WWE Main Event - August 16, 2016
by Scrooge McSuck
- It looks like we're back to regularly scheduled uploads for Main Event. Such a curious cycle. Hulu officially lists it for Tuesday, but then Main Event is still featured overseas later in the week, and then WWE has it on the Network on Fridays. For reasons unknown, it wasn't uploaded until Friday last week, but now we're back to the normal pattern. Either way, I'm probably one of a few dozen people who actually give enough of a crap about the show.
- Taped from Austin, TX, with Tom Phillips and David Otunga calling the action. Otunga has really proven to have no personality as a commentator, but he's a decent looking fellow that isn't white, so we must persevere.
Kane vs. Ricky Starks:
They actually taped the traditional Kane squash for Main Event this week? Good. On the downside, that means we probably are getting an extra helping of recap videos. Starks thinks it would be a good idea to just walk away, but Kane pulls him back in the ring. Starks gets a shot in, but Kane no-sells it and boots him in the face. Kane takes him to the opposite corner and boots him down. Whip back across and this time he plants the poor guy with his signature sidewalk slam. Whip to the ropes and Starks with a desperation boot, but again, Kane no-sells it and sends him over the top rope with a clothesline. Starks hangs Kane across the top rope, but jumps off the top rope into an uppercut. Kane with the Chokeslam and that's all at 2:11. Based on my expert opinion, I can safely say, without a doubt, this was a Squash.
- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part I... Seth Rollins calls out The Demon King (the new fancy trademark for Finn Balor's signature "Demon" persona. Almost sounds like Demon Kane, but maybe that's just me). I understand that WWE figures they need to get the Demon look over on national television because more people will watch Monday Night Raw than SummerSlam by a considerable margin, but at the same time, I really wish they would've help it off for the big PPV instead of just another episode of Raw. That's the big problem with Raw lately. The shows are at worst decent, and I know we need to fill three hours, but they keep putting PPV caliber stuff on when they don't need to. Look at Smackdown: ratings are holding steady just teasing stuff and giving a quality match here and there. There's absolutely no need to hot-shot PPV material onto the weekly TV. That's a total WCW move. Anyway, they do the big stare down and a short brawl, with Balor getting the better of Rollins. That typically means Seth goes over at SummerSlam, but you CANNOT job Balor in his first PPV, especially with the Demon makeup.
- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part II... Roman Reigns is somehow getting over as a babyface in his program with Rusev. Last week, if you'll remember, Reigns ruined their wedding celebration and Lana was left covered in her own cake. They didn't want to wait for SummerSlam, but the title will not be on the line because Rusev is fighting for his wife. So wouldn't that make him the babyface? Anyway, they have a really good, PPV quality match, and again, they hot shot something that would make for great entertainment at SummerSlam and instead threw it on the end of a three-hour TV show where the viewership has gradually dipped. Reigns won, and again, that usually means in 50/50 land that the other guy wins, but I don't see Rusev pinning Reigns. At best, Rusev will likely retain the belt in a lame non-finish.
Rhyno vs. Baron Corbin:
Remember when these two had a decent little feud on NXT? I think it was them at least. Maybe it was Bull Dempsey... nah, it had to be Rhyno, because they ended up doing the mismatched partners who hate but RESPECT each other for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic™. If you've been missing Smackdown, Corbin has made it his mission to bully Kalisto, probably because he's about two feet taller than the guy. I still chuckle when they consider Rhyno a "hot free agent." Weak "ECW" chant, because it just won't die. Lockup and neither man gets the advantage. Corbin with a shove and quickly bales. Lockup and Rhyno goes to work on the arm. Rhyno with a side headlock. Corbin forces a break in the corner and they trade shoves. Whip to the corner but Corbin takes a detour. Rhyno with chops and a shoulder tackle. He blocks a hip toss attempt and lays Corbin out with a clothesline. Rhyno charges into the corner with a shoulder to the midsection for two. Rhyno makes the mistake of climbing the ropes and gets shoved out of the ring for his effort.
We return from a break with Corbin sending Rhyno into the corner with gusto. Another hard whip to the corner and Corbin covers for a two count. He hooks a chin-lock and yells at the crowd to get them off their hands. Rhyno escapes but runs into an elbow. He hooks another chin-lock and politely lets the referee know that Rhyno quits. Rhyno escapes with fists to the midsection. He blocks a whip to the ropes and nails Corbin with a big forearm. He comes off the ropes and Corbin catches him with Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin with a series of forearms and another two count. Charge to the corner and Corbin meets the post. Whip to the ropes and Rhyno with a diving clothesline. Whip to the corner, and this time Rhyno follows Corbin to the floor with a clothesline. Rhyno sets up for the GORE~! but Corbin catches him coming with a boot. Rhyno quickly recovers and takes him over with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Corbin escapes a Samoan Drop and catches Rhyno off the ropes with End of Days for three at 10:31. Considerably longer than any other matches featured on Main Event in recent weeks. ** I'm probably a little generous, but this was a decent heavyweight match. It isn't making any highlight reels, but they had some solid exchanges and hard hitting offense to make it watchable.
- We get the hype video for Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar, a 15-Year in the making scenario. Both came up through OVW and debuted in 2002, and with the exception of one match on a throwaway episode of Smackdown in the Fall of 2002, these two have never crossed paths on WWE television. We've seen this video several times already this week, but it's something WWE has always excelled at, so why not flaunt it?
Final Thoughts: Another week gone by without any recaps or highlights of anything that happened on Smackdown Live. It almost feels disrespectful to the Styles/Cena and Ziggler/Ambrose programs. As far as the exclusive matches are concerned, this wasn't the best due to the fact that one of the matches was a 30-second squash that was somehow stretched into shortly over two-minutes, and we got a decent match between Rhyno/Corbin thanks to giving it more time than usual and Rhyno getting something decent out of Corbin. It's all about SummerSlam and thankfully we'll get through that on Sunday and see how things unfold for the Fall, almost a guaranteed time period every year to suffer in quality from a creative stance.
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