Airdate: October 9, 2013
By Chris Aiken | @lariatrope
WWE Main Event from Columbus, OH was a stark contrast to the very first episode of the program that aired a little over a year ago. On the debut episode that aired on October 3, 2012, the format was similar to the original Saturday Night's Main Event of the 1980s with the featured match of the show opening the program. That format has remained largely the same throughout the show's run so far. However, the quality of the main events went from a WWE champion vs. world champion match that could have been the top match on a pay-per-view for the debut episode to this week with the equivalent of a pre-show tag team match before a PPV.
CM Punk vs. Sheamus in a WWE champion vs. world champion match was the main event on the first show and this week featured a handicap tag team match with 3MB vs. Tons of Funk. The tag match was good but the difference in the marquee value of it and the champion vs. champion match is quite different. Rarely does the show feature any true marquee matches as it did in the past. Likewise, the company's top star, John Cena, wrestled once on the show but him and most other top stars are usually only featured in recap segments. Top stars are rarely featured in actual matches on a show titled "Main Event" unless it is a replay from another show.
Nevertheless, the show itself is usually very well produced like most WWE programming and the matches tend to be good. The featured matches were even plugged during Raw broadcasts for several months into the show's run. However, plugs for Main Event on WWE programs are almost nonexistent except for ads on the show itself that Ion, which airs the show, also runs on its network. Still, the show is mostly filler programming that is far from appointment viewing.
Basically, the show became far less important in the WWE Universe than it was a year ago.
Main Event opened with Tons of Funk dancing to ring lead by Naomi and Cameron followed by the entrance of 3MB. Josh Matthews provided commentary along with Alex Riley, who had his left arm in a sling due to shoulder surgery.
Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal beat Brodus Clay & Sweet T in a three-on-two handicap tag team match. Slater and Clay started the match playing cat-and-mouse until Clay caught Slater and gave him some bodyslams. Sweet T and Mahal tagged in and Tensei overpowered Jinder. Sweet T gave Mahal a monkey flip out of a corner followed by a delayed butterfly suplex for a nearfall. Tons of Funk did a double team back elbow and made a few quick tags. Sweet T missed a splash in the corner and caught a running knee from Mahal. McIntyre tagged in and also hit a running knee. 3MB got heat on Sweet T. Slater dropkicked his knee and applied a chinlock. T made a comeback and sent Slater over the top rope to the floor before McIntyre rolled him back in the ring so Slater could tag Mahal. T made the hot tag and Clay ran wild with a running headbutt, a suplex, an Irish whip and a splash in the corner on Mahal. While flapping his arms like a bird, Clay climbed to the second rope and hit a splash but McIntyre made the save for a nearfall. Sweet T threw McIntyre over the top rope and gave chase. Mahal tagged Slater but Clay was unware and Slater hit a kick. Slater did a corkscrew splash over the top rope from the apron for the pin.
After plugs for the CM Punk vs. Ryback and Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell came a short divas match.
Tamina Snuka beat Aksana. With both being heels, the crowd was quiet and not quiet like a Japanese crowd. They were dead.The announcers put over Tamina's new partnership with AJ Lee. They did not actually say this but she doing the Diesel bodyguard gimmick. Tamina even had an AJ t-shirt under her leather vest she worked in. Tamina got the advantage at the outset until she missed a charge in the corner and Aksana grounded her. Aksana used a sidewalk slam but got caught with a kick while crawling around on the canvas. Tamina made a comeback and used a knee drop as Riley on commentary mentioned her upcoming role in the movie "Hercules". Tamina applied a chinlock only for Aksana to make a comeback and use a swinging neckbreaker. Aksana missed a dropkick and Tamina used a gutbuster and hit a big boot for the pin.
Afterwards, a recap from Raw featured the angle with Stephanie McMahon firing Big Show.
Big E Langston beat Zack Ryder. Big E overpowered Ryder early on and grabbed him by the throat. He backed Ryder into a corner and Ryder was perched on the turnbuckles when he kicked free. They did a long side headlock spot putting over the strength of Langston. Meanwhile, the announcers talked about the Cesaro swing because strength came up as a topic. Ryder made a comeback and hit a flying forearm smash then a dropkick and Big E bailed out of the ring. Ryder dropkicked him through the ropes before a commercial break.
After the break, Ryder had Big E down on the mat with a front facelock. Langston powered out then punched Ryder in the gut and he sold it big. Big E worked over the ribs and used a shoulder block in the corner. Langston applied a bearhug before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex. Ryder started a comeback after getting his knee up when Big E charged into the corner and hit a missile dropkick off the second rope. Ryder hit a broski boot and Big E bailed as Ryder gave chase. Langston rammed Ryder into the barricade and bounced him off the ring into a clothesline on the floor. Back in the ring, Ryder got a nearfall with a sunset flip and did an elbow smash twice into the corner. He got caught with on the third attempt and slammed down. Big E hit a lariat clothesline and pulled down the straps before hitting the Big Ending finisher for the pin.
Following the match and a plug for Alberto Del Rio vs. the returning John Cena at Hell in a Cell, a replay aired of the pseudo-match and angle from Monday night with Del Rio injuring Ricardo. The closing segment on the show was the closing angle from Raw where Big Show gave Triple H the KO punch.