WWE Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
As Jack Swagger came to the ring, my cable went out. Bear with me!
When my cable returned, Dolph Ziggler had just retained the IC title. I’ll have a full recap after I watch the replay. Backstage, Wade Barrett spoke to the Nexus. He said that David Otunga couldn’t be there because of what John Cena did to him at Raw. He promised that tonight, Nexus was going to take care of Cena once and for all.
WWE Divas champion Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. Lay Cool – Tables Match
The painted table from Smackdown is at ringside. All four battled at the bell. Phoenix slammed McCool atop of Layla. Phoen ix and Natalya brought the pink table into the ring. And set it up in the corner. Phoenix grabbed McCool on her shoulders with a Fireman’s Carry. Layla tried to stop her but was pulled atop her shoulders as well. She tried to put both through the table but Layla slipped off and took Phoenix down.
LayCool took control of the bout, They whipped Natalya into the corner. McCool tossed Phoenix through the ropes and Beth hit her head on the apron and then folded over herself, crashing to the floor. It looks disgustingly brutal.
Lay Cool set up a table in the ring and began working over Natalya. Layla suplexed McCool up to McCool for a Styles Clash off the ropes through a table but Phoenix pulled Layla out of the ring and saved Natalya. Phoenix tried to press and drop McCool to a table but McCool slipped out and attacked her from behind.
Layla tossed Natalya out of the ring. She began unloading on Beth with forearm smashes to the face and then clubbing blows over the back. Beth tried to press Layla. Natalya provided the assist but McCool ran under them and flipped over the table.
McCool and Layla had control for a moment. Natalya tried to catapult Layla into the table in the corner, but McCool tried to interfered. Natalya stopped her and locked the Sharpshooter on both at the same time, which was awesome. McCool tapped but obviously it didn’t count.
LayCool escaped and took control, working over Natalya. They drove her back-first into the corner. They placed Natalya on the top rope and tried for a double suplex. Beth tried to interfere but Layla ran her into a ringpost, where Phoenix took a bump off the apron to the floor.
LayCool tried again but Natalya powered up and shoved them off the ropes. They hit the table and bent it inwards but it didn’t break, which was probably the finish. The crowd popped, realizing LayCool was trapped. Natalya hit a top rope splash on both, putting them through the table for the win.
Your winners, Natalya & Beth Phoenix!
Really entertaining stuff. All four worked hard. There were some unique spots and some really crazy moments, including the Phoenix bump that was absolutely brutal.
WWE Tag Team champions Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater
Santino took the mic before the bout and said that they are the champions, so they are the best “two on two grapple fighting in the galaxy.” He promised they would retain the belts against the “Lexus” and TLC stands for “Totally Legal Cobra.”
Michael McGuillicuty and Husky Harris were at ringside.
Gabriel took Santino down easily and controlled him early. Santino reversed and took him down with a headlock. Gabriel sent him into the ropes and tried to hiptoss Santino. Santino escaped and tried to use a legsweep to knock Gabriel down, then nailed him. Gabriel tagged out to Slater but Santino maintained control of the match.
Slater caught Santino with a series of knees to the back and his neck. He continued working over him and whipped Santino into the corner but Santino escaped and went for the cobra. Slater backed off and Kozlov tagged in. Kozlov began tossing Slater around, nailing a Fall Away slam. Slater escaped from the ring but Kozlov followed and rammed him back-first into the apron. He tossed Slater back into the ring but Husky Harris took out his leg as Kozlov returned to the ring.
Slater and Gabriel worked over Kozlov for several near falls. Kozlov fought to make a tag but Gabriel cut him off. The Nexus continued to isolate Kozlov. The fans were chanting “Wendys” at Slater. Nexus continued to work over Kozlov. The referee missed the tag to Santino, so Kozlov was dragged back to Nexus’ corner. Kozlov used a headbutt to nail Slater and made the tag to Santino.
Santino workled over Gabriel with several punches and a hiptoss. He hit a stunner and went for the cobra but the referee was distracted by Husky Harris to allow Michael McGuillicuty to attack Santino from behind. The ref caught it and called for the DQ.
Your winners and still champions, Kozlov and Santino!
Just your standard bout here. Nothing really stood out.
The Nexus attacked the champions and laid them out. Wade Barrett came out with a steel chair. The crowd was really reacting to Wade’s entrance. Barrett drilled Kozlov in the gut with a chair then nailed him over the back. Santino then ate one across the back. The announcers said that it was a message to John Cena.
The crowd chanted for Cena, who despite these guys backing him up when he was “fired” for a few weeks, was nowhere to be found. The angle was fine for what it was designed to do - show off Nexus as a threat - but it only undercuts Cena as the hero when he doesn't stand up to help the undercard guys who had his back a few weeks ago on Raw.
