Wrestling Opinions from A Sleazy Guy and Momo Greatest Royal Rumble, 205 Live
By Sebastian Howard
Well I got a new tag team partner in the form of my bud from FL, Momo. He and I have been friends for a little over a year and half now, we just met one time due to another friend, Michael and clicked instantly on wrestling and Pantera. Also he was my main weed/acid connect for a while. Back when I lived in FL we would have like five or six people over for Raws, Smackdowns and PPVS and just get fucked off and watch the shows (and usually bitch about them). Good times. I FINALLY got Momo to read one of my reviews (dude has a SHORT attention span) and he wanted to join the column. I hadn’t seen any of his writing before so I made him do a review of 205 Live and he came through in spades so he’s in. This will also give me more motivation to put these columns out because its also his hard work involved. We’re going to be doing a team up of Greatest Royal Rumble and Momo has his own review of 205 Live that I’m going to post after GRR. So let’s get to it….
Greatest Royal Rumble Review 2018
Sebastian: The biggest problem I had with this show was the crowd, now granted I get that Saudi hasn’t had wrestling before and that their reactions are going to be different but fuck man, they were dead for such a long part of the show and it just killed it for me. You could hear a wet fart when Jericho came out at number 50 which SHOULD have been a big deal. Then you had the people in the front row just not giving a shit about ANYTHING and constantly checking their cellphones, just terrible. This would’ve been easily forgiven I think if WWE hadn’t hyped this show as the follow up to Mania and made it seem like just as big of a deal. We get it, this is an experiment and you haven’t tested yourself in Saudi before. I mean really this show was a success in one way because it opened up relations with WWE and Arabia for WWE to do more shows over there but as a follow up to Mania and a viewing expereince it failed MISERABLY.
1st Match: Triple H vs John Cena
3.5/5.0 This was actually the match I was most looking forward to on this show despite it having zero build. For someone my age, 22 now, this is a throwback to my childhood and when I started watching wrestling, which was around 2006. I don’t particularly think that Cena/Trips from WM 22 has held up well, like AT ALL but Cena’s so much better now than he was then that its like night and day. So this was an old school mark match for me and I don’t think it disappointed. It started off slow and felt very house showish but it picked up and was just really fun. You pretty much got what you expected here and Cena going over made sense because a Trips win doesn’t do a whole lot and why not start the Saudi crowd off on a high note? Cena also needed to look strong after getting buried by Taker and this definitely did that. The ending with both guys kicking out of each others finishers and Cena having to put Trips down with an fu into a slingshot into another fu was pretty cool.
Well, for the first time in history, WWE has decided to host an event in the BEAUTIFUL city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and as soon as the show opened I thought, “BAH GAWD!” The size of the venue, the huge ass stage, excessive pyro use. This is basically the Mania after Mania.
(i) Triple H v. John Cena 4.5/5
This match had no build whatsoever on WWE TV, yet I think that this works into this match’s advantage since they were able to tell the story in the ring. This match felt like a shoehorned in RAW ’07 main event initially but I came out of it rather enjoying it, as expected by two of the greatest workers in the WWE today. The match starts slow almost going at an old school pace but then gradually picks up with them working the crowd rather well, I really enjoyed Trips’ heeling in this. In the end Cena hits the AA, followed by a slingshot to the turnbuckle and another AA for the win.
2nd Match: Kalisto vs Cedric Alexander (C) for the Crusierweight Championship
3.5/5.0 This match was fun and when it was fast paced was pretty good but the pacing didn’t work for me. It went in fits, started off fast, got slow, got fast again, then Alexander did a wasitlock for what felt like five minutes and then it picked up at the end. The X Divison is gone and buried but its amazing that stuff from TNA ten years ago blows the Cruiserweight Division out of the water or fuck, even old Nitro matches. WWE should really let these guys go all out instead of pigenholeing them into doing the same shit that all the rest of the wrestlers do and forcing them to “tell stories.” Still though, a pretty good match with some nice moves. Too bad the crowd was dead as fuck. Oh and I think Momo overrated this big time, you can tell he’s a 205 Live mark.
