I’m not planning on recapping WWE’s new show on Ion Television, WWE Main Event, every week. Frankly three hours of Raw every Monday and one PPV a month is more than enough for me. Plus, if I start taking on Main Event then I can’t not do Smackdown as well. I’m sorry but six hours of wrestling each week is too much if I’m also going to hold my marriage together at the same time. However, since the WWE promises to make this a part of the regular rotation and involve it in storylines, I’ll at least check out this premiere episode and take it from there.
A new show also means a third day of Michael Cole. He’s doing the announcing with the Miz, who is playing things as straight as humanly possible. the opening is all Cole and Miz in the middle of the ring selling the show and promoting the main event of Main Event, Sheamus versus CM Punk. Miz sounds like a company hype man and is very much out of character. The segue into a nice little piece on CM Punk and how he got to where he is in the WWE. Actually a pretty balanced piece. Punk wasn’t straight up declared a heal, instead showing him off as a guy from humble beginnings to worked his way to the top and isn’t afraid to piss people off if he believes he’s right. It was followed with a quick interview with Punk, then a Sheamus interview which was followed by a fluff piece on how great Sheamus is. So far Main Event seems to be all about introducing the WWE to new viewers, one superstar at a time. If this is the intent then it could be a stroke of genius. It is hard to get new viewers to jump into three hours of Raw, and even less likely to get them into 2 hours of Smackdown on a Friday night. But if you throw the best you have into what’s basically a one hour commercial for your product, you might be able to get some more people to check things out on Monday nights as well.
Since the show is only one hour long they actually lead off with Punk/Sheamus. This match was supposed to happen a month ago on Raw but Punk took a personal day. Interesting that they went back to it here. The early portion of the match is all grappling and headlocks. A kick by Punk starts to pick things up a bit, as he would control the middle of the match. This includes performing Sheamus’ patented forearm smashes while his opponent outside on the top rope. Sheamus sets up for a Brogue Kick, but Punk sees it coming and tries to escape the ring. While Sheamus is pulling him back in, Punk grabs the middle turnbuckle pad which comes off (remember this). Including introductions, we’ve now how three commercial breaks in this match. The scar on Sheamus’ nose is getting pretty disgusting to look at. It breaks open on the drop of a hat. After Sheamus gets a two count on white noise, Punk comes back with the high knee and an elbow drop for a two count of his own. He goes for the GTS but Sheamus turns it into a cloverleaf which Punk gets out of when he reaches the rope. At this point Punk realizes the middle turnbuckle pad is missing. Sheamus again goes for a Brougue Kick, but instead Punk drives him into the exposed turnbuckle with a drop toe hold. Punk proceeds to drag Sheamus into the middle of the ring, roll him up and grab the tights for the pin. Very good match and we’re two-thirds of the way through the show.
Still in the ring, Sheamus cuts a promo saying that Punk doesn’t deserve respect and that he’s going to kick him in the face. After the break, Punk and Heyman do an interview with Josh Matthews which continues the trend of Punk seeking respect and not feeling that he gets it while also rejecting the idea of facing John Cena at Hell in a Cell. This is immediately followed by an interview with Big Show, who promotes his match on next week’s edition of WWE Main Event against Randy Orton. With that, the formula for WWE Main Event is clearly established. One high profile main event match (hence the title) filled with interviews and segments to promote both superstars, with a midcard match to go with it. Not a bad concept as long as they keep the feature matches booked with marquee names. Ideally, if you want extended looks at superstars, this should be the show to watch.
This week, the midcard match puts Santino and Zach Ryder against Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel in the first round of the tag team tournament. Gabriel and Kidd came out in plain yellow tank tops. Not a good sign. With two face teams they show a lot of sportsmanship with handshakes, but who cares because the Miz just referenced his Real World days for the first time that I can remember. I wasn’t even sure he was allowed to do that. He’s a pretty solid analyst. He plays the knowledgable analyst well and acts as the heel announcer but doesn’t go over the top with it. He’s got a potential career there. Kidd and Gabriel have a lot a fresh tag team moves to show off. Ryder hits Kidd with the Broski Boot and Santino follows with the Cobra and team clown shoes gets the win in a match where they barely had to do anything. Kidd and Gabriel really showed off what they can do and I hope they get a shot in the future. They impressed me.
That’s it for the show! If you are a wrestling fan trying to keep up with storylines you definitely don’t have to watch this show. Nothing earth shattering will happen and anything interesting can be recapped on Raw coming out of a commercial break in about 10 seconds. However if you are interested in seeing a good all around wrestling program (with an emphasis on wrestling for a change) or looking to get an introduction to the WWE, you can do a lot worse than WWE Main Event. I’ll probably check it out from time to time depending on who is being featured in it (IE: Punk, Ziggler, Sandow, Miz, Cesaro, Bryan).
Since the show was only an hour long, let me use this extra space to mention a theory I had on Punk and Ryback after I posted this week’s Raw Recap. So obviously Punk and Ryback have been staring at each other for two weeks now. They hyped it up plenty during a commercial for Raw on tonight’s show so you would think it will continue next week as well. However all this time all they have done is stare each other down. Punk backed out of the ring this past week and Ryback did little more than breathe on him. With all that said, wouldn’t it be a good twist if Ryback ended up being another Paul Heyman guy and ultimately helped Punk? Possibly even at Hell in a Cell against Cena? No one really wants to see Ryback versus Punk, but nothing draw heat like a well formed stable. Here you would have the mouth piece in Heyman, the alpha dog in Punk, and the added muscle for protection in Ryback. I’ve heard speculation that he is being thrown into the mix just in case Cena can’t go at Hell in a Cell and Punk needs an opponent, but I find that incredibly hard to believe. Ryback also looked like he was going to go after Miz and the Intercontinental title a few weeks ago but nothing ever came of that. If there was ever something interesting to do with him this would be it. You can’t bury all of your heels by feeding them (no pun intended) to this idiot. Plus is there anybody in greater need of having someone as great as Paul Heyman to speak for him than Ryback? I think this is the best case scenario and based on what they have been doing I think it is incredibly possible. However since it makes sense and I want to see it, there is probably no way it will happen.
With that in mind I hope Dolph Ziggler never has an extended title run.