Ladies and gentleman, it’s a very special night here at the Report Card offices. This week marks the 100th episode in 205 Live’s history and considering that, I’d say it’s a good time to celebrate. Then again, I’ve only been covering this show for about 5 months so honestly, this news has zero relevance to me in any way, shape or form. With that being said, I have a message for any lunatic out there that’s legitimately watched this show from the start: stay safe pal, I promise those Enzo nightmares won’t last forever...well they might but stay safe nonetheless.
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 start this week’s show with a lengthy video package about Mustafa Ali’s rivalry with Hideo Itami so far. Effective stuff here and I must say, I’m not sure I’ve appreciated this feud enough, it really has been very well done.
Lince Dorado vs. Mike Kanellis
Opening match time pal, as Mike Kanellis makes his 205 Live debut opposite Lince Dorado. Fired up, the masked man immediately floored Kanellis with a punch, taking control of things with some of his signature offense and forcing Mike to take a quick break. After momentarily stalling, Kanellis eventually cut Dorado off with a kick to the gut, going to work in the corner as TJP looked on backstage. It was at this point that ‘Mike Kanellis’ chants emerged but in-ring, Lince quickly fired back, rallying to send his foe to the floor.
As he began to think about the very scary dive though, Maria distracted Dorado and that allowed Mike to cut him off again. With the heat in motion, some ground and pound followed as Kanellis used strikes to rough Lince up. There isn’t always an immense snap to Mike’s strikes, but I do appreciate his intensity and from a character perspective, he always commits to his role of villain too. What I mean by that of course is that from a physicality perspective, Kanellis is easy to boo and I appreciate that…whether it fits 205 Live or not, that’s another question altogether.
Either way, Dorado soon came back with a hurricanrana but his rebuttal would be short, with Mike scoring a big superkick for 2. A spinning heel kick would give Lince some time to recover though and after rising to his feet first, Dorado run wild with a strike-filled comeback to take control. The top rope rana followed but Lince couldn’t follow up, with his damaged back costing him briefly until an enzuigiri put him back on top. Kanellis avoided his aerial attack though, hitting a tremendous spinebuster out of nowhere for another false finish.
Lince fired back right away too, hitting the handspring stunner and following up with a big dive before heading up top one more time. The shooting star press came next but Mike got his foot on the bottom rope, staying alive before turning his attention to Kalisto and Metalik on the floor. After he’d hilariously pushed them over though, Kanellis ate a hurricanrana for his troubles but then closed the show in response, smartly using the top rope before hitting his finish for the win.
I’m not going to pretend that I see Kanellis as a perfect fit on 205 Live but honestly, I legitimately enjoyed this match. I totally understand that it likely wasn't for everyone but I thought they built things neatly and by the end, I was pretty invested in proceedings. Really solid start for Kanellis and we’ll see how he follows up in the coming weeks.
Off to Drake Maverick’s big presidential speech now, as he discusses 205 Live’s journey to this 100th episode. He also says that next week, we’ll get a new contender for Buddy Murphy’s title…makes sense to me pal.
Brian Kendrick is here in a dark room next and he’s talking about No Mercy, the PPV that once played host to the greatest PPV ad of all time. Either way, think Brian is rasslin Jack Gallagher next week. Sounds good.
Following this, we get a video package recapping last week’s spectacular fatal five-way main event. A Lio Rush selfie promo then came in response, with the little fellow talking about how multi-man matches are pure luck which is why he’s still undefeated in singles competition.
It was then off to a Buddy Murphy/Tony Nese promo in which they discussed next week’s match before Tony said that it doesn't matter which of them holds the title...hmmm, if I didn't know better, I’d assume that these men are going to fight soon…thank god I know better huh?!!
Falls Count Anywhere
Mustafa Ali vs. Hideo Itami
Main event time now and after some fired up trash talking, Ali and Itami entered a tight lockup…very sad. Regardless, it was physical if nothing else and Itami then went right to work with strikes, sending Ali to the floor right away. Mustafa fired right back though, scoring a hurricanrana before landing a big dive and smartly going for the cover. They are trying to win you see? Pretty cool right? Either way, Ali was all over Itami here, preventing him from leaving and using the steel steps to his advantage too.
Ali’s momentum was soon halted though, with Itami violently kicking his leg out and going to work on the outside. Hideo was in total control now, operating at a calculated pace as he unleashed some vicious kicks to the spine. He then grabbed a hold but Ali eventually fired back, unleashing a salvo of kicks to leave both men floored. Ali’s signature facebuster came next but as he looked to follow up on the floor, Hideo pulled his legs out again, sending Mustafa for a heavy fall to the floor.
Ali used the barricade to his benefit in response, coming back with a springboard of sorts before focusing on the announce table. His plan failed though, with Itami countering to apply a submission, before then opting to just kick Ali off the table. Hideo then looked to drag the fight into the crowd but ate a superkick for his troubles. Hideo soon returned the favor regardless, focusing on the steel steps himself before a brawl led both elsewhere. Itami stayed on top either way, scoring a horrific lariat on the ramp for 2.
His intentions then returned to the steps but it’d be Ali that got the better of things, taking Itami off of them with a crossbody from the top rope. Itami kicked out though, simply encouraging Mustafa to retrieve a table. However, Hideo again cut Ali off, scoring with a huge big boot before focusing on a fresh set of steps. He’d be successful too, dropping Mustafa face-first on them before seemingly preparing Ali for fatality. Ali moved though, firing back with a chop before using the ramp-like steps to score a tornado DDT out of nowhere.
He didn't go for cover this time either, instead setting up the aforementioned table, and hitting an 054 through it after announcing that he’d “always respected” Itami. This was a great finish to a wonderful match that perfectly capped off this programme. Neither guy is stylistically ideal for my personal taste, but this was incredibly spirited and rather creative throughout too. Thoroughly enjoyable affair that was quite unique for this brand…great stuff.
Post-match, Drake Maverick announced next week’s number one contender match: it’ll be Ali vs. Tony Nese. Wow, feel like this’d be a tremendous time for Cedric’s heel turn but that’s none of my business pal.
This was a strong episode of 205 Live once again with yet another must-see main event to continue the brand’s momentum. The opener was solid too, but it’s Ali/Itami that’ll rightly be the focus here as it really was a strong blow-off match for a pretty refreshing feud. This format is so easy to watch that it’s super hard to have any big complaints, especially considering the consistent match quality in each week’s main event. Onward and upward.