Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my weekly Main Event and SmackDown recap list. I always appreciate my loyal readers, but for those of you who are new, each week I recap Main Event and SmackDown with a long list.
The entries are made up of equal parts live observations, humor, recap, play-by-play, revelations, speculations, questions, answers and anything else I notice during the show. I sometimes comment on commercials, too, just because I get bored during them.
I try and interject some fun into these lists, so I hope you have fun reading this week's list of the things we learned, loved and hated from the shows.
1. Is it a consensus that the opening video for Main Event is better than Raw and SmackDown?
Which intro video do you like best?
2. The first WWE telecast of the new year kicks off with Miz and Michael Cole in the ring.
3. Cole talks about how CM Punk has been cleared to defend his title against Ryback on Monday.
4. We get a video package for Antonio Cesaro that highlights his run as US champion thus far.
5. I am a big fan of Cesaro. He has really stepped up as US champion and shown that he is a future main-event player.
6. Cesaro criticizes the video package as he makes his way to the ring.
7. Line of the night: "Where is the nuance? Where is the sophistication?"
8. Miz making fun of his accent and acting all pro-American seems forced.
9. We get a video package for the Great Khali.
10. Whoever put this video together deserves credit for making Khali look interesting.
11. Matt Striker is backstage with Khali, and Hornswoggle and Natalya come up to show their support. Nattie acts very stressed out.
12. Khali gets a USA chant going before he comes out for the match.
13. I have never actually looked forward to a Khali match before this show. I really want to see him get hit with a Neutralizer.
14. The real test would be Big Show. If he could hit that move on Big Show, he would solidify his status as one of the most powerful men in the company. Sheamus lifting him over and over is no longer impressive.
15. The bell rings after a commercial, and Cesaro circles Khali a bit before being pushed down to the mat.
16. Khali puts him in the corner and ends up hitting the big chop to the chest.
17. Cesaro and Hornswoggle have an encounter outside the ring, and Khali brings Cesaro back in the ring the hard way.
18. Cesaro pulls Khali's leg down over the top rope to finally take the big man down.
19. He focuses on the leg of Khali and locks in a leglock.
20. Holy crap! Did Cesaro just use the Indian Deathlock on Khali?
21. I haven't seen that move in a while.
22. Khali hits a big chest chop to get some breathing room as we head to commercial.
23. Wow! Seeing Cesaro hit the Neutralizer on Khali was awesome.
24. Matt Striker interviews Cesaro after the match, and he says he doesn't necessarily hate the US. He just thinks he is superior to all of us.
25. After that show of strength, I am not sure I could argue with him.
26. Miz gets all patriotic again, and he goes back and forth with Cesaro.
27. Oh, yeah. He is in The Marine 3. I guess WWE has to play up the patriotism to hype the movie.
28. Why was "We like sleeping in our own beds" something Miz listed as a thing Americans like?
29. Are the Swiss notorious bed-hoppers?
30. Miz uses his signature catchphrase to say America is awesome.
31. Cole makes a Hacksaw Jim Duggan reference.
32. I don't care what anyone says. I like Cole.
33. We get a video showing Wade Barrett winning the IC title, and he hypes an interview with Kofi Kingston for after the break.
34. Barrett comes out and interrupts the interview after the first question.
35. Kofi says he respects Wade as a competitor, but he made a mistake and he won't make it again.
36. I think Barrett should go back to using the black strap for the IC title. The white strap worked well for Cody Rhodes and Kofi, but it looks a little strange on Barrett.
37. Barrett says the reason he is so pretty is because he has been in some brutal fights in his life.
38. Wade and Kofi have a decent back and forth. The feud looks like it will continue, which is fine with me. I think these two have worked well together considering how vastly different their styles are.
39. We get another Raw recap video of the AJ/Ziggler/Cena story.
40. Wait a second. Didn't Dolph Ziggler date one of the Bellas in real life? Now Cena is dating one, and AJ went from Cena to Ziggler in the storyline.
41. WWE is really filling the void left by all the cancellations of longtime soap operas last year.
42. Maybe this is just because I am not a kid anymore, but I do not find dumping feces on someone to be very funny. Actually, it wasn't funny when I was a kid, either.
43. Something sticks out as funny to me during a commercial for the Best PPV Matches of 2012 DVD.
44. Triple H vs. Undertaker takes the top spot on the cover, and The Rock vs. Cena and Bryan vs. Punk were half the size.
