Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Best Coast Bias: WWE Mehwork

An accurate visual representation of the program
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Episodes of Main Event that are the last ones before Network specials (nee pay-per-views) are almost the dictionary definition of purgatory. They exist in neither Hades nor a Victoria's Secret lingerie show backstage; they merely are, forgotten almost as soon as they're done airing.

This could've been the hour to break that sturdy but unspectacular chain.

It wasn't, however.

When NXT is really clicking and earning its Show of the Year accolade, it's due to action: compelling matches and/or storylines that make the hour fly by in seemingly a fraction of the time. These Tuesdays that serve as a Big Sell for Sunday Sunday SUNDAY work more like Neuralizers: once it flashes by your eyes, you stand where you were blank-eyed and it takes a few beats to figure out something's off.

The Usos and the Dust Brothers kick off the show with a tag match that's perfectly cromulent but definitely some Pacifico compared to some of their earlier craft beer matches in the fall. This wouldn't normally be so glaring except that in order to sell for Sunday both the Mizzes and Matadores took to the announce table, so 6¼ people were all trying to talk at the same time on occasion with the gray cloud of Let's Be Careful Out There hanging over the hour the entire time. Cole getting a selfie with Torito almost got as much screen time as the Usos closing out to win the match in the familiar "are the Champions in jeopardy?!" trope

Bray Wyatt polished off Jack Swagger to the surprise of absolutely no one. The only thing that could've raised an eyebrow was that during the prematch diatribe directed at Dean Ambrose -- they're fighting at some point this week, though who knows when -- he became the second man on the show to refer to himself as a god. (It may occur to some audiophiles out there that this whole thing could've easily been avoided if Wyatt had ever listened to No Church In The Wild and taken into account Dean Ambrose's psyche.)

Earlier on Adam Rose got his Jesus Christ Pose on saying how he'd saved the Rosebuds and puppet mastered them into singing on his cue, in addition to establishing an important "no humping" rule to the (guy who's in a) Bunny (suit depending on which second this is and who's commentating) about 24 hours too late. Then there was an interspecies match as they took on Tyson and Nattie Hart in a race to see who's team could implode the fastest. In fact the early moments would see both Kidd and Rose bossing around their seconds on the apron after blind tagging in on both ends kept their more popular seconds from going at it to open. Tragically for Rose, wherever he's trying to get to, Kidd's at already, as the former Tag Champion used the Bunny's sitting on the ropes inviting him back in as an invitation to snap off possibly the most hilarious apron gamengiri ever. The Sharpshooter followed, but Rose hesitated before not doing so, and was nowhere in sight when Kidd threw in another cheapshot kick after his and his wife's victory. Most interestingly, given the timing of the Manson nupitals (brb vomiting everything ever) and Rose's suddenly overt Jim Jones cosplay, has WWE backed into something culturally relevant with the prince of the party bus?

Even the Paige/Alicia Fox match that was supposed to serve as an amuse bouche for an eight-woman elimination tag at some indeterminate point in the near future was a sprint more than something that could've been a stealth classic if it went for ten minutes and/or two segments, as Foxy took advantage of a rather (ahem)lascivious cover from her old best friend to reverse into a better one and pin the former NXT and Divas Champion. Paige got in a couple of good-looking shots, but nothing supremely awesome, no alarms and no surprises here.

It fit right in with the other 56 minutes to a tee in that respect.