Updated: Feb 9
After a brief recap package of the main event of last week's show, this week's Main Event opened up with Drew McIntyre in the ring and the Virginia crowd giving him what can only be politely described as an unpleasant welcome. However this seemed to please Drew, who simply smiled and waited for the booing to inevitably abate. After this, Drew announced to the arena at large that his plan to be the most dominant man in Main Event history was plain for all to see, making reference to his backstage interview at the inaugural episode. He said however that experience of being a champion was pivotal and continued that to be the best, he had to surround himself with the best.
With that, Edge and Randy Orton sauntered to the ring, and joined McIntyre. The Scottish Psycopath announced that this was to be the beginning of a brand new era of Main Event that, starting with the WWE Championship qualification match in the main event, would see three stars rise higher than you could ever think possible.
He paused to laugh at a small pocket of fans who had begun booing again and continued that gone were the days where talent was pushed because they were younger or more athletic or looked better, making reference to the fact that Edge nor Orton had been considered for the qualification matches for the WWE Championships in lieu of talent such as Aleister Black and Johnny Gargano. He finished off with the ominous note that a tyrannical dictatorship was on the horizon, a tyrannical dictatorship in which everything falls to the power of the BlackHearts.
With that, the three raised their arms in salute and marched from the ring, focused on the destruction that would inevitably follow!
Match #1 - The Bar [Sheamus & Cesaro O] def. SAniTy [Eric Young & Killian Dain X]
[WWE World Tag Team Championships Tournament Semi-Final]
The second Semi-Final of the WWE World Tag Team Championship Tournament was next, SAniTy taking on The Bar, with the winners taking on Wyatt Family members Luke Harper and Erick Rowan at Clash of Champions for the gold.
After dominant shows from both teams in the previous round, it seemed as though this match could prove slightly more cagey. However, The Bar were not aware of this and proceeded to obliterate Killian Dain and Eric Young with a concise destruction that must leave them favourites heading into Clash of Champions.
Wisely cutting the ring in half, Sheamus and Cesaro systematically cut down Eric Young, whilst making it impossible for him to find the tag to Dain. After being hit with a Brogue Kick and a Cesaro Swing, things looked bleak for SAniTy until Young managed to break through Sheamus to make a Tag to Dain to a huge pop.
Unfortunately this did little to sway the order of proceedings, with Dain tapping out shortly after to Cesaro's Sharpshooter, setting up a World Tag Team title match at the Clash of Champions PPV in two weeks time.
Aleister Black was backstage next in a candle lit room, talking about the main event. He mentioned that he had been preparing for this Match his entire life, hence why he had been absent from Main Event so far. He never broke eye contact with the camera the entire time he spoke, emphasising every syllable with a serial-killer like calmness. He confidently proclaimed that he would become the new WWE Champion after he had brought darkness to all of those who opposed him tonight, and that their hopes and prayers of mercy at his hands would fade to black!
Match #2 - Roderick Strong O def. Goldust X
[WWE United States Championship Open Challenge Match]
This was Roderick Strong's Second Successful Title Defence
United States Champion Roderick Strong was out next, continuing his Open Challenge.
The first bars of Shattered Dreams brought the crowd to almost rapture as Goldust made his way seductively to the ring. Having previously gone undrafted in the initial draft, not only was this a huge opportunity to appeal himself to Main Event management, but also to achieve singles glory for the first time in over a decade.
He started well as well, landing a huge Swinging Neckbreaker and Atomic Drop before dropping to his knees to land a strike to the face of Strong, who seemed to have been taken completely by surprise by the Bizarre One's appearance and subsequent dominance.
Unfortunately for any fans of Goldust, Strong rallied. The Champion powering out of a Final Cut and turning it into an End of Heartache and pinfall, meaning a second successful title defence in as many weeks.
Kayla Braxton was backstage next with Kevin Owens, who would also be in the main event later on. However, when asked about how he had been preparing for this main event match, and the opportunity of going for the WWE Championship at Clash of Champions, Owens regarded her with the utmost contempt before shaking his head and muttering "...and you were the best they could get huh?" Before he snorted derisively and stormed past a bewildered Braxton.
