The Big Takeaways:
This week's Main Event featured two wholly acceptable matches that were made all the better for having been called by the returning Samoa Joe in place of Byron Saxton. Erik got a win over Akira Tozawa in a match perfectly pitched for the big man while Humberto Carrillo won yet again on this show, this time against Gran Metalik.
Erik defeated Akira Tozawa (5:07)
After debuting on Main Event as a singles performer last week in a losing effort against Titus O’Neil, he was much better here against a much more capable opponent, getting his win back. Tozawa was sans ninjas, but worked really hard to make Erik look great. He took the opening few minutes, leading the match and looking both plucky and in control.
But when Erik took over, Tozawa sold beautifully. First, Erik hit him with an ura nage before charging to nail him with a running knee strike. Tozawa flopped over backward and looked dead.
In the end, Erik finished him with a knee to the back of the head, leaving Tozawa to sell like a rag doll on the mat.
The win made Erik look a lot more of a legitimate prospect and somewhat of a monster heel. Simply put, this is exactly the kind of person he should be working with each week and why on Earth they chose to beat him last week is beyond me.
Humberto Carrillo defeated Gran Metalik (w/ Lince Dorado) (7:26)
Carrillo worked with Lince Dorado last week on Main Event -- a show that is fast becoming his home. The win here against Metalik made it three in a row for a performer whose Raw opportunities have tailed off since the summer.
The opening minutes were well mannered as the two tried to outwork each other and were all smiles as they appreciated each other’s attempts. Before they went to the break, there was a nice moment where Carrillo countered a tilt-a-whirl headscissors into a power bomb.
Unfortunately much of the second half after the commercial break was rest holds as Carrillo had an abdominal stretch in place before pulling and cranking Metalik’s arms back behind his body. They did come back to life, though, and began to trade near falls.
The finish started with a moonsault that Metalik had scouted, so Carrillo landed on his feet and then hit a backbreaker. He followed it up by hoisting Metalik up on to his shoulders and hitting him with his unnamed finisher -- a sit-out facebuster from his shoulders -- for the win.
There was nothing much wrong with Main Event this week and actually, quite a lot of it was right. Erik was booked in an infinitely more logical way than he was last week with a lot of credit owed to Tozawa for the performance in addition to a really well-worked contest between Carrillo and Metalik.