WWE Main Event returned last night (Jan. 23, 2013) with a solid match between United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and Ryback. Additionally, Team Rhodes Scholars faced off against The Usos in an oddly booked tag team affair.
Click here for full results and the live blog from the show if you missed it.
To the reactions!
- Main Event operates somewhat tangentially to the WWE Universe, this I understand. It occupies its own little niche in the promotion, and isn't as bound by the same overarching storylines. There can be a week when The Shield runs in to disrupt a match, but there can also be a week when it's pure midcard matchups. This allows Main Event to be more free with how the show flows and what angles are advanced. It's a great format that has been working great for WWE and all the fans.
- That being said, this is still a go-home show to Sunday's Royal Rumble (Jan. 27). As the second biggest show of the year, WWE should be hyping it all with every single minute of television it produces. To have an hour of prime time television go to waste seems foolish in my mind. What was done to hype up the pay-per-view? The Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz feud was furthered, but that match will be taking place on the free pre-show. There is no point in getting people excited for something they will not be paying for. Team Rhodes Scholars talked about winning the Tag Team Championship, but the least that WWE could do was send Team Hell No out to ringside. Then we got to see the video packages which, while they are always top notch, have been seen a dozen times before. This is the Rumble, folks. Get excited!
- The show in and of itself was solid, albiet somewhat underwhelming. Cesaro vs. Ryback was about what you expected. The US Champion was great on the mic before the match. Ryback was passionately awkward in his interview with Matt Striker. The pair worked very well together, each playing a different varient of the "big-man" style. It's encouraging to see two of WWE's newest stars be able to play off each other. If these two are battling for the WWE Championship in a few years, C.J. will be a happy fan.
- The fact the match had to end with Cesaro intentionally taking the count out does put a damper on the entire thing. It's frustrating to watch matches like this over and over. I understand Ryback needs the W, and Cesaro needs to be built as a strong champion. But either don't book this match, or limit the shmoz finishes elsewhere.
- Team Rhodes Scholars vs. The Usos was a fun match, but something of a head scratcher. Jimmy & Jay dominated the vast majority, and Damien Sandow only got the pinfall after Jimmy -- or maybe Jay -- fell off the top rope. Everyone knew Rhodes Scholars were going to win. To have them win in such a weak way, though, just seems quite silly. If Cody Rhodes and Sandow are going to win the straps on Sunday, then why not make them look like championship material? I understand The Usos are being built up as the next in line -- there just has to be a better way.
This was a strange episode of Main Event for me, and I'm not quite sure how to grade it. I expect the best from the show, because I know it can be the best. I expect the best for a go-home show, because WWE should be building to the PPV. This was a fun show to watch, but it could have been so much better.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Am I being too harsh, or do you believe the show could have been better? Tell us what you think in the comments below.