Notes In Observance – WWE 205 Live 11/29/16: A Life-Changing Kick
Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
A Life-Changing Kick
– The Cruiserweight Division has been a blessing and a curse for WWE, dependent upon where you look. If you followed the Cruiserweight Classic, the style was presented as excitable aerials with innovative technical maneuvers. It went over with the people and the Tourney was a nice introduction. Then we get to Raw, where the same six men partook in spotfests. Generic storylines breed generic wrestling, which breeds generic interest. That said, the opening video was similar to the CWC with stock footage of the slow-motion fancy spots, because it’s 205 Live, don’t you know. Yup, we won’t blink. The opening theme reminded us of the opening verse of New Politics’ “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” but that’s a compliment if anything. We also had the commentary team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and Austin Aries. Whoever decided that, go and buy that person a drink. Stat.
– Yup, there’s no better way to make a lifeless Division stand out more as lifeless than to have everyone onstage for introductions – Rich Swann, TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher, Ho Ho Lun, The Bollywood Boyz, Noam Dar, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Cedric Alexander (largest pop), Lince Dorado, Akira Tozawa, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Brian Kendrick. Basically, it was the ones who impressed from CWC along with the Raw Cruiserweight regulars.
– The BB hype video was a good idea, as we had a story behind the odd dancing. They put over their Indian heritage and culture through the Bollywood way of life. The “sob story” came from their 11-year journey to the WWE and that they did it for their 95 year-old blind Grandfather. Now, why didn’t we have this story to either one of them during the CWC? They also showed highlights of the one NXT episode they appeared on so far to make them appear fun and likable.
– The BB-Gulak/Nese match made sense since they were the division’s only duos. Why they constantly team Nese/Gulak together without an explanation is beyond us. We get that Nese is the “premier athlete” and has impressed in the ring, but it’s Gulak – the former Soldier Ant in CHIKARA and former Combat Zone Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion – that suffers. He’s essentially a mean guy from Philadelphia. That’s about it. Oh, and he wears this badass medieval-esque jacket to the ring. Kudos to Aries for his criticism on the pre-match handshakes and purposeful mispronunciation of BB as “Herp and Derp.” Standard action designed to put the babyfaces over through their vibrant style, but it fell dry. Gulak’s “ground and pound” method looked believable. Skip to the end and it was a double superkick on Gulak for BB to get the win. Ring Of Honor World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks must be having a fit somewhere. The post-match comments from Nese/Gulak painted them as angry sore losers. Gulak called them “The Bollywood Bozos” (what a zinger) while Nese argued about the “lumpy mat and greasy ropes” for poor work conditions. Finally, some words from the duo. Typical heel behavior, but it’d be fun to see Nese/Gulak protest the loss and whip out some picket signs or stage a sit-down protest. Do something with them, dammit.
– The Dar hype video furthered his character development, as he spoke about being different from the pack. We always get a Roderick Strong vibe from him in terms of his looks and style. His purple space jacket sparked his “Supernova” nickname and he again reminded us that he was the youngest CWC competitor at 22, but yielded nine years of experience. His accent made it hard to heed his words believably, but as he molds his character, the charisma should follow. He has slowly begun to grow on us. He needs a “moment” though.
– The backstage segment with Kendrick, Tom Phillips and Perkins served as main event hype for Kendrick’s defense against Swann. Kendrick was key to bring up that Raw General Manager Mick Foley gambled on him at Survivor Series and won and put himself over for his career experience. Then, we got a Perkins-Kendrick program revival, as Perkins reminded us he still had a rightful rematch and wished Kendrick good luck. Seems like Swann will beat Kendrick and then Perkins will cash in his rematch clause to give us a meaningful triple-threat, maybe for Roadblock: End Of The Line.
– The Metalik hype video put over his biggest CWC aerial moments where he impressed many. On one hand, we were disappointed that he was being saved for later, but it could pay off. When will he debut? Who knows.
– The Daivari-Gallagher match was the perfect introduction for Gallagher’s “Extraordinary Gentleman” gimmick, which was dabbled upon in the CWC. Gallagher was more refined here, as he wore multicolored tights, tube socks and rocked a Rollie Fingers-esque mustache. We appreciated the sentiment to put both guys over by Aries, who had insightful notes, but we didn’t like that he compared Daivari to Gulak as “being just like him.” You want to individualize the talent. Gallagher was all about stretching his opponent in compromising positions while he relaxed. He pulled out some comedy spots in the corner as he also incorporated that “catches catch can” and amateur style. A highlight was his Windsor Knot on Daivari as he left him prey for a kick in the heinie. The crowd got invested towards the end, as we began to see why they held off on Gallagher for a bit. The roaring elbow counter with a headbutt to the chest by Gallagher went over strong, as did his running dropkick in the corner for the three-count. A good effort that did what it had to do for Gallagher.
– The Dorado hype video put “The Golden Lynx” over for his Puerto Rican heritage and hybrid style of aerials and submissions. He also mentioned his poverty-stricken upbringings and that it was a dream to be here so he could perform his shooting star press. There was plenty of footage of that here.
– The Swann hype video was successful at giving the happy-go-lucky dancer an emotional background to concentrate on. We believe this same video was shown in the CWC, but it reminded us that he lost his parents early on in his teenage years and went on a dark road before wrestling saved him. He sought to be entertaining as he traveled the world to Mexico, Japan and the United Kingdom to hone his craft. Also highlighted was his win over Perkins and Dar on last week’s Raw to get him to this point. His “overcoming the obstacles” story had life and we kind of dug the slow-motion dancing at the end. Grooving never looked so beautiful.
– The WWE Cruiserweight Championship main event match between Champion Kendrick and Swann had a “big match” feel thanks to the hype and both men had good chemistry under high stakes. Swann had some unique spots like his package powerbomb and senton off the barricade. He also unleashed some wicked chops on Kendrick. Slow, but effective storytelling as things moved on. Kendrick was dropped on his neck on a back drop, so Kendrick used the turnbuckle as the canvas for a neckbreaker. Nice momentum swings as we saw Swann get out of the Captain’s Hook but got trapped in the Strait Jacket briefly. Kendrick also sold like crazy when he took the spinning heel kick, but got his knees up to block the standing 450 splash and countered with another Captain’s Hook, which Swann got to the ropes on. Big near-fall when Kendrick hit a Sliced Bread Number Two off the top rope. That led its way to the finish when Swann hit three of the spinning heel kicks to pull off the big win. A great match and exactly what we hoped for to get 205 Live off the ground running. The post-match comments from Swann saw him dedicate the moment to his mom and Kendrick cried foul because Perkins played mind games with him. All building to that three-way, eh?
- The Bollywood Boyz def. Tony Nese/Drew Gulak via pinfall
- Jack Gallagher def. Ariya Daivari via pinfall
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship – Rich Swann def. Brian Kendrick (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on February 7, 2017, in WWE and tagged Akira Tozawa, Ariya Daivari, Austin Aries, Brian Kendrick, Cedric Alexander, Corey Graves, Cruiserweights, Drew Gulak, Gran Metalik, Ho Ho Lun, Jack Gallagher, Lince Dorado, Mauro Ranallo, Mustafa Ali, Noam Dar, Rich Swann, The Bollywood Boyz, TJ Perkins, Tom Phillips, Tony Nese. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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