Commentators: Michael Cole & The Miz
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Big Show… Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Eve Torres
We open the show with the breaking news that CM Punk has had emergency surgery on his knee; they blame the battle with Ryback as the culprit. This is legit (the injury, not the reason); Punk has needed surgery on this knee for years and the emergency was due to a compiling on the condition. He will probably miss the TLC PPV.
We get highlights of the brief encounter between Kofi Kingston and Antonio Cesaro last week on Main Event which leads into a Kofi promo. John Matthews asks him why he challenged him. He admits, that after defeating The Miz for the IC title, he became more intense; Cesaro’s post-match promo brought that out of him “and once in a while the Wildcat has to show his teeth.” Tonight is one of those nights. After that, we move onto the RawActive poll from last Monday, which put Cesaro’s title on the line in a Fatal Fourway (that was awesome) that Cesaro won. A video package follows for Antonio Cesaro which focuses on his brutality and deceptive strength.
Antonio Cesaro cuts a pre-match promo; he dashed all of our hopes of losing the title at the RawActive poll. He calls America a country full of empty hopes and dreams. He feels America is lazy and we all want people to work hard for us. Isn’t that called “management”? He tells us that he works hard and that’s why he’s out United States Champion. Cesaro does not hate us, he pities us. HEEL! He then declares the “United States of Antonio.” The Miz’s, “That’s where I live now… really?” is pretty funny.
Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro: Here we have the IC Champion (Kofi) versus the US Champion (Cesaro) in a non-title champion versus champion attraction. Kofi’s opponent at TLC, Wade Barrett as well as Cesaro’s TLC opponent, R-Truth both join for commentary, for, what will be, a surefire trainwreck at the announce table. Miz and Barrett immediately start trading barbs. Kofi works the arm but Cesaro reverses and waistlock powers him down into a front facelock. Cesaro backs him into the corner where he tries to toss him cross-corner but Kofi cartwheels to counter and hits a lunging forearm, backing Antonio into the corner. He keeps onto Cesaro pounding in the corner for ten; it just occurs to me that everyone at the announce table was just recently (or still is) a heel. Kingston tries to out European uppercut Cesaro… WRONG MOVE! Cesaro FLATTENS him with a retort. Kofi crumples to the mat. Cesaro then works over Kofi with a chinlock. He elbows free but Cesaro out powers him with a shoulderblock. Cesaro tries to speed it up with an Irish whip… WRONG MOVE! Kofi out leapfrogs him and nails a leaping reverse elbow, sending Antonio to the floor. A suicide dive follows. Kofi and Barrett exchange pleasantries at the announce booth before Kofi tosses Cesaro back into the ring for a two count. They battle on the apron and Cesaro gets an arm-whip whiplash move and drops down onto the apron with it to take over on O. Michael Cole asks Barrett his opinion on Cesaro’s viewpoint on America. Barrett diplomatically replies with “I’m not a fan of Americans, I’m not a fan of the Swiss; I’m not a big fan of anybody unless he’s British.” Truth calls it “hogwash.” Back in the ring, Cesaro wears Kingston down with an armbar. He hoists Kofi up for the power gutwrench; Kingston sells the desperation flailing his arms and legs trying to prevent the impact in a nice touch. He tries to fight back and hits a pendulum kick in the corner. Kingston looks for a springboard move but Cesaro catches him in midair with a FUJIWARA ARMBAR! I swear the European uppercut was coming there, but I’m wrong. Kofi reverses into a crucifix (for two) but Cesaro reestablishes dominance with a spear takedown. Back from the first commercial, Cesaro has Kofi in a step-over keylock. He gets a boot up in a corner to break Cesaro’s momentum; Kofi leaps off the second rope… and there’s the Euro uppercut. Cesaro gets two. Antonio looks for a hammerlock slam but a quick weight shift and Kofi’s on top for two. Cesaro checks with the ref to make sure the match isn’t over. Nice touch but Kofi’s music blaring would have told that story. He begins to unload with European uppercuts. He entraps Kofi in the ropes and goes onto the apron for some reason so Kingston backdrops him back inside the ring and begins to fire up with double chops and dropkicks. The Superman punch sets up the Boom Drop. He looks for the Trouble in Paradise but Barrett runs in, Truth follows, and we get a bell. Post-match, Truth asks for the tag match that we would have had on Raw. He checks with Kofi (and Little Jimmy) if that is copasetic. The fans want to see it. The heels are all for it as well so the referee makes it happen and rings the bell… I guess there is no GM of Main Event? 6/10 Pretty good match for what it was; 50% was focusing on the match and 50% was on the commentary booth. This was like the appetizer for the main course match which is up next…
Here is your winner… Kofi Kingston @ about 14:50 (broadcast) via DQ (Wade Barrett interference).
