1/6 WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT: Akira Tozawa vs. Slapjack, Ricochet vs. Drew Gulak, and more

BY MIKE MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT
JANUARY 6, 2021
HULU STREAMING TV
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe

REASONS TO WATCH…

Ricochet vs. Drew Gulak. An absolute gem of a match.

(1) AKIRA TOZAWA vs. SLAPJACK (w/ Mustafa Ali)

Slapjack tossed Tozawa into a couple corners early on, but Tozawa soon ducked a clothesline and came back with a flurry of strikes. Tozawa gave a charging Slapjack the big boot, then took him to the mat with a hurricanrana. Tozawa quickly scaled the corner and hit a missile drop kick, then covered for an early two-count.

Tozawa delivered kicks and a low drop kick in the corner. Tozawa, while seated on the top turnbuckle, attempted a tornado DDT, but Slapjack remained upright and spun 360 degrees to plant Tozawa back on the turnbuckle. He issued a palm strike to Tozawa’s face, then snap-suplexed him from the turnbuckle down to the mat.

From there, Slapjack went on the attack, hit another suplex, then worked on Tozawa’s left arm on the canvas. Ali was pleased at ringside. Tozawa landed a series of blows, but Slapjack drove Tozawa’s back into his knee. Tozawa blocked a Snapback, then executed another hurricanrana. Tozawa hit a shining wizard, then launched from the top turnbuckle to level Slapjack with the flying reverse elbow. He covered Slapjack for two.

With Slapjack stunned on the mat, Tozawa climbed to the top rope. Ali climbed onto the apron and approached Tozawa, whose attention was diverted from Slapjack who moved toward the corner and kicked the top rope. This caused Tozawa to lose his balance and tumble to the mat. Slapjack took advantage and hit the Slapjack, then covered for three.

WINNER: Slapjack by pinfall in 5:00.

Meyers’s Analysis: Nothing too special. The snap suplex to Tozawa off the turnbuckle was cool, and the heels orchestrated a simple distraction finish.

-The WWE Main Event recap session aired next and featured the following: A replay of Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso from Smackdown, a replay of Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy from Raw, and a replay of Keith Lee vs. Drew Gulak from Raw.

(2) RICOCHET vs. DREW GULAK

The wrestlers put in some good mat work to start. Gulak applied a side headlock and dropped to the canvas when Ricochet tried to fire him off. Ricochet got free and went for a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Gulak rolled through the landing and instead arm dragged Ricochet. Ricochet, in turn, did a hand spring through the arm drag, so both men ended up on their feet.

Ricochet executed a unique arm drag, then sprung off the middle rope toward Gulak, but Gulak caught him in midair. He walked toward a corner and body slammed Ricochet such that his legs bounced violently off the ropes. We cut to break.

Gulak remained in control. He scooped Ricochet up on the apron, but Ricochet kicked free, then hit a missile drop kick to send Gulak sprawling to the floor. Gulak rolled back in at the ref’s four-count, only to be hip tossed over the opposite-side top rope and back to the floor. Gulak got to his feet while Ricochet got a running start in the ring and catapulted off the middle rope to land a flying somersault senton. Ricochet got to his feet and did a big fist pump while Gulak lied on the floor.

Ricochet rolled Gulak into the ring, then hit a back body drop. Ricochet landed a punch, forearm strike, then a knee strike before leveling Gulak with a clothesline. He pinned Gulak for two. Ricochet climbed to the top rope and jumped into a meteora, but Gulak came to life and intercepted the maneuver. He grappled Ricochet’s right knee and turned him over into single-leg crab. Ricochet soon had the bottom rope in his hand, and Gulak broke the hold.

Gulak had Ricochet trapped in a corner, but Ricochet escaped by backflipping over Gulak. From this newly advantageous position, Ricochet planted Gulak with a German suplex, then bridged this into a pin and two-count. Ricochet hoisted Gulak onto his shoulders and went for the Kickback, but once again Gulak was ready and reversed the move into a single-leg crab. He transitioned into an STF, but Ricochet rolled over to get Gulak’s shoulders on the mat. This forced Gulak to relinquish the hold to avoid the pinfall. Ricochet got to his feet just before Gulak, allowing him to hit the Recoil, good for the pin and victory.

WINNER: Ricochet by pinfall in 7:20.

Meyers’s Analysis: For Main Event, this match was awesome. These two are so much more inventive than the standard formulaic matches on this program. In particular, the story of Gulak correctly sniffing out and defusing Ricochet’s moves was great. It’s bonkers that Gulak isn’t on TV more often, but at least this match exists.

SHOW SCORE (0-10): 8.6

Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 12/30 WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT: Nikki Cross vs. Reckoning (w/Mustafa Ali), Akira Tozawa vs. Angel Garza

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