Asher Hale def. Ariya Daivari
Hale recently made his WWE debut on NXT in a match against Cameron Grimes. He's the former Anthony Henry from EVOLVE, and as I said in my NXT review at the time, he gives me Darby Allin vibes. I'm no Daivari fan, but he's been putting in some of his best work lately and having fresh faces to work with definitely helps. This was an enjoyable opener with a pleasantly surprising outcome. Daivari has been losing so often lately that I figured he would bounce back with a win here, but nope, his losing ways continue. Hey, I'm not complaining. Needless to say, Hale has potential.
Tony Nese def. Ari Sterling
Sterling knocked off Samir Singh in his debut last week, but this week he got a big step up in competition in the form of former Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese. These guys were given more time than I expected and thankfully so because this was an awesome match. Nese is the perfect gatekeeper of 205 Live and I'm fine with him winning once in a while to maintain credibility as an ex-champ. As for Sterling, he's only been around 205 Live for two weeks and already feels like a star on the rise. Both men had strong showings here and I'd definitely be down for a rematch eventually.
205 Live was already consistently delivering quality wrestling from week to week, but the influx of fresh faces was long overdue. We saw the debuts of Sterling and Ikemen Jiro last week and this week was the 205 Live debut of Asher Hale. All three talents are great and should do well on the brand. Yes, the Cruiserweight division can be a ceiling for some, but hopefully it's just a stepping stone for bigger and better things for them like it was for Mansoor recently. Both bouts this week were once again well-wrestled, making for a fun half hour of entertaining action. Of the two, I'd strongly suggest making time for Nese vs. Sterling. It was one of the best bouts I've seen on this show all year.