By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live (Episode 256)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed November 5, 2021 on WWE Network
Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary and kicked the show off by welcoming Diamond Mine to the ring…
1. Roderick Strong (w/Diamond Mine) vs. Ru Feng.Not a Cruiserweight title match or contenders match since Feng is over 205 pounds. The two locked up and after Feng pushed Strong to the mat, they reengaged and exchanged wrist locks, with Feng getting the better of Strong initially. Strong was whipped about and tried to run at Feng but was met with a shoulder block to the mat. Strong went to the outside and ran right back in with a series of chops and a jumping kick to knock Feng into the corner.
Strong then pushed Feng to the opposite corner with some more chops before laying into him with some elbows and a series of strikes. Strong forced Feng into the ropes and pushed his knee into his neck and gut to take the air out of him before dropping him with a strike and stomping him into the mat. Strong then transitioned to an abdominal stretch, but Feng was able to hit a counter hip toss and a clothesline followed by a few spinning heel kicks.
Feng then ran at Strong in the corner and followed up with a powerslam for a two count. Feng tried to use a leg lock, but Strong just kicked him off and hit a jumping knee as Feng turned back around to get the pinfall victory.
Roderick Strong defeated Ru Feng.
Anish’s Thoughts: While still green, Feng got some more interesting offense in today, actually having Strong on the run for a little bit. While it was a simple match I think it showed that Feng can be a interesting character in the mix on the show, even if he is over 205 pounds. Strong looked good as ever and I was glad to see the Cruiserweight title on here, he didn’t do anything magical but had a good solid match to kick off the night.
2. Erica Yan vs. Valentina Feroz. The two started with a lockup which saw Feroz hit a double leg takedown and try for an armbar submission, however Yan was able to roll out of it and force Yan to disengage. Yan used a headlock to try and throw Feroz off, managing to shoot off the ropes and try for a leg lock pinning maneuver, but Feroz kicked out and hit a Judo toss for a one count before going for a modified Romero Stretch submission.
Feroz kicked Yan off and went for a pair of pins but only got a one count. Yan kipped right up and hit a series of shoulder blocks before trying for a standing Kimura. Feroz countered and hit a modified Flatliner before transitioning into an armbar and got the submission victory.
Valentina Feroz defeated Erica Yan.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very quick match with not much in it, but a good victory for Feroz to make her look good nonetheless. Yan didn’t show much unique personality but she was able to get the crowd behind her in this face versus face matchup which was promising, I also liked her moveset, or what we saw of it at least given how short the match was.
3. Ikemen Jiro and KUSHIDA vs. Grizzled Young Veterans.James Drake and Zack Gibson of NXT UK made their way to the ring and immediately Drake and Jiro locked up with Drake hitting a running shoulder to knock Jiro to the mat. They reengaged with Drake grabbing an armbar and a wrist lock to try and get Jiro to the mat. Jiro rolled out and countered into a wrist lock of his own, dragging him to the corner to tag in KUSHIDA to follow up on the arm attacks before tagging Jiro back in to hit a top rope Ax handle to Drake.
Jiro went to take the back of Drake, tripping him and mocking him before letting Gibson tag in. Gibson and Jiro entered into a running exchange, each countering hip toss attempts, before Jiro chose to just smack Gibson in the face. Drake made a blind tag to Gibson from the apron after the smack and jumped Jiro with some strikes and isolated him in their corner. Gibson hit Jiro with a scoop slam before using a chin lock to wear him out.
Jiro struggled to his feet and looked like he was able to stretch Gibson enough to make the tag but Gibson whipped him back for a rope hung tag team move from Drake who tagged in and punched Jiro to the apron. Jiro tried a Sunset Flip to break the momentum, but Gibson blocked him and continued to pile the pressure on. Another chin lock on Jiro who once again got to his feet and this time hit Gibson with a standing Suplex to break the momentum.
Drake tagged in but was unable to keep Jiro from making the tag as Jiro hustled and escaped from his own jacket to tag KUSHIDA who rushed the Englishmen with a series of Handspring attacks before going for the armbar on Drake. Gibson broke the submission and prompted a brawl but KUSHIDA won out and tagged in Jiro for a double Hip Toss followed by tandem baseball slides to Drake and Gibson.
At that moment, the Creed Brothers music played and they came out, distracting Jiro enough for Drake and Gibson to hit the pop up Lungblower finishing move to get the pinfall victory.
Grizzled Young Veterans defeated KUSHIDA and Ikemen Jiro.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a fun main event and while I might normally be disappointed with a distraction finish like this, I actually thought it made sense to prolong the Diamond Mine feud with Jiro and especially KUSHIDA, hopefully getting us some high caliber Cruiserweight title matches.
Overall this was a solid show. Nothing incredible but the first two matches were good and more than anything the Diamond Mine takeover of the show kept me interested. The main event was also fun and I think the distraction finish was done well with us still getting action and Jiro and KUSHIDA not being harmed by the loss to Gibson and Drake who looked great and really had the crowd hating them today.