Why must my darlings fight?
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Hit the next page for your Main Event of the evening (er, afternoon)…
Best: Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger
This was good enough for a Best, but certainly not great. For whatever reason Cesaro seems to have these nights where he decides he’s going to dial down the intensity – no uppercuts, no swing, no crazy feats of strength. I think it’s probably the agents’ doing, because I get the sense Cesaro would go balls out every night if he could. Of course Cesaro is still great even without the flashy offense. I’d trade most guys have a wild near-fall-filled match for Cesaro working a headlock for seven-minutes.
And it wasn’t all headlocks. There were some nice reversal sequences, and Cesaro yanking the apron into the ring to distract the ref so he could thumb Swagger in the eye was a fantastic little piece of psychology.
Interestingly, Cesaro won the match with an uppercut, which I’m kind of split on. On the one hand, Cesaro’s uppercut is so good it should be a finisher, but on the other hand, it becoming a finisher means he won’t be throwing a dozen of them per match any more. Maybe make the full Swiss Death variant a finisher, while keeping the regular uppercuts near-fall fodder.
Best: Geez Dude, It’s Fake
Usually I’d Worst a guy for forgetting it’s fake, but Jack Swagger is the king of forgetting it’s fake. He’s had a legit thumb to the eye coming for a while.
Main Event Status: Two solid upper mid-card guys with some history going at it – we’ll give this a 30%.
Best: Reality TV Stars
So, apparently NXT has started to bleed over into other WWE Network shows, because Tyson Kidd and Natalya and their horrible marriage popped up on Main Event. We even got a patented Natalya, Fantasy Booker segment, which came off as particularly sad on this show. Nattie, it’s Main Event – Tyson and, I dunno, Justin Gabriel could stroll out without asking and put on a 10-minute match and nobody in charge would notice or care.
For the record, I totally love the Tyson/Nattie thing and am glad to see it expanding beyond the bounds of NXT. They’re absolutely nailing that long term couple whose relationship has become so toxic they can’t help but drag everyone around them into their bitter pit of tears. “I bought a rotisserie chicken” is the heel line of the year, and if Tyson and Nattie are willing to drag their relationship through the mud for a silly wrestling angle, they at least deserve to get some main roster action out of it.
Best: Intro To Tyson Kidd
This match was pretty much “Tyson and Natalya for Dummies”. If you watch NXT you’ve seen it all before – Tyson using Natalya as a shield, Nattie refusing the cheat for Tyson when given the opportunity, Tyson not sharing the victory when he wins. That said, it was still damn solid match. Really, Tyson Kidd is the perfect guy to whip Kofi Kingston’s slapdash stuff into shape. Tyson bumped his ass off for Kofi’s clumsy flip-floppery, hit some crisp-as-shit stuff of his own, and the finish, with Tyson stomping a mudhole in Kofi to get him to turn over for the Sharpshooter was choice. Now, let’s do it all again on Smackdown, and then Raw.
Main Event Status: Hey, this totally could have main evented pretty much any episode of NXT. But this isn’t NXT, soooo, let’s say 10%.
This was the most competent combination of more than two women we’ve seen in a WWE ring in weeks. Lately every WWE multi-woman match (and a good portion of the singles matches) are required to feature a Rosa Mendes, Eva Marie or Cameron, so it was super refreshing to see three talented ladies in Summer Rae, Layla and Brie Bella getting to do some good wrestling.
This was actually one of my favorite handicap matches in a long time. I should hate 90-pound Brie Bella winning all these handicap challenges, but she’s not winning because the heels slip on a banana peel, and she’s not pulling some John Cena “shrug everything off like it’s a joke” Superman(girl) garbage. She’s wrestling smart matches and besting her opponents in believable ways.
This match started with SummerLay working like a well-oiled machine (hmmm, well-oiled SummerLay), but Brie isolates the weaker member of the team, Layla, and starts picking her apart. SummerLay see their control slipping away and start getting desperate and sloppy, allowing Brie to take Summer down outside and prey on a weakened Layla in the ring. If Brie just keeps coming out every week and scoring hard-fought, smart victories like this one I may just forgive her for the last couple months of lawsuits and PG potty mouth. Obviously I’ll never forgive her for what she’s done to poor innocent Nikki.
Main Event Status: I’m giving this one a SummerLay end of summer bump. 15%.
Best: Why Not Take Some Cooking Classes?
I love that Bo Dallas just can’t help but be a dickhead, even when faced with certain Mark Henry-administered doom. There’s and odd sort of bravery in a man making fat jokes about the executioner as he walks to the gallows.
So yeah, this was the slaughter you’d expect. Mark Henry was whipping Bo like the proverbial government mule and shouting loud funny words and I was having a splendid time, and then…
Y’all just f*cking with me now, right?
Worst: Tripping at the Finish Line
…Mark Henry kicked Bo, like, four times in the corner and the match was thrown out. What was the conversation when The Authority made this match?
“We’re going to book a match between these guys who just had a super violent backstage incident, but we want the rules stringently adhered to. If anyone uses a closed fist or, say, kicks their opponent more than three times in a row, disqualify them immediately. Yup, this is gonna work out great.”
Main Event Status: I’m deducting a few points for that terrible finish. 15%.
Final Main Event Tally: Main Event rebounds nicely this week with a solid 70% score. If it weren’t for the Mark Henry/Bo finish, this show could have snagged an all-Bests bonus and been the first Main Event to edge over the 100% mark, but alas, it was not meant to be.