WWE Main Event #261


Last week: Heath Slater defeated Dash Wilder and Lince Dorada & Mustafa Ali defeated Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari

19 years ago (and a few days): I thought it be’d fun to write about WWF Jakked. I wasn’t much good, but I liked the idea of writing about WWF B-shows. Even with the limitations of the format, fun matches could be found and underutilized talent would become fun to root for. Eventually, WWE successfully reduced my level of interest, and I find my days spent on writing about other lands (with underutilized talent that occasionally overcomes a disinterested or self-destructive promotion to have fun matches.)

(Also, WWE pretty much stopped running B-show matches until Superstars was brought back. Don’t give me too much credit for knowing when to quit.)

20 years ago (and a few months): I noticed DDT Digest didn’t have anyone writing about WCW Worldwide and volunteered to help. I wasn’t much good. I’ve written about one wrestling TV show or another just about every week since. The 20th anniversary was in July. This is being posted in October because I knew that number was coming for a full year, and yet was too frightened of it to look for the actual date until it had passed.

INTRO. Back when this was a thing I did on a regular, I stole the idea of noting who happened to be in the intro. WWE’s strategy hasn’t ever changed: the action shots begin with Roman, Brock and Cena, and end the with Reigns and Cena. They must’ve updated them somewhat recently since Bobby Roode is in there, though they can’t bring themselves to make Roman the last image you see. (Jinder doesn’t get much time.)

Dash Wilder (“½ of The Tag Team The Rival”) vs Rhyno (“Detroit, Michigan”) – your announces are Vic Jospeh and “the returning” Corey Graves. Corey explains Nigel McGuiness is off pursuing his dreams of basket weaving. Vic smiles at the camera to let us know Corey’s joking. Corey tactfully points out Rhyno (wearing a Connor’s Cure shirt) is on this show every week, while Joseph mentions this is a rematch for the second time and wants to explore the concept of rematches. A Dash wristlock is about as successful as his attempt to start a “Let’s Go Rhyno” chant. Rhyno uses a headlock, then an armbar, then a shoulderblock to go after Dash’ left shoulder. Dash reverses the armbar to attack Rhyno’s arm the same, as the announcers speculate if Jeff Hardy’s injury will allow Rhyno & Slater to move up the tag team ladder. Dash’s attempt to go after the arm is stymied. Rhyno shoves him off into the ropes and knocks him down. Corner whip reversals resolve with Rhyno punching Dash as he’s on the apron and trying to suplex him in. Dash blocks that, and snaps Rhyno’s left arm over the top rope to finally get the edge he’s been looking for. Armbar takedown adds to the pain, and allows Graves to reference the Midnight Express’ Divorce Court move. Dash stomps the left arm, but Rhyno fires up and fights back with a punch and chops with his good arm. Rhyno tries to use the ropes, but gets knockdown down by a Wilder elbow. The physics seem awful strange there, and Dash is a little bit worse for the effort. Wilder takes a moment to blow pose and blow a kiss before standing over Rhyno and putting up an armbar. Rhyno tries to rally the crowd into his comeback, and fights free for chops again. Rhyno gets sent into the corner, bounces up, and knocks heads with Wilder to lay them both out. (It looked a lot more like knocking shoulders.) Both are down for a longer than usual time, and Rhyno comes up first with punches. Rhyno knocks Dash down with a pair of shoulderblocks, and follows with a belly to belly suplex for two. Dash regains some control with a jawbreaker and a dropkick for two. Dash yells at the referee to move out his way as he goes to the corner, then slowly ascends to the middle rope. Dash takes plenty of time, and misses on the elbow drop as Rhyno rolls out of the way. Rhyno looks for a reaction that isn’t there, but comes a bit with some vigorously head swiveling. Rhyno sets up in the corner, charges, and goes into a weak looking knee. Dash makes his own charge, and leaps into a Rhyno spinebuster. One, two, three. (5:36) The shot of Rhyno getting his arm raised lasts about 3 seconds before

TONIGHT: Lince Dorada & Gran Metalik vs Drew Gulak & Tony Nese in a Tag Team Match

a look back at Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman from WWE No Mercy. This is a stylized video package, although the recording I’m watching seems to have video problems during the bit. (1:24)

Joseph & Graves set up Alexa Bliss on RAW. This is normal edited footage. Alexa’s reactions remain great. (6:10)

The “No Mercy: John Cena vs Roman Reigns” graphic is used to tease the upcoming video package before a break. Roman is proclaimed to be the man who retired the Undertaker.

And we see it once again after the break. This is a stylized video package, including John’s full throated endorsement of Reigns on RAW Talk, and an extended bit of his non-retirement retirement speech. The shot of Rock endorsing Cena from WrestleMania is used to set up Cena doing the same with Reigns. (4:34) If this one sticks, this would be at least the fourth Passing of the Torch I’ve written through: Cena to Regins, Rock to Cena, Austin to Rock, and Austin taking it from Michaels.

