Thursday, January 15, 2015

Best Coast Bias: Let's Talk About Six

About to take the clock to midnight
Photo Credit:
This is the week in WWE of the big schedule shift, as most BCB readers are probably aware. Team Blue drops back to Thursday in a hope to get more juice out of the ratings nudge that should be provided by rising out of the graveyard that is Friday programming in the 21st century. (Sorry, Impact.) The rising stars and logical booking of NXT drop back a day to Wednesday, suddenly filling the subset of the "dear Crom, not RAW again" audience with an actual head-to-head two-headed monster of pro graps for the offering secured squarely in the middle of the week.

With Main Event not moving, it was easy to see it being overlooked per usual. Besides, where was it going to go amidst the other moves, to pick up the Saturday Morning Slam audience? With their spot in the lineup and the hierarchy seemingly secured, so has Main Event's modus operandi in 2015. The Ascension and Rusev showed up this time around to make fresh meat out of a couple of randoms and Justin Gabriel, respectively. This falls under the purview of squashes/showcases to build someone's resume up at the expense of literal or relative nobodies. Sometimes a spammer gets in the works and you get things like the formerly somnambulant Matadores beating the Dust Brothers off a rollup via distraction, as Goldust was continually distracted and annoyed by El Torito, leading to the downfall for the former Tag Team Champions and the easiest possible excuse for Stardust to turn heel on his brother. It was Los Matadores, for crying out flayven.

But what's saved Main Event from being a complete write-off is the spotlight match being worthy enough to attract eyeballs that wouldn't normally cast a glance Tuesday's way. In the opening installment of the year, Paige and Nikki Bella got a good, long match and hungrily sank their teeth into it to pay back the time equity given to them with interest. This time around, the New Day went in against Adam Rose, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. As the warmup act before Smackdown this could've easily died a lingering death, but the talents involved and given two segments had a crowd that was sitting on their hands during entrances fired up and ready to go when the ending arrived in favor of the white hats via the Midnight Hour.

The story was told without being obvious right at the outset: the bad guys were three guys who were together -- Kidd and Cesaro seemingly no-selling their partner outside of tagging with him -- and the good guys who were a cohesive unit. It was them who got off the first few bursts of tandem offense in the early moments of the match before the self-proclaimed Masters of the WWE Universe started to put ink on their side of the double-team ledger going into the evening's final break. Watching Tyson and Tony work over the 21st century Men On A Mission you'd think they'd been tagging together for years. Sure, you got big flashy things like the Swinging Basement Dropkick and a catapult into a European uppercut. But they also did the vintage tag stuff like chokes and face rakes behind the referee's back. In fact, the only gum in their collective hair (even the former US Champ's) was Rose's involvement, as he ended up eating the final surge of offense after he blind-tagged in for the loss. Big E threw him around the ring as if he was a crumpled up Post-It note before a train lead to triple dives onto their hapless opponents with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods tope con hiloing the Masters while the former Intercontinental champion flew through the ropes with a spear that took Rose down with him. Midnight Hours end the match, and begin a New Day.

The crowd clapped merrily along and sounded back the call-and-response chant for the baby-blue clad babyfaces in the ring, but getting a spotlight match every Tuesday without anything else that would induce powerful eye-rolling for WWE's non-appointment TV is a reason to at least give a golf version of a clap. Even while being the odd show out, Main Event just like its usual components keeps its head down, doesn't sleepwalk through sixty minutes, and always puts in the work. It's something other shows under the same tent with 300% the length and 1000% of the attention haven't been able to adhere to on a consistent basis since last spring.