The 205 Live Report Card (1/22/19): Big Drama Show

Last week, Adam Pearce achieved the impossible. After my nasty criticism of the latest episode of 205 Live, Mr. Pearce fired back, unleashing a flurry of tweets in response. Now, some of my newer readers may point out that Pearce didn't formally @ me but nonetheless, we all know the real target of his message. As has been proven many times over, I have immense influence within the wrestling world and considering that, I’d like to apologize to the whole purple brand. Moreover, I’m happy to announce that this week, I’ll be approaching things in a more positive light, rolling back the years to my NXT glory days.

Let’s rock and roll pal, all hail.

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.

Gran Metalik vs. Humberto Carrillo

Opening match time lads and this one is following the code of honor as we get starte…..OH MY GOD THAT’S AIDEN ENGLISH!

My bad guys, I thought Percy just had a cold or something, never mind.

Either way, back and forth grappling got us started and acrobatics soon followed, with flashy evasive tactics soon resulting in a stalemate. Eventually, these men began to actually hit each other too, with Carrillo sending Metalik to the floor and then hitting a big dive also. Back in-ring though, Metalik avoided Carrillo’s Moonsault, getting his feet up and then hitting a reverse Slingblade for 2. Metalik next upped the ante a little, stringing together some strikes before slowing things down and grabbing a hold….MY GOD.

Before long, Carrillo fought to his feet, unleashing some chops and flooring Metalik with a kick too. Nonetheless, the action then headed to the apron, with Carrillo doing some absurd face-buster gimmick off the top rope. This looked ill-advised but either way, Carrillo’s Cross-body came next for another false finish when suddenly, Metalik turned the tide and hit a Hurricanrana to send Humberto flying off the apron. A Springboard Swanton Bomb followed but Carrillo manged to kick out nonetheless.

Frustrated, Metalik was fired up now, unleashing some vicious strikes until Carrillo blocked his Superplex attempt, and hit a Missile Dropkick of his own. Then some Moonsault insanity closed the show, as Carrillo pinned Metalik with a move that my eyes failed to comprehend. This match wasn't really my tast…my apologies, I misspoke: I LOVE LUCHA LIBRE!!!!!

In all seriousness, this match genuinely ruled and was legitimately quite spectacular. Due to the circumstances, this particular outing probably had some kind of limitations but they still showcased their unique skill-sets, and involved some refreshing physicality along the way too. Very fun.

Grade: B+

Post-match, these two lucha gentlemen embraced. Delightful.

Off to Drake Maverick’s office now as The Submission Commission are enraged at Drake ignoring their talent suggestions. In fact, they were almost frozen in anger. Incredible. As they departed though, Tony Nese arrived to ask for a rubber match with Noam Dar. Maverick said he’d consider it which led to Nese threatening some form of assault if he doesn't get the match he wants. Steady on pal.

Up next it’s time for a pair of promos as we begin with Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick. Akira talked about PRIDE never dying and then promised to become a two-time champion. THIS RULED. Following this, Kalisto and Lince Dorado also spoke. I’ll leave it at that.

Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami

Before walking through the curtain, Hideo Itami and Ariya Daivari stopped for an interview. Ariya promised that Hideo would make an example of his foes before Itami claimed that “Joe Hulbert is the greatest writer of all time”. Itami is alone for this match by the way and Buddy Murphy is here too, taking a seat on commentary. I for one am absolutely certain that his presence won’t affect the match in any way, shape or form! Nonetheless, Itami quickly removed Tozawa but Kalisto flurried on him nonetheless, running wild until Tozawa dropkicked him out of the air.

This crowd was all in on Tozawa’s “AAAAH”s and he indeed scored with his big dive but Itami then wiped him out, taking control of things outside the ring, and convincing Buddy to depart the announce table for a seat only inches away. Either way, Itami had now isolated Tozawa and grounded him with a hold, next keeping Kalisto on the floor with some violence. Back in-ring, Itami returned to his prior plan, slowing things down until Tozawa fired back with a Hurricanrana and back suplex too.

He continued to build momentum also, dropkicking a returning Kalisto out of the air and then sending him back to the floor. However, Tozawa’s plans to follow him there fell through, with Itami flooring him via lariat and forcing Kalisto to break the fall. With all three men rocked, a strike exchange commenced as they steadily fought to their feet until Tozawa floored both of his foes with the trademark fake-out punch. Itami fired back right away though, guillotining Tozawa on the top rope and taunting Murphy before eating a Kalisto kick for his troubles.

Speaking of Buddy, as Tozawa and Kalisto looked to double superplex Itami, the champion intervened, powerbombing both for a TOWER OF DOOM SPOT (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSS). Triple threat matches are no disqualification of course and so Buddy continued his attack, hammering Itami in the corner and then doing the same to Tozawa and Kalisto too. However, those two then fired back, landing a double superkick before Kalisto scored with Salida Del Sol to set up Tozawa’s VINTAGE dive.

Kalisto then remembered that this was in fact still a wrestling match though, hitting a dive onto Tozawa when Itami suddenly returned, flooring both and scoring Falcon Arrow for 2. Now left alone in-ring, Tozawa and Itami exchanged strikes but Kalisto soon re-entered with a big Crossbody for 2. He followed up too, maintaining control until Tozawa avoided his Hurricanrana and began to think Senton. However, that missed too and Itami then seized, wiping out Kalisto and hitting his finish to pin Tozawa for the win.

Due to 205’s very high standards, this match wasn't an ‘elite’ main event in my view but nonetheless, it was certainly exciting and proved a perfect preview for Sunday too. I liked it pal, very good.

Grade: B+

Post-match, Itami was joined by Ariya Daivari and they taunted Murphy as we went off the air.

Final Thoughts

Performance art aside, this week’s 205 Live was genuinely a ton of fun. While neither of the two matches reached that ‘next level’ so to speak, both were tremendously entertaining and this show had some refreshing energy in general. The crowd was open to everything and reacted decently enough while never trying to overshadow the actual matches. Moreover, the main event provided perfect build-up for Sunday’s title match and regardless of its position on the Rumble card, that’s one that I’m very much looking forward too.

Grade: B+

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