The 205 Live Report Card (12/19/18): Street Fight Suits

Well, it’s been an eventful week in 205 land as most recently, Mustafa Ali has seemingly made the leap upward, heading to SmackDown Live and this past Tuesday, pinning WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Before that though, the Cruiserweight Title returned to PPV…even if admittedly on the pre-show, as Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander put on yet another strong showing with the champ eventually retaining his crown. It’s an exciting time to support little lad rasslin and so with that in mind, let’s get this show on the road.

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.

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

Our show starts with a seemingly impromptu appearance from Hideo Itami and Ariya Daivari. The nameplate’s appearance made this feel slightly less spontaneous but nonetheless, Daivari grabbed a microphone and asked the audience to show Itami the respect he deserves. After asking the crowd to shut up, Ariya put over Itami’s past before saying that if Hideo doesn't get respect, this week’s show is canceled. This angered Drake Maverick who threatened a suspension before Noam Dar showed up, and got himself a match with Itami…my god.

Hideo Itami vs. Noam Dar

To the ring now as after avoiding his foe’s first attack, Dar went to work with some strikes of his own, flurrying nicely and almost scoring a quick backslide win too. Itami soon turned the tide with his own strikes though, rocking Dar and then leg dropping him off the top rope. Some big kicks came next, cornering Dar as the aggressive Itami halted his attempts at a comeback also. Hideo’s intensity soon lessened slightly though, with a more deliberate Itami slowing things down and grabbing a hold.

Nonetheless, Dar eventually fought free, neatly evading Itami before sweeping his leg to take control. A salvo of strikes followed, with Noam making a big comeback until Daivari’s interference allowed Itami to seize, landing a violent basement dropkick and hitting his finish to close the show. Honestly, while I appreciate the fresh matchup, I’d have liked a slightly more creative approach to this new duo’s emergence. Even still, the match was fine and considering its set-up, I enjoyed the shift in format too.

Grade: C

Off to Recap road now as we take a look at Sunday’s Cruiserweight Title match. Following this, we head to Drake Maverick’s office as Buddy Murphy awaits the apparently slow-moving GM. Murphy explains that he’s beaten both of his top contenders and demands a new challenge. Drake agrees, claiming that he’ll announce something next week.

Lio Rush vs. Local Lad

It’s time for Lio Rush’s return to 205 Live but first, we get a pre-match promo that Lio halts himself, scoring a cheap-shot before the first bell. As the match begun, Rush ate some punches but quickly regained control, hitting a bulldog on the floor and then landing Final Hour too. He didn't immediately go for the pin though, landing some ground and pound first before hitting Final Hour again, this time for the win.

Grade: ASR (All Squashes Rule)

Before we head to our main event, we first get a Cedric Alexander selfie promo in which he claims that this is still his show, and still his division…debatable pal.

Either way, next week will be a Best Of episode which for me, means a week off. Merry Christmas folks!!!!

Street Fight

The Submission Commission vs. Akira Tozawa & The Brian Kendrick

Time for our final 205 headliner of the year lads an…OH MY GOD DREW GULAK IS WEARING A SUIT.

ALL HAIL!

Whew, sorry guys, I need to calm down a little and here comes Tozaw….OH MY GOD BRIAN KENDRICK HAS SHAVED.

ALL HAIL!

Silliness aside, to the action now as all four men met for a brawl on the ramp, with the babyfaces immediately taking control. They went right to the plan of weaponry too, retrieving a table until Gulak and Gallagher cut them off and put it back under the ring. My god that rules. Kendrick and Tozawa quickly fired back either way, flooring both men before going to work on Gulak in-ring. Gallagher earned some damage too, eating a little tandem offense before Gulak and Gallagher changed their own tactics, bringing in foreign objects to turn the tide.

This included the classic trash can/mop combo and delightfully so as Gulak was simply sublime here, almost mockingly using weapons in a comically enraged state. Just great character work as usual. The heels remained in control along the way too, with Gulak working Kendrick over on the floor while Gallagher grounded Tozawa in-ring. This included a literal FISHHOOK portion from Drew, forcing Tozawa to make a brief save before Gallagher cut him off again. They then basically removed Tozawa, focusing on Kendrick with quick covers and a little tandem offense also.

Young Brian soon fired back though, scoring a double DDT to leave all four men floored. Tozawa quickly re-entered, rocking Gulak before running into a violent microphone shot that briefly stopped him in his tracks. His fake-out punch put him back on top though, next removing Gallagher and allowing the duo to focus on Gulak as they tied him to the ring-post and unleashed some chops. In response, Gallagher quickly made a save, using a trash-can to shift things and then dropkicking Tozawa out of an announce chair. All hail.

Kendrick fought right back either way, suplexing Gallagher onto Gulak and then focusing on Jack individually. All four men soon became involved again regardless, exchanging submissions until things descended into chaos, with a brawl briefly breaking out before The Commission grounded things again. After halting Gallagher’s hold with his big senton, Tozawa then saved Kendrick again, sending Gulak to the floor before diving his way into a trash can shot. That left Kendrick and Gallagher alone as Brian swiftly hit a Super Sliced Bread #2 for the win.

This was a really fun main event that managed to be extremely entertaining while also working perfectly within the confines of each individual character. There was real creativity here too, so much so that down the line, I actually feel it’ll stand out in my mind. Really good stuff.

Grade: B+

Final Thoughts

As much as I enjoyed this week’s 205 Live main event, it wasn't quite great enough for me to consider this episode one of the brand’s strong showings. The first half here was rather weak by the division’s high standards but nonetheless, the main event delivered so considering that, it’s hard to be too critical. A solid end to the year even if not exactly a home-run. Either way, I’ll see you all in 2019…well not really, I never see you as this is actually just written content. Ah, never mind, have fun pal.

Grade: B

More