By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 241)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed July 23, 2021 on WWE Network
The show opened cold with Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness on commentary welcoming us to the show and Asher Hale making his way to the ring…
1. Guru Raaj vs. Asher Hale. In what was a rematch from last week,Raaj entered with a pretty good face reaction, solidifying Hale’s heel placement in this match. The two circled with Raaj extending a hand and Hale eventually accepting a lockup. Hale hit a single leg trip but couldn’t keep Raaj down and the two locked up again. This time, Raaj and Hale exchanged headlocks and takeovers with Hale locking in a front facelock.
Raaj was able to counter into a headlock of his own, with Hale needing to hit the mat and roll out to break the hold. They tentatively re-engaged with Hale using a wrist lock for a second and tripping Raaj. Hale wasn’t able to hold on and had to roll out of a Raaj wrist lock only to be hit by a dropkick and a headlock takeover. Raaj and Hale exchanged headlocks again with Raaj then hitting a hip toss and clotheslining Hale to the outside.
Raaj seemed to have hurt his hand on the clothesline, giving Hale a second to regroup and trip Raaj on the ropes as he tried to drag Hale back into the ring. Hale then used a head trap neckbreaker on the apron to attack Raaj’s neck, before stomping him and hitting a front facelock Suplex for a two count. Hale then used an Indian Deathlock and the power of irony to inflict some damage on Raaj, transitioning into a Chancery as well, almost forcing Raaj to tap.
Hale let him go however and hit an uppercut followed by some more stomps to keep the pressure on. Raaj was able to muscle his way out of Hale’s grip and pushed him into the corner for some shoulder blocks. Raaj was able to force a corner to corner exchange and hit Hale with a dropkick and a Bulldog for a two count. Hale then switched strategy trying to kick at Raaj, but Raaj dodged and used a small package for a two count. Raaj then tried to use a backslide, but Hale rolled out and hit a Neckbreaker and Fisherman Suplex combo for the pinfall victory…
Asher Hale defeated Guru Raaj.
Anish’s Thoughts: I was surprised that this match didn’t build on their last one. I thought for once that the fifty-fifty choice of having Hale win made sense, and he did it in sound fashion, but I don’t know that anything happened in the match to really stand out and make me want a prolonged rivalry between the two. This match was pretty predictable unlike last week where I really didn’t see Raaj winning. It didn’t mean the match was bad, but there certainly wasn’t anything here that stood out to me, Hale plays his role well and Raaj is pretty good at selling so I enjoyed that even if nothing else blew me away.
2. Jake Atlas vs. Ari Sterling.The two locked up and exchanged rear waist locks with each not relenting to take the other down, with Atlas able to take Sterling to the mat with a pair of arm drags. Sterling reversed a third arm drag attempt and attempted a head-scissors takedown, but Atlas cartwheeled out and prompted a running exchange in which each of the two got quick two counts.
Sterling was able to hit Atlas with a head kick from the apron, finally hitting a head-scissors whip, but Atlas rolled through and hit a single leg dropkick and a scoop slam for a pair of near falls. Atlas then locked in a body scissors, but Sterling rolled him onto his shoulders to force him to let go.
Atlas followed up with a scoop slam for another two count. When Sterling got up, Atlas whipped him to the corner, prompting another exchange of moves and while Sterling was able to keep Atlas on the run for a second, Atlas won out and took Sterling to the mat again for another two count and a body scissors.
Sterling was able to put in a spell of offense after, managing to hit Atlas with some strikes and attack the shoulder of Atlas, although even he only managed a two count. Atlas tripped Sterling again and locked in a Single Leg Crab, but Sterling was able to break the hold and hit a jumping Flatliner for a two count. The two slugged up and exchanged strikes with Sterling seeming the more rocked, although he managed to hit Atlas with a pair of knees. Sterling then ran at Atlas, trying for a cross body, with Atlas catching him and hitting a Backbreaker and Fall-Away Slam combo for a two count.
Atlas then went to the top rope, but Sterling stopped him and dropped him to the middle rope. Sterling then hit an Avalanche Frankensteiner for a two count, with Atlas barely kicking out. Sterling then went to the top rope and tried for a 450 Splash, but Atlas rolled out of the way and hit Sterling with a German into the turnbuckles, following up with a Cartwheel DDT for the pinfall victory…
Jake Atlas defeated Ari Sterling.
Anish’s Thoughts: A pretty fun match and a clear showcase for Jake Atlas. While this wasn’t Atlas’s first go on 205 Live, far from it, this seemed like a starting point for something new for Atlas as Sterling has been booked strong very recently. Both matches were pretty paint by the numbers, with the main event being the better of the two. Sterling sold really well for Atlas who took most of the match, and although I think Sterling could have come off a little better, it certainly made Atlas look strong. With Sterling’s past booking, I don’t think there’s much of a deficit to losing either, so good on both wrestlers for putting on a pretty solid match, to cap off a fair to midland show.