The 205 Live Report Card (10/10/18): The End of an Age?

Fresh off a potentially pivotal and monumental event for the Cruiserweight division, 205 Live is back and seemingly ready to kick off a brand new era. This past Saturday at Super Show-Down, Buddy Murphy dethroned Cedric Alexander and with a spectacular match in front of an engaged hometown crowd, this product will now look to continue its recent momentum. It genuinely feels like a key moment in the show’s history and with that being said, let’s rock and roll pal.

DISCLAIMER: this show is in many ways, designed for my distaste. Take all critiques with a grain of salt as frankly, they are almost all misplaced and many even come with a disgusting bias. On the bright side, if I enjoy this programme, it bodes very well for your own enjoyment. In that sense, it’s ideal.

We begin our night with a big-time video package about the aforementioned Super Show-Down banger. Like the match, this ruled.

Lio Rush vs. Lince Dorado

To the advertised Lio Rush open challenge now but first, he cut a short promo that unsurprisingly, is filled with confidence and charisma. I was hoping for a big surprise here but instead, got Lince Dorado…cool, I guess….maybe? Either way, some posturing got us started before the athletic pair traded moves to a stalemate. Lio complimented Dorado for this before kicking him in the gut but Lince fired back, flurrying big to take control until a headstand kick cut him off. Rush followed up too, scoring with a violent looking dive and roughing Lince up, before returning the action to the ring.

Lio began to work like a traditional heel at this point and he did a good job of it too, smugly mocking Lince along the way. He consistently halted Dorado’s comeback attempts also, even playing with his mask at one point until Lince soon fired back, unleashing some chops and a big crossbody too. After stalling briefly though, Rush responded with a kick combination before a wacky rasslin maneuver got him 2. Lio then headed up top but Lince rolled out of danger and almost scored the win with a quick roll-up.

The superkick followed, flooring Rush as Lince followed up with the bronco buster and his springboard stunner too. He then quite incredibly chased Lio to the floor, hitting an absurd dive to the outside. As he looked to close the show though…

MIKE

KANELLIS’

THEME BEGAN TO PLAY.

At this point, Maria Kanellis showed up which allowed Mike to jump Lince from behind, going to work and hitting a twisting DDT as Maria looked on. I’m genuinely happy for these two as their act is legitimately valuable but I must say, 205 Live feels a slightly odd stylistic fit. With that being said, Mike just needs a place to start fresh and on paper, this is just that.

As for the opening match itself, it was super entertaining even if somewhat of an afterthought in the end. Nonetheless, I enjoyed Lince’s increased aggression here and Lio always rules. Good stuff.

Grade: B

Back to Melbourne now for a selfie promo from the new champ Buddy Murphy. He says he’ll be back when he’s ready…unsure if this is legally acceptable but if so, fair play.

Staying out of the ring, Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali are talking backstage. Ali explains that in 2 weeks, he’ll be taking on Itami in a falls count anywhere match but first, he’s concerned about Cedric jumping back into action too soon after Melbourne. Alexander explains that all is well and he simply needs to get back in the ring to send Buddy a message.

Following this, it’s time for a recap of last week’s Kendrick/Gulak/Gallagher angle before a short promo from Jack and Drew. They explained that they simply addressed the situation immediately, doing the necessary thing, even if it was admittedly “unpleasant.” In other news, next week Gulak will take on Akira Tozawa.

Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander

Main event time now as Buddy’s buddy Tony Nese takes on his most recent victim: the former champ Cedric Alexander. Before the bell has even rung, the commentary team is already doing a tremendous job setting the table story wise and in-ring, they eased into things before Nese had Alexander well-scouted enough to prevent his trademark early offense. Some wackiness followed, but Nese grounded Cedric before continuing to frustrate him on the feet. Nese’s taunting cost him though, with Cedric scoring a crisp dropkick and following up with some big chops too.

Alexander was extra aggressive here, letting out his frustration almost too much and allowing Tony to smartly cut him off. Nese then yanked Cedric to the floor and focused in on his spine, unleashing some vicious kicks before returning the action to the ring. Alexander quickly began to make a comeback though, sending Nese to the floor until he was halted mid-dive, with Nese again taking control. Tony was more aggressive than ever here, his offense remained the same but encouragingly, his mannerisms had a quite obvious extra layer of spite.

At this point, Nese grounded Cedric and allowed the commentators to take center stage. Vic Joseph was especially fascinated by the potential effects of a training partner’s success and Percy seized, pointing to LeBron James’ recent relationship with Lonzo Ball. This was peak Percy and I mean that as the biggest compliment imaginable, truly incredible content from the gift that keeps on giving (#ThankYouPercy). Back inside the ring, Cedric got his knees up to block Tony Nese’s springboard moonsault and he made a comeback also, hitting his big dive after turning the tide.

Some suspect pin attempts came next but Alexander exploded back into control, hitting the Michinoku Driver out of nowhere. Nese kicked out of this and absolutely shocked Cedric in doing so, an incredible feat really considering the move’s startlingly low success rate. Tony soon turned the tide regardless, once again preventing some of Cedric’s signature offense before hitting a gut-buster for 2. At this point, Nese began to call Cedric a fluke and a tremendous strike exchange commenced. In the end, the Neuralizer dropped Nese but at that point, both men were floored.

Alexander was up first, scoring the Spanish Fly for a dramatic false finish as Nese only just got his foot on the bottom rope. Cedric more aptly sold this with shock and Nese came right back, kicking Cedric’s leg out before a strike had him out on his feet. He wouldn't be Lumbar Check’d though, hooking the ropes and scoring with a massive strike of his own. Nese then closed the show in conclusive fashion, hitting a German Suplex into the corner, following up with the Running Nese and finally, scoring the win via 450 splash.

In response to result, Vic Joseph rightly called this the biggest victory of Nese’s career and this storytelling ruled. Cedric jumped back into the fire too soon and after so long as champion, now has to confront a world in which the belt isn’t around his waist. Within 205’s more ‘sport style’ presentation, this story is even more effective too. The former champion is suddenly at a crossroads, directly stung by his desperation to get back on track. Just great stuff and the immense quality of work only made things better. Loved it!

Grade: A

Final Thoughts

You’d like to think that after Super Show-Down, a few more people tuned into this week’s 205 Live and if that was indeed the case, I’d say that this show was an absolute home-run. Whilst the new champion was absent, Cedric Alexander was featured in the excellent main event and more than that, received the kind of character development that could encourage people to follow his arc more closely. Combine the main event’s success with an engaging opener and even a 205 Live debut, and you have a simply perfect follow-up to Saturday’s title tilt. Big thumbs up.

Grade: A*

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