WWE Main Event
Grand Rapids, MI
December 16, 2014
The December 9 episode (Episode 115) of Main Event was a taped, studio show due to WWE taping both Tribute to the Troops and Smackdown on the same Tuesday night. So, there isn’t much to say about that episode. Tom Phillips and Renee Young hosted a studio show which spent nearly the entire time promoting WWE TLC on Sunday, December 14.
Episode 116, taking place this week from Grand Rapids, Michigan, went live on WWE Network one hour earlier than normal due to USA Network going live with Super Smackdown Live. Promoted for the show was a MizTV segment with Naomi, as well as a big huge mega ultra packed main event of Rowan vs Kane. Really. You have no idea how hyped I was for this episode. Unless you assumed I was not hyped, in which I suppose you do have a pretty good idea.
We kicked off with Eden introducing Miz TV’s host, The Miz, who was accompanied by Damien Mizdow. Byron Saxton and Michael Cole joined us on commentary. I’m still amazed, and a bit confused, as to why Michael Cole is doing this show still. I’m quite sure he’s there just to mentor Byron Saxton, but it’s still odd having WWE’s top announcer doing such a low priority show, while Tom Phillips jumped to Smackdown so quickly.
We got down to business quick, as Miz introduced Naomi to the ring for Miz TV. Naomi went right through Miz, telling him they aren’t friends, and she sees straight through Miz. Miz tried to defend himself, saying he’s for real, but Naomi scoffed. In this brief segment, she went from a slightly robotic and rehearsed delivery to speaking more realistically. The crowd got behind her when she brought more realism to her words. Naomi said that Miz hasn’t come through on any promises yet, but Miz responded by announcing Naomi’s Diva’s title shot for Super Smackdown. Jimmy and Jey Uso then paced swiftly to the ring, as the crowd chanted for them, backing Miz and Mizdow off. Now on the ramp, Miz spoke directly to Naomi, telling her he thinks she’s very talented and was disappointed that Jimmy didn’t feel the same way. Just pry them further apart, Miz, you devilish human.
The New Day entered the arena for their tag team match against Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. I don’t give this New Day much life as a babyface team, which is saying the obvious, possibly. For whatever reason, I just have never found Xavier Woods likable. I think he is the team’s downfall. During the Kidd & Cesaro entrance, we had the two speaking in an inset box about being unstoppable. It feels like months since I’ve seen Cesaro on any WWE show, so I can only assume he’s been busy researching brass ring alternatives in his absence.
Xavier and Kofi made up the New Day for tonight’s tag match. They maintained an advantage early, sending us to break with a stereo tope onto Kidd and Cesaro on the floor. Back from break, the foreigners had control and were gelling well as a team as Natalya cheered on at ringside. Cesaro even locked Kofi into a giant swing, ended with Kidd dropkicking Kofi to the crowd’s delight. Eventually, New Day was able to regain control on Tyson Kidd, while sending Cesaro out of the ring. With Xavier holding onto Kidd after a backbreaker, Kofi was able to come off the top with a double stomp leading to the victory.
During the brief commercial break, a promo for Triple H’s workout video was shown. I wonder if the NXT guys used as extras in the video received any compensation. Cheap labor!
Through one match and one segment, if anything is to be observed from WWE Main Event, it is the fact that the commentary is so much better kept to two people who aren’t playing roles on the two extremes of good and evil. Main Event commentary is miles better than what we get on Raw, or at least quite a bit more tolerable.
Backstage, Erick Rowan was teaching Paige about chess history. True story. Titus O’Neil was trying to impress Paige himself with his college education, while putting down Rowan’s intelligence. Rowan challenged Titus to a game, which immediately caused a change in his confidence level. Titus made the first move, telling Rowan to king him. Paige asked if Titus even knew how to play, which upset Titus, leading to him to storm off. Paige had a look of lust in her eyes at the brilliance of Erick Rowan, and this segment made all of my Main Event viewing completely worth it. Fifteen stars.
Backstage, Naomi apologized to Miz for doubting his motives earlier. Miz told Naomi to control her husband, or Hollywood could go away.
Paige, the most perfect human currently on the WWE roster, took on Emma, currently the least over performer on the WWE roster. Emma wanted to have fun with Paige early, continuing to do her dance in Paige’s face. Paige didn’t take kindly to this, immediately issuing a beat down to her former NXT arRIVAL opponent. Throughout the match, Paige was repeatedly telling Emma that this was her house. The interplay between Paige and Emma got the crowd into it, and made what could have been an absolutely dead TV segment into a perfectly fine few minutes. Paige won with her PTO submission. I’m begging WWE to give the audience any small reason to care for Emma, because I want to care and even I can’t. I can find reasons to care for almost anyone, but there is no justifying Emma’s current character being on WWE TV.
Hilarious advertisement of the night. Cole voiced over a graphic advertising Wyatt vs Ambrose for Tribute to the Troops. Yes, a rematch between the two, albeit taped a week ago. But, the entire Smackdown has been built on Ambrose and Wyatt being in the same building and what might happen. Now, before Smackdown goes live, they’re telling us that the two will wrestle Wednesday. So, why even watch Smackdown? Of course, the Main Event TV audience is very small, so I guess it doesn’t matter one bit.
Rowan battled Kane in a match that killed the crowd. Dead. No one cared. Bring back Paige, Emma, and the ghost of Gillberg. Titus O’Neil performed commentary, seemingly to set up an angle with Rowan based on, yes, Titus being punked out via a game of chess in front of Paige. Late in the match, Kane and Rowan battled outside the ring near commentary. Rowan threw Kane into the announce table, but as Kane went, his arm slung a water bottle into Titus. Titus, of course, was upset with Rowan for getting him wet. With Rowan slightly distracted by the upset Titus, he rolled back into the ring right into an awaiting Kane. Kane chokeslammed Rowan and pinned him 1-2-3 to continue Rowan’s losing streak. Titus and Rowan, unbelievably, seem to be headed our way. If this feud makes it out of Main Event and Superstars, though, I’d be a bit surprised.
The show ended with Michael Cole sending us away too early, so he and Byron had to improvise a bit to fill time before going off the air. This was the match of the night. Cole turned heel, blaming Byron for the water spill at ringside, yelling at him to clean it up. Then, abruptly, the show faded to black.
Those last few moments capped off what was not the most thrilling show, but an episode in which I could find positives. I realize Paige has her detractors, but they can all shush up. That’s right. Shush. She’s the best thing going. The matches weren’t great, the upcoming programs aren’t great, but we got to see some faces we haven’t seen on Raw lately. That, to me, is a plus. A plus solely based on who those faces were.
1) Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods defeated Tyson Kidd & Cesaro **1/2
2) Paige defeated Emma **
3) Kane defeated Rowan *1/4