Let’s see if I can literally give Nikki Bella nothing but bests in 2015.
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Best: Nikki Bella vs. Paige
First off, for the Nattie Neidhard fan club, dem jeans. I swear I’ll stop doing this just as soon as Nattie stops looking super attractive every damn show.
I have to say, I didn’t see this match coming, or at least I didn’t expect something on this scale. It went through a commercial break! When has a main roster WWE women’s match ever gone through a commercial break? This took up, like, 15-minutes of TV time and the commentators called it like a real match even though it didn’t feature Ric Flair’s kid. This was easily the most positive development of 2015 to date.
The match was pretty good too, never losing my attention during it’s surprisingly lengthy runtime, although it did highlight the fact that Nikki Bella is totally better than Paige at this point. Granted, I think Paige’s spirit may have died a little when she was put on Total Divas, but her tough girl act feels very put on. None of her stuff actually connects with any impact, her superkicks are 95% thigh-slapping and her selling was particularly goofy in this match – Nikki would put her in a hold and she’d sell by kicking her legs around like a fussy baby.
Thankfully Nikki was there to anchor the match (I love that I can type that in 2015). She started off with her regular, super solid offense, but then she upped her game and started working the arm. She did a really good job of it too, hitting arm-DDTs and going for armbars like a tiny-pantsed Alberto Del Rio. At this point, I think we can officially declare Nikki Bella a better techinical wrestler than her blockheaded significant other.
Eventually Paige got the win, and the commentators started talking about how this should earn her a title shot, which is standard lazy Divas booking, but I dunno – it’s a lot less bothersome when the champ loses a 15-minute hard-fought match to set up a challenger. It feels like Paige actually earned an opportunity, which isn’t the case with the usual 90-second roll-up non-title losses.
Main Event Status: The top two currently-active ladies in the Divas division having a competitive 15-minute match. That gets a solid 30% from me.
Worst: Are We Doing This?
Total Divas has sputtered back to life again, so the entire Divas division has suddenly changed alignment and now Paige and Natalya are best friends, which is about the least believable pairing possible. I mean, I’m guessing Natalya is probably roughly as pale as Paige under the spray tan, but that’s about all they have in common. Anyways, Natalya and Paige have been besties for all of two days and they’re already teasing dissention. Will Nattie and Paige both being in line for a title shot come between their beautiful two-day friendship? Will Nattie ever get a storyline that isn’t the worst thing ever? So many questions!
Lana and Rusev came out to fill a little time here, and I dunno, Lana was off her game tonight. She was stumbling over her words pretty badly and spent far too much time saying nice things about Ryback. Lana should never say nice things about any non-Russian – we should all be sub-human scum 100% of the time. Also, Rusev has become just profecient enough in English that his promos aren’t funny any more. I suppose I got a bit of a chuckle out of “I will mop this floor with you, like a janitor does the locker room” but I want the classic “I will eat your face and kick you in your groins” Rusev back.
Best: At Least The Commentators Are Shitting On The Right Stuff
So, it goes without saying that R-Truth vs. Fandango was a waste of time, but at least this is when the commentators chose to get all bored and surly. For the longest time women’s matches were just the designated time for the commenators to stop doing their jobs, but useless stuff like this is what they should be picking on. Of course the best scenario would be a commentary booth that could do its job for more than half-an-hour straight, but let’s keep our expectations in check.
Main Event Status: This is the worst pseudo-feud in WWE right now. 2%.
Uh yeah, so this show ended with a Jack Swagger/Titus O’Neil match, because I guess maybe they lost a video package they were planning to air at the last second and needed to fill some time? I’ll give Titus credit, he was working hard in his own special Titus-ey way, which mostly translated to him clubbering on Swagger way too hard. Jack Swagger of course mostly staggered around like a hungover Frankenstein.
The final moments of the match were particularly weird – Titus was supposed to grab the ropes to break up a pin, but he wasn’t close enough, so instead of just doing a kick-out, he kept trying to reach for the ropes, forcing the ref to stop the count even though Titus’ shoulders were down for a three-count. It sucked, and the commentators pooped all over it, but then Titus won, so eh – they Year of the Gator continues?
Main Event Status: The two most staggery, stumbly guys in WWE face off! The battle of the klutzes! 5%.
Final Main Event Tally: Adding it up, we get to 37% this week, although I’ll be generous since it’s the first Main Event of the new year and give it a 40%. Speaking of the new year, here’s my formula for making Main Event the best show it can be in 2015 (please take notes WWE) – each episode should have one long women’s match, one random NXT match, one segment where a talented mid-carder (Miz, Cesaro or whoever) gets to speak and show some personality and absolutely no Usos vs. Rhodes Bros. matches. Stick to that and we should should have a pretty solid 2015.