Six and the City
LOS ANGELES - During Monday Night Raw, the City of Angels played host to a pair of WWE's heavenly bodies, a contingent of deadly sinners and a half dozen Superstars ready to clash in a battle of biblical proportions at the Night of Champions pay-per-view.
WWE Champion Sheamus def. Zack Ryder; Raw's General Manager announced Six Pack Challenge at Night of Champions (PHOTOS | WATCH: PART 1 | PART 2)
The Celtic "Worrier?" Perhaps WWE Champion Sheamus was too concerned about facing one of WWE's elite Superstars or maybe he's got a soft spot for Long Island. Whatever the reason, the Irishman chose to defend his title against Zack Ryder, not on pay-per-view, but on Raw.
A grateful Ryder thanked Sheamus for the opportunity before having his face kicked in and getting pinned inside of a mere 11 seconds. Woo, Woo, Woo. You know it!
After the match, there were several understandably irate Superstars, including Wade Barrett. The leader of The Nexus informed The Celtic Warrior that at Night of Champions, he would invoke the title opportunity he earned after winning season one of WWE NXT. Before the rivalry between England and Ireland could escalate, the Raw General Manager had a few points to make.
Sheamus would indeed defend his title against Barrett, the GM assured. However, he would also defend against four other Superstars in a Six Pack Challenge. Rounding out the field, the GM chose Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Edge and John Cena. As each man stood wearily in the ring, the mistrust proved overwhelming and the six set out attacking one another, leaving only The Viper to stand tall after an emphatic RKO to Cena. The tension between the sextet assures that Night of Champions is also sure to be a night to remember.
Randy Orton def. Ted DiBiase and John Morrison in a Triple Threat Match (PHOTOS | WATCH)
That throne must really be comfy. After all, WWE Champion Sheamus, who has a penchant for involving himself where he doesn't belong, actually stayed out of the Triple Threat Match between Randy Orton, John Morrison and Ted DiBiase.
The triumvirate of Superstars competed for the potential opportunity to be chosen by the Irishman to battle him in a title match at Night of Champions. During the bout, Sheamus actually exited to deliberate before announcing who he would face in four weeks. When the carnage was complete, it was The Viper who had snaked past his competition to secure the win.
Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov def. The Usos (PHOTOS |WATCH)
One of the most unlikely pairings in WWE has turned out to be one of the most successful. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov have scored another victory on the world stage, defeating The Usos, Jimmy and Jey.
After the international triumph, Tamina halted a retaliatory strike aimed squarely at her crush, Santino. As she walked off with the Usos, the daughter of "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka blew a passionate kiss to The Italian Stallion. Hmmm …
United States Champion The Miz def. John Cena by Disqualification (PHOTOS |WATCH)
When asked about The Miz's attack on Daniel Bryan last week, John Cena called it "petty and classless." Needless to say, the United States Champion was not amused. When the two faced off, animosity permeated the arena. While Mr. Money in the Bank more than held his own against one of WWE's premier Superstars, once Cena found his footing, Miz found an escape hatch and fled the ring.
Unfortunately for Miz, Daniel Bryan appeared on the scene and was more than happy to "escort" him back to the ring. After tossing the U.S. Champion back inside, where Cena administered an Attitude Adjustment, Daniel Bryan locked a submission hold onto his nemesis. So intense was the hold that it required five referees to finally break it.
Raw's GM lifted ban on The Nexus competing for titles (WATCH)
As WWE Champion Sheamus rested regally atop his throne, Raw's anonymous General Manager shook him from his respite. The Nexus had filed out to join the Irishman on stage when the GM informed the group of outlaws that he was lifting the ban on them competing for titles. As a result, Nexus leader Wade Barrett eagerly informed Sheamus that the "truce" between he and the group was effectively over.
Divas Champion Melina def. Jillian (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Thankfully, Jillian had no reason to break out in song. After pulling out a win for her team last week, the tone-deaf Diva went head-to-head against Divas Champion Melina. Sadly for her, though, the Latina lovely appeared more focused and notched another victory.
After the match, "Women's Co-Champions," Layla & Michelle McCool popped up on the TitanTron to mock Melina and inform her that the two will visit next week for Raw's 900th episode celebration to make her an offer that is simply "flawless."
Chris Jericho def. The Great Khali (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In the quest to battle Sheamus at Night of Champions, Chris Jericho faced down the towering presence of The Great Khali. By targeting his attack on Khali's knee, which had been battered by The Nexus two weeks prior, the self-important Superstar managed to topple The Punjabi Playboy with the Walls of Jericho. As he addressed the WWE Champion, though, informing him of his status as the first-ever Undisputed Champion, Khali knocked Jericho from his turnbuckle perch to the arena floor.
Edge def. R-Truth (PHOTOS | WATCH)
In the first match of the evening to help determine which Superstar will face Sheamus at Night of Champions, The Rated-R Superstar laid out a convincing case. Edge faced off against the dynamism of R-Truth. The two had traded heated words with one another in the run-up to SummerSlam, but in this exchange, it was Edge who would prevail.
Afterward, The Ultimate Opportunist reminded the WWE Champion that he is a nine-time champion, and bragged that until Sheamus defeats him, he hasn't defeated anyone.
Raw General Manager allowed WWE Champion Sheamus to choose his opponent at Night of Champions (PHOTOS)
After a self-serving tirade about the "VOS," or Victims of Sheamus, as he referred to some of his past opponents, The Celtic Warrior boasted that he would emerge victorious at one of WWE's most prestigious pay-per-views, Night of Champions.
After listening to the Irishman's rant, Raw's anonymous General Manager piped up. He informed The Celtic Warrior that he could relax in a special throne for the evening to watch a series of matches unfold. After observing the winners, the choice of No. 1 contender for the WWE Title would be up to Sheamus himself.