By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 236)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed June 18, 2021 on WWE Network
The show opened with Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness on commentary and kicked things off with Asher Hale making his way to the ring for the opening match.
1. Asher Hale vs. Grayson Waller. After a slightly truncated debut last week, Waller makes his second appearance on 205 Live against Asher Hale. Waller started with a cheeky couple of leg kicks, more to taunt Hale than to do any damage as they circled each other. Waller hit a sidewalk trip and tried for a leg lock but Hale reversed easily and pushed Waller to the ropes. The two circled again , with Hale getting the better of Waller on the round, forcing Waller to the ropes again.
Waller looked uncomfortable and was taunted by Hale who goaded Waller to try and pass his guard. Hale then tripped Waller and hit a couple of knees before Waller pushed him to the ropes and hit a pair of kicks to force Hale to the outside. Waller feigned a suicide dive but instead slid to the outside and hit a head drag on Hale to the floor. Hale tripped Waller getting back in the ring and hit him with a running knee from the apron before picking him up and rolling him back into the ring.
Hale then got to the top rope, but Waller hid behind the referee and pulled the top rope down to drop Hale. Waller then landed some ground and pound and got into it with Vic Joseph for a second before scoop slamming Hale. Waller then went to the middle rope and hit a Springboard elbow for a two count. Hale tried to roll Waller up in response, but Waller kicked out and propped him in Tree of Woe position. Waller then rolled across the ring and drove his foot into Hale’s jaw. Waller followed up with a cravat to wear Hale down, until Hale rolled out, only for Waller to hit a crescent kick for a two count.
Waller kicked at a grounded Hale but Hale fought back with leg kicks and continued laying into Waller’s chest in the corner. Hale then hit an exploder suplex and a cross body before using a question mark kick to down Waller for a two count. Hale tried for a Tornado DDT but Waller pushed him off and used a corner armbar on Hale to build space. Waller tried to roll in and hit a Stunner but Hale reversed into a Sleeper and held on. Waller struggled and eventually dragged Hale’s face across the ropes and hit a rolling Stunner and a Leapfrog Curb-Stomp to get the pinfall victory.
Grayson Waller defeated Asher Hale.
Anish’s Thoughts: I really liked this match. Hale and Waller actually have similar styles but because Hale was positioned as a face his offense looked different enough and this combined with Waller’s cocky and condescending attitude made for a fun matchup. I like what we’ve seen of Waller’s character so far and his wrestling style is different enough on 205 to really stand out. I will say it was strange seeing a Stunner used as anything but a near fall or finish attempt in WWE, but I guess times change.
After the match we saw Waller fake extending his hand out to Hale, only to shake his own hand as Hale came in to accept. Fun little add-on to the segment. We also saw a backstage confrontation between August Grey and Ariya Daivari which setup a match between them down the line.
2. Tony Nese vs. Ikemen Jiro. Before they got into it, Jiro took a second to dance with the crowd to his music, frustrating Nese who muscled him into the corner. Jiro simmered down and locked up with Nese, using an arm trap to control him until Nese reversed into a body scissors. Jiro countered right back, getting out of the body scissors and using a leg lock, only for Nese to counter himself, using two lateral presses to force Jiro to kick out and land himself in a cravat. Jiro got to his feet and shot Nese off the ropes but was shoulder blocked straight to the mat. Jiro kipped up but Nese just rammed his head into the turnbuckle and hit another shoulder block.
Jiro kipped up once more and prompted Nese to run at him. Jiro used a knuckle lock as he caught Nese to trip him into a crucifix pin for a two count. Nese now got up quickly and ran at Jiro but was hit with a hip toss and a right hook to knock him to the mat. Jiro laughed to himself and hammered Nese’s back before landing a few forearms and pushing Nese to the ropes. Nese forced the referee to break and tossed Jiro outside before peppering him with strikes against the announce table.
Nese then picked up his own jacket from the timekeeper’s area, putting it on to mimic Jiro’s ring attire. Nese strutted around the ring in his jacket and hit Jiro with a hook of his own for a two count. Nese locked the body scissors back in and squeezed until Jiro grabbed the jacket of Nese to turn him over and get out of the lock. Nese rolled through and pounded Jiro into the mat before using a Torture Rack submission to wear Jiro down. Nese had to let go when Jiro draped Nese’s jacket over his eyes and hit a running kick and some forearms to follow up.
Nese tossed his jacket away and Jiro continued to strike at him, even hitting and Atomic drop. Nese tried for a Sunset Flip, but Jiro rolled through into an interesting pining maneuver, forcing Nese to kick out a few times. Jiro then went to the top rope and hit Nese with a rolling Senton for a two count. Jiro then tried for a Suplex but Nese blocked it and pushed Jiro into the corner. Jiro was able to get to the top rope but Nese kicked him in the head to seat him there and tried for a Superplex. Jiro knocked him off the top rope and floated over Nese, only to be hit by a kick to the face for a two count.
Nese then propped Jiro into the corner to set him up for the running knee but Jiro rolled out. On the outside Jiro tried to do an apron headstand but lost his balance a little and settled for a Head Scissors whip to Nese into the apron. Jiro couldn’t take advantage as nese caught him with a top rope Frankensteiner as he tried for a high risk move in the ring. Nese got a two count and tried to hit the Hot-Shot and Moonsault combo, but Jiro dodged the Moonsault and hit Nese with four kicks to the head. Jiro then waited for Nese to stumble to his feet to hit a running kick to the face to get the pinfall victory.
Ikemen Jiro defeated Tony Nese.
Anish’s Thoughts: This match started off very fun, but execution wise I think it stumbled across the finish line. Jiro seemed to be restrained a little in his offense, whether that was by design or just how the match went I don’t know, I just think Nese was on the offensive for a little too much of this match as when Jiro tried to do some of his flashier moves later it just seemed like Jiro wasn’t as affected by the offense he had taken. There was also clearly a stumble with the apron headstand and the rhythm of the match just didn’t recover after that, sort of going through the motions to a finish that didn’t take a turn anywhere.
Overall, the show was alright, although I would have switched the order of the matches. Then again, I guess I am saying that with hindsight. The star of the show was Grayson Waller and since this was his first un-truncated match it’s worth checking out. Dot Net Members hear my audio reviews of WWE 205 Live every weekend.