Hey, kids, it’s your Botching one with another edition of “The Pickup”. The big story coming out of “205 Live” this week has been the indefinite suspension of Rich Swann. It’s hard to know what’s gone on and it’s likely none of our business anyway. Whatever happened, I’m hopeful that the individuals involved can work it out and they can move on with their lives. It’s also unfortunate that it has derailed Rich’s career as I’m fairly certain his career with WWE has officially ended.
In-ring segment: Ariya Daivari (w/Drew Gulak)
Drew is golden on the mic and he always delivers. We got more of the same tonight. He got slightly lost for a second in at “the only things worse than his temper” thing but he brought it back very nicely. Ariya did what he could too. It’s usually so easy for talent to just stand there and do little while the main mic worker is selling his points. Ariya didn’t do that. He remained involved throughout. Funnier still, he was right there with Drew as he was introducing hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis POWERPOINT PRESENTATION!!!! High-larious!
Ariya Daivari vs. Cedric Alexander
‘Course, nothing is more heel than speaking Farsi so we got some of that from Ariya. I talk about Cedric’s technical ability every week and I always will given how impressive he is. He’s also showing a good bit more attitude in the ring than he used to. It’s really looking like he’s getting it together and I couldn’t be happier. Ariya remains a bit too vanilla but I’m hoping for a similar turnaround for him as well.
Drew remained involved as well. He had the megaphone with him last week but he only used its horn. This week, he actually used it throughout the match and it worked well!
I’ll mention here since they recapped the exchange between Nia Jax and Enzo last night, I’ll go on record here as saying that I’m not feeling this at all. Nia is showing that she doesn’t have the chops to pull this off. As on Monday evening during our “Dignified Discussion”, Nia doing the “cutesy coquette” thing just doesn’t work. I don’t believe for two seconds that she has a thing for Enzo. I’m hoping this will be a quick thing. Dave Meltzer had said that she was being put on “205 Live” to get her away from Absolution and Asuka but that was completely dispelled on Monday evening. Anyway, so far so bad for this. I won’t grade it because I don’t grade recaps from “Raw” but I hated it.
Backstage: Enzo Amore, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, and Ariya Daivari
They are really making Enzo a heel and it’s working nicely. His interactions with Drew were great here. Tony Nese is completely terrible on the mic and when he spoke up in the most uncommitted and unbelievable way possible, I just cringed. He really needs to just stop talking as he’s a horrid actor.
In ring segment: Jack Gallagher & The Brian Kendrick
Gallagher makes one heck of a heel. He doesn’t bother yelling because he doesn’t have to. He’s gentlemanly sinister and I like it. Kendrick is such a nice guy in real life but has always made a very good heel so they’re a good combination. They got in there with the mic and got the job done. Can’t ask for more than that.
Jack Gallagher vs. Kalisto
I loved the “old school”-ness of this. Gallagher working the ankle and leg throughout was masterful. It really sells Gallagher’s merciless heel-ness. It wasn’t as brutish as the old Minnesota Wrecking Crew; it was far more cold and calculated than that. Gallagher just slowly and purposefully dissected Kalisto’s leg and it was brilliant. He even used a move I haven’t seen before. It looked like a hanging calf crusher/ankle lock. It’d make a great submission. I will also love Kalisto’s crispy “Ranas” and the one Kalisto did that slammed Jack’s face into the mat was a thing of beauty. The attack at the end of the match continued to tell the story brilliantly. Gran Metalik came out and wowed us for a second to save Kalisto and that was cool too.
Backstage segment: Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak
This was more of Enzo starting to really pour on the heel and I like it. His evil last line that gave us the title this week was just spot-on. Loved Drew’s reaction to it too.
Tony Nese vs. Enzo Amore
Tony really sold the “I don’t want to do this” aspect of the story they’re telling on the way out to the ring. He looked less than thrilled and abandoned the entirely cheesy entrance thing he always does. I liked it. Enzo has made quite the interesting heel in “205 Live”. Enzo really sold this entire “I’m forcing on you and you’ll like it” thing too. ‘Course the match never happened. It was used as a vehicle to teach Tony a lesson. Drew sold his indecision about what to do quite well too. He also sold his shame at kicking Nese’s head off. I didn’t see it coming and that was the beauty of it. Stupid chants notwithstanding, this was a good segment that deserved far better than the crowd reaction it got.
Overall, another solid episode of “205 Live” with a fantastic ending segment. I’m very much into this show and can’t wait to see what happens next week. Join me here then for another edition of “The Pickup”.