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WWE Main Event - February 17, 2015

by Scrooge McSuck

- We’re coming off a pleasantly decent (this is high praise, sadly) episode of Monday Night Raw, with Fastlane this coming Sunday. Before we get to this weeks episode of Main Event, just a quick observation of NXT Rival… having read opinions first, it might have heightened my expectations. Overall, it was a very good show, with a solid undercard and a couple of high-quality matches at the top, but nowhere near “one of the best shows in years.” I think the true highlight of the night was the Women’s Championship, which continues to produce some of the best matches under the WWE Umbrella. As good as Owens vs. Zayn was, it wasn’t an all-time classic, and not even the best Championship Match of the last month (the Rumble Triple Threat was amazing). That’s not me knocking the match (it’s a 4-star effort, so yeah, not knocking it at all), but the over-hyped expectations has started to blossom with all of their Network specials.

- Tom Phillips and John “Bradshaw” Layfield are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted.

Lucha Dragons vs. Curtis Axel & Heath Slater:

The Lucha Dragons are Sin Cara 2.0 and Kalisto, the latter making his WWE debut. I guess the Primetime Players are back together, so no more Slater-Gator… seriously, how has Slater survived the budget cuts? He’s so far away from a relevant spot, his goofy JTTS stable was disbanded with two releases, and now he’s left out in the cold in favor of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. Kalisto and Slater start. Kalisto (looking to be about 5’6”) with kicks and an arm drag takeover. He springs off the ropes for a takedown. Axel tags in and quickly gets taken down with a spinning head scissors. Slater with a distraction, allowing Axel to nail him from behind with a clothesline. I know this is so pointless, but what an ugly haircut on Slater. I’m sure I’ve said this in my recent Smackdown recap, but damn it’s awful. Axel with a back suplex for two. Kalisto teases a comeback, but gets dropped with a high knee. Axel with a dropkick for two. Slater hooks a chinlock as I ponder the idea of WWE making Slater some kind of Australian bandit… I know he’s not Australian, but it’s better than stereotypical Cajun whatever-the-fuck. Sin Cara FINALLY gets the hot tag and springs off the ropes with a body press. Asai Moonsault gets two. Axel gets dumped, and the Lucha Dragons “hit” some kind of weird double-team spot that I couldn’t describe, since it missed. I guess the slight gust of wind was enough to put Slater away at 5:10. * Weird to see Kalisto work all but 30-seconds of the match, but I guess he’s the “future” and Sin Cara is just there for the ride.

- This past Monday Night on Raw, Ric Flair tried to warn Triple H about Sting, which leads to Triple H shoving Flair down in frustration. I have to say the work hyping Triple H and Sting has been pretty well done, with the exception of last Monday where the script didn’t exactly make a lot of sense.

Zack Ryder vs. Stardust:

Stardust is officially introduced from “The 5th Dimension”. This past Monday on Raw, Stardust and Goldust officially split up, and Stardust disowned the Rhodes name. You know what this means… Goldust vs. Stardust at Fastlane. It’s Ryder, so over/under is set at 2:30… I’m going over, but barely. Stardust quickly knocks Ryder on his ass and plants him with a delayed front suplex. Crowd chants “Cody” to get under his skin. Whip to the ropes and Ryder slams him face-first to the canvas. Ryder gets the knees up on a charge and connects with a missile dropkick. He goes for the lunging forearm, but Stardust counters. Cross Rhodes connects for three at 2:15. Dammit, I give Ryder even the slightest odds and he still fails me. ˝* Standard squash match. They didn’t even give Ryder a chance to tease the Broski Boot.

- Last Monday Night on Raw, John Cena and Rusev continue to push their upcoming encounter at Fastlane… and surprisingly, it’s for the United States Championship. Even more surprisingly, the Championship was actually heavily pushed in Cena’s promo. There’s absolutely no need for Cena to go over, and Rusev getting a win, even if it’s slightly tainted, will do more for him and the US Championship than a cop-out finish.

Titus O’Neil vs. Adam Rose:

They’re really giving us all the undercard workers they can this week. Slater, Axel, Ryder, Rose, Sin Cara, and Titus O’Neil? I guess there’s a level even lower than that for guys like R-Truth. At least he’s not going over anyone worth a damn these days. Rose dismisses the Rosebuds, despite the crowd not caring. This past week, Young teamed with an unknown to face the Ascension and was taking a beating before O’Neil made the save. Lockup into the corner, Rose with a cheap shot and pounding in the corner. Whip to the ropes and Titus with a big boot. O’Neil goes for his back breakers, but Rose fights free. O’Neil tosses him back in the ring, but the Rosebuds actually interfere for the DQ at 1:11, but it’s just an excuse for Darren Young to run down and payback O’Neil for Monday. No rating, barely a match.

- Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan continue to taunt each other on the road to FastLane. I know this is a huge surprise, but they were put in solo action against… the Big Show (vs. Bryan) and Kane (vs. Reigns). I guess whoever wrote the script this week forgot that May 19th is what ticks Kane off, not May 13th. I know, small details. I know too many of them.

Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro (w/ Tyson Kidd & Natalya):

Will Zeb Colter ever return? Will we find out he’s still alive? This seems a bit weird, what with all the matches between the Usos and Cesaro/Kidd to build up FastLane. I’d say putting Cesaro and Kidd over another Tag Team would make more sense, but I guess Los Matadores don’t cut it as the featured match on Main Event. Will we get a 2nd Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal? Lockup, and Cesaro grabs a waistlock. Swagger counters with a takedown, but Cesaro rolls to the floor. Back in the ring, Swagger grabs a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Cesaro grabs a headlock, but Swagger quickly counters with a back suplex. Swagger with a headlock takeover. Cesaro escapes with an elbow and pounds away with rights. Whip to the ropes and Swagger from out of nowhere with a Patriot Lock. Cesaro escapes, only to get knocked to the floor with a clothesline. Swagger follows, gets distracted by Kidd, and tossed to the floor as we take a break.

We return, with Cesaro coming off the top rope with a double axehandle. Whip to the ropes, Cesaro with a clothesline for two. He quickly mounts Swagger from behind and unloads with a flurry of forearms before going back to the armbar. Cesaro with the rolling Germans (not seen since the days of that guy with a gap in his teeth who shall not be named). Swagger counters the third with the Patriot Lock, but Cesaro hooks the ropes. He escapes to the apron and hangs Swagger across the top rope. He goes up top again, but this time Swagger catches him and counters with a belly-to-belly suplex. Swagger hits the ropes and clips the knee. Whip to the corner, clothesline, and Swagger Bomb gets two. Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock again, but Cesaro kicks his way free. Cesaro goes for the Double Stomp, but it’s countered with the Patriot Lock. Cesaro counters, using his momentum to throw Swagger to the floor. Swagger comes back in with a sunset flip, but Cesaro hooks the legs. Swagger wastes time taking a shot at Kidd, allowing Cesaro to nail him from behind and finish with the Neutralizer at 9:49. **3/4 Good match, but nothing special. It’s weird how they try and protect Swagger some weeks (like a tainted win here), but he’s practically squashed in others (Wyatt, Rusev).

Final Thoughts: No hidden gems this week, but a fine hour of WWE programming. Decent featured match between familiar opponents, the debut of Kalisto and a new Tag Team to fill out the ranks, the reuniting of the Primetime Players, and Stardust squashing Zack Ryder. Even though three of the four matches weren’t anything special, each offered something different to further things along, which is always a big plus for the secondary (or in some opinions, third-tier) shows.

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