45. Yoshi makes his way out after the break for the gauntlet match.
46. Good lord! Barrett takes Yoshi out with the Bull Hammer in about two seconds.
47. JTG comes out as the second man in the gauntlet.
48. Is JTG a heel or babyface right now? I haven't seen him in so long that I forgot.
49. And am I the only one who kind of misses Cryme Tyme? I feel like they would be great in today's tag team environment.
50. Barrett hits the Bull Hammer for the pin and win over JTG.
51. Nice. Justin Gabriel comes out as the third man.
52. Cole talks about the history between these two men as Gabriel takes Barrett out of the ring following some nice offensive moves.
53. After another break we see that Barrett has gained control of the match.
54. Barrett and Gabriel fight near the announce table, and Kofi stands up just in case he has to fight.
55. That back kick Barrett has been using since he returned from injury is a brutal-looking move.
56. The way Barrett physically controls his opponents reminds me a little of JBL.
57. In a good way.
58. Cole talks about Barrett fighting off an attack and mentions a scar that can be seen under Barrett's right arm.
59. Gabriel gets a near fall after a springboard cross body.
60. He almost messes up a springboard moonsault by landing across Barrett's knees instead of his abdomen.
61. Barrett hits the Bull Hammer for the pin and the win.
62. I guess he is facing more than three men in this match. Kofi's music hits, and he stands up as the final man in the match.
63. Kofi comes in hot and hits all his signatures.
64. Damn! Kofi nails Barrett with the Trouble in Paradise really hard to get the win.
65. So Barrett goes through three men only to lose to a fresh Kofi in under a minute?
66. Regardless of the ridiculous ending to the show, I really enjoyed this episode of Main Event.
67. Cesaro did not disappoint by hitting the Neutralizer on Khali, and Barrett had a great showing in a gauntlet match.
68. Thank God Main Event did not turn out to be another WWE Superstars. I enjoy this show as much or more than the main shows every week.
69. The opening video highlights some recent events like Randy Orton's return and the Del Rio/Big Show feud.
70. What does it say about Orton that I did not even realize he was out injured?
71. He has been booked in such a sporadic way over the past year that not seeing him on the show did not seem odd all those weeks.
72. I am glad he is back, though. I like Orton, and I hope he gets back into the title hunt soon.
73. Orton is sporting more of a beard than we have seen him with before.
74. Orton grabs a mic and says that his resolution for the new year is to be the World champion.
75. He declares his intentions to enter the Royal Rumble match and that brings out Sheamus.
76. Sheamus can't pronounce the "th" sound in 2013.
77. But he can say it in the word Thank You. Odd.
78. Sheamus says he is going to be in the Rumble as well, and they go back and forth a bit.
79. Big Show comes out and says it doesn't matter who wins the Rumble. They won't beat him.
80. Nice. Antonio Cesaro comes out on the ramp.
81. Cesaro mocks the Americans, and Sheamus reminds him that he is Irish, which Cesaro says is even worse.
82. Orton offers to give Cesaro and Show an RKO, and Booker comes out to do his best Teddy Long impression by making a tag match.
83. Josh Mathews hypes a rematch between Kofi and Wade Barrett for the IC title for later tonight.
84. Miz is out after the break.
85. Heath Slater comes out with his bandmates to face Miz in a singles match.
86. JBL equates 3MB to The Spirit Squad.
87. That seems accurate.
88. Drew McIntyre looks hilarious in that hat.
89. Miz and Slater have a pretty standard match for the most part.
90. Miz uses a distraction from 3MB to his advantage, and he is able to keep Slater grounded.
91. D-Mac pulls Miz's leg and he falls down, and the ref throws the other members of 3MB out.
92. Slater gets rolled up for a near fall while he watches his bandmates leave the arena.
93. Some fans yells "You still suck Heath!" really loud when Slater gets out of the ring.
94. I have to comment on this. The commercial for this new show called 1600 Penn that airs during the break really illustrates why NBC was fourth on a four-horse race for a long time.
95. Back to the show.
96. Miz and some fans in the front row have a funny little thing going while Miz punishes Slater outside the ring.
97. This match has gone on longer than I expected it to. That is not a bad thing, since both men are having a decent match.
98. Slater hits a nice kick for a near fall at one point, and it gives me hope that he can add new moves to his routine to keep growing.
