The Main Event and NXT this week showed a very European flavor with double duty from Antonio Césaro. The former US champion showed why, despite popular opinion, he is not boring. Hopefully his future will change soon enough. And he will be at the level that we all know he deserves. A card-carrying example of this was this week’s Main Event featured contest as Antonio versus Sheamus.
The match between the two men was a smash mouth back-and-forth contest. There was a segment in which Antonio hit a European uppercut as Sheamus was coming off the top rope with a shoulder block, which was a thing of beauty. The Celtic warrior was definitely trying to get the very bare-bones Cesaro over to management. But I think the office just sees him as that mechanic that can work with anybody. Nothing more. Nothing less. As sad as that is to say.
Interesting to note, Antonio’s entrance video has changed from Swiss colors to German colors. So I guess he’s going to be the international House of Pancakes of WWE? With the German variation having no yodeling and is bare-bones once again with blue monogram tights and short boots. This is definitely a more serious version of the character which is much more tolerable as a character. Even with this change, however, Antonio falls falls victim to White Noise and the Brogue Kick leading to a victory for Sheamus.
We see the obligatory Raw recap packages for Cena and Ryback, as well as Triple H and Curtis Axel.
Before I go on about the Main Event as a whole, I want to give a progress report on the announce team. I thought the Miz, Josh Matthews and Ricardo Rodriguez actually did worse than last week. Rodriguez showed excitement but also more trepidation about being insightful as a commentator compared to the Miz. Matthews does his job well and calls the match, but often gets lost in the shenanigans of Ricardo and the Miz. During the final match of the show they spent more time talking about Rosetta Stone and Spanish than the actual match. A three-man booth is hard to manage. That’s really why it takes a great team in order to do it well. Hell, you have three veterans of announcing on Raw, and they can’t get it right. I really don’t think this announce team as it stands now is going last very long.
It is announced that Triple H will face Curtis Axel this Monday on Raw. Also, they let it slip that the Miz will battle Fandango and Wade Barrett a three-way for the Intercontinental title at Payback.
Back to the matches, the Usos complete with their new face paint defeat Team Rhodes Scholars. This was just weird on a booking sense because of one person and that is Damien Sandow. I totally understand they have a renewed focus on the sons of Rikishi and that’s great. However, right after you see Sheamus getting the victory over a top-flight opponent you see Sandow losing. What is this feud or lack of one thereof for a better term doing for anyone? Sandow has not gotten the win the this whole time. It’s another example of the WWE putting themselves in a corner.having to book the Samoan siblings strong while sacrificing Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow in the process. And they wonder why nobody can get over in the company.
The night ends with a pretty good yet short match between the Prince of Queens Curt Hawkins and Justin Gabriel. Nice little back-and-forth between the two. And then the 450 by Gabriel for the win. Overall, nothing spectacular. As I said before the announcers couldn’t even focus on the matches and they were talking about Spanish in high school. Just something to leave the fans home happy.
Let’s move ahead to NXT, which as promised last week would be the beginning of the NXT women’s title tournament and a tag team title match. But before we get to all that, the show kicks off as Hall of Famer Jim Ross is in attendance to proceed over a contract signing with Big E Langston and his new number one contender Bo Dallas.
Overall, the crowd was rather vocal on not liking Dallas . Even at one point saying “No More Bo”. You can definitely see their seeds for a heel turn coming in the future. The interplay between both champion and challenger was something rather interesting. Dallas adorned in a dress shirt and tie says that he wants what Langston has not just the NXT title but he wants to be on raw and compete at Wrestlemania. Langston dressed like just came from the set of Living Single makes fun of Bo and his constant smiling while proving his dominance by saying of Bo may only need three seconds to get the win. But Big E will take five seconds to prove his dominance. Not a bad promo from either man we will see what happens in the match next week.. It should be interesting to see how they really work together in the ring.
Then we get the first of many interviews with René Young this week as she talks with Corey Graves on his match tonight for the tag titles. Graves says he doesn’t like his partner but he likes the Wyatt family even less and hopes they can prove their dominance.
We see a new promo in which Paige declares herself no longer the anti-diva. But the Diva of Tomorrow.
Next up, we get a first-round match the NXT Women’s Championship tournament as the new diva of tomorrow page battled the one and only Tamina. This proves to be a very physical match where Tamina uses her power to overrun the English diva. But in the end, the young woman from the UK counters a big splash and gets the roll up for the win. She advances to face the winner of the Emma Aksana match next week.
Then we go backstage for another interview this time with Kashius Ohno talk about the tag team title match later tonight. KO says that Graves may not trust him. But they have a common goal of taking away the thing that Bray Wyatt holds so dear the NXT tag team titles and he hopes to do that tonight.
We see a promo for the returning Leo Kruger which was great basically saying you may not agree with his methods, but they are effective. Nice to see him coming back.
Mason Ryan gives the Rackbreaker to the debuting Colin Cassidy for a win. The highlight once again during this match in the whole show really was Brad Maddox and Todd Phillips on commentary. Those guys work really well together. During the match between Ryan and Cassidy, they were talking about the dietary habits of Mason and how it compares to Maddox regimen. Really funny stuff.
Then we get another interview this time with Sami Zayn and René Young. They talk about his debut a few weeks ago before being interrupted by Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro clad in a jean jacket, red tinted sunglasses and cargo pants challenges Sami Zayn to a rematch which he accepts on the condition he wants to know where Antonio got his clothes from. This starts a brawl that is broken up by officials who say save for a match which he doesn’t have.
Instead we get two NXT alumni battling it out. Connor O’Brien defeats Alex Riley in a mediocre contest with a modified Rings of Saturn Submission. After the match, Connor O’Brien is joined on the stage by Ric Victor wearing Adam Bomb goggles. So it appears that the Ascension is once again a tag team in NXT.
And our main event saw quite the battle as the Wyatt family get the victory after a bunch of shenanigans. Everyone gave it their all and you could tell… Too much madness in this one.
All in all a good show though, I would definitely check it out if you get the chance. And while you’re at it, check out Sheamus versus Antonio from the Main Event that was a great one too.
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