Hey, kids! It’s your Botching One once again covering the goings-on in “205 Live”.
So “205 Live” now had a new General Manager. Really, this can only help. Whether we liked him or not, Enzo Amore’s exit has left a tremendous hole on the show – especially when it comes to personality and charisma. “205 Live” has historically been short on that and Enzo brought truckloads of it. Further, he was having an effect those he worked with and it was beneficial. Now that he’s gone, someone has to fill that vacuum. If it can be done, I think Drake can do it. He spent years being quite charismatic and fun in other promotions so he should add a nice dimension to “205 Live” going forward.
I also like the idea of this 16-man tournament that Maverick announced. We’re gonna get some great matches out of it. Bryan promised a return to the great stuff we got in the “Cruiserweight Classic” but only time will tell if that happens. If tonight is any indicator, as you’ll read, they may really be switching gears.
Daniel Bryan and new “205 Live” General Manager, Drake Maverick
Well, that was awkward. Bryan announced his name – complete with opening speech about how well he’ll do – and it went over with a thud. An announcement/reveal like this should have been big but it really wasn’t at all. Don’t get me wrong; it did get some cheers, but only some. What they wanted for this segment and what they actually got were two different things. Interestingly, some began chanting “Rockstar Spud” but when they announced his new ring name, it took the air completely out of the segment. As soon as Bryan made his announcement, he couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Kinda felt funny for Maverick to acknowledge Bryan’s previous compliments with Bryan long gone by then. Maverick did all he could – showing tremendous personality and overall doing a bang-up job. Sadly, the crowd just wasn’t that into it. This segment deserved better than it got. It was done well. It’s just that the crowd didn’t really care too much and that affects the grade above. It’s also proof positive that “205 Live” is facing an uphill battle in the personality department.
Drake Maverick and Drew Gulak
Drew is a fool! I loved that segment. No one kisses up better than Drew so this was perfection for him. Better yet, Maverick really sold it with his face. When he gave the roses to the stage manager, even the stage manager sold the awkwardness well. Nicely done all around.
Cedric Alexander vs. Gran Metalik
When has there ever been an issue with ring work with either of these guys? Of course, this match was excellent. There was a lot of diving and just all-around great athletic display. Metalik really is a marvel in the air. Both his dives to the outside, a move that is grossly overused, looked absolutely fantastic. These two gave this all they had. I’m not really sure you can do more. Sadly, though the crowd was more into this than they were the first segment, it still didn’t get what it deserved.
Backstage – Mustafa Ali
This wasn’t bad. It felt real and intimate. He’s a decent storyteller. It also makes me want to support him. I liked this.
Backstage – TJP & Drake
They certainly are putting him in everything, aren’t they? It’s interesting that when Drake hits the screen, TJP disappears. There lies the difference between what was and hopefully, what will be now. The show needs personality and Drake will bring it.
TJP vs. Tyler Bate
Very interesting match. Bate seems to be the vehicle for unusual matches and this one certainly fit the bill. The first sequence involved the head scissor that TJP couldn’t get out of. Watching Tyler keep TJP in it was very creative. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a surfboard reversal before either but Bate gave us one. He had TJP in moves that I can’t possibly describe. His inventiveness seemingly never ends and it’s great to watch. TJP was not without inventiveness himself. He sat on the top rope and applied a single-leg Boston Crab – lifting Bate into the air. Best of all, we saw the triumphant return of the Airplane Spin. Also of note is that Bate never forgot to sell the damage that TJP had been inflicting on him. I’m even okay with the ending. TJP is a heel so he had to pull the tights to get the win.
There were some other segments involving Kalisto, Sin Cara, and Lince Dorado, Akira Tozawa, and “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher. All of them were quite short so I can’t really cover them in the traditional sense. Perhaps the short and sweet backstage promos are the shape of things to come? If it is, I’m all for it. Get these guys in the ring. That’s what they’re best at. I like having storylines but perhaps WWE has decided that they simply can’t pull them off. If that’s the case, I get that totally.
This wasn’t a bad episode at all. “205 Live” gets its GM and a new direction seems to be starting. I’m not mad at it. Let’s see where this whole thing goes. Join me again next week for another edition of “The Pickup”.