Live on the WWE Network, this is Main Event! This little show tries its darndest to be the best weekly show on the Network. And until Kevin Steen and the other amazing recent hires show up on NXT, it will keep having a somewhat valid point.
The show is being broadcasted out of Seattle, Washington this week. Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are the announcers. I'll recap the show as I watch it, adding in my opinion along the way.
Prior to the show, there was an open challenge issued for any team to battle The Usos for their WWE Tag Team Championships. If you read my review regularly then I'm sure what keeps you coming back again and again is my love for the goofier tag teams like Rybaxel and Slater Gator. I hope one of them wins tonight, setting up a rematch either on the Summerslam card or at least the pre-show. Let's get to the show and see if it's my lucky day.
The Usos See Who Answered Their Open Challenge
The crowd greets Jimmy and Jey with loud "Usos" chants. The Usos explain that they asked the Authority for this open challenge. They said that they wanted to be known among the truly great tag teams, like The Hart Foundation, The Road Warriors, Edge and Christian, and even The New Age Outlaws. They casually mention the WWE Network and the Washington crowd started a "9.99" chant. They issue the challenge and wait to see who comes out.
YES! The Big Guy and The Ax Man, Rybaxel comes out! My birthday actually is this week, so maybe this is WWE's present for me? Rybaxel applauds the open challenge. Ryback says that "play time's over and so are we," so you know he means business. He talks about how good the belts would look around their waists, (and they would) when they get interrupted by RVD. What's going on?
RVD enters the ring and tells them to look no further than RVD for his challenge. The Big Guy calls RVD a big dummy and informs him that they call this a tag team for a reason. He also calls him a "Singlet-stealing Feed Me Moron," which is pretty much comedy gold. He tells RVD he needs a partner and then laughs at him.
RVD says that he knew he forgot something, but then introduces his partner...Sheamus. United States Champion Sheamus must be hungry for more gold. The two challenging teams start shoving each other and look to start brawling when Director of Operations Kane comes out. He tells us the challenge will now become a Triple Threat Tag Team Championship match. Big news, but that dilutes the chances for Rybaxel to win now. Don't toy with my emotions, WWE.
The great John Cena/Brock Lesnar video is played now. I hope Brock wins on Sunday. I like the idea of Seth Rollins cashing in on him immediately, too.
Seth Rollins is shown backstage, making his way to the ring. He's carrying his briefcase and will be in action next.
Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston
It's hard to see Kofi in this match and not wonder why he isn't alongside Big E and Xavier Woods. Why start the angle and end it? Especially since it seemed to get such good buzz? (Matty Douglas touches on this very subject well in his recent column, Wasting Time. It's a good read.)
Kofi did an impressive front flip leap over the top rope to the outside onto Seth that garnered a well deserved "Kofi" chant. Both of these guys normally work hard to make their opponent look good and they click really well in this match. Their quick styles make this match feel really physical.
There were several believable nearfalls. When Kofi went for the S.O.S. and then a pin it seemed like the crowd popped when he only got the two count. Seth went for his Powebomb into the corner, but Kofi reversed it with a Hurricanrana that sent Seth's face into the corner. Only a two count on the pin attempt that followed.
The ending sequence saw both guys on the top rope and Seth Rollins doing a sunset flip over Kofi. Instead of Powerbombing him off of the rope right there, he carried him all the way to the other turnbuckle to do it onto that one instead. He then shot off the ropes to nail Kofi with his Curb Stomp. Seth pinned him and that's it for Kofi.
Winner by submission: Seth Rollins
The announcers said that Seth's win was a message for Dean Ambrose. They have their Lumberjack Match at Summerslam.
Renee Young Interviews Sheamus and RVD Backstage
Renee tells Rob that Sheamus was an interesting choice for a partner. RVD said it's been a while since he had gold in WWE and that it was Sheamus' idea to team together. Sheamus loves to fight and RVD is laid back. They're like yin and yang. They fight for the Tag Championships later in the show.
It's time for the weekly Stephanie McMahon recap segment. She faces Brie Bella at Summerslam. Up next is that Tag Championship match I'm so excited about. There will be a MizTV segment on this Friday's Smackdown. His guest will be Roman Reigns.
The Usos vs. Rybaxel vs. RVD & Sheamus (WWE Tag Team Championship)
Rybaxel gets a little heel heat from the crowd when the teams are announced. The crowd really likes RVD and he received favorable chants, of course. Before a commercial break, RVD jumped from the top rope to the outside, cross-bodying Rybaxel to the amusement of Seattle.
Back from the break and Sheamus is doing the Ten Beats of the Bowry onto Ryback. He jumps to Ryback a few moments later, but gets caught by The Big Guy and then Powerbombed. Byron Saxton comments on the technical savvy of The Ax Man when Curtis is in the ring. Good announcing, Byron.
Later on, Sheamus hit White Noise on Ryback after a while of taking a beating. He hot tags to RVD who goes to work on Axel. The Usos tag themselves in from RVD and Superkick their way back into our hearts. Jimmy did a Corkscrew off the top rope onto Axel. The match breaks down and lots of signature moves abound. The winning maneuver is a top rope splash by an Uso onto RVD, pinning for the win.
Winner by pinfall: The Usos
I originally typed "That was dumb" as my post-match comment. It wasn't dumb. I'm just a Rybaxel fan-boy and for some reason thought they might be able to win.
The Usos celebrate in the ring, being congratulated by RVD and Sheamus for their win. I guess WWE didn't get the memo about my birthday.
Mitch's Final Thoughts
I'll try not to let my emotions influence this wrap up here; I'm a sucker for The Big Guy and The Ax Man. At least The Usos got to defend their titles in a decent match. Have they even done anything since their Wyatt Family feud ended? Even if they don't have an actual feud, let them have competitive title defenses like this every once in a while so we don't forget about them.
The Rollins/Kofi match was an athletic bout. Hopefully Kofi's New Nation (or whatever they'd call it) faction isn't dead. He's a great wrestler who lacks a compelling storyline.
There were only two matches tonight, but they were good ones. If they cut the Stephanie recap and just put a squash match in its place I think that would be an improvement. Let the filler be actual wrestling, even if it's short. WWE wouldn't do that, obviously.
I've gotten into a habit of ending these by saying if the show was above average, average, or below average. It's a way to sort of grade this B-show without putting much thought into it. I find myself liking these more often than not and I would say that tonight was an above average Main Event. There were two good wrestling matches between some great workers that I really like, so it worked for me.
So, were you as bummed as me that Rybaxel didn't win? I should have seen it coming, right? Comment below with your efforts to console me or check me out on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Also, I ramble pretty regularly at my personal site, mitchandal.wordpress.com. Thanks for reading my weekly Main Event review.