawn Michaels met both men in the ring and criticized Triple H for thinking he could defeat the Undertaker, and succeed where he had failed twice. Triple H replied that he had to beat Taker to solidify his legacy, something HBK did not have to do since his legacy was intact. Triple H then told Michaels to tell the Undertaker why the Game is going to defeat him, but Michaels simply left the ring silent, believing that he could not.
At Wrestlemania Triple H came out to Metallica’s “For Whom The Bell Tolls” in a skull mask. The match was No Holds Barred, and they brawled outside the ring, throwing each other into Michael Cole’s “Cole Mine” in the process. HHH gave Taker a spinebuster through the announce table, but Taker fought back and delivered all of his signature move, including the chokeslam, Last Ride, and Tombstone Piledriver. Triple H countered back with three pedigrees, numerous chairshots, and his own Tombstone Piledriver on Taker, but still Taker kicked out. Triple H went for his signature sledgehammer, but Undertaker locked in the Hell’s Gate submission and Triple H tapped out, making Undertaker’s streak 19-1. Both men would then disappear again, until Triple H reemerged to become COO.
Snooki appeared as the guest star of RAW on March 14th and exchanged words with Vickie Guerrero. Later Snooki took down Laycool, who helped Vickie win a match against Trish Stratus (in a special appearance.) The match was laid out that Dolph Ziggler and Laycool would face John Morrison, Trish, and Snooki at Wrestlemania. A vignette aired showing Snooki punching out a man at a bar to train and then Laycool attacking them. The actual “match” only lasted a few minutes with Morrison taking out Dolph and Snooki doing a cartwheel splash on McCool to earn the win for her team.
The Return Of The Rock:
On February 14th, Vince McMahon announced the special guest host for Wrestlemania XXVII: The Rock. The Rock came out to a thunderous ovation and cut a 20+ minute promo that addressed his return to the fans, insulted Michael Cole and The Miz, and particularly zeroed in on John Cena, calling him a “big fat bowl of Fruity Pebbles” in response to a shoot interview Cena did several years ago, accusing Rock of not caring enough to come back and acknowledge his time with the WWE while acting.
After several satellite appearances where he continued to berate Cena, even berating a child dressed as Cena, the Rock made another live appearance to confront him. Rock’s sharp wit was in full force as he called Cena a “homeless Power Ranger” and “Vanilla Ice,” but Cena fired back with the notion that the Rock “only brings it via satellite,” in contrast to Rock’s earlier promise that he was here to say. Before they could finish, Miz and Alex Riley attacked them, but as Rock chased them off, Cena hit an Attitude Adjustment on him.
At Wrestlemania, The Rock opened the show with a declaration to the fans to make it the most electrifying Wrestlemania ever and appeared in several backstage segments, including a staredown with old rival Stone Cold Steve Austin. During the main event, Rock demanded the double countout nullified and the match restarted, at which time he gave Cena a Rock Bottom and allowed Miz to get the pin, but only before he delivered a People’s Elbow to the champion and then posed in front of the Atlanta crowd.
The next night on RAW, Cena and Rock showed mutual respect and shook hands, agreeing to face one another next year at Wrestlemania XXVIII. The two of them then came together to fend off an attack by The Corre. On May 2nd, in Miami, RAW was dedicated to Rock’s birthday, and he was treated to an in-ring celebration and performances by Pitbull and Mya.
Rock has yet to make another appearance as of yet, but rumors are that he will appear at the Survivor Series PPV. Cena continues to make digs at Rock whenever he can, for example telling Zack Ryder that sunglasses indoors are lame while raising his eyebrow similar to Rock’s signature taunt. Unless something changes, the match for Mania 28, is on. Cena vowed to keep the WWE title to make the match a championship match, and while he’s failed to do that, he is adamant that he will be WWE Champion in time for the match.
The WWE Title And The Miz, The Most-See WWE Champion Of All Time:
Late 2010 to early 2011 was the time for The Miz. Coming off a tag title reign with The Big Show, Miz defeated R-Truth to hold the United States title. After winning the Money in the Bank briefcase, he secured the services of his season two NXT rookie Alex Riley. Though he lost the US Title to former rookie Daniel Bryan, he was named captain of Team RAW at Bragging Rights and was the sole survivor on his team (before losing to Edge & Rey Mysterio.)
