As Hoobastank once said, “It’s been a while.” But I’m back with my infrequent Main Event reviews! Last time I talked to you all, Wildcard Weekend had just passed. Now, the Super Bowl is over, the Patriots are standing tall, and it’s time to review some WWE C-show goodness. Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, and Austin Aries are on commentary.
Curtis Axel def. Bo Dallas**3/4
THE KING OF THE C SHOWS IS HERE! Whenever Curtis Axel shows up on these shows, I get ready for a low key banger. And in this one, you get Social Outcast vs. Social Outcast. Bo opens up aggressively, taking Axel’s handshake right into a short arm clothesline. If that was Okada, this match would be over. The two just go at it with no feeling out process or mat work or anything like that, and it’s astounding. It feels like two former partners who hate each other should feel, and it’s two lower midcard guys on Main Event. This is why we watch, folks. It really surprises me how well Bo as an aggressive heel actually works here. He lays everything in and the match feels tight and compact. Axel does his part fighting back and showing desperation when necessary. Eventually Axel hits a Superplex and gets the win and I thoroughly enjoyed that. It was the perfect length with no real downtime. That was low-level great stuff!
They recap the Goldberg/Owens/Jericho segment from Raw. I’m pretty upset that they’re running Owens vs. Goldberg at Fastlane because in my mind there’s really no way around Owens getting squashed without making Lesnar seem weak. And you can say what you want about Owens’ reign, but I don’t think he deserves to lose the belt in a squash. I get putting the belt on Goldberg because he’s brought eyes back to the company and he’s a big reason that Royal Rumble drew 52,000 fans in the arena. But there’s no way to know whether he can actually work anymore. I guess we’ll have to wait and see and hopefully he and Brock for the Universal Title will actually live up to a WrestleMania main event hype.
The next recap is Jericho vs. Zayn for the United States Championship from Monday. I’m hoping that this eventually leads to a little Zayn US Title run. He’d be the perfect guy to defend in a multi-man scramble at Mania and the inevitable Owens vs. Jericho feud doesn’t need a belt attached. Those two guys would be fine carrying the feud on their own merits. I think it feels like it’s going to eventually lead to a Zayn reign but there’s no way of knowing just yet. I just know that he definitely deserves a singles title run on the main roster.
Lana comes out to the ring for a little pre-match promo action. She calls Portland a small, pathetic village and says she’s bringing them a most special gift – her husband. She calls Rusev the most vicious brute in all the world and the most handsome man in the entire universe. She tells the crowd not to hate him for being handsome Rusev and brings out the Bulgarian Brute, Handsome Rusev. And out he comes, face mask and all.
Rusev w/ Lana def. Sin cara**1/2
Rusev comes out right away with offense. Sin Cara tries to use his quickness to fight back but Rusev just overpowers him. They do a deal where Sin Cara tries to baseball slide Rusev on the outside of the ring but Rusev just catches him in a wheelbarrow position and slams him down on the outside. This match actually is kind of disappointing. It never really feels like it shifts out of first gear. Rusev controls more or less the whole thing which I guess makes sense, but Sin Cara doesn’t do a great job of making it feel like he has a chance. There’s no real fire or desperation in the comebacks. Sin Cara actually does have a fairly great comeback in the end with some fun offense, but for me it’s just too little too late in terms of the match overall. Eventually Rusev wins with a BRUTAL accolade which is enough for me to bump this up to **½. Didn’t love it though, unfortunately.
They recap Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns to end the show. I’m pretty hyped that Joe is on the main roster and I just hope he doesn’t catch any heat for the Rollins injury. I don’t know what the plan is for him at Mania but I hope it’s something big. Joe is a legitimate world class talent and although he’s nowhere near what he was at his peak, he can still outwork most of the roster as far as I’m concerned. Fingers crossed for the Samoan. And of course, Braun rules and will continue to rule.