Date: November 18, 2016
Location: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
It’s another week of Superstars and unfortunately that means another week of highlights from a Raw that wasn’t all that interesting in the first place. Main Event has completely pulled away from Superstars for its original content so hopefully things can get a bit closer to even this week. Let’s get to it.
Titus O’Neil vs. Curtis Axel
And so much for that idea. At least we don’t have to put up with that Titus Brand stuff on Raw anymore. Curtis takes him into the corner and dances away before the referee annoyingly tries to break up a brawl, allowing Titus to score with a big boot. We hit the horrible chinlock with Titus talking trash and trying to start an AXELMANIA chant. Axel makes his comeback with the necksnap and a running knee to the face for two. Not that it matters as Titus sends him chest first into the buckle, setting up the Clash of the Titus for the pin at 5:30.
Rating: D. That might become my standard rating for all Titus matches. He can talk a decent amount of trash but at some point you have to be able to do more than throw people through the air and do a Sky High. Also, so much for believing in Curtis Axel, who might have been building up towards a small push but now he’s jobbing to Titus. Oh joy indeed.
Off to Raw for the first time.
It’s time for Lesnar and Goldberg as it’s nearly halftime of Monday Night Football. Lesnar slips a bit during his jump to the apron but it’s not bad. There’s a wall of security as Goldberg tells Lesnar to shut up and stay out of this. Heyman gets cut off by the GOLDBERG chants before finally going on about all the people Lesnar has killed. Goldberg cuts him off again to say his name isn’t on that list, only to have the chants start up again. Heyman starts to offer something but Lesnar grabs the mic and tells the fans to shut up.
The offer is for Heyman to find a replacement for Sunday’s match. That means Goldberg takes off his shirt so Lesnar shoves some guards down. Heyman says the beating will be so bad that Goldberg’s son will call Lesnar daddy. The security is quickly dispatched and there’s no one left between them. Lesnar, with one of the palest chests I’ve ever seen on a wrestler, walks away. This was WAY too long but they don’t have a choice because there’s nothing left for them to do on the show.
And then the second.
New Day vs. Seth Rollins/Braun Strowman/Chris Jericho
Jericho and Kofi start things off and that’s not a bad thing. An elbow to the jaw puts Kofi on the mat and it’s quickly off to Woods vs. Rollins with the latter coming in off a chop to the chest. That goes nowhere either as they hit the mat for Seth’s headlock before it’s back to Jericho as New Day takes over. The Warrior splash gets two and Kofi comes back in, only to get slammed by Braun as we take a break.
Back with Braun holding Kofi in a nerve hold before handing it back to Rollins. Some double knees put Seth down but it’s Strowman running cross the ring to kick Big E. in the face. We wind up with Woods kicking Jericho in the back and Strowman plowing through the other two opponents. Woods finally kicks him in the face and forearms Rollins in the jaw. That’s enough for Braun though as it’s a powerslam to end Xavier at 14:06.
Rating: C. This picked up a lot near the end as Woods continues to be great at the last chance offense. Strowman is getting better at being a rampaging monster but he’s still in need of some more experience. I liked the match well enough though and New Day will be fine with a loss like this. That being said, it’s getting harder and harder to care about these one off matches between people with no animosity.
Jinder Mahal vs. Darren Young
Four times. I’ve done this show eight times now and this has been on the card on four occasions. Mahal hides in the corner to start (I’d hide from this match too) until a shoulder block and a jumping seated senton get two. A big boot puts Young on the floor and we take a break.
Back with Mahal choking in the corner and shouting that peace catchphrase that no one has ever caught nor used as a phrase. A chinlock doesn’t go anywhere so Mahal yells at Bob Backlund before putting on another chinlock. See, it’s the yelling that makes it more impressive. Young fights up with some belly to belly suplexes and that belly to back on the apron. Back up and Mahal sends him throat first into the rope, setting up a Regal Cutter for the pin at 11:12.
Rating: D. They’re trolling me. Like, they have to be at this point. Either that or they really do pay absolutely no attention to this show and Mahal and Young just go out there because no one notices what they do every week. Unfortunately that means we have to put up with these two fighting almost every other week despite the fact that neither is interesting. Boring match here and it’s probably a matter of time before they fight again.
A two minute highlight package of the Survivor Series Summit wraps the show up.
Overall Rating: D+. This week, Main Event gave us a good Luke Harper vs. Apollo Crews match and a perfectly watchable Vaudevillains vs. Breezango match. This show gave us the fourth incarnation of a match that hasn’t been interesting yet and another bad Titus O’Neil match. It’s really amazing that Superstars is treated as a wasteland and Main Event is a show with a little effort put in. Another just barely passable show this week and that’s sad given what can be done with something like this.
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