This past Monday on Raw, the roster rose up against their corporate oppressors to help out Daniel Bryan battle against the Shield. The ripple effects of this and the treatment of Dusty Rhodes carried over into the Main Event and gave hints of crossing over to future events of NXT as well. Let’s talk about the Main Event first.
This week Main Event came from my surrogate hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio . Alex Riley, subbing for the decimated Miz thanks to Randy Orton, sat alongside Josh Matthews to call the action. Interesting enough, they did not replay the footage of the attack on Monday.
The action begins with the spiritual son of Curt Hennig (Dolph Ziggler) versus the biological son of the WWE Hall of Famer Curtis Axel. The third-generation athlete came out along with Paul Heyman in a wheelchair with Ryback following behind. It’s really interesting to see these two go one-on-one as Dolph and Axel seem like Axel and Ziggler seem to be children switched at birth. These two had a great match, but Dolph definitely seems like what you think the son of Mr. Perfect would wrestle like. That’s not saying Curtis Axel is not great because he is just not as flashy or as charismatic.
The match was great as the two battled back and forth but in the end, Ryback made himself known, giving a clothesline on the floor. This leads Dolph open to take the corkscrew neckbreaker and Axel picking up the victory. I’m not sure how I feel about this as it puts Axel once again as a background player to not only Heyman, but Ryback now as well. And their definitely seems to be indications that Paul is not happy with Curtis as he and his new best friend looked on with an unimpressed stare when it came to Curtis celebrating the win. Will they try to make Axel a babyface? Will this work? I don’t know. We will have to wait and see what comes of this.
And it definitely sounded like Alex Riley may get involved as he was rather indignant to the interference of Heyman and company. Even though I like his overall commentary style, I know he deserves another shot for in ring success. Given the fact that WWE really dropped the ball after his face turn against the Miz.
We hear a snippet of another sitdown interview with Michael Cole and Triple H. The COO talks about vacating the title on Monday saying that the with the conspiracy, it was the right thing to do for business. In a timely reference for Cincinnati he brings up WWE Hall of Famer Pete Rose making the analogy of Charlie Hustle possibly colluding with an umpire. Hunter says he’s still investigating the situation. And he’s not on anybody’s side. Triple H announced that Daniel Bryan will get his rematch for the WWE title against Randy Orton at Battleground. Interesting that they said that Scott Armstrong was a WWE official for twenty years. I think Triple H meant to imply that he knew him for twenty years. I know company doesn’t want you to remember much history. But they got it right on Monday, why can’t they get it right here? Especially since a Triple H DVD is coming out next Tuesday.
You can check out the full interview with comments on Stephanie McMahon’s business proposal for Dusty Rhodes here
We get back to the action as Kofi Kingston battles Fandango. Riley makes reference on commentary that Kofi has repercussions on his mind from the corporate regime. Overall really good match between the two. Probably the best Fandango’s looked in quite some time. It was a lot of fun and Kofi got a little dancing in as well. Doing a little cha-cha step. Summer Rae attempted to get involved helping her man getting the advantage why little while. But it was short-lived as Kingston battles back hitting the SOS and Trouble in Paradise with no Boom Clap setting it up getting the win.
Interesting that Kofi hits the kick out of nowhere. I like that change because it adds more realism. Because how realistic is it when you’re take two minutes to set up the move and the crowd is signaling its coming. I had the same problem in the later days of the Sweet Chin Music until everyone started ducking making him hit it out of nowhere for it to land.
They show a recap of the Dusty Rhodes incident from Monday Night Raw saying that the WWE Hall of Famer has suffered a dislocated jaw.
And then we get the final match of the night which saw Justin Gabriel defeated by Damien Sandow with the Silencer. At one point it looked like Justin Gabriel was going for the victory and the 450 splash but Damien thought quickly and took advantage of the situation. It was also noted on commentary that the reason why Damien Sandow did not cash in this past Sunday was because he felt like he was better than taking advantage of a prone Alberto Del Rio after RVD Van Terminated him. While I don’t understand the logic nothing they are do with Sandow is making any sense at the moment. So I guess it fits. We go off the air with the Money in the Bank winner reminding us that his future World Heavyweight Champion.
We move on to NXT this week and kickoff things rather awesomely with Sami Zayn in a rematch with Curt Hawkins. These two had a war of attrition that really gave their all. It really is a shame that the self-professed Prince of Queens probably won’t be given too many more chances on the main roster. But he’s awesome at what he does. Even for the opening match this had fire and these two told a story. Hawkins tried everything to put away Sami but he just couldn’t do it until the young upstart got the advantage and the one to three after a really great sequences. There needs to be more storytelling like this. Alex Riley said a line on commentary that was very fitting. He said, that Hawkins was one guy that wrestled in darkness and he wanted to be closer to the light. I think that’s a lot of the WWE roster in a nutshell.
Much like Hawkins, there are many guys are really great workers underneath they just don’t see them as top talent which leads them to a state of limbo. Sure, those guys will never be WWE champions. But it takes all kinds to build a roster of guys. And remember as much as people glorify Austin and The Rock for The Attitude Era, the undercard was just as over. That’s what made that era so much fun. I think the company is looking for that next big guy so badly that they often lose sight of that fact. An undercard helps the the audience on the roller coaster ride that is a professional wrestling event.
Enough of my ramblings, speaking of the undercard, we get a glimpse of Aidan English, who has gone from poetry to operatic singing that he is a very modern super star in the spotlight. Really great stuff. He battles current ROH star QT Marshall going by his pseudonym Michael Q Laurie getting the win. English does a version of Matt Hardy’s Side Effect which I imagine would be called the “Take A Bow” given that’s what he said before he executed it. English then he has the spotlight back on him as he sings an encore. The crowd definitely loves his new gimmick in the NXT arena.
We hear from Bo Dallas, who is recording a special message for his new fan hotline. Ren Young asked him if he thought Sami deserved a title shot after his match with Curt Hawkins. Dallas with excellent smarmy delivery says Curt Hawkins hasn’t really won a match in a while so that doesn’t prove anything. But he has an idea but he has prior commitments and doesn’t have time to tell what the idea is. But he tells Ren don’t stop Bolieving before going off.
We learned that Triple H will be on NXT next week for a big announcement that would change the show. And it was announced that there will be in NXT Tag Team Turmoil match for the number one contendership to the tag titles.
And then we go to our main event of the night which was an eight man tag with CJ Parker, Xavier Woods, Corey graves, Adrian Neville versus the Ascension (Connor O’Brien and Ric Victor) Leo Kruger, and Tyler Breeze. Great match from all involved. Everyone got to really shine in this. Tyler Breeze as a character is over with that audience. They love that vein supermodel presence.
There was did some great stuff with him here as the story of the match every time Tyler tags himself in as soon as he got hit he would tag out. Eventually, after multiple times of doing this his partners get annoyed and leave the Prince of Pretty to get beat with the ugly stick as each member of the opposing team gets their shot in. CJ Parker nails him with a palm strike, Xavier nails nails Lost in the Woods, Graves hits him with a chop block to the knee and Adrian hits the red arrow corkscrew press for the win
Overall, two really good hours on WWE programming. If you have a chance definitely check out everything this week. But if you pressed for time, just check out NXT. Really fun characters and awesome action. What more could you ask for?
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