Hey, kids! It’s the Botching one with another edition of “The Pickup”. This tournament has been fun. This is very reminiscent of the Cruiserweight Classic – so close, it’s almost reductive. This has all been about a tournament whose outcome is pretty obvious. I’ll seriously be blown away if Cedric doesn’t walk out of WrestleMania with the strap. The matches have been great but there’s almost zero suspense here.
Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa vs. Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik
This is interesting. Here are two tag teams that have never existed before. The rumor mill says that WWE will be adding tag titles to “205 Live” so this makes sense. Their refusal to give up on Hideo, no matter who he legit hurts, seems rather odd but hopefully, he can find his footing. Of course, he’s not hurting anyone on purpose but he shouldn’t be doing it at all.
Akira has always been fun. I MUCHLY miss him with Titus Worldwide and I have no clue why that just ended without explanation. That was where he belonged and anything else is really a letdown. He’s another one who needs to find his footing away from them and, hopefully, he will here.
What we can’t argue is that both Hideo and Akira are beasts in the ring. Lince and Gran are lucha machines so the four of them together was fun to watch. Dorado’s leap onto Tozawa from Metalik’s back was just ay-may-zing. He must have gotten 30 feet into the air. Itami and Tozawa walked away which I am totally fine with. Here’s hoping this goes well for both of them.
Video – Roderick Strong
Again with this. They tried this in NXT and it didn’t get over. Now, we have the misfortune of dealing with it in “205”. Lovely. To steal a line from a movie, they just aren’t that into you, Roderick. He’s just kind of a boring guy and no video package – repeated or not – will change that.
“Gentleman” Jack Gallagher vs. Murphy Myers (w/ Drake Maverick on commentary)
I love how expressive Gallagher is. His face really tells the story and always did. He’s also become far more vicious in the ring. Myers was plain and simple fish food. He did the kind of horrible things to Myers that Dunne did with Bate some weeks back on “NXT”. Myers got in about 2 seconds worth of offense but the outcome was rather obvious.
Video – Cedric Alexander
This was actually halfway decent. He still sounds utterly scripted but it was broken up well. There was also an added bit of confidence here that I like. Cedric has badly been in need of some edge and we’re getting a little of it here. When he says, “No one on the main roster can touch what I do”, he’s not wrong. Other than ACH, I’ve never seen another worker crispier (yeah, there’s that word again) than him. Interesting too is that he spent his time prior to “205 Live” wrestling as a heavyweight. He went from about 230 (when he wrestled for CWF and other places) to 204. Pretty impressive.
Backstage segment – Mustafa Ali
Interesting! Ali occupies the right of a dark screen as he stands at the end of a hallway. I also like the bullying story he’s telling here. I’ve never seen a promo cut this way before…and I like it! This was perfectly done and Ali was passionate.
Roderick Strong vs. Cedric Alexander
Of course, both can work so this was fun to watch. Strong should never again talk during matches. “That kid in the front doesn’t want you win!”. What? Totally unconvincing. He’s vanilla when he talks so he should never do it – not even in the ring. On top of being really good when it comes to work, Cedric is also pretty good when it comes to selling. He wasn’t great when he was on the indies but he seems to be better here. Strong threw Cedric’s back at the ring post and he went down in a total heap. Devastating-looking and it showed a vicious side to Strong that’s desperately needed.
In short, the two of them really brought it. This match got the “this is awesome” chant and it was beyond well-deserved. I liked the tit-for-tat of both of them managing to get their feet on the ropes after the other performed their respective signature finishes. Cedric got it with a roll-up and while the finish was a surprise, the winner absolutely isn’t. Strong’s disappointment showed well on his face. Cedric was really emotional too. He’s going to WrestleMania and I’m truly excited for him.
The promo after the match is everything he needs to do all the time. It had heart, it had edge, it had everything. Just perfect. If he can keep that in mind when cutting future promos, he’ll have everything he needs.