The Big Takeaways:
Slapjack made his show debut with a win over Akira Tozawa before Ricochet returned for the first time in three months to pick up a hard-earned win over Drew Gulak.
Slapjack (w/ Mustafa Ali) defeated Akira Tozawa (5:02)
Shane Thorne is a really good wrestler, but as "Shane Thorne," he didn’t really have the kind of gimmick that was going to take him all that far. The problem is this new gimmick is much worse. He’s doing his best with what they’re giving him, but by simply giving him a mask, we’re essentially getting artifice without the sophistication or craft.
Tozawa has been a standout performer on this show for a number of weeks now and sold really well for Slapjack as he worked over his left arm.
Ali got involved by grabbing the referee’s attention on the apron. This distracted Tozawa who was on the top rope so that Slapjack could crotch him. He then quickly got him in position for the Snapback for the win.
It’s been interesting watching their booking choices on Main Event with Retribution. This was the first time Ali has gotten involved on this show in one of the matches, telling us that Slapjack couldn’t get it done on his own against a man who probably loses more than any other worker on the roster. That’s quite the message.
Ricochet defeated Drew Gulak (7:18)
This was about as good a Main Event match as you are likely to see.
Ricochet hasn’t been on Main Event since November, but his transition back to main roster WWE television wasn’t a particularly successful one. Generally on the end of humiliation or defeat over on Raw, he returned here with a hard-fought win.
Likewise, Gulak hasn’t been on this show since October and has had a fairly rough time of it over on Raw. But the two worked well together here and did a remarkable job of building a good match in the time that they were given.
It started with a lot of close mat work and after the commercial break, Ricochet sent Gulak outside with a dropkick off the apron and then did a beautiful senton to the outside where he ran and launched off the second rope. Doing these sort of moves as a matter of course is so impressive.
They traded near falls and Gulak used two half Boston crabs and an STF before Ricochet managed to nail him with the Recoil out of nowhere to snatch the win.
This show was perfectly adequate with a particularly strong match between Ricochet and Gulak. It's a worrying sign for Ricochet, though, who they just do not seem to favor despite his obvious talent, ability, and charisma.