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Nexus slays `The Dragon¿ on Raw

When the Raw writers were putting together Monday night's show, I'm guessing the conversation went something like this:

"We need The Nexus [the new name for the NXT Season 1 gang] to lay out someone new this week."

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"Yeah, and we also need to have a segment promoting the new Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat DVD."

"Bingo!"

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Just as he had done throughout his Hall of Fame career, the 57-year-old Steamboat took a heck of a beating on the show to get heel heat on his adversaries.

It had been announced early on Raw that the Nexus guys would be terminated if they attacked a WWE wrestler, and the WWE wrestlers would be suspended if they initiated physical contact with The Nexus.

So when Jerry Lawler brought out Steamboat, Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes, Mike Rotunda and Dean Malenko to the ring to celebrate the release of the Steamboat DVD, it was pretty obvious that it wasn't going to end well for the old-timers.

Sure enough, out came The Nexus (sans Wade Barrett – more on that later). The six upstarts circled their prey and methodically picked off the former stars one by one until Steamboat was left by himself.

Steamboat found himself on the receiving end of David Otunga's slam, Skip Sheffield's clothesline and Justin Gabriel's 450 Splash, and then was taken from the ring on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace.

The angle got a lot of heat and really made The Nexus look like a bunch of disrespectful punks (and I mean that as a compliment).

The one flaw with the angle was that not one person in the WWE locker room came out to try and stop the attack. Even though Michael Cole and Josh Matthews (who sat in for Lawler after "The King" was laid out) stressed in commentary that the wrestlers would have been suspended if they had intervened, it still makes the babyfaces look bad for letting the threat of a suspension prevent them from saving a group of respected former stars from a severe beat-down.

Other thoughts on Monday's show:

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Conspicuous by his absence was Barrett. It was explained at the beginning of the show that the anonymous Raw general manager was allowing Barrett to tell The Nexus' side of the story in regard to the attack on Vince McMahon last week, and that Barrett was in a meeting at WWE headquarters doing exactly that. According to a report on pwinsider.com, the real reason that Barrett wasn't there is because his work visa has expired. The same report also stated that Drew McIntyre's work visa has expired as well, so the story line explanation for his departure from Smackdown is actually a shoot. It's unclear how long it will be until they can to return to WWE, but Barrett and McIntyre apparently are in England and Scotland, respectively, attempting to resolve the issues. Losing Barrett for a significant amount of time obviously would be a huge blow for The Nexus angle, which already took a hit when Daniel Bryan was fired. …

The eight participants in Raw's Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on July 18 were announced: Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase Jr., Edge, Chris Jericho, The Miz, John Morrison, Randy Orton and R-Truth. It also was announced that Sheamus would defend the WWE title against John Cena in a steel cage on that show. …

The eight-man tag team match involving the MITB competitors (the four heels versus the four babyfaces) was fun, and it gave the mid-card guys a chance to be in a main event with the top stars. The 15-minute match built to Orton getting the hot tag. He entered the ring, ducked a clothesline from DiBiase and then hit the RKO on him. Match over. …

I'm enjoying the gimmick of Cole reading the anonymous GM's e-mail messages. Having Cole repeatedly stepping away from the announce table and onto a podium to read from a laptop was so corny that it was entertaining – at least to me. ...

I was disappointed that guest host Rob Zombie didn't do more than just read off the names of the MITB participants and engage in a very brief verbal exchange with Edge that went nowhere. Being a Zombie fan, I was hoping for more interaction between him and the talent. …

I've never been a Cena basher, but I have to admit that he was incredibly annoying trying to be cute in the opening segment. …

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It was interesting that when Anderson was talking about Steamboat being among the five greatest wrestlers of all time, the other names he mentioned were Triple H, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. The crowd then began chanting "woooo!" …

The segment with the former stars coming out to pay tribute to Steamboat came off a little contrived since the only one who really had any kind of history at all with Steamboat was Anderson. Hayes, Rotunda and Malenko were only there because they – like Steamboat – are backstage producers. …

The angle with Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but the interaction between them is amusing nonetheless. Kozlov and William Regal seem to be allies and enemies on alternating weeks. …

I liked Alicia Fox's aggressiveness during the women's tag match in which she and Maryse defeated Eve Torres and Gail Kim. I also liked that Fox and Maryse didn't automatically get along as partners just because they're both heels. …

It appears that Ranjin Singh is going to turn heel on his "brother" The Great Khali. I can't imagine that there is one person anywhere who will care about this.


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