Indy Talk With Chris: NXT and 205 Live Review
Thank you everyone who read my last Blog. I’m back for my Reviews for this week’s 205 Live and NXT, as well as giving a quick opinion on them as well. The Reason I’m writing about 205 Live and NXT before I write about the Independent Wrestling Scene, is that I am relatively new to the Whole “Independent Scene”, so it will take me a couple of weeks to adjust, and try different ways of incorporating them into the Blog.
205 Live (21/2/2017):
First of all, I want to say that ever since the Show Debuted last November, it has been improving week by week. It’s giving the Cruiserweights an opportunity to stand out more, than they would if they just stayed on RAW or SmackDown. The Commentary Team of Corey Graves, Mauro Ranallo and Austin Aries is a Good Combination, and the dynamic between them is remarkable.
Now onto the Show.
The Opening Package, recapping the Contract Signing with Jack Gallagher and Neville was a nice way to Open the Show. Even though it was only on RAW, the night prior to 205 Live, it refreshed our memories about the Main Rivalry for the Cruiserweights, in what was a rather entertaining Contract Signing.
The Opening Match of this week’s 205 Live featured The Brian Kendrick vs. Akira Tozawa. I thought that this Match was a Solid, Back and Forth Match, with Kendrick playing the Role of “Cocky, Arrogant, Heel” and Tozawa playing the Role of “Up and Coming Babyface, who wants to make a name for himself” very well. There were moments in this Match that I thought that either Wrestler could win it. The ending of this Match where Kendrick tied Tozawa up in the Ring Skirt to get a Countout win was a Creative Ending. It wouldn’t surprise me if these 2 had another Match, possibly at RAW’s Fastlane PPV.
The next Match was Noam Dar vs. Mustafa Ali. Every time I personally see both these Wrestlers, the more that they impress me, especially Mustafa Ali, with his Imploding 450 Splash. Much like the Previous Match, this was a Great Back and Forth Match that could’ve gone either way. But Noam Dar managed to pick up the Win, with a Shining Wizard, which I think is one of the best Shining Wizards that we’ve seen in quite some time. What made this Match even better for me was the previously mentioned Commentary with Graves, Ranallo and Aries. Austin Aries is one of those people in Wrestling who is naturally a Heel, to the point that he doesn’t even trust other Heels, going as far as questioning Dar’s and Fox’s Relationship, which is one of the best things on 205 Live… I think it’s how Noam Dar puts emphasis on “Alicia Foooooxxx”?? Anyway, the Match was much like the First Match, entertaining, with Noam Dar picking up the Win.
Following this Match there was a Video Package for a New Wrestler for 205 Live, which ended up being none other, than “A Double” himself, Austin Aries. I’ve got mixed emotions about this. It’s great to see Aries back in the Ring. I’ve always enjoyed his work. But on the other hand, it means that he won’t be doing Commentary anymore (Unless he can somehow Commentate his own Matches at the same time too?).
After the announcement of Austin Aries’ Return to the Ring, there was an Interview with, my personal favourite Cruiserweight, Jack Gallagher, prior to his Match and the Main Event of 205 Live. As always, Gallagher had a rather entertaining Interview, explaining what he was going to do to his opponent, which this week was Tony Nese, and comparing the similarities between Nese, and the Cruiserweight Champion, Neville. What made me laugh about this Interview the most however was Gallagher saying that The Queen was watching. After that I had visions of her sitting in Buckingham Palace at about 3:30am, watching the WWE Network, just for Jack Gallagher.
Now onto the Main Event of the Evening. Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese. I thought that this was a great build for Gallagher for Fastlane, because, as the Commentators commentated on, there are a few similarities between Neville and Nese, which I can see. Both have a similar build to them, and when needed, they can use their aerial offence. I feel like a broken record here, but just like the previous 2 Matches on this Show, there’s not much that I can fault on this Match. They both proved why they should have the Spotlight on them in this Featured Match. And they also proved that at some point, they both will be Cruiserweight Champion. Jack Gallagher picked up the win here, which is the right choice in my opinion. The only way I saw him losing, was from Interference from Neville, and causing either a DQ, or Nese rolling Gallagher up for a quick pin. Even in Defeat, Nese looked Strong is this Match, proving why he should be a Top Contender for the Title in the near future.
