Sunday, 29 September 2013

WWE Main Event 25th September 2013 Review

This week's Main Event was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Whilst the action in the ring was solid throughout the show, there wasn't really anything that made me sit up and take notice, and on paper there wasn't anything that anyone would particularly go out of their way to see.

Justin Gabriel 


Intercontinental Champion 

Curtis Axel 

with Paul Heyman

This bout went on last and was by far the most interesting of any of the matches on the show. Justin Gabriel has been getting some what of a push recently, as part of the group of wrestlers standing up for Daniel Bryan. Even if that push has been mainly so he can used as fodder for The Shield he has been featured in main event slots on both Raw and Smackdown and has become prominent on both shows, a lot more than what he was getting a few months ago. Therefore, I was intrigued to see how competitive he was in this bout with Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel and how long the match got, as the show, has generally been used to test out talent before giving them a stronger role on the two main television show.

The match started slowly, with Axel dominating, I found it really hard to get into at this point. Whilst Axel's technical skills are sound, and it did make storyline sense for him to work over Gabriel, there was no interaction with the audience. Whilst Paul Heyman generates heat from just being at ringside, Axel himself really needs to start stepping things up with his crowd interaction, if he really wants to get taken seriously. The strongest part of the earlier part of the match was a nice series of roll ups and pin variations from Gabriel, which were well executed with Gabriel even managing to correct an earlier botch at one point, but it still wasn't enough to make me think Gabriel was going to pick up the win.

There was, however a really nice near fall for Gabriel heading towards the conclusion of the match. Axel attempted the Running One-Armed Swinging Neckbreaker, which Gabriel slipped out of delivering a swift Roundhouse Kick to the head, before hitting a springboard Moonsault off the top rope for a two count, the swiftness of the delivery felt like it could easily have finished off the match and was the first moment that really got me interested in what I was watching, with Paul Heyman's reaction on the outside really selling the moment for me. The finish saw Gabriel closing in on victory, attempting to get Axel to re-enter the ring, only for Axel to pull Gabriel into the ring ropes allowing the Intercontinental Champion to slide into the ring and hit the Hangman's Facebuster to pick up the pinfall victory. It was a decent enough finish, it wasn't anything special but it did it's job here, in allowing Axel to look credible in the ring.

So, how did Justin Gabriel do in this one? Given as this match was of a decent length, in fact if it's longest he's had on WWE television, with only a couple of NXT battles with Tyson Kidd coming close, so it's the best look we and WWE have had at Gabriel when the lights are on bright. I really like Gabriel in the ring, I think he's capable of putting on some really watchable and exciting matches, and at times we saw flashes off it in this one, with the false finish being really well worked by the Cape Town Werewolf. He could potentially be moved into a spot higher up on the card, possibly even have runs with the United States Championship (we've seen him get a couple of shots at that title on PPV), but I just can't see him moving further up than that, or past the “good little hand” stereotype. Maybe it's because he hasn't been in real feud since his day's in Nexus, but he just doesn't seem to have enough about him, the It Factor if you will, that would capapult him into a more important role for the company.

Best of the Rest (In The World)

Elsewhere on the show, the number one contenders to the Tag Team Championships The Usos were put up against the bizarre pairing of Fandango and Big E Langston, who were accompanied by Summer Rae. On paper, the team of Fandango and Big E Langston sounds atrocious, but for this one match they were fairly entertaining. The story running throughout the match, was the way the two teams operated, with The Usos sticking to the team work that they have become known for, whilst Fandango & Langston would use blind tags with Langston doing the majority of the work on one of The Usos, before Fandango would tag back in. There was some nice spots, such as Langston catching an Usos in mid air on the outside, only to be taken out by another flying for inside the ring. At times, Fandango didn't look particularly interested in this one, and never really got going in the way we've come to expect of him, with a dodgy looking suplex that could have easily injured Uso.

The finish saw The Usos begin to get rolling, with Fandango feigning a leg injury on the outside of the ring, The Usos managed to get a tag before, Langston could gain any momentum from the distraction and the Superkick/Superfly Splash combination got them the win. I'm not too sure about this ending, whilst The Usos worked it well, seeing Langston go down in such a situation doesn't exactly help his monster character that has barely even got going, whilst Fandango's continued cowardly nature, isn't exactly making him look like a threat to anyone, so what is the reason we are supposed to care about him? It was the right decision to give The Usos the win and they are looking really good at the moment, after a strong showing on Raw in the Eleven-on-Three main event, I wouldn't be surprised to see The Usos snatching that tag team gold from around the waist of The Shield's Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns some time soon.

The other match on the show saw an angry Big Show take on World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Winner Damien Sandow. This was essentially a squash match, with Show pulling apart Sandow within a few minutes. Sandow did get some offence in, in terms of a David vs. Goliath style fight back, but seeing as Sandow was playing the heel it didn't really work. Big Show went on to win the match with a Knockout Punch for a pinfall victory. After the bout, Show removed Sandow's briefcase that was handcuffed to the ringpost and placed on Sandow's chest. I thought this was a nice touch to show how Big Show is being effected by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, but apart from that this match didn't really impress. 


My final thoughts on this week's Main Event.

1. Curtis Axel needs to up his game and start bringing the crowd into his matches.

2. Fandango & Big E Langston worked as a one off tag team, but I wouldn't want to see them team up on a regular basis.

3. When Big Show finally flips on Triple H it should be an epic standout moment.

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