By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 243)
Orlando, Florida at Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE PC)
Streamed August 6, 2021 on WWE Network
The broadcast team of Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show and we went straight into the first match…
Anish’s Thoughts: It’s a strange vibe covering this show given a fair few 205 Live regulars were just released during Smackdown, including Leon Ruff…
1. Leon Ruff vs. Grayson Waller. The crowd chanted for Leon and the two locked up, with Waller immediately out-muscling him and tossing him to the corner. Leon rallied with the crowd and dove back into Waller who used a belly to back takedown to muscle him to the ground. Waller taunted Leon and dropped to his knee to make fun of his height, resulting in Leon hitting a dropkick to knock him out of the ring. Waller rushed back in and allowed Leon to take advantage with a series of strikes, culminating in a Victory Roll for a two count.
Leon went to the apron and tried for a Springboard Victory Roll, but Waller countered into a modified Electric Chair drop. Waller then hit a delayed vertical Suplex for a two count. Waller struck at Leon who was by the bottom rope before picking him up and whipping him to the corner for a stomp to the back for a two count. Waller then used a knee to the back to try and force a tap out but Leon fought to his feet, only to be whipped to the mat again.
Waller followed up with some shoulder strikes before hitting a Backbreaker for a two count. Waller didn’t relent and hit some hooks to the body to wear Leon out. Waller tried again for a Suplex, but this time, Leon flipped out to the apron. Waller teased a Tope but instead slid out the ring and hit an STO on Leon before doing some push-ups to get under the skin of the crowd. Waller then caught wind of Joseph calling him overconfident and got distracted barbing with commentary.
Leon took advantage of this and hit a rolling senton from the stair to turn the tables for a second. As Leon tried for a springboard maneuver to follow up, Waller whipped him off the apron and rolled him into the ring to use a Torture Rack and a Reverse Steamroller before going to the middle rope and hitting an elbow to the back of Leon for a two count. Waller then transitioned to a modified Camel Clutch submission, but Leon rolled out and when Waller tried for another Backbreaker, Leon reversed into a DDT.
Leon now hit a pair of forearms to stun Waller before hitting a corner knee followed by a Springboard Cutter for a two count. Leon went to the top and tried for a splash but Waller rolled out the ring and hit a running Stunner for a two count. Waller got frustrated and dragged Leon to his feet before trying for a Fireman’s Carry Slam, however Leon reversed into a Crucifix and pinned Waller…
Leon Ruff defeated Grayson Waller.
Anish’s Thoughts: So today Leon Ruff made his return to 205 Live, defeated someone who was being booked rather strong, and oh, by the way, Ruff was released before the show even started. I mean the match was fine, Leon and Waller had pretty great chemistry, but this will clearly lead to nothing and does nothing except giving Waller an unnecessary loss. Obviously WWE had no clue what they’re doing with 205 Live and this match so I don’t either.
2. Ari Sterling vs. Kushida. The two started not with a lockup but with and immediate running exchange which started with trading of shoulder blocks. They both went for dropdowns and dropkicks at the same time, cancelling each other out. They then traded wrist locks with the same happening again, Sterling used his strength advantage to dropkick Kushida out of the ring and tried an Asai Moonsault which he missed, knocking him down. Kushida got right back up and hit a few kicks to the knee of Sterling back in the ring, before using a shinbreaker to keep up the offense.
Kushida tried to continue the assault to Sterling’s knee from the top rope but Sterling dragged him off it and hit some knees before draping Kushida on the apron and hitting a rolling heel kick for a two count. Sterling then transitioned to a body scissors and tried to take the air out of the champion, but Kushida forced him to break by trapping the legs of Sterling.
Kushida hit Sterling with a running palm strike before repeating in the corner with authority. Kushida hit an atomic drop and tried for a hip toss which Sterling blocked. Kushida tried for a handspring elbow but Sterling countered with a kick. Sterling then propped Kushida onto the top rope and hit a Frankensteiner before following up with a corner clothesline. Sterling then tried for another top rope move, but Kushida dodged and hit a series of strikes capped off by the dropkick and the Hoverboard Lock to get the pinfall victory…
Kushida defeated Ari Sterling.
Anish’s Thoughts: So obviously this show was filmed well before the releases were announced. Tonight’s show clocked in at less than 25 minutes. Kushida looked very strong and I guess Sterling doesn’t lose anything if you assume that he shows up next week on 205 Live… but he won’t be. And alongside Asher Hale, Leon Ruff, and Jake Atlas, that’s four wrestlers who either appeared regularly on this show or certainly could have and now won’t. After the last three months of 205 Live were in large part spent building Atlas, Hale, and Sterling, we are back to square one. A strange, strange show that left me with no answers, and honestly no questions either because I know better than to ask any at this point. My weekly audio review of this episode will be available for Dot Net Members on Saturday morning.