Impossible. That seemed to be the most appropriate word to describe it. Less than 24 hours after losing his match to Wade Barrett at Hell in a Cell, John Cena suffered the consequences. As a man of his word, Cena faced Barrett and his cohorts in The Nexus, donned one of their trademark armbands and read a statement describing himself as an official member of the group.
The gutting transformation took place after it was revealed that Cena lost in great measure thanks to season two NXT Rookies Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris, who interfered at Hell in a Cell. Naturally, Barrett denied any knowledge of their plans. Afterward, he permitted Cena to choose a partner in a tag team match against Mark Henry & Evan Bourne. The Nexus’ newest and most reluctant member chose a man who, moments earlier, had relished presenting him with his distinctive armband: Michael Tarver.
John Cena may have been forced to join The Nexus, but he won't be forced to compete – not to his potential, anyway. The Nexus’ newest member paired with Michael Tarver to face Mark Henry & Evan Bourne. It appeared clear to Tarver that his partner was holding back. In fact, when Tarver attempted to tag Cena in, the Legendary star begged off, permitting Henry to prevail for his team with The World's Strongest Slam.
After allowing his tag team opponents to win, Cena informed his partner and his new Nexus cohorts, that he plans on doing just one thing: Destroying the group from within. He began by dismantling Tarver in the middle of the ring. His actions, however, would not be tolerated.
Raw's anonymous General Manager informed the Legendary star that he must live up to his own stipulations. Having lost to Barrett at Hell in a Cell, Cena must act in good faith. Should he choose to rebel, the Raw GM informed him that his WWE contract “will be terminated.”
Natalya aimed her Sharpshooter squarely at Alicia Fox and nailed her target. Bret Hart’s niece entered her singles match clearly still steamed after Hell in a Cell the night before. In her victorious Unified Divas Championship Match against Michelle McCool, Natalya had locked in the lethal submission, but failed to capture the title since McCool's BFF, Layla, threw her shoes at her and caused a disqualification.
After forcing Fox to submit, Natalya vowed to not only affix the Sharpshooter on both members of Team Lay-Cool but also to secure the Unified Divas Championship.
Momentum can only take you so far. Despite prevailing over both The Miz and John Morrison at Hell in a Cell, United States Champion Daniel Bryan would soon discover his limitations in the form of The Celtic Warrior. Having lost in a grueling Hell in a Cell Match against WWE Champion Randy Orton, Sheamus was not in a trifling mood. The Irishman punished Daniel Bryan in a most brutal fashion, getting disqualified, but also reestablishing himself as one of WWE's most feared Superstars.
The anonymous Raw General Manager had had enough of Edge’s temper tantrums. After the GM’s spokesman, Michael Cole, announced a 20-Man Battle Royal would commence later in the evening to determine the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship at WWE Bragging Rights, he dropped an even bigger bombshell: Edge would not be included. The Rated-R Superstar demanded to know why, and the GM (via Cole) told him it was because he was being traded to SmackDown. Rather than fly off the handle, though, The Ultimate Opportunist seemed more relieved than anything.
After enduring a few verbal jabs from Edge, Cole confronted his tormentor, telling him that his recent woes are self-inflicted. Taking umbrage, Edge appeared ready to punish Cole. That’s when The Miz and his assistant, Alex Riley, intervened and berated Edge for disparaging Cole. The argument escalated, and the three devolved into fisticuffs until The Rated-R Superstar hit Riley with a Spear. A recovered Mr. Money in the Bank, however, quickly took down Edge with a Skull-Crushing Finale.
With their mouths firing on all cylinders, Team Lay-Cool sputtered inside the ring. Fresh off of narrowly retaining their self-proclaimed “Co-Unified Divas Championships,” Michelle McCool & Layla faced off against The Bella Twins. Rather than proving their worth, WWE's Mean Girls instead provided running commentary during their match! The verbose approach failed when McCool found herself pinned and handed a loss.
Call it “Goldlust.” For weeks, Ted DiBiase and girlfriend Maryse had received suggestive messages seemingly directed at the golden couple. Although Maryse thought perhaps the messages were a prank, compliments of Raw guest star Johnny Knoxville, she soon realized that the Jackass 3D jester had no part in them.
Rather, Goldust emerged to lay claim – not to her or even her loaded lover. Instead, The Bizarre One would wrap his gloved mitts around the Million Dollar Title, which he stole away like a freak in the night.
Wade Barrett should play the lottery – and soon. Despite exceedingly long odds, the Englishman emerged victorious in a 20-Man Battle Royal to emerge as the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship. The Nexus leader added the feat to his lengthy list of accomplishments, including defeating John Cena the night before at Hell in a Cell.
The victory did not come without assistance. Despite his reluctance, The Nexus’ newest disciple, Cena, assisted the group's leader on several occasions throughout the match. Finally, with Barrett, Cena and Sheamus remaining, the Legendary star tossed the Irishman over the rope. Barrett then called on Cena to fall on his sword and step over the top rope, which The Nexus’ newest member reluctantly did in order to prevent being fired.
In the wake of the surprise victory, WWE Champion Randy Orton came directly to the ring to taunt his WWE Bragging Rights opponent, flashing the title in the Englishman's face for all the WWE Universe to see.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Evan Bourne & Mark Henry defeated John Cena & Michael Tarver (8:52)
- Natalya defeated Alicia Fox (0:37)
- Daniel Bryan defeated Sheamus (0:30)
- Brie Bella & Nikki Bella defeated Layla El & Michelle McCool (1:00)
- Wade Barrett won a 20-man Battle royal (19:39)
Battle Royal eliminations
|1||Sheamus eliminated Evan Bourne|
|2||Sheamus eliminated David Hart Smith|
|3||John Cena eliminated William Regal|
|4||The Miz eliminated Santino Marella|
|5||Mark Henry eliminated Zack Ryder|
|6||Mark Henry eliminated Primo|
|7||Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel eliminated Mark Henry|
|8||John Cena eliminated David Otunga|
|9||Wade Barrett eliminated Vladimir Kozlov|
|10||Justin Gabriel eliminated Darren Young|
|11||John Morrison eliminated Heath Slater|
|12||John Morrison eliminated Tyson Kidd|
|13||John Morrison eliminated The Miz|
|14||R-Truth eliminated Justin Gabriel|
|15||Ted DiBiase eliminated R-Truth|
|16||Wade Barrett eliminated Ted Dibiase|
|17||Wade Barrett eliminated John Morrison|
|18||John Cena eliminated Sheamus|
|19||John Cena eliminated himself|