Main Event – November 30, 2017: The New Normal

Main Event
Date: November 30, 2017
Location: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

Things have been changing around here lately with both Raw and Smackdown clips airing instead of just the ones from the red show that had been the case for so long. We’re also back to a normal week in WWE after the huge Survivor Series weekend last time around. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Apollo Crews vs. Curt Hawkins

Crews shoves him down a few times to start and grabs a headlock takeover for good measure. A slingshot hilo gets two but Hawkins sends him throat first into the ropes. We hit the reverse chinlock with a knee in the back until Hawkins heads outside to yell at Titus O’Neil. Hawkins gets two off a top rope elbow, only to get caught with an enziguri. The Toss Powerbomb gives Apollo the pin at 5:15.

Rating: D. I’m not sure how many times you can watch this match and still get anything out of it. We get the idea already but that’s not going to stop WWE from running the thing over and over again around here. Now that being said, it’s just Hawkins so does it really matter that much? I can’t imagine there was that much thought put into the thing, which should be the case.

From Raw.

Here’s Reigns to open things up. Last week was a big week for him as he and the Shield beat up New Day. Then he had an opportunity and we see a clip of him winning the Intercontinental Title. After the show was over, Shield came back out and put Miz through a table. This is his yard and this is the title so if you want it, come get it. Cue the Miztourage to say they know someone who wants the title. This brings out Elias of all people to say he wants the title. Reigns thinks it sounds like Elias wants to walk with the big dog, but after tonight he might have a neck brace like Curtis Axel.

And from later in the night.

Intercontinental Title: Roman Reigns vs. Elias

Elias is challenging. They trade shoulders to start with Elias getting the better of it and slapping on a reverse chinlock. Elias gets two off a clothesline and we hit a regular chinlock. Back up and the Miztourage offers a distraction so Elias can get in a hard knee for a near fall.

We come back from a break with Elias getting kicked in the face, only to have Reigns stop and take out the Miztourage instead of following up. The distraction lets Elias take Reigns down and drop a top rope elbow for a rather near fall. A sitout powerbomb gets the same but Reigns is right back with a Superman Punch for two of his own. Back up and the spear retains the title at 14:48.

Rating: B-. While the ending wasn’t exactly in doubt here, it was still a good, hard hitting match. They’re certainly protecting Elias at the moment and I’m not sure what to make of that. It would be nice if they had him actually win something but with the Intercontinental Title now basically the show’s World Title, he’s kind of stuck. But at least it was a good match.

Post match Samoa Joe sneaks in and chokes Reigns out. No Rollins for the save either, mainly because this was a Reigns singles match and not a Shield match. That determines who comes out for a save you see.

And again from Raw.

Paige/Mandy Rose/Sonya DeVille vs. Bayley/Sasha Banks/Mickie James

Alexa Bliss is on commentary……and there’s no Mickie or Bayley. Paige and company come out and laugh off the idea of Sasha having no partners. We cut to the back where Mickie is holding her shin and Bayley is holding her neck. Paige laughs this off and says she’s tired of hearing about her interfering last week. Last year, she was THE woman in WWE and helped erase the word Diva from WWE (we could have a tournament for everyone who takes credit for anything like this).

Now she and her friends, named Absolution (sounds like a bad perfume) are here to take things back. Rose and DeVille talk about how everyone has tried to be the next big thing but they remember how Paige started all of this. Paige offers Sasha a spot on the team but she forearms Paige off the apron. The beatdown is on in a hurry with everyone hitting a finisher. No match of course.

Now from the Smackdown counterparts.

Charlotte/Natalya/Naomi vs. Riott Squad

Yes Riott and no I don’t know why. During Charlotte’s entrance we see clips from Starrcade, WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN FREAKING BROADCAST ON THE NETWORK! Logan takes Natalya into the corner to start and scores with a clothesline. It’s off to Charlotte but that’s enough for Natalya, who walks out on the match less than a minute in. Back from a break with Charlotte fighting off the trio but getting caught by the numbers game on the floor. Morgan gets two off a floatover suplex and it’s off to Ruby for a chinlock. That leaves the other two Squad members to take Naomi down on the floor.

