By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live Hits
Tony Nese vs. Noam Dar: A really good hardcore match within WWE’s hardcore limitations. Dar has been much improved in the ring since his return from injury, putting on good matches in 205 Live and NXT UK. Tony Nese continues to shine ever since he was featured on NXT a few months ago. The only thing missing from Nese was a decisive victory because he continued to be a “jobber to the stars” even though his stock has improved recently. Hopefully they don’t give Dar his win back because Nese rarely, if ever, escapes a feud on top. Nese is someone who can move over to NXT to elevate NXT. Anyway, solid match.
What WWE should improve upon establishing a character for Noam Dar. His lack of characterization made the crowd really quiet throughout this match (though part of the blame can go to fatigue). They did earn a “this is awesome” chant so that’s a success I guess. I hope Nese is fine after looking like his head crashed into the metal crossbar during the finishing Running Nese spot. I was in the front row during 205 Live a year or so ago and a wrestler tope’d the crossbar into my knee, bruising it. So I know that metal crossbar can hurt (and fans in the front row shouldn’t lean their legs against the barricade) .
Mike Kanellis: I’m confused a bit at this. I’m not sure if they’re featuring Kanellis in losses every week because they have long term plans for him or if he’s a lame duck in WWE and on his way out when his contract expires. He didn’t lose this week and ends up in the Hit column due the Mike finally getting a chance to cut a serious promo. I get it, Maria is a main event level talker; but Mike can be a damn good talker too when he has content to sink his teeth into. Maria’s just so good that he fades into the background sometimes. A good character development promo to show that he’s evolving and possibly snapping. Mike and Maria did a great job having the Mike Kanellis character “grow” due to Mike’s recent losing streak. Before their contracts expire, I hope these two get a chance to have a meaningful program in WWE not because I pity them or anything, but because I saw both of them do such amazing work for Impact Wrestling.
Ariya Daivari: Not only was this Daivari’s best promo in WWE to date, but this was a production technique that I wouldn’t mind seeing WWE replicate on Raw, Smackdown, or even NXT. This was well produced and I think it might have been produced by Daivari based on some of the stuff I saw him do on social media during his long injury time off. While this was cinematic, it wasn’t a fourth wall roaming camera. Daivari was speaking to a stationary camera that used slick depth of field effects to make it look high budget. Moving past the production, I like that they’re not shoving Daivari to the background after Hideo Itami left. In fact, Itami leaving might have been a slight blessing for Daivari because he gets a chance to wrestle instead of just being a mouthpiece. Daivari did gain a lot from being Itami’s mouthpiece because he was an average promo at best at one point and now the guy’s really good. Bonus points for the Enzo Amore jab.
— Ariya Daivari (@AriyaDaivariWWE) February 13, 2019
Aiden English: Not actually a full-on Hit regarding this show in particular. I was listening to Keeping it 100 with Konnan and DI last week for a good interview with Shane Helms, who is on working with the WWE Creative team, which is why I’m thinking of this… Is it just me, or does Aiden English’s voice and inflection sound a lot like Disco Inferno Glenn Gilbertti? Just sayin? Anyway, as for WWE-wise, English is a bit rough as far as his content is at points, but he’s a pretty solid on commentary. I always said that Percy Watson’s weakness was that he never brought his character to the booth even though he had a pre-made “showtime” persona. English is bringing personality. Not blowing the world away yet, but he’s getting better every week. Anyway, I just put this hit here because I thought English sounded like Disco.
WWE 205 Live Misses
Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa contract signing: The signing was fine and different in that there was no brawl to end the signing. I did like Tozawa reminding viewers that he beat the unstoppable “King Neville” for the WWE Cruiserweight Title during Neville’s strong reign. We got both a Neville and an Enzo reference this week. That gave Tozawa a little bit of credibility heading into Sunday. But that’s just it, “too little” too late. While a lot of undercard things are going right on 205 Live, I feel that they’ve haven’t done the best job establishing Murphy as a prizefighting heel champion. Why are people supposed to hate Murphy? Murphy has it in him to cut a good heel promo. I saw him cut a really good one in San Jose three years ago. They did a better job with Neville and Cedric Alexander building up to their title defenses. Comparing Murphy to Neville hurts Murphy a bit too because it makes him come off like an inferior version of Neville when that comparison shouldn’t even be made because Murphy is one of the most exciting wrestlers in all of WWE in terms of in-ring psychology.
Lince Dorado vs. Jack Gallagher: The match was Hit worthy in terms of match quality, especially with Dorado getting a chance to show that he has different offense from his tag partners and another positive being Gallagher getting a chance to shine. The Miss comes from everything surrounding this match. For starters, Lucha House Party cut a formula and cheesy promo before the match. Their gimmick is that they like to have Mexican child birthday parties? A waste of three individuals that get homogenized in WWE (which is why I wouldn’t mind a person of color in the creative team. Hey, we saw Sonjay Dutt on 205 Live two weeks ago, maybe he could add something). Secondly, this better not lead to a continuation of the never ending Drew Gulak vs. Lucha Libre feud. Drew Gulak is also regressing to his “Political” character. This regression is made more obvious with Gulak playing the cool Minoru Suzuki inspired character last week on NXT, while on 205 Live he’s doing the “Better 205 Live” gimmick again sans Microsoft Powerpoint.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom with Jason Powell and Will Pruett discussing the All Elite Wrestling rally in Las Vegas, the potential fallout from the partnership with Mexico’s AAA promotion, Kenny Omega signing, and much more.