Ryback vs Rusev
Taped 01/26/2016, aired 01/29/2016
Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida, United States
(reviewed 01/07/2017) This is one of those matches that got a lot of praise from the eight people who actually watch Main Event, and I’m always willing to give hidden gems a chance, so let’s go. They start with a lengthy punch + kick sequence, topped off by a headlock and universal spot. Rusev tires of it (same, bro) and powders, flooring the big guy with a superkick when he follows the Bulgarian out. Back from a commercial break, Rusev is doing his usual thing with Ryback before turning his attention to his opponent’s wrist and hand. A double clothesline puts both men down for the count, and they tease a suplex to the floor for a good long while before Ryback makes a brief comeback. The big guy switches it up with some untraditional/older moves, like a missile dropkick and backpack stunner, but things remain pretty even as the match goes on. Another double down leads to both men trading strikes back and forth. Ryback nearly hits the Shell Shock but is shoved into the ropes and a slap from Lana. He goes for a flying nothing off the top rope, but Rusev avoids it and puts him down with a kick, slapping on the Accolade for the win. Man, this was a whole lotta average wrestling for a match that I heard hyped from all corners of the globe. It’s not like I really expect much from a Main Event main event, but still, I was hardly impressed by this.