Roderick Strong vs. Odyssey Jones (WWE 205 Live 10/15/21)

Match Reviews

While not a great match, this might be one of the more charming bits of wrestling from WWE in quite a long time. This is a masterclass display of an older veteran wrestler laying out a match that highlights the very best qualities of someone much younger. Roderick Strong puts in a fantastic performance in this, guiding young Odyssey Jones through a fun and smartly structured match.

To start with, Roddy puts everything in his power to make the opening babyface shine of Jones effective in this. Give that Jones is a young, large powerhouse, this means that Roddy spends the first minutes of this basically just bumping around. Jones tosses Roddy in and out of the ring in a bunch of different ways and Roddy works to make each bump look huge and deadly. This is perhaps best illustrated in how Roddy sells Jones driving his face into the turnbuckles. A simple, day 1 pro wrestling maneuver gets turned into an absolute trashing with Roddy completely putting over the power of the youngster.

A Hachiman distraction allows Roddy to hit a chop block that gains him the advantage. I wish the chop block itself looked better. Jones hardly even registers it. One could argue this plays into Jones being larger and more solid than Roddy, but given that it’s the primary turning point of the match, you’d wish that he sold it a bit better. From here, Roddy just completely picks Jones apart in one of the most efficient and fun control segments I’ve seen all year. Every piece of offense looks strong and puts over the very real effort it takes to chop Jones down.

Jones survives long enough to have sell the leg and even get some hope spots in. He doesn’t do either in any real grand fashion, none of it really comes close to matching how great Roddy is on offense. But just with how this match is put together, if Jones had been just a little more polished, had a little more experienced, this might have been great. As it is though, a prime example of a veteran holding a prospect’s hand to something really fun and clever.

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