By Chris Aiken
Airdate: January 15, 2013
WWE Main Event from Worcester, MA featured a collection of matches that included Ryback entering the scene, marching around the ring during every match and leaving for no apparent reason. The show opened with memorial graphics dedicated to Mae Young. A recap from Raw highlighted Kofi Kingston winning a non-title match over WWE World Champion Randy Orton. On commentary, the announcers discussed the upset victory. Notably, Tom Phillips was the lead announcer on the show and provided what amounts to play-by-play in the contemporary form of WWE broadcasting. He tried to tell the story of the match instead of calling moves and such. Alex Riley returned to provide color commentator and identified many of the more advanced moves in the matches. Liken it to being the proverbial sauce on the steak that was Phillip’s storytelling abilities. Like a night at Ribera Steakhouse but less entertaining. They promised after the match an update on the condition of John Cena’s dad. Real classy plug to keep the viewer hooked. Spoiler alert: he is going to be alright eventually after he heals.
Kofi Kingston beat Curtis Axel. Kofi got the advantage early on after a headlock takeover after they locked up with the collar-and-elbow. Axel went down following a shoulder tackle and begged off. Moments later, Axel escaped a waistlock with a back elbow. They exchanged leap frogs before Kofi did another leap frog then delivered a flying back elbow. Kofi got the first nearfall after a roundhouse kick yet ran into a boot after charging in the corner. Axel clotheslined Kofi and put the boots to him. Axel draped Kofi on the ropes and later rolled out of the ring just to a better angle when throwing a working punch on Kofi only to roll back in the ring immediately afterwards. I didn’t understand why. Axel gave Kofi an Irish whip and Kofi sold it big as Axel continued to get heat on him. Kofi escaped an armbar and landed several kicks before clotheslining Axel over the top rope to the floor. Axel dodged a baseball slide to the outside and tried to whip Kofi into the side of the ring but Kofi simply rolled into the ring and did a tope through the ropes. After a nearfall back in the ring, Axel reversed an Irish whip and Kofi slid through the ropes to avoid a charging Axel. Kofi swung on ropes and tried to kick Axel but he blocked it and dropped Kingston with an elbow before a commercial.
After the break, Axel had Kofi grounded with an armbar. Kofi fought free then bounced off the ropes and slid through the legs of Axel. Kofi threw a clothesline, Axel ducked and hit a side suplex for a nearfall. Axel began to pummel Kofi. After a dropkick and a sidewalk slam from Axel, he grounded Kofi. Alas, Kofi got to his feet and escaped yet his momentum was momentarily cut off when Axel pulled him off the second rope and Kofi took a flat back bump. Axel got heat on Kofi then it was time for Kingston to shine up once again. Kofi hit a springboard dropkick off the middle rope and went into his sequence to set up the boom drop. Guess what? He hit the boom drop. However, Axel avoided the trouble in paradise finisher and whipped Kofi into the corner. Kofi did a double springboard crossbody for a nearfall. Kofi became perched on the top turnbuckle. Axel shoved him and Kofi tumbled over the ropes to the floor. Kofi briefly had his leg catch and hang up on the ropes. When Axel followed him to the outside, Axel dodged a kick and Kofi struck the post with his leg. Kofi then proceeded to sell it big and Axel rolled him in the ring where Kofi used an inside cradle to get the pin out of nowhere.
Afterwards, Axel charged at Kofi after the bell and Kofi backdropped him over the ropes to the floor. Music sounded and Ryback marched down the entrance ramp and around the ring before leaving back up the ramp. He would do this during every match on the show. Kofi looked at Ryback with a bewildered look on his face. He was not the only way watching that with a bewildered look on his face. Following that, a replay aired again of Kingston pinning Orton. Also, this particular recap included an upset Orton attacking the father of John Cena, who left in an ambulance following the beating. Seems like a hotshot angle to give the pay-per-view title match more drama, which it arguably lacked beforehand.
HHH addressed the situation and the incident involving the angle in his weekly sit-down interview. He called it an “ugly situation” that should not have happened. He said if Orton was upset and looking for HHH then Orton had his cell phone number. Likewise, he said the incident would be “investigated and handled internally.” HHH said all this with the smugness of a seasoned politician. Maybe he should run for political office instead of Linda.
Damien Sandow beat Sin Cara. Underneath the glow of the yellow and blue lights, Sandow took most of the offense and the announcers put over that Sandow is now “all business”. Sandow had the advantage in the opening moments but Sin Cara made a comeback that included a springboard crossbody, headscissors takeover and handspring back elbow. Music sounded and Ryback once again marched down the ramp and around ringside. On commentary, Alex Riley asked two very good questions about Ryback marching around the ring for seemingly no reason: “Who’s even allowing this [and] what is this guy doing out here?” As Ryback marched around the ring, Sandow rolled out of the way when Sin Cara went for a senton bomb off the top rope. Sin Cara leapfrogged over the back of Sandow. However, Sandow caught him with the full nelson slam for the pin. Meanwhile, Ryback continued to march around the ring.
Did y’all know the WWE Network is coming soon? Well, it is and WWE reminded everyone again with a plug and highlights of the press conference from last week. Following the plug, 3MB surrounded Brad Maddox backstage and they thanked him for booking them in a handicap match. Maddox said they talked too much and also said they were booked in a match so everyone backstage could get a break from them. C’mon Maddox, don’t be a bully… Be a star. Bad News Barrett appeared and cut a promo about being in the Royal Rumble match. He basically called the crowd in attendance animals that were herded around. He thanked them for leaving their barn to come see him. C’mon Barrett, don’t be a bully… Be a star. Ryback marched around the ring again trying to be star.
Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil) beat 3MB (Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre with Heath Slater). Usually in a match involving the babyface Prime Time Players, Young does his best Ricky Morton sell job then makes a comeback to set up the hot tag. No hot tag here. O’Neil never even tagged in the match although he did get involved in the finish. 3MB got heat on Young and McIntyre went for a pin attempt but O’Neil made the save. Young caught McIntyre with a crucifix and got the pin out of nowhere. The second finish on this show to involve a finish out of nowhere. Actually, it could be the third if you count the sudden end to the Sandow-Sin Cara match.
Heath Slater ordered Maddox to restart the match but Maddox declined. He announced a six man tag team match instead and…
Los Matadores (Fernando & Diego) & El Torito beat 3MB (Slater & Mahal & McIntyre). 3MB got heat on a Matador and built to a hot tag for Torito. The bull entered the ring via a springboard hurricanrana and springboard splash on Mahal. When the bovine mascot jumped to the top rope, Slater tried to interfere but Torito avoided the interference. A Matador dropkicked McIntyre off the apron. Another one tossed Slater through the rope and out of the ring. Torito hit a splash and tagged out. A Matador dove off the top rope on to Mahal and the Matadores hit a double team suplex before one of them pinned Mahal. As Los Matadores celebrated, music sounded and Ryback marched down the ramp and back around the ring again to close the show.