SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE MAIN EVENT TV REPORT
MARCH 22, 2023
HULU STREAMING TV
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
WWE Main Event Announcers: Byron Saxton, Kevin Patrick
REASONS TO WATCH…
Dempsey vs. Benjamin exceeds all Main Event standards
(1) BRONSON REED vs. NATHAN FRAZER
In a talking-head promo during his entrance, Frazer said that nobody in this company “moves at the speed of light the way I do.” The scientific community has widely rejected the possibility of any object with mass traveling at 186,000 miles-per-second, but perhaps young Nathan Frazer will prove otherwise.
Reed nearly trapped Frazer in a corner, but Frazer narrowly escaped. Frazer ran the ropes multiple times and applied a side headlock. He flipped away from Reed in another corner before running the ropes some more and hitting a drop kick. Reed put an end to the wind sprints with a simple upright body splash that knocked Frazer to the mat. Reed fired Frazer into the corner, then knocked him down again with a head butt. Reed applied a chinlock.
When Frazer nearly got to his feet, Reed whipped him back to the mat and flexed his biceps at the crowd, drawing some boos. Reed went back to the chinlock. Frazer used a jawbreaker to escape this time, but Reed immediately took him down again with a reverse elbow. Frazer landed some body blows from his knees with little effect. He managed to stun Reed with an enzuigiri, then followed up with two flying forearms. Frazer used a head scissor maneuver to fling Reed into the turnbuckles, then splashed him with a running shooting star press. Frazer covered for two.
With Reed on the mat, Frazer climbed to the top rope and launched into a twisting moonsault, but Reed moved asside and powerbomed Frazer to the canvas. Reed climbed the same corner and splashed Frazer from the top rope with the Tsunami. He remained there for the pin and three-count.
WINNER: Bronson Reed by pinfall in 4:30.
(Meyers’s Analysis: Between his prerecorded promo and in-ring sprints, it was clear that Frazer wanted to dazzle the crowd with his speed – which was marginally impressive. It was a fun matchup with Reed’s size difference and the inevitable road block he’d become for Frazer.)
(2) CHARLIE DEMPSEY vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN (w/ MVP & Cedric Alexander)
The men started with some mat wrestling and an early cover by Dempsey. Dempsey worked on Benjamin’s left shoulder, then Benjamin powered him into a corner. Benjamin fired him off the ropes and leveled him with a reverse elbow. He covered Dempsey several times but Dempsey arched out of each attempt. Dempsey suplexed Benjamin to the mat, hit a European uppercut, then whipped Benjamin to the mat with an arm drag. Benjamin rolled out to ringside to get some advice from MVP as we cut to break.
The men were back in the ring exchanging blows after the break. Dempsey hit a gutwrench suplex and covered Benjamin for two. Dempsey applied an arm bar on the mat. Benjamin made multiple escape attempts but Dempsey was persistent in his hold. Eventually Benjamin deadlifted Dempsey into the air, but Dempsey struck him, then suplexed him to the mat again. Dempsey pinned Benjamin awkwardly with his hands on Benjamin’s shoulders while arching backward with his belly in the air. The ref seemed dumbstruck by the move before realizing it was a cover and going down to count. Benjamin kicked out at two.
Dempsey got to his feet and urged Benjamin to do the same. Dempsey reversed out of a hip toss and used a back slide to pin Benjamin for another two-count. Benjamin missed a heel kick, then hit a superkick – this drew a good crowd reaction. He covered Dempsey for two. Dempsey landed a couple forearm strikes while looking wobby on his own legs. Benjamin came back with a knee strike in the corner and Paydirt in the middle. He rolled up Dempsey for three.
WINNER: Shelton Benjamin by pinfall in 6:35.
(Meyers’s Analysis: One of the best Main Event matches I’ve seen. The style was not typical of this program – in fact, except for its brevity, it more resembled a New Japan / NXT UK match than a Raw or Smackdown match. I put this mostly on Dempsey, who was unabashed with his style: Unique suplex variants, leverage maneuvers, and excellent selling. Cheers to Benjamin for rolling along flawlessly with all of this. Good stuff.)
Side note: Dempsey looks remarkably like a young Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. This is a tough hurdle to overcome, for someone trying to look like a tough guy. Still, Dempsey suceeds in short order.
SHOW SCORE (0-10): 9.2
Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42