January 20, 2013
Kevin Hensley

WWE Main Event
January 9, 2012 (Taped January 8, 2012)
Miami, FL
Commentators: Michael Cole & The Miz

Hello, I am loving thehistoryofwwe.com, and for that reason, I want to help out Graham to his continued success of the website. That said, I look forward to providing an attempt at recapping WWE Main Event each week. I only have two things I’m going to try and set apart from other recaps you might see on the World Wide Web.

I will not run a stopwatch through commercial breaks, so the match times I list will only be TV time the match aired, and

I will not listen to Michael Cole & The Miz, I will have enough of a task trying to keep up with the moves as they happen, so I won’t have time to tune in to the commentary. Sorry!

Now, let’s see if we can get this review on the road!

-Video profile of Sheamus, well done as usual, transitions into Dolph Ziggler without going back to commentary. Nice.

-Matt Striker interviews Sheamus, asking him if he fears Ziggler will cash in that MITB contract before Sheamus regains belt. Sheamus puts over Ziggler’s in-ring talent, but says that Ziggler is afraid to pull the trigger on the cash in. This, despite Ziggler attempting several times already without fully cashing it in, but whatever.

-Dolph is shown walking through the backstage area, heading to the ring, flanked by AJ & Big E. Langston. Josh Matthews stops him to ask a question, but Langston grabs the mic and intimidates Matthews into running away with just a few short words. Good way to put over Langston as physically imposing.

-Sheamus is out first. Decent pop. During his entrance, a replay from 2 weeks ago on Raw of the Sheamus/Ziggler match that was interrupted by The Shield airs, with emphasis on the fact that’s why we’re getting the re-match tonight. We’re going to break before Dolph comes out.

[Commercial Break]

-Before we go back to the ring, a Royal Rumble promo featuring the Rock airs.

-Dolph Ziggler comes out. Plants a kiss on AJ before walking down the ramp, accompanied by Big E. and that crazy, gorgeous AJ. Ziggler is sporting a shiner over his eye from his match with John Cena on the 1/7 Raw. Mike Chioda rings the bell, and we’re off!

Sheamus VS Dolph Ziggler
-Collar and elbow tie-up, clean break on ropes. Tie-up, Ziggler go behind with a waistlock, Sheamus with a drop toe hold to escape that. Wow, Sheamus with a wrestling move. More chain wrestling as Sheamus picks up Ziggler with a front facelock, Sheamus wrenches in an armbar, steps on it when Ziggler goes down. Back to the armbar, Sheamus runs Dolph into the turnbuckle, arm first. Sheamus goes for a pin, 2-count. Sheamus with an overhand wristlock, Ziggler gets out, punch and kick on Sheamus, down in corner. Ziggler works out Shemmy in the corner with more kicks and punches, Ziggler stops to taunt Sheamus, Sheamus runs out with a vicious clothesline to stop that nonsense. Sheamus picks him up for a one-arm scoop slam, held Ziggler for 5-6 seconds. Sheamus off the ropes with a legdrop that was beautifully executed. Hulk is taking notes somewhere… Sheamus gets a 2-count. Sheamus looks to be motivated tonight, in a zone and not smiling as much, like he’s actually taking this seriously. He just smiles too much, that’s all I’m saying, and it makes him look like he’s not focused on things when he does. He’s a face, I get that, but still, come on. Anyway, there’s my rant for the night. Back to the match, Sheamus runs Ziggler into the turnbuckle face first, then back to work on the arm, as he wrenches Ziggler’s arm over the ropes to add pressure. Wow, on top of chain wrestling, we’re getting PSYCHOLOGY. Let’s see if it sticks. Sheamus breaks, then does it again. Ziggler kicks Sheamus to get out of the corner, Sheamus returns the favor with kicks and punches, Sheamus whips Ziggler into the ropes, Ziggler ducks the clothesline, and Sheamus catches him off the bounce with a weak flapjack. Not sure what happened there, Ziggler got about 6 inches off the ground. Sheamus down, gets a 2-count. Ziggler still selling the arm, wonderful. Sheamus chokes Ziggler with his boot, gets called off when Ziggler gets into the ropes. Sheamus again slams Zig into the turnbuckle, then Irish whips him (boy, an Irishman using an Irish whip, that doesn’t happen often in a WWE ring,) Ziggler leaps frogs Sheamus, kicks Sheamus in the shin, bounces off the ropes and misses a Fameasser as Sheamus tosses him away, off the Irish whip and Ziggler turns a 180 to get out of there before Sheamus can nail that Brogue Kick. Sheamus stands tall in the ring as we go to break at 3:57.

[Commercial Break]

-Before we get back to the match, we get a WWE Shop commercial, shilling t-shirts, hats, and DVDs.

