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Seth Rollins dropped out of WWE’s main event scene this year

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WWE’s monthly pay-per-view model has endured for roughly 25 years, and I’m always curious to see which wrestlers end up in the coveted main event matches on these cards. WWE’s business model did significantly change with the advent of WWE Network in 2014, and that raises legitimate questions about how the value of these main event matches has changed, but that doesn’t make me any less interested to see who closes out WWE’s monthly Sunday night events.

So here is the complete list of WWE’s pay-per-view main event segments in 2020, spanning 14 events:

  • Royal Rumble: Drew McIntyre wins the Men’s Royal Rumble match
  • Super Showdown: Bray Wyatt vs. Goldberg
  • Elimination Chamber: Baszler vs. Asuka vs. Morgan vs. Riott vs. Natalya vs. Logan
  • WrestleMania 36 (night one): Undertaker vs. AJ Styles
  • WrestleMania 36 (night two): Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre
  • Money in the Bank: Asuka vs. Carmella vs. Brooke vs. Evans vs. Jax vs. Baszler;
    Otis vs. Black vs. Bryan vs. Mysterio vs Styles vs. Corbin
  • Backlash: Edge vs. Randy Orton
  • Extreme Rules: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
  • SummerSlam: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
  • Payback: Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
  • Clash of Champions: Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso
  • Hell in a Cell: Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton
  • Survivor Series: Undertaker’s final farewell
  • TLC: Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton

Money in the Bank had two main event matches run concurrently, so I included both of them in the above list.

Survivor Series is one of the only WWE pay-per-view events I can recall that did not have a main event match. Some might argue that Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns qualifies for that spot. We may have different definitions of what constitutes the main event; from where I’m sitting, Undertaker’s non-wrestling segment was the main event that closed out the night.

One of the things that stands out to me about this list is that Bray Wyatt is all over it, appearing in five different entries. His feud with Braun Strowman actually headlined three consecutive events throughout July and August. It looks like Wyatt was a loser in at least three of his five main event matches, and I still don’t know if there was a winner in the Swamp match.

If you asked me one year ago to take a guess at which wrestlers would appear on this list, I would have never expected to see Jey Uso’s name. His best bet for making such a list seemed to be in a footnote as one of thirty participants in the Royal Rumble match. But there he is, headlining Clash of Champions in a match of the year candidate.

Speaking of footnotes, Seth Rollins’ only entry on this list is hidden, as he was one of those thirty participants in the Royal Rumble match. Rollins completely dominated the main event scene in 2019, appearing in a staggeringly high eight main event matches. Hell, he even main evented Stomping Grounds 2019 against Baron freakin’ Corbin. That makes Seth’s dearth of main event matches in 2020 stand out even more

This is the smallest main event presence Rollins has ever had as a singles wrestler in WWE. I think his downfall started with the infamous debacle against The Fiend at Hell in a Cell 2019. Rollins was ruined as a babyface and had to turn heel shortly thereafter, and spent most of 2020 in feuds against Kevin Owens or the Mysterio family. Seth did challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE championship at Money in the Bank, but the simultaneous ladder matches at WWE headquarters got the main event spot over their championship bout.

The women’s division is represented in only two entries on the list. The first one is a six-woman Elimination Chamber match, and the second one was the aforementioned ladder match at WWE headquarters, which was a shared main event segment with the men. The lack of any singles or tag team matches with women in a pay-per-view main event is a glaring hole on this list.

Bayley vs. Sasha Banks at Hell in a Cell probably had the best chance of making this list compared to any other women’s singles or tag match on pay-per-view in 2020, but Randy Orton’s WWE championship victory was given the bigger spotlight on that night.

Now it’s your chance to weigh in, Cagesiders. What do you think about the list of WWE’s pay-per-view main events in 2020? Which missing names surprise you? Which wrestlers do you expect to see on the list in 2021?