wrestling / Columns

Leighty’s 2022 Countdown: The Matches of WWE Main Event

January 13, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Main Event T-Bar Image Credit: WWE

-It’s countdown time as for the third straight year, I will every match from 2022 that happened on WWE Main Event. The Draft brough some new faces to Main Event and then we had the NXT call-ups that also brought new life to the show. As always with opinion-based columns, feel free to have a take. In the words of the late, great Larry Csonka just don’t be a dick about it. Let’s get to it!

100) Veer Mahaan vs. Storm Grayson (SQUASH) -03.03.22

99) Veer Mahaan vs. Savion Truitt (SQUASH) – 03.10.22

98) Veer Mahaan vs. Gary Heck (SQUASH) – 03.17.22

97) Apollo Crews vs. Greg Leslie (SQUASH) – 04.07.22

96) Omos vs. Ezekiel (SQUASH) – 08.04.22

95) Veer Mahaan vs. Joe Alonzo (SQUASH) – 03.24.22

94) Veer Mahaan vs. Akira Tozawa (SQUASH) – 02.03.22

93) T-Bar vs. Reggie (SQUASH) – 05.12.22

92) T-Bar vs. Dennis Daniels (SQUASH) – 01.06.22

91) Tamina vs. Jamin Allure (1/2*) – 07.14.22

90) Katana Chance vs. Tamina (1/2*) – 12.08.22

89) R Truth vs. Von Wagner (1/2*) – 10.13.22

88) Veer Mahaan vs. Mustafa Ali (1/2*) – 07.07.22

87) Dana Brooke vs. Tamina (1/2*) – 09.22.22

86) Kiana James vs. Dana Brooke (1/2*) – 11.03.22

85) Tamina vs. Wendy Choo (3/4*) – 11.10.22

84) Commander Azeez vs. T-Bar (*) – 05.05.22

83) Tamina and Carmella vs. Asuka and Dana Brooke (*) – 07.28.22

82) Asuka vs. Kiana James (*) – 11.17.22

81) Tamina and Dana Brooke vs. Nikki A.S.H and Doudrop (*1/4) – 08.25.22

80) Dana Brooke vs. Kiana James (*1/4) – 10.27.22

79) Judgment Day vs. The Mysterios (*1/2) – 06.23.22

78) Commander Azeez vs. Tozawa (*1/2) – 05.26.22

77) Veer Mahaan vs. Cedric Alexander (*1/2) – 03.31.22

76) Dana Brooke vs. Fallon Henley (*1/2) – 10.06.22

75) Dana Brooke vs. Briana Ray (*1/2) – 12.15.22

74) Reggie vs. Tozawa (*1/2) – 07.21.22

73) Reggie vs. Shelton Benjamin (*1/2) – 09.08.22

72) Cameron Grimes vs. Tozawa (*1/2) – 10.20.22

71) Liv Morgan vs. Queen Zelina (*1/2) – 02.24.22

70) Shelton Benjamin and R-Truth vs. Briggs and Jensen (*1/2) – 10.06.22

69) Veer Mahaan vs. Apollo Crews (*1/2) – 02.24.22

68) Veer Mahaan vs. Apollo Crews (*1/2) – 02.17.22

67) Reggie vs. T-Bar (*1/2) – 06.16.22

66) Alba Fyre vs. Tamina (*1/2) – 11.24.22

65) T-Bar vs. Shelton Benjamin (*1/2) – 08.04.22

64) Apollo Crews vs. Tozawa (*1/2) – 05.12.22

63) Tozawa vs. Shelton Benjamin (*1/2) – 06.16.22

62) T-Bar vs. Shelton Benjamin (*1/2) – 04.07.22

61) R Truth vs. Tozawa (*1/2) – 09.15.22

60) R Truth vs. Shelton Benjamin (*1/2) – 09.29.22

59) T-Bar vs. Roderick Strong (*1/2) – 01.27.22

58) The Street Profits vs. Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez (*3/4) – 05.19.22

57) Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez vs. The Hurt Business (**) – 04.14.22