99. Miz drops Slater in a side suplex that looked a bit sloppy. I wonder if these guys are getting worn out.
100. Miz ends up hitting some of his signatures, but Slater ends up hitting a nice neckbreaker to get a near fall.
101. This might be the best match of Slater's WWE run so far.
102. Miz ends up hitting the Skull Crushing Finale for the pin and the win.
103. Striker is backstage with Wade Barrett , who says he will beat Kofi in their rematch tonight.
104. Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya are out for a mixed tag match next.
105. Primo, Epico and Rosa are out to face them after the break.
106. Rosa and Nattie start things off.
107. I hate that it takes watching a Khali match in order to see Rosa and Natalya.
108. Hornswoggle ends up hitting two Stunners on Primo and Epico.
109. Khali, Horny and Nattie get the win after Epico takes the pin from Khali.
110. Kofi talks to Striker about his match with Barrett.
111. For some reason I just started imagining Kofi delivering this promo in a Jamaican accent.
112. Remember that nonsense? His intro videos were kind of funny, though.
113. Kofi is out after the break to face Wade Barrett for the IC title.
114. We get some back and forth from the two early on.
115. Barrett focuses on Kofi's ribs with hard rights before taking him down with a clothesline to get a one-count.
116. Kofi gets a bunch of near falls with rollups before taking a hard back kick from Barrett.
117. Kofi low-bridges Barrett to the outside, and then takes him out with a cross body over the top rope.
118. Barrett and Kofi work well together. They have totally different styles that make for an interesting match.
119. Barrett tries to get himself counted out, and Kofi goes out and forces him to get back in the ring.
120. After a commercial, Kofi almost gets counted out but makes it back before the ref reaches 10.
121. Kofi hits the SOS for a near fall.
122. How long has Kofi had those tattoos on his back? I have only noticed them the past few weeks.
123. Kofi misses a Trouble in Paradise and gets caught in a Winds of Change for a two count.
124. Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise, and Barrett manages to roll out of the ring so Kofi has to get him in the ring to pin him.
125. Barrett ends up grabbing the bottom rope to save himself from being pinned.
126. Kofi avoids The Bull Hammer, but Barrett catches him with it when he comes off the middle rope.
127. Barrett gets the pin in another great match in their series of encounters.
128. Hitting people with the elbow out of nowhere is much better than when he used to wind up while holding the opponent by the head.
129. Layla is in the ring for a match when we return.
130. Tamina Snuka is out to face her.
131. Tamina stares Layla down, and when Layla tries to step closer she gets shoved out of the ring.
132. Layla went down a little early during a clothesline.
133. Tamina makes Layla prove her flexibility during a rear headlock.
134. Tamina grabs Layla during her little corner cross body and drops her with a Samoan Drop.
135. Tamina goes up and hits the Superfly Splash for the pin and the win.
136. Average match. I am glad Tamina got the clean win. Hopefully, WWE uses her a little better during this push than they did the first time around.
137. We get yet another recap of Raw, where Cena literally buried Dolph Ziggler and AJ in crap.
138. Am I the only one seeing a commercial for CougarLife.com during SmackDown? Does WWE know what commercials will be shown during their shows?
139. Big Show is out first for the main event.
140. Cesaro and Sheamus start things off and Orton tags in early to take on Cesaro.
141. Orton vs. Cesaro could be an awesome feud.
142. Cesaro kind of has a Jason Statham look, doesn't he?
143. Maybe WWE could produce The Transporter 4 and put Cesaro in the lead role.
144. After a break, we see Sheamus beating the hell out of Cesaro.
145. Big Show comes in off the tag and takes control of the match.
146. I know Big show is huge, but they make a big deal out of every time Sheamus gets him up for White Noise.
147. The included video will show you how many people have been able to get Big Show up over the years.
148. Orton gets the hot tag, and Sheamus ends up tagging himself back in.
149. JBL points out how Orton is pissed Sheamus tagged himself back in.
150. Orton runs in and gives and RKO to Cesaro as Sheamus was going to hit the Brogue Kick.
151. Sheamus reluctantly pins Cesaro and then has a little staredown with Orton.
152. Decent match. The ending was interesting.
153. I would love to see Orton turn heel and win the Rumble for a second time, but I doubt it will happen that way.
154. Tonight's show was about average. There were some good matches and some matches that felt like a waste of time.
155. OK, there was only one match that really wasted out time. Khali and Natalya are the worst storyline in WWE right now.
156. They aren't even a storyline. She just started hanging out with him, and there has really been no story to speak of.
157. Monday's Raw is sure to be interesting with everything that is going on heading into the Rumble.
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