By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 215)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed January 22, 2021 on WWE Network
The show started with a recap of some of the matches in the men’s and women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournaments, including Lucha House Party’s victory and the victory of Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. We also saw a recap of Karrion Cross’s attack on Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis and Desmond Troy, which led to Tommaso Ciampa and Tim Thatcher taking the injured team’s spot in the Dusty Cup against Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari tonight… Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness emphasized the importance of both tournaments and kicked off the show on commentary…
1. Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell vs. Gigi Dolin and Cora Jade in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament first round match. The recently signed Priscilla Kelly made her WWE debut as Dolin, while Elayna Black debuted as Jade. Hartwell started off in the ring against Jade, immediately muscling her to the ground, Jade however got right back up and goaded Hartwell into rushing into the corner. Dolin tagged in and tried to keep control, but Hartwell countered a clothesline attempt and brought Dolin over to her corner where LeRae tagged in and started going to work on her.
Dolin was able to retake control and tag in Jade for a second, however a distracting from Hartwell on the apron allowed LeRae to tackle Jade and get control for her team. LeRae rocked Jade in the corner with a running clothesline and tagged in Hartwell who hit a leg kick to sweep Jade for a two count. Hartwell then used a cravat to wear Jade down before hitting a Sidewalk slam for another two count.
LeRae tagged in and used a chin lock to continue wearing Jade down. Jade hit LeRae with an uppercut to break out for a second and then kicked off LeRae rushing in to tag in Dolin. Hartwell also tagged in and was met with a series of leg kicks from Dolin followed by a head kick to get just a one count. Dolin dragged Hartwell to her corner and tried for a double Suplex with Jade, however Hartwell countered and hit Dolin with a delayed vertical.
Hartwell then tagged in LeRae who was caught off guard by Jade with a trio of roll ups, all for two counts. LeRae tried for a roll up of her own and while she only got a two count, this allowed Hartwell to tag in and hit Jade with a Thunderbomb for the pinfall victory.
Indi Hartwell and Candice LeRae defeated Gigi Dolin and Cora Jade to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.
Anish’s Thoughts: Pretty standard match here. Obviously, it had a lot to live up to given the awesome first women’s tournament match on NXT, but this match wasn’t anything special. Hartwell was the main focus with everyone working around her to make her look impressive, which they all accomplished. Dolin and Jade didn’t really get time to shine, but considering how hasty their debuts were, I am sure this is more of a preliminary start than anything.
After the match it was announced that Curt Stallion would get his Cruiserweight title shot, next week! … on NXT. Oh well, at least it’s happening somewhere…
2. Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese vs. Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament first-round match. Immediately, Thatcher grabbed a hold of Daivari and took him down to the ground and manipulated Daivari’s arm, working to a Bow-and-Arrow stretch to try and force a tap, but Daivari didn’t give in. Thatcher then transitioned to a front face lock and Daivari simply squirmed around enough to tag in Nese.
Thatcher was surprised for a second, but Thatcher just tripped him and dragged him to his corner, making a somewhat unwilling tag to Ciampa. The Sicilian Psychopath continued where Thatcher left off and took Nese down with a headlock takeover and leaned on him. Nese reversed for a second and bucked Ciampa off, but Ciampa didn’t relent and worked to another front face lock.
Nese pushed Ciampa to his corner and tagged in Daivari, the two doubled up on Ciampa in the corner with Daivari dragging him to the mat and rattling his legs off the corner post. Daivari continued to stomp on Ciampa in the ring, working on his legs with elbows before locking in a figure four. Ciampa struggled and almost wiggled all the way to Thatcher, but Nese ran into the ring to distract the ref and pulled Ciampa right back.
Nese tagged in and he and Daivari hit a leg splitter on Ciampa to continue the offense on his legs. Daivari now legal got caught with an enzuigiri, allowing Thatcher to tag in and hit a pair of belly to belly suplexes on his opponents. Thatcher then hit both men with Uppercuts and locked in a heel hook on Daivari.
Nese caught him from behind with a hotshot and a springboard moonsault. Daivari went for the pin, but Ciampa broke it up, resetting the stalemate. Ciampa then tagged in and charged Nese and Daivari. Nese kicked Ciampa’s knee for under him and they set up for a double Axe Handle on Ciampa however, Thatcher jumped in and he and Ciampa kneed their opponents diving in. Ciampa then hit Nese with Willow’s Bell to get the pinfall victory.
Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher defeated Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a really fun match. Vic Joseph set the scene well by highlighting that Nese and Daivari were laughing at Ciampa walking down to the ring, showing that they were clearly underestimating how well their opponents worked together. I also liked that there wasn’t any real dissonance between Ciampa and Thatcher as much as they just needed to get on the same page, and as soon as they did it was smooth sailing. This match was all about this new team. The established buddies, Nese and Daivari, did a great job of making it about Ciampa and Thatcher while highlighting their ruthless technical proficiency.
If you catch one match from this show, make it that main event, which was a sound introduction to Ciampa and Thatcher as a team. Overall, a pretty good edition of 205 Live. I look forward to more of the Dusty Cup matches taking place on the show and hopefully some of the fallout from the NXT Cruiserweight Title match between Escobar and Stallion from Wednesday’s NXT. My weekly audio reviews of 205 Live are available late Fridays or early Saturdays for Dot Net Members.