Heading into Wednesday night, many WWE fans were interested to see how the company's new show, Main Event, would be handled. While some observers may still be skeptical about its long-term prospects, I believe the show's overall format and pace will make it a success.
The WWE couldn't have started things off any better, as a champion vs. champion match between CM Punk and Sheamus dominated the inaugural broadcast. I'm usually not a fan of extensive video packages, but the way that Punk and Sheamus were hyped with them and then interviewed seemed to work well.
It almost reminded me of a big-time boxing match, as background is given on each boxer before the fight. The WWE was obviously trying to create that big-bout atmosphere, and I think it did that successfully. The show focused on two of the top guys in the company, and that is the best way to generate interest.
On top of that, the WWE gave us another match with actual storyline significance, as Zack Ryder and Santino Marella defeated Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd in the first round of the tag team tournament to determine the No. 1 contenders for Kane and Daniel Bryan's Tag Team Championship.
That wasn't a huge match by any means, especially since we already know that Rhodes Scholars are going to win that tournament, but it featured some good action and allowed a team that normally doesn't normally get a lot of television time in Gabriel and Kidd to showcase its skills.
To top it all off, it was announced near the end of the show that next week's show would feature Randy Orton taking on Big Show. I'm honestly not a fan of either guy, and their latest SmackDown match didn't exactly captivate me, but Orton remains one of the most popular guys in WWE, and Big Show is the No. 1 contender for the World title. Both guys are relevant, and that should convince viewers of the first show to tune in again.
While WWE did a lot of good things on the first episode of Main Event, it wasn't perfect by any means, and there are some slight improvements that can be made moving forward.
The first thing I would change is making sure the marquee match goes on last. I get that the WWE was trying to keep the viewers engaged by putting Punk vs. Sheamus early in the show, but I believe fans would have hung around to see that match later in the show.
Also, it wouldn't hurt to cut down on the videos and interviews a bit moving forward. It was effective when it came to Punk vs. Sheamus, since a champion vs. champion match is such a big deal, but if things are scaled back to some degree moving forward, then there will be more than enough time for three matches rather than two.
If the WWE gives fans a main event match with brand-name guys, a compelling midcard match and a tag team match every week on Main Event, then more and more people are going to tune in. Then link those matches to storylines that are taking place on Raw and SmackDown, and it pretty much becomes a can't-miss show.
Even if the same exact format from the first show remains in place throughout, I'll still watch. I wouldn't say that it was perfect, but I'm sufficiently convinced that this won't be another case of Superstars, where we get legitimate stars on the first show and things go downhill from there.
We're already guaranteed matches that we could see on Raw or even a pay-per-view over the first two weeks, and it seems like the WWE will make a concerted effort to use upper-tier superstars. If that continues as expected, Main Event should be very lucrative for ION Television.
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