By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live Hits
Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese: WWE tried to bill this as the biggest tag team match ever on 205 Live, which didn’t hold credence due to this match happening in some form many times before due to the small cruiserweight roster (maybe swap out Murphy for Gulak). As expected, the in-ring quality was solid. You can argue that they should have put heat on the heels, but they did protect the hell out of Murphy by having him eat rapid fire moves in a two on one situation. On paper, if this were WWE Raw it would have seemed obvious that Tony Nese was the designated job guy here, so I like Paul Levesque and crew for not falling into that WWE cliche.
Hideo Itami and Ariya Daivari: Good to see Ariya Daivari back after what the commentators pointed out was seven months. As for the segment, I’ve grown to be fond of anything Hideo Itami does these days because he’s finally got his mojo back after losing it as a babyface. The guy’s a great heel. He just needs to stop yelling “Respect Me” after every move. Itami looked good in destroying the enhancement guy and managed to make his lame new finisher look a bit better. The new finisher is starting to look solid. Daivari didn’t click when trying to mimic his brother’s Persian Prince gimmick, but that was in the old 205 Live. The Hit here comes from the intrigue of seeing what Itami and Daivari can do as a pair.
Noam Dar vs. Mike Kanellis: On paper, you may ask “why are they burying Mike Kanellis” so early in his 205 Live run? In execution, this was similar to the main event where they protected Kanellis by having Kalisto and crew run out, distract the ref, and attack Mike. It all made sense too because Kanellis and TJP have been terrorizing LHP for weeks so they should get some measure of revenge. This 205 Live roster is bare, but they are making the best out of a tough situation with tight and efficient booking. The jury is still out on Mike Kanellis, but I’m liking that WWE’s allowing Maria Kanellis to get a bulk of the mic time on this show. Sooner rather than later, I hope WWE elevates Maria to a prominent position on Raw and Smackdown because I feel she can do some next level work as an antagonist.
TJP: TJ Perkins continues to show that he’s much improved on the microphone. His interactions in recent weeks makes it look like WWE is trying to recreate “The Kingdom” with TJ filling in for Matt Taven. This comparison is magnified with Maria doing the Kingdom pose and Mike Bennett bringing back the Kingdom leather jacket he used to wear. Going back to the segment, another Hit goes to TJP telling Maria “I took all three of their mascaras (masks)” where he said “mascara” in the most American gringo way possible. He did it on purpose for comedy, but I would probably make the same mistake in real life too.
WWE 205 Live Misses
Raw references: It was just a throwaway line in TJP’s promo, but I would rather they not reference Drake Maverick’s WWE Raw bladder problem on 205 Live. Keep the crappy Vince McMahon potty humor on the Vince McMahon show.
Brian Kendrick: At least they’re giving him vignette time, but they’re still not allowing him to talk as a babyface. All is not lost, but I was really hopeful for this babyface run because he needed some freshening up. So far he hasn’t gotten a chance to cut the solid promos like he used to. In a larger scope, 205 Live has a thin roster so wouldn’t it serve them better to split up Tozawa, Kendrick, Gallagher, and Gulak into singles feuds?
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