The 205 Live Report Card (10/17/18): The Fab Five-Way

It’s time for another week of forearms and thigh slaps and I must say lads, I’m pretty fired up about it. Last time out, a somewhat inspired piece of booking gave Cedric Alexander a brand new direction and a fatal-5 way is now suddenly on the little lad horizon too. It really is a great time to be tragically lacking in hobbies, and dramatically over 205lbs as this Cruiserweight show looks to be pretty damn good. Seriously though, I’m legitimately quite excited so with that in mind, let’s rock and roll.

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.

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Drake Maverick welcomed us and run through this week’s show. His teeth looked white.

Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa

Opener time and the crowd is nice and awake here early, with Tozawa getting them fired up before Gulak quickly looked to ground things. He succeeded initially too, slowing Tozawa down until he turned the tide with some of his signature offense. A strike exchange followed but Tozawa came out on top there too, landing his fake out punch before applying the octopus stretch. Gulak soon halted his momentum though, catching Tozawa in mid-air and landing a backbreaker to take control.

With things grounded, Gulak went to work with some delightfully gritty grappling until Tozawa made an incredible escape to set up his comeback. It would be short lived though, with Gulak scoring a massive powerbomb before slowing the action again. Gulak doesn't just grab a hold though, he bites his foe’s ear along the way…incredible content. Regardless, Tozawa had soon fought to his feet, dropping Gulak with a big kick and heading up top. Another flurry of kicks came next and the big dive too, with Gallagher inadvertently sharing the bullet by Gulak’s side.

As Tozawa looked to close the show though, Gallagher immediately cut him off and a heel beat-down commenced. Brian Kendrick of course made the save, briefly catching Captain’s Hook on Gallagher before Gulak pulled him to safety. Tozawa looked understandably confused by Kendrick’s help, and in my mind, this angle already rules. This was a unique one to me because as far as 205 openers go, I actually liked the action here more than most but the finish obviously hindered its ceiling slightly.

I also think that it’s rather interesting that this is the 2nd week in a row that 205 has opened with a no-finish…that’s a pretty big change of pace but I’m fine with it, you simply can’t always beat guys clean. Nonetheless, solid work here.

Grade: B-

Off to Maverick’s office now as THE CHAMP IS HERE!!! No, not the one with the silly hair…well, he may have silly hair, but at least he doesn't pocket useless towels to throw into the crowd. Nonetheless, he’s here with Tony Nese and initially reminds me of weigh in shenanigans before demanding the show be built around him and his pal. Fair.

Time for a Mike and Maria selfie promo now as they talk about being 205 Live’s new power couple…dude, Nese and Buddy were literally just on my screen…come on now! Either way, Mike is rasslin Lince Dorado next week.

Meanwhile in Gotham, Hideo Itami spoke about respect, Mustafa Ali and more importantly, ending Mr Ali’s career. Very nasty.

This then led us to one of Ali’s cool personalized promos. He was talking about roads and the one he shares with Hideo Itami. My god, great fire here and neat presentation…good stuff.

TJP vs. Gran Metalik vs. Lio Rush vs. Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander

With Buddy Murphy watching on, our main event got right to it here as the conflicting rivals immediately paired off. In response, Rush smartly rolled out early but then came back in, going head to head opposite Cedric for an incredible athletic exchange. Big support for Lio here…he’s really getting over. Either way, as Alexander chased after the scurrying Rush, Nese took him out with a lariat on the outside. That allowed Metalik to flurry on Rush, going to work with some of his signature offense. Nese quickly dispatched of him though, going at it with Lio until a kick sent him to the floor.

TJP was next to take control either way, putting on two submissions at once as he looked to take off Metalik’s mask. Nese seized, hitting a big German suplex and laying out all in sight. Tony was on fire here, doing so good that he actually had a chance to enjoy his own biceps…incredible. Nese indeed remained in control too, taking center ring and grounding Metalik whilst also halting any intruders.  Metalik eventually fired back, but only after some lucha wackiness admittedly stalled things for a moment. Cedric broke the fall either way, exchanging hard strikes with Metalik and coming out on top.

Alexander was the one in control now, hitting some of his very cool moves before Lio re-entered to the crowd’s acclaim. He was quickly dispatched though, landing hard on the apron as the other men cracked on with their standard tower of doom content Or it looked that way at least but instead, an absurd exchange of rasslin moves exploded out of nowhere and the whole thing concluded with Rush hitting a sweet Final Hour on a moving Cedric. Wow. This incredible sequence left all 5 men floored, as the live crowd rightly applauded their efforts.

I was very happy with this response but then became suddenly startled as Nigel revealed that Lio Rush is rasslin at home this week…welp, guess he’s not getting over after all. Nonetheless, Metalik and Nese were up first but everyone quickly returned to their original spot, with big strikes landing just about everywhere. Cedric almost closed the show here but when that failed, opted to hit a big dive instead. TJP reaped the benefits, looking to steal a win before again focusing on Metalik’s mask. When that didn't work, TJP somehow launched Metalik into a dive but Nese then took control, murdering Lio with a violent throw to the floor.

Cedric stopped him from closing the show though, and Metalik returned for one more rally until TJP cut him off and applied kneebars to both Nese and Cedric. Metalik broke things up in the end and then hit an incredible springboard moonsault as back in-ring, Rush floored Tony Nese with a superkick and headed up top. Cedric caught him out of the air, hitting an incredible Lumbar Check that wowed the Dcrowd but it was Nese that took advantage, rolling Alexander up for another big win.

Whilst this was a note taking nightmare, I must say that as far as Fatal Five-Ways go, this was an absolute masterpiece. The already established stories were furthered, each character acted in a fitting fashion and moreover, each sequence smoothly transitioned to the next. This was a real feat, showing off immense athleticism and skill whilst still loading the match with substance and thought. Just immense work by all involved, and an incredible advert for this brand.

Grade: A+

Final Thoughts

The opening segment here was solid and progressed a neat angle but if I’m being honest, this main event was so uniquely brilliant that anything that came before it was virtually irrelevant. Regardless of what else was on this 43 minute show, that fatal five-way made it must-watch and more importantly, an immense showing for the Cruiserweights in general. Matches like this can help 205’s growth tremendously, but even if that isn’t the case, this remained a great watch for those of us that care anyway. Great stuff, loved it!

Grade: A*

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