By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live Hits
Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick vs. Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher: It has been tough for me to get into anything involving Kendrick or Gallagher these days. These four men surprised me. While it wasn’t bloody, there was more weapon usage then I would expect in a WWE hardcore match. I think there was even an accidental unprotected chairshot to the head. I hope it wasn’t a clear shot. Anyway, the rest of the match was really fun and I really liked the way Gallagher and Gulak utilized the weapons in practical ways such as how they executed the dropkick off a rolling office chair. Tozawa and Kendrick stepped up their game as well and the right team went over. I assume they’re going to feed Tozawa and Kendrick to Daivari and Itami.
Brian Kendrick: I’ve been complaining for months that Brian Kendrick has been dull as a character. Hobo Brian Kendrick became turnoff material for me. I liked what they did to “resurrect” Kendrick here. As a thing more personal to me, I thought they were going to have Kendrick dress up as Tozawa but instead they gave me the “The” Brian Kendrick that I was a huge fan of back in the 2000s, when he was a WWE World Champion for five minutes and teaming with Ezekiel Jackson (aka Big Ryck). Kendrick shaved the hobo beard and brought back the white suit.
Hideo Itami vs. Noam Dar: A good slugfest. Itami has been great in recent months, not doing traditional pro wrestling and relying more on his kickboxing strikes. They protected Dar enough here by having Ariya Daivari get a little bit of interference, which gave Itami enough of an advantage. The distraction didn’t make Itami’s win feel cheap either because Itami didn’t order it and it was so minuscule to begin with.
Ariya Daivari: I’m liking the long awaited reboot of Ariya Daivari. Daivari’s weak point was his promo game because he always seemed like he was reading a script and trying to imitate his brother Shawn, who was a great talker. Daivari played the role of Shawn here, but he did it well and a bit more original. I like that he isn’t a cartoon character like he was during the Enzo Amore days where he would get white powder thrown at his face every week because Vince McMahon said so. Here’s hoping for good things with this Daivari and Itami Kohai-Senpai relationship.
205 Live Misses
Cedric Alexander: A fairly underwhelming promo in WWE’s low-budget selfie setting. It was just basic in terms of sending the message that Cedric is coming for the title again. Why did they decide to go back to Murphy vs. Alexander so soon when it looked like they were going to tell a redemption story with him after his title loss? Where do they go with Murphy now that Mustafa Ali is seemingly gone from 205 Live (Since Smackdown happens right after 205 Live, Ali can’t just work double duty like Lio Rush or Drake Maverick). Maybe, WWE has something cool in mind? When Drake teased bringing in a mystery opponent for Murphy next week I was intrigued. Rey Mysterio vs. Buddy Murphy next week? That would be fun.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Konnan, who discusses his return to the ring for MLW and shares the crazy story of how he started in pro wrestling.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Brian Fritz of Sporting News and Between The Ropes discussing WrestleMania 36, WWE television from the empty WWE Performance Center, his own travel woes, NFL free agency, and more...