Match #3 - Cedric Alexander O def. Mustafa Ali X
After losing his opportunity to become the WWE United States Champion in a hard fought match against Roderick Strong, Cedric Alexander had a huge chance to catapult himself back onto relevancy against another member of the roster who had found themselves teetering dangerously toward obscurity - Mustafa Ali.
After a brief handshake, the pair flew at each other at a high octane pace that had the crowd instantly out of their seats. It seemed for a while that everything Alexander did, Ali was going to match it; when Alexander hit a Topei over the top rope, Ali hit a Rolling Cutter in the ring; Alexander hit a Springboard Forearm, Ali hit a dizzying Swinging DDT from the top rope - the action was non stop!
Even Cedric's Lumbar Check, a move he had had no problem in getting away in previous bouts, wasn't helping him, as Ali countered out of it twice, first with a stiff looking Hurricanrana, and the second with an Exploder Suplex into the corner. Just as it seemed Alexander had nothing left, Ali went to the top rope in attempt at something high risk, but instantly regretted the decision as Cedric caught him and finally delivered the Lumbar Check for the victory.
Post-match, as a visibly disappointed Ali made his way up the ramp, Cedric took to the microphone and called him back;
"I've been called the Heart of Main Event by some" he began, "And in truth I never believed the hype. But tonight we just created magic together in this ring, and I can't just ignore that. I can see now that maybe I am the Heart, but what is Heart without Soul, and brother if I'm the Heart, then you are definitely the Soul."
He was smiling now, "If that's what we can do against each other, can you imagine what we could do if we were together? A tag team that no one could possibly ignore, what do you think?"
After a moment's deliberation, Ali stuck out a hand and a clearly elated Alexander took it before the pair embraced, cementing the formation of what would surely be a formidable - and exciting - tag team!
Match #4 - Kevin Owens O def. Aleister Black, Drew McIntyre X & Daniel Bryan
The first competitor in the WWE Championship match at Clash of Champions would be determined next in the first of two Fatal 4-Way matches in the main event. Apart from that however, there was of course both Daniel Bryan and Drew McIntyre in the match gunning for each other after last week's debacle, and Aleister Black and Kevin Owens, desperate to prove themselves.
Aside from all this of course, was how the newly formed BlackHearts would factor into this match. The tension was palpable, and the crowd loved it!
To everyone's surprise however, McIntyre did not go straight for Bryan as all assumed he would. Instead, he targeted Black who, despite hitting a few hope spots, including a Topei over the top rope and his signature Springboard Moonsault, was no match for the sheer power of McIntyre. Targeting the neck, McIntyre mercilessly DDT'd Black to the canvas with brutal regularity, slamming him back first into the mat.
By contrast, Owens and Bryan engaged in a quaint catch-wrestling battle on the outside, with Owens catching a Running Knee attempt into a Release German Suplex into the barricade, before Bryan got his revenge with a series of stiff knees to the head.
The match dynamic changed when all four men found themselves in the ring. A beautiful exchange of kicks between Aleister Black and Daniel Bryan was interrupted by Orton and Edge who dragged Bryan from the ring and putting him through the announce desk. With Black suffering from the damage of Daniel Bryan kicks, McIntyre seemingly had it won, and afforded himself a moment to survey Bryan lying motionless on the outside amongst the wreckage of the announce desk.
Seizing his opportunity though, Kevin Owens snuck in behind and rolled up McIntyre for a shock three count, before rolling out of the ring and sprinting back up the ramp before the other members of BlackHearts had a chance to react.
McIntyre was incensed and tore around the ring to the referee protesting, but it was no use, his determination to see Bryan suffer had cost him his opportunity. Speaking of Daniel Bryan, he had just managed to get to his feet after the BlackHearts attack but ate a Claymore Kick for his trouble as McIntyre looked to take out his frustrations!