Momo: (ii) Cedric Alexander v. Kalisto for the Cruiserweight Championship 5/5
I’m not even gonna lie, this was probably the best match on the card if you’re looking at it in a technical standpoint. A lot of this match was carried by Kalisto with some amazing looking high flying offense. However I’m not trying to discredit Alexander here, as he looked terrific in this bout as well. The two put on a freakin clinic before Cedric pressed R2 on Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol and reversed into the Lumbar Check for the win.
3rd Match: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt vs Cesaro and Sheamus for the Raw Tag Team Titles
2.0/5.0 Hardy and Wyatt went over…. didn’t care in the slightest. Boring match…. it will be interesting to see what they do with Hardy and Wyatt though. The only challengers I can think of the for straps right now are Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler, who are still establishing themselves and The Revival (I keep on hoping for a Revival push only to get my hopes crushed each time). Raw really has shot themselves in the foot with their shitty, terrible tag team booking and now they HAVE to pull the trigger on someone. They can’t even rely on doing ten thousand rematches with the Bar (which has been their default tag booking for like a year) because Bar’s at Smackdown. But if you push Ziggler/McIntyre to the titles you lose either way. If they win the titles the whole Wrestlemania Andre match looks like a waste of time (again) and all the time you put into pushing Hardy and Wyatt goes down the drain. And if they lose they look like they can’t get the job done and lose all the momentum and goodwill they have right now (which Dolph Ziggler REALLY needs). The best choice they have is to push The Revival but even then you know Revival’s going to lose which makes them look like chumps and placeholders. So yeah, great thinking ahead Creative, keep at it you dumb cocksuckers.
Momo: (iii) Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt v. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Team Championships 2.5/5
This is where the show as well as the predictability of the card started to dip out for me, the Superstar Shake up totally ruined the card for many such as myself. Regardless this wasn’t too bad of a match. It was interesting to see that Matt’s Delete chants are established in Saudi Arabia, hell, he even got the crowd to do a standing ovation. The match ended with the assisted Twist of Fate by the Deleaters of Worlds for the win. It was nice to see Matt and Bray hold the gold afterwards all things said.
4th Match: Jinder Mahal vs Jeffykins (C) for the US Title
2.0/5.0 I DEFINITELY thought they were going to put over Jinder here because WWE is racist as FUCK and would think oh all brown people are the same and like other brown people. So even though Jinder is supposed to be Indian, he’s brown so he can go over in Saudi and the crowd will eat it up. I think they made the right decision here as Jeff winning was positively received by the crowd. The match was…. a pretty typical Jeff Hardy formula match. Jinder didn’t add anything because y’know, its Jinder (well I guess he did add missing the Whisper in the Wind completely and STILL deciding to sell it anyway…. that spot was BAD). Jinder is already moving back to jobber territory on Raw as he hasn’t won a match, lost to Jeff here and looks like he’s being set up to feud with Jose or Chad Gable. Neither of those are amazing choices and it really makes the decision to put him over at Mania even more baffling.
Momo: (iv) Jeff Hardy© v. Jinder Mahal for the United States Championship 2/5
Again, predictable as all hell except this time I just couldn’t care at all. Very standard match except there was a good amount of back and forth and not just Jinder Mahal dominating the match only to come out losing. My favorite part of the match is when Jeff Hardy relied on actual wind to knock Jinder down with the Whisper in the Wind, such innovation! (sarcasm) Regardless, Jeffykins put Jindy Mahindy away with Twist of Stunner/Swanton Bomb combo.
5th Match: Usos vs Bludgeon Brothers (C) for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles
I skipped the Uso/Bludgie match, didn’t feel like watching the Uso’s get squashed and was trying to catch up to live time. Seemed like a squash to me and you couldn’t even advance the Naomi storyline because Saudi Arabia’s sexist as fuck.
