205 Live Thoughts: A Love Triangle, Gentlemen and Kings
205 Live gave me what I wanted this week from WWE- a quality show that met my expectations. Will this be the greatest episode of WWE television this year? No. But it was a well-booked, coherent and exciting program, and at no point was I bored or disinterested. Also, the events of the show gave me a nice subtitle for this post reminiscent of Game of Thrones- I've been re-watching Season 6 and just started on the book series, so I have that to look forward to this afternoon/tonight.
-Anyway, the show started STRONG with a big recap video of the Noam Dar, Cedric Alexander and Alicia Foooooooox love triangle, followed by Cedric's entrance to go straight into the match, which was the key point for 205 Live advertised on Raw. I have to give Noam Dar a ton of credit, he's so confident as the sleazy slimeball heel, it's easy to forget he's only 23. And nobody likes you at that age anyway, so best to go all out on the heel work.
-They went 13 minutes and put together some nice sequences, particularly suited to the cruiserweight division. Encouraging to see them not wrestling like heavyweights. Also, the run time and lack of commercials is a nice reminder of how great the WWE Network is. Nothing like watching Raw on a US stream and getting absolutely fucking bombarded with fast food commercials.
-Alicia pulling Dar out the way, weird, but I'm willing to see how they flesh things out next week, or whenever the official Dar/Alicia pairing happens. Post match, Cedric dumps Alicia and Foxy does her way too OTT "crazy" screams. Forgot how painful that was.
-Liked the continuity of Brian Kendrick wrestling Sean Maluta after Tajiri returned against Maluta last week. Kendrick promoted the burgeoning Tajiri feud during his time on the microphone, but having Maluta there again (and referencing that link) displays logic and positive story building. Not only was the Kendrick vs. Tajiri feud promoted, but Maluta also got a little spotlight of his own with the opportunity to shut Kendrick up after the disparaging remarks. Good wrestling throughout also.
-I can't say enough good things about Jack Gallagher. His persona is fun and quirky, but the Extraordinary Gentleman (and the writers) are doing an exemplary job of organically adding an edge to his character. This ensures that Gallagher is more than just a one-note character. Daivari also showed commendable fire when he spoke, and he has a legitimate gripe about being embarrassed. Giving a gimmick match to the 205 Live weekly show will only build up the show as destination programming. Very much looking forward to the I Forfeit/I Quit match.
-Rich Swann vs. Tony Nese was an impressive main event. The champ Swann got back in action and looked great after a few weeks out, while Nese was there to be the surrogate Neville, a point emphasised, while care was given to show respect to Nese as an individual. At 7 and a half minutes, it didn't overstay its welcome, and there was enough offense on both sides so no one looked bad.
-Post match, Swann makes Dumbo jokes about Neville. Be a star, Rich. I like the booking of this title match for the Royal Rumble. Hope it's on the main card and not relegated to the pre-show- a match on a Big Four PPV will help the perception of the Cruiserweights immensely. As they did in WCW and later in WWE, the CW style is really perfect to pump the crowd up as a PPV opener. Given the right stage and the right time, Swann and Neville could tear the house down.
Outside of Alicia's screams, a massive thumbs up for 205 Live this week. I'm running a little behind on watching the shows this week, and noticed that NXT is back to doing regular shows at Full Sail, not the half-assed house shows we saw from Osaka and Melbourne (fyi, the Sydney show I attended was better). So, either later today or tomorrow, I'll have watched NXT and will post my first NXT Thoughts blog. Depends how immersed I get in the Game of Thrones novel tonight!
Until next time, take care,