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WWE Main Event - September 6, 2016

by Scrooge McSuck

- I'm still getting used to listing Main Event as the same broadcast date as Smackdown Live. Once again, Smackdown Live wrapped up and the recap stamped and submitted, and then on Talking Smack, they made the big announcement that American Alpha were removed from the tournament due a (storyline) injury of Chad Gable, suffering from an MCL sprain and taking him out of action for 2-4 weeks. To make up for this, they'll be giving a "second chance" to the Semi-Final losers, the Usos (the team responsible for injuring Gable) and the Hype Bros (who lost to the whacky team of Heath Slater and Rhyno). I'm almost tempted to hold back on the Smackdown recap until after Talking Smack.

- Taped from the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE with Tom Phillips and David Otunga calling the action, unless otherwise noted.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Aiden English (w/ Simon Gotch):

This Sunday at Backlash, Ziggler challenges the Miz for the Intercontinental Championship, and he's going to lose. For the first time in a while, they actually do the full entrance for the Vaudevillains, with the jumbo-screen introduction and pre-entrance posing. The canned reactions are a bit much, though. Why introduce them when they just were introduced on the screen?! Logic in WWE. It'll never make sense. Ziggler quickly goes for a single leg pick and cover. English goes for the arm and transitions into a front face-lock. Ziggler tries to counter and eventually takes him over with a cradle for two. English with a take down and a series of squats to work a short-arm scissors. Ziggler comes back with a dropkick, but lets a distraction from Gotch bother him, allowing English to nail him from behind with a running high knee. English with a forearm for two. Ziggler escapes a chin-lock with a snap mare, but English quickly recovers and hits a running boot for a two count. English plays to the crowd before taking Ziggler over with an exquisite suplex. Ziggler rolls away from an elbow drop and comes back with strikes to the midsection. He gets an elbow up in the corner and comes off the ropes with a pair of clotheslines. He hits English with a splash in the corner, followed by a neck breaker and elbow drop for two. English goes for the Whirling Darvish, but Ziggler avoids it. English counters a Famouser attempt with a sit-out Powerbomb for two. English comes off the top and a senton meets the knees. Gotch gets a Super-Kick for trying to be distracting, and a Super-Kick to English finishes things at 5:01. **1/2 Good for such a short match. Ziggler's offense at times could be more crisp, but he gave English plenty of offense and they moved at a surprisingly decent clip to pack in as much action.

- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part I... Kevin Owens is introduced to the WWE Universe as the newest, the longest reigning, and the youngest Universal Champion in WWE history. No, they didn't bring out Triple H, who was overseas at the time, to explain his actions, so Stephanie McMahon, his on-screen and real-life wife, just pretends like she hasn't spoken to him all week, and no, it's not addressed, either. Seth Rollins interrupts and calls bullsh*t, so Stephanie suspends him, but Foley goes over her helmet and books him in a match with Kevin Owens at Clash of Champions on September 25th. They're already teasing tension between Foley and Stephanie, but it didn't come across as clumsy because of Foley's commitment to get the best out of every segment.

- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part II... Seth Rollins took on Chris Jericho in a decent match, with the last 4-5 minutes shown. Jericho had Rollins trapped in the Walls of Jericho, but Rollins was able to make it to the ropes. Finish came when Rollins pinned Jericho with the Pedigree. If there were ever a time to go back to the Curb Stomp, it would be now. Instead he's still using Triple H's hand-me-down finisher.

Jack Swagger vs. Jinder Mahal:

With yet another overseas tour, that means we're getting another "Raw Showcase" to pad out the lack of a deep undercard for Smackdown. It's times like these you learn to love again and second guess the decision of doing weekly recaps of just Main Event. Maybe I'll start doing a Main Event Superstars Combo to just cover the exclusive content. Swagger did a job to Titus O'Neil on Superstars so he's looking to rebound by beating someone lower on the totem pole than Curtis Axel. Lockup, Swagger with a go-behind waist-lock and takedown. Whip to the corner and Mahal with a jumping forearm for only a one count. Mahal with knees across the chest as the crowd chants "U-S-A!". Whip to the ropes and Mahal with a back elbow. I typed that before it happened because he called the spot so damn loud. He continues to have a conversation in Swagger's ear and lays him out with a side kick. I'm not trying to be "that guy" who exposes the show, but when it's that bad, it needs to be called out. Swagger with the Patriot Lock from out of nowhere and Mahal taps at 2:17. Well, that was quick. No rating, but I'm disappointed someone didn't mute the audio for Mahal.

- Flashback to Monday Night Raw, Part 3-D... Kevin Owens took on Sami Zayn in the Main Event, only 7 weeks removed from their last ever, this is the end and we'll never have to deal with each other again match at Battleground. I wouldn't mind them crossing paths in situations like the Rumble Match or a Tournament setting, but to just casually book them against each other? Lazy. Also, enough with people taking unnecessary bumps on their heads ON THE FLOOR for the sake of popping the crowd for three seconds. Finish came when Zayn went for the Helluva Kick, but his ankle gave out on him, and Owens finished with the Powerbomb. Post-match, Roman Reigns came out, but Kevin Owens backed off. This brought Jericho out, as well as Mick Foley to restore order. If Reigns beats Owens next week, he will be added to the Title Match at Clash of Champions.

Final Thoughts: On a 49-minute episode, less than 8-minutes of that was bell-to-bell time for first run matches. If you're going to do a "Raw Showcase", at least give the match more time and maybe not have Jinder Mahal calling his spots to whoever wanted to listen in the 18th row. Ziggler vs. English was a decent match, and as far as undercard filler goes, it's worth the few minutes it takes to watch, since you don't see Ziggler often on Main Event.

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