56) Veer Mahaan vs. T-Bar (**) – 02.10.22

55) Duke Hudson and Von Wagner vs. R Truth and Shelton Benjamin (**) – 11.03.22

54) Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander vs. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade (**) – 12.15.22

53) Trick Williams vs. Cedric Alexander (**) – 12.08.22

52) Apollo Crews vs. Tozawa (**) 06.02.22

51) Cedric Alexander vs. Andre Chase (**) – 12.22.22

50) Apollo Crews vs. T-Bar (**) – 04.21.22

49) Shelton Benjamin vs. R-Truth (**) – 09.01.22

48) LA Knight vs. Cedric Alexander (**) – 01.27.22

47) Finn Balor vs. Apollo Crews (**) – 03.31.22

46) Reggie vs. Ciampa (**1/4) – 05.19.22

45) Ciampa vs. Reggie (**1/4) – 06.09.22

44) Von Wagner vs. Cedric Alexander (**1/4) – 10.27.22

43) The Street Profits vs. The Hurt Business (**1/4) – 04.28.22

42) Liv Morgan vs. Doudrop (**1/4) – 02.03.22

41) Cedric Alexander vs. T-Bar (**1/4) – 03.24.22

40) Liv Morgan vs. Nikki A.S.H. (**1/4) – 04.28.22

39) Xyon Quinn vs. Tozawa (**1/4) – 11.10.22

38) Tozawa vs. Shelton Benjamin (**1/4) – 08.18.22

37) Ciampa vs. Tozawa (**1/4) – 06.30.22

36) Tomasso Ciampa vs. T-Bar (**1/4) – 04.14.22

35) Tomasso Ciampa vs. T-Bar (**1/4) – 03.17.22

34) Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali vs. Shelton Benjamin and T-Bar (**1/2) – 08.25.22

33) Cedric Alexander vs. T-Bar (**1/2) – 09.01.22

32) The Street Profits vs. The Hurt Business (**1/2) – 03.10.22

31) Joe Gacy vs. Cedric Alexander (**1/2) – 12.01.22

30) T-Bar vs. Mustafa Ali (**1/2) – 06.30.22

29) Pete Dunne vs. Akira Tozawa (**1/2) – 01.13.22

28) T-Bar vs. Cedric Alexander (**1/2) – 07.07.22

27) Ali and Alexander vs. T-Bar and Tozawa (**1/2) – 07.28.22

26) Grayson Waller vs. Tozawa (**1/2) – 11.24.22

25) Tomasso Ciampa vs. T-Bar (**1/2) – 01.13.22

24) T-Bar vs. Mustafa Ali (**1/2) – 06.09.22

23) Cedric Alexander vs. Shelton Benjamin (**1/2) – 08.11.22

22) Tomasso Ciampa vs. T-Bar (**1/2) – 02.24.22

21) R-Truth vs. T-Bar (**1/2) – 06.02.22

20) Tomasso Ciampa vs. Akira Tozawa (**1/2) – 01.20.22

19) Pete Dunne vs. T-Bar (**1/2) – 01.20.22

18) Mustafa Ali vs. Tozawa (**3/4) – 09.29.22

17) Zoey Stark vs. Dana Brooke (**3/4) – 12.01.22

16) Shelton Benjamin vs. Cedric Alexander (**3/4) – 09.15.22

15) T-Bar vs. Apollo Crews (**3/4) – 05.26.22

14) T-Bar vs. Cedric Alexander (**3/4) – 09.08.22

13) The Mysterios vs. The Hurt Business (**3/4) – 01.06.22

12) Duke Hudson vs Cedric Alexander (***) – 10.20.22

11) Mustafa Ali and Shelton Benjamin vs. Alpha Academy (***) – 09.22.22

10) Axiom vs. Mustafa Ali (***) – 12.22.22

9) The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy (***) – 08.18.22

8) The Hurt Business vs. The Dirty Dawgz (***) – 02.10.22

7) Apollo Crews vs. Ciampa (***) – 05.05.22

6) Mustafa Ali vs. Tozawa (***) – 07.14.22

5) Tomasso Ciampa vs. Cedric Alexander (***) – 04.21.22

4) Alpha Academy vs. Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander (***1/4) – 07.21.22

-This could be fun! Cedric starts with Otis and Cedric tries to clown him, but gets slapped for it. Serves him right! Otis flexes and Cedric gives him a subtle crotch chop. Cedric hits a dropkick, but that doesn’t do anything and Otis smashes him to the mat. Gable in and he fires off chops and tells the crowd to “SHOOOOSH.” Alexander avoids a charge in the corner and gets a head scissors. Tag to Ali and they run through their tandem offense as we head to a break.