On November 22, after Randy Orton successfully defeated Wade Barrett for the title in a rematch, The Miz cashed in MITB and won the WWE Championship, thus beginning the Era of Awesome. Miz was allowed to pick the stipulation for Orton’s rematch at the TLC PPV, and he chose a tables match, which he won. Orton received another opportunity after defeating Barrett and Sheamus in a cage match, but at the Royal Rumble, the members of the New Nexus distracted Orton, leading to another distraction by Riley, and a Go To Sleep on Orton by CM Punk, allowing Miz to steal the victory. After his battle royal victory, Miz was forced to defend the title against Jerry Lawler, who he had earlier defeated in a TLC match thanks to a distraction by Michael Cole. At Elimination Chamber, Miz defeated Lawler in a hard fought match.
By virtue of his Elimination Chamber win, John Cena earned the right to face Miz in the main event at Wrestlemania XXVII. Though Cena was involved in a feud with the newly returned Dwanye Johnson, Miz took the opportunity to insult both of them as D-list stars. Miz and Riley attacked Rock on the RAW before Wrestlemania, leading to Cena hitting an Attitude Adjustment on Rock. At Wrestlemania, both men traded finishers until they knocked each other out on the outside, leading to a double DQ. The Rock protested this finish and interrupted the RAW GM to declare it a no-DQ, no count out, no time limit restart. Cena dragged Miz back in the ring, but Rock took revenge on Cena, giving him a Rock Bottom, and allowing Miz to pick up the pin and retain the title. Rock then had a staredown with Miz and hit a spinebuster and People’s Elbow on the champ.
Miz would lose the WWE Title at Extreme Rules in a cage match featuring both John Morrison and the man who would pin him after a top rope AA, John Cena. Miz invoked his rematch clause the following night and won the match after hitting Cena with the belt, however the referee saw the belt in Alex Riley’s raised hand, thus reversing the decision. Miz defeated both Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to earn another title opportunity, though Cena made the stipulation an “I Quit” match.
The entire match, Miz and Riley double teamed Cena and delivered a vicious beating using the turnbuckles, a kendo stick, a leather belt, a chair, a microphone, and the ring steps. Despite a 20+ minute beating and Miz berating the children in the crowd to quit for Cena, he refuses, until finally a clearly recorded sound byte of Cena saying “I Quit” comes over the PA. The match is over until the referee notices Riley’s loose cellphone, which plays back the recording. The referee restarts the match and Riley accidentally nails Miz with the WWE Title belt, leaving Cena open to whip him with his own leather belt. Cena locks in the STF at the top of the stage and Miz quits almost immediately.
Seriously, this was Superman Cena at his finest, taking a massive beating by two guys and half a dozen weapons, only to bounce back and win in three seconds with a submission. After the PPV, Miz blamed all of his troubles on Alex Riley and fired him, demeaning him the entire time. Riley snapped and attacked Miz, brawling with him in the coming weeks. Riley challenged Miz to a match at Capital Punishment, which Riley managed to win. The two men would cross paths again during the RAW Money in the Bank ladder match, and attacked each other relentlessly, though neither man managed to win the match. Still seething, Miz appeared in a special “bonus” Summerslam six man tag match with R-Truth and Alberto Del Rio, in a losing effort to Kofi, Morrison, and Mysterio.
Currently Miz has associated himself with R-Truth, and although he realizes the insanity of Truth’s ramblings, he agrees that there is a conspiracy against him and has been very outspoken against the new COO Triple H (though they haven’t met in any context yet.) Meanwhile Riley has gotten something of a strong singles push, chasing the US Title and teaming with Cena on occasion.
King vs. Cole, Or, How to Stop People From Watching:
As you may or may not recall, Michael Cole really had a disdain during NXT season 1 for Daniel Bryan, calling him a nerd and vehemently becoming a supporter of The Miz. This continued throughout NXT season 3, where he actively insulted every aspect of the show and how ridiculous, boring and pointless it was. Cole took his heelishness to new heights, when his broadcast partner Jerry Lawler, received a chance to become WWE Champion for the first time against The Miz. Lawler was outspoken against The Miz winning the title via the Money in the Bank contract, and the anonymous RAW General Manager set up a TLC match between the two men. As Lawler looked primed to take the title, Cole ran in and yanked him off the ladder, allowing Miz the opportunity to retain. Lawler would go on to win a battle royal that determined he would get a rematch at the Elimination Chamber PPV (and that the other competitors would compete in the RAW chamber match.) At the PPV, Lawler failed to win the title once again and also failed to earn the chance to have his first ever Wrestlemania match.
