Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT
JANUARY 15, 2020
STREAEMD ON HULU TV & WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Byron Saxton, Mickie James
REASONS TO WATCH…
- Eric Young’s pattern of slop continues
- Mickie James draws attention to said slop
(1) CEDRIX ALEXANDER vs. ERIC YOUNG
The announcers discussed Alexander’s “unlimited potential” as the match started. When Byron asked what it would take for him to make it to the next level, Mickie said, “He doesn’t need to truly prove himself as an athlete, but it’s all about opportunities. He’s just looking for that right opportunity to step us his game and be taken to a different level.” Byron then mentioned that Alexander’s daughter Odessa recently celebrated her sixth birthday. Mickie responded by cooing, “Aww,” literally as Young smashed his elbow into the back of Alexander’s skull.
Young poised at the crowd and drew a few boos, then ran the ropes. Alexander got to his feet and leveled him with a drop kick, then delivered slaps to Young’s chest in two corners. From that second corner, Alexander fired Young across to the opposite corner, where Young collided with the turnbuckles and dramatically failed at attempting the bump over the top rope to the apron, and instead got hung up on the top rope momentarily before collapsing awkwardly back into the ring.
Young rolled under the bottom rope to the apron and got to his feet (where he should have landed) and proceeded with the shoulder block to Alexander through the ropes. In the ring, Alexander somersaulted under a reverse elbow, then took Young down with a hurricanrana. Alexander attempted high flying maneuver from the top turnbuckle, but Young pounced on the rope, disrupting Alexander’s footing and causing him to topple out to the floor.
Young positioned Alexander on the ring apron, face-down, and landed blows to Alexander’s head, then pinned for a two-count in the ring. Young snapmared Alexander to the mat and laid in a chinlock. Alexander quickly broke free and knocked Young to the mat twice with a quick clothesline and reverse elbow. On their next meeting in the middle, both wrestlers hesitated, expecting the other to make a move, creating an awkward frozen moment. This even caused Mickie to exclaim, “Whoop!” Alexander nailed Young with a basement dropkick, then landed a dive through the ropes to Young, who had rolled out. Young then landed a springboard clothesline in the ring and covered for a two-count.
Alexander set up for a superplex, but Young landed punches to knock Alexander to the mat, then hit a flying elbow drop. Young covered for two. Young to to his feet and yelled for him to “Get up!” He did, and hit Young with a back elbow, then landed the Neuralyzer for the pin and victory.
WINNER: Cedric Alexander by pinfall.
(Meyers’s Analysis: The sloppiest matches on Main Event have one thing in common: Eric Young. (Please refer to his appearances on the December 11 and September 25 episodes of Main Event.) There were two botches in this match, and one of them can only be blamed on Young. Mickie isn’t doing the wrestlers any favors either, by blatantly reacting to a miscommunication the same way I would while sitting on the couch with buddies. Not good.)
-Main Event recap session:
- Replay of Usos (w/ Reigns) vs. Corbin & Ziggler from Smackdown
- Replay of Rusev vs. Lashley (w/ Lana) from Raw
- Match rundown for upcoming PPV Royal Rumble
- Replay of Firefly Funhouse and Bryan backstage promo from Smackdown
- Replay of Big Show/ Joe / Owens vs. Rollins / AOP “Fist Fight” from Raw
(2) AKIRA TOZAWA vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN
The match opened with Benjamin leveraging his size and strength against the smaller Tozawa, but Tozawa soon gained the upper hand with his quickness and went on to level Benjamin at ringside with a somersault senton off the apron. We cut to break.
Back in the ring, Benjamin delivered three consecutive body slams to Tozawa, then applied a headlock. Tozawa battled out and ran the ropes, but Benjamin intercepted and launched him skyward. Tozawa belly flopped in the middle of the ring, and Benjamin covered for a two-count, then applied a chinlock.
When Tozawa began to escape, Benjamin leveled him with a clubbing blow to the back. Tozawa, showing resilience, got to his feet anyway and countered with blows of his own. Tozawa slowly hoisted Benjamin onto his shoulders, and sold the effort as though Benjamin was Big Show. Benjamin then effortlessly hopped off of Tozawa’s shoulders, allowing Tozawa take him down with a hurricanrana. Tozawa covered for two.
Tozawa nailed Benjamin with a running knee strike, and covered for two. Tozawa couldn’t believe he kicked out. Tozawa slowly climbed to the top rope – so slowly, in fact, that Benjamin had plenty of time to get to his feet and suplex Tozawa down to the canvas. He then hit Tozawa with a running knee in the opposite corner before landing the Paydirt. Benjamin’s finisher was good for the three-count.
WINNER: Shelton Benjamin by pinfall.
(Meyers’s Analysis: Relative to the first match? A masterpiece. On its own? Just fine.)
SHOW SCORE (0-10): 6.7
FINAL THOUGHTS: The shortcomings make for a more interesting episode than normal. Eric Young and Mickie James need to tighten things up ASAP.