Momo: (v) The Usos v. The Bludgeon Brothers© for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships 3/5
This match went a little better than the last tag match in the card in my opinion. There was a healthy amount of back and forth, it was fairly evenly contested.The Usos also seemed like they would seal the win until Rowan interrupted the double splash causing the Bludgeon Brothers to hit the… Bludgeon Bomb? For the win. What really screwed the Uso’s over here, due to being in Saudi Arabia, is that they couldn’t use their secret weapon, Naomi’s ass.
After the match, there was a backstage interview with Y2J and it was pretty entertaining, he was listing some off the great names in the royal rumble and then he buried/put over Mojo Rawley, making him seem like a bigger deal than he actually is. He would also go ahead and make Mojo Rawley the first ever man to end up on the list of Jericho two times in a row.
6th Match: Samoa Joe vs Finn “No way in fuck I’m wearing that LBGT shirt in Saudi” Balor vs Miz vs Seth
3.5/5.0 Fun ladder match but nothing really new or amazing except for that ending, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that ending in a ladder match and I really liked how it came out of nowhere and kept Finn looking strong at the same time. This was good but felt like the same formula of say, a 2000 fatal four way with all the spots you’d expect (a powerbomb superplex with everyone involved). In a perfect world we could get a Balor/Rollins 30 minute Ironman at Backlash but I’m sure we’ll just get another solid singles between them. Either that or Corbins going to start going for it which will SUCK!
Momo: (vi) Seth Rollins © v. Finn Balor v. Samoa Joe v. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship 4/5
This match’s predictability actually didn’t really work against it, but then again it’s hard to make a ladder match suck. This match was great with some mean looking ladder spots with Joe trying to set up a ladder in the corner only for it to fall down; prompting Joe to simply murder Finn Balor instead of simply throwing him against it. I also enjoyed Finn’s Coupe de Grace on a ladder prone Miz. The end was the best looking thing spot with Seth springboarding onto the ladder and snatching the title away from Finn’s fingertips.
A segment that showcased some new WWE signees from Saudi Arabia would intervene at this point in the show, but then as these new guys were cutting promos, easily the biggest heels of the night, Ariya and Shawn Daivari and their dastardly Persian flag (how dare they flaunt their nationality!) interrupted the new blood. Ariya cut a promo talking about how none of these nobodies are superstars but that he and his brother are. This was proceeded with some devastating looking offense, with the Saudi Boyz hitting Ariya with a SHOVE OF DOOM that was oversold harder than Brock v. Goldberg Survivor Series ’16. Followed by a kick, a Scoop slam to Shawn and then came the most devasting move of the segment. Hussein would TOSS SHAWN OUT OF THE RING!!!!! I swear if that guy was in the Rumble, he’d totally win. All the while Vince was probably standing in the back wondering which one of these young hopefuls can make Roman look strong.
7th Match: Shinskue Nakamura vs AJ Styles (C) for the WWE Championship
3.5/5.0 This was a lot better than the match at Mania and if it had a good ending I would’ve given it a higher score. It was fast paced, exciting and Shinskue just seems to have this newfound energy since turning heel. The match clicked in a way that the one at Mania didn’t and at the end it really had me hooked. When Shinskue threw the ref in the way and hit AJ with a low blow I legit thought that was the finish but AJ got his hand on the rope. I was really digging the match and then it ended on a double countout. Just lame as fuck…. I get that you wanted to continue the feud but man, when you’re trying to pimp this as a show just as big as Mania you really need to have a fuck finish on your WWE Title match? I think a better ending would’ve been Shinskue realizes he’s about get finished by a Styles Clash so he punches AJ in the balls in front of the ref and then beats the shit out of him after the match. You’d keep the feud going, Shin would have a justifiable reason for fucking himself out of the title and you wouldn’t have felt as fucked over by Creative as you would be mad at Shin for being a dastardly heel. Of course I can come up with this shit and Creative can’t which is why they get paid the big bucks.
