Hey, kids! It’s Botch…back again with another installment of “The Pickup”. Let’s get it in, shall we?
First of all, taking the title off of Enzo so quickly isn’t something I would have done were I booking the show. Enzo was certainly deserving of his comeuppance. However, this feels incredibly rushed to me. If Kevin Sullivan has taught us nothing, he’s taught us the importance of stoking heat. Ya gotta let it burn for a while. WWE, looking for quick solutions to the CW’s problems, pivoted far too quickly and took the title off of Enzo. I’m sure Enzo will be interesting regardless but Enzo was “must see” because he was the cat that got the cream. In very short order, he’s now the guy who’s chasing Kalisto – a guy who JUST arrived in the CWs (why it took WWE so long to align him with the CWs is entirely beyond me). The timing for Enzo’s loss and Kalisto’s strapping is all kinds of off.
In ring with Renee and Kalisto
Kalisto is clearly scripted here and for very good reason. He can’t get by without it. He simply cannot talk and he showed it when responding to Enzo. This is a real problem that needs some attention. When Enzo came out, I knew this would get interesting. Apparently, Ariya Davari is really going to align with Enzo – why, I don’t know. Thus far, he’s adding absolutely nothing as he has no charisma to speak of. Enzo, on the mic, is always interesting and this was no exception. Recipe for success: Give Enzo his Shure Super 55 mic with leopard-print wireless transmitter cover and let him go. Most of the grade is for Enzo.
It devolved into Kalisto and Mustafa Ali vs. Ariya Davari and Enzo Amore with Kalisto and Mustafa getting the upper hand – sending Ariya and Enzo whimpering to the back.
Rich Swann vs. TJ Perkins (2 out of 3 falls)
In his indie days, Rich used to come out to “All Night Long” but CFO$ have effectively made me forget about that. CFO$ are ON IT when it comes to themes.
Before the match, Swann went into a very scripted speech and while I realize that everything is scripted, he always sounds like he is. I don’t believe a word he says and we got more of the same here.
I like this viciousness from TJ. As a “face”, he was completely boring (most of the workers on “205” are, to be fair). As a heel, he’s far more interesting. My hope is that this will eventually bring more out of Rich. Rich is great for a good time but ask for more depth and he can’t give it to us. That likely had to do with his fall from grace. I like Rich so I hope he can find it before the opportunity slips away completely.
This match was, of course, brilliantly worked. The first fall came quickly but the story they were telling began in the 2nd fall and didn’t let up. A great match should look like a fast-paced chess match and this one did. Rich and TJ worked HARD. They come no more athletic than Rich Swann and he put it all out there. They kinda had the crowd to so good for them!
Backstage segment: Enzo Amore & Ariya Davari w/ Drew Gulak
Oh, Enzo…How anyone works with him and doesn’t completely corpse is entirely beyond me. He DESTROYS me. He’s also really expressive when someone else is talking. Drew was running through the scripted thing they gave him (and very well) and Enzo just didn’t quit adding to the story with his facial reactions. Ariya was barely there as usual. I hope that Enzo can help him loosen up a bit at some point. If anyone could…
Akira Tozawa vs. well…
Before this one could get started, Drew Gulak was all over him. This was a nice attack that moves their feud along. Tozawa sold it like a champ too!
Backstage: Cedric Alexander
He’s another one I just can’t believe. He said during his interview that Kendrick complains that he doesn’t have an edge. When Cedric does interviews or cuts promos, he doesn’t. This was an uneventful promo meant to keep the feud going and it kind of did it’s job.
Mustafa Ali & Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore & Ariya Davari
Enzo came out talking and, as always, I loved it. The match itself was actually very good. Mustafa Ali has become one heck of a seller. I have more than once complained about the lack of selling but Mustafa nails it. When Enzo ran him into the ring column, Mustafa really made it looks extra vicious. Kalisto’s SDS is a thing of beauty.
All in all, this was a pretty good show. The ring work is always very good if a bit watered down and Enzo has enough charisma to cover the lack of it from almost everyone else. I’m waiting for others to step up and show some semblance of the same charisma Enzo shows. If they can, this show will get even better.