By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Rob Van Dam Interrupted Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett
Usually, I don't prefer seeing a talking segment open a wrestling show, but it's a refreshing change of pace on Main Event since it's not done often. Being the good mic worker that he is, Barrett cut a nice promo that set up his Intercontinental title defense for later in the night and garnered him heat as well. Barrett doesn't turn on the fans as often as he should as a heel, so I was glad to see him do that here. RVD interrupting as well as his interview later on in the night were nice touches in making the match between him and Barrett feel more important.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan def. Goldust and Kofi Kingston
Similar to on Raw, I liked the empty rocking chair at ringside that emphasized Bray Wyatt's absence and it made for a cool visual. It also made Harper and Rowan more credible in that they didn't need his help to pick up the win. Kingston wasn't as much of a slap in the face of a partner as Sin Cara, so perhaps Cody isn't setting his brother up to fail after all. Either way, this story between the Rhodes brothers has been well booked thus far and I look forward to how it continues to play out.
Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett def. Rob Van Dam by Disqualification
Once again, Barrett and RVD worked a good match that was given substantial amount of time. It wasn't as great as their Payback encounter, but the action was entertaining and I enjoyed it while it lasted. Cesaro interfering and attacking both competitors was a pleasant surprise and it was nice to see some storyline consistency for once with Cesaro walking out on Barrett on Raw this week. Granted, Barrett was attacked by Cesaro right before he could win the match for himself, but why would he be mad when he not only won but also maintained possession of the title? It'd be different if he were the challenger, but that's merely nitpicking things. The non-finish kept the feud alive and added intrigue as to whether Cesaro will be joining the championship chase as well.
This show reminded me of the early episodes of Main Event where there was focus on the featured match and only two bouts on the card. The tag team was well wrestled and the main event was good, feeling more important than most matches advertised for Main Event given that the Intercontinental Championship was on the line. The Raw recaps were easy to sit through and the hour quickly flew by, making this one of the best editions of this program in recent memory.
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