The Best And Worst Of Main Event 9/23/14: There Was A Back Door

Of course there was — the back door has been where most of WWE’s recent booking has come from.

Pre-show Notes:

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A Note Before We Begin: The central irony of this show is that they call it Main Event despite the fact that the show is obviously the modern incarnation of Jakked. So, just to add a little extra interest to these reports, I thought I’d keep track of how close all the matches on the show, combined, come to equalling one legit main event. You’ll see how it works as we progress.

Best: Slater Gator Has Music!

No team that has custom mash-up music has ever broken up, right? Slater Gata foreva!

WWE doesn’t have an official Slater Gator YouTube video up yet, so excuse all the obnoxious Adam Rose commentary over the hot tunes. Speaking of which…

Worst: Sing It Boring Byron

Slater Gator vs. Los Matadores went all of 10-seconds and was entirely pretext to get the Bunny on guest commentary. Because he doesn’t talk, you see. Ho ho! Adam Rose did all the actual talking, and holy shit — you thought Adam Rose’s everything else was aggravating? Well, brace yourself, because his commentary is even worse.

I can’t in good conscience give this segment as a whole a Best, but major props to Byron Saxton for basically playing a With Spandex writer/reader and being absolutely appalled by the whole Adam Rose thing. Not JBL-style over-the-top apoplectic, just dismayed. You’re right Byron, single-mindedly trying to ruin the careers of two hard working superstars isn’t funny. Nobody with a heart should like this crap. Of course reacting like a decent human being resulted in Byron being branded Boring Byron and mocked throughout the show by dynamic life of the party, Michael Cole. You know what? It’s taken me a couple months to warm up to him, but this segment tipped the scales — I officially like Byron Saxton. Don’t listen to the haters pal.

Main Event Status: Slater Gator or no, I’m not giving any points to a 10-second match.

Best: Mark Henry in a Suit

Mark Henry in a suit is almost always good news. He wasn’t wearing a salmon pink blazer this week, so this segment wasn’t as amazing as Mark Henry in a suit segments are capable of being, but it was still pretty damn good.

Mark Henry is a heel again, which is where the guy belongs, and he’s basically blaming it on each and every one of us, but Mark Henry, being better at this than most, actually managed to make a standard “guy blaming his failures on the audience” turn not feel like a total cop-out. Mark Henry’s position is that he did his best and failed, but he should be celebrated for trying, and the audience were in the wrong for pressuring him into a match with Rusev on Raw while injured.

It’s great heel motivation in the sense that, in the regular civilian world, Mark Henry is totally in the right. Trying your best should be commended, and you shouldn’t pressure people into doing things that might put their physical well-being at risk, but WWE isn’t real life. WWE is a hyper masculine world populated by comic book superheroes and villains, and in that world “I tried my best, I don’t want to try any more and you guys are the assholes for cheering me on” doesn’t cut it. Henry’s actions are totally relatable, and yet, given what the guy does for a living, not at all commendable.

Then Big Show came out, and things got even better. Rather than browbeating Henry or immediately declaring him the enemy because he turned on THE UNIVERSE, he, in a moment of surprising sincerity, said he understood what Henry was going through, assured him they were still friends and vowed to exact retribution on Rusev this Friday. Of course this is all leading to Henry costing Show a win against Rusev, but even though I know where this is going, I’m still invested because the story is based on real, recognizable human motivations, and Big Show seems like a legitimately decent guy who values his friendships, so I don’t want to see him screwed over.

This was the best WWE story segment in months. Why it happened on Main Event, I have no idea, but thanks WWE.

Worst: Naomi’s Gear

I haven’t had the opportunity to talk about it yet, so I’ve gotta take a moment discuss Naomi’s new gear. Jesus H. Christ, it makes me sad. With the exception of that silver Funkadactyls number (you know the one), all of Naomi’s gear has sucked — are the seamstresses just totally weirded out by having to deal with a slightly different body type? Pro tip: emphasize the booty.

Naomi’s current look consists of a halter top that smushes down her boobs and super-high, conservative tights that don’t emphasize her butt at all, and it’s all bright highlighter green and covered with weird distracting black lines. An Oscar the Grouch Halloween costume would be more flattering.

Worst: Naomi’s Moveset

Also, Naomi seems to be the recipient of all of WWE’s most woeful new moves. Do the agents get Naomi to try out all their new move ideas because she’s athletic, then forget to tell her when they’re totally awful?

Naomi’s moves aren’t just bad, they’re groundbreakingly, innovatively bad. Of course she has the embarrassing/erotic “butthole to the top of the head” maneuver, but on Main Event she debuted a move where she puts a girl in a headscissors, rolls over and sorta makes them DDT themselves that’s so stupid it makes the Canadian Destroyer look like a short-arm clothesline. It’s sad, because Naomi could be hossy as shit if she wasn’t stuck with the experimental ass-based moveset.

Main Event Status: Paige vs. Naomi is definitely more respectable than the women’s matches we usually get on Main Event. 10%.

Worst: I didn’t Realize You Still Worked Here

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Kofi Kingston on WWE TV. I was actually kind of excited to see him! That excitement didn’t survive a three-minute match with Bo Dallas. Kofi looked in better shape then when I last saw him, but the match was typical Kingston fare — sloppy roll ups, clunky high-flying, a Trouble in Paradise that didn’t really connect properly. Oh, and yes, Bo is officially doing a losing streak gimmick. Consider me uninspired by this segment.

Main Event Status: A guy on a losing streak vs. a guy who hasn’t been on TV in months. Ehhhh…5%?

Best: He is Funny. Very, Very Funny.

Absolutely nothing happened during this segment — Miz called Ambrose out, showed a bunch of clips and then Ambrose started punching people. The entire reason the segment existed is because somebody thought Damien Sandow copying Miz’s every movement during Miz TV would be funny, and you know what? They were right.

It wasn’t quite as adorable as posing with a replica title, or wearing two pairs of sunglasses at once, but Sandow mouthing words into a disconnected mic behind The Miz’s back is still pretty high on my list of things that are the best. I should probably be upset about Ambrose brutally attacking my two favorite guys in WWE right now with no provocation, but eh — Miz and Sandow a clowns who exist to get pied in the face. It would be sad if they didn’t get attacked.

Final Main Event Tally: Based just on matches, this Main Event gets a truly dismal 15%, but I’m giving this episode a big 50% bonus for the Mark Henry segment since it a) actually advanced storylines in a big way and b) was really, really good. So, with the bonus, this week’s Main Event gets a 65%. Now, if we could match good story-advancing segments with some decent wrestling, this show might be somewhere.