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WWE Main Event - May 1, 2013

by Scrooge McSuck

- Last week on WWE Main Event... JBL somehow convinced Mark Henry into running a Gauntlet, which strangely comprised of the same people that Big Show ran through about 6-weeks later. The only difference being that Mark Henry walked away from Great Khali, meaning that Great Khali has a victory over Mark Henry on Main Event. Will this effect anything on the program we're about to see? Nope. Because this episode looks GOOD.

- Taped on April 30th, 2013, from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI. Michael Cole and JBL are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. According to the news wire, Miz is off television filming a crappy ABC Family movie, so his disappearance isn't a punishment, it's just to give him more face time for when he returns. Maybe they'll turn him he--... nope, nevermind. Won't happen.

WWE United States Championship Match:
Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro:

It was a few weeks ago on Monday Night Raw where Kofi defeated Cesaro for the U.S. Championship, thus ending his near 8-month long reign as Champion, most of it highlighted by satisfactory performances on Main Event. You can piss and moan about the lack of direction for both men, the confusing burial of Cesaro with the nonsensical YODELING gimmick, and anything else that comes to mind that allows people to whine, but bottom line, I want to see good wrestling, and if they deliver, I have no problem with where they are on the card (just a problem with how they're jobbed out and expected to get over immediately afterwards).

Cesaro notes in the pre-match interview he means BUSINESS tonight, so no yodeling. How about no yodeling, ever again? Cesaro quickly goes for a leg, but Kofi grabs a front facelock. Cesaro escapes with a leg sweep, but can't keep hold of him. They fight over a waistlock, turning into trading off variations of abdominal stretches. Cesaro with a wristlock, and he surprises Kofi with a school boy for two. He grabs another waistlock, trying to take Kofi into a pinning combination, with no luck. Kofi sweeps the legs and somehow turns that into a pin attempt for two. Lockup, Cesaro with a front facelock, and takes Kofi over with a double underhook into another pin attempt. Kofi counters an armbar with an armdrag, and grabs an armbar of his own. Cesaro escapes with a yank of the hair and goes back to the headlock. Whip to the ropes, Cesaro catches Kofi in a waistlock, slams him down, and takes him over with the deadlift gutwrench suplex. Whip to the corner, Kofi comes back with a twirling head scissors, followed by a springboard splash for two. Cesaro quickly rolls to the floor, as we take our first break.

We return with Cesaro laying Kofi out with a european uppercut for a two count. He drives a headbutt to the midsection and drops a leg across the back of the head for another near fall. Cesaro with choking across the middle rope and an elbow drop for two. Double underhook suplex for two. Kofi fights free of a chinlock, but Cesaro puts him back in his place with a series of knees to the chest. Kofi with another comeback attempt, connecting on a dropkick and a jumping clothesline. Kofi drops the Boom and sets up for Trouble in Paradise, but Cesaro rolls to the outside. Kofi follows, only to have his leg trapped in the ropes, and hung up across the top rope. Forshadowing a leg injury? I like it. Cesaro charges in, and immediately gets hit with the SOS, but it only gets two. Whip to the ropes, and Cesaro catches Kofi with the Michinoku Driver for two! He charges to the corner with a vicious uppercut for another two count. Cesaro goes for the deadlift slam again, but Kofi counters into a sunset flip, which is then countered into a seated pin attempt for two.

Back from another break, with Cesaro unloading on Kingston with rights and lefts. He misses a charge and gets sent to the floor with a forearm. Kofi follows, taking him over into the ring steps with a head scissors! Kofi comes off the steps with a double axehandle and rolls Cesaro back into the ring for two. Kofi springs off the top rope, only to be caught by Cesaro! Somehow Kofi squirms out of the grip and into an insidle cradle for two! Cesaro quickly drops him with another uppercut, then Sullivan Stomps the previously injured knee. Cesaro slaps on a single-leg crab, but Kofi kicks him off and cradles him for barely a one count. Kofi tries to repeat how he won the title, but Cesaro blocks it, grabs him by one leg for a GIANT SWING, and turns him over into the crab, once again. Again, Kofi manages to escape, this time using the ropes to force the break. He rolls to the apron, but Cesaro gives him little breathing room, sending him into the post and then bringing him back in with Super-Plex, while still standing on the apron! That only gets two. Scoop slam and Sullivan Stomp gets two, then on the kickout, turns him over into another single leg crab! Kofi still won't give up. Cesaro with a running dropkick and sets up for the Nuetralizer. Kofi back drops free, Cesaro lands on his feet, misses a charge, and the Trouble in Paradise connects to the back of the head for the three count at 16:27 (minus two breaks). An absolutely fantastic match for free television standards. The last 5-minutes or so were some intense moments, with every near fall being a believable end to the match. Kofi looked a bit sloppy at times, but in most instance, Cesaro's freak strength or the lack of a perfectly executed roll up allows the match to have a bit more of a realistic struggle. Definitely one of the best matches in Main Event's short history, and well worth checking out.