Cole relentlessly mocked Lawler for failing to defeat Miz and even went so far as to bring up Lawler’s mother, who died just a few weeks earlier. This sent King over the edge and he attacked Cole, then challenging him to a match at Wrestlemania. Cole initially denied, but then accepted under the condition that his special trainer, Jack Swagger, would be in his corner, that he got to choose the special guest referee. Cole announced John “Bradshaw” Layfield as the referee, however, Stone Cold Steve Austin interfered in the contract signing and gave JBL a stunner, then signed the contract, effectively making himself the guest ref. Cole continued his personal assualt on Lawler’s character, bringing his son Brian (the former Grand Master Sexay,) who insulted him as a father and slapped him. He even had his own personal announce desk constructed, called the “Cole Mine” with a protective plexiglass wall in order to avoid Lawler. Jim Ross attempted to confront Cole but was attacked by Swagger, who then attacked Lawler.
At Wrestlemania, Cole hid in his “Cole Mine,” allowing himself to get a cheap shot in and the upper hand on Lawler for most of the match. When Lawler fought back, Swagger attempted to throw in the towel but ate a stunner for his trouble. Lawler forced Cole to tap to the ankle lock while Austin mocked him. While the group celebrated with a beer bash, however, the anonymous RAW GM sent an email reversing the decision due to Stone Cold’s biased refereeing, making Cole the winner by DQ.
After the event, Cole gloated from the Cole Mine how he was undefeated at Wrestlemania, prompting Lawler to face and defeat Swagger in order to name his match at Extreme Rules. He named a Country Whipping tag team match with he and Jim Ross facing Swagger and Cole. Swagger and Cole dominated early on but Ross managed to lock an ankle lock on Cole. Swagger pulled him off but JR gave him a low blow, though this allowed Cole to roll up JR for the victory.
Fed up with Cole’s constant gloating and insults, particularly about defeating two Hall of Famers, Lawler challenged Cole to one more match at Over the Limit, putting his Hall of Fame ring on the line. He also offered to personally induct Cole into the Hall of Fame in the future. Jack Swagger agreed on behalf of Cole and it was revealed in the contract that the match would also be a “Kiss My Foot” match, playing off Lawler’s history with Bret Hart, wherein the loser would kiss the foot of the winner. Cole inadvertently insulted Swagger during the process, saying that he could win all on his own and that he was the brains of the team. Swagger walked out on Cole, leaving him alone to face Lawler.
At the PPV, Cole attempted to feign injury, saying that his athlete’s foot had become infected and it wasn’t safe for them to have the match, but Lawler would have none of it. Lawler began tearing Cole apart on the outside, but Cole shoved him into the barricade and then shoved his foot in his face. However, Lawler rebounded, grabbed the foot, and punched Cole straight through his Cole Mine, destroying it.
Lawler then hit his signature flying fist drop and got the pin. Lawler signals for Eve, who was a constant target of Cole’s criticism, to come out and hit a moonsault on him. Then he signals for JR to come and he douses Cole with BBQ sauce. Cole runs from the ring and refuses to go through with kissing the foot until Bret Hart comes out and forces him. Overall the entire storyline was god-awful and went on for way too long. Too up too much TV time and it is the reason today’s commentary sucks so bad, what with Cole continuing to try to play heel every so often. After the last match, Cole did apologize on air and toned down his antics, but he still plays it up whenever Bryan or Miz are in the ring and constantly goes after JR now that he’s back on the booth. I seriously doubt anybody wanted to see any of the matches during this whole thing.
The Corre and The Intercontinental Championship:
Drew McIntyre, before falling from grace and not really doing anything at all, was once IC Champion before losing it to Kofi Kingston. Kofi would lose it to Dolph Ziggler, who would end up losing back to Kofi. Before Kofi was drafted back to RAW, Wade Barrett managed to win the title from him.
