Recently, All Elite Wrestling announced the expansion of their television deal with Turner. It was something many celebrated, as the feeling is this has legitimized them to a greater extent than ever before. This new arrangement included not only an all new show on Friday nights called Rampage but also several additional shows throughout the year that would be taking place on Saturday evenings. Many fans were noting how this would be a return of sorts of the old Clash of the Champions shows WCW would run, or perhaps the legendary Saturday Night’s Main Events of yore.
All I can say is don’t get your hopes up.
Those old shows were, as I am growing ever more fond of saying, a product of their time. When the original versions were taking place, keep in mind what a ‘normal’ wrestling show consisted of: squash matches, and plenty of them. The times one would witness two top stars going at it on such shows were rare indeed – you were far more likely to get say Randy Savage versus Randy Hogan than you were Macho vs. Hulk Hogan. As we moved forward in time, especially with the advent of WCW Monday Nitro (and Vince playing catch up with Raw), those special matches that only happened on a Clash or SNME suddenly took place every Monday night.
The thrill, as they say, was gone.
I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t see how AEW is going to make this work. We’re already at the point of over saturation and I just can’t see them miraculously coming up with matches superior to what we see on a given Dynamite. Forgoing matches otherwise reserved for their monster money making PPVs also seems a far stretch indeed.
At this point, I think it’s wise to set the bar low. But hey Tony Khan…can you at least give us more than what we got on the final Saturday Night’s Main Event?
An event so incredibly forgettable that I legit had zero recollection of it at all?
And can you blame me when THIS is the first guy to be showcased?
I know there are some JBL fans out there. Somewhere. I mean, at least I’ve heard rumors of such. Not sure I’ve ever actually met one, and I know I’ve never talked to one. And for that, honestly? Gotta say I’m pretty thankful.
His opponents are apparently Cryme Tyme. I know it’s ‘misspelled’ for the sake of copyrighting it, I get that, but it didn’t stop me from spending a good 90 seconds trying to convince WordPress this is what I wanted for the text here.
And wait, why is JBL fighting these guys? Is this a handicap match?
And now we get Ted DiBiase and…well lo and behold look at this, CODY RHODES. I almost wrote “Cody back when he was allowed to be Cody Rhodes” but I guess all that nonsense is now in the past as well.
Kinda like poor Ted Jr.. I mean seriously, that kid has seemingly vanished from the face of the earth.
Anyone remember when he was paired with Maryse and they had no chemistry whatsoever? How is that even possible? Dude, she had sparks with THE MIZ for crying out flavin!
And now we get John Cena for some reason…
…followed by Kane…
…then Drax the Destroyer, who they are calling “Batista” for some reason…
…then to complete the madness, CM Punk on commentary, along with a Mike Adamle name drop.
You know, I was playing Royal Rumble on my trusty old Sega Dreamcast the other day and it had CPU wrestlers just coming out over and over and over to pummel me.
It was somehow less random than what is on display here.
I’m not trying to be cute or funny here – I legitimately have no idea what this match is supposed to be.
So best I can figure, it turns out that it’s an eight man tag, and the various participants didn’t come out together or even in sequence – they just came out in the most haphazard manner possible. For the record, we’ve got Cena, Batista, and Cryme Tyme (another 30 seconds wasted there trying to get that ‘correct’) versus Kane, JBL, Cody, and Ted Jr..
So the match starts and its every WWE match you’ve ever seen. Before I can nod off though, we admittedly get something great in the form of a commercial break promoting SummerSlam.
And we get Chris Jericho as Indiana Jones and Rey Mysterio pretending to be Batman jumping off buildings!
Hey, remember when that poor guy got tossed off the top of Titan Tower at WrestleMania in that stupid match a couple years ago? Appears he’d practiced for just such an emergency!
But don’t you worry, that entertainment is short lived as we are soon back to the match with Ted DiBiase applying a camel clutch for seemingly minutes on end, then Kane applying a BODY SCISSORS.
I remember once Bryan telling me WWE eight man tags were always great. Next time I talk to him I think I’ll present this pile of boredom as a counter argument.
The bout comes to a merciful end when JBL hits a clothesline on JTG. You’ll note I didn’t call it a “clothesline from hell” as it may have been the lightest clothesline I’ve ever seen from the guy. You could tell even ol’ bully John wanted to get out of there quick tonight.
Oh, and you gotta love that despite getting a MASSIVE reaction in his hometown, poor Batista couldn’t even get a win here. Over the likes of Ted DiBiase Jr mind you!
That thing of never wanting to send the fans home happy ain’t nothing new, kids.
Also not new: when the chips are down, Vince always turns to giant men to get viewers to tune in! Here we get The Great Khali, and we get him walking down the hall shot from the navel up.
How on earth did they get THAT shot?
Did they attach a selfie stick to his weiner?
And SPEAKING OF WEINERS…
…well, sometimes the jokes just write themselves.
I mean, they may not be funny jokes, but regardless, here we are.
This goes exactly as you’d expect. On the plus side, it was kept very short. In as much, it may have been the best Khali match I’ve ever seen.
However, we are told that at SummerSlam, we are getting Khali versus…Triple H????
How on earth have we never inducted THAT? I mean, aside from the fact I’ve somehow blocked it out of my mind. Holy smokes, that sounds like an utter train wreck. Cuz I guarantee there’s zero chance ol’ Paul “I can carry a broomstick to a great 27 minute match” wasn’t wrapping things up as quick as the Wanger just did!
And then in our final match of the evening, we gets something straight out of 1999: Jeff Hardy versus Edge!
Or is that straight out of 2021?
Heck, I could totally see us getting the exact same match 20 years from now.
No sooner had I noted that absurd redundancy before we get a run in by…
Does anything EVER change in this company?
Oh wait, my bad. Something did change – Saturday Night’s Main Event was once a good show!
And yes, this was the end of the legendary SNME. So the next time someone cries to bring something from the past back, no matter how fantastic it may have been at the time, just remember – sometimes things are a product of their time.
Unless it’s in WWE, where the times never seems to change.