-Back to the match now, and Dolph has Sheamus down in the corner with a flurry of kicks and punches. Sheamus comes out of the corner, picks Dolph up, slams him into the corner for a reversal, and commences to put a CLUBBERIN’ on Dolph until the ref pulls off. Sorry, had to channel my inner Dusty there for a minute. Sheamus picks Dolph up in a fireman’s carry, and rolls through with it to put Dolph down on the mat. Sheamus gets a 2-count. Sheamus sells frustration on the lack of a 3-count. Sheamus stomps Dolph’s right hand, then picks him up for the Irish whip. Sheamus puts his head down, and Dolph catches him with a SWEET swinging neckbreaker. Dolph then picks Sheamus up for a STANDING neckbreaker, and nails it. Beautiful. 1-count on Sheamus is all he can get. Dolph works out Sheamus in the corner, and sticks his foot on Sheamus’s throat. Dolph hits a Stinger Splash, gets a 2-count. Ziggler locks in a reverse chinlock, and rides him down. That didn’t look as perverted as it sounds. Ziggler gains extra leverage by doing a headstand, then bridges forward before riding back into the mounted position for the chinlock. Sheamus works his way up with Dolph on his back, and slams him back to break the hold. Both men down and hurt. Sheamus gets up and runs at Dolph, but Dolph hits a drop toe-hold into the second rope, then catches Sheamus with a dropkick for another 2-count. Zig locks in another reverse chinlock to wear him down some more. Sheamus gets up to a vertical base, nails the three punches to the gut, then gets caught with the all-too-familiar knee to the gut to flip Sheamus back down to the mat. Wow, if I had a nickel for every time that spot has been hit in a wrestling match, I could retire NOW. It’s a sweet old-school spot, but Sheamus didn’t do his homework, apparently. There, got Gorilla and Dusty into the same recap. Both men selling their midsections well, considering the punches, kicks, etc. we’ve had in this match. Keeping up the psychology, except a different body part. At least it’s there. Ziggler gets a 2-count. Sheamus struggling for breath with the chinlocks in mind, but catches Ziggler with punches to fight back. Irish whip into the corner, and again, Sheamus hit the textbook! You guessed it, Dolph leapfrogged him in the corner and Sheamus hit the ringpost shoulder first. Dolph goes for another Stinger Splash, and it misses as Sheamus moves out of the corner, runs into the ropes and hits the double-hand sledge to the face. And again. Sheamus runs him again into the corner face-first, hits the ropes and hits a SWEET knee lift, knocking Zig out on his feet. Sheamus picks him up for WHITE NOISE, Ziggler gets loose and lands on the apron. Ziggler tries to shoulder Sheamus in the gut, Sheamus blocks away and COMMENCES to pound that chest for Zig 10 times. Ouch. AJ and Big E move over to check on Ziggler, and suddenly Sheamus comes off with a SHOULDERBLOCK off the apron. Ziggler bounces like only he can, and we’re off to another break at 10:38.

[Commercial Break]

-Once again, before we get back to the match, an ad for the Raw 20th anniversary show on January 14th in Houston.

-Match is joined again, as Sheamus runs into a Ziggler elbow in the corner. Dolph kicks him, jumps up and gets caught in a slam position by Sheamus, Ziggler gets down and pushes Sheamus to the apron. Ring awareness is coming in handy as well, here. Dolph kicks Sheamus on the apron, HEADBUTTS him, then Sheamus punches Ziggler a few times. Sheamus attempts to catapult over the top rope and shoulderblock Ziggler again, but Ziggler JUMPS OVER SHEAMUS IN MID-MOVE AND HITS A MODIFIED X-FACTOR! Awesome. Ziggler gets another 2-count, though. Bummer. Both men slow to get up again, selling fatigue well. At this point, they’re probably not selling, though. Exhausting to call and exhausting to perform, I’m sure. Ziggler and Sheamus trade blows, Sheamus gets the upper hand (duh,) Ziggler kicks Sheamus to stop the beating, off the ropes and Sheamus catches him with a BOSSMAN SLAM BACKBREAKER. Instead of the back hitting the mat, it hits Sheamus’ knee. Sweet! Both men sweating profusely. Sheamus picks up Zig for another attempt at WHITE NOISE, but Ziggler jumps down his back, attempts a sunset flip, Sheamus blocks that, slams Ziggler down and locks in the IRISH CURSE (Texas cloverleaf.) Sheamus tries to determine what to do next, Ziggler rolls on the apron. Sheamus attempts a suplex, Ziggler drops down to throat Sheamus again. Ziggler goes up top and hits a phenomenal MISSILE DROPKICK off the top rope. Owen Hart-like. Both men hurt, Ziggler can’t capitalize and cover Sheamus right away. When he does, you guessed it, LONG 2-count. Replay of that awesome dropkick. Neither man can get up right away. Sheamus props up on the bottom turnbuckle, and Ziggler gets up and charges, only to get a kick to his leg for his trouble. I can’t emphasize enough how great the psychology is in this match, very rare this days in WWE. Sheamus does a FLIPPING PULL-UP to get on the top rope, but Ziggler channels his inner Shelton Benjamin, leaps to the top rope before Sheamus can move and connects with a FREAKIN’ TOP ROPE DDT. THAT. WAS. EPIC. Ziggler quick to get the pin this time, but still, only 2. Irishmen love to fight, and NOT DIE. Both men stay down a while after that, and for good reason. Ziggler gets up on “spaghetti legs” (Joey Styles, thank you,) and goes for another FAMEASSER, but Sheamus catches up in mid-air and hits a weak Alabama Slam. Justified, as both men look about ready to pass out now. Sheamus goes up top, and hits a SHOULDERBLOCK on Ziggler, flipping him over on his stomach. Sheamus goes for the cover, but Ziggler kicks out! WHAT A MATCH! Sheamus builds up some crowd support, and pounds his chest to measure ZIG for the BROGUE KICK, but Dolph ducks, goes for a high kick, Sheamus ducks it and then connects with the BROGUE KICK! However, Ziggler’s ring awareness shows again, as he rolls to the floor. Chioda begins the count, and at about six, Sheamus goes out to get him, but Big E. steps next to Zig to have Sheamus back down. Not sure if that’s what Sheamus did, but Sheamus rolls back in to beat the 10 count, but Ziggler stays out for the Countout.

