Backstage segment – Drew Gulak & Cedric Alexander
To their credit, this segment did get the job done in planting a little seed of doubt in Drew’s mind about continuing to support Enzo. Still, Cedric has just GOT to get past this vanilla, script reading presentation he constantly evokes on the mic. He just doesn’t do enough on the mic and for someone who is total perfection in the ring, that he can be so wildly inconsistent in this part of his game is more than a little troubling.
Hideo Itami vs. Jack Gallagher
Gallagher, on the other hand, is brilliant on the mic. He even makes up words! It was so well-done, though, that no one really cares.
They seem to be trying to position Itami as a face but the crowd didn’t really care here. They neither cheered nor boo’d him; they did almost nothing at all. For Gallagher, he got somewhat more crowd reaction and his offense was really different here too. They way he trapped Itami’s foot on top of the ring skirt and pulled it so he’d go down was pretty interesting. I love that Gallagher used Kendrick’s Captain’s Hook. Interesting to note to that Itami finished the match, not with GTS, but with the Rings of Saturn. Seems WWE isn’t really feeling his GTS at this point given the very real damage it caused on Monday evening.
Backstage interview – Tony Nese & Akira Tozawa
Well, that was silly. Tony is another one who just can’t get it together on the mic. I didn’t believe the conflict he felt after Enzo and the Train attacked him last week. It all just felt very scripted. Akira came out and said very little and Tony hit him. Not sure what that was supposed to do, really, but it happened.
Tony Nese vs. Akira Tozawa
The decision to remove Akira from Titus Worldwide is one of the dumber decisions I’ve seen in a long time. With them, Akira was doing so much better with the crowd. However, he largely seems to have been forgotten about. It’s like WWE just flicked a switch and ended both Tozawa’s push and Titus Worldwide. Neither entity is doing anything of interest at this point. A real shame, honestly. We can tell, too. The “HA HAs” in the audience are FAR quieter than they used to be so Tozawa’s been hurt by all this for sure.
Nese was somewhat more vicious in this match than usual and it worked well. Tozawa was a lot of fun too. He’s one of the very few who can do that annoying and overused dive outside the ring and keep my interest while doing it. Tony Nese won the match and Tozawa is stuck in purgatory for whatever reason. Still, a very nice match but when aren’t “205 Live” matches well-done?
Oh, look another chance to bag on the insipid Enzo/Nia unholy coupling. Here’s hoping they think better of this before it’s pursued any further. They won’t but I can hope, right? There’s no way they’d get together in real life and Nia is just awful as the cutesy female.
Ariya Daivari & Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali
Gabba-Gulak is, as always, platinum on the mic. We will NEVAH see his Powerpoint presentation…and I love it! Mustafa and Cedric were set up to be rather entertaining here…and they were. With a foil, Cedric is actually better. They were almost funny a couple of times. I’d love to see more from Mustafa on the mic and he really helped Cedric here. They also planted more seeds of dissension which was a good move.
As for the match itself, I defy these guys to get into a ring and have a bad match. That’s just not what they do. This is Ali’s home town so he was predictably over. He really is that good, too, so he deserves the support whenever he gets it. Alexander’s Springboard Flatliner was a thing of beauty! Cedric’s ring work…you know what I’ll say. I ALWAYS say it. I also liked Ali’s corkscrew dive onto the outside. His 054 is really nice too and that’s what got them the victory. Further, Gulak’s distraction in the from of not letting Ariya use high-flying causes even more dissension.
This wasn’t a bad episode of “205 Live”, even if there wasn’t a whole lot to it. Enzo was clearly not there so that hurts a bit for sure. It’s in a bit of a holding pattern until next week when Enzo takes on Cedric for the CW title. For my part, there can be no question of who I’m rooting for. Cedric is just an incredible athlete and maybe the best worker in WWE right now. I just wish he could figure out his mic and that might be what keeps him from winning on Monday night.
See you next week for another edition of “The Pickup”!