The Big Takeaways:
Titus O’Neil beat Drew Gulak in a formulaic match that marked Gulak’s first Main Event appearance in over two years. Humberto Carrillo notched up his first win since August against perennial loser Akira Tozawa in a good match that led off the show.
Titus O’Neil defeated Drew Gulak (5:50)
O’Neil returned to Main Event for the first time in over three months after a stint on Raw Underground. A remarkable, charismatic ambassador outside the ring, the 43-year-old O’Neil has rarely found a long-term home on the WWE roster.
Gulak, ten years his junior, has become similarly nomadic over the last year, yet offers significantly more as an in-ring worker. His move to Raw from SmackDown was part of the supplemental picks that took place on Talking Smack last week – a fact which should tell you all you need to know about his perceived value right now.
As you would expect, Gulak tried to tie O’Neil up in knots and relied on holds, including a sleeper, but it was to no avail. O’Neil’s power and strength came through in the end. It culminated with O’Neil hitting a sidewalk slam, big boot, and Clash of the Titus with Gulak left to wonder what’s in store for him next.
Humberto Carrillo defeated Akira Tozawa (8:30)
Main Event mainstay Carrillo retained his position on the Raw roster last week, albeit somewhere near the bottom of the list. Like Gulak, he too discovered his fate on Talking Smack.
Tozawa was the last of the night 2 Raw picks and at this point, he would have benefitted from moving elsewhere and having a creative overhaul. He and Carrillo are both very adept, but are unfortunately just growing stale as each week goes by.
Carrillo and Tozawa worked really well together here as you might expect. There was plenty on this show to enjoy and would ordinarily be the kind of match that would have gotten a pre-Raw crowd excited to see some more solid in-ring action.
Carrillo came off the top, but landed on his feet and was immediately rolled up by Tozawa for a near fall. They got up and Carrillo dodged a spin kick, getting Tozawa up into a torture rack position and nailing him with a modified facebuster for the win.
If this is Carrillo’s new finisher, they haven’t come up with a wacky name for it yet. It looked pretty good and certainly got the job done.
There was some nice work in the main event between Carrillo and Tozawa who always work really hard and have the natural athleticism to back it up. Gulak may fear for his position moving forward as working with O’Neil on Main Event is not helping anyone at this point.