After being exiled from the Nexus to Smackdown, Barrett was followed by Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. Reintroducing the last ECW Champion, Ezekiel Jackson, the four men formed a new group called, “The Corre.” The Corre didn’t shatter any standards, though Gabriel and Slater managed to be tag team champions at the same time Barrett was IC Champ. They would suffer some humiliating defeats, including a last-minute tag team match at Wrestlemania against Kane, Big Show, Santino, and Kozlov. After losing the titles, Barrett and Jackson challenged Big Show and Kane at Extreme Rules for the titles. Jackson dominated the match, but Barrett tagged himself in, only to get pinned by Big Show. The following week, Jackson decided to leave the Corre to venture out on his own, though the remaining members attacked him. Barrett challenged Jackson at Over the Limit, but lost when his Corre teammates interfered.
Jackson was given several more opportunities, but every time he managed to secure Barrett in the Torture Rack, Slater and Gabriel would interfere and cost him the title. However, during a six man tag against the Usos and Jackson, Barrett abandoned his team, claiming he needed to look out for himself given his PPV title match. This angered Slater and Gabriel to the point of telling Barrett that the Corre was no more, and the three would go their separate ways. Jackson finally challenged Barrett to a proper match at Capitol Punishment, where he managed to secure the IC Title.
Recently, Cody Rhodes challenged Jackson for the title and managed to win it, furthering his agenda to eliminate all the ugliness from the world.
The United States & Tag Team Championships:
The United States Title hasn’t seen much action. Most titles that aren’t the top tier don’t. Before becoming WWE Champion, Miz held the title, and lost it to Daniel Bryan, who feuded with Miz and John Morrison. He would later feud with Ted DiBiase, while the Bella Twins competed for his attention (stemming from getting to know them through NXT,) only for Bryan to reveal that he was dating Gail Kim (no, it didn’t go anywhere.) Sheamus would win the title and reveal America themed gear, calling himself the champion of America, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Kofi Kingston later defeated Sheamus and held the title for quite a long time, finally losing it to current champ Dolph Ziggler and feuding with him over it forever now.
The tag titles were held by the Hart Dynasty, who faced such teams as the Usos, Miz & Big Show, and Miz & Jericho. The Dynasty would eventually break up after the members blamed each other for a string of losses. The short lived team of Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre won a Tag Team Turmoil match to become the new Unified Tag Team Champions (now called simply, WWE Tag Team Champions.) John Cena (while under the Nexus) and David Otunga would win the titles from them, until fellow Nexus members Slater and Gabriel won them after Barrett ordered Otunga to lie down for them. Long time comedy team Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov would win the titles next, only to be defeated by Slater and Gabriel, this time as members of the Corre. The feuding John Cena and Miz would have the shortest reign in history after winning the titles, and then immediately losing them after the Corre invoked their rematch clause then and there.
The Big Show would convince Kane to have fun being a monster again, and together they would win the titles. David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty would defeat them and hold the titles for 91 days until the new team of Air Boom, Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston, would defeat them. During the defeat, Jerry Lawler heavily criticized McTunga as being too bland. This caused the pair to berate Lawler and it has been suggested by the announcers’ comments that the tag division is on the rise once again with new teams coming in.
R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara, Sheamus, Zack Ryder, And More To Watch Out For:
One of the hottest acts in WWE right now is R-Truth. While he hadn’t done much but his usual rapping character for months, in April he was named a co-contender for the WWE Championship after The Miz and Alex Riley interfered in the decision of a gauntlet match. John Morrison, who lost in the gauntlet, questioned if Truth could actually compete in the WWE Championship steel cage match, citing his age and the fact that he smokes and frequently drinks water during matches, and challenged him for his spot. Truth accepted and Morrison won, thus making Morrison a contender instead of Truth. Post-match Truth snapped and attacked Morrison, spit water in his face, and lit a cigarette in the arena.
From then on Truth became more and more crazed, refusing to sign his signature rap and ranting constantly about a conspiracy that kept him from the WWE Championship. He would rant about all the “little Jimmys” in the audience and how he was supposed to “be a good R-Truth” and perform for them. He would go on to attack anyone who threatened his chances at the gold, successfully defeating Rey Mysterio and injuring John Morrison. He would also harrass the audience and threw a drink in a Cena fan’s face at one point. He finally got a shot at John Cena at Capitol Punishment, but a distraction by an audience member led him to be defeated. As it stands, he’s currently teaming with The Miz, who shares his view that the WWE Title picture is a conspiracy, and they will challenge for the Tag Team Titles.