TONIGHT: Roman Reigns vs The Miz (w/the Miztourage). The Main Event logo is used as if it’ll be a new match, while Joseph mentions it’ll be a look back.

UP NEXT: Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik vs Drew Gulak & Tony Nese in a Tag Team Match

Lince Dorado (San Juan, Puerto Rico, 168 pounds) & Gran Metalik (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, 175 pounds) vs Drew Gulak (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 193 pounds) & Tony Nese (Long Island, New York, 196 pounds) – Both Dorado & Gulak wait for their tag team partners before going to the ring. Gulak mouths and mimes Nese’s 8 Reasons speech along with him, though we don’t get the audio. Gulak’s music continues to resemble something better fitting a paramilitary strike force than an aspiring politician. Metalik and Nese start with a lockup, with Nese shoving Metalik off into the ropes and asking him to stops so he can show off a bicep. Nese kicks Metalik as he tries to lockup again. Whip gives Metalik speed for a handspring backflip. Nese misses a clothesline, and Metalik grabs him with a rope flip armdrag on the next pass. Lince tells Metalik to go for more. Metalik charges, Nese flips him high in the area, and Metalik comes down with a headscissors. Nese retreats to a neutral corner. Metalik charges in, Nese waves him by, Metalik spins around on the middle rope and lands the middle dropkick for one. Metalik with a headlock (!) and tagging in Lince. Lince holds Nese in armbar and kicks Nese in the wide. Whip is quickly reversed, but Lince springboards back with a moonsault for one. Lince reapplies the armbar, but Lince drags him backwards his corner. Metalik tags himself in, though Nese is unaware. Lince tightens up the armbar, Nese tries to whip Nese away into the ropes once, Lince doesn’t go, Nese repeat it, Lince goes this time, Lince springboard plancha is just barely caught by Nese, and Metalik knocks over the pair with a springboard dropkick. Gulak charge in, and is waved right out by Lince. Metalik throws news out the other side. Metalik looks around, starts running and Gulak stops him with an ankle grab. Metalik tries to argue, and Lince leaps off the apron with a Casas style silla. Metalik claps his arm and goes to dive on Nese again, only Nese is already inside and spinning Metalik out with a back elbow. Nese confirms his abs count, and covers for two. Break. (2:29)

Metalik is now down in his corner as the show resumes. Lince and Gulak are in, with Lince rolling to his back and then using the momentum to go forward into a torito onto Gulak. Lince sticks out his tongue as the two count is made. Lince chops Gulak two ways. Lince’s whip is reversed, and Lince handspring (Vic: “Springboard”) Stunner connects. Lince covers, but Nese rushes in and shoves Lince off of Gulak at two. Metalik comes back to life, missing a clothesline to set up a Nese kick to the midsection. Nese throws Metalik thru the ropes, then charges cross ring at Lince on the apron. Lince leans thru the the ropes, and backdrops Nese all the way to the floor on the ramp side. Gulak, who’s accomplished little in this match, charges into a shoulderblock from Lince. Lince slingshots in for sunset flip, but Gulak fights it off for a long moment before sitting down as a cradle for two. Gulak swings and misses wildly, and Lince does not with a superkick. Lince looks around at the crowd as he goes up. He takes his time getting there, allowing Nese to scramble to the apron and knock Lince to a seated position. Lince is able to backhand Nese to the floor and steps down to the apron as if he’s going to leap off onto Nese, but it’s Metalik who comes from off screen and cross ring to take out Nese with a tope con giro. Lince circles around the corner post and stands on the apron as if waiting for a tag – is he not the legal man now? Gulak charges grabs Lince by the back of the mask, but takes a stunner over the top rope. Lince sets up, wipes the ropes clean with has hands, and springboards into a senton on Gulak. Lince started turning over as if was a shooting star press, then just stopped. It looks potentially more dangerous for him than Gulak, but it’s enough for the three count. (1:54, 4:23 total) They stick with the in-ring action just long enough for the winners names to be announced.

Enzo Cruiserweight video package from RAW, emphasizing Neville losing his title shot. (3:01)

Up Next: Roman Reigns vs The Miz (w/the Miztourage) – a clip of Roman Reigns laughing at Miz takes the show to break.

That same bit, a question about The Shield versus The Miztourage, ending with Roman saying the Shield members are now doing their own things, ends the segment. This leads into highlights of the Reigns/Miz match. WWE put in a lot of effort here to get the Miztourage to be taken seriously, as if they are really facing the Shield. It seems fruitless, because the fans will still recognize them as perennial losers Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Perhaps it’d work if there were new faces in those spots. I’ve put in twenty years of effort to do something with writing pro wrestling, but it generally seems fruitless because I’m still in the same place I was early on, having moved myself myself little and moved others about the same. Sometimes I wonder where I’d be if I had put the same effort into anything else. Making an honest effort at something is important, but knowing when to move on isn’t far behind. The show ends with the Miztourage beatdown. (7:58)

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