Momo: (vii) AJ Styles © v. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship 3.5/5
This match was actually better than their Wrestlemania outing in my opinion. With the added edge of heel Shinsuke, there was a somewhat better story being told here. Tired of having his balls punched by Shinsuke, AJ would fight more aggressively this time around. However, a failed Phenomenal Forearm that almost hit the ref, gave Shinsuke a chance to hit his signature Peenshasa on AJ’s future kids which would ultimately result in a double count out due to outside brawling. A bullshit ending, yet I’m not sick of this feud so that’s good.
8th Match: Rusev w/ Aiden vs Undertaker
3.0/5.0 This was fine, it was cool to see Taker outside of Mania and the Saudi crowd liked him. Rusev actually got to get some offense in which was nice though the result was extremely precitable. Cool little Taker match, I can see why they put this on the card as they were trying to pull all out all the stops and a Taker Casket match is a big deal. Think it would’ve been more interesting with Jericho in there though, no offense to Rusev but Rusev’s big thing right now is that the crowd is into him and in Saudi that just didn’t matter.
Momo: Undertaker v. Rusev Casket Match 3/5
This was another one of those, “What the fuck is the story behind this match?” matches but it turned out pretty ok. I initially thought Rusev was gonna get squashed ala John Cena v. Taker this past Wrestlemania, but he actually put up a pretty decent fight on the Undertaker, he even locked in the Accolade on him at one point. However, the match ended with the Undertaker sealing not just Rusev but Aiden English as well in the casket. As, the two of em had to probably spent 10 minutes or so squeezed inside a casket while getting rolled to the back, this ends Vince McMahon’s long and convoluted way of saying “Fuck you” to Rusev for getting himself over with the fans.
9th Match: Cage Match: Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar (C) w/ Paul Heyman for the Universal Championship
2.0/5.0 Yeah this sucked, big time and the result pisses me off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge Reigns fan by any means but Vince is still going to push down our throats… hard and forced. We could’ve gotten this never fucking ending title chase out of the way here and it would’ve made the show look like a big deal. Look at the show, you had NO title changes (well other than Hardy/Wyatt wining the vacant tag titles), a Rumble that didn’t matter and a show that just treaded water. If Regins had won here it would’ve made the show feel like a big deal… instead we’re just treading water. There is a major difference between this and Mania though and that’s that Reigns got to look extremely strong here. Vince KNEW he had to make Reigns strong here if he’s going to have an excuse to have another rematch down the line so Reigns got to kick out of a shitload of F5’s, come back and basically Goldberg, Lesnar and only lose due to an accident (the finish was Lesnar getting speared through the door and landing before Regins even though Lesnar was on the fucking cage door and Regins was on the floor). You know what this means right? Yup, MORE ROMAN REIGNS CHASING THE TITLE!
Jesus Christ, can we just get this fucking rape over with and try to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING new other than more Lesnar/Regins matches? How long until Vince decides its the perfect time to put Reigns over? Fuckers like my old dog Yoshi, he’s got to find the PERFECT spot to pee and will spend twenty minutes sniffing out that perfect spot. Well guess what Vince, the crowd isn’t going to warm to this. You’ve turned them against Lesnar so its not even a booing Reigns/cheering Lesnar deal that you had at WM 31, its just APATHY and HATE for these goddamned matches and this GODDAMNED angle that you are SO fucking intent on. I’m assuming, in Vince’s mind, that the Saudi show wasn’t big enough for him to cornoate his boyfriend Roman so we’re probably going to push this all the way to Summerslam. At this point no one wants to see this but The Stubborn Old Man is going to have his way at all costs. Shit like this legit wants me to see WWE die…. its just so goddamned cynical because Vince knows that he can keep the smarts pacified with Bryan coming back and AJ/Shinskue, as well as Balor/Seth while he gets to have his fun with REAL main eventer Reigns. Its not even that I hate Reigns or anything like that but this push and this story is for ONE MAN and he just refuses to change it for anyone or anything. So we have to sit through another four months of this shit because Vince thinks he’s making new Rocky movies.
