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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Monday Night Raw 8.9.2010

The Ultimate Opportunist fails to catch Bret Hart off-guard.
The Ultimate Opportunist fails to catch Bret Hart off-guard.

Raw Results (via AOL Fanhouse):

1. United States Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank The Miz defeated Evan Bourne with the Skull Crushing Finale.

2. Melina defeated Divas Champion Alicia Fox with a Sunset Bomb.

3. Million Dollar Champion Ted DiBiase vs. Mark Henry never happened, as Henry was attacked and thrown into the ring steps by Nexus before the bell.

4. Michael McGillicutty, Husky Harris, and Alex Riley defeated "Showtime" Percy Watson, Kaval, and Lucky Cannon when Harris pinned Kaval following a senton.

5. John Morrison and R-Truth defeated William Regal and Zack Ryder when Morrison pinned Rider with Starship Pain. This brings William Regal's 2010 record to 0-2,000, with 1,999 matches under two minutes long.

6. The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki Bella) defeated the team of Eve Torres and Gail Kim and the team of Maryse and Jillian when Nikki pinned Jillian with a high crossbody.

7. Wade Barrett vs. The Great Khali never happened. Nexus jumped Khali backstage, injuring his leg.

8. Lumberjack Tag Team Match: John Cena and Bret Hart vs. Edge and Chris Jericho went to a No Contest due to interference from the Nexus lumberjacks. Team WWE (including Jericho and Edge) united to fight off the Nexus, who escaped through the crowd.

The Good

  • Putting the Machine Back Together - I must say that I have been less than enthused about the quality of Bret Hart's limited work in the ring and on the microphone but he certainly delivered vocally during the opening segment of tonight's Raw. He delivered his lines coherently and only really had one gaffe: dropping the c-word (crap for those of us who don't belong to the TV-PG crowd). Chris Jericho and Edge were money on the microphone once again but that is nothing new. Edge's attempted double-cross was kind of predictable but the Nexus beat down of the Hart Dynasty ensured that the first segment ended on a high note. Certainly not as engaging as the marathon opening segments of the Attitude Era but good nonetheless.

More analysis after the jump.

  • The Miz vs. Evan Bourne  - Despite the fact that this was a largely a one-sided match in favor of the Miz, Evan Bourne managed to look good in the process as the springboard hurricanrana he hit was a thing of beauty that elicited a massive reaction from the crowd. The ending of the match was never really in doubt as the Miz has been on a real roll lately. All signs are pointing towards the Miz being the first superstar to fail to cash in the MITB briefcase successfully but I'm not quite sure that matters. His star is on the rise and with Vinny Mac's emphasis on newer, younger talent it seems as though it is only a matter of time until he breaks through. As for Bourne, his push may be in a holding pattern for the time being but as long as he continues to utilize his unique to the WWE moveset I'm sure there will always be a place for him (see: Mysterio, Rey).
  • Nexus' Plan Materializes - Their attacks on the Hart Dynasty, Mark Henry and Great Khali really helped hammer home their wolf-pack mentality.  I am amazed at just how smartly the WWE has handled this angle thus far. Their was some fears early on amongst the internet wrestling community that the Nexus would end up much like the Spirit Squad I just can't see them getting buried like that. These seven individuals are insanely over right now despite very little in-ring work. Sunday night's Survivor Series match has huge ramifications for all involved.
  • The Punt That Didn't Happen - There was a time when Randy Orton was the most vile and dangerous superstar in the WWE due to his vicious punts/concussion kicks. Now that the WWE has gone TV-PG that particular move may have been put on the shelf but it was still awesome that he teased it tonight. The segment between Sheamus and Orton was kind of forgettable until the red hot ending. The fact that Orton got the upper hand on Sheamus on the Raw before SummerSlam makes me believe that he will not be victorious come Sunday night. That is a signature WWE booking move...and, to be honest, I kind of hope it the trend holds. The pale fella has kind of grown on me over the course of the past year.
  • Jericho and Edge See the Light - It would've been foolish of the WWE to NOT include Jericho and Edge on the SummerSlam card so the ending of tonight's Raw probably wasn't a surprise to most of you but it was still a nice touch. The will they or won't they tension that has been created the last few weeks by the two Canadians has been a nice storyline inside of a storyline. I am curious as to who will step in as the seventh member of Team WWE. Khali could make a triumphant comeback, The Miz could squeeze himself into the final slot or a mystery partner could come out of nowhere. The mark in me is screaming for Daniel Bryan right now!

The Bad

  • Melina vs. Alicia Fox  - Eh, not good. I am a fan of Melina's work but I think she may still be suffering from some ring rust. Alicia Fox may not be the best diva to help her shake it off. I also find it kind of odd that Melina arrived back on the scene last week and she already has a non-title match against Fox. I understand that Divas only get one segment per Raw but I would think that putting together some sort of chase program to build towards an eventual title match may be beneficial in the long term. Instead we get a Divas Title match a SummerSlam. Joy! The Sunset Flip Powerbomb was pretty cool but if that is Melina's new finisher I have some concerns as to how they can organically build it into future matches. There are only so many ways you can be put in the starting position for that move.
  • NXT Six Man Tag - The wrestling wasn't bad but I don't understand what this match was doing on the final Raw before one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year. I loved seeing Kaval/Low Ki on my television screen but I really do believe that the time could've been better used on something a bit more pertinent in relation to SummerSlam.
  • Triple Threat Diva One Piece Ultra Modest Bathing Suit Beach Blast Battle  - Absolutely awful.

The Ugly

  • Mark Henry's Singlet - Man, lil' Mark Henry was trying to escape tonight.
  • R-Truth's Whack Rhymes - It's cool that what's up is over with 11 year old white kids and their parents but you have to work on your flow, son. I actually looked up what the lyrics were on Yahoo! Answers and all I can say is wow.
  • Bret Hart's Wrestling Attire - Sneakers, jorts and a sweat soaked Batman t-shirt. How the mighty have fallen.

Not a bad go-home show for the WWE tonight. It was a little light on in-ring action of consequence but that is to be expected on the final show before a major PPV. Loose ends were tied up and some new wrinkles were added (Melina vs. Alicia Fox for the Divas Title and the stipulation that if Randy Orton loses to Sheamus he goes to the back of the line for title shots). Having Kaval beamed into my living room was an added bonus. Overall this show gets two thumbs slightly up from me.

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