WWE 205 Live
24th July 2018
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
The weeks simply fly by during a hot summer, grapple fans, as here we are again with another episode of 205 Live. Should be a buzz-worthy episode this time round, as we’ve got a fatal four-way to determine a new number one contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (TJP vs Ali vs Itami vs Gulak) as well as Tony Nese having another tussle with Kalisto, this time with Buddy Murphy, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado barred from ringside. Let’s get to it!
The clowns at the booth discuss who they think will win tonight’s main event. McGuinness tips Drew Gulak and Watson picks Mustafa Ali; you can probably rule both of them out then.
Akira Tozawa vs ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher
General Manager, Drake Maverick, joins us on commentary; expect little insight from him as his occasional contributions at the booth have generally sucked. Early control for Gallagher as he works a wristlock and a full nelson; shades of The Warlord. Akira rolls through a sunset flip attempt from Gallagher, nailing Jack with a boot to the chest before landing a senton splash. Gallagher comes back with some ground-and-pound forearms on the mat as they’re getting straight into the action early. Tozawa strikes back with some knife edge chops and a right jab to the face before knocking Gallagher to the floor. Akira goes for a baseball slide but Jack catches him in the ring apron and works over the Japanese grappler with a barrage of strikes. Back in the ring and Gallagher works a chinlock as Maverick bores us to tears discussing why he picked all four guys for tonight’s main event. Scoop slam from Gallagher for a near fall. Jack has an armbar locked in on the mat and bends back Akira’s fingers, before Tozawa gets to the ropes to cause a break. Gallagher goes back to work with another wristlock and stomps the elbow, as Tozawa writhes in pain. Spin kick to the head brings Akira back into it. Jack looks for respite on the floor, but finds little of that as Tozawa takes him out with a tope suicida. We’re back in the ring and a dropkick from the top rope gets a two count for Akira. Hurracanrana takeover and a headscissor into an octopus as Tozawa builds momentum. Jack escapes masterfully as he turns it through into a sidewalk slam.
Gallagher pulls Akira up off the mat with a gutwrench and turns it into a powerbomb for a near fall. Jack charges in the corner, but Akira gets out of dodge and moves out onto the apron. Gallagher tries to bring his foe back in with a suplex, but Tozawa slips out the back door and drops Jack with a calf kick to the side of the head. The Japanese grappler goes up top, but Gallagher is up to meet him with a forearm to the face. Both men jockey for position on the top turnbuckle and Akira sends Jack falling to the mat with a front suplex, while staying on the top rope himself. Senton splash for the top is good for the 1-2-3 victory for Tozawa at 7:29.
Match rating: C+ Enjoyable little match here, with Jack being his usual submission-specialist self and Tozawa getting a much needed win following his main event loss to Lio Rush last week. Nice way to open this week’s show.
TJ Perkins, loafing around on a couch backstage, cuts a promo on the other ‘loserweights’ he’ll be facing later tonight in the fatal four-way.
We catch Hideo Itami shadowboxing and he vows to beat Cedric Alexander next time they meet; let’s hope he’s not underestimating tonight’s competition.
SummerSlam ad, which features lots of lame superstar catch-phrases and a shot of the ‘bug-eyed black guy’ from WrestleMania 30. All that really tells me is that it’s been over 4 years since WWE have done anything that’s shocked anybody.
Kalisto & Lince Dorado vs Ryan Depolo & Chris Robinson
Okay, so the Kalisto vs Nese match isn’t happening after all. The announcers tell us that due to ‘outside circumstances’, Tony can’t be here. Drug bust, perhaps? You don’t get a physique like his without the occasional visit to the pharmacy. The Luchas are sporting new LHP (Lucha House Party) shirts in the style of the old In Your House logo; they’re pretty cool. As long as it doesn’t come with a free maraca, I might buy one. Apparently Gran Metalik is out of the country taking care of visa issues. Jack Gallagher might be with us this week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t resurrect one of our favourite games, grapple fans….
Dorado starts things off as he and a jobber hesitate over a test of strength, before Lince moronically turns it into a ‘Lucha!’ chant instead. Hurracanrana takeover from Lince, followed by a superplex and a sloppy clothesline in the corner. Bronco buster from Dorado before tagging in Kalisto. Springboard splash from Kalisto, using Dorado’s shoulders for extra elevation. Dorado takes out both jobbers with a double springboard stunner before almost killing himself with a somersault plancha to the outside. Solida Del Sol from Kalisto on the remaining jobber for the quick win at 2:06.
Match rating: D- Good offense from the Luchas, but pretty bad work from the jobbers here. One couldn’t keep up on a clothesline to the corner and the other nearly f*cked up catching Lince on the outside with the somersault plancha. Back to wrestling school for Depolo and Robinson, me thinks.
Pre-match backstage promo from Drew Gulak, bemoaning the current state of affairs in 205 Live and promising he’ll make someone tap out tonight.
Now it’s Mustafa Ali’s turn as he, too, confidently predicts victory. And that’s the last of the main event promos, as the match is NEXT!