Dolph Ziggler has recently been on a hotter streak than in the past. After failing to become the real WHC on Smackdown, he and Vickie traveled to RAW, going from lovers to “business associates” in the process. Dolph is the current United States Champion, but has recently had Alex Riley to deal with, as well as Jack Swagger, who has been courting Vickie for her services as a manager, leading to conflict.
Daniel Bryan continues to amaze with his submission style of wrestling. He is a former US Champion and is the current 2011 Smackdown Money in the Bank holder. He has promised to cash in at Wrestlemania next year. He has recently been feuding with
Sin Cara, who may or may not be a fake. Sin Cara is the WWE name for Mistico, the most popular wrestler in Mexico. Seriously, the guy has movies and comic books after him and always drew huge crowds. He was signed by Triple H (in an irl move as Hunter takes on more responsibility behind the scenes.) He is known for his high-flying style and amazing acrobatics, which isn’t typically seen in WWE (if for no other reason, the fact that they won’t let others do them.) During his matches, the lights in-ring go gold and blue to give it a special feel.
Despite all the hype, and a huge amount of merchandise sales, he has been highly criticized for botching several of his high-flying moves on a regular basis, so much so that he was replaced at some point. He was also recently suspended for 30 days as per the wellness policy (he claims he took something he didn’t know was banned by mistake.) During the suspension, WWE used developmental lucha talent Hunico under the Sin Cara mask. Despite Hunico also botching on occasion, they’ve actually decided to use him instead of Mistico under the mask from now on. However, Sin Cara attacked Daniel Bryan after a match and later cut a promo saying that no one will hold him back, suggesting that perhaps the “real” Sin Cara will return to usurp the phony.
After Sheamus would win the King of the Ring tournament in November after receiving a bye in the second round and defeating John Morrison in the final. As “High King Sheamus” he would dress in traditional Irish royalty garb and feud with Morrison in a series of singles and tag team matches. Triple H took revenge on Sheamus in February for injuring him and put him through the announce table, leading to a returning Evan Bourne pinning him. Sheamus then dropped the King moniker and put his WWE career on the line against Daniel Bryan’s US Title, and won, having the rematch during the preshow of Wrestlemania XXVII. Sheamus was drafted to Smackdown and lost the US Title to Kofi Kingston three days later. After unsuccessfully attempting to get into the WHC picture, due to Christian’s dirty refereeing and Orton punting him in the skull, he would return to stand up to the rampaging Mark Henry, turning face in the process. He’s been getting some really loud pops, despite losing to Henry by count out at Summerslam after being thrown through the barricade. He now looks to be feuding with Christian, now that Henry is chasing the title.
Zack Ryder has exploded in popularity after taking to the internet and developing his own web series “The Z! True Long Island Story.” Ryder has proclaimed himself to be the “WWE Internet Champion” even having a belt custom made. WWE has taken notice and booked him in various spots throughout both RAW and Smackdown. John Cena in particular would acknowledge him backstage and Ryder recently teamed with Jerry Lawler to face McGillicutty and Otunga. He was recently named the assistant to Teddy Long on Smackdown, usually doing his dirty work and getting the brunt of superstars’ aggression.
Orton The Megastar and Dashing/Disfigured Cody Rhodes:
Legacy had broken up, solidified by Randy Orton defeating both men at Wrestlemania XXVI (thus starting his mega face push,) and Ted DiBiase tried to be a singles star, first bringing back his dad’s old man-servant Virgil and then associating with gold digger Maryse on his arm, but failed. He’s become little more than a glorified jobber. Cody Rhodes when to Smackdown and became “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, playing up the fact that he was voted most handsome in a diva poll. He would constantly look at himself in the mirror (a giant video mirror on the stage,) and give helpful hints for being dashing, like using cotton swabs and plucking your eyebrows (common sense stuff.)
During a feud with Rey Mysterio, Rey broke Cody’s nose, forcing him to wear a protective mask. Although the mask is clear and shows his face as before, Cody found himself revolting and “dashing no more.” He began wearing a hood similar to that of Jigsaw from the Saw films and would come out to a distorted version of his theme music. He’s had big wins over Mysterio at Wrestlemania and is the current Intercontinental Champion. He usually has associates pass out paper bags to the audience to cover how ugly they are (and they usually give one straight away to Booker T on commentary.) For a while Rhodes adopted his former tag partner Ted DiBiase as a protege, but DiBiase continued to fail, so Rhodes dropped him with a CrossRhodes.
