1/4 WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT: Shelton Benjamin vs. Rip Fowler, Brooke vs. Cross, more


WWE Main Event results and analysis


JANUARY 4, 2022

WWE Main Event Announcers: Byron Saxton, Kevin Patrick


  • Shelton Benjamin 20th anniversary special


Cross has reverted from Nikki A.S.H. to an earlier form: An inset video showed her laughing maniacally at point blank camera range, and she paced and fretted neurotically on her way to the ring.

Brooke clapped her hands rhythmically before squaring off with Cross. She knocked Cross down with shoulder blocks, then delivered a flurry of kicks and forearm shots in the corner. She snap mared Cross to the mat, kicked her in the shoulder, then covered for an early two-count. Brooke hit a reverse elbow in the corner, but Cross came back and fired Brooke into the turnbuckle by her hair. Cross hit a cross body and covered for two, then landed a forearm strikes while baring her teeth at the audience.

Cross buried her shoulder into Brooke’s gut several times in the corner. Brooke hit a sloppy jawbreaker, then rolled up Cross for two. Cross slammed Brooke to the mat by her hair and covered for her own two-count. Cross applied a strait jacket submission in the middle of the ring. Brooke got to her feet and twisted Cross to the mat, then covered for one. A charging Cross caught Brooke’s boot to the face, then Brooke clotheslined Cross to the mat. Both women were slow to get up. Brooke landed a few shots and could be seen communicating to Cross near the ropes. Brooke repeatedly took down Cross with clotheslines, then shook her chest at the crowd. She splashed Cross in the corner, then planted her to the mat with a bulldog. Brooke splashed Cross against the canvas and covered for two.

Cross crawled to a corner and got to her feet. Brooke missed a reverse elbow in that corner, and Cross raked Brooke’s eyes before hitting a twisting neckbreaker. Cross covered for the three-count and win.

WINNER: Nikki Cross by pinfall in 5:30.

(Meyers’s Analysis: The twisted version of Cross is back, reminiscent of her time with the Sanity faction. A victory was fitting for this transformation, but the match was standard back-and-forth and got a little clunky.)

Kevin Patrick introduced a video package for Shelton Benjamin’s 20-year anniversary. It featured career highlights and talking-head segments from multiple wrestlers: Mia Yim, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Molly Holly, Shawn Daivari, Tamina, Cedric Alexander, Kofi Kingston.


Reid distracted Benjamin right off the bat, allowing Fowler getting the upper hand early. He clawed at Benjamin’s face before shouting that Benjamin was “done” after 20 years. He pinned Benjamin for two, then applied a chinlock. At ringside, Reid said to the camera, “20 years, he needs to go!”

Benjamin broke free with elbow shots, ducked a clothesline, then took Fowler out with a spinning heel kick. Fowler knocked Benjamin through the ropes out to the floor where Reid resumed his taunting as we cut to break.

Benjamin blocked a suplex in the middle of the ring, then slowly muscled Fowler up into a suplex of his own. The men exchanged forearm shots, with Benjamin imploring Fowler to hit him harder. Benjamin dropped Fowler with a side suplex, then splashed him in the corner. Fowler hit a jawbreaker, then sat upon the top turnbuckle. Before he could take action, Benjamin sprinted in with a rising knee strike to his chin. Reid entered the ring and Benjamin ducked a clothesline. Benjamin hit Reid with the Paydirt which sent him rolling back out of the ring. Meanwhile, Fowler recovered and jumped from the middle turnbuckle and nailed Benjamin with a codebreaker. He covered Benjamin for two.

Fowler carried on with the yelling: “You had your chance! Ignore them!” Instead, Benjamin fed off the crowd and hit back-to-back-to-back German suplexes. Benjamin set up Fowler in a choke slam position and absorbed the crowd response before power slamming Fowler to the mat and covering for three.

WINNER: Shelton Benjamin by pinfall in 5:00.

Benjamin offered to help Fowler to his feet – they shook hands and Fowler seemed appreciative. Benjamin had a mic and asked if he could take a moment. “In case some of you guys don’t know, I just recently celebrated 20 years since debuting for WWE. I just want to thank you fans, WWE, WWE Universe, for allowing me all this time to live out my childhood dream.” A “Thank you, Shelton” chant simmered from the crowd. “But make no mistake – I’m not done. I’m Shelton Benjamin, I’m still the gold standard, and ain’t no stoppin me now!” Benjamin smiled and high fived fans on his way back up the ramp.

(Meyers’s Analysis: The entire Benjamin segment – the video, the match, and his addressing the crowd – should have aired on Raw or Smackdown. I get that he’s no longer an A- or B-level star, but it’s remarkable he’s been with one company for 20 years and the appreciation they showed on Main Event belongs on one of WWE’s flagship shows.)

SHOW SCORE (0-10): 8.6

Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42

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