Main Event: 50 Man (NO GIRLS ALLOWED) Rumble
2.0/5.0 This SUCKED hard. I think this COULD’VE worked too, I’ve wanted to see a Rumble for a while where there’s nothing at stake except for a possible push. It makes the Rumble way harder to predict and if this had been a normal Rumble at 30, or even if they had cut down to 40 this could’ve been a lot better. But there was just so much damn fat in there and the crowd was dead as fuck for the entire thing. There was some cool stuff, starting off with D Bry and Dolphy Z was a great start for the smarts. Henry coming back was a cool surprise even if his spot with Sumi felt really like the lowest rent version of big guy vs big guy in the Rumble. Kofi and Xavier had some cool Rumble moments but it really highlights how for them to matter the crowd has to respond to make shit matter. Here Kofi and Xavier using each other to get back into the ring was cool but didn’t have the same kind of impact or importance it should have had. I did like them throwing Tony Neese who was trying to get down with the brothas, one of those extremely obvious spots that’s more entertaining because of how obvious it is.
Fuck Hornswoggle, his appearance in the Rumble was liked by most people but I just can’t get into it. For me I just think of what he’s actually been involved with and its all terrible. Being part of DX, the little people court, being McMahon’s son, being the secret GM…. all of it just fucking TERRIBLE and unfunny…. yeah fuck Hornswoggle. Angle got to get a decent amount of time in there and go one on one with Bryan which was a smart’s wet dream come true. Elias came in… his entrance felt like a lamer version of what he already did in the Rumble in Jan. Elias got to eliminate Kurt which… probably isn’t going to lead to anything as Kurt’s feuding with Owens/Zayn right now. Kurt did get to look pretty good in this match while he was in there, better than he did at Mania. Titus O Neil is the new shockmaster…. hearing Corey and Cole shoot break up over that was pretty funny.
So I think that this would’ve been looked at a lot better if Bryan had won, granted the match itself sucked but you could’ve kept the smarts happy here and Bryan would’ve had a lot of momentum. Also you could’ve and probably should’ve made up for the fact that Bryan didn’t get to go over… or even fucking be in the Rumble he should’ve won in 2014. Giving him the win here in this meaningless Rumble would’ve given out some goodwill…. instead lasts longer than anyone ever in the Rumble and then gets eliminated by 70s Las Vegas Casino Security Big Cass. I get it, you want to further the Big Cass/Bryan feud and that’s not a terrible way to do it…. but you could’ve easily had Bryan win the damn thing and Cass be pissy about it and bitch about how he should’ve won and continued the feud. I mean think about this, they DIDN’T GIVE BRYAN A WIN IN A RUMBLE MATCH TO FURTHER A FEUD WITH BIG FUCKING CASS!!! That’s more important to them than making up for fucking him over in early 2014! Strowman winning was fine but it doesn’t have the same impact of Bryan overcoming, from number 1, everyone else to win the entire thing. Strowman winning…. hopefully he can get a big push out of it but the most that Strowman can go for right now is the IC Title. Reigns has a deathgrip on number one contedership for Universal and we’ve seen Lesnar beat up Strowman too many times to get excited for it again. Strowman fucking around with Seth and Balor could be really good though and hopefully Strowman going over here means that Creative has something mapped out for him…. though I wouldn’t be too sure of that given that its CREATIVE!
Final Thoughts: For a show that was hyped at the level of Mania this failed miserably. Nothing mattered, no titles changed and nothing felt important at the end of the show. For a little experiment in Saudi Arabia it was fine.
Okay so that’s it for the Rumble review, here’s Momo’s review of 205 Live from this week.
