The 205 Live Report Card (12/5/18): “Little Piñatas”

Hello everyone, it’s a cold winter night here but shockingly enough, your Report Card master is in a rather delightful mood. The Christmas tree is up, Alexa Bliss is posting no-makeup selfies and even more than any of that, Dolph Ziggler is playing Ricky Morton once again. Those factors alone warrant an all hail from me but unfortunately, I have some rasslin to watch. Now personally, the WWF isn’t exactly a priority for me right now but if I’m going to watch, I’ll be watching the 205 that’s no longer live.

There are many reasons for that too: it showcases elite high flying action, its only 45 minutes long and also features Nigel McGuinness on commentary. Mostly though, it’s only 45 minutes long. 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.

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

Drew Gulak vs. The Brian Kendrick

Genuinely looking forward to our opener here and though it began to silence, that didn’t stop Gulak and Kendrick from bringing the intensity right away. This came in the form of tight grappling exchanges until Drew used a shortcut to take control. A hold soon followed and as Kendrick grabbed the ropes, Gulak remained on top, unleashing some strikes and continuing the attack on his rival’s legs. Kendrick quickly fired back though, throwing some strikes of his own before hitting a cool suplex for 2.

At this point, Vic pointed out some of the physical marks on Kendrick’s body and this ruled, elevating the match’s physicality with just a simple visual. Gulak was soon back in control too, hitting a massive power-bomb and seeking the submission again, with increasingly cunning tactics along the way. Every moment of this was tremendous, with Drew reminding the world of his comfortability in this particular role. In response, the crowd was steadily supporting Kendrick more by the minute and considering the work on both sides, rightly so.

Kendrick eventually fought free either way, forcing an awesome brawl that he came out on top of, immediately seizing and securing The Captain’s Hook also. This was a nice false finish and Kendrick continued to flurry even after Gulak had made the ropes, hitting a neat Full Nelson Suplex for yet another near-fall. Either way, the fight next headed to the floor and Gallagher used this for a distraction, blindsiding Tozawa as Gulak looked to score a quick win. Kendrick rallied though, kicking out and hitting Sliced Bread #2, forcing Gallagher to break the fall for a DQ finish.

Post-match, the heels left both their foes laying and while this was another no-finish, the execution here made this one feel rather worthwhile. As for the match, the work here was exceptional and tonally, very fitting for the angle it was progressing. A little more time, and a legitimate finish would’ve made this something quite special I’d imagine.

Grade: B

Following that, we headed to a recap of last week’s main event before moving to a sit-down with Drake Maverick and Buddy Murphy. Drake immediately launched some backhanded compliments here and then brought up the oncoming rubber match opposite Cedric Alexander. In response, Buddy claimed that Ali is a tougher opponent than Cedric but nonetheless, he’d like them to both rassle next week. Their opponents? It’s up to Drake pal. Hmmm, tremendous excuse to have the lads rassle some good matches.

Ariya Daivari vs. Clay Roberts

Showcase city pal…but first, we get a recap of Daivari’s return angle. In-ring, Daivari jumped his foe with strikes right away, bullying Roberts into the corner and landing a headkick to floor him too. In another reminder of last week’s angle, we next saw Itami watching on as Daivari almost did a tribute of sorts: throwing some palm strikes and halting the referee’s count until he was forced to stop it without pin-fall. Tremendous intensity pal, I love it.

Grade: ASR (All Squashes Rule)

Mustafa Ali is talking to me next, as he discusses falling over as well as his remaining intentions to become Cruiserweight champ. He wished Cedric Alexander luck nonetheless and speaking of such, a Cedric interview followed immediately afterwards. The former champ scoffed at Buddy’s comment about Ali and agreed to his challenge for next week anyway.

Selfie promo time now, as Noam Dar called out Buddy Murphy in a slick reminder of their shenanigans from a few weeks back. Neat.

Tornado Tag Match

The Lucha House Party (Kalisto and Lince Dorado) vs. Mike Kanellis and TJP

Main event time lads and I must say, I fear for Mike and the mask thief here, they are likely entering a world of pain considering the match type. I was quickly cheered up regardless, chuckling at Nigel’s critiques of the lucha lads’ vocabulary but either way, a brawl soon got the action started. Kalisto and Lince immediately took control, isolating Kanellis and scoring with some tandem offence too. A big cross-body to the outside followed, and the masked men remained on top until Kanellis scored a spinebuster on the floor.

That turned the tide, allowing a Maria distraction to put the heels in control. They were dominating now, mocking their lucha foes and doing so in fittingly villainous fashion too, with punches and clotheslines taking centre stage. They were nice and aggressive here which was particularly effective considering the set-up, they are in their opponents’ element and had rightly upped the ante in response. Even on his own though, Lince Dorado soon fired back, scoring a double Golden Rewind to finally reset the action.

Kalisto then re-entered, flurrying with his usual comeback until TJP caught him, applying an STF of sorts and focusing on his mask also. In the meantime, Kanellis kept Dorado out of things, scoring a Russian Leg Sweep off the apron in a spectacular move that sadly, wasn’t initially caught on camera. Nonetheless, TJP continued to dictate things in-ring, targeting Kalisto’s leg and applying the kneebar for a tremendous false finish along the way. Kalisto’s comeback soon followed regardless, flooring both foes and using a hurricanrana to propel TJP in Kanellis’ direction.

Lince seized, hitting a double crossbody and running wild on Kanellis in a flurry that culminated in three moonsaults, ultimately forcing TJP to break the fall. Dorado then mixed it up, hitting a Kane uppercut before referencing The Dudley Boyz and spreading “mini Penelope’s” all over the canvas…yep, believe it or not, that’s where we suddenly find ourselves. Either way, TJP almost used these to his advantage but Dorado countered, positioning the lads for a tower of doom spot that never actually happened.

Instead, the lucha lads simply superplexed TJP onto the piñatas in what looked to be the finish until Kanellis thankfully broke the fall. The heels then briefly regained control until their focus on piñata silliness cost them, with Kalisto regaining Penelope and engaging in some tug of war with Maria. This resulted in Kalisto using Penelope to knock Ms Kanellis off the apron and that of course forced Mike to catch her. This allowed The Lucha House Party to close the show, combining offense on TJP and as a result, scoring the win.

Well, I was with this match when Kanellis and TJP took control but the finishing stretch was just not for me in any way, shape or form. I don’t mind comedy but this had actually been a pretty well-built grudge match, with the heels being legitimate villains throughout the whole set-up. All of that becomes irrelevant when “little piñatas” are poured over the canvas though, as this suddenly becomes something far less serious than a fight initially built on the disrespect of Lucha Libre culture.

Perhaps I cared too much but personally, this match lost me down the stretch. Even still, the talent worked hard as always.

Grade: C+

Next week, we’ll indeed get Buddy Murphy vs. Noam Dar as well as Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese. Following this, we go off the air with a brief Nese promo about having Cedric’s number and he also made it clear that after next week, there will be no Alexander/Murphy rubber match. My god, solid promo pal.

Final Thoughts

Well, I feel I’ve been generally down on 205 Live as of late and this week certainly hasn’t halted that feeling. This is the weakest episode I’ve covered yet and while that doesn’t mean it was necessarily bad, it did lack anything that I’d deem even close to being “must-see.” With that being said, the main event was fine and Gulak vs. Kendrick thoroughly entertained me while it lasted. Moreover, Cedric and Buddy are rasslin next week so basically, we are in good hands lads, take it easy.

Grade: B-

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