By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 239)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed July 9, 2021 on WWE Network
There was a cold open with the broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness declaring this a very special episode of 205 Live…
Anish’s Thoughts: Special in that seemingly for no reason we would see this become 405 Live as heavyweights Odyssey Jones and Josh Briggs compete on the show while exceeding the weight limit by around 200 pounds. I’m not going to lie though, as a one off, I dig it.
1. Josh Briggs vs. Asher Hale.The former Evolve Champion Briggs made his debut against Hale with the two circling and Hale tentatively trying to circle in. Briggs picked him up and slammed him with ease to start with Hale then trying for a single leg, with not much success. Hale then tried for a drop toe hold and a Fujiwara Armbar, both off which were shucked off by Briggs. Hale then tried for a backslide and instead used the turnbuckle to run into a small package for a one count. Hale used this to push Briggs out of the ring and hit a running knee from the apron to stun him.
As Hale tried to get back into the ring, Briggs hip tossed him and knocked him to the mat with a running shoulder block. Briggs then used a wild hammer throw to whip Hale into the corner. Briggs smacked the back of Hale and tried for a Suplex, with Hale again countering into a small package, only for Briggs to kick out and hit a Sidewalk Slam and running senton for a two count of his own. Hale tried to fight from the mat with some kicks but Briggs just smushed him with an elbow and wrenched a chin lock.
Hale elbowed his way out although Briggs just clubbed him down to the mat again. Briggs cackles and towered over Hale, using another elbow to close the distance and flatten Hale. Briggs then elbowed Hale in the corner and hit a running boot to down Hale once more. Hale rolled out the ring and then back in when Briggs tried to chase him there, giving him some space to try and strike at Briggs as he re-entered. Briggs however, waded through his strikes unwavering and hit another boot before using an arm trap to try for a submission.
Eventually, Hale was able to rally and use some forearms to separate and try for a roll up. Briggs blocked the roll up and missed a knee drop, allowing Hale to rain some strikes on Briggs. Hale used these strikes to set up a basement dropkick and an enzuigiri to knock Briggs into the corner. Hale followed up with a middle rope hung dragon screw leg whip and a tornado DDT for a two count, although Hale transitioned right into a crossface.
Briggs crawled to the bottom rope but before he could get there, Hale switched to an ankle lock. Briggs kicked him off for a second, but Hale rolled him up and moved quickly into a superkick to get a close near fall. Hale then tried for a top rope foot stomp but Briggs was able to roll out of the way and hit a running Lariat to get the pinfall victory…
Josh Briggs defeated Asher Hale.
Anish’s Thoughts: Great job by both men in this match, I think if you’re using the backdrop of the NXT Breakout Tournament to have some matches on 205 that aren’t strictly cruiserweight as you reform the show, this is the way to do it. Hale looked like someone over-performing out of their element the whole match and while he didn’t get the victory, he always looked in it, with the size advantage being the deciding factor. I think Briggs stood out as well as not only did he work well and sell nicely for Hale, but his offense was a nice change on 205 and the commentary team likened him to Stan Hansen and JBL giving him a big bruiser look.
After the match we saw promos from Odyssey Jones and Grayson Waller who is not in the tournament. Waller said that he viewed a match against Jones as a chance to prove himself against supposedly the strongest in the tournament, while Jones proclaimed that it was his time to show what he can do. We also saw a recap of the competitors in the NXT Breakout tournament…
2. Odyssey Jones vs. Grayson Waller. As the two circled, Waller looked on apprehensively, trying to use kicks and jabs to poke his way into the guard of Jones. Waller landed a few jabs, but Jones just walked him into the corner and backed off. Waller asked for a test of strength before hitting a gut kick on Jones to grab a headlock. Jones shot him off pretty easily and slotted him with a pair of shoulder blocks before prompting a running exchange to tackle Waller to the outside.
Waller took his time getting back into the ring, trying for a single leg takedown to no avail a couple of times. Jones just tossed Waller into the corner and whipped him across the ring for a corner splash. Waller already looked winded, with Jones tossing him across the ring flat on his back. Jones followed up with another toss and a headbutt before trying for a running clothesline, but Waller dodged to the outside and tried for a Suicide Dive. Jones caught Waller, but Waller pushed him into the ring post and got back in the ring.
Waller hit a dropkick as Jones tried to get back in and hit a rope hung elbow drop as Jones was halfway in the ring. Jones and Waller traded strikes into the corner where Waller was able to use a corner Triangle for a second to wear Jones down, followed by a Guillotine. Jones was able to muscle out of the Guillotine and hit a Suplex to build some space for himself as the crowd rallied behind him. Jones tried for a clothesline but Waller countered with some knee strikes and a rolling forearm.
Waller then hit a running Stunner and a leg Lariat from the outside, but Jones kicked out at one. Waller followed up with a middle rope elbow only getting a two count, leaving Waller shocked. Waller tried to use a classic Triangle submission in the ring, but this time Jones picked him up and hit a one-armed powerbomb to set Waller up for a chop. Jones followed up with a slam and set Waller up in the corner for a jumping double Axe Handle and finished up with a ‘Not the World’s Strongest Slam’ Slam for the pinfall victory…
Odyssey Jones defeated Grayson Waller.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a really fun match and one that while I doubt we will see on 205 Live again, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing, at least as we wait for WWE to really sort out what they think the direction for 205 will be. Waller has worked pretty well with everyone he’s been paired with so far but actually I think this may have been his best match as Waller really shines when he is paired with opposing styles.
Jones has star written all over him, just really raw right now. He clearly has a likable personality and a fun wrestling style, I would just question the sort of unloaded texture ring gear he’s wearing, which while unique, can really distract. I’m also not the biggest fan of wrestlers using the finishing move of a wrestler they vaguely resemble just because of the resemblance (i.e. Swagger/Gable and the Ankle lock, any Middle Eastern/Indian Wrestler and the Camel Clutch,) or in this case Odyssey Jones using the World’s Strongest Slam.
Aside from that I think his move set is great, and as was the show tonight. I would rather WWE take their time resetting 205 and getting it right while giving us these fun spin-off type shows in the meantime instead of rushing the normal format back and giving us something that doesn’t stick. My audio reviews of 205 Live are available each week for Dot Net Members.
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