Thursday, December 18, 2014

Best Coast Bias: We've Got A Pulse

Reunited and it feels so painful (well, for Emma, anyways)
Photo Credit:
When last we left our intrepid heroes on Main Event...well, actually, we didn't. They left us.

Last week astute addicts of the BCB on TWB noted there was no report, and that's because there wasn't a show with fresh material. Instead the sublime (Tom Phillips and Renee Young) hosted the ridiculous (an hour-long TLC preview).

But being live from Grand Rapids as a modified pregame for the SuperSmackdown 800th episode on USA seemed to inject the hour's proceedings with a vitality and spark that's often lacking from taped Tuesdays, and provided some fun on its own while still feeding its brother shows.

With a show that failed to be spectacular yet was above average with purpose to every portion, we can start anywhere. Without an involved crowd the tag match that centered the show between the Swinging Cats of Tyson Kidd and Cesaro against the smaller 2/3rds of the New Day could've easily looked like another indictment of recent booking failures with a couple of guys slapped together facing off against The Good Kind Of Black People: The Musical. But this was a lot more than that, bolstered by strong efforts by all four men, fun tandem offense on both sides of the ledger and Xavier Woods' finest WWE match to date as a Robert Gibson in light blue. Anyone who finds themselves here needs to be told about Cesaro the same way Megan Mullally needs to be introduced to a show called Parks and Rec; Tyson Kidd's recent spotlight stealing turn on NXT and Tuesday nights has been one of the bright spots that've pumped life into a formerly somnambulating career. But considering the varied reaction TND's been getting since debuting as a unit, this could've died an easy death under a thousand CM Punk or even NXT chants.

Fortunately, all it took was a fun two-segger old school tag match to show why they've got potential going into 2015 as well. Most fun was Cesaro and Kidd doing non-miced but audible work hectoring Nattie for having the temerity not to cheat, then doing so and informing her that's how it was done on a couple of occasions, but that shouldn't take away from their surprisingly quick cohesiveness as a unit both in regards to frequent, quick tags, and a basement dropkick/Giant Swing (that's right, it happened on Tuesday of all the days, and you could practically see bunnies jumping ship as the fabulous Tony C dusted the mothballs on it) that should be a signature if not The Signature for them going forward. Woods even busted out the Malenko gutbuster before the New Day polished off Kidd with a top rope double stomp variant on the Demolition Decapitation. About the only thing missing was more fun interaction on the outside between Big E and Nattie, and hopefully when the Usos finally exhaust their laundry list of title shots and rematches these teams will get a chance to be across the ring when Team Mizdow finally implodes.

Speaking of Sandow and what's-his-face, they started off the show's opener and the Usos were in the ring at the end of the segment. In the middle, the guest was Naomi, and things got plenty soapy without straining the nodes of credulity the way, say, an Irish whip does. Naomi responded to Miz's over-the-top glowing endorsement introduction of her by almost blowing him off entirely before he revealed he got her a title shot for the aforementioned SD800. This could've been a fine moment except nearly immediately out came her brother and law and husband saltier than a canister from Planters. Miz's rejoinders both at the time at the time and backstage a bit after were brusque: her husband apparently didn't want to see her succeed, and if she couldn't control his jealously Hollywood was going to Bye, Felicia her. The subsequent title match where she got distracted by their outside the ring fighting only further put a spammer in the works, and with the assumption that the next Uso title match could be their last and her next one who knows when in coming--well, you could almost feel the possible shift in alignment. More importantly, for a staff largely floundering through the fall into the winter it'd be something they could point to as a logical progression in events for every person involved.

The show concluded with a 1-2 punch of a old standby in Paige/Emma and more Survivor Series fallout from the meltdown of the Authority between Erick Rowan and Kane. The latter featured Titus O'Neil slightly overshadowing the proceedings at the announce table by squabbling with Cole in a back-and-forth while Rowan went straight at Kane from the get-go and actually had Kane ducking between the ropes, staggering around outside and generally taking a mollywhomping. Too bad the people they pay to note such things were preoccupied. Kane got off a more-or-less desperation chokeslam that won him the match. And as for the ladies, while Paige and Emma were having a fait accompli -- what else to call it when one doesn't get an entrance and the other one is wearing new merchandise? -- at least they had fun getting there and got more than 180 seconds to do it. While there was some humor involved as should be par for the course in a match with the bubbly Aussie, it still felt like something more akin to Full Sail. Hell, the crowd even had escalating dueling chants as it went on. Bonus points to the winning Brit for being aggrieved anyone would dare cheer for Emma. The more things change...anyhow, Paige landed the final in a series of match-long vicious kicks before locking on the PTO Scorpion Crosslock as seen to gain the victory.

Sure, it wasn't two hours live from Full Sail. Not every movie is Goodfellas, either. For an hour at least, the needle moved from hopeless to feckless, and any positive progress is what certain yoga maestros would call A Good Thing.