Hey, kids, it’s the Baron of all things Botch with your weekly “Pickup”. So “205 Live” now airs on a new night: Wednesday. It’s been moved so that they can do the Mixed Match Challenge thing they did last year. I couldn’t care less about it but it’s not for me; it’s for the casual fans. As such, I’m sure it has its place. Of course, what this now means is that “205 Live” is now not live. This was taped prior to Smackdown Live! so the spoilers for the show are everywhere. There’s no way this won’t further hurt the already-paltry ratings of the show. Okay, on with the show!
They spent five minutes recapping what we already saw last week. UGH! I’m glad I watch both NXT and 205 later so I can speed through the things I’ve already seen.
TJP vs. Lince Dorado
Yet another opening match with a member of the Lucha House Party. The roster is far too deep to be this repetitive. Every show for as long as I can remember has opened with a match featuring a member or members of the Lucha House Party.
The match itself was, as it always is, very good. To say the least, they both know what they’re doing in there. Lince does a very pretty moonsault. He makes everything he does look so easy. I never really noticed how expressive TJP’s face is until this match. I loved the added wrinkle of TJP taking off Lince’s mask. It was done really well. The disrespect of the story was told and Lince hid his face so the disrespect didn’t become too real.
Backstage segment – Lio Rush & Drake Maverick
Lio is completely full of himself and it’s great. Drake played off of him perfectly here too. Lio tried to get out of his match with Noam and Drake was not having it. Nice segment.
Backstage segment – Mustafa Ali & Drake Maverick
This is a very well-told story. It’s completely unique at this point too which is nice. Mustafa and Drake pulled it off well too. Drake’s acting chops, in particular, are just stellar. Mustafa’s no slouch either. Very well-done segment. Two in a row! What is this sorcery?
Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander
This was fun! How could it not be? Cedric is just a master in there – in my opinion the very best worker today. The story was told well here too. Kendrick and Gallagher kept interfering and the ref sent them both packing. The tension of “will the ref disqualify Gulak” was nice. I’m a nerd so I notice these things but Gulak is in desperate need of new boots. His are completely falling apart on the soles. I’m assuming he has sentimental attachment to them so he still wears them. The best part of the match was the grappling and the mat work. I also really loved what I can only call a double-suplex that began in the ring and ended up outside of it. Great-looking move.
This match got a lot of time and they both came at this with both barrels. You really can’t work much harder than they did here. Drew even went up to the top rope in order to win. It’s the “anything for the win” approach. Great wrinkle in the story to really show Drew’s urgency. Cedric took it as expected but the match was phenomenal. He now moves on to Murphy in Australia.
Backstage segment – Buddy Murphy
Hyper-scripted and boring. The scripting was terrible and Buddy’s delivery was completely hack and flat. Not a great way to end a show but at least it was quick.