By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 242)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed July 30, 2021 on WWE Network
The show kicked off cold with Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness on commentary and the immediate entrance of Grayson Waller to lead into the first match…
1. Grayson Waller vs. Ikemen Jiro. The match started with Jiro dancing and circling Waller in a relaxed manner. Waller extended a hand for a greeting and to Jiro’s and my surprise, there was no pull in boot. The two then locked up a few times, with Waller acting seemingly overly respectful, not taking advantage of a rope break. Jiro then extended his hand for a shake, but Waller shoved his face and used a headlock takeover to show Jiro down.
Jiro stayed in the head lock but kipped up out of a couple more takedowns and prompted a running exchange which Waller lost out on, getting hit with a whip to the outside, allowing Jiro to dance in the ring again. Jiro chased Waller to the outside, but Waller took advantage and ducked a dropkick and hit a Flapjack to retake control.
Waller now stomped Jiro in the corner, using some forearms and prompted a running exchange of his own to knock Jiro to the mat with a clothesline. Waller kneed Jiro and pushed him in the corner and used a modified Tilt-A-Whirl backbreaker to transition into a backbreaker submission and then a Torture Rack. Jiro quickly got out and tried to take Waller’s back, but gave up on it and instead hit Waller with a dropkick as he ran at Jiro for a clothesline.
Jiro used this space to wallop Waller with a series of forearms and goaded him into the corner for a Tarantula submission before letting go and hitting an Asai moonsault for a two count. Jiro then went to the top and tried for a Swanton Bomb, but Waller caught him in a sleeper hold and forced Jiro into a position to eat a low crescent kick. Waller then immediately tried for an elbow drop, but Jiro dodged and went for a moonsault, but Waller rolled out of the way for this and hit a running Stunner for a two count.
Waller gave Jiro a little too much space after this and ate some strikes but fought back into a Fireman’s Carry Bomb for another close two count. Jiro kicked out and forced Waller to try for a series of roll-ups and ditch his game plan, allowing Jiro a second to take over and hit a running enzuigiri for the pinfall victory…
Ikemen Jiro defeated Grayson Waller.
Anish’s Thoughts: A little bit of a slump in terms of wins for Waller, but I think this is a pretty good way to use him. The match gave him a fun story where he feigned turning over a new leaf before reverting to his snake-like, brash self. Ikemen played it off well and gelled well with Waller here to where he could wait and eat Waller’s offense before taking advantage of his cockiness to get the win. Not a complex match, but sometimes a simple storyline in a match is all it takes…
2. Drake Maverick vs. Asher Hale. Former 205 Live general manager Drake Maverick made his singles return to the show. The two went right in for a lockup with Hale muscling Maverick to the ropes and forcing them to re-engage. Hale changed strategy and used a quick double leg to take Maverick to the mat and transitioned to a wrist lock and let go, challenging Maverick to try again.
Maverick responded with a wrist lock of his own and tried to take Hale down, but Hale rolled out of the hold and laid on the top turnbuckle to taunt Maverick. Hale yelled at Maverick instead of locking up, allowed Maverick to smack him in the face and pepper him with strikes. Maverick chased him to the corner, but Hale tripped him into the turnbuckle and seemingly hurt his shoulder. Hale followed up with a quick neckbreaker and tried for a pinfall but barely got two.
Maverick fell into the corner, allowing Hale to hit a shoulder thrust and an uppercut to slot him to the ground. Hale then tossed Maverick into the rope and rolled to the outside, whipping Maverick into the apron before using a leg twist neckbreaker before slyly getting back into the ring. Hale then tried for an ankle lock, but Maverick kicked him off and sluggishly punched at Hale.
Hale just went back to a takedown and used a snapmare to transition to a Straitjacket submission, almost putting Maverick out. Eventually, Maverick got to his feet, but Hale telegraphed it and hit a Straitjacket backbreaker for another two count. Maverick crawled to the corner again and Hale tried for a running shoulder strike, but Maverick dropped out of the way and stunned Hale as he hit the ring post.
Maverick found a second wind and hit a series of running strikes and a bulldog before heading to the top rope and hitting a cross body before executing a quick rope run Shiranui for the pinfall victory…
Drake Maverick defeated Asher Hale.
Anish’s Thoughts: Just like the first match where I thought it was a perfect way for Hale to lose, the same holds true in this match for Waller. Maverick has some built-in likability and respect on 205 Live, and I hope they use him more in the coming weeks. This was a great way to reintroduce him to the show in that he fought back and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. I don’t think Hale loses much here because Maverick has that credibility and, if anything, I think this was a good starting point for a longer-term story for the two.
Overall a pretty fun show, both matches surprised me, especially the main event which really fueled Maverick with some fire and gave him some juice on 205 Live if they choose to keep him on here, which I sincerely hope they do. My weekly 205 Live audio review is now available for Dot Net Members.