WWE 205 Live
14th August 2018
Greenville, South Carolina
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
We’re only 4 days out from SummerSlam, grapple fans, as things are heating up in the WWE Universe! While this weekend will see Cedric Alexander defend his Cruiserweight Championship against Drew Gulak on the pre-show in Brooklyn, there’s no shortage of action on this week’s 205 broadcast. Akira Tozawa and Lio Rush will collide again following the latter’s win last month, whilst Cedric clashes with ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher, with Gulak and The Brian Kendrick barred from ringside. Let’s get to it!
Lio Rush vs Akira Tozawa
Rush cuts a promo on the hometown crowd on his way to the ring, telling the fans they’ve got the privilege to be watching ‘the 23-year-old piece of gold’. He calls himself the best cruiserweight in the world and refers to himself as ‘Lio 5 Live’; I smell a new t-shirt. Akira jumps Lio from the bell as Rush was taking off his jewellery. Some cat and mouse ensues before Tozawa hits a hurracanrana takeover. Rush finally takes off his bling and throws it at Akira before looking to strike, but Tozawa has it scouted and sends Lio to the outside with a spin kick. Akira looks for a dive, but Rush is trying to bail to the back. The Japanese grappler chases him up the aisle and brings him back to the ring, before being knocked off the apron by a handspring kick from his younger adversary. Back in the ring and a front dropkick from the top rope gets the first near fall of the contest for Tozawa. Rush comes back into it as he shoves Akira shoulder-first into the ring post and hits a belly-to-back suplex. A chinlock is applied by Lio as he slows the pace somewhat. Tozawa rolls through a sunset flip attempt and connects with a boot to the chest. Akira tries to follow up with a senton splash, but Rush gets his knees up. Shoulder thrusts in the corner from Lio, first to the midsection and then to the lower back. Another chinlock is applied by Rush, this time with a bodyscissors.
They reset and Tozawa sends Rush to the outside and connects with a suicide dive through the ropes. Back in the squared circle and Akira has an Octopus stretch applied. Lio reverses into a cradle for a very near fall. Rush goes up top, but Tozawa meets him with a hard right hand and tries to set for a superplex. Lio won’t budge however and sends the Japanese grappler crashing back down to the mat, striking his head on the top turnbuckle on the way down. Final Hour (frog splash) wins it for Rush at 8:15.
Match rating: C Mildly disappointing match here, and probably a notch below their encounter last month. The chemistry is really lacking between these two and this mini-programme hasn’t done much for Rush. His future should be bright though; hopefully his next feud will be a hit. He exudes tremendous charisma and should go places.
Video package on Drew Gulak, hyping him for his Cruiserweight Title shot against Cedric Alexander at SummerSlam. Based purely on performances throughout the year on the show, Gulak is undoubtedly the babyface in my eyes; Cedric has been underwhelming as champion, while Drew is one of a small handful of workers that have carried 205 in recent times.
Gulak is then shown preparing Jack Gallagher for his own match with Cedric tonight, holding a small punching bag at which Jack is throwing forearms, while The Brian Kendrick is smirking in the background.
Ad for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn this weekend. As usual, look for it to easily upstage the main roster show.
Highlights are shown of Hideo Itami’s main event victory over Mustafa Ali last week, as Ali was still affected by injuries suffered in the fatal four-way match a fortnight earlier.
Kayla Braxton interviews Drake Maverick backstage. The G.M. ensures us that whilst Ali was suffering from exhaustion, he will recover soon. However, he won’t sanction Mustafa to wrestle again until he’s satisfied he’s fit to compete.
Hideo Itami vs Trent Newman
In a pre-match selfi, Itami told us he “stopped the heart of 205 Live”. All Itami here as he strikes with uppercuts and kicks on the hapless jobber. Hideo shouts “respect me!” at his opponent and the crowd. Newman strikes back with right hands and wants a roll up, but Itami won’t have it and downs him with an overhand chop. Stiff lariot from the Japanese grappler before connecting with a combination of strikes. Itami goes for the cover but pulls the jobber up before the ref can count. Falcon Arrow from Hideo, but he again breaks his own cover. Itami backs the jobber into the corner and hits more stiff kicks, followed by a basement dropkick. A second basement dropkick almost obliterates Newman. The ref calls for the bell at 2:42 to give Hideo the win by stoppage.
Match rating: C Fun squash here as Itami was happy to destroy the jobber, before the ref stepped in for the mercy killing.
Hideo amusingly demands the ref raise his hand. Rather than leave the ring, Hideo then downs the jobber again with a dragon sleeper turned into a variation of a Stone Cold Stunner. Good character development for Itami here, and I look forward to Mustafa Ali returning for another contest with the Japanese legend.
Highlight video of the personality-devoid Cruiserweight Champion, Cedric Alexander.
Ad for SummerSlam, with the focus on Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns. Get the mortgage on Lesnar. They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing again and again and expecting different results, and Vince is batshit crazy!
