WWE Main Event
August 8, 2013
Green Bay, Wisconsin
This is the first proper match I’ve seen with the Usos, and the last time I witnessed Mark Henry was during his loss to John Cena at Money in the Bank. Josh Matthews informs me that Henry has an issue with the Shield. Jey and Jimmy exchange blows with all three members of Shield until Mark Henry comes in, scaring off Ambrose. The Miz/Matthews announcer combination goes over the Shield’s history, tying it in to Randy Orton’s quest for John Cena’s WWE gold. A distracted Henry gets his knee taken out by Ambrose but eventually recovers, teasing the Usos’ flying hip attack on Rollins as we head to a break.
We return to Jimmy Uso getting isolated by the Shield. The dynamic here is interesting, as Josh Matthews is working on getting all six characters’ back stories over and clarifying the current storylines for the audience. Jey comes in and fails to get past the Shield’s meticulous offense. Ambrose and Reigns isolate him in their corner. In a humorous moment, Miz refuses to answer when Matthews asks which opponent Miz struggles with the most. The match drags a bit until Henry comes in following a Jey thrust kick and spin kick. Mark is, dare I say, a HOSS of fire? In the ensuing melee, Jimmy hits the big splash, but Rollins sneaks in with the curb stomp for a Shield victory.
Winners: The Shield
We later see the victorious trio in an undisclosed location bragging about their “easy” win over the “lazy” Mark Henry. They challenge the rest of the locker room to catch up to their skill level.
Match 2: Aksana vs. Natalya
I wonder aloud whether a match like this made Scott reconsider reviewing this show. After reviewing the Divas’ storyline from Raw and Total Divas, we see Natalya really working over the Lithuanian beauty. This is the first time I’ve seen Aksana since her time in FCW, where the late Eddie Guerrero’s daughter was forced to roll around the mat with her. Believe me; it was not as nice as it sounds. The announcers go over Natalya’s pedigree as Aksana turns the tide, taking out Natalya’s knee. The much improved Aksana slinks around the ring, delivering a kick, but Natalya quickly reverses into a sharpshooter for the victory. By no means am I a fan of WWE women’s wrestling, but this was pretty quick and painless, mainly a vehicle to plug the Total Divas programming.
We see a recap from Raw of the Punk/Lesnar showdown following the Straight Edge Superstar’s match with Curtis Axel. It warms my heart to see Punk wear his Bears’ colors while in Green Bay. It’s the subtle things…
Check out Scott Criscuolo’s excellent analysis of Raw here.
Main Event: Curtis Axel vs. Sin Cara
Miz and Matthews are joined by Paul Heyman on commentary. They spend the first five minutes of the match talking about the Punk/Lesnar storyline, completely ignoring the action in the ring, which mainly consists of Axel working over Cara. Heyman gets out a great line when asked if Matthews should be concerned about the presence of Lesnar. “Worry. Any time you see Paul Heyman, worry.” Similar sentiments were likely heard in the ECW locker rooms of 2000 and 2001.
Sin Cara eventually takes control with some high-flying lucha offense, including a plancha to the floor. Axel comes back with a shoulder block to Cara, sending him to the floor. Crowd seems to favor Axel, as he dominates the Mexican light-heavyweight with clotheslines, punches and submission holds. Heyman baits the Miz, who remains (thankfully) silent, saying that he was nothing until Heyman vouched for him backstage. Throughout the match, Heyman complains whenever the announcers put over a two-count by Sin Cara, saying that it still isn’t close to a victory. We see this as Sin Cara hits a second-rope dropkick, Tajiri-like handspring elbow and Ultimo Dragon-like standing Sliced Bread. How much better would Sin Cara be if they would just cut eyeholes in his mask? Josh Matthews also gets his comeback, silencing Heyman by mocking Paul’s old analysis from years past (only one second away from victory!). Meanwhile, the match continues, as Sin Cara misses a moonsault and is eventually finished by Axel after a suplex and modified neckbreaker. That was a solid 14 minute affair, but the true action occurred during Heyman’s commentary.
Winner: Curtis Axel
This was only my third time watching this show, and it serves its purpose well: developing the mid-card characters of the WWE and building up the storylines of the previous and upcoming episodes of Raw.
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