The Only Review of 205 Live You’ll Ever Need 4/24/2018
Alright, I’m just going to preface this by saying that ever since Triple H took control of 205 Live behind the scenes and Drake Maverick took over as on screen GM, the weekly shows have been nothing short of outstanding. 205 Live has gone well out of its way from barely watchable who gives a fuck matches to the workrate, high flying, must see wrestling it was initially supposed to be. With the last two episodes; 4/10 having a really stellar Buddy Murphy v. Kalisto main event and 4/17 having a tag team match (yes, a fucking tag team match) between Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik v. Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami practically bring the house down, whats next for the Purple brand?
Guantlet Match Mustafa Ali v. TJP v. Drew Gulak v. Tony Nese v. Kalisto (3.0)
So the story of this episode goes, while on the road to the Greatest Royal Rumble show in Saudi Arabia, original #1 contender Buddy Murphy didn’t make the 205 weight limit (a rule I didn’t think they followed backstage) and was taken out of the Cruiserweight Championship picture. Drake Maverick sets up a Gauntlet match to determine who will face Cedrick Alexander and the Greatest Royal Rumble event to crown a new Cruiserweight Champion.
This whole episode was just this one Gauntlet Match and I kinda like this new format instead of having a packed show with too many matches I don’t care about. The match starts off with Mustafa v. TJP both excellent workers with TJP wrestling a lovely heel technician style and Mustafa being the resilient face, after a grueling knee bar, Mustafa picks up the win with his patented tornado DDT and 054 Splash combo. For the record, I’d love to see another TJP title run in the future, as a heel of course.
Mustafa’s next opponent was Drew Gulak who targets Mustafa’s injured leg for pretty much the entirety of the match. Gulak’s new submission specialist/do whatever it takes to win character really shined in this match. While Mustafa was about to go for the 054, Gulak shoves him into a sick looking spot where Ali hits his head on the steel steps. Knocked out, he gets dragged back in and Gulak hits the GuLock for the W. Gulak’s next opponent was Tony Nesse who looked great exhibiting his power mixed with high flying rather well in this match. The match ended with Nesse actually hitting Gulak with the running Nesse but instead of going for the pin, Nesse tries to hit it again only for Gulak to escape and trap Nesse in the GuLock. This exchange makes Gulak more strong and also opens up for a potential Nesse face turn, so far their rivalry has been interesting.
The last man that Gulak had to go through was the leader of good lucha things, Kalisto (who by the way has been on fire since 205 Live got revived). The exchange was cool since Gulak being the heel kept stalling to come in and leave the match to regain his strength only for Kalisto to take advantage of his quickness and gain the upper hand. This was a short one as Gulak had already gone through two opponents with Kalisto quickly picking up the win by reversing the GuLock into a corner assisted Salida Del Sol for the win.
I really thought they were gonna give Mustafa Ali the match again since they’re heading into Saudi Arabia but I’m all for the Kalisto push given the fact that he’s improved immensely in the ring as of late (see Buddy Murphy v. Kalisto 205Live 4/17/18).
I’ve been a wrestling fan for a while now,usually on and off in the past but I feel as though now I’m fully tuned in and never going back. I’m in my early 20s, I love me some music and videogames. I love any music that sounds raw to me. I get stoned quite a lot, it’s probably 1/4th of what I do besides eat, sleep, and work. My main obsession with wrestling nowadays is the future of the business, I like observing underground shows and seeing the rise of people who could potentially become stars of the industry. I’ll be mainly focusing on NXT Takeovers since NXT is my favorite WWE produced show at the moment, as well as some other shows that I find interesting. I also have a low attention span so I’m prone to rambling or going off topic, I’ll try to keep that at a minimum however.
Sebastian: Stacked ass column this week, hope you guys enjoy it. Until next time have a good one.
Tags: 205 live, Greatest Royal Rumble, Wrestling Opinions from a Sleazy Guy, WWE