Back to Orton, he has since grown a beard, because …. he can. He’s essentially become the Cena of Smackdown, as current World Heavyweight Champion and plays to the crowd much more these days, smiling and exaggerating his taunts before and after the RKO. After becoming WWE Champion on RAW, Orton would feud with Sheamus and Barrett, as mentioned above. The 2010 RAW Money in the Bank winner, The Miz, would cash on Orton and become champion, defeating the Viper in a tables match later on. After feuding with Punk post-Wrestlemania, Orton would be drafted to Smackdown and feud with Christian.
His nickname, The Viper, originated from Michael Cole describing the way he slithers into the RKO position. It’s stuck and now a lot of Orton merch has snake skeletons and what have you. And like I said, he does goofy stuff like this now http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=TFPkz7RUcLw&feature=related
Divas, Still Botchin’ Dropkicks:
The divas division has seen the usual back and forth amid members for the title and rarely any story behind it. LayCool broke up when Layla finally defeated Michelle McCool, who then retired (though Layla is out with an injury.) The Womens and Divas Titles are unified as the WWE Divas Championship now, and it has been held by everyone from Alicia Fox to Eve to Melina to Natalya.
At one point, Kharma, known as Awesome Kong in TNA, debuted and sent shockwaves throughout the divas division, as she would destroy them one-by-one. However, during a massive diva tag match, Kharma interrupted and just as it looked like she would decimate them all, she broke down crying. It was revealed that Kharma was pregnant in real life, and she cut a promo saying that she would be back to continue her dream in the WWE, after fulfilling her dream of being a mom.
Eventually Brie Bella won the Divas Championship and the twins feuded with Kelly Kelly, who is the current champion. Recently, Beth Phoenix won the number one contendership and then viciously attacked Kelly, saying the days of blonds doing stinkfaces and booty pops were over. Natalya did the same with protégé AJ, and together they named themselves the Divas of Doom, determined to rid the company of the Barbie doll divas. Kelly did beat Beth at Summerslam, but Beth has another shot at Night of Champions.
CM Punk, The Voice of the Voiceless:
As previously mentioned, Punk was the leader of The New Nexus, though after defeating Rey Mysterio at Capital Punishment, Punk was adamant to point out that his contract was up soon. And so, he declared that he would be leaving WWE, but not before challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship. In a move that mirrored his leaving of Ring of Honor for WWE several years prior, where Punk vowed to leave and take the ROH title with him, Punk promised to leave Money In The Bank, and WWE, as champion.
Punk adopted a very shoot-style of promo and essentially did whatever he wanted, knowing that because he was leaving soon, it didn’t matter. It began with a scathing promo against Cena, the company, and Vince McMahon that would see him mention his fired friends, the fact that Cena is portrayed as the best when Punk himself is the best, and the fact that Vince McMahon is running his company into the ground, making it more about pointless pandering to the kids with people like John Cena instead of real wrestling: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=2OS9wZGb_3g
After this promo, Vince McMahon personally addressed the WWE Universe, saying Punk had been fired and that a new contender would be named. John Cena fought this, however, telling Vince that Punk earned the opportunity to face him and that he should be allowed it. The exchange between the men intensified, with Vince telling Cena not to go where so many others had in the past i.e. Hogan, and Cena admitting that he was replaceable, but demanding that Vince let his pride go and do the right thing as a man. Cena threatened to walk out himself, until McMahon made the match, but with the stipulation that, if Cena could not prevent the humiliation of Punk winning and leaving the company with the championship, Cena would be fired.
