205 LIVE RETRO WORKRATE REPORT – EPISODE #1 (11/29/16)
(by PHIL RIPPA)
For reasons known only to me and my non-existent therapist, I started getting the hankering to do a workrate report again (despite hating the format) when I was putting the NXT Retro Workrate Report archives up. 205 Live has like 60 something episodes that I have access too so it’s not too too bad to get caught up. (Man, I didn’t even finish that sentence and I am already regretting it. I should have just done this year.)
This is what I wrote when I first started the NXT ones
“Because I have soooo much free time, I decided to start working through the NXT Shows on Hulu. For someone who has longed for the days of Saturday Night or Worldwide for that matter, this is the closest I am going to get. Of course, doing them retroactively will mean that I have to space out my jokes. Do I mock Tony Dawson now or what a little bit? Decisions. Decisions.”
Just replace Hulu with the WWE Network and Tony Dawson with any of the announcers who aren’t Corey Graves and it is the same thing.
+ The massive pop Cedric Alexander got.
+ They show a Bollywood Boyz video package. They talk about their influences and one of them says “Bret Hart!” They then show Hart applying a headlock that morphs into said Sihra applying a headlock. DIG THAT CRUISERWEIGHT ACTION! I am howling. This works but not for the reasons the WWE wanted it to work.
+ Drew Gulak baffling the fuck out of Dasha Fuentes made me WAY too happy. Also Gulak dropping “Bollywood! That’s not a real place!”
+ Gran Metalik is Coming Soon! I mean he was just there on stage in his gear but he is Coming Soon!
+ Jack Gallagher immediately gets over with the crowd who could give two shits because Jack Gallagher can get over in front of anyone. Ariya Daivari is fine as the foil to Gallagher’s unusual offense. Daivari’s entire contribution to the match was headlocks and a roaring elbow so it is a good thing that he can sell the pretzel lock well.
+ Brian Kendrick yells at Young Boy Tom Phillips a lot in various interviews and it makes me smile each time.
+ Assuming you can watch the show in a vacuum and pretend you have no idea what happens over the next 18 months – the Rich Swann video is good.
+ The Main Event of Swann vs. Brian Kendrick is by far the best match/thing on the show. Good back and forth action with a crowd that suddenly cares. They are a couple of nasty as fuck spots – like Kendrick landing all sorts of wrong on his neck on a suplex and the neck breaker to Swann on the turnbuckle support. There are teases of the frustrating early 205 Live style that sneak in and Kevin Dunn’s camera work is front and center. Still – this will be a high bar to beat for a while for best 205 Live match ever. The title change on the inaugural show is a little cliché but it still works.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
– I get the need to introduce all the wrestlers since maybe 1/12th of the audience watched the Cruiserweight Classic but I think they could have just run an extended video package (well a better video package then the one they slapped together) with graphics giving info on each guy. Instead we get the awkward police lineup that served as the opportunity where the WWE tried to get over all the goofy nicknames guys were gonna have. Which would have worked out better for them if you had turned down the 205 Live theme that was thumping along louder than anything else.
– For the record, the official 205 Live roster at the start of the show is: Rich Swann, TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher, Ho Ho Lun, the Bollywood Boyz, Noam Dar, Tony Nese, Tony Nese’s abs, Drew Gulak, Davairi, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, Akira Tozawa, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik and Brian Kendrick
– The growth on Ho Ho Lun’s chin
– HANDSHAKE OF RESPECT~! CODE OF HONOR~! God that will never ever make the What Worked column no matter the federation.
– Three man announce booths are not ideal but can work under the right circumstances. A three man booth with two heel announcers is not one of them. Maybe Mauro, Graves and Austin Aries will figure this out as they get a few more shows under their belt.
– The worst person in the CWC – Non-Ho Ho Lun Division – was Noam Dar. Naturally, he is one of the wrestler who gets featured in Week 1. YOU CAN’T RUN ME OFF WWE! I HAVE SUFFERED THROUGH WORSE! That really doesn’t say much about me.
– Brian Kendrick talking about how Rich Swann is gonna lose because he does high flying moves must have given Vince a tent in his pants.
MATCHES ON SHOW
Bollywood Boyz vs. Drew Gulak/Tony Nese
Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher
Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann – Cruiserweight Championship