WWE Main Event returned last night (Jan. 9, 2013) to deliver a fierce matchup between "The Celtic Warrior" Sheamus and "The Showoff" Dolph Ziggler.
Additionally, Wade Barrett took on Zack Ryder in a non-title match.
To the reactions!
- Sheamus and Ziggler put on a pay-per-view (PPV) quality match that played to both men's strengths. Sheamus played up his brute force, while Ziggler used his quickness to gain the advantage. Sheamus did a great job hyping up Ziggler before the match, making sure to point out he is highly athletic and a great wrestler. Michael Cole -- in a rare moment of actually calling the match -- even pointed out that Ziggler looked like he was staying a step ahead of Sheamus. It's simple psychology, but it makes all the difference. Sheamus may receive a lot of hate from fans for his goofy Irish gimmick, but there shouldn't be a doubt that he knows how to bring it in the ring.
- It does suck that the commercial breaks always disrupt the flow, but I understand why WWE does it. This was a great match on free television. If you want to see the real thing, you're going to have to pony up the cash. Good on WWE for finding a way to put long form matches on, while not diluting the product.
- Sheamus ended up winning via count out after Brogue Kicking Ziggler right out of the ring. "The Great White" would leave the ring to try and bring Ziggler back in, but Big E blocked his way. Sheamus then slid back inside, right as the ref hit his ten count. There was some confusion in the comments of the live blog about this, so I feel it needs to be said here; the count only resets if Sheamus both entered and exited the ring. If this was on PPV, then he would have gone back out, and the match would be extended. Again, though, this is free television. There are going to be some wonky finishes.
- I actually have no complaints about how things ended. Both men looked amazing during the match. Sheamus is still higher on the totem pole, so of course he would be going over. Ziggler didn't eat a pinfall, but used some heel tactics by taking the count out and having his bodyguard protect him. I don't enjoy seeing Ziggler lose, but I understand the rationale.
- Having Big E speak at the beginning of the show just kind of defeated his whole gimmick. He wasn't really bad, but he certainly wasn't good. Hopefully, a little more time in the big leagues will help him. Also, this is the second or third time he climbed on the apron teasing a fight, only to jump off and walk away. I wish I knew what WWE is planning on doing with him. Either this guy is going to get a real match soon, or he's just going to be a giant match tease for the rest of his career.
- Later in the night, Wade Barrett faced off against Zack Ryder in what was a surprisingly damn good match. Each man was very precise and deliberate, and they looked good together. Honestly, if things were different, I wouldn't mind an extended feud between them. As it stands, though, Wade just looked silly in not being able to put the jobber away.
- The problem lies with WWE's booking of Ryder. He's been made to look like such a joke that it's almost impossible to take him seriously. It is something that I still don't understand. The fans like him, his gimmick is decent enough, and he showed flashes of talent in the ring. Hell, he's probably at least as good as The Miz. He is someone that could liven up the mid-card, and it's a damn shame he isn't being used in the proper manner.
After a weak showing last week (Jan. 2), Main Event came back in full force. Two great matches, a good promo by Sheamus, and a possible hint of what is to come with Ziggler & Co. I have few complaints, and even then it is nitpicking.
How about you, Cagesiders? Feel free to tell me know how right -- or how wrong -- I am about this week's episode in the comments below.