- Kofi cuts a post-match interview about being proud to be the United States Champion. Sounds almost like his speech when he won the IC Title from Miz, another Main Event History Highlight. After the break, Cesaro attacks him backstage, so maybe we'll get a match on Extreme Rules. If we do, it won't be nearly as good because it won't be allowed to go 25-minutes like they did here.

- Raw Rebound: Ryback refuses to team up with Kane and Daniel Bryan to take on the Shield, but the injured John Cena is more than willing. Wouldn't you know it, the ankle is still hurting, and Cena lays down for Roman Reigns. Cena's seriously becoming as unwatchable as Hulk Hogan or Triple H when it comes to protective finishes, never leaving the spotlight, and over-coming everything thrown at them, no matter what the odds.

Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater (w/ Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal):

It's another case of Nexus members battling it out to see who's gotten nowhere better since they broke apart. Honestly, of all the original Nexus, how many are doing anything right now (excluding Daniel Bryan, for obvious reasons)? Wade Barrett is in the midcard, Gabriel, Young, Slater, and Otunga are part of the JTTS Crew, and I refuse to refer to Ryback's original name. Oh, be sure to watch Friday Night Smackdown for the Main Event of Kane versus Dean Ambrose. Vengeance for the Undertaker, perhaps? Slater avoids a lockup and taunts Gabriel with his air guitar skills. Gabriel responds with an arm drag and his own brand of air guitar'ing. Gabriel with a drop toe hold and Oklahoma Roll for two. He works the arm and cradles Slater for another two count. In a notable trend, Gabriel is liking the arm-drag/armbar combo, doing his best impression of Ricky Steamboat, minus the intensity or "it" factor to elevate someone past opening card act. Slater sweeps the legs and grabs a headlock, but Gabriel quickly escapes and maintains control. He sends Slater to the floor with a head scissors, then hits the 3MB pile with a suicide dive. McIntyre and Mahal argue with the referee and get thrown out for it... the kind of have a point. Slater tries to sneak attack, but Gabriel sends him to the floor, again.

We come back from break, with Gabriel working the arm. He connects with a roundhouse kick from the apron, but his trip to the top rope is rudely interrupted by a sweet powerslam from Slater. It only gets two. Slater stomps away and grabs a chinlock. He does some Road Dogg style jabs, but doesn't do a funky shuffle before delivering a roundhouse right. Whip to the corner, and he greets Gabriel with a boot to the face for two. Slater to the second rope, and he meets boot doing something undefinable. Gabriel with a Mortal Kombat style leg sweep, followed by a jumping heel kick. Throw in a spinning heel kick for good measure, and a discuss clothesline. He springs off the top with a body press for two. Slater interrupts another climb to the top rope, but gets shoved down going for a super-plex, and Gabriel finishes with a 450 splash for three at 9:46 (minus one break). Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling, although mostly for Gabriel's efforts. Slater seemed to be going through the motions, or just isn't very good. It's hard to tell.

Final Thoughts: Finally, an episode of Main Event worth sitting through from start to finish. It's been so long, I was almost convinced WWE gave up and was turning it into Superstars (or any other second-tier show that dramatically dropped in quality over a short span of time). Instead we got a lengthy, main event caliber match to fill the first half of the broadcast, then followed with a lengthy match with two undercard workers who rarely get significant television time without it being them having their brains beat in. The limited (as in only one) "recaps" helps make Main Event look more important than a "if you didn't watch Raw, here's about 30-minutes of what happend" show.

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