The Other Two Hours – 205 Live & NXT Recap

I’m a big supporter of 205 Live.  It’s been a fantastic showcase for a lot of younger, definitely non-Vince McMahon guys to get plenty of screen time and exhibit their incredible in ring talent (see: Mustafa Ali).  Lately it has felt like they’ve been losing sight slightly, only ever really focusing on four or five of the roughly 15 talented damn guys on the roster, so they’ve come out strong this week to rectify this.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about the best thing in WWE right now:

Image result for tom phillips and corey graves 205 live

That commentary team is absolutely fantastic.  Corey Graves is everything JBL wishes he was without all the bullying accusations.  The two together are true lovers of the sport, incredibly passionate about what they’re doing and great at their jobs.  Keeping these two together past their time in NXT on the desk has proven to be one of my favorite things they’ve done over the course of the past year.

Now let’s get into the actual show.

205 Live:

  • Tony Nese (is on TV.  Hell Yeah!) vs Akira Tozawa.  Tozawa grunted a lot, got a win in spite of an attempted distraction/interference from The Brian Kendrick, explained that lesson #3 was to have eyes in the back of his head.  This whole thing is fine, but one of the things I will say about the cruiserweight division is that they only have one belt, so it limits the stakes, which you sort of need to justify a program running for months on end.  Also, for Tozawa continue to teach Kendrick lessons came at the expense of Tony Nese, which I’m not in support of.
  • Rich Swann called out Alicia Fox to tell the truth, which drew out Noam Dar who threatened Swann, but then Alicia Fox came out, because now apparently she’s just going to work her way through the entirety of this roster.  This has been obnoxious, and hopefully if they’re going to get Alicia away from Noam Dar and have him stop saying Alicia “Fuuuuuuuuuuuuucks” because it make VKM laugh, maybe they can send Alicia back to an actual brand with a women’s division somewhere because this sort of mess belittles the incredible talent in this division.  Rich then tells her that he did it all to prove she was an awful person because he’s good friends with Cedric Alexander.  Payoff was crap for something that ran for so long.
  • Mustafa Ali is amazing.  Mustafa Ali vs Ariya Daivari.  Daivari is good too, but Ali is just incredible.  In every match he manages to do things I’ve never seen before, and this was no exception.  Daivari got in some solid offense, and hit an outrageously vicious back body drop on the apron.  Ali sold it like a champion.  Daivari plays the heel role well, as he has a real nasty aggressive side that comes out in all of his matches.  That’s another thing about 205 Live, these guys just put on a show, they don’t have to come out and talk forever.  Drew Gulak came out with a bullhorn and a sign saying they shouldn’t be “high flying” and Daivari won on the distraction.
  • Gulak cut a promo in the back about ending the high flying styles and bringing back a more technical style to better the product for the WWE Universe.  Dude is a tool.  I don’t know why they’ve turned him into the 205 Live equivalent of Right to Censor.
  • Main Event – TJ Perkins vs Austin Aries.  Great, and surprisingly lengthy, match here.  Perkins has gotten so much more entertaining since he’s gone to the Neville side.  Aries got the win, but he’s a little worse for the wear after this ass beating he took.  Neville comes out and the two beat the shit out of Aries even more.  This is a great example of 205 Live doing fantastic character work without the use of unnecessarily lengthy promos.

Pretty solid hour of sports entertainment, which 205 Live could still constitute professional wrestling.

We’ve returned to the campus of Full Sail for our most recent NXT taping, tonight’s show including the heavily anticipated (by me) cage match between Dillinger and Eric Young.

NXT April 19, 2017:

  • Aaliyah and Liv Morgan vs Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.  Peyton and Billie were working the team efforts, but Liv Morgan came in and hit a drop kick on Billie on the outside, leading to the Aaliyah victory by roll up on Peyton.  It was going well, then it just abruptly ended.
  • Tye Dillinger vs Eric Young in a Steel Cage Match.  Little odd this one isn’t the main event.  Like, how often do cage matches not close an event?  And this is NXT.  There must be something damn huge coming to close the show.  If the purpose of this match was to make Eric Young look like a beast (and end Dillinger’s NXT tenure with yet another disappointment) they went the right way about it for the majority of this one.  Eric Young was bleeding pretty good from the forehead by the end of this one.  Sanity would attempt to win with the numbers game, but a decent save from Kassius Ohno and Roderick Strong would even the odds and allow for Dillinger to escape through the door and get the win.  I’m sort of excited to see what they’ll do going forward without Dillinger.  I guess it’s an easy fix, as you slot No Way Jose right in to the Face Team and it’s already good to go.

Uhm, it actually was the main event.  I’m pretty sure this episode of NXT was only like 25 minutes long.  Oh well.  The cage match was decent, and the women’s tag match was good until it just randomly got cut short.  I saw no indication of an injury, so it was just booked like that.  I don’t understand it.  205 Live is awesome.

Next week on NXT, Tyler Bate will defend the United Kingdom Championship against 205 Live’s Jack Gallagher.  I would almost think they’d benefit from bringing that belt in for regular defense on WWE programming, otherwise it was sort of pointless.