Before I go into this week’s NXT, I want to say that since the Draft, NXT hasn’t been what it was, the “Must Watch” of every week, thanks to wrestlers such as Balor, Bayley and American Alpha,are just a few who got called up to RAW or Smackdown. But for the past few weeks, I feel like it’s getting back on track, and finally building some momentum again. I also think that to an extent, people have possibly forgot that NXT is still “Developmental”, with wrestlers such as Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and more Big Indy Names coming in. So people like Liv Morgan, Elias Sampson and many more who are still relatively new to wrestling are still learning, but doing so on a bigger scale than people have done in the past.
Time to get into the Show. We kicked things off this week with a #1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match with Liv Morgan, Peyton Royce and Ember Moon. I found this Match rather impressive, however I found that Moon didn’t find as much time to shine as Royce and Morgan did. But then again, why wouldn’t Royce and Morgan try and get rid of the Biggest Threat? I have been impressed with Moon since her Debut at Takeover: Brooklyn II, and I do think that she will be the one to eventually dethrone Asuka. However, I do think that her Mic Skills are the only things holding her back. Liv Morgan reminds me of a Young Trish Stratus. Her looks and experience are similar to what Stratus was like at the beginning of her Career in 2000, and she continued to prove that in this Match. I have been High on Peyton Royce and Billie Kay since they Debuted in NXT a couple of years back. I feel that within the next couple of years, they could be the ones convincingly running NXT. Royce and Kay used their Numbers Advantage throughout this Match, eventually leading to Royce picking up with Win, after Kay took Moon’s “Eclipse” variation of the Stunner, thus giving Royce the opportunity to face Asuka next week on NXT.
The next Match was between two Standouts from the UK Championship Tournament, who also faced each other in the Semifinals of that Tournament, Pete Dunne vs. Mark Andrews. Similar to their Tournament Match, I enjoyed this Match. A couple of things stood out for me during the Match. One of them was Andrews’ “Stundog Millionaire”, which I think is one of the best ways to reverse a Suplex that I have seen. And the other was Dunne proving to WWE Fans, who a lot may not know of, why he is the “Bruiserweight”, by tearing away and ripping at the Fingers of Mark Andrews. After a great Back and Forth Match, Dunne picked up the Victory over Andrews in their 2nd Match in the WWE. I wouldn’t mind seeing these make a few appearances on 205 Live, where I think they will make quite an impact.
The Main Event of this week’s NXT was The NXT Champion, “Glorious” Bobby Roode vs. No Way Jose. I personally, am a Huge Fan of both these Wrestlers. I think that Roode can thank Gargano & Ciampa for a bit of his success in the WWE, especially when it comes to his Theme and the “Glorious Bombs”. As for Jose, I think that he is one of the best “Dancing” Gimmicks that we’ve seen in quite a while. As expected of a solid, back and forth Match, Bobby Roode won his first Match on NXT TV as Champion. Then after the Match, we were Treated to the Return of Kassius Ohno. It’s going to take me a little while to get use to calling him “Kassius Ohno” instead of “Chris Hero” after seeing and meeting him at a couple of Rev Pro Shows in London, but I’m sure we can make it work. After what happened this week on NXT, I see Ohno being in the Title Picture, after Shinsuke Nakamura has his Rematch for the Title, which I’m assuming will happen at Takeover: Orlando, at Wrestlemania Weekend. It has been confirmed however that Kassius Ohno faced Bobby Roode at the recent set of Tapings for NXT at the University of Central Florida this week.
Finally, next week, we’ve got a few things lined up. This includes 2 Championship Matches. The First one is the Previously mentioned Women’s Championship Match between Asuka vs. Peyton Royce. The other is DIY getting their Rematch for the NXT Championships against Authors of Pain. We are also getting a Debut after a Bizarre Video Package of the “Patrick Clark Experience”. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next week for NXT as we are on the Road to Takeover: Orlando, the Night before Wrestlemania 33.
Thank you everyone who has read this Blog. Hopefully I will get the Independent Scene side of things up and running too when my Next Tuesday. What did you guys think of 205 Live and NXT this week? Tell me your opinions on my Twitter, @CTwiggerWWE. But in the Meantime, you can catch Stefan Bennett’s Blogs every Friday, as he Runs Down everything to do with RAW and SmackDown Live. Also, Tune into TWS Radio every Sunday 7pm GMT, 2pm EST to have your say in the World of Professional Wrestling.
See you Next Time.
This is my Review of NXT & 205 Live this week 🙂