By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 251)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed October 1, 2021 on WWE Network
Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness welcomed us to the show and right into the first entrance of Dante Chen of Singapore.
1. Dante Chen vs. Malik Blade. The two started with a quick lockup which saw Blade having to flip out of an arm lock to break the hold. Chen got the better of the second lockup as well, reversing an arm lock by Blade and hitting a strong hip toss before posing playfully. They locked up again with Blade having to fight out of another arm lock, whipping Chen to the ropes but being met with a pair of arm drags. Chen then continued to manipulate the arm, but was a little lax with the hold, allowing Blade to shoot him off the ropes and hit a dropkick to ground him.
Chen sold the arm, allowing Blade to see that and target it with an arm whip to the mat. Blade now used an arm lock, even holding onto it when Chen tried for a scoop slam, moving into a modified Camel Clutch position, keeping pressure on the arm of Chen. Blade transitioned to a reverse Kimura but was unable to get the submission as Chen reversed into a head scissors whip and followed up with a Bicycle Kick on Blade. Chen followed up with a pair of forearms and a backdrop before whipping Blade to the ropes for a big Backbreaker. Chen opted not to go for the cover and instead hit Blade with a Guillotine Drop (think Paige’s RamPaige without the DDT) to get the pinfall victory…
Dante Chen defeated Malik Blade.
Anish’s Thoughts: I see why this match looked the way it did, as Chen is clearly being developed, and Blade was in there to make him look good. Not much interesting offense from Chen really aside from his finisher and the effectiveness of this match relied on Blade’s selling which was great. A simple and short match with not much to it, a good win for Chen I guess, it’s to be seen what his character really is.
2. Amari Miller vs. Valentina Feroz. The two shook hands to start the match before locking up and exchanging arm and head locks for a few seconds. Feroz seemed to be the better grappler, keeping a hold of Miller with less effort, even using the ropes to run across and hit a takeover to down Miller for a second. Feroz tried for a cradle pin but Miller tripped her to reverse and kicked her off before the two re-engaged.
Miller prompted a running exchange and hit a quick arm drag to get the knee on the head of Feroz. Miller kicked the back of Feroz and hit a Snapmare which earned her a one count. Miller tried to run at her, but Feroz went for a cradle pin, getting a one count. Feroz then hit a Monkey Flip to get another one count, before trying for a Kimura submission, with Miller struggling and forcing Feroz to give up on it and go for a weaker arm lock.
Miller was able to punch her way out of it and reverse a corner moonsault attempt by Feroz into a drag down for a two count. Miller then used a chin lock, but Feroz Jawbroke her way out of there and hit a pair of Judo tosses and tried for a backdrop. Miller reversed and the two traded pin attempts, rolling through and hitting the Snapmare-Jawbreaker hybrid to get the pinfall victory…
Amari Miller defeated Valentina Feroz.
Anish’s Thoughts: Miller showed up with new bubbly entrance music and an attitude to match, all babyface now, which was strange considering I thought she was pretty effective as a more heel persona and this bubbly attitude seems a little overdone on NXT and 205 right now. A good match, with a few shaky spots in there from Miller that took me out of the flow a little bit. I think they did well to recover and keep the crowd in it, but it did seem like part of the crowd was confused by Miller’s character change with little warning.
3. Ikemen Jiro and Trey Baxter vs. Imperium’s Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel. The two to start were Barthel and Baxter with Barthel immediately taking Barthel over with an arm drag and grabbing a headlock before taking the back of Barthel, albeit giving up his neck, forcing him to bridge over and use a chicken wing to control Baxter. The two exchanged Snapmares as Baxter was able to go toe to toe with Barthel until Barthel had enough of the grappling and slapped Baxter’s chest before hitting a Soccerball kick and yelling at the crowd.
Barthel continued to strike, clobbering at the back of Baxter before making the tag to Aichner who hit an immediate arm drag. Aichner also gave up on the grappling quickly and just clobbered Baxter. However Baxter was wise to hit and was able to roll over Aichner’s back and hit a trip and a foot stomp before tagging in Jiro. The Japanese Superstar tried for a Scoop Slam but Aichner blocked it and the two entered a striking exchange.
Jiro seemed to win out in the striking exchange, allowing Baxter to make the tag while he trapped Aichner with a Tarantula submission. Baxter hit Aichner with a head scissors to whip him out of the ring and got his revenge on Barthel who interfered with a soccer ball kick of his own. Jiro and Baxter tried for tandem dives to the outside but Imperium hit the ring in tandem and hit big clotheslines to retake control.
Aichner and Barthel propped Baxter in Tree-of-Woe position and hit stereo basement dropkicks before taunting to the crowd. Barthel and Baxter then engaged in a striking exchange which saw Barthel slapping Baxter’s chest and hitting a Butterfly Suplex into the corner. Aichner then tagged in and Imperium hit a Backbreaker and running knee combo for a two count. Aichner then scoop slammed Baxter onto the ropes and tagged in Barthel. Baxter continued to eat Imperium’s offense, including another Soccerball kick.
Eventually Barthel went to a headlock, interspersing a clothesline for a two count before tagging in Aichner. Baxter was then thrown into the corner and tried to chop his way out but Aichner just pulled him in for a hammering clothesline for another two count. Aichner tried for a Back Suplex, but Baxter flipped out and hit a Jawbreaker before dodging Barthel and tagging in Jiro who rushed Aichner with jacket punches and a Springboard Moonsault for a two count.
Jiro tagged in Baxter, who hit Barthel with a Pele kick on the apron before the two faces hit tandem dives to the outside. Baxter tried to finish Aichner off with a top rope maneuver, but Barthel pushed him into Aichner who hit a Brainbuster. Barthel and Aichner then hit the Imperium Bomb (Uppercut and Powerbomb combo) onto Baxter to get the pinfall victory.
Imperium defeated Ikemen Jiro and Trey Baxter.
Anish’s Thoughts: More Imperium on 205 Live, please. That was a fantastic match, and everyone looked great. Imperium looked genuinely dominant and deadly and even though they gave off the air of two guys playing with their food at points during the match, they did a great job selling for Jiro and Baxter as well, ensuring that the faces looked good when they were on offense also. Baxter came out the star of this match, eating so much offense and just powering through, and I don’t think being pinned here hurt him in the slightest, it’s always different when it’s a tag move that pins you and I think that is one hell of a tandem finisher anyway.
This was an average show with a pretty great main event, I think you should definitely check out the main event if you get a chance, as Imperium were firing on all cylinders and put on a good performance. Aside from that it was a pretty nothing show, even if it wasn’t bad by any means. The wait goes on as I still don’t see a long term direction for 205, but not a bad show at all this week for what it was.