This week’s WWE Main Event was taped at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before Monday’s Raw, featuring two of NXT's top talents.
As reported on Wrestling Observer Radio earlier this week, both Tommaso Ciampa and Pete Dunne randomly were tabbed to make their Main Event debuts with little explanation. At the best of times, it isn’t the best career move to be on this show, so we shall see what happens next for both.
The Philly crowd certainly reacted well with both matches having way more noise than normal as, in fact, Main Event is normally crowd sweetened pretty severely.
Tommaso Ciampa defeated T-Bar (5:30)
The former NXT Champion was hardly put over as a superstar here as the finish protected T-Bar to some extent, but the match was fine.
Over the last few weeks, T-Bar has been picking up some decisive victories, defeating local talent in quick squash matches. So, this was something of a surprise in both opponent and outcome.
They went back and forth, but it was mainly T-Bar’s match. In the end, Ciampa reversed a backbreaker attempt, rolling through into a jackknife cover to steal the victory.
A former champion like Ciampa doesn’t belong on this show, so only time will tell what they ultimately plan to do with him.
Pete Dunne defeated Akira Tozawa (7:58)
Much like the opener, Dunne was hardly a whirlwind force to be reckoned with here, but he and Tozawa worked well together.
So, Ciampa struggled somewhat against T-Bar. Therefore, logic would tell you Dunne would debut against Tozawa and squash him, right? Wrong.
Tozawa is a sporadic regular on this show, but is genuinely excellent at playing the rag doll. Although this match ought to have run way shorter, there’s nothing massively wrong with Tozawa taking a beating for eight minutes.
Tozawa got some hope and even a near fall toward the end, but the match was otherwise Dunne working over his left arm, using a variety of armbars and hammerlocks.
Had this been Dunne’s full main roster debut, it was pretty much his greatest hits in terms of his move set, but I was hoping for a far more decisive match and fewer rest holds.
The finish was good with Dunne double stomping Tozawa’s hands before nailing him with the Bitter End. The announcers didn’t call it that, as is often the way, but Dunne posed and shrugged off the cheers at the end of the match.
Needless to say, this was a much more interesting episode of Main Event this week. After Rey and Dominik Mysterio's appearance last week and then two of NXT’s elite turning up this week, it become an infinitely more watchable show. But when this report goes up on the website, I can already imagine the audible groan from anyone reading.