The Big Takeaway --
Both matches were very strong again this week as Main Event carried on being an extremely watchable wrestling show. Liv Morgan and Shane Thorne held their own against very experienced hands in Natalya and Shelton Benjamin. Morgan got her first win since April and Benjamin made his experience count in the main event.
Liv Morgan defeated Natalya (5:34)
Liv Morgan was last on Main Event back in April when she defeated Santana Garrett and has been very impressive. With respect to Garrett, here against Natalya, she was taking on a vastly more experienced opponent and the match was even better.
What Morgan does so well, in addition to her in-ring smoothness, is her facial expressions and ability to react in a natural looking way to the situations she faces in the ring. She also has some comic timing and a fantastic look. Like Bianca Belair, Morgan has to be one to watch for the imminent future.
Natalya, composed as ever, started by getting the crowd going before they went at a really fast pace for the entirety of this match. They did a spot where Morgan mimicked Natalya in everything she did, like a child annoying an older sibling, and Natalya did an remarkable surfboard spot.
In the end, the traded inside cradles back and forth, after Natalya had failed to lock in the Sharpshooter. Morgan rolled Natalya through and just managed to hold on for the three count in a finish that could have gone either way. Natalya played up the loss after the bell looking angry and bereft.
This was a good opener to continue the streak of excellent in-ring work that we’ve seen on this show over the last few months. Natalya is always outstanding, but Morgan vs. Belair would be a very intriguing Main Event matchup for the coming weeks.
Shelton Benjamin defeated Shane Thorne (8:02)
Shelton Benjamin has been a joy to watch over the last six months on Main Event, rarely missing a week. Although clearly wasted on a show that is difficult to watch for the casual WWE viewer, he’s given new talent the chance to work with him on a taped TV show, no doubt providing invaluable experience for them.
Shane Thorne is by no means new to this, but he is fairly new to the WWE audience and is one of those who will be benefiting from the experience that Benjamin brings with him. Thorne worked with Ricochet last week, putting on a solid, traditional babyface vs. heel contest.
Here, Thorne, with kinesiology tape on his left shoulder, played an old-school, smug, cowardly heel. He looked for the ropes to break holds at every turn and took cheap shots to gain an advantage wherever he could. He plays this role beautifully.
They paced the match well, speeding up into quick bursts of quick chain wrestling and some explosive moves, like when Thorne did a rolling cannonball to the corner to send Benjamin outside.
But enough was enough for Benjamin, who got the shine with three scoop slams and a running knee to Thorne who was on the top rope. Benjamin then hit him with Paydirt for the win.
Final Thoughts --
Main Event has become a very watchable product over the last few months. Seeing the likes of Liv Morgan and Shane Thorne prove that they’ve got what it takes is fun to witness, but it’s about time Shelton Benjamin got the respect he deserves as an in-ring performer. Maybe the shakeup in creative will mean that happens, but I’m not holding my breath.