January 19, 2013
Kevin Hensley

WWE Main Event Review
January 16, 2013 (Taped January 15, 2013)
San Antonio, TX
Commentators: Michael Cole & The Miz, Cole & a special guest for last match

-Another Wednesday night, another WWE Main Event on ION Television! After Michael Cole & The Miz introduce the show and throw it immediately to our first match!

1. Randy Orton VS WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (non-title match)

-During Cesaro's entrance, we see clips from the 20th Anniversary of Raw, where The "Nature Boy" Ric Flair attacks Cesaro when Antonio interrupted Miz TV, only to see Miz put the figure-four on Cesaro instead of Flair. Right...anyway, match begins, and we get a collar and elbow tie-up, Orton grabs a side headlock and takes Cesaro down. Cesaro breaks free and cracks his neck, sick! Another lockup, Cesaro gets the headlock this time. Orton gets up and sweeps Cesaro down with a drop toe-hold and rides it into a front facelock. Both men back up and another standoff. Lockup again, and they go around the ring jocking for position. Good intensity. Cesaro finally pushes Orton into the corner, Charles Robinson calls for a clean break, but NO, says Cesaro, punching and kicking Orton. Antonio brings Randy Orton, Irish whip, Orton ducks a clothesline and hits a Lou Thesz Press and begins to hammer away at Cesaro. Antonio breaks free and rolls to the corner. Orton hits a European Uppercut to Cesaro, stalks Antonio, works on him in the corner a little, another uppercut, down goes Cesaro. Cover, 1, 2, no. Randy grabs the reverse chinlock, Antonio gets up and Randy switches to a side headlock. Cesaro pushes him off and shoulderblocks Orton down. Randy rolls outside, Antonio follows and pummels him, then drops him throat-first across the safety rail. Picks Orton back up, hits an uppercut and pushes Orton back in the ring. Cover, 1, 2, no. Antonio gets an Irish whip, Orton reverses and grabs Antonio and throws him over the top rope. Randy slams Cesaro's head into the apron twice, then uses the railing to HIS advantage this time, dropping him back-first across it. Randy tries to catch Antonio as he rolls back in and out, but Antonio grabs Randy and throws him into the steel steps. We go to break at 5:10 into the match.

[Commercial Break]

-Back from break, and Cesaro has Orton in a reverse chinlock. Randy gets up, hits the three punches, and off the ropes...geez, didn't ANYONE read the recap last week? It never works for the babyface! At least Antonio changes things up, hitting a double-axe to the face instead of the knee to the gut. Cesaro picks Orton up, dead-weight, and hits a gutwrench suplex. Cover, 1, 2, nada. Antonio works over Randy in the corner, then heads up top. Wrestling 101 dictates the heel will fail, and alas, Orton comes in and nails him to put a stop to it. However, as Orton attempts a superplex, Antonio fights him off, knocks him down, and as Randy gets back up, Cesaro comes off with a beautiful double axe handle across the back. Wow, Antonio got some air time on that. Cover, 1, 2, not just yet. Antonio locks in a modified Cobra Clutch while Randy is down, and works that for a bit. Orton finally back up, nails the punches and elbows, off the ropes, and Cesaro catches him with a sit-out scoop slam. When will the good guys learn? Cover, 1, 2, no. Antonio complains to Charles Robinson about the count, then tries again for another 2 count. Cesaro gets another chinlock, third one tonight if you're keeping score. Orton powers out, whips Antonio in, gets reversed, and IT'S THE DREADED KNEE TO THE GUT! Brownie points for the change in sequence, but Orton is 0-3 tonight on comebacks from a rest hold. Cesaro gets a 2-count, then another rest hold, this time using Orton's left arm to choke Randy. That's four (rest holds.) Randy gets up and successfully stops all this rest hold nonsense with a standing dropkick. That's one way to avoid the knee to the gut. Randy picks Antonio up, sits him on the top rope, climbs up and go ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP FOR THE SUPERPLEX! Ouch. That moves hurts as much as ever. Both men down. Orton slow to cover, finally does, gets a 2 count. We go to break another break at 11:54 into the match.

