Before I start, we need to acknowledge the fact that “205 Live” is in a whole lot of trouble. Because he didn’t notify WWE of the investigation involving him, he was released from the WWE. Our Queen has written an article covering that very topic and it can be read (here). Whatever the real truth is surrounding the situation, it’s very sad. For “205 Live”, things look bleak as he was holding the strap and was the center of ¾ of the storytelling on the show. He also brought ¾ the personality on the show and was really making the others around him raise their game in that department. He’s going to leave a gaping hole in the show.
Backstage segment: Daniel Bryan
He came out to address the situation right away. He did what was called for. He was absolutely reading from a script and doing so very quickly but I get it. He was likely uncomfortable with the whole thing. It should be interesting to see who the new General Manager (i.e. the new infusion of personality) will be. They’ve got to get that right. Whoever it is will have a very heady responsibility as they will have to carry a lot of personality and storytelling. We’ll know next week. I’ll pass on a rating for this one because it’s not a performance of any kind.
Sin Cara, Lince Dorado, and Kalisto vs. TJP, Ariya Daivari, and Tony Nese
Daivari and TJP make very good heels. They really know how to twist their ring work just slightly to make them hate-able in there. Nese remains hopelessly vanilla but two outta three ain’t bad, right? The masked men are all fantastic in there and none of them show personality. Still, this is about ring work and all of them nailed it here. The end of the match was a bit corny with TJP overdoing it on the shock of Nese being knocked off the apron and his surprise at Dorado being behind him. TJP is a very forced heel and the “don’t you walk out on me” followed by “get outta here” made zero sense. Still, this was a decent match and fun to watch…as most “205” matches are.
Backstage – Drew Gulak
Oh, how we do love thee. He is an absolute riot. Whatever Enzo wasn’t carrying with his personality, Gulak carried the rest of. He was fun here, though the segment was short. If the new general manager and he are at odds, it could be a whole lot of fun.
“Gentleman” Jack Gallagher vs. Hideo Itami
Itami’s silly apology for what he did to Kendrick rang funny given that he’s done nonsense like that before. That wasn’t just about “accidents happening”; it was about him being reckless. How quickly they forget. Too, it was really all a part of telling Gallagher that he doesn’t respect him. As usual, Itami is supposed to be the “face’ here but, in reality, he’s definitely not. Real life intruded horribly on WWE’s plans and they oughta just be going with it. Instead, they’re staying the course and, as a results, he gets almost no crowd response.
Gallagher continued to do “heel” things with Itami doing the triumphant comeback no one cared about. It got zero response. Even in victory, he got nothing. WWE is blowing it big time here.
Backstage segment: Akira Tozawa
Personality from him? I’ll that it! It was quick but he was legitimately funny.
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali
His little phone promo before the match was marginally better but the issue is what it always is: not nearly enough personality. I know…blah, blah, blah. On to the match… 😉
These two can flat out GO! They were also selling for each other pretty well. Their chemistry is really something to see. Interesting to note, too, that all the personality that Alexander doesn’t show on the mic comes out in the ring. He just needs to pull the two things together and he’d be unstoppable. Cedric’s “Spanish Fly” was just amazing to watch! Of course, Cedric took it but, man, what a match!
Okay, I’m out of breath. Nice way to conclude a show that really could have been terrible. I’m dubious but interested to see who the new GM is next week. Join me again next week for another edition of “The Pickup”.