Hey, kids! It’s the Baron of all things Botched here with another edition of the Pickup. The only notable thing is that Lince Dorado has an injured ligament in his thumb. That’s gotta just kill and he certainly can’t work with it. Also, Mustafa Ali has an injury he’s dealing with too, though we don’t have any further information on what that injury is or how long he’ll be out with it. He didn’t show up tonight so it’s not a simple thing. We reported both a couple of days ago. Of course, we wish both of them a speedy recovery. On with the show…
Kalisto vs. Tony Nese
You have to love that the Lucha House Party has a T-shirt and Kalisto does too but not Cedric. You know Cedric, don’t you. He’s the Cruiserweight Champion! What?!?!?!? To be fair, I do like Lucha’s shirt. It’s the team I’m tired of. As over LHP as I am, I’m even more over Tony Nese. He has exhibited zero charisma and has done nothing of note since he debuted. As a result, I have no reason to care a thing about him. He’s not a terrible worker – neither of them are. This was a decent match. I’m just completely over them. Both need a serious character tweak for me to care. Murphy came out to get his pound of flesh from Kalisto, Gran Metalik came out to make the save, and now, I’m sure, we’ll get a tag match with all of them. Oh, goodie.
This is a classic example of what’s been so wrong with “205 Live” since it debuted: Really good workers I don’t care about in well-worked matches that I don’t care about either.
Backstage segment – Drew Gulak, Drake Maverick, & Cedric Alexander
Drew is one of the few here who are capable of good storytelling. He gave us that here, though the story isn’t great (not Gulak’s fault; it’s the fault of whoever came up with it). Cedric responded as he should but he gave little more. The table was set for him to give so much more and he just didn’t do it. I will give him that he reacted to what Drew was saying appropriately but when it came time for him to speak, I was hoping for more. For someone as sickeningly good in the ring (he’s the best wrestler working today, IMHO), his promo skills may just be the worst this side of Jumpin’ Jeff Farmer. I’ve been saying it for a long time and he’s not getting better. I hate this for him. I loved him on the Indies and want him to be that good here…but he’s just not.
Lio Rush vs. Ricky Martinez
Golden. The man is golden. He just spews arrogance and does it perfectly. He has driven this feud with Tozawa brilliantly and Tozawa has done a nice job too. This match was, as is to be expected, rather quick. Ricky jobbed and did his job effectively. Lio’s finisher is just a thing of beauty. The height he gets is pretty impressive. Good stuff, though it was far too brief.
Cedric Alexander vs. The Brian Kendrick (w/ Drew Gulak on commentary)
I never realized how completely vicious Cedric’s chops are until this match. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of those. Gulak came out and gave us more story on commentary. As is always the case, Cedric can’t put on a bad match and Kendrick can’t either. What’s interesting is that Cedric shows so much more charisma in the ring than he ever does when he talks. In the ring is where he shows us everything he has. Kendrick is painted as the “experienced competitor” and he pulls it off well. The hijinks that occurred outside the ring early in the match were just great. I love that I couldn’t tell what Kendrick was going to do until he did it. He also took that Lumbar Check like a rock star. He really sold it beautifully. It may have been the best selling job on the Lumbar Check I’ve seen yet. As Gulak stared at him from the apron, Cedric spoke and showed all the real passion we needed to see during his earlier promo. He didn’t say much “This is the Age of Alexander…whether you like it or not!) but it showed real fire.
Gallagher had been asked about earlier during this match and no one really seemed to think much of it…until he showed up to incapacitate Cedric after the match had ended. Before anything could happen, Drake and the refs came out and REGULATED! VERY well done by Drake. Nice way to end the show.
For my part, I’m tickled in all ways pink that Cedric and Drew will be facing off at SummerSlam. Both can tear the house down and be impossible to follow if WWE allows it to happen. Will they? Not likely but at least they’ll get their shot. My hope is that this won’t be on the pre-show, though I know I’m dreaming foolishly on that one. See you all next week for another “Pickup”!