-Back with Gable working the knee of Alexander. He hits a kneebreaker followed by a belly to back suplex. Otis back in and he hits a World’s Strongest Slam for two. Clubbing blow from Otis and he throws some forearms across the face. Running splash in the corner and then a standard one flattens Cedric. Otis to the middle rope, but The Vader Bomb misses. It’s a race for the tag and Gable gets in first. He tries to cut off Cedric, but the hot tag is made to Ali. He knocks Otis off the apron and gets two off a Tornado DDT as Otis makes the save. All four men brawl and Cedric gets set up for a Doomsday Device but Ali makes the save. Cedric and Ali hit a double superplex off the back of Otis for two. Sweet! Otis gets low bridged to the floor and Cedric follows with a flip over the top. Back inside Gable avoids the 450 and muscles Ali into a German Suplex. Otis gets the tag and gets the pin off Gable hitting The Alpha Bomb from the middle rope at 8:49.

Winners: The Alpha Academy via pin at 8:49
-This was fun and that last 60 seconds of the match was pretty great. I like both these teams and they need to be featured in the title scene once The Usos/Profits finish up their feud

3) Cedric Alexander vs. JD McDonagh (***1/4) – 11.17.22

-Okay! Let’s see what we can get here. JD gets wrist control and maintains as Cedric tries to roll his way out. He even tries to monkey flip out, but JD maintains control. He finally escapes, but backs into a corner to check on his wrist. Another go and JD lands a kick to the stomach and goes back to the arm and wrist. Alexander kips up to break and gets a dropkick. Cedric fires off some chops in the corner. JD escapes a suplex, but gets caught with an elbow. Cedric tries to pick up the pace, but JD goes back to the damaged arm. He drapes Cedric’s arm across the top rope as he jumps to the floor and that takes us to our commercial break.

-Back with JD back on the arm, but Cedric is able to shove off to break. Sick clothesline from Cedric with the good arm and a nice release German Suplex sends JD to the floor. Cedric looks to fly, but JD back in to cut him off. Cedric gets a Michinoku Driver for two. Neuralizer is a no go as his damaged arm won’t let him hit the move. Nice! JD gets tossed to the apron, but low bridges Cedric. Beautiful Asai moonsault from JD and in a nice touch most of his bodyweight landed on the damaged arm. Slingshot corkscrew splash back in the ring gets two. Cedric lands on his feet off another German and lands a kick to the back. He misses a second kick, but lands a forearm. Cedric tries another clothesline, but JD rolls with it and hits a standing Spanish Fly. Sweet! Yes Kicks from JD, but he walks into a knee to the face. Both up and JD hits a headbutt. They start trading blows in the middle of the ring and Cedric gets a head kick before getting a brainbuster for the win at 10:00.

Winner: Cedric Alexander via pin at 10:00
-This was sweet! They were given time by this show’s standards as even with the commercial break you rarely see anything you get 10:00 here. Cedric winning is fine as JD is the newbie call up on a test run, but he looked good out there and the crowd got into the match. One of the better matches of the year for this show

2) Cedric Alexander vs. Carmelo Hayes (***1/4) – 10.13.22

-Insert promo from Cedric as he took some time off to get his head straight. He will remind the world he is Prime Alexander. Good pop from the Brooklyn crowd from Carmelo. This should be interesting! Carmelo gets his own previously recorded promo: “Numbers don’t like and Melo don’t miss.” The crowd starts a loud “NXT” chant as they lock-up. They work off an armlock and do some flipping while trash talking each other. Hayes pie-faces Cedric to let him know he won’t embarrass him. Cedric gets an arm-drag into an armbar. Melo flips over Cedric’s back to avoid a backdrop and slaps Cedric in the face. Cedric responds with a right hand and then a dropkick. Hayes avoids a charge in the corner, but gets put on the apron and gets run back and forth between the ring posts. Cedric uses the ropes to flip him back in the ring and gets a high backdrop. Hayes avoids the handspring and gets his own spring off the middle ropes into a clothesline as we take a break? Since when does the opening match get a commercial break? Unless this is the only match we are getting this week.