Drake Maverick is chatting with The Juice Brothers (Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy) backstage, admonishing them for their heel antics in recent times.
IT’S BOOKED! Next week The Juice Brothers take on The Lucha House Party in a tornado tag-team match. Which two of the three Luchas will be competing was not confirmed however.
IT’S BOOKED! Another match between Noam Dar and TJ Perkins on next week’s broadcast. They’re 1-1 so far in their mini-rivalry. So for those that care about this sort of thing, we get to find out conclusively who the better man is!
Cedric Alexander vs Jack Gallagher
For a Carolina native, Cedric gets a very underwhelming reaction from the masses in Greenville. Jack gets even less of a response, as the fans are clearly itching to go home following a long night of wrestling. I am obviously flogging a dead horse here, but WWE really need to start taping this before SmackDown Live. Cruiserweight action by its very nature should warm up a crowd, so it’s a bit of a no-brainer really. Tentative start to this match, as Jack keeps trying to duck out of making contact in the early going. They grapple to the ropes, as The Brian Kendrick and Drew Gulak are watching on backstage. Both men trade rollups, before Cedric hoists Gallagher up on his shoulders. Jack slips out of a Samoan drop attempt, but then gets taken down by a headscissor takeover from the champion. A dropkick from Alexander sends Jack to the outside. Cedric wants a dive to the floor, but ‘Gentleman’ Jack hides under the ring. As Alexander leans over the ropes in frustration, Gallagher emerges from another side of the ring, slides back into the squared circle and decks the champ from behind; Pearl Harbour job! Gallagher pounds away with some right hands, an uppercut and a headbutt. Cedric backdrops the Englishman out of the ring and hits a baseball slide. Both men are on the floor and Alexander connects with a knife edge chop. Jack comes back as he charges the champion back-first into the ringpost.
Gallagher hits an elbow to the back of the head before rolling Cedric back into the ring and applying a chinlock. Dropkick to the back of the head from Jack, as he continues to soften up Cedric for his friend, Drew Gulak, this weekend. A sustained series of offence from Gallagher as he stomps away on his foe. Armbar from Jack, as he drives his foot into the side of Cedric’s head. Alexander fights to his feet, only to be taken back down to the mat by a falling neck-breaker from the Brit. Three unsuccessful pinfall attempts from Jack, who is starting to look frustrated. Gallagher crosses Alexander’s own arms into a chinlock and falls back to the mat himself, driving his knees into his opponent’s back. I’d tap out to that, just sayin’. Gallagher has a ¾ nelson applied as he’s showing off all his noted submission skills. Cedric with a lousy inverted atomic drop; that came closer to hitting me in the nuts than Gallagher. Three Amigos from Alexander, but Gallagher escapes the third suplex. Jack goes for a boot to the midsection, but Cedric catches his foot and steps through with a hard back elbow smash. Neuraliser from the champion gets a near fall. Springboard clothesline, with tremendous elevation, gets another two count for Alexander. Cedric is nursing his arm though, as that clothesline took it out of him. A back elbow connects for Jack, who then clotheslines Cedric on the middle rope. Gallagher makes a rare trip to the top rope and gets a near fall off a knee drop. ‘Gentleman’ Jack has a crippler crossface locked in; shades of … erm … Stevie Richards! Cedric rolls through for a cover, but Jack kicks out at two as we reset.
Both guys are up and trading a variety of blows. Lumbar Check attempt from Cedric, but Gallagher reverses into a guillotine submission. McGuinness is losing his shit at the booth, as he thinks Alexander is toast. Reversal into a Falcon Arrow from Cedric as the ref starts a count on both men. Jack has worked on the neck throughout the match; nice psychology with Gulak’s finisher being the Dragon Sleeper. Alexander misses with a springboard clothesline, before Gallagher almost decapitates him with a charging dropkick in the corner. Cover from Jack, but Cedric gets his foot on the bottom rope at the last moment. Gallagher pulls Cedric up off the mat into a powerbomb for another near fall. An intense looking ‘Gentleman’ Jack charges out of the corner with evil intentions, but he runs straight into a Spanish Fly, which is good for the pin for Alexander at 14:13.
Match rating: A Superb main event. One of Cedric’s best ever matches on 205 Live and a reminder of Gallagher’s clear talents. Jack’s top notch submission skills were highlighted throughout, as he tried to soften Alexander up for Drew Gulak, but Cedric showed the fire and desire to stay in it and pull a win out of the bag. A really engaging match that sucked me in more and more as it progressed.
In the post-match, The Brian Kendrick attacks Cedric in the aisleway. Brian rolls Alexander back in the ring and looks to do some damage, but Cedric fights both he and Gallagher off, dropping Kendrick with the Lumbar Check. Drew Gulak then appears from out of nowhere and chokes the champion out with the GuLock (dragon sleeper).
Overall show rating: B Enjoyable episode this week, punctuated by an excellent main event and a hot show-closing angle to lead into SummerSlam.