WWE Raw: Newest Nexus member looks familiar

Come on, be honest.

When the massive guy in jeans and a black tank top interfered in the John Cena-CM Punk match, how many of you thought – even it was just for a second – that Batista had returned to WWE?

I’ll admit it: For a split-second, I thought it was “The Animal.” The giveaway was that this guy didn’t have any tattoos. It was at that point that I realized I was looking at Mason Ryan, WWE’s top prospect in developmental who had created a buzz among insiders as of late for his resemblance to Batista. It was no secret that he was on the fast track and his debut in WWE was imminent.

When Ryan came out and jumped up on the apron, his presence distracted Cena, which allowed Punk to knock Cena down with a kick to the head. Punk then smiled and opened his arms, but Ryan delivered a swift kick to Punk’s head (it wasn’t explained on TV, but apparently that was done to give Punk the victory by disqualification). When The Nexus hit the ring to aid their leader, Punk directed them to stay away from Ryan. The newcomer then dropped to one knee in front of Punk, who put a Nexus armband on him.

Rather than have Ryan change his appearance to look less like Batista, it seems as if WWE tried to make him look as much like Batista as possible. Perhaps that was done just to get people talking, but if I was booking this story line, I would cast Ryan as Batista’s younger brother who has come to WWE to go after the man (Cena) who vanquished his brother. That opens up a lot of possibilities, especially if Batista does return at some point.

Back in the day, such a scenario would have been a no-brainer, but in recent years, WWE has gone away from the “fake brothers” gimmick. At some point, WWE stopped referring to Edge and Christian as brothers, and according to reports, the reason that the Major Brothers were re-named Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins is because someone clued in Vince McMahon that they weren’t really siblings despite the resemblance between the two.

It’s amazing to me that McMahon is reluctant to do fake brothers – I suppose because fans are a lot smarter to the business nowadays – but all the ridiculous supernatural stuff with The Undertaker and Kane, who aren’t real brothers, by the way, is OK.

Other thoughts on Monday’s show:

It was pretty obvious that there was going to be some kind of surprise ending to the Cena-Punk match. While the other Nexus members were worried about the match, Punk wasn’t fazed and kept preaching that they had to have faith. …

Before Ryan showed up, Cena and Punk were having a really good match that the crowd was hot for. …

Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler – the No. 1 contenders for the WWE and world heavyweight titles, respectively – also had a good match. Ziggler once again had a strong showing in a high profile match, but I wish WWE would have booked a DQ-finish rather than Ziggler getting pinned. I just don’t think it’s wise to have Ziggler losing so much when WWE is trying to build him up as a credible contender for Edge’s title at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Jan. 30. As soon as the match was over, The Miz and Alex Riley attacked Orton and delivered a brutal beatdown. I don’t see why WWE didn’t have Miz and Riley attack Orton while the match was going on. That way, Ziggler could’ve lost by disqualification instead of pinfall. …

I liked the finish to the Orton-Ziggler match. Ziggler went for the Zig Zag, but Orton suddenly countered with the RKO. It wasn’t exactly smooth, but I thought it worked. …

The Miz got tremendous heat for his attack on Orton. Miz really came off a serious, vicious heel. …

The locker room scene with Punk and his disciples was effectively creepy. …

John Morrison and U.S. champion Daniel Bryan had a solid match. Morrison scored the clean win, so I wonder if that means we’re getting a title program between the two. Sheamus came out to cut a promo on both guys after the match, so perhaps it will be a three-way. …

I haven’t had a problem with the story line of the Bella twins competing for Bryan’s attention and him being portrayed as a nerdy guy who has a way with the ladies. However, I’m not too sure I like where this is headed. The Bellas now have a bet going as to which of them will be Bryan’s “first.” OK, being a guy who looks like a math geek but is actually a submission specialist is one thing, but a 30-year-old virgin just isn’t cool. I’m hoping that the story line ends with Bryan turning the tables by playing the Bellas and scoring with both of them. …

When The Nexus attacked Cena at the beginning of the show, I never expected the save to be made by Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov (even though it did make sense from a story line stand point, since Nexus attacked Marella and Kozlov last week). Marella and Kozlov went on to make a successful defense of their WWE tag team championship against The Usos. Seeing Marella winning consistently and being portrayed as somewhat of a threat is weird after watching him lose all the time over the past few years. …

I was glad that Cena at least acknowledged the obvious, which is that his PG “jokes” were lame. Isn’t there some middle ground between saying “ass” and “poopy?” …

The impromptu battle royal put Mark Henry over as a threat to win the Royal Rumble match. Ted DiBiase Jr., not so much. In reality, Henry and DiBiase both have about the same chance of winning the Rumble – and by that I mean no chance whatsoever. …

What was the point of bringing Melina out to do commentary during the Natalya-Maryse match if she wasn’t going to say a word? Eve Torres actually did do some talking during the match, but her commentary was about as useful as Melina’s. …

Derrick Bateman has good comedic timing, but the commercial spoof just wasn’t funny. At all.

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