By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 223)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed March 19, 2021 on WWE Network
Vic Joseph and Wade Barrett on commentary tonight for the first time on 205 Live welcomed us to the first episode of 205 Live broadcast on Peacock, and we got straight into the opening matchup.
1. Ariya Daivari vs. Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis. The two locked up to start the match with Adonis getting shot off the ropes and immediately bodying Daivari down to the mat. They re-engaged and went back and forth with Daivari grabbing a wrist lock and hitting a snapmare before kneeing the arm of Adonis. Daivari continued to work the arm, ramming the shoulder of Adonis into the corner. He tried to do so again but Adonis reversed and grabbed his arm instead. Adonis hit a couple of arm wringers before whipping Daivari and hitting him with a shoulder to the gut.
Adonis tried for another but Daivari dodged and hit a standing neckbreaker before hitting some ground and pound. Daivari propped Adonis up and continued to strike at him but Adonis countered and built some space for himself. Adonis tried to quickly hit a top rope maneuver but Daivari hit the ropes and dropped him onto the corner.
The two now went strike for strike with Adonis getting more comfortable, finally rocking Daivari with some elbows and hitting an Irish Whip rebound Flapjack to down him. Adonis then hit a flashy fist drop before setting Daivari up for a Fireman’s carry driver. Daivari got off his shoulders and pushed him to the top rope but this was to Adonis’s advantage as he hit Daivari with a big cross body.
Adonis tried to set Daivari up for the superkick but Daivari rolled out of the ring, Adonis chased him there and rolled him back into the ring, trying for the cross body but Daivari rolled out of the way. Adonis limped like his knee was hurt on the fall but caught Daivari running in with a spinebuster for a two count. Adonis took a little too long trying to follow up, allowing Daivari to counter a clothesline attempt into one of his own.
Daivari then followed up quickly with the Devil Lock Lariat and went for a certain pin but picked Adonis’s head up from the mat before the ref counted three. Daivari then dragged Adonis to the ropes and hit a Frog Splash. Daivari shook his hands off and went for a lax cover, allowing Adonis to roll him up and get the pinfall victory.
Ashante ‘Thee Adonis’ defeated Ariya Daivari.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a very standard match in which both men got to show off their moves for a few minutes a piece, and it really made Adonis look resilient with how the finish ended up looking, however it does make Daivari look unnecessarily casual in the loss. Adonis rolling Daivari up is one thing but doing so with such ease and then dancing on the ramp after taking two of Daivari’s finishing maneuvers either makes him look like Superman or makes Daivari look weak. I think it could have worked better if Adonis kicked out of the second pinfall attempt and worked to his own finisher as opposed to a roll up with no precedence. Either way, not a bad match by any means.
After the match we saw a recap of NXT featuring the arrival of Jordan Devlin to confront Santos Escobar and the challenge laid down for the NXT Cruiserweight Title unification match at NXT Takeover.
2. Jake Atlas vs. Tony Nese. Strong lockup to start the match with Nese forcing Atlas into the corner and showing off his muscles for a second. Nese and Atlas circled again with Atlas reaching in and executing a wrist lock, although Nese immediately reversed and tripped Atlas into an ankle lock of his own. The two traded joint holds before Atlas broke and hit an arm drag to grab another arm lock. Nese worked to his feet and reversed the wrist lock into one of his own but Atlas quickly shot him off and hit another arm drag to ground him again.
Nese tried to reach for the ropes but Atlas kept him in the middle of the ring until eventually Nese lunged his leg to one side to break the hold. As Atlas walked in to re-engage Nese hit a throat chop and a Hotshot to follow up before ramming Atlas into the apron on the outside. Nese repeated the apron maneuver before rolling Atlas into the ring and kicking at his gut. Nese went for a cover but only got a one count and so transitioned to a body scissors to try and squeeze the wind out of Atlas.
Atlas tried to force the shoulders of Nese to the mat, but Nese kicked out and kept the hold on Atlas. The crowd rallied with Atlas who used an arm breaker to get some space. Atlas tried to rush at Nese and was forced to the apron where he hit a shoulder strike on Nese and tossed him to the outside. Nese didn’t let Atlas recover and instead leapt back into the ring for a clothesline and got another two count.
Nese locked in the body scissors once more and this time Atlas was able to get to his feet and start elbowing Nese, but Nese in response hit a quick back suplex. Nese got to his feet first but took a while approaching Atlas and got smacked with some upkicks. Atlas tried to hit a Tornado DDT but Nese tossed him off and hit a head ick for a close two count. Nese rapidly went to a rear waist lock and transitioned to a Torture Rack but Atlas quickly elbowed his way out and dropped Nese with a standing suplex.
Atlas followed up with a series of forearms and went for a scoop slam but had to settle for an arm held neckbreaker. Atlas then hit a standing moonsault for another close two count as he caught his second wind. Atlas tried to catch Nese with a Sunset Flip pin but Nese kicked him off and hit a Springboard moonsault for a two count. Nese labored to his feet and dragged Atlas up slapping at his face. This angered Atlas who fought back and elbowed Nese once more.
Atlas now tried to toss Nese out of the ring but Nese struggled, forcing Atlas to hit a German Suplex followed by a spinning Lariat. Atlas then caught a groggy Nese near the ropes with the Cartwheel DDT.
Jake Atlas defeated Tony Nese.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very interestingly paced match in the best way possible. I did not have an idea of who was going to win or how and I appreciated the consistent story told of Nese being rigid in his offense, allowing Atlas to take advantage by using the same counters to break out of Nese’s pattern and goad him into his own offense.
Atlas didn’t do anything we haven’t seen before but made us anticipate his Cartwheel DDT making it satisfying to see when he was able to sucker Nese in at the end to get the win. Strong win for Atlas who has been built up well. On a night when both Nese and Daivari lost, Nese definitely came off stronger and he wasn’t the one to fall to a quick roll up. Makes you think maybe quick roll ups aren’t all their cracked up to be as protective booking!
Overall a fun show and the Atlas versus Nese main event was a fun way to cap off the first episode of 205 on Peacock. My audio reviews of 205 Live are available weekly to Dot Net Members on Friday nights or Saturday mornings.