WWE MAIN EVENT
FEBRUARY 6, 2019
AIRED ON HULU STREAMING SERVICE
REPORT BY MIKE MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Percy Watson, Byron Saxton, Renee Young
REASONS TO WATCH…
- Main roster singles-match debut of Lacey Evans.
- Percy speaks the truth about No Way Jose’s antics.
(1) LACEY EVANS vs. NATALYA
As Evans made her well-choreographed entrance, the announce team discussed how there’s a buzz in the women’s division regarding the new tag team championships up for grabs. The women had a couple exchanges with Natalya having the slight edge. After getting a two-count off of a backslide pin, Natalya smiled and slow-clapped at Evans. They locked up again, and Evans countered Natalya’s wristlock and shouted at her to “Give up!” Undaunted, Natalya reversed the reversal and flipped Evans onto the canvas in a side headlock.
Back on their feet, Natalya lifted Evans into the air in the atomic drop position, bounced her legs off the top rope, and simply turned and released her to fall onto her tailbone in the center of the ring. Natalya literally ran over the seated Evans, stomping on her shoulder like it was a speed bump, bounced off the far ropes and landed a basement dropkick. Natalya began to apply the sharpshooter but Evans immediately grabbed the bottom rope to break the maneuver.
Evans walked slowly around the ring on the floor and yelled at the crowd to shut up. Meanwhile, Natalya lined her up from within the ring and landed a baseball slide under the bottom rope, smashing Evans into the barricade. Natalya held her hands in the air and beamed at the crowd as they cheered her on.
Back in the ring, Evans got the upper hand for the first time, but only after yanking Natalya’s head back by her hair. Evans clotheslined Natalya’s left arm across the top rope while dropping to ringside, then re-entered the ring and landed a big kick to the same arm, knocking Natalya to the mat. Evans covered for a two-count. Evans continued to work on Natalya’s arm in the corner, using the top rope again for leverage. After a slow motion head scissor takedown, Evans covered Natalya in a strange, nonchalant way for another two-count. She then covered Natalya in the traditional way, hooking one leg, for a two-count. Evans stood up, stepped across Natalya, and performed a standing moonsault. With her hands still on Natalya’s chest and hip, she did three pushups and covered for another two-count, then cinched on an arm bar.
After escaping the hold, Natalya leveled Evans with a spinning clothesline. Natalya got to her feet and set up again for the sharpshooter but Evans disrupted the effort with a slap that barely connected and a kick to Natalya’s chest. Evans slammed Natalya to the mat by her hair, then dragged her into position near the corner. Evans scaled the second rope, facing the ring, sprung up to the top rope while twisting 180 degrees, then moonsaulted onto her target below. This was good for a two-count, which Evans loudly contested with the referee.
Evans executed more heel antics onto Natalya: Kicking at her while prone, and swatting her with a white handkerchief. The referee exercised discretion and made no disqualification for use of a foreign object. Evans fired Natalya into the turnbuckles, but Natalya was able to return fire with the same move. Then Natalya scooped Evans off her feet by her legs and finally applied the sharpshooter, causing Evans to tap within a couple seconds. Evans was helped up the ramp by the referee while fanning herself with the handkerchief.
WINNER: Natalya by submission.
(Meyers’ Analysis: Evans’ moonsaults look good, and her nimbleness in the corner spot was impressive, but her general in-ring demeanor is clunky and restrained. Her collar-and-elbow tie ups lack any conviction; it’s as if she thinks she‘s going to break her opponent. It looked like the head scissors takedown from the corner was supposed to transition immediately into the pin, but Evans landed out of position and had to scoot backward to complete the maneuver. I’m not sure Evans could have a better opponent than Natty to shine against, so hopefully she tightens up the screws in short order. Those mechanical complaints aside, the match was quite good and did a nice job of building up Natalya’s sharpshooter, and establishing Evans as an asshole. Given the range of talent on NXT, it seems like Evans was brought up because she fits a particular physical image, but she still lacks confidence in her physicality. Her mannerisms and personality are coming along just fine.)
-Main Event recap session:
- Replay of Becky Lynch / Stephanie McMahon in-ring segment from Raw
- Replay of Becky Lynch / Charlotte / Triple H in-ring segment from Smackdown
- Replay of Angle & Strowman vs. Corbin & McIntyre from Raw
(2) TYLER BREEZE vs. NO WAY JOSE
As Jose danced to the ring, Percy said that for 2019, Jose should eliminate the conga line. Renee disagreed, and suggested it’s not the conga line’s fault – that maybe Jose should switch up his training. Byron attempted to defend Jose’s antics by claiming the conga line and “party mindset” help him “get focused before a match.”
The match started and consisted mostly of Jose dancing, helping Breeze up after knocking him down, and loving life. Breeze put the kibosh on these niceties by front-kicking Jose in the gut as he was being helped up off the mat again.
The contest eventually metamorphosed from dance number into wrestling match with decent back-and-forth action, culminating with Jose propelling Breeze upward and catching him with a firm right cross to the chin on his descent. Jose covered for the three-count.
WINNER: No Way Jose by pinfall.
(Meyers’ Analysis: I was rooting for Breeze and was happy when he cheap shotted Jose, because Jose’s character clearly doesn’t take competition seriously. As such, he deserves to be bested and to lose all of his matches. It’s remarkable how Vic Joseph said what I was thinking, but in a professional, on-air sort of way.
As the match was getting started, the announcers pointed out Jose‘s size, and referred to him as a “beast.” I‘ve noticed this repeatedly on WWE programming with Jose – his size is relatively unremarkable, yet the announcers are made to point out that he‘s “245 lbs!” as if that is impressive in this line of work. My only explanation for this strategy is that they are trying to counteract his song-and-dance foolishness by talking up his physical size. It’s like the audience needs to be talked into taking him seriously – since he’s made to behave in a way we can’t take seriously. A simpler solution would be to eliminate the song-and-dance foolishness, but then we wouldn‘t be sports entertained.
What’s sad is that he does have decent size, a good look, and is a good worker – but those qualities are largely squandered so that he can fill a very specific wedge in WWE’s pie graph of what Vince McMahon thinks wrestling should be: Something to put smiles on people’s faces. Unfortunately, the gimmick is superficial and will only be remembered due to the catchiness of his entrance music.)
SHOW SCORE (0-10): 7.2
FINAL THOUGHTS: For those interested in her career trajectory, this episode featured the singles-match debut of Lacey Evans on the main roster, and apart from a few poorly executed moves, the match was solid. If WWE has big plans for Evans, this will be a landmark episode of Main Event. The most interesting thing about the mens’ match is the commentator’s dispute about Jose’s “party mindset,” and we can only hope this is a harbinger of changes to come with his character.