Sheamus vs. John Morrison: Ladder Match to determine new top contender for WWE championship
They locked up with Sheamus backing Morrison into the corner. Morrison muscled out but was caught and taken down to the mat. Morrison fought his way back up but ate a shoulderblock. Sheamus mocked him They locked up again and the force sent them both over the top to the floor. Sheamus grabbed Morrison and slammed him backwards into the guard rail.
Sheamus grabbed a ladder and bridged it between the announcer’s table and the apron. Michael Cole warned him to watch Cole’s Slammys. Morrison slid under the ladder and nailed Sheamus, who returned in kind. Morrison escaped Sheamus picking him up and tackled him into the barricade. Morrison set up a ladder but Sheamus hit him with a running kick on the outside. Good early moments.
Sheamus grabbed a ladder, only to find Morrison had leapt off the barricade with a flying clothesline. Morrison set up the ladder in the center of the ring. He began climbing up but Sheamus shoved him off the ladder, then shoved the ladder and Morrison into the corner. Morrison kicked him in the gut through the ladder, then used it as a base, nailing a corkscrew twisting dive over the ladder onto Sheamus.
Morrison brought the ladder to the center of the ring and began ascending. Sheamus went after the leg and slammed it through the rung, tying Morrison to the tree of woe. Sheamus teased dumping the ladder forward and finally did it, with Morrison crashing to the mat and the ladder landing atop of him. That was great.
Sheamus began stomping the hell out of Morrison’s leg, then grabbed the ladder and threw it down on Morrison’s leg. I am loving this. Sheamus set up the ladder and made his way toward the contract. Morrison crawled his way to the ladder and grabbed Sheamus’ leg. Sheamus gave up going for the contract and slammed Morrison atop of the ladder, then drilled Morrison’s knee into the ladder.
Sheamus placed Morrison’s leg through the ladder rungs, then twisted the ladder, torturing Morrison’s leg at the same time. Sheamus began beating the ladder and Morrison’s leg into the mat. They are doing a ton of new, unique spots here. Sheamus went for the ladder. Morrison made his way to his feet but Sheamus overpowered him. He locked up Morrison’s knee in the ladder again and began working him over in the corner.
Sheamus climbed a ladder but Morrison threw the other ladder at Sheamus’ back. Morrison mounted a comeback but when he went for a kick, Sheamus grabbed the bad leg and slammed Morrison down. Sheamus grabbed the ladder and charged Morrison, who nailed a drop toehold and Sheamus ate the ladder face-first. Sheamus grabbed Morrison, who nailed a Pele Kick. Morrison went for an attack but was hit with the Irish Curse.
Sheamus and Morrison both went for ladders on opposite sides of the ring. They charged each other with the ladders. Morrison got the better of the exchange, taking Sheamus out. Morrison set up a ladder across the middle turnbuckle ropes. He flapjacked Sheamus onto the ladder. Morrison then hit an atomic drop onto the other ladder and sent Sheamus over the top to the floor. This is great!
Morrison grabbed a ladder and threw it out of the ring and down on Sheamus. Morrison, selling his bad leg, set up the other ladder and began to painfully make his way to the top. Cole said he was “gingerly making the climb.” I looked for Randy Savage. Sheamus wiped out Morrison’s knee and sent him to the floor. It’s going to be hard to top this one.
Sheamus made his way up and grabbed at the contract, which slid away and began swinging back and forth. Morrison made his way up and drilled Sheamus with a series of punches, taking him down. He went for the contract but Sheamus pulled him down and went for a powerbomb out of the ring. Morrison turned it into a hurancanrana over the ropes to the floor. Morrison pulled himself back through the ropes and got to the top of the ladder, only to be shoved off when Sheamus tipped the ladder.
Sheamus and Morrison continued to battle. They ended up battling where the ladder was bridged outside the ring. Morrison tried to suplex Sheamus off a ladder to the outside onto the bridged ladder but Sheamus fought it off. They battled atop of the ladder in the ring. Morrison sent Sheamus flying over the ropes through the bridged ladder, breaking it in half. Morrison took a bump to the floor as well. This is just off the charts.
Morrison dragged himself back into the ring. He made it to the top of the ladder when Sheamus amazingly returned. Jerry Lawler asked if Sheamus was the Terminator. Sheamus shoved the ladder backwards. Morrison caught himself on the ropes and shoved the ladder forward, punting Sheamus in the face with a kick and wiping him out. Morrison made it to the contract and retrieved it.
Your winner and new top contender to WWE championship, John Morrison!
This was OFF THE CHARTS AWESOME and was the 21st century equivalent the Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels Wrestlemania X ladder match. Looks like Morrison vs. Miz at Royal Rumble folks. Sounds good to me. Kudos to Morrison and Sheamus, who both put in career performances here,