Welcome to the weekly Main Event Recap, where I watch Main Event so you won't have to.
Half of the time, the content is crap. Usually 4 matches with bottom-feeding talent, or occasionally a slumming upper-mid-carder will come down and have a match. Sometimes, the matches are pretty great.
In these cases, I’ll let you know when to seek things out.
Main Event is available on Hulu on Wednesday nights, 24 hours after it’s taped, or on the Network, on a three week delay.
- Sheamus and Titus tried in vain to beat each other to death,
- Alicia Fox made her triumphant return (to jobbing),
- and everybody teamed with everybody else for no reason whatsoever.
Let’s see what this week’s episode holds in store:
Apollo Crews & Golden Truth
vs Baron Corbin & The Dudley Boyz
Kalisto vs Viktor
Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs Breezango
Dolph Ziggler, Titus O'Neil & The Usos
vs Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio & The Shining Stars
Oh, good. It’s another one of those damn “Let’s just throw everyone in a giant tag match and hope that nobody notices that it doesn’t make any sense” episodes of Main Event.
Are we all excited?
Good, me too.
Apollo Crews & Golden Truth
vs Baron Corbin & The Dudley Boyz
aka What part of “Lone Wolf” did you not understand?
Baron Corbin is my new favorite wrestler, you guys. I'll tell you why in a sec.
Okay, so first the good guys have their entrances: Molten Poop is first, dancin’, rappin’, jokin’, havin’ fun, sticking someone named Chuck some place and then leaving him there.
Once again, if you have any information regarding the whereabouts of these two men,
please call 1 - 800 - UNSTUCK.
Do not give up hope. We will find Chuck, and we will unstick him.
And then Apollo Crews comes out, grinning like your kid brother after he took the last blue raspberry popsicle even though he knows that’s your favorite.
And they’re so happy to be there, together, best friends for the night because they’re all good guys. It makes me want to barf.
And now the bad guys come out, first the Dudleyz, and then, finally, Baron Corbin.
And he does THIS:
I literally squealed with delight when I saw that, folks. Here is a man after my own heart.
By god, he's pulling a Nick Nolte.
I LOVE BARON CORBIN.
Best part is, he’s just getting started. But we'll get to that.
First let's talk about how much R-Truth sucks.
THAT'S NOT WRESTLING. THAT'S DANCING. WHY WOULD YOU STOP A WRESTLING MATCH TO START DANCING. IT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE. NEW RULE. I HAVE DECREED IT. NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO STOP WRESTLING AND START DANCING. UNLESS YOU ARE ENZO AMORE. OR TJ PERKINS. OR NO WAY JOSE. OKAY, NEW AMMENDMENT TO THE NEW RULE. NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO STOP WRESTLING AND START DANCING UNLESS I LIKE YOU. AND YES, I REALIZE HOW HYPOCRITICAL I'M BEING. AND NO, I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M STILL TYPING IN ALL CAPS.
I'LL STOP NOW.
Anyway, now that that's over, back to the match, and why Baron Corbin is awesome.
In every multi-man tag bout, there’s a point where the whole thing breaks down and everybody from both sides gets in the ring to tease a big brawl.
Baron Corbin is having none of that.
Baron Corbin cares not for your temporary arbitrary allegiances. He's not your buddy, guy.
BARON CORBIN IS MY HERO.
He does eventually tag himself in, and nails one of my favorite recurring spots on the entire roster.
This dude is so nimble for a big man, folks.
So Baron works over Goldust for a while, blatantly REFUSING to tag in either of the Dudleyz. It's great.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and Goldust eventually catches Corbin with a spinebuster, then makes the hot tag to Apollo Crews as D-Von tags himself in, too.
(I should mention that Smackdown Live is about to get a little more problematic. New color guy David Otunga insists on calling a "Kip-Up" a "Nip-Up" which is what the maneuver was originally called, back when it was okay to call the Asian Wrestlers who pioneered the move "Nips". That's not okay anymore, Dave, and someone needs to tell him that before he starts doing it on basic cable.)
Anyway, D-Von catches Crews with a clothesline, and turns to Corbin on the apron. He holds out his hand and commands:
Corbin politely declines, and Apollo sneaks up on D-Von and hits him with the Angle Slam.
If he’s going to be finishing guys off with this move, they should give it a new name.
Call it the Apollo-Plex. Or the Smiley Slam.
WINNER: Apollo Crews & Golden Truth via Pinfall
It really is a shame that Corbin and the Dudleyz were drafted to separate brands, because I'd love to see this budding feud blossom into something beautiful. A guy that does not respect traditional heel/face alignments and is legitimately a true "Lone Wolf," that is MY JAM.
Also, I think he's got the most devastating finisher in the WWE:
Just please, Smackdown writers, give this guy something important to do.
I'm begging you.