-After the match, Sheamus and Big E. have a staredown, and Sheamus calls for Langston to come in the ring. Big E. teases it, then backs away with that cocky “I’m not going to waste my time with you” look. Sheamus stands tall in the ring as replays show the highlights of the match.

WINNER: Sheamus by Countout in 17:26. Probably the best singles match Main Event has produced in its short time, and I’ve watched every episode since its debut 3 months ago. This match would’ve got a 4.5 if not for the couple of weak spots in the match where moves didn’t get executed properly. As always, Ziggler bounced around like a pinball and made Sheamus look good, but at the same time, Sheamus brought his working boots tonight and WRESTLED. Proud to have watched this one, so we’ll give it ****/5.

-Before the next commercial, we get a graphic for our next match, Wade Barrett VS Zack Ryder, then a graphic for the CM Punk/Rock promo from the 1/7 Raw on the “Raw Rebound.”

-Finally, before commercial, we get an ad for the WWE “Best PPV Matches of 2012” DVD.

[Commercial Break. During the break, we see a promo for John Cena on Main Event. During Main Event. Wonder if ION plugs it other than during an episode of Main Event…]

-Back from break, and we get a WWE Did You Know Graphic on the number of Facebook page followers. Top of the list? You guessed it, John Cena.

-An aerial shot of Miami, with coverage sponsored by DirecTV. Maybe the first time WWE had a sponsor for their city shots.

-Now we go to the Raw Rebound, with the CM Punk/Rock promo from the 1/7 Raw. I’m sure as this review ages, many people will discuss the promo for its pros and cons, so I won’t detail it, but I will say this: For those of us that watched it when it happened live that night, The Rock had some silly humor and name calling mixed in. When this Raw Rebound aired, they edited all that out, and left in just the serious parts of The Rock’s promo, with the confidence of CM Punk mixed in. Much better decision to drive home the importance of their impending Royal Rumble Match.

-A graphic shows on the screen for The Rock’s return to Smackdown! this Friday night for the first time in I believe 11 years. Yep, he hasn’t been on the show named after his catchphrase in 11 years. Let that sink in for a moment….and,

-Wade Barrett’s music hits, and out comes the Intercontinental Champion for a non-title match. Next out is Zack Ryder, to a good pop as always.