They send her hard into the steps and then bridge them over the barricade, catapulting Naomi face first into the steel. The best the referee can do is glare at them, making me wonder HOW IN THE WORLD THIS ISN’T A DQ. Seriously do they need to break out a pair of nunchuks and beat the stuffing out of Naomi before the match is called off? So it’s now three on one with Charlotte actually managing to fight them off for a bit. A spear hits Morgan in those impressive abs but Logan hits a knee from the apron, setting up the Riot Kick to the face for the pin at 9:12.

Rating: D+. The beatdown was impressive enough though none of them seemed capable of hanging with Charlotte or Naomi on their own. That already puts them a few steps back of Absolution (I can feel my brain melting as I write these names over and over) but at least they’re looking a bit more polished than people like Mandy Rose. Not a great match or anything but the divide and conquer strategy worked just fine.

Kalisto/Gran Metalik vs. Brian Kendrick/Jack Gallagher

Metalik headlocks Kendrick to start but gets kicked in the face for his efforts. Kalisto comes in and cranks on the arm so it’s off to Gallagher. A whip sends Metalik outside in a heap and we take a break. Back with Metalik breaking away for the hot tag as everything breaks down. The Salida Del Sol is broken up but Metalik tags himself in and kicks Gallagher in the head. The rope walk elbow is enough to end Jack at 3:34.

Rating: D+. There’s not much to say about these things, though I still like Metalik more often than not. They have entertaining matches, even if it’s a match you can write out before it even starts. It’s also the standard Main Event idea: Gallagher and Kendrick would win this 9/10 times on 205 Live but they’re dead in the water on this show. Again it’s predictable but not the worst thing in the world.

Back to Smackdown.

Singh Brothers vs. AJ Styles

Before the match, Jinder Mahal attacks AJ, sending him ribs first into the post. After a break (and Mahal doing his standard promo), the match is on with AJ getting double teamed. The Brothers get in some shoulders to the ribs in the corner but AJ kicks them away without much effort. AJ knocks the two off them off the top, kicks Mahal in the face, and blocks a super hurricanrana attempt. He’s not done yet though as it’s a SUPER STYLES CLASH with one Singh landing on the other for the easy pin at 3:56.

Rating: D. This wasn’t much to see but it was exactly what it needed to be, especially with an awesome ending like that. Really, what else was AJ supposed to do against a couple of goons like this? Styles vs. Mahal isn’t an interesting story but at least Mahal has goons to send out there instead of having us watch the same match over and over.

Post match Mahal lays out the Singh’s, including a TERRIBLE looking Khallas to the second one. The guy’s head and back never came close to the mat as he basically bounced off his elbow (it looked even worse in slow motion). As I’ve said many times: Mahal just isn’t very good and that finisher makes things even worse.

And then to Raw to wrap things up.

Jason Jordan vs. Kane

Before the match, Jordan talks about how he’s an athlete and knew his knee was banged up last week. Kane actually gets powered into the corner a few times to start but the suplex is broken up. A hard toss sends Jordan outside where he comes up holding the knee again. That’s enough for a countout at 1:42.

Post match Kane stays on the knee until Finn Balor comes out for the save. They stare each other down and we take a break.

Finn Balor vs. Kane

Kane wastes no time in whipping Balor into the corner and we’re into an early chinlock. Balor dropkicks him outside and hits a dive as the announcers talk about what a big deal a win over Kane would be. Kane hits him in the ribs with a chair for the DQ at 2:44.

Kane beats on him with the chair and wraps it around Balor’s throat until Braun Strowman comes out for the save. A chair to the back has no effect on Strowman and the beatdown is on. Strowman destroys him with the steps and a chair, including a powerslam onto the steps. Kane gets his throat crushed on the chair and staggers into the crowd (probably looking for registered voters) to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. All this show did was make you remember how hit and miss some of these shows can be. Raw and Smackdown weren’t exactly great this week and cutting them down to the clipped versions of the matches and ignoring some of the better stuff (Rollins vs. Cesaro from Raw for instance) isn’t the best idea. I do like them adding in more stories though as it makes the show feel more like a full on recap than anything else, which is a good idea. It really might be better to cut out one of the original matches though, just so the recaps don’t feel as crammed together.

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