The heat between Cena and Punk reached a boiling point, as McMahon tried to sign Punk to a new contract. Punk demanded many ridiculous things, including full exposure on the many WWE items that Cena has his face on and the return of WWE Good Humor Ice Cream Bars. He angrily demanded an apology from Vince McMahon for everything he had done, including firing his good, talented friends and forcing a sugar-coated entertainment down the throats of the fans, ignoring their wishes. McMahon was about to relent until Cena came out. Cena attacked Punk, saying that while he claimed to be the voice of the voiceless and those who wanted wrestling instead of entertainment, he was no better for threatening to leave and was only in it to make himself the star; that he would deny the fans CM Punk just to prove a point. Punk fired back saying that Cena himself was a phony for preaching hustle, loyalty, and respect, and yet living the good life as the golden boy of the WWE. He told Cena that he has lost sight, and has become the dominant force that holds down the underdog, similar to the Patriots and Bruins. Punk told Cena that he has instead become the New York Yankees, and when Cena punched him for it, he left, refusing to sign the new contract: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqXI7afhdN8&feature=related
At Money in the Bank, in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, Punk looked ready to defeat Cena when McMahon and VP of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, came down to the ring. McMahon demanded a call for the bell as Cena had Punk in a submission, similar to the famous 1997 screw job of Bret Hart in Montreal. Cena released the hold and prevented it, however, punching out Johnny Ace and berating McMahon. This allowed Punk to hit a Go To Sleep on Cena and pin him, winning the gold, leaving the company, and effectively firing Cena.
Cena was indeed fired by McMahon the next night, however, Triple H made his return and announced that the board of directors had relieved him of his duties as chairman due to his increasingly questionable behavior. A tearful McMahon was left in the ring as Triple H announced that the board had named himself to take over. Triple H managed to resign CM Punk, who now sported his indy music, “Cult of Personality.” During his absence, a tournament was made to crown a new WWE Champion, which Rey Mysterio won. However, Mysterio agreed to give Cena his proper rematch from when Punk defeated him, and Cena won the title back.
At Summerslam, Cena and Punk faced each other to determine the Undisputed WWE Champion, with Triple H as the special referee. Punk began ranting against both men, focusing in on the fact that Triple H didn’t make the decisions – his wife Stephanie did. During the match, Punk managed to pin Cena after a finisher, and although Cena’s foot was on the rope, Triple H counted three. But then, Kevin Nash appeared out of nowhere and jackknife powerbombed Punk, allowing Alberto Del Rio to cash in his Money in the Bank title shot and win the title.
Triple H admitted he made a mistake though Punk believed he had hired his longtime friend Nash to take him out. Nash admitted that he received a text message from Hunter’s phone telling him to “stick the winner.” For weeks the mystery of who sent the text boiled down to Nash getting angry at Punk for insulting him, calling him old and washed up and in not so many words a drain on the industry, and Hunter not allowing Nash, as a friend and not a contracted superstar, to do anything about it. Nash was eventually hired by Johnny Ace and the match was set to be Nash vs. Punk. Finally it was revealed that it was in fact Nash who sent the text to himself. Nash justified it saying that guys like Punk are a cancer, but Triple H was angry that Nash lied to him, eventually resulting in Nash shoving Hunter and Hunter shoving back, then firing him, though Johnny Ace was seen getting into a limo with Nash, suggesting that perhaps he has more involvement.
Punk continues to believe Nash and Triple H are in cahoots, and continued to insult Triple H, focusing in on his wife Stephanie and accusing him as being the guy who hides behind his wife and her power (“or do you have to ask your wife permission first?” “you don‘t wear the pants in the relationship but I take it you wear her panties don‘t you?.) Hunter finally struck back against Punk, replacing Nash with himself in the match and telling Punk that he could face him as a man since he insulted him as a man. As it stands, Cena will face Del Rio for the gold at Night of Champions, and Triple H will face CM Punk in a No DQ match, with Hunter’s COO position on the line.
Jinder Mahal And The Shame Of Marriage:
I would be remiss if I didn’t include a passage on the Canadian-Indian Jinder Mahal, who is of Punjabi Sikh Indian descent and speaking Punjabi and Hindi. Mahal debuted into April, greeting The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh backstage, and the pair seemed very excited that Mahal was now joining the company. Mahal was unimpressed by the childish antics of the two, such as their dancing instead of winning matches, and he confronted Singh about it, eventually going so far as to slap Great Khali twice during a kiss cam segment, to no response from the giant. He interrupted a Khali match against Jey Uso and ranted at him, slapping him once again, causing Khali to reenter the ring and destroy both Usos (a Samoan tag team made up of Rikishi’s two sons.) Khali was defeated by Kane the next week, and he turned on his brother Ranjin, turning heel and joining with Jinder.
