by: Mitch Nickelson
Live on the WWE Network, this is Main Event! The show is happening in Laredo, Texas this week. AJ Lee is advertised to be on tonight. Other than her appearance, I’m unaware of anything advertised for this weeks show.
I recap the show and insert my opinion along the way. I usually just give brief summaries and highlights of each segment, but will occasionally do some in-depth play-by-play if I’m compelled. Here we go.
Del Rio Has A Mexican Flag; Swagger Has An American Flag
Alberto Del Rio comes to the ring first, proudly waving his Mexican flag. Maybe he’s making a last minute pitch to put Mexico into that Flag Match at Summerslam. Del Rio grabs a mic and says that since he’s a few miles away from Mexico, he’ll talk in Spanish. I don’t know Spanish, so this part of the review is really easy for me. He ends his promo by thanking the fans for their support for all the years, in English.
The Real American music hits as Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter come to the ring. Zeb grabs a mic and tells Del Rio that he didn’t understand a word he was saying. We speak English, Zeb says. He might as well be in another country, like Russia. Del Rio says that this is a good place to have a fight. Zeb accepts the challenge and says that Del Rio reminds him of Rusev. Zeb gets the crowd to do the “We The People” chant to close out that segment, even though they are very partisan for Del Rio.
AJ Lee will make her return tonight. She was injured last week at the hands of Paige, who knocked her off the ramp at the top of the entryway and caused her to suffer whiplash. We’ll also get a recap of Stephanie on Raw last night, which is not a surprising sentence to type.
The opening promo set up a match between Swagger and Del Rio for later in the show. The crowd is way into Del Rio, so it should be good.
Standing in the ring right now is none other than SLATER GATOR! Even though it was a fluke, Heath had a huge win over Seth Rollins on Raw last night. Will that momentum carry over to tonight? Also, the announcers said “Slater and the Gator” again. I’m pretty sure that is wrong.
Slater has a mic and asks the crowd if they saw his win last night. They replayed it and it was beautiful. Heath is celebrating like a rock star. He stumbles over his words a little and Titus shoves him because he’s annoyed. These two face Goldust and Stardust right now.
Slater Gator vs. Goldust & Stardust
The crowd starts off with chants for Goldust and they seem to be in that corner. The match was good, nothing great. It kept a good pace and the Dusts got to show off their odd personalities. The finish came when Slater was trying to roll up Goldust but was having trouble. Teamwork came in the form of a boot by Titus O’Neil to knock Goldust over. Slater was able to pin his opponent to continue one of the best weeks Heath Slater has had in a long while.
Winners by pinfall: Slater Gator
Titus actually is looking happy a little after the win. Well, until Slater tries to jump into his arms to celebrate and The Gator shoves him off. Slater keeps trying to jump on him and Titus continues to be annoyed by him. These guys are great. Make a t-shirt for them so I can buy it, WWE.
Raw recap time and we see the contract signing by Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella from last night. They’re fighting at Summerslam, of course. AJ Lee is up next.
AJ Lee vs. Summer Rae
Summer comes out first. The announcers reference Summer’s angle with Fandango, which is surprising to still be happening. AJ comes out next with her Diva’s Championship. They replay the spill she took on Smackdown thanks to Paige.
Faint “CM Punk” chants at the start of the show. AJ had to pause about a minute into the match because she was selling her whiplash injury. Summer capitalized on this and gained control of the match. While the announcers were about to tell us about the glorious news that #SlaterGator is trending on twitter, AJ applies her Black Widow submission to force Summer to tap out.
Winner by submission: AJ Lee
AJ Lee Tells A Fairy Tale; Paige Interrupts
Tom Phillips enters the ring to ask AJ Lee about her upcoming match against Paige. AJ told a fairy tale about a girl who dreamed of becoming a queen by winning the Diva’s Title. Then, a dark witch stole it from her. But, she says that sometimes you have to be your own white knight. So she came back, took what belonged to her, and ruined Paige’s little fairy tale. At Summerslam, she will do the exact same thing.
Paige’s music hits and she is standing at the top of the ramp. She tells AJ that she’s thrilled to see her back on her feet again. She tells AJ that she can be that white knight. They belong together in that ring at Summerslam because she respects and loves her. They’re frienemies. When Paige takes her title at Summerslam, she still wants to be AJ’s friend because this is a great story.
