It’s been a busy week in WWE with returns for Roman Reigns, Batista, Kevin Owens and Matt Hardy, and NXT even saw an appearance by old alumni, and current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Bayley and Sasha Banks. As for Main Event? Let’s just say that it wasn’t quite as impactful as the aforementioned broadcasts.
No Way Jose vs. Rezar
Before watching Main Event, I was relieved that Jinder Mahal facing Kurt Angle on Raw meant that we wouldn’t have to see him and The Singh Brothers battle Tyler Breeze and The B-Team for the third straight week, only for the show to kick off with a different rematch from a week ago. NWJ brought his usual energy to the match, stomping on Drake Maverick’s hand for an added bonus. But it didn’t take long for Rezar to take over, and from there it was an extended version of last week’s one-sided beatdown by the AoP member. We did get another “No Way Jose” chant, though, which is encouraging I guess? An “AoPP” chant was likely less welcome given that the “Drake Maverick wets himself” storyline ended a while back. Jose raised hopes with a bodyslam on his larger opponent, but a big clothesline led to the match-winning Uranage.
We were shown footage of Roman Reigns’ return to Raw and the announcement that his leukaemia is now in remission, thus opening the door for him to return to the ring, and his subsequent brawling alongside Seth Rollins against the red brand’s main heels. That Roman is healthy is fantastic news; that he is able to return to action, apparently within the coming weeks, is the icing on the cake.
Next was the segment where Kofi Kingston was replaced by Kevin Owens (courtesy of Vince McMahon) to face Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title at Fast Lane, along with the subsequent Kofi/Owens vs. Bryan/Rowan main event from said SmackDown. In addition, there was a recap of Raw’s latest Becky Lynch invasion and Ronda Rousey seemingly surrendering her Raw Women’s Title, along with Charlotte Flair’s rebuttal on SD.
Apollo Crews vs. EC3
Those who believed that EC3 had a chance of facing John Cena at WrestleMania (though Cena still has a vacancy for April 7) must be reconsidering given that EC3 is currently on Main Event duty. Facing off against home state favourite Apollo Crews, EC3 was making his debut on the show, which means that a push for the former Derrick Bateman is unlikely to begin until after Mania. Percy Watson reminded us that he comes from a wealthy family, though he declined to mention his kayfabe mother (Dixie of TNA “fame”). The early going saw duelling “Let’s go Apollo!”/”EC3!” chants which were a further reminder that this week’s Atlanta audience were so much more enthused than last week’s Lafayette crowd, who even WWE criticised in a video posted on social media.
As for the match itself: it followed the usual formula of a slow opening salvo followed by the pace accelerating as the bout wore on, with EC3 taking control with a hard clothesline on Crews (at which point the boos began to rain down on EC3, given the birthplace of his opponent). Meanwhile, Byron Saxton told us that EC3 refers to himself not as an underdog, but not as an “overdog”. Okay, then. A double crossbody collision knocked both men down, with Apollo then taking over with some stiff strikes and a further crossbody off the ropes. An inverted DDT of sorts didn’t get EC3 the win, but a standing moonsault by Apollo earned the home-state boy the somewhat surprising victory. A good win for Apollo, but EC3 may wish to join the club of those preferring to return to NXT.
We rounded things off with a replay of the Ric Flair 70th birthday celebration, which turned into an angle to set up a probable Batista vs. Triple H encounter at WrestleMania 35.
This was an uneven edition of Main Event. I was glad that we didn’t get the same six-man tag for the third straight week, but a repeat of a different ME clash from last time out swung things in the opposite direction. The action was fine, though, so while this edition was hardly must-see, it was entertaining enough.