By Chris Aiken | @lariatrope
Airdate: October 30, 2013
WWE Main Event from Tampa on the night before Halloween had the “Monster” Ryback wrecking shop without the mastermind at his side in the featured match with Kofi Kingston. Fittingly this episode airs the evening before All Hallows’ Eve as wrestlers appeared in costume as luchadors and bullfighters doing what amounts to lucha libre in the confines of the WWE style. Also, the show featured a giant in a match against a ballroom dancer and another match with the man that controls the cobra puppet against the frontman of a nonexistent rock band. Happy Halloween.
Ryback beat Kofi Kingston. Without Paul Heyman acting in the handler role, the dynamic of the character is different as Heyman’s antics at ringside add an element to his matches that was not present in this match. Ryback of course used his brute strength to overpower Kofi in the match. Kingston got the advantage at the outset with standing kicks and he backed Ryback into a corner. Ryback simply used his strength to back Kofi into the opposite corner. Still, Kofi escaped and delivered more kicks until Ryback caught him and shoved him down to the mat. Ryback choked him and tried to whip Kofi into the corner but Kofi blocked the Irish whip and started delivering more kicks. Ryback cut him off with a shoulder block then a bodslam. Ryabck missed the Ultimate Warrior splash off the ropes. Kofi kicked at Ryback only to get taken down by a headlock takeover. Kofi broke free with a headscissors reversal and Ryback clubbed him in the back. Ryback bounced off the ropes into an arm drag then bailed out the ring to avoid the trouble in paradise finisher. Kingston used a dropkick through the ropes and a plancha on the outside. Kingston dove over the steps when Ryback tried to whip him into them and then Kingston sprang off the steps with an ax handle. After Kofi rolled Ryback in the ring, Ryback delivered a big boot that sent Kofi off the apron and he was laid out in the cliffhanger spot before a commercial.
After the break, Kofi was trying to make a comeback but Ryback cut him off with a back elbow. In an interesting spot, Ryback used a delayed jackhammer then ever so briefly mocked Goldberg. The reference was slight but there. They exchanged chops until Ryback rammed Kofi into the corner. Ryback perched Kofi on the top rope and sent Kofi flying out of the corner with a biel throw. Ryback killed some time then used an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Ryback applied the Jesse Ventura “Body Breaker” submission but Kofi escaped and ended up on the apron where he did a springboard off the top rope only to get caught with a spinebuster by Ryback. Kofi blocked the meathook clothesline and flipped into delivering a DDT on Ryback. Kingston made a comeback with a dropkick and a clothesline to set up the boom drop. Ryback blocked the trouble in paradise and Kofi flipped into a schoolboy rollup. Ryback walked into a kick through the ropes in a corner and Kofi hit a very high crossbody off the top rope. Ryback tripped up Kingston then climbed to the second rope. Kofi got a boot up when Ryback dove off then Kofi hit a springboard missile dropkick. Ryback caught Kingston on a crossbody and dropped him across the top rope followed by a lariat and the shellshock for the pin.
Following the match, a replay from Raw showed highlights of Damien Sandow’s unsuccessful cash in of his Money in the Bank briefcase in a match where commentator Josh Matthews said new World Champion John Cena “proves once again why he is the franchise player in WWE”. Matthews also voiced over a plug for Cena appearing on Smackdown. Afterwards, another emotional public service announcement aired promoting breast cancer awareness and Susan G. Komen.
Santino Marella beat Heath Slater (with Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre). Just before the match began, the announcer plugged a Zombie feature on the WWE website. If you visited the website instead of watching the match you did not miss much. They did some comedy spots. At one point, Santino got hung on the ropes and intentionally struggled in trying to skin the cat and eventually made it back in the ring only to get immediately punched and knocked down. Heath climbed up the turnbuckles but Santino rolled out of range so Heath went to the opposite corner and climbed up. Santino rolled out of the way again then Heath fed into a Santino comeback. Santino put on the cobra sleeve and Mahal tried to interfere. The cobra struck. Heath missed a splash in the corner. The cobra struck. Santino was victorious via pinfall. Moderate jubilation ensued.
Triple H announced Big Show is banned from WWE for life. Beforehand, the “Raw Rebound” featured Big Show crashing the Randy Orton WWE championship victory celebration. Afterwards in a sit-down interview, Michael Cole read David Otunga’s legal opinion concerning Big Show’s storyline lawsuit. HHH called Otunga’s opinion irrelevant and referred to Cole as “Geraldo” before announcing Big Show was banned for life from WWE.
Fandango (with Summer Rae) beat Great Khali (with Natalya & Hornswaggle). Khali took most of the offense in a match that was short yet still too long in length. Khali chopped Fandango several times and he bailed out of the ring. At ringside, Fandango grabbed Hornswaggle by the lapels but Khali made the save with an overhand chop. Fandango tripped up Khali in the ropes and worked over the leg. After climbing the turnbuckles, Fandango dove off into a chop by Khali and ran into a back elbow. Summer Rae caused a distraction and Natalya pulled her off the apron and gave her a clothesline on the floor. Fandango delivered a chop block to Kahli’s knee and hit the legdrop off the top rope for the pin.
Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando with El Torito) beat Los Locales (Ricardo under a mask along with an unnamed partner). Diego started the match with El Local (Ricardo) and they exchanged armbars. They did some lucha spots but still worked on the left side instead of the right like true lucha style. Fernando tagged in and the bullfighters tried a double team hip toss into a backbreaker on Local that was somewhat botched. Local’s unnamed partner tagged in and did some chain wrestling until Fernando did a flying headscissors takeover. (The unnamed partner could have been Tyson Kidd under a mask but that is pure speculation on my part.) Local made a blind tag and tied up Fernando in the ropes, which allowed the unnamed partner to deliver double flying knees. Los Locales cut off the ring and the unnamed partner did a cool rolling snap mare into a kick. Torito interfered freely by doing a springboard dive over the unnamed partner and Torito sidestepped a charge (so the bull did the bullfighters’ gimmick), which cause Los Locales to collide. Torito dove off the top rope into a hurricanrana on El Local on the outside. Fernando made the hot tag to Diego and he ran wild with Mil Mascaras flying headbutts. Diego gave the unnamed partner a monkey flip and did the banderillas strike (based on the banderilleros stage of a bullfight which is sets up the final stage). Diego tagged in and the bullfighter used their double team fallaway slam finisher for the pin.