-Back with Melo getting a whip to the corner. He catches Cedric in the back of the head with a kick and lands a legdrop as Cedric was tangled in the ropes. That gets two! Apparently that move is called The Fadeaway. Hayes goes to work on the arm as the crowd tries to rally Cedric. Hayes uses the hair to pull Cedric back down and maintains an overhand wrist lock. They could cut the announce team feed out of this one and just let Cedric and Melo commentate their own match. Cedric is able to escape and gets The Neuralizer to leave both men down. They start exchanging in the middle of the ring and Cedric gets a roll-up for two. He connects with a basement dropkick and gets a clothesline on the apron. Michinoku Driver back in the ring gets two. Cedric lays in some chops, but gets caught with a head scissors. Melo gets a version of a Flatliner for two. Hayes looks to go up, but Cedric cuts him off. They end up reversing each other into roll-ups for two. A version of a Codebreaker from Melo and then he finishes with Nothing But Net (top rope axe kick) for the pin at 10:46.

Winner: Carmelo Hayes via pin at 10:46
-Good match here and good on them for giving these two some time. I am all for NXT stars getting a chance on this show against one of the veterans of the roster. Hayes looked good and being in there with Cedric with a smart choice. This was enjoyable.

1) Mustafa Ali vs. T-Bar (***1/2) – 08.11.22

-This could be fun! Ali sicks and moves to start but gets mowed down with a shoulder. Oh wait, these are former stablemates as well. We have a theme for this show! Head scissors from Ali sends T-Bar face first into the middle rope. Ali counters moves in the corner and gets a bulldog for two. Nasty bump as Ali gets tossed face first into the middle buckle. That looked nasty! T-Bar boots Ali to the floor and then gives chase. Ali lands a boot to the face and charges but gets flapjacked into the ring post as we head to a break.

-Back as we see a replay of Ali taking the header into the buckle. Ali flips out of a suplex and hits a superkick. T-Bar takes his head off with a clothesline and tries a powerbomb, but Ali counters to a DDT. That spiked T-Bar like he was RVD taking a piledriver. Head kick from Ali and he rolls into a neckbreaker. Running boot in the corner sends T-Bar to the floor and Ali follows him out with a suicide dive. Ali heads up but T-Bar rolls out of the way of the 450. Ali comes off again but gets booted in the stomach on the way down. High Justice gets a two count! T-Bar heads up top but misses the moonsault. Ali with a poison-rana, but T-Bar is out at two. Damn! Ali heads up but gets crotched. T-Bar slugs away and then they fight on top. Ali hits a sick Canadian Destroyer from up there and the 450 finishes at 9:28.

Winner: Mustafa Ali via pin at 9:28
-Wonderful match here from both men and right now Match of the Year for this show. That ending sequence was sick and got a big reaction from the crowd. More of this please!

-Congrats to Ali and T-Bar as they claim my Main Event Match of The Year for 2022. For Ali that is 3 straight years of being involved in The Main Event Match of The Year. Also props to Cedric Alexander, who is probably the MVP on Main Event in 2022, as he was involved in matches ranked 2 through 5. It was a year of change for Main Event as the show under HHH is more about letting veterans work with NXT stars that are closing in on a main roster debut and while the matches can be hit or miss it has given the show more of a purpose. It will be interesting to see what 2023 brings for WWE’s D List show. Thanks for reading!

2022 Main Event Match of The Year: Mustafa Ali vs. T-Bar
2021 Main Event Match of The Year: 2 Out of 3 Falls: Mustafa Ali vs. Ricochet
2020 Main Event Match of the Year: Ricochet vs. Mustafa Ali