Main Event – February 16, 2017: Thank Goodness for Raw

Main Event
Date: February 16, 2017
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Tom Phillips, R-Truth, Byron Saxton

I think it’s safe to say that Main Event is on the biggest roll that it’s been on since I’ve been watching it. So much of that is due to the usage of some bigger stars around here, including New Day and Rusev in recent weeks. It instantly makes you feel like the show means a little more instead of being the same boring show that it’s been for so long. Hopefully that continues here so let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Sin Cara vs. Jinder Mahal

Jinder wants to be called Hard Body Mahal. Like Hard Body Harrison? That’s your role model? Mahal runs him over a few times to start but Cara unloads on him with right hands in the corner. That earns him a middle rope elbow to the head though and Mahal grabs a chinlock. Cara fights right back with his normal flips, only to get sent face first into the buckle. A Regal Cutter gives Jinder the pin at 5:02.

Rating: D. And so much for that false hope. Mahal is one of the staples of this show and that’s not a good thing. I know he’s been hooking up with Rusev lately but that doesn’t make him an interesting character. This was much more back to normal for Main Event and it sucked away the limited interested I had in watching the show.

To Raw for the first time.

Mark Henry vs. Braun Strowman

They do the big power lockup to start and neither goes anywhere. The referee backs Henry up so Strowman gets in a cheap shot to take over. Strowman drops a leg and grabs a chinlock to keep thing slow. The forearm to the chest is broken up but Henry can’t hit the World’s Strongest Slam. Braun actually hits a dropkick followed by the powerslam for the pin at 3:53.

Rating: C. You know, I didn’t mind this. It’s a good example of consider what they were going for here. The idea was to showcase Strowman as the new strongman and while that’s been done over and over, they did everything exactly as they should have here and I got the idea exactly. Well done here, which I never would have expected to say.

Post match Reigns comes out for the fight and knocks Strowman down with two Superman Punches. The spear is countered into the powerslam though and Reigns is laid out.

More from Raw.

Jericho introduces the Festival of Friendship and that means a bunch of showgirls coming out to welcome him to the ring. Jericho is in a shiny hat and jacket but Owens looks downright confused. There’s a bunch of covered stuff set up in the ring and Jericho promises a bunch of gifts.

First up: a sculpture of what looks like two people intertwined. Owens: “What is it?” Apparently it cost $7,000 and while Owens wants to call it stupid, he calls it a steal. Next is a painting of Jericho and Owens’ fingers touching ala the Michelangelo painting. Jericho thinks it belongs over Owens’ mantle. Owens: “Chris I have two kids and you’re not wearing pants!” Jericho: “It’s art! You don’t need pants!”

Finally, Jericho has a magician named Friendship who does some basic tricks (I’m a sucker for magic so this is the highlight so far). Owens says he has a nine year old son with a magic kit and he can do the same trick. Jericho agrees on the bad performance so Friendship the Magician JUST MADE THE LIST! After admitting that he found the magician on Craigslist, Jericho says this is just the beginning.

The real present is calling out Goldberg, who is going to get……we go to and come back from a commercial break……IT! We get the music but it’s Gillberg, who Owens promptly destroys. He’s not happy though and wants to know what Jericho is thinking. Jericho says he did this for his best friend and promises that Owens will retain the title at Fastlane.

Owens smiles and says he has a gift for Jericho too. It’s a NEW LIST….but Jericho’s name is on it! Jericho pulls it out of the box and it’s the LIST OF KO! Owens jumps Jericho and destroys him with the apron powerbomb. Jericho is sent into a big sign in the ring, leaving Owens to be showered in boos.

Mustafa Ali/Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak/Tony Nese

At least Nese is back from his injury. Gulak and Ali hit the mat to start with Mustafa taking over off a headlock. Cedric comes in and dropkicks Gulak down but gets knocked outside as we take a break. Back with Drew running Cedric over and bending his arm backwards for some painful visuals. Nese gets sent into the corner though and it’s Mustafa coming in off the hot tag. A neckbreaker gets two on Nese and the inverted 450 puts him away at 10:06.

Rating: D+. Just a standard cruiserweight tag here and that’s not the most interesting thing in the world. As usual the problem here is a lack of star power as none of these four are really interesting enough to carry a match. Also what happened to Nese’s mini push? I know he was hurt but you can’t have Gulak take this fall? That’s all he exists for.

We’ll wrap it with the main event.

Women’s Title: Bayley vs. Charlotte

Charlotte is defending and they start slowly here with the champ working on the arm. Bayley does the same with some armdrags but Charlotte slaps her in the face. That just earns her an even harder slap to put Charlotte outside as we take a break. Back with Bayley Hulking Up until Charlotte whipping the back of Bayley’s head into the bottom rope.

A jawbreaker gets Bayley out of trouble but the neckbreaker into a choke has her right back in said trouble. The Ric Flair kneedrop sets up a dragon sleeper but Bayley climbs the corner to flip out. Another big boot stomps Bayley though and the pace slows right back down. A moonsault off the barricade makes Bayley’s neck even worse as Charlotte is beating the heck out of her.

Back inside and it’s time for another comeback with some hard chops and the middle rope elbow for two. Bayley goes one step higher with a top rope elbow for two more, followed by a top rope hurricanrana for the same. The fans are WAY into this and it’s not hard to see why. Bayley grabs a modified Figure Four but here’s Dana Brooke to rake the eyes for the save. Charlotte grabs the Figure Eight but here’s Sasha to hit Dana with the crutch. Charlotte takes a shot of her own to break it up and the Bayley to Belly gives Bayley the title at 18:03.

Rating: B+. The good storytelling continues here as they set up the underdog story so well. You can even forgive the interference as Sasha was only evening things up. I wouldn’t have changed the title here but after that Festival of Friendship, the fans needed something to bring them back to life and this is about as good as it’s going to get. Of course none of this matters if Charlotte walks out of Wrestlemania (yes Wrestlemania) as champion again but it’s a nice moment here. I’m sure I’ll have more on this one later but the match was much stronger than I was expecting.

Overall Rating: C. This show only worked because the stuff from Raw was all great. That was one of the better Raw’s in a long time and this could have been an outstanding episode of Main Event but unfortunately all of the original stuff was just there and really not very good. The lack of star power brings it right back down again because that’s how things work around here.

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