Main Event – August 31, 2017: I Still Can’t Get Over That Promo

Main Event
Date: August 31, 2017
Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Corey Graves

It’s a shame that this can’t be your classic Memphis style show as it would give things a fresh blast of energy. That being said, I can live with dull wrestling if it means we get to see the Roman Reigns/John Cena promo again, which was easily one of the most entertaining things I’ve seen all year. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Dana Brooke vs. Alicia Fox

They lock up to start with Fox sending her into the corner but getting rolled up for two. A handstand splash gets two on Alicia but she comes back with some knees to the back. We hit the chinlock as it’s pretty clear they don’t have much to do here. The northern lights gives Alicia two but Brooke makes her comeback with some slams and a cartwheel splash for the pin at 5:20.

Rating: D. Thank goodness they didn’t have her job here in a meaningless match. I’ll never understand how someone can get back out there so soon after the kind of loss Brooke went through (her boyfriend died less than a week before this was taped) but it’s quite impressive that she’s back out there performing. The match was exactly what you would expect from something like this but I’m not going to hold anything against Dana at this point.

We look back at Braun Strowman laying out Brock Lesnar two weeks ago.

From Raw.

Here are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman for a chat. Heyman talks about what happened last week with Braun Strowman, who is the kind of monster that his parents warned him about. Strowman had an historic night at Summerslam when he, as Corey Graves said, monster handled Lesnar by powerslamming him through two tables. We see a clip of last week’s attack on Lesnar, which Heyman says made him know Strowman is a monster. At No Mercy, Lesnar is going to be ready for Strowman. Heyman explains what’s going to happen but Brock takes the mic. Brock: “What he’s trying to say is Suplex City b****.”

From Raw again.

Kurt Angle is in the ring for the contract signing between Cena and Reigns. Cena is out first to say that he’s on Raw to face one man and Angle has made that happen for No Mercy. He’s seen Reigns being treated as the untouchable star and we’ll see how he can hang at No Mercy. Cena signs and here’s Reigns. Roman says that as great as Cena is, there’s one thing that he’s done that Cena can never do: retire the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

Cena kneels before him and says some people are still trying to figure Reigns out. We hear about the fans wanting to see Cena change his ways (with the term heel turn being dropped in a rare moment) before Cena says Reigns is just a guy trying to fill shoes he can never fill. Cena isn’t a man at the end of his career with a bad hip. The reason Reigns won’t sign that is because the Roman Empire is done if he does.

Reigns says Cena sucks so Cena puts his arm around Angle and says the fans think he does too but he won a gold medal. Roman seems a bit shaken and lost for what to say. Cena: “Go ahead find it. I’ll wait. It’s called a promo and if you want to be the big dog you’re going to have to learn how to do it. SEE YOU FOURTH WALL!” Reigns gets fired up and goes on a rant that sounds straight off a message board, talking about how hard he works on the weekend so Cena can be on the Today Show.

Then Cena gets on his tour bus and shows up at a show if they pay him enough with the big shovel to bury people around him. Reigns is the one guy he can’t bury or see. Cena calls him out for being repetitive and says “it took you five years to cut a halfway decent promo but now I’m about to cut you down to size.” He talks about the mythical golden shovel but it’s always the fans who hold the keys and they always will.

Cena is tired of hearing the same thing for ten years by a lot tougher people. Here’s the thing: Cena hasn’t main evented Wrestlemania in five years and he was the opening match at Summerslam. He won the US Title and used it to introduce new stars to the WWE including Kevin Owens and AJ Styles (I believe he means Sami Zayn as AJ debuted way later). Reigns took the US Title as a demotion and now stands there blaming Cena for not being able to hang with him.

Cena has seen a lot of people trying to hang at this level and he’s heard about one guy getting to do it. Now he sees Roman face to face and gets the line of the night: “You’re lucky I’m a part timer because I can do this part time way better than you ever could full time.” Reigns signs and turns over the table….and the clip ends before Anderson and Gallows’ ridiculous cameo appearance can be mentioned.

Ariya Daivari vs. Mustafa Ali

Daivari takes him down without much effort and we hit an early armbar. A dropkick sends Daivari outside and we take a break. Back with Daivari eating a jumping knee to the face for two but grabbing a spinebuster for the same. Not that it matters as Ali’s rolling neckbreaker and tornado DDT set up the 054 for the pin at 8:20.

Rating: C. It didn’t have much time to do anything (remember the long break) and that’s kind of a shame. Ali has become one of the more consistent cruiserweight performers and Daivari isn’t the worst, as long as we don’t have to hear his lame promos. This was your standard Main Event cruiserweight match though and that’s not a good thing.

We’ll wrap it up here.

Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks

Banks is defending and gets rolled up for an early two. Sasha sends her hard into the corner and grabs an armbar. They’re starting with a slow pace and Bliss bails to the floor for a breather. There are the double knees from the apron and we take a break. Back with Bliss holding an armbar of her own before starting in on the back.

It’s off to a bow and arrow hold but Banks fights up without too much effort. The Bank Statement doesn’t work so Sasha goes with the running knees in the corner, only to miss a second attempt. Bliss goes with a hard right hand and a Code Red for a pretty close two. Banks gets in a few more knees and some aggressive forearms in the corner.

Back up and Alexa catches her in the corner by sending her face first into a buckle. A top rope superplex connects to bust up the back even more. Bliss is slow to cover and gets caught in the Bank Statement. That’s reversed into a rollup for two and there’s the DDT to give Bliss the title back at 15:00.

Rating: B. I’m really not getting the lack of successful title defenses for Banks. That makes four reigns and she’s lost the title in her first defense every time. As for the match itself, Bliss winning clean is an interesting call and the right one if you have to change the title. She looked better than she has before in the ring and is getting to the point where she can hang with the better workers. Couple that with the insane charisma and persona and she’s quite the force.

Post match Nia Jax comes out and destroys Sasha before putting Bliss on her shoulders. One electric chair later and Jax holds up the title over the new champ to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. The main event and the long promo alone make this an easy show to watch. As usual the original wrestling was nothing memorable in the slightest but I don’t think anyone watches this show for that content. Raw is still on a roll right now with even the recap shows being entertaining.

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