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (w/Little Jimmy) vs. Wade Barrett & Antonio Cesaro: Barrett and Truth, the fresher men, start off and Truth clotheslines him to the floor. Back from the second commercial with Barrett shoulderblocking Truth; Wade hits the ropes and meets a dropkick. Truth and Kofi exchange and the former tag champions hit an assisted forearm whip into the corner. Barrett sneaks in some bareknuckle punches and tags Cesaro back in; he works the arm some more. He frees himself and gets Truth back in there; they hit a double hiptoss. Truth nails the What’s Up Legdrop for a nearfall. He locks in a reverse chinlock; Kingston returns and Truth whips Cesaro into a second-rope clothesline from Kofi. Cesaro finally forces him into the corner and brings the fresh Barrett back in; Wade works over Kofi’s arm and stomps away on it. He applies a step-over armbar. Barrett drops a knee and tags Cesaro back in; he slaps on a seated keylock. Kingston fights free and launches the US Champ across the ring via monkey flip. Truth gets the hot tag and pounds away. Cesaro tries a boot but Truth catches it and does rather non-PG things to it; he hits some clotheslines and Truth or Consequences (suplex into stunner). Cesaro tumbles to the floor right by Kofi; the referee backs him away and tries to count but Truth shows up and everyone brawls on the floor. Barrett distracts Truth and Cesaro wipes him with a European uppercut. Back in the ring, Wade gets a tag and nails a big boot, for two. Barrett applies a bareknuckle chinlock. Truth fights back but meets a kneelift. Back from the third commercial (not in this particular match), Barrett boots Truth to the floor and tags in Cesaro. In the ring, Cesaro applies the traditional corner-blocking front facelock to tease the hot tag a few times. He punches free but meets a knee to the kidneys; Antonio hits the ropes… right into a twirling leg lariat. The hot tag is cut off via tug-of-war struggle but eventually Truth wins and here’s Kofi! He springboards into a clothesline (to Barrett, who also tagged) and begins the double chops and a dropkick. Barrett avoids the Superman punch and nearly grabs him in Winds of Change but crucifixes into a sunset for two; he follows up with a beautiful double-jump crossbody for two. He slows Kofi up with a savate kick and brings in Cesaro; Kingston surprises him with leaping takedown and then S.O.S. but Barrett breaks that pinfall attempt up. Truth runs in and stops Wade cold with the Little Jimmy. Truth slowly rolls to the floor leaving the two legal men in; Kofi misses the TIP kick and Truth blind tags in. Cesaro looks for a powerbomb but Truth leaps off the top rope with a sunset flip. He can’t quite get the powerful Cesaro down so Kofi assists with a Trouble in Paradise kick and Truth gets three, pinning the US Champion for the second consecutive match. 6.5/10 Fun second main event on Main Event. The former tag champions get one over on their respective TLC challengers. It was a good match with intensity and heat. Nice reunion victory for the former champions.
Here are your winners… Kofi Kinston & R-Truth @ about 16:55 (broadcast) via Trouble in Paradise assisted sunset flip pinfall.
Post-match, Matt Striker sans moustache, talks to Kofi Kingston and R-Truth regarding their corresponding matches at TLC. Kofi tells Wade Barrett that there is a storm headed for him and he’s bringing the boom. Truth tells Antonio Cesaro he’s gonna get got at the PPV because it’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothin’ but the truth.
The end of the show promotes the new main event at the TLC PPV: Ryback and Team Hell No taking on The Shield in an “only pinfalls or submissions” match. Don’t all victories require a pinfall or submission? I understand what they are saying but wouldn’t, no DQ, no countout sound better?
OVERALL 6/10 Fun show this week as it COMPLETELY focused on the secondary titles, which is good because it gives them some prestige. Also resulted in a pair of highly entertaining matches.