Hype for next Monday’s Raw as Ronda Rousey’s suspension is over and Brock Lesnar returns to TV too.
Dasha interviews Lio Rush in the back, looking for his reaction to Akira Tozawa’s challenge for a rematch. Lio, sporting glasses like Ian Wright’s, arrogantly brushes off the notion of Tozawa earning another match against him. LIO IS MONEY!
Mustafa Ali vs Drew Gulak vs Hideo Itami vs TJ Perkins
Gulak and Itami work over Ali in the corner early, as Perkins takes it easy. TJ then tries to charge Ali in the corner, but to no avail as now everyone starts decking each other. Ali and Itami are on their own in the ring, while Gulak and Perkins are already resting on the floor. I hate the constant formula of two guys scrapping in the ring while the other two take a nap. The main event of IYH: Final Four was a very highly rated match, partly due to the fact that it was mostly two pairs beating the hell out of each other. Very little resting in that one. Spinning heel kick from Mustafa takes out Hideo, before he gets turned inside out himself by a hard clothesline from Gulak. Worth noting that Ali has freshened up his ring attire, as he’s no longer in a body suit, just long tights (the new look might be enough for me to tip him for the win). TJP breaks up a pin attempt and now all four guys are in the ring. Gulak tries to get his fellow heels on the same page, in the hope that they all deck Ali. All three combine to hitting a big time back-body-drop on ‘the heart of 205 Live’. TJP and Gulak go for a double suplex on Ali and, amusingly, whilst Drew does hit the suplex, Perkins double crosses him and rolls Gulak up, only for Hideo to break the fall; inventive stuff there. The heels are all beefing, so Ali takes them out with a high cross body from the top turnbuckle.
Knife edge chops from Ali on TJP. Perkins locks in an abdominal stretch with a top wristlock for good measure. Itami tries to break it up but gets tied up as well, as Perkins now has both men in abdominal stretches. Gulak then sneaks in and breaks it all up, before he and Perkins start to trade roll-ups, headcissors and takedowns, to the delight of the ringsiders. Itami decks them both from behind, sending Gulak to the outside and Perkins begging off in the corner. Itami and TJP go for a Doomsday Device on Ali, with Perkins being the one in the Hawk role going up to the top rope. Ali slips out of it and pushes Hideo in the corner, causing TJP to get crotched. Ali takes TJP down from the top with a hurracanrana, which sends Perkins crashing into Gulak, who’s only just got back in the ring. Roll-through X-Factor on Perkins from Ali. Drew tries for a tilt-a-whirl slam on Mustafa, but Ali turns it into a DDT for a near fall attempt which is broken up by the other heels. All four guys are down following a succession of strikes as this is anyone’s match right now.
Ali and TJP go at it, with Perkins going for the Detonation Kick. Mustafa slips out the back door before both guys criss-cross and take each other out with a double cross body. Gulak and Itami square off and Drew offers a handshake, complete with “I respect you!” assurance. Itami gullibly falls for it, tasting a slap to the face, before both guys sadistically trade kicks to the head. Brainbuster from Gulak gets two. Falcon arrow from Hideo only gets a one count. Gulak and Itami trade forearms on the mat before rolling to the outside as everyone’s on the floor. Back in the ring, Ali looks to dive out onto both Drew and Hideo, but TJP cuts him off with a dropkick to the knee and a springboard dropkick to the face. Before Perkins can inflict any more damage, Gulak and Itami pull him out under the bottom rope and send him crashing into the barricade. Ali then gets a second wind and wipes out Drew and Hideo with a somersault plancha from the top turnbuckle to the floor; breathless stuff in the latter stages of this match. Back inside and a tornado DDT from Ali rocks TJP. Mustafa goes up top and hits the 054 on Perkins, but before he can even get a cover, Itami pulls him back out under the bottom rope and smacks his head against the ringsteps. Ali is lying prone with his head against the side of the steps, so Itami almost decapitates him with a running dropkick upside the head. Itami then throws Ali face-first into the ringpost, but becomes aware he needs to get him back in the ring. While Hideo does manage to role the lifeless Mustafa back into the squared circle, before he can get in to capitalise, Gulak sends him crashing into he ringpost. Drew then opportunistically slides back into the ring and locks in the GuLock (dragon sleeper) on Ali. Mustafa isn’t even answering the ref, so the official calls for the submission at 14:48.
Match rating: B+ Fun and engaging multi-man main event. It didn’t quite hit the heights these guys are all capable enough, but the fans were into it and there were some imaginative spots sprinkled throughout. Nice choice of winner here, as Gulak is a fresh challenger for Alexander and has more than earned a top level run on this show. Meanwhile, Itami’s vicious assault on Ali late in the match could lead to some good matches between the two in the coming weeks.
Cedric Alexander is watching on backstage, as the new number one contender for his championship has been confirmed. Meanwhile, Gulak celebrates his big win with ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick to close out the broadcast.
Overall show rating: B Good episode this week with some enjoyable action and exciting foundations laid for the future.