Kalisto vs Viktor
Okay so, before we get into the next match, I want to show you this video:
It begins with Konnor and Viktor extolling the virtues of The Wasteland to Mick Foley. They have tennis courts, they have trees (TREES, y’all) and—are you ready for this?—Pitch n’ Putt. They've been saying "Welcome To The Wasteland" for years and we've been taking it as some kind of threat. But maybe that's not what it is at all. Maybe it's a sincere invitation to come stay with them for a week at their Timeshare. Or to hire them as your realtor.
This is the first time I've ever found The Ascension to be interesting at all. Their dour, humorless, bargain-basement-Legion-of-Doom knock-off act wore thin for me pretty quick, and they can't get over with the crowd at all. Both guys are in their mid-30s now, and with the new brand split, it's time for them to sink or swim. Why not try something wildly different?
From that video, you can tell they have a sense of humor about themselves. Let them run with it. They could be these ironic supervillain types, like something out of the Venture Brothers. Supervillains by night, and by day, erudite Wasteland Real Estate Agents.
Produce some vignettes showing Konnor and Viktor at home in an elegantly furnished home, still wearing their normal facepaint. But Konnor is in a cardigan and smoking a pipe, seated in front of the fire, doing the New York Times crossword.
"Ten letter word, has to begin with a D," he calls out to the other room. "Global ... blank?"
Viktor calls back in, "Domination."
"Oh, of course," Konnor says, and pencils it in.
Viktor comes in from the kitchen, wearing a sweater vest over a plaid button down with a bowtie, an apron covering the whole ensemble. The apron says "Kiss the Cook." He carries a wooden spoon, containing a small amount of pasta sauce. "Here, try this."
Konnor does. "Mmm, I can taste the basil."
"Too much?," asks Viktor.
"Not at all," replies Konnor. "But it could use more garlic."
"You and your garlic," says Viktor, who shakes his head and and goes back into the kitchen. "I've got an open house this weekend."
"That 4 bedroom north of the live volcano of souls and south of the golf course."
"On the corner of Evil Elm Drive and Massacre Avenue?"
"That's the one," replies Viktor. "So, what shall we do tomorrow night, Konnor?"
Konnor looks into the camera and says, "The same thing we do every Tuesday on Smackdown Live, Viktor. TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD."
Okay, admittedly, I stole that last part from a 90s kid's show about cartoon mice, but would you rather see them do something like that, or continue doing this?
Even if you think my idea is stupid, or too subversive to ever be on WWE television, what they're doing now isn't working. Try something else.
Poor, poor Kalisto.
This guy, man. He just can't seem to get out of his own way.
He's so damn talented. Cases in point:
But he's also been known to botch a move or two, and that's being kind.
To be fair though, on that last point, he certainly learned from the best:
And maybe Sin Cara's botchiness was contagious. But that's all right, because the Lucha Dragons amicably agreed to go their separated ways, which is obviously better for all parties involved. Kalisto can shine on his own, and Sin Cara can get the piss beat out of him on Superstars every week.
Then, when Stephanie McMahon announced that they were going to bring back the Cruiserweight Division and make it exclusive to Raw, I immediately started booking little guy feuds between Kalisto and newly heel-bearded Neville.
But then, of course, because the WWE makes no sense whatsoever, Kalisto got drafted to Smackdown, where there is no Cruiserweight division and where he will be embroiled in a feud with Baron Corbin, which will probably get neither guy over, or at best, get one guy over at the expense of the other. Because you can either have Baron Corbin destroy Kalisto and make us all hate him for picking on the little guy while making us associate Kalisto with the idea of "tiny guy who gets his ass kicked", or you can have Kalisto beat Corbin, thereby assuring that no one ever takes the Lone Wolf seriously ever again. It's really a Win-Win, and exactly the kind of thing that we've come to expect from WWE booking.
Maybe it was all of this, his uncertain future, going through the head of Kalisto when he gave this backstage promo on the Network Draft Center Special. Either that, or someone needs to check him for a concussion.
The guy just can't seem to get out of his own way. And it’s a shame, too, since like he said, he's here ... to stay, and he's such a good, good Luchas--, Lucha thing, godammit, woo.
I mean, look at that. That backflip avoidance of the clothesline into a spinning back heel kick is as smooth as a baby's bottom.
And check out this Mysterio-esque Hurricanrana that he pulls out for the win.
STOP MAKING HIM TALK, WWE. JUST LET HIM DO THIS STUFF.
THAT'S WHAT HE'S GOOD AT.
WINNER: Kalisto by Pinfall.
Speaking of things people are good at, and before we get away from this match:
See, you can't convince me that the guy who screams out "I hate you Kalisto!" during a rest hold doesn't have a sense of humor about all this, and wouldn't be all-fired fantastic at playing a character who's in on the joke somehow.
