Necessary "ref"-ness

Necessary "ref"-ness

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. -- John Cena can probably kiss that employee-of-the-month award goodbye. Among supremely bad ideas, ticking off your boss is right up there with arm-wrestling an alligator, but the reluctant Nexus member did just that when he stuck to his principles and refused to play favorites for Nexus leader Wade Barrett.

WWE Champion Randy Orton & R-Truth def. Wade Barrett & David Otunga (WATCH | PHOTOS)
True to his word, John Cena called it right down the middle. Acting as special guest referee, Cena promised not to play favorites while he officiated a match pitting WWE Champion Randy Orton & R-Truth against Wade Barrett & David Otunga.

Even though Cena did not compete in the bout, he nonetheless had a lot riding on the outcome. In three weeks, he will again act as special guest referee when the Englishman challenges The Viper in a title match at Survivor Series. This contest may have proven to be a preview of that life-altering bout.

Despite finding himself firmly under Barrett's thumb, Cena refused to favor The Nexus once the bout commenced. Although, at one point, he appeared to lean toward his Nexus cohorts, Cena restrained himself and oversaw the bout as objectively as possible. The outcome, however, would leave his English overlord cold: R-Truth managed to topple Otunga and pin his shoulders for the win. The loss triggered a tirade from the Englishman directed squarely at Cena.

Although it was Barrett & Otunga who suffered the defeat, it may well be Cena who ends paying the price.

Mr. McMahon awoke from a coma in a dream (WATCH | PHOTOS)
It had been months since a vicious attack at the hands of The Nexus left Mr. McMahon incapacitated. The Chairman, however, appeared to be alive -- if not well -- in a dream of his daughter Stephanie. Moments after awakening from the coma, McMahon appeared shocked enough to relapse. His medical handler informed him of the disarray within his beloved company: The Undertaker has been buried alive, John Cena joined The Nexus, Paul Bearer has returned, Goldust is getting married and Pee-wee Herman had taken over the show.

Natalya def. Self-professed "Co-Divas Champion" Michelle McCool in a Non-Title Match (WATCH | PHOTOS)
The Mean Girls refuse to relent. Self-professed "Co-Divas Champions" Michelle McCool and Layla continue to taunt Natalya. This week, the pitiless pair dropped an ultimatum on the third-generation Diva: If she did not defeat McCool, she would not be given a title opportunity at Survivor Series. The challenge proved highly motivating for Natalya as she threw it into high gear to race past her blond adversary.

United States Champion Daniel Bryan def. Ted DiBiase (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Ted DiBiase appears to be suffering from an acute case of "Gold Fever." Ever since Goldust stole his Million Dollar Title, The "Fortunate Son" has been unable to focus on just about anything else. As a result, he continues to falter, losing his latest match to U.S. Champion Daniel Bryan.

After the bout, DiBiase complained to his special lady friend, Maryse, that he has been too distracted by the theft of his title. The cure? DiBiase told his "harm candy" that he's determined to stop the wedding of Goldust and Aksana the following night on WWE NXT, only on

The Miz confronted Raw guest star Pee-wee Herman; "Big Pee-wee Herman" def. The Miz by Disqualification (WATCH: PART 1 | PART 2 | PHOTOS | SPECIAL OFFER ON PEE-WEE'S SHOW)
Pee-wee Herman's latest big adventure? The iconic comedian took time away from his current Broadway show to visit Raw. Unfortunately for him, The Miz didn't appreciate sharing the spotlight. "The Cleveland Screamer" confronted Herman until the bow-tied entertainer suggested that Miz take on his cousin, "Big Pee-wee Herman" in a match. A dismissive Miz agreed, and out came "Big Pee-wee Herman," who looked suspiciously like The World's Largest Athlete, Big Show, clad in a Pee-wee outfit. 

Despite attempting to weasel out of the match, Miz was forced to compete as mandated by the Raw GM. As "Big Pee-wee Herman" manhandled his foe, Miz's assistant, Alex Riley, interfered. The distraction allowed Miz to nail his opponent with the Money in the Bank briefcase, causing a disqualification.

Ezekiel Jackson def. Zack Ryder (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Call him a watered-down "Long Island Iced-Z." Despite predicting a huge win during his return home, Long Island native Zack Ryder melted under the pressure. The empty boasts only fueled his opponent, Ezekiel Jackson. When the bell rang to kick start the match, the powerhouse quickly -- and convincingly -- crushed the uneasy Ryder.

Sheamus def. Vladimir Kozlov (WATCH | PHOTOS)
After losing to Santino Marella last week, it didn't take much for Sheamus to get his Irish up. The Celtic Warrior challenged the Italian again, but Santino instead subbed in his tag partner, Vladimir Kozlov. The Moscow Mauler put up a powerful defense, but Sheamus proved too overwhelming.

After his victory, the Irishman chased Santino up the entrance ramp. As he prepared to make borscht out of the "buffoon," though, John Morrison interrupted and quashed The Celtic Warrior.

WWE Tag Team Champions Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater def. The Hart Dynasty (WATCH | PHOTOS)
The Hart Dynasty continues to flatline. For yet another week, David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd bickered their way to a loss. This time, the duo faced new WWE Tag Team Champions Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater in a non-title bout. The ascendant Nexus members capitalized when they spotted dissension between the Canadian cohorts.

WWE Champion Randy Orton called out John Cena; Raw main event set (PHOTOS)
Fired or freedom? John Cena must choose. If Wade Barrett emerges from his Survivor Series match against Randy Orton as WWE Champion, Cena -- acting as special guest referee -- will be free from The Nexus. If the Englishman fails, however, the reluctant Nexus member will be terminated from WWE. Will Cena really betray his principles in order to emancipate himself?

Apparently, The Viper thinks he just might. He confronted Cena, who told him that, while titles come and go, his very way of life hangs in the balance and that he's not entirely sure what he may do at Survivor Series in three weeks. Upon hearing Cena's uncertainty, Barrett interrupted the pow-wow. Before the situation could erupt, Raw's anonymous GM intervened, via Michael Cole, to arrange the night's main event: A tag team match pitting Barrett and a partner of his choosing against Orton and a partner of his choosing with Cena acting as special guest referee.

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