Based on what I’m hearing, the new TV deal for WWE sheds some doubt on whether or not we’ll have “205 Live” to kick around at that point. I understand completely why we wouldn’t. To be frank, this reboot has been a near-complete failure. Prior to the reboot, they at least had storylines we could hang on to. Now, it’s just match + match + match. I enjoy the matches but it’s hard to be invested when there’s little motivating factor for the competitors being in the ring together. They give us little things (Lucha House Party, “feud” between Akira and Hideo, etc.) but those are the kinds of things we get. The personalities of the workers aren’t emphasized. The sad truth is that few, including the champ, have one, so it’s no real shock that they’d want to stay far away from segments that emphasize this fact. Drake Maverick is a nice boost of much-needed charisma but it’s definitely not enough.
Okay, on with the show.
Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak (w/ Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher on commentary)
For all my complaining above, Jack & Brian have a metric ton of charisma so this was fun. Gulak does too, for that matter. Kendrick botching Drake’s name (calling him “Jake”) was fun too. Listening to both of them lampooning Lucha House Party was high-larious too. Both of them would flourish anywhere but on “205 Live”.
Drew has been refashioned as a submission specialist and it’s a well-rounded refashioning. It affects every facet of his ring work and does so for the better. He’s become completely vicious while not losing the ring spark we first saw. Gulak is totally wasted on “205 Live” and I’d love to see him on either “Raw” or “Smackdown”.
Metalik is fun to watch in the ring but, as is the case with most of the workers in “205 Live”, he’s devoid of personality. All we have, then, is the ring work. He certainly excels at that. His ring rope walk was truly impressive. Incredible balance and great speed from him too.
Are Gulak about to join forces with Gallagher & Kendrick? Maybe…
Vignette – Buddy Murphy
He’s saying all the right things but it sounds completely scripted. It is, of course, but it shouldn’t sound like it and he does.
TJP vs. Christopher Guy
I went looking for info on Mr. Guy and couldn’t find any. Maybe you know? There’s writing on his trunks but I couldn’t read it. On to the match. It was a squash. The one move Guy got in was pretty shaky.
In-ring segment – TJP
So now he’s dissatisfied. Got it. This was quick but he actually did this pretty well. There was real heart behind it. Good for him.
Backstage interview – Cedric Alexander (w/ Vic Joseph)
How completely dead can he be? He’s so good in the ring and so very unbelievably bad on the mic. Next…
Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami
I won’t fault Akira for his quick interview. The language barrier got him. He got the words out and I saw intensity. That’s good enough for me. I still hate his theme. Percy brought up the disappointment that is Hideo Itami (former KENTA) and he’s not wrong. He’s been a total footnote since his WWE debut. He’s been injured and shown himself to be rather dangerous in the ring too.
Those chops between the tow of them just looked vicious. You could sort of see it on Akira’s chest but not on Hideo’s (somehow). Hideo is still on the “respect me” trip as he kept shouting it when he was working Akira over. He needn’t have bothered; it got no response. I did like his taunting the few times he did it, though that got no response either. They just aren’t that into you, bruh.
When Akira turned it around, he got a bit of response. He has all the charisma and fun that Hideo completely lacks. The crowd was somewhat with him as he put in work on Hideo. Hideo’s tornado guillotine onto the top rope was just vicious-looking but very well-done. Very nice superplex from the top rope by Hideo as well!
Very good match from both of them and nice way to end a show that really was as bad as people say “Monday Night Raw” was. See you next week for another “Pickup”!