The Big Takeaway:
This was a a fun show all around this week. It began with Shelton Benjamin submitting Curt Hawkins, as he continues to experiment with a new, devastating submission hold. Akira Tozawa then beat Eric Young in a strong outing in what was their first ever match together.
Shelton Benjamin defeated Curt Hawkins (w/ Zack Ryder) (4:35)
Benjamin debuted a new cross armbar type submission hold last week in defeating No Way Jose. Byron Saxton and Mickie James don’t know what to call it yet, but it’s clear that with it, Benjamin is looking like a much more fearful entity.
There was a point when Hawkins was on this show almost every week during his 0-269 losing streak. Although it’s been a while, it was good to see him again here. He and Zack Ryder always go down well with a live crowd and there was a fun energy to this match.
They did a spot where Ryder tried to distract Benjamin on the outside, but he was wise to it and ignored him, rolling back in to subsequently post Hawkins. They gave Hawkins hope with a series of clotheslines, but it all came down to the submission spot.
For the submission, Benjamin had Hawkins facedown this week vs. last week where Jose tapped on his back. Hawkins played the pain up way better here, teasing that he might make it to the ropes before having no choice but to tap.
This match was good and exactly what it should have been. Performers with this kind of in-ring experience always make this show easy and fun to watch.
Akira Tozawa defeated Eric Young (6:17)
This was Tozawa and Young’s first match together on WWE television which made it all the more impressive. They worked really well together, told a good story, and did some fairly intricate stuff that would have fallen flat in less experienced hands.
In one spot, Tozawa teased a dive, but Young had it scouted, so Tozawa jumped the top rope and went for a running punt kick. Young ducked under and swept Tozawa’s legs, forcing him to land on the apron. Young then followed it up with a swinging neckbreaker to the mat. They also did a seriously complicated exchange before the finish that ended with Tozawa launching himself like a lawn dart at Young on the outside. The crowd really appreciated the work throughout here.
Young did a beautiful top rope elbow drop and Tozawa tried an octopus submission hold, but it all ended when Tozawa threw Young off the top rope and landed a senton bomb for the win.
For any casual fan, this is a really easy show to watch right now. Two fun matches were sandwiched between the best bits from Raw and SmackDown from this week (Cena’s return, Goldberg and Reigns, plus Orton and Beth Phoenix) as well as some fantastic WrestleMania and Elimination Chamber video packages.
In 51 minutes, there’s not much to hate about Main Event.