Sometimes in life good and bad things come in threes. Luckily for us this week, WWE has been on the good side of things with programming and the trend continued into the Main Event and NXT. Let’s begin with the Main Event from my old stomping ground of Dayton, Ohio and the Nutter Center.
The number three is quite prevalent at the beginning of the show. Not only is our opening the featured contest a six tag but we have the return of the three-man booth. Let me discuss that for a minute, I thought the pairing of Cody Rhodes, the Miz and in Matthews worked well together. This trio had great chemistry and gave great insight to the matches. Further showing that commentary so is important to the overall aesthetic to the product and how it’s sometimes a detriment in the wrong context.
Action begins as the trio of terror The Shield battles the pairing of the Usos and Justin Gabriel. A much more competitive match than I was expecting. That’s not a bad thing though as shows greater focus on in ring action by the company. Like I said before, the commentary team made this match better than it was. The Miz and Cody Rhodes are the perfect balance of analyst and color commentator. In the end, The Shield get the victory as Dean Ambrose stops the 450 from Justin Gabriel leading to the Mind Trip and the win for the Hounds of Injustice.
(Interesting note: if you look during the match, for some reason the power to the video screens goes out. Not sure what happened)
The announce team showcases clips from Raw including Brock Lesnar -CM Punk and Mark Henry-John Cena. I did like these segments as the desk chatter even felt more genuine between the three-man booth of Matthews the Miz and Cody Rhodes. Instead of the forced patter we have grown accustomed to on Raw and Smackdown.
We returned to in ring competition with the match between the new “Real American” Antonio Césaro with Zeb Colter versus Sin Cara. Colter cuts his traditional masked man crossing the border promo. The match itself was probably the best that Sin Cara has looked in quite some time. Antonio and the masked man worked great together. Sin Cara got way more offense than I thought he would. There was one scary moment where I thought the finish was supposed to come with The Neutralizer transitioning out of a top rope hurricanrana roll up. An awesome moment in this contest was Antonio using his modified reverse chin lock and the Big Swing together to make one impressing looking move. In the end, Antonio gets the win with the Neutralizer . I love the interaction between Colter and Cesaro. I also like the announcers during this match especially Cody Rhodes who uses his experience in fighting the masked man to give some real insight.
We finish the night’s competition as the former Divas champion Kaitlyn versus Aksana. To be fair, the match wasn’t spectacular. There were a lot of rest holds in this match especially on the Aksana side of things. You think two former bodybuilders would have more of a power contest than anything. Aksana does that weird crawl thing of hers leading to a kick in the face. Kaitlyn gets the victory with a spear. Probably the best one to date. The reason to watch this match is really for Cody Rhodes commentary as he discusses his fear of the WWE divas. Not a bad episode.
Let’s move ahead to NXT, where the show begins with a video package looking back at Bo Dallas winning the title against Big E. Langston last week. Then we head into the arena and are welcomed by this generations Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Brad Maddox and Tom Phillips. We kickoff the episode with the match made last week as Bray Wyatt with Harper and Rowan At ringside battles Adrian Neville. Interesting that last week during a backstage promo Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves said they would be out there, however Adrian Neville comes out alone. In the end, the match is a short contest as the Family interferes causing a DQ. This leads to Corey Graves and Kassius Ohno coming down dispatching of Eric Rowan and Luke Harper as Bray Wyatt escapes.
The NXT Commissioner Dusty Rhodes (if you will) comes out and makes a six man tag for later in the main event the Wyatt family and Neville, Graves and Ohno. I should mention I love Brad Maddox in this match if only for the fact of his insistence that Bray Wyatt was a family man and his sons were well take care of.
Next, we see Sami Zayn battle the Cincinnati based Angelo Dawkins. There wasn’t much to this match. Sami tried to get the young guy over in his first appearance on television, but it just came off awkward. They tried to say Dawkins was a three sport athlete that’s why he was chosen by WWE but he still seems amazingly awkward in the ring. In the end, Zayn wins with the top rope lucha DDT. After the match, he can loudly be heard saying that Antonio better be watching.
We see for the third week in a row the Leo Kruger promo.
The NXT Womens title tournament continues as Summer Rae battled Sasha Banks. (Third match of the first-round… Another three.) Rae wins with what Melina used to call the Velvet Rope with the reverse DDT using her legs landing in the splits. I thought this match didn’t live up to the potential. I do love how Summer uses her legs to her advantage. Interesting to note, that both Maddox and Phillips commentary try to get over Fandango’s partner and her dancing ability. (Remember this was taped five weeks ago before Fandango and his concussion)
Get your slap bracelets and Pogs ready as we see Xavier Woods do his best Troy McClure impression recounting his last victories on NXT. He says that up next, it’s morphing time.
Xavier Woods defeats Jake Carter using the spinning clothesline and what he calls “Lost in the Woods” which is a modified DDT.
We have an interview with Sami Zayn who says that this week’s match was a message for Antonio Cesaro. And that a third match was coming between the two. Yes please. ( Another three…)
Sylvester Lefort is backstage with Scott Dawson and Garrett Dylan saying that his team deserves a tag team title match. Dusty Rhodes comes in and says his team has it as they will battle Kassius Ohno and Corey Graves next week for the number one contendership. Dusty then complements Sylvester on his country’s wine before he leaves. (the rule of three strikes again as be the third match for Dylan and Dawson as a team. Okay I’m going to stop this)
We see a video recorded in the car of Bo Dallas in which the new NXT champion says he’s not going to be there this week. He says he’s been doing a lot of media appearances since his title win. But he will be there next week and for all his Bolievers he did go to Disney World like he promised last week. And then he begins singing “Don’t Stop Bolieving” based off of the popular Journey song. They are definitely booking him to be that cheesy smarmy heel. Although that could just be his personality too.
We also hear that Big E. Langston will return next week.
In the main event, the Wyatt family gets the victory after Bray Wyatt stops British Airways from Adrian Neville knocking him off the top rope getting the pin. Great match Adrian Neville has always does some crazy aerial moves. I definitely see Graves and KO getting the victory next week and challenging once again for the tag titles.
All in all, a great night of WWE action from both shows with interesting influences from the Rhodes family and the rule of three. Definitely check out the first two matches on the Main Event. While nothing was bad on NXT this week, it was more of a setup for next week. So you can skip it if you want. I would still check it out as its consistently the best WWE program out there.
We are currently seeking WWE contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a WWE contributor, click here.