WWE Main Event
September 18, 2013
Orton’s beat down of the Miz on Raw means that Alex Riley is back, baby!
One thing that’s great about these Main Event matchups is that you can really tell the pecking order in the WWE. Guys like Justin Gabriel, who we’ll see later on, are designated as “jobbers,” and the mid-card gets fleshed out nicely. The Usos are a great example of this: they went on a run on Main Event, and they have now moved their way into the tag title hunt.
Match #1: Dolph Ziggler vs. Curtis Axel (with Paul Heyman and his mensch, Ryback)
Before the match, some quick still photos from the Punk/Heyman and Axel handicap match from Night of Champions. Ziggler starts off with some crisp takedowns on Axel. We learn that the Miz suffered a bruised breastbone, bruised collarbone, a pinched nerve and histrionic personality disorder at the hands of Randy Orton. Three of those diagnoses are kayfabed. Dolph does a bizarre strut which leads to Axel bailing out of the ring. Axel works over Ziggler as Riley wonders if Scott Armstrong or Daniel Bryan is the liar regarding the finish at Night of Champions. Back and forth action in the ring until Ziggler unleashes a dropkick. He’s eventually thrown way over the top rope to the floor. Josh Matthews and Riley discuss the Heyman/Ryback dynamic, but emit Heyman’s supple kiss.
Axel delivers a huge pancake on Ziggler (not literally though, that’s just silly). Ziggler tries to comeback with a move here or there, but falls short each time. Riley refers to Heyman as a Machivellian-like mental manipulator, once again proving that everything is better with alliteration. Axel with a dropkick of his own, followed by a clothesline to the back of Ziggler’s head. The announcers discuss the strategy of Axel using the first clothesline as bait only to hit him in the back on the rebound. Nice. Axel misses a shoulder block, hits the steel post and sails out of the ring. Ziggler comes back with a Stinger splash, a flurry of punches and a neckbreaker as Heyman readily wears his disappointment on the outside. Dolph eventually nails a Famouser and a huge DDT after a failed Perfectplex from Axel. Distracted by Ryback on the outside, Dolph gets thrown off the top rope by Curtis. Ryback with a meathook clothesline, back in, and Axel hits an “inverted neckbreaker DDT” for the win in fifteen minutes.
Winner: Curtis Axel
Fun match that establishes Axel and Ziggler as being at the same level in the Intercontinental Title block of the upper mid-card.
Here’s your exclusive recap of a Main Event-exclusive snippet of a WWE.com-exclusive interview with HHH, exclusively executed by Michael Cole. HHH compares the Daniel Bryan conspiracy to Pete Rose making a deal with an umpire. Yep. He sets the main event for Battleground as Bryan vs. Orton for the WWE title.
Match #2: Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango (with Summer Rae)
This is a rematch from a bout a couple weeks ago that was cut short due to interference by Summer Rae and a possibly botched ending. Alex Riley admits that the locker room had been secretly planning an organized attack to fight back against HHH, but he questions whether the guys did it for Daniel Bryan or for their own jobs. Kingston is letting out some atypical trash talking this evening. In a cool spot reminiscent of their previous encounter, both athletes block each other’s hip tosses and Kofi lands on his feet after a failed monkey flip by Fandango, then hits one of his own. Matthews puts over Kingston as a future WWE or World Heavyweight Champion while Riley praises Fandango’s work in developmental. In a sequence usually seen in lucha-style matches, Kofi misses a baseball slide and is thrown into the apron by Fandango. However, Kingston dodges, leaps into the ring, fakes Fandango out with another dive then eventually hits a tope. Awesome.
Back from break, Fandango takes control after Summer Rae interferes. He slows the match down with a headlock takeover. After a couple minutes, Kofi fights back with a back suplex, and now both guys are out. Kingston hits a dropkick and Boom Drop combination. He misses the Trouble in Paradise (this seems to happen at least once in every match) but nails a springboard forearm. Fandango hurls off a desperation enziguri, but Kofi takes the victory following some kicks, an SOS and the Trouble in Paradise.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
This match started off red-hot for the first segment, but cooled off considerably after the commercial break. We’ve had two nearly fifteen minute matches tonight.
Raw Rewind focuses on the American Dream being forced to decide which of his kids should go to the pay-winduh. Big Show saved Dusty from a clubberin’ by the Shield.
Match #3: Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel
Okay, no way Sandow loses to Gabriel, right? Justin is off to a quick start, and Matthews and Riley recap the del Rio/RVD match from Night of Champions. Riley believes that Sandow was “too dignified” to cash in his swank suitcase after RVD knocked out Alberto with the Van Terminator. Sandow launches the South African superstar over the top rope. Back in, Russian leg-sweep (HE HOOKED THE LEG!) and requisite posing elbow by Sandow. The announcers compare the competitors’ reactions to HHH’s reign of terror, and wonders what repercussions will come Gabriel’s way. Speaking of RVD, Gabriel does his best impression of him with a sequence of kicks. High cross body for two. Gabriel goes for his 450, misses and rolls through, but Sandow catches him with the Silencer for the three count in about four minutes.
Winner: Damien Sandow
Decent show tonight, with two particularly solid matchups for a C-level show. Kofi Kingston is replacing the Usos as a mainstay on the program, and I’m grateful for the return of Alex Riley on commentary.
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