[Commercial Break]

-And we're back, with Antonio & Randy trading blows. Orton wins, unsurprisingly. Cesaro reverses an Irish whip and locks in a sleeper hold. Good grief, five restholds! Randy works his way back up and out, and catches Antonio coming in with a powerslam. Randy builds some momentum with clotheslines, throws Cesaro out to the apron for the 2nd rope DDT, Antonio gets loose, but Orton grabs him and cracks him across the top rope, pulls him back in and gets a 2 count. Both men back up, and Orton bounces off the ropes, but Antonio throws Orton in the air and catches him on the way down with a European Uppercut! Nice. 1, 2, almost. Cesaro sells frustration over not being able to put Orton away. Antonio picks Randy up, headbutts him, into the corner and hits a high knee to Orton's face, jumps to the second rope to attempt another double axe handle, but Randy hits him in mid-air with a dropkick! Good sequence. Antonio crawls to the apron and tries to fight back by running Randy into the ringpost, but Orton reverses and Cesaro eats the post instead. Now, Orton sets up for that 2nd rope DDT and nails it this time. Randy gets some crowd momentum, begins teasing the RKO, but suddenly, The Shield makes an appearance through the crowd and surrounds the ring. The Miz leaves commentary and enters the ring to help Randy, and The Shield tease leaving, but realize it's 3-on-2, so they attack.

-The Shield destroys The Miz and hits the triple spike powerbomb on Orton. After they leave, Antonio comes in and hits the Neutralizer on The Miz, then stands tall with his belt as replays show the end of the match.

-Winner: No Contest at 18:00. The referee bailed out, never called for the bell, so I stopped the watch when The Shield made contact with Randy. As for the match, it was slow, plodding, which seems to be every Orton match. Excessive use of restholds, combined with the choppiness, I'll be generous and give this match ***/5.

-Before we go to commercial, we get a graphic teasing the Raw Rebound, then an ad for the Royal Rumble.

[Commercial Break]

-Before we come back from break, an ad for The Best of Raw & Smackdown 2012 DVD airs.

-Back from break, we get an exterior shot of San Antonio, then go to the Raw Rebound, which shows the end of the 20th Anniversary of Raw, where we were treated to The Rock Concert III, followed by a pull-apart brawl between Rock & CM Punk. As always, the WWE made this package look better and feel more important than it did when it happened live.

-We see a graphic for the CM Punk VS The Rock match for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble.

-The Prime Time Players then make their way out, and during their entrance, Brad Maddox comes out and joins Michael Cole on commentary (since Miz was destroyed by The Shield earlier.) Cole objects to this, in FACE mode mind you, and continues to do so the rest of the show. Good banter between the two, and Maddox is playing his role great IMO. The PTP dance in the ring as we go to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

-Before we come back from break, we get a shill on WWEShop.com.

-Back from break, the Players are still in the ring, until being interrupted by The Usos, who do their tribal dance before heading to the ring for our last match of the night.

2. The Prime Time Players VS The Usos

-As this recap is running long, and not a lot going on in this tag match, I'll summarize. The Usos use some effective double-teaming early on, until PTP does the same, then Usos knock Darren Young out of the ring, hit a stereo baseball slide to knock him down again, and Titus O'Neill blows his whistle as we go to break, for the last time tonight!

[Commercial Break]

-Back from break, and more back and forth until PTP corners an Uso in their corner and work him over for a while. Finally, the other Uso gets a hot tag, and goes crazy on everyone. After a brawl between the four men in the match, Young goes down, one of the Usos goes up top and hits the Superfly Splash for the 3 count.

Winners: The Usos at 8:34. About 5 minutes of it spent punching and kicking, hence why I only summarized. Still, hot finish, so we'll go *1/2/5.

-The Usos stand tall in the ring as we sign off.

FINAL THOUGHTS: After last week's tremendous show, this week's...kinda slid by without much impact, except for The Shield attack, which came off well as usual. Overall, this show gets **1/2/5.

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