This week’s edition of WWE Main Event featured Sheamus in the spotlighted contest once more, this time against another talented European Antonio Cesaro. Elsewhere the Usos took on Team Rhodes Scholars and Justin Gabriel fought the lesser seen Curt Hawkins.
Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro
Our main event for Main Event saw two talented Europeans square off for the second week in a row. Last week’s we saw Sheamus face Wade Barrett in an enthralling bout and this week it was the turn of Antonio Cesaro to take on the Celtic Warrior. Both men currently seem in somewhat of a limbo in terms of storyline, with Sheamus’ on-off team with Randy Orton apparently on hold, as well as their subsequent feud with the Shield, with a storyline with Damien Sandow has failed to take off due to some pretty awful segments on Smackdown over the last two weeks. Meanwhile Cesaro hasn’t been seen much of late, mainly appearing on Main Event, and after his unsuccessful run with the United States Championship earlier in the year, it would appear WWE doesn’t know how to handle The Swiss Sensation.
The match, as last week, was a fantastic watch and benefitted from being fairly fresh, as I can only think of handful of occasions these two have faced each other in the past and certainly not recently. Cesaro dominated the early going, firstly slowly wearing down Sheamus with a number of submission holds, and then sending his shoulder crashing into the ring post with Sheamus on the apron, leading to a kick to the head from the opposite side with Sheamus’ head hitting the ring post. This section for me proved why WWE should take more of a chance on Cesaro, as he managed to make this spot look dangerous and important without injuring his opponent. Unfortunately, Sheamus’ selling of this was edging towards the comedic, which would be my only criticism of The Celtic Warrior during this match.
The two then switched momentum frequently throughout the latter half of the contest, with Cesaro showing a number of nasty looking submissions including escaping Sheamus’ White Noise and slapping on a Cross Face Chicken Wing a la Bob Backlund, whilst Sheamus hit his crowd pleasing clubbing blows with Cesaro tied up in the ropes (that moves really needs a name) with Long Island proving they can indeed count to ten. There was a nice near fall when Sheamus leapt from top rope, only to be met with A Very European Uppercut from Cesaro, with at least some in attendance thinking it might be over. The ending came with Cesaro about to attempt his Neutralizer, only for Sheamus to counter into White Noise, which was delivered to the top turnbuckle, once Cesaro got back into the ring, Sheamus delivered a Brogue Kick for the victory. This was a satisfying ending as it at least made Cesaro look like a challenge for Sheamus, unlike Cody Rhodes on Raw last Monday.
Cesaro brings a legitimacy to his matches that is rarely seen in WWE today, he looks extremely tough like a wrestler from the 1950’s, his blows are worked extremely close and his submission holds look painful. Hopefully, this and the number of awful gimmicks that he has taken on will go some way in Cesaro returning to WWE’s good favour as he could really bring something different to the main event scene. Sheamus on the other hand is much better when put in these kind of matches, when he’s taking things seriously against a serious opponent like Cesaro or Wade Barrett he can really put on quite a match.
Best of the Rest
The Usos new push continued as they took on Team Rhodes Scholars. For a tag team match this had a strange dynamic as it saw The Usos dominate for most of the contest. With The Usos making frequent tags, Rhodes and Sandow were rarely in control for very long, including a clever blind tag that lead to Cody Rhodes get dropped on the top rope after a double team. During the small period where Rhodes Scholars had control of the match, we saw a different side from both Cody and Damien, as they looked a lot more aggressive in the ring than what we’ve come expect from the usually precise and calculating duo, including some rather vicious stomps from Rhodes. As the match edged towards its end, there was a great false finish, with Cody slipped out of a suplex attempt and hit his Beautiful Disaster kick, when it looked like it might be over, Jimmy slid in to make the save for his twin. Soon after, Jey hit a Super kick and Jimmy soared from the top rope with a Superfly splash for another impressive victory for the Usos.
I was a little surprised by this match, not at the quality as that was never in doubt with the four individuals in the ring, but that The Usos picked up the victory over a tag team so previously so high up the ranks, so early in their new push. Damien and Cody have been looking like permanently splitting for a while now, maybe it’s finally time to break them up and allow them to pursue singles careers, though with WWE currently stalling on Sandow’s singles feud with Sheamus and Cody seemingly going nowhere it might be a while before their association wears out. WWE clearly believes in The Usos, and I can see why, they put on fantastic tag team match almost every time they get in the ring and seem to know how to work the crowd well, with the right booking and a successful feud with The Shield they have the ability to get over well with the audience.
There was also a singles match between Justin Gabriel and a returning Curt Hawkins. For such a short match this was good fare, with both men playing their roles well. Hawkins looks cocky and confident as a heel, whilst Gabriel’s strong selling ability allows him to work the face in peril role well. The ending however seemed a bit rushed with The Capetown Werewolf kicking a charging Hawkins out of the corner, pushing him to the mat hard, before hitting a 450 splash, even Josh Matthews on commentary seemed surprised. Both of these competitors could benefit from a reignited tag team division, as there really is little for them, however talented they maybe, higher up the singles ladder.
What have we learnt from this week’s episode of Main Event?
1. Sheamus benefits from working against a more serious opponent.
2. The Usos will, deservedly, continue to rise up the Tag Team ranks.
3. Ricardo Rodrigues brings little to the commentary team!
Announced for next Monday's Raw:
Triple H Vs. Curtis Axel