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WWE Main Event - January 6, 2015
by Scrooge McSuck
- Whenever the product of Monday Night Raw leaves me completely unsatisfied, it’s time to go back to the root of wrestling, where the heart truly beats… the undercard, C-level shows that not enough people are giving attention to. Are the matches meaningless? When it comes to storyline development, yes, but on the plus side, some of the best work is done on these shows. With that out of the way, let’s get into a NEW YEAR with the first episode of Main Event from 2015.
- Show opens with a lengthy highlight package from Monday Night Raw, where The Authority returned, made a mockery of John Cena, addressed the entire WWE locker room (including the recently returned Darren Young, out from injuries for most of 2014), screwed Dolph Ziggler out of the Intercontinental Title… again, and fired him, Ryback, and Erick Rowan. Well, that sure does deplete the babyface roster, doesn’t it? I can’t argue that Triple H and Stephanie basking in the moment was some dick-ish heel stuff, but what happens from there? Reneging on ANOTHER “fired” or “gone forever” storyline in a few weeks?
- Michael Cole, Booker T, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted.
Paige (w/ Natalya) vs. Nikki Bella (w/ Brie Bella):
What have I missed? When did Paige turn babyface… or are the Total Divas cast in some bizarre universe where everyone switches sides on a weekly basis? Vince Russo would be proud. Non-Title Match, so Paige will win. Lockup, and Nikki quickly takes Paige over with a body throw. Paige with a boot to the midsection, followed by headbutts. Her subtle selling of the moves herself is always appreciated. Nikki comes back with a boot and springboard kick to the face for two. Paige with a roll up into a super-kick, completely blocked and in full view of the camera. Paige with some mudhole stomping, forcing Nikki to the floor. We return from a quick break, with Paige unloading with a flurry of knees. Paige tries to follow up, only to take a snapmare from the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Nikki slaps on an armbar. Nice cleavage, at least. She keeps working the arm with unremarkable stuff. Paige offers a comeback, only to get laid out with a short clothesline. More arm work. Paige comes off the ropes with a Thesz Press, but again can’t follow up. Nikki rips off Del Rio’s cross armbreaker submission, but Paige blocks and counters into a pin attempt for two. Nikki quickly sweeps the legs and goes back to the arm. Paige escapes with an am drag, ducks under a clothesline, and hits a trio of her own. Running dropkick to the midsection. Whip to the corner, Nikki meets elbow on a charge. Brie with a distraction, bringing Natalya around with a clothesline. Series of roll ups for two. Paige rips off the Dean Ambrose bounce-off-the-ropes spot for a super-kick. Paige with the RamPaige, and it’s good for three at 11:58. **1/4 Credit to WWE for giving them time to work. Nikki’s lengthy offense felt like a preliminary match straight out of the 1980’s. It was alright from a technical point of view, but dull and underwhelming. I’ll mention this every time: Brie’s “Cheerleading” at ringside is irritating as all hell.
- “The Ravishing Russian” Lana and the United States Champion Rusev have words for the recently “fired” Ryback. I can safely say Ryback will remain fired and this will be a meaningless promo that will most certainly not lead to a physical confrontation between Rusev and Ryback sooner rather than later. Oh, and Rusev will be in the Royal Rumble Match. Fun Fact: He made a random and meaningless Rumble appearance in 2014 before making his main roster (official) debut.
- The World Heavyweight Championship Match at the Royal Rumble will now include Seth Rollins challenging Brock Lesnar, along with former 15-time Champion, John Cena.
R-Truth vs. “The New and Improved” Fandango (w/ Rosa):
I love how Fandango has been repackaged as WWE’s Don Flamenco. The crowd has absolutely ZERO reaction for him, even on a show with piped in crowd noise. Who knew R-Truth was still hanging around? Lockup, Fandango grabs a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Criss-cross and R-Truth with a hip toss. Truth meets an elbow in the corner, and Fandango takes him down with a second rope clothesline for two. JBL brings up Epico and Primo, and somewhere in my brain I wanted them to be outed as Los Matadores. Truth fights out of a chinlock, but can’t muscle Fandango over with a sunset flip. Truth with clotheslines and a twisting heel kick for two. Fandango with a vicious elbow near the ropes, followed by a sit-out suplex (Falcon Arrow?). Fandango to the top, and the Alabama Jam finishes at 3:08. 3/4* Standard stuff from Truth and Fandango. To be fair, they only had 3-minutes, but I didn’t expect much even with more time.
Jack Swagger vs. Titus O’Neil:
Has the WWE Universe seen the last of Zeb Colter? Who knows with WWE. I think WWE needs more of his types, both as performers to get talent over through their ability to work a crowd, as well as in creative… but nope, hire all the wanna-be Soap Opera and Sitcom writers, instead. Titus with a pre-match promo, so he’s jobbing. Lockup, Swagger with a waistlock takedown, but a Patriot Lock is unsuccessful. Titus with a knee to the midsection, followed by a pair of uppercuts. He goes for his back breakers, but Swagger escapes, picks the leg, and goes for the Patriot Lock again. Titus escapes, only to get sent to the floor with a clothesline. We return from break, with O’Neil in control. Swagger escapes a chinlock, only to get knocked down with a big boot. O’Neil with clobbering blows and his overhead throw. Titus with a short-arm clothesline for two. He slaps on an abdominal stretch, no doubt impressing Bray Wyatt’s daddy. Swagger escapes and connects with a spinebuster. Swagger unloads with rights, and his weird haircut looks almost Rooster-like…. Oh GOD, I hope WWE isn’t reading this. Swagger with a whip to the corner and a big boot. Swagger calls a spot pretty damn loud and hits a short-arm clothesline. Swagger Bomb gets two in another awkward spot probably done just to mock the awful calls in the Detroit/Dallas Playoff game. Swagger throws Titus over the top rope to the floor, possibly thinking it’s a Royal Rumble Rules Match. Back inside, O’Neil with a hard boot to the face, and the Clash of the Titus connects for three at 8:38. I’m surprised by that, honestly. ** Decent Heavyweight Match, but nothing special. Wasn’t too long to suffer, but didn’t have much meat to it, either.
Final Thoughts: No real show stealers, unfortunately, but two decent matches featuring Paige/Nikki Bella and Swagger/Titus O’Neil. Both matches received decent amounts of time and had decent finishes, which is something sorely lacking on Raw these days. Fandango and R-Truth was a throw-away match, but served a purpose, I guess. Decent recapping of what happened on Raw, regardless of how unwatchable the show has become with three hours to fill and very little variety ever offered. See you later in the week for WWE Superstars.
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