Please, if there is a just and fair God in the universe, let someone see this recap who has the ear of someone in WWE creative, and please, please, PLEASE, pitch them my idea that Konnor and Viktor are secretly like the Frasier and Niles Crane of the Super Villain world.
Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs Breezango
aka Color-Coordination is everything.
So we know that Breezango is all about the accessorizing. Their matching outfits are fire, fam.
But they might have outdone themselves with this one:
MATCHING RED TIGER PRINT FUR VESTS.
Be still my beating heart, I think I'm in love.
But not to be outdone, Jack Swagger and Mark Henry showed up in color-coordinated outfits too, y'all.
Black and silver, understated, classy, I like it. Probably a coincidence, but they were both drafted to Raw, so I think it's safe to say: NEW TAG TEAM CONFIRMED.
Now all they need is a new Tag Team name, and there's only one option as far as I'm concerned.
I hereby christen thee: World's Strongest Swag.
You're right, that sucks, but I can't think of a good one, so we'll just go with it.
The match is over pretty quick, Breezango keeps Swagger isolated and they keep tagging in and out, doing double team standing elbow drops. There's a lot of stomping. Eventually though, the tag is made to Henry and that's about all she wrote. He hits the Front Powerslam on Fandango, Breeze breaks up the pinfall, and immediately regrets his course of action.
Then he regrets the regretting, as Fandango bites off more than he can chew.
WINNERS: Mark Henry & Jack Swagger by Pinfall
Breezango deserves a real push post-brand-split. Here's hoping they start it off by beating The Usos on the Battleground Pre-show. I don't care that there's about as much chance of that happening as there is of CM Punk returning during the main event on Sunday, I just want it to happen, ok? A guy can dream, can't he?
4 Random Good Guys vs 4 Random Bad Guys
aka Now they're just doing it to mess with me
None of these men have anything in common.
They ain't partners, they ain't brothers and they ain't friends. Nick Nolte and Baron Corbin and Terrence & Philip could teach these guys a lesson.
Titus doesn't hang out with the Usos while they're watching YouTube videos from nine months ago trying to find new dance moves; he's too busy taking his kids to therapy after Rusev gave them night terrors. And Dolph Ziggler is so wrapped up in himself at this point, he is his own tortilla.
Not any better on the other side of the ring, either.
Del Rio and Sheamus hate each other. They were in a go-nowhere loser faction that had an acrimonious falling out like FIVE FRIGGING MINUTES AGO. Why are they teaming together? And with Primo and Epico? Those guys are preoccupado, enjoying the nightlife, cuisine and beaches of Puerto Rico, while getting high off the model airplane glue they smeared all over those prop flowers of theirs.
These f*cking guys...
Honestly, has there ever been, in the last five years, a buildup as long and as expensive as this one, where the payoff was virtually nil? I can't think of any. I mean, I may hate them, but even I can't deny The Golden Truth are hugely over with the crowd. These guys are NOWHERE. They generate zero heat. People are INDIFFERENT TO THEM.
That doesn't mean they're not great at Tag Team wrestling. They totally are. Check out this blind tag sequence that spells bad news for the Zig-meister.
No one else is doing that type of tagging on the main roster. It's entirely unique. If they had a better gimmick than to direct people to TripAdvisor.com, they could be something really special, but here they are, getting dabbed on by the damn Usos brothers.
STOP. DANCING. PLEASE. I BEG OF YOU.
(This is the babyface. Because good guys taunt their opponents in the ring, and show poor sportsmanship. WWE: Teaching valuable lessons to our children every day.)
Sheamus and Titus beat on each other for a while, which is always good. Those two had a match last week on Main Event that was pretty damn good. But this match as a whole is kind of ho hum, really, until the finish. The finish is pretty dope, actually. Everybody does everything to everybody else until the most overpowered finisher takes the duke.
WINNER: The Bad Guys by Pinfall
Happy for a lot of reasons at the end of the match. Sheamus and Del Rio never have to tag again, since they're on different brands, The Celtic Warrior has an opportunity to further his hoss-fight feud with Titus, and an Uso gets a boot to the face, and that's always good.
Baron Corbin is awesome, and I'm cautiously optimistic about his impending program with Kalisto, against my better judgment. Things can only go up for Breezango from here, and I'm anxious to see if my idea for Ascension Realty, Inc. gets picked up.
Seriously, just picture Konnor and Viktor's faces on the side of a bus: "We bring The Wasteland home to you."
Also, Sheamus and Titus should continue punching each other in the mouth really hard until I tire of watching it. That might not be for a while, so I hope they have good Dental.
7 out of 10, mostly just for Baron Corbin not being any guy's buddy.
Until next time, Main Eventers, I've been Alex Pawlowski
and this is me when I see that Golden Truth is on the card.