Young & the restless
LOS ANGELES -- When Team WWE dismantled The Nexus at SummerSlam the night before, it appeared that the sun had finally set on the seven deadly sinners. On Monday night, however, the group's members, with the exception of one, each survived in singles competition, offering The Nexus hope that a new day may have finally dawned.
John Cena def. Darren Young (PHOTOS | WATCH)
A perfect record hung heavy on the shoulders of Darren Young. Each of his teammates from The Nexus had been victorious in their matches against Team WWE members. Now it was his turn. His obstacle, however, would prove particularly momentous. Young must face Team WWE's de facto leader and the man who severely beat him down last month, John Cena.
Also weighing heavy on Young was the fact that were he to lose, he would be banished from The Nexus. With that in mind, the bout underwent a series of momentum shifts until, finally, Cena asserted his imposing will. The force of such a powerhouse was too much for Young to bear as he faded in defeat.
In the aftermath, The Nexus approached the ring. Although Cena prepared himself for the worst, his tormentors allowed him to leave unharmed. Instead, they circled their true target: Young. After punishing their only failed member, the remaining six members of The Nexus stood tall.
Heath Slater def. Edge by Count-out (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The similarities are undeniable. Both Heath Slater and Edge boast long, flowing locks and a penchant for rockstar style, but that's where the comparison ends. Prior to their match, Slater attempted to convince The Rated-R Superstar to throw the match. For Edge, the request was tantamount to asking him to listen to the Jonas Brothers.
Once in the ring, the two engaged in an athletic clash of wills. At one point, the action even spilled out of the ring. As the referee continued his count, it was Slater who finally managed to dart back into the squared circle to avoid the count-out while his opponent seethed on the outside in defeat before nailing Slater with a Spear.
Jillian, Alicia Fox & Maryse def. Divas Champion Melina, Eve & Gail Kim (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Melina was clearly distracted. The newly-minted Divas Champion had teamed with Eve & Gail Kim against Alicia Fox, Jillian & Maryse, but she appeared leery of a surprise visit from co-Women's Champions Michelle McCool & Layla. After all, the pair had ganged up on her at SummerSlam just moments after she captured the Divas Title.
The threat from Team Lay-Cool never materialized, but Melina and Gail were indeed distracted. When the Divas left the ring to battle Alicia and Maryse, Jillian took advantage and rolled up an unsuspecting Eve for the win.
David Otunga & Skip Sheffield def. John Morrison & R-Truth (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The locomotive of The Nexus continued to steam toward perfection. This time, the conductors were David Otunga & Skip Sheffield, who were tasked with derailing Team WWE's John Morrison & R-Truth in tag team action. As the rest of The Nexus squad watched intently on a monitor in the locker room area, Otunga and Sheffield capitalized on their size and strength advantage to pull apart their opponents and retain their positions within The Nexus.
Justin Gabriel def. Randy Orton by Count-out (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The Nexus' South African cyclone, Justin Gabriel, was scheduled to compete against Bret Hart, but Raw's mystery GM had other ideas. Citing his animosity toward "Hit Man," the GM instead arranged for a new opponent, Randy Orton.
The Viper appeared to have Gabriel securely wrapped in his grip when WWE Champion Sheamus paid an unannounced visit. The Celtic Warrior, who had lost by disqualification to Orton the night before, clashed outside the ring with his SummerSlam rival, handing Gabriel the win by count-out. As one might imagine, the loss did not sit well with Orton, who slithered back into the ring to RKO Gabriel. Outside the squared circle, Orton proved just as unrelenting in his counterattack on the Irishman, who also received an RKO as well as several lashes from a metal folding chair.
Michael Tarver def. Daniel Bryan (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In his first appearance on Raw since suffering a vicious beating at the hands of The Nexus, Daniel Bryan appeared determined to level his opponent, Nexus masked man Michael Tarver. Although his efforts seemed to be paying dividends, Daniel Bryan had to contend with unfinished business from the previous night.
At SummerSlam, Daniel Bryan was selected as the seventh man on Team WWE, a position The Miz felt belonged to him. As a result, the United States Champion interfered in Daniel Bryan's bout, causing a distraction, which allowed Tarver to slide in for the win. As if he hadn't done enough, Miz, with his NXT Rookie Alex Riley along to take notes, then drove his rival's head into the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Wade Barrett def. Chris Jericho (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In arguably his most impressive victory to date, Wade Barrett defeated his former WWE Pro Chris Jericho in convincing fashion. As leader of The Nexus, Barrett needed to secure the win to save face and motivate his troops, who had suffered a disheartening loss the night before at SummerSlam.
John Cena confronted The Nexus; Raw's General Manager arranged The Nexus vs. Team WWE in singles matches (PHOTOS | WATCH)
There was simply no hiding from the truth. Team WWE had defeated The Nexus in their match at SummerSlam, and yet Wade Barrett was attempting to spin the crushing defeat into a rallying cry for his six disciples.
What he was serving up, though, was some weak tea -- and John Cena knew it. The Team WWE founder confronted Barrett about his squad's performance, which rankled the band of outlaws. Their pride wounded, members of The Nexus began to turn on each other, assigning blame for the defeat. The backbiting escalated until Raw's anonymous General Manager interrupted the meltdown to announce that each member of The Nexus would face a member of Team WWE in singles competition, beginning with Barrett facing down his WWE Pro, Chris Jericho.
For the members of The Nexus, the singles matches have given them an opportunity to weed out any weaknesses. As they all agreed, any member who does not win their match is no longer in The Nexus.