AJ says she likes Paige’s style but Paige won’t like how this story ends. This isn’t Paige’s house, this is AJ’s kingdom. The crowd cheers for her as her music hits. Good promo by these two. Hopefully they get that good match at Summerslam that that I’m expecting from them.
Swagger vs. Del Rio is still up later. Next is John Cena/Brock Lesnar recap stuff. Next Monday on Raw is Hulk Hogan’s birthday celebration with “special surprise guests.” Did you read my news piece on TJRWrestling about the speculation that it could turn into an NWO reunion? It’s a quick one if you haven’t, so check it out here.
That really great video that detailed the history between Lesnar and Cena is played now. It’s so good, but I’m sure most people know that by now. That video is a great way to keep people excited for the match even though both guys are off WWE programming this week.
Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Alberto Del Rio
Colter and Swagger come out first. This will probably be the coldest audience they’ve seen in a while. This match should be interesting.
There’s a break and when they come back they say that Dean Ambrose will be on Smackdown this Thursday. He’ll reveal his decision of what the stipulation will be in his match with Seth Rollins. Can’t pick Flag Match, Dean. That one is taken.
Del Rio comes out with his flag and the announcers point out that this largely Hispanic audience is like a homecoming for Del Rio. They really like him in Laredo.
Swagger had his ribs taped up, selling the attack from Rusev the night before. Loud “Del Rio” chants start the match. Del Rio targets those injured ribs and keeps giving Swagger some stiff kicks to them over and over.
Del Rio applies the Cross Armbreaker to Swagger over the ropes later in the match. He goes to the top rope, but Swagger crotches him. Swagger then applies a Superplex and remembers to sell his rib injury. He goes for the pin and the crowd pops a little when Del Rio kicks out. Swagger makes a come back and connects with the Swagger Bomb. He attempts a pin again, and again the crowd pops when Del Rio kicks out.
The two trade punches in the corner and Del Rio hits a Tornado DDT from the corner. Pin by Alberto, but Jack kicks out. Del Rio goes for the Cross Armbreaker in the middle of the ring, but Swagger counters it into a slam. Pin again, but fails. Del Rio is able to hit a backbreaker then follow it up with a kick to Swagger, who is on his knees at this point. He pins and Swagger somehow kicks out at two.
Del Rio goes for a Cross Armbreaker in the middle of the ring and he connects with it this time. He locks it in and somehow Swagger counters it into the Patriot Lock. Del Rio gets out of it quickly. Swagger is in the corner and Del Rio tries to kick him in the head off of the second rope, but Swagger does one heck of a catch and puts the kicking leg into the Patriot Lock. Del Rio tries desperately to crawl to the ropes but Swagger pulls with all of his might to keep him from grabbing them. The crowd is pretty loud in favor of Del Rio at this point, but he’s forced to tap out.
Winner by submission: Jack Swagger
Swagger and Colter stand with Old Glory in the middle of the ring to celebrate the win. They do a “We The People” chant as the show closes.
Mitch’s Final Thoughts:
What a great main event. It was odd because of how much the crowd wanted to cheer for the heel Del Rio. Swagger wasn’t necessarily booed, but he clearly wasn’t the favorite. Regardless, that was a very above average match and a real treat to watch. Do one of these every week, WWE.
Slater Gator are funny, so I’m glad they were on the show. Their match with Goldust & Stardust wasn’t anything special, but they were able to get a win and time with a mic. I’ll take it. AJ’s match wasn’t anything special either, but her promo with Paige was one of the better verbal bouts they’ve had with each other. It’s taken a while for the Paige heel character to get where she needed to be, but she seems like she’s arrived recently. This was a good promo and I feel like the two women are at the point where their story is starting to click.
There were only two recap segments this week. One was the Stephanie McMahon stuff. Even though she’s on WWE programming way too much, she’s at least fantastic at what she does. The other recap segment was the Cena/Lesnar video replay, which you won’t hear me complain about anytime soon.
This was another above average Main Event. As long as there is one solid match (preferably whatever goes on last) and the rest is kept to a digestible amount then I’m happy. This show had one great match, one great promo, and filler that was called Slater Gator. This was a great hour of wrestling.
Comment with your thoughts on the show below. Follow me on twitter @MitchNickelson to keep up with all of my wrestling banter. Thanks for reading again this week.