By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 216)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed January 29, 2021 on WWE Network
The show started with a recap of the Dusty Rhodes Classic tournaments including the matches last week on 205 Live and this past week on NXT. The broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to 205 Live while introducing the opening Triple Threat match…
1. Ariya Daivari vs. Jake Atlas vs. August Grey in a Triple Threat. The three men circled each other for a second before Ariya Daivari rocked Grey with a clothesline, knocking him to the corner and allowing Daivari to hit Atlas with a Kitchen Sink knee. Daivari then caught Grey running at him with a gut kick and attempted to toss him out of the ring but found himself on the outside. Grey followed up with a Suicide dive and engaged Atlas in the ring.
Atlas took Grey down and used an armbar for a second before Grey forced a running exchange with ended in a Head scissors stalemate. Daivari tried to dive at them both but they stepped out of the way and inspected Daivari on the mat. Grey and Atlas re-engaged, each landing some strikes before Atlas kicked Grey on the top rope. Daivari once again got involved, superkicking Atlas to the mat before tossing Grey onto him from the top rope.
Daivari then tossed Atlas to the outside so he could isolate Grey. Daivari elbowed Grey to the mat but at the same time, Atlas got back into the ring and interrupted Daivari’s flow. Daivari was able to get his bearings and ram Atlas into the corner, but when he went back to Grey, he was met with some resistance. Grey fought out of a chin lock to hit Daivari with a back suplex. Atlas tried to take advantage and steal the pin, but Daivari kicked out.
All three men traded strikes now, with Daivari eventually getting the better of both his opponents and stomping them both on opposite sides of the ring. Daivari tried to hit Atlas with a Backdrop but got kicked in the face. Daivari was able to knock Atlas out of the ring in retaliation but this allowed Grey to hit him with some strikes and a neckbreaker.
Grey followed up with a Springboard cross body and caught Atlas coming in with a big back suplex. Now Daivari tossed Grey to the outside and tried to pick up where he left off on Atlas, but Atlas prompting a slugging exchange. Daivari hit a superkick, but Atlas countered with an up kick and a rolling Lariat for a two count. Daivari then goaded Atlas into the corner and tossed a charging Grey into him as well. Daivari then hit Grey with a Frog Splash for a very close two count.
Daivari looked to powerbomb Grey, but Atlas came in and tossed Daivari to the apron, with Daivari there, Atlas hit a tornado brainbuster, kicking Daivari off the ropes in the meanwhile. Grey fought back with a Superkick however and grounded Atlas. Grey went to the top rope but instead went for a cross body on Daivari on the outside. This allowed Atlas to catch him with a roll up in the ring, but Grey kicked out.
Atlas then hit Grey with a jawbreaker followed by the Cartwheel DDT. Daivari however pulled him out of the ring and hit him in the face with a chain wrapped fist. Daivari then picked up a groggy Grey and hit him with the Devil Lock Lariat to get the pinfall victory.
Ariya Daivari defeated Jake Atlas and August Grey in a Triple Threat.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a very interesting match in that it almost came out of nowhere with none of these guys really being involved in a program with each other. It was a great way to give Daivari some momentum, which he hasn’t had in a while, using all his wiles to get the best of Atlas and Grey, who have both looked strong recently, and even in this match looked like they lost only because Daivari played dirty. A fun matchup for what it was, especially given that I didn’t really know what to expect from this combination.
The Curt Stallion interview from NXT television aired with him talking about his desire to be NXT Cruiserweight Champion, which was followed by the attack on him by Santos Escobar later that night. They also showed the announcement that Stallion will get a title shot against him next week on NXT.
2. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart vs. Marina Shafir and Zoey Stark in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament first-round match. The two to start the match were the debuting Zoey Stark and Shotzi. Stark muscled Shotzi to her corner for a second, prompting Moon to tag in. Moon and Shotzi hit Stark with a double dropkick but Stark fought back and isolated Moon in her corner. Shafir tagged in and tried for a takedown, but Moon stuffed it for as second. Shafir went to a couple of knees to Moon followed by a hip toss.
Shafir then tagged in Stark and scoop slammed Moon onto the knees of Stark. The heels continued working smoothly, with Shafir using judo-based offense to roll Moon up and push her to the ropes. Moon dared Shafir to strike instead and when Shafir gave in, Moon surprised her with a kick and kicked her into 619 position, Stark entered the ring and met the same fate, allowing Shotzi to hit both with a running rope hung strike.
Shotzi followed up with some clotheslines and a reverse slingblade onto Shafir. Shotzi got caught by Stark on the outside, allowing her team to take advantage and isolate Shotzi. Shafir continued to use her judo-based offense to keep Shotzi down, hitting a T-Bone Suplex at one point for a two count. Stark then tagged in and hit an impressive looking ‘Go to Stark’ flipping knee strike for a two count.
Shafir and Stark continued to beat down Shotzi in the corner, giving Shotzi little chance to escape until eventually Shotzi caught Shafir with an enzuigiri. Stark and Moon tagged in and charged each other, with Moon coming out better with a running kick. Moon caught Stark with a series of kicks and a neckbreaker into a suplex combination followed by a corner clothesline and a diving lungblower for a two count which was broken up by Shafir.
Shafir and Shotzi brawled in the ring, both spilling to the outside where they slugged it out. In the ring, Stark tried for a running dropkick, but Moon caught her and transitioned into a leg locked Crossface to get the submission victory.
Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon defeated Marina Shafir and Zoey Stark to advance in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament.
Anish’s Thoughts: Considering that this was Stark’s debut and she was in an obviously thrown together tag team, there was little doubt in my mind that Shotzi and Moon would win. But I think Shafir and Stark did the best they could to make viewers doubt that for a second. Stark dominating from the get-go was a smart move and she definitely shined the most during the opening stages. I liked how they cycled through Shafir, Shotzi, and Moon each getting a segment of the match to show their stuff, eventually leading to the established Moon and Shotzi getting the victory.
Overall, this was a very surprising episode of 205 Live given that I really didn’t know what to expect for either match and they both brought something different and new to the show. With both Dusty Cups closing in on the end, I do hope we get another tournament match or two on 205 as well. My weekly audio reviews of WWE 205 Live are available for Dot Net Members late Friday night or on Saturday morning.