Wade Barrett VS Zack Ryder
-Ryder gets a “Woo Woo Woo” chant going before locking up with Barrett. Collar and elbow tie-up to start things off here as well, Barrett gets an armbar, and works it, so well that he takes Ryder down to the mat with it, Ryder up and reverses it into an armbar of his own. Barrett elbows Ryder to reverse into a hammerlock, then a side headlock, but Ryder quickly reverses into a waistlock. Wade pushes Zack back in the corner to break the hold, and nails Zack with a few elbows to the head. Barrett hits a snapmare, goes for the pin, gets 2. Wade with a front facelock on Zack, puts Ryder in the corner. Ryder elbows Barrett, goes to the second rope, jumps over a charging Barrett, and Wade turns around right into a BEAUTIFUL Ricky Steamboat arm drag. Well done. Ryder works the arm until Barrett gets up, knees Zack in the gut, Irish whip and Barrett hits a shoulderblock. Wade jumps over Zack, Ryder leap frogs and when he lands, Wade simply stops and kicks Ryder in the stomach. Nice. Barrett picks him up, kick and punch then hits a pumphandle slam on Ryder, gets a 2 count. Wade picks Zack back up, lands a kick, pushes him into the corner, ties Ryder’s arm over the top rope and behind his back, so he can’t hit him back, and punches Ryder a few times in the face. Clever move by Barrett. Ryder fights his way out with punches, whips Barrett into the ropes, and hits a flapjack that looks about 1,000 times better than the one from the Sheamus/Ziggler match earlier. Ryder gets a 2 count. Ryder locks in a front facelock on Barrett while he’s down, but Wade gets up quickly, pushes Zack into the ropes, and lands a shoulder thrust to the stomach of Ryder. Barrett hits an epic EUROPEAN UPPERCUT, one that lifts Ryder off his feet. Wade picks him up, stomps him back down because he just flat out doesn’t like Jersey boys, I guess. Barrett whips Ryder into the corner, charges in, Ryder attempts to get the legs up but Barrett simply grabs them, throws Ryder over the ropes to the apron, grabs him and cracks his back against the ring ropes to put Ryder on the floor. That was innovative. Barrett stands tall as we go to commercial 3:48 into the match.

[Commercial Break]

-ONE LAST AD BEFORE WE OUT! WWE makes sure to get those promos in, this one for WWE on YouTube, which has actually produced some pretty entertaining programming. Not all of it, but most of it.

-Back to the match now, and Barrett is working Ryder over on the ropes, choking him with his knee, then places Ryder between the second and top rope and pounds away, backs off for a second, then charges and lands a boot flush to the face of Ryder, to send him back down to the floor. If Ryder could ever stop lying on the floor, then he might have a fighting chance. Ryder gets back up on the apron, and Barrett suplexes him in and floats over for a 2 count. Wade locks in a chinlock on Zack, and Zack attempts to fight out of it. He gets back up, and GUESS WHAT? Three punches and a bounce off the ropes sees Barrett land the KNEE IN THE GUT. I could’ve already made 10 cents tonight. Wade bounces off the ropes and lands an elbow drop, gets a 2 count. Barrett gets up, stomps Ryder, goes to the second rope and lands a flying elbow drop. Again, only 2. Wade then locks in a reverse chinlock, to show there’s no seconds off for the Broski. Ryder works his way up, hits the three punches, then my next nickel goes away as Barrett simply clubs Ryder on the back to stop that punching nonsense. Wade whips Zack into the ropes, puts his head down too early WHICH WE ALL KNOW YOU JUST CAN’T DO, and Ryder takes advantage, slamming Barrett’s head into the mat. Zack back up, lands an elbow to Wade’s head, runs to the corner, catches Wade coming in with the knees (it worked this time!) and goes to the second rope to land a dropkick. Ryder had some momentum against the IC champ. Zack charges Wade in the corner and lands a flying fist, Barrett drops down. Zack calls for the BROSKI KICK, but ring awareness is back as Wade rolls out, has Zack chase him back in, Ryder ducks a clothesline and Wade hits a BOSSMAN SLAM! Sweet! Only gets a 2 count though. Barrett is frustrated that didn’t get the 3. Wade picks up Zack, going for a suplex, Zack flips over and flows into a NECKBREAKER! LONG 2 count this time. Another good match here, if the WWE would give this kind of attention to matches on Raw, there wouldn’t be so much complaining. Just saying. Anyway, Ryder tries to pick Barrett up, but Wade pushes him into the corner, charges in and gets a dropkick to the knee for his troubles. Erik Watts, you’re off the hook. Wade is down in the corner, which means Zack can try for the BROSKI KICK again, and it connects this time. Cover, 1, 2, 2.99999999. Ryder slams his hands on the mat, gets up and prepares to hit the ROUGH RYDER, but Wade throws him over his head in mid-move and Zack…kinda, sorta grazes the top rope. WWE did a good job making it look like that meant to happen. Wade takes advantage and Ryder runs right into the BULL HAMMER elbow. That’s good for the 3 count.

WINNER: Wade Barrett in 8:45. These men put on a good match, hurt only by the fact that some of the spots had already been used by Sheamus & Dolph earlier. For that reason, this match gets 2.5*/5.

-Barrett celebrates with the IC belt, while a replay shows some highlights of the match.

-We get a graphic announcing next week’s Main Event, Randy Orton VS Antonio Cesaro. Let’s see if Cesaro can motivate Orton, like Dolph did for Sheamus tonight.

-Back to the ring to watch Wade celebrate more, as we sign off.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ll give this show an overall grade of 3.5*/5. The matches were great, only a few botches, which did affect the score, as well as some re-hash in the 2nd match. More variety, a higher score. Still, a great night of wrestling on what continues to be the best show WWE televises weekly.

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