Main Event – November 9, 2017: As Good As It Gets

Main Event
Date: November 9, 2017
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

It’s the British version this time around and, as usual, that means it depends on how you liked Raw this week. You can almost never guess what you’re going to get on here, especially now that the Dash Wilder vs. Heath Slater/Rhyno epic is over. This week’s show could be a lot of things so let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Matt Hardy vs. Curt Hawkins

Hawkins gets in a shot to the back and immediately bails to the ropes. A neckbreaker takedown gives Matt two but Hawkins sends him outside as we talk about the losing streak. Hawkins’ side suplex gets two and we hit the chinlock. Matt pops up and sends him into each of the buckles in the corner, followed by a bulldog. The Side Effect into the Twist of Fate puts Hawkins away at 4:52.

Rating: D+. Just Hardy beating a jobber to the stars here as I keep wondering where the losing streak is going. I mean, odds are it’s nowhere but at least they’re having some fun with it in the process. Hawkins’ entrance alone is entertaining and I’m more than glad that he’s still around. You can keep the number going higher and higher and if you need to do something with it, cool. If not, at least it’s entertaining while it lasts.

We recap Braun Strowman returning and stalking the Miz and Miztourage.

We look at Kurt Angle adding Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Jason Jordan to the Survivor Series team.

From Raw.

The Miz vs. Braun Strowman

Non-title because why would Strowman want something like a belt? Miz bails to the floor to start and has a huddle with the Miztourage. They get inside and the beating is on in a hurry with Strowman throwing him around like the tiny man that he is. The spinning Big Ending plants Miz again and Dallas looks scared on the floor. That is only made worse as Strowman goes outside and hits an incredibly loud right hand to Dallas’ jaw. Miz gets thrown onto the Miztourage but here’s Kane for the showdown and a DQ at 5:05.

Rating: D+. This was much more of an angle than a match and that’s fine. Miz getting destroyed is fine as long as he doesn’t get pinned, which is what would have happened in other times around here. At least Strowman got to look awesome all over again, which is exactly what should be happening to him.

Post match Kane can’t chokeslam Strowman, who hits the running powerslam. Kane pops up and gets clotheslined to the floor, where he lands on his feet. The Miztourage tries to jump Braun and gets beaten up again.

And again from Raw.

Tag Team Titles: The Bar vs. Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose

Rollins and Ambrose are defending. Ambrose jumps Cesaro to start and it’s a Hart Attack with Rollins hitting a Sling Blade instead of a clothesline for two on Sheamus. The champs hit dives to the floor and knock them outside again as we take a break. Back with Ambrose in trouble and things getting worse as the Bar hits double superkicks to the ribs.

Cesaro kicks Rollins off the apron to break up a tag attempt but can’t get the top rope superplex on Ambrose. A middle rope clothesline is enough to bring in Rollins so house can be cleaned in a hurry. Rollins hits a suicide dive on Sheamus and a Falcon Arrow gets two on Cesaro. Swiss Death cuts Rollins off but can’t put him away just yet. Everything breaks down and the champs’ double dives are broken up.

Dean is sent back first into the barricade and a top rope clothesline/powerbomb combo gets two on Rollins. Back in and Dirty Deeds takes Sheamus down for the frog splash but Cesaro knocks Dean into the cover for the save. Cue the New Day of all people in the crowd for a distraction though, with Woods congratulating the fans on staying awake. As New Day talks, Angle rallies the troops in the back.

New Day says it’s Under Siege 2 (that’s getting into some dark territory) as the Raw roster surrounds the ring. They go after New Day, leaving Sheamus to Brogue Kick Rollins for the pin and the titles at 18:55. That’s actually a finish lifted from WCW where Harlem Heat took the Tag Team Titles from Sting and Lex Luger while the NWO came into the arena.

Rating: B. These four are just incapable of having a bad match and that’s always a good problem to have. I like the booking a lot as Rollins and Ambrose can do other stuff while Sheamus and Cesaro pretty much had this or nothing else. The ending was a nice touch too which protects both teams and advances the story. Well done all around.

Anderson and Gallows vs. Heath Slater/Rhyno

This could almost be a Raw match. Slater and Anderson start things off with Karl not letting him give his shirt to a fan. Now that’s some heel work. Rhyno comes in for a double elbow but it’s off to Gallows to give Rhyno a beating in the corner. Anderson and Gallows are sent outside and we take a break. Back with Slater fighting out of a chinlock but getting forearmed right back into it. A faceplant is enough for the double hot tag and Rhyno grabs a superplex for two on Anderson. Gallows breaks up the Gore though and, after taking out Slater, the Magic Killer ends Rhyno at 8:20.

Rating: C+. Heck of a Main Event match here with teams who actually come off like bigger deals than a lot of the people normally on this show. It’s not a classic or anything close to one but I can always go with seeing something feel like an effort and that’s what you got here. When else do you see a superplex around here?

And, in a real twist, from Smackdown.

Smackdown World Title: AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal

Mahal is defending. AJ grabs a headlock to start but gets LAUNCHED out to the floor as we take an early break. Back with AJ caught in a headlock on the mat but they’re quickly on the floor with Mahal slamming him onto the announcers’ table. We hit the armbar as Mahal slows things down a bit.

Mahal drops a knee but dives into a pair of raised boots, followed by the Phenomenal Blitz. The fireman’s carry backbreaker gives AJ two as you can tell the fans are way into this one. Something like a backdrop into a faceplant gives Mahal two of his own but he gets kicked out of the corner.

The Calf Crusher is quickly broken up and Jinder turns him inside out with a clothesline. That’s fine with AJ who sends him outside for a slingshot forearm. Back in and the springboard 450 connects, only to have the Singh Brothers pull Mahal to the floor. AJ takes out the brothers but jumps into the Khallas.

That’s only good for two though as AJ gets his foot on the ropes and the place goes NUTS at the new hope. Jinder loads up a super Khallas but AJ slips out and snaps his throat across the top, setting up the Phenomenal Forearm for the pin and the title at 16:47 as the fans go coconuts at the pin.

Rating: B. Pretty easily Mahal’s best match ever as champ but I think you can guess where that’s from. I can’t imagine Mahal isn’t champion again by the end of the India tour. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as we don’t have to sit through Mahal vs. Lesnar at Survivor Series. Styles winning was the right call here as he can have the dream match against Lesnar and then do whatever with the title as necessary.

Overall Rating: B+. They clipped a lot of stuff out of the broadcast version of course but they packed the heck out of this show with two very big and important (as well as rather awesome) matches from the week. They were smart to have the Smackdown main event on here as it was the biggest thing to happen in England and really, it’s not a big deal to mix things up a bit. Great show this week.

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