Ranjin somberly told the audience that his reasoning was that Mahal is in fact married to Khali and his sister, and has essentially threatened to divorce her, causing massive shame upon them, if Khali doesn’t adhere to his every word. Overall Jinder hasn’t made a very big splash at all, winning squash matches here and there, but mainly serving as a manager to Khali. Recently this past week, the pair lost to Bourne & Kingston on RAW and then again on Smackdown, causing Jinder to slap and blame Khali, only for Khali to turn on Jinder and chop him. And that’s where we stand. Unless they suddenly decide to use him in a stronger capacity, he’ll pretty much be in the same boat as Drew McIntyre as guys who are waiting in the wings.
Other Tidbits I Couldn’t Fit Into A Huge Paragraph:
*In case you didn’t pick it up, after Bret Hart left the GM position, a new General Manager was hired. However, he chose to remain anonymous and would communicate through a laptop stationed next to the announce desk. Cole would typically read the emails and would get booed. The emails would come in through the lights flashing and the apple email sound playing over the PA. Since Triple came in as COO, however, he has been silent.
*RAW is now RAW Supershow, with talent from Smackdown regularly appearing. This is to expose more SD talent and boost RAW ratings. So they can come on RAW but RAW guys can’t come on SD, more or less.
*The current RAW announce team is Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross. Ross was rehired by Triple H as his first act as COO, but so far he’s more or less a third wheel. *The current Smackdown announce team is Josh Matthews on primary, Michael Cole doing color (he’s a way bigger heel on SD,) and Booker T as the third man. Booker was hired after doing a guest spot at the Royal Rumble. *There are six titles currently: WWE, WHC, IC, US, Divas, Tag Team
*WWE Superstars still airs on WWE.com and routinely features a lot of the talent from NXT, whether they won or not, including Brodus Clay, Mason Ryan, Tamina, Heath Slater, Percy Watson, Titus O’Neil, etc.
*WWE has announced the WWE Network to go live in 2012. It will likely mostly feature old programming amid their expansive video library of WWWF, WWF, WCW, AWA, ECW, and other territories.
*Although Triple H is the kayfabe COO, he’s quickly taking on more responsibility for when Vince does step down. He was behind hiring Sin Cara and Kharma.
*Shane McMahon is gone from WWE and is focusing on other projects involving MMA and boxing. Steph and Hunter are gonna run the show.
*John Morrison has been stuck in midcard hell for the past year. While he has had a shot at the WWE Title and put on a series of excellent TV matches against the man who injured him, R-Truth, Morrison continues to be in the shadows. Most think this is because of his outspoken attitude and relationship with Melina, who is extremely outspoken. Allegedly Melina was upset that she was being left off Wrestlemania in favor of Trish Stratus and Snooki and Morrison gave Trish the snub when planning the match as a result. Trish commented on this briefly, saying she felt like she got the cold shoulder from Morrison, which many believe is the reason why he hasn’t been pushed further. For what it’s worth, Melina is now released and recently sent a series of tweets that suggest she and Morrison are no longer together. Melina’s constant complaining on twitter, such as wanting to be a face when they turned her heel again for a big push, was certainly a factor in her being left off TV and then her firing.
*Santino hasn’t done much but serve a comedy filler role. He’s still doing the Cobra, his specialty move where he makes his arm into the shape of a snake and then strikes his opponent in the neck. Currently he’s out with a separated shoulder he suffered in a car accident. Beth had done squat until this recent storyline, so you might as well watch now to see it in action.
The following people, you may or may not know, have been released or otherwise are gone from WWE:
*Batista – left of his own will on May 24, 2010
*Charlie Haas – in ROH with Benjamin now
*Chris Jericho – left on September 20, 2010
*Jimmy Wang Yang
*Katie Lea – in TNA now as “Winter”
*Kung Fu Naki aka Funaki
*Mickie James – now in TNA, current champion
*MVP – now wrestles in Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling
*Shad Gaspard of Cryme Tyme
*Finlay – fired to take the heat from a house show stunt in which The Miz interrupted the National Anthem in front of servicemen
*David Hart Smith
*Gail Kim – quit the company, though WWE still has her under contract until it runs out in the Fall
*Kevin Nash – likely a kayfabe firing due to the current storyline
And that’s pretty much it.