Not many people understand the importance of the kickoff show. It’s needed to wake the crowd up and give them something to watch. They can’t see any of the analysts or panelists talking. That’s why it’s so important to have kickoff matches.
Sometimes, these matches simply feel thrown together for the sake of giving the crowd something to watch. More often than not, that’s what these matches are. Still, that doesn’t stop them from being great matches. Just because they’re not on the main show doesn’t mean they’re not good.
4. Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto (Fastlane 2016)
While many often forget that Kalisto is a former (two time!) United States Champion, he had some pretty great matches. They were relegated to kickoff shows most of the time, but a good match is a good match even if less people are watching it.
Del Rio was looking to reclaim his US Championship after losing it at the Royal Rumble. During the match, he played a very predatory and calculating role. He may have given Kalisto one fall by hitting him with a chair, but it was a very cunning move, as Del Rio hoped to take advantage of a wounded champion. He was able to take him out with his weird tree of woe stomp, but he was unable to keep him down.
Kalisto and Del Rio put on a highly entertaining contest. Both men are experienced luchadors, and Del Rio’s heel work contrasted well with Kalisto’s high-flying offense. At the end of it all, Kalisto was able to steal a pin to end the match at 2 – 1.