6/23 WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT: NXT takes over, Karrion Kross vs. Shelton Benjamin, Bronson Reed vs. Drew Gulak, more


Results and analysis from this week's WWE Main Event


JUNE 23, 2021

Announcers: Byron Saxton, Kevin Patrick


  • NXT champions showcased on Main Event
  • See the Karrion Kross entrance on ‘Normal Mode’

(1) BRONSON REED (NXT North American Champion) vs. DREW GULAK

Kevin’s first remark on commentary was how tonight would feature first-time matches of NXT talent versus WWE veterans. He also explained that Gulak “doesn’t believe the hype” about Reed.

Gulak tried to grapple Reed from behind with no success – Reed tossed him to the mat two times with little effort. Reed applied a side headlock. Gulak fired him off the ropes and attempted a Thesz press but Reed simply swatted him to the mat with open hands to the chest. Reed hit a straight senton in the middle of the ring. Gulak rolled out to ringside, clutching his abdomen.

Gulak got onto the apron and when Reed approached, he yanked Reed down across the top rope. Gulak hit a drop kick in the corner, causing Reed to drop to briefly drop to a knee. Gulak attempted a whip but Reed wouldn’t budge. Reed hoisted Gulak over his head into a gorilla press, then tossed him to the mat. Gulak hit a jawbreaker, then applied an upright arm bar. Gulak dropped to the mat to attempt a roll up, but again Reed wasn’t moving. Instead, Reed dropped butt-first onto Gulak’s chest, testing the structural integrity of his rib cage.

Gulak staggered into a corner where he was splashed by Reed. Reed lifted Gulak into a suspended vertical suplex position and slammed him to the mat. Reed climbed the top rope and flew into the Tsunami, flattening Gulak on the canvas. Reed covered for three.

WINNER: Bronson Reed by pinfall in 4:15.

(Meyers’s Analysis: A borderline squash match and nothing spectacular. Nice job of portraying Reed as an immovable object against Gulak whose grappling style was rendered largely ineffective.)

-Main Event recap session:

Replay of Reigns vs. Mysterio Hell in a Cell match from Smackdown

Replay of Ripley / Charlotte in-ring segment from Raw

Replay of Lashley vs. Woods Hell in a Cell match from Raw


Unlike the first match, the title-holder entered last. Kross’s entrance had none of his usual frills: No smoke, no black-and-white effect, no extreme angles – and Scarlett was nowhere to be seen.

The wrestlers locked up and Benjamin took Kross down with a waist lock. Kross got to his feet and backed Benjamin into a corner then landed a reverse elbow and a couple of punches. He landed kicks in another corner before snap maring Benjamin to the mat. Kross nailed Benjamin in the back with an elbow, then yelled at him, “Kinda hard to wrestle a guy when he’s punching you in the face! I know you! I’ve been watching you for years! I know you like the back of my hand!”

Benjamin got to his feet during this verbal assault and nodded wryly at Kross before landing a right cross. Benjamin fired him off the ropes and leveled him with a shoulder tackle. Kross issued some punishment in a corner before moving Benjamin to the middle and attempting a suplex. Benjamin reversed out on and hit a neckbreaker. Benjamin ran the ropes and clotheslined Kross over the top rope – both men tumbled to the floor and we cut to break.

After the break, Kross had just hit a big clothesline and covered Benjamin for two. Kross planted a couple kicks then lifted Benjamin to his feet and hit an elbow strike. Kross stood on Benjamin’s neck on the ring apron, breaking the maneuver at the ref’s four-count. He hit a standard suplex and covered for a one-count, then immediately applied an arm bar. Benjamin got to his feet and arm dragged Kross to the mat, then knocked him down with a clothesline.

The men got to their feet simultaneously and Benjamin struck with a few punches before splashing Kross in the corner and hitting another clothesline. Kross powered up and got to his feet, seemingly impervious to damage. Kross hit a Doomsday Saito suplex and covered Benjamin for two. Benjamin attempted a throw or suplex of his own but the wrestlers clearly had their signals crossed and Kross fell awkwardly to the mat. Benjamin hit a spinning heel kick and covered for two. Benjamin lined up for another suplex but Kross fought out and applied a choke hold from behind. They rolled to the mat and Kross maintained the hold from behind. The ref checked Benjamin’s hand and called for the bell when there was no response.

Kross angrily snatched his belt from the ref’s hands and held it up for the camera.

WINNER: Karrion Kross by referee decision in 6:45.

(Meyers’s Analysis: Very strange to see the Kross entrance without the smoke and mirrors. It’s as if there’s a “Main Event entrance” that everyone must be downgraded to if they appear on the show. It reminded me of a 2009 house show I attended at a glorified gymnasium in Cadillac, Michigan. Some of the company’s biggest stars (John Cena, Big Show, Triple H) seemed so out of place with the minimalist setup. This almost felt like a test to see if Kross had his own star power without all the add-ons. In this instance, he seemed ordinary – as if he belonged on Main Event. His verbal taunts to Benjamin were generic and could’ve come from anyone. The match was remarkably two-sided, considering it was a largely unused veteran versus the reigning NXT Champion. Also, why did the NXT champion have such a noticeable botch with such an experienced wrestler? This did very little to build or maintain Kross’s star power.)

SHOW SCORE (0-10): 8.6

Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S MAIN EVENT REPORT: 6/16 WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT: Ricochet vs. Drew Gulak, Mace & T-Bar vs. Lucha House Party, more

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