The 205 Live Report Card (1/29/19): Respect

And then Alicia Fox came in. She run wild before Maria K….oh hi there, don’t mind me, just rehabilitating from my Royal Rumble live coverage. Unfortunately, the recovery is taking a little longer than I’d hoped so if at any point I break out in Rumble outbursts, just roll your eyes and ignore me pal. As for the little lads, they are still rocking and rolling, working as hard as ever on Sunday’s pre-show and continuing to push this division forward. Buddy is still champ too, 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.

Kalisto vs. Mike Kanellis

Off to our opening match now as Maria Kanellis joins the commentary team while in-ring, Mike immediately bullied Kalisto in the corner. However, his initial control was brief, with the lucha lad flurrying to send him to the outside. A springboard crossbody came next, but Kanellis then turned the tide regardless, scoring with a big boot as the heat commenced. Kanellis continued this on the floor, launching Kalisto into the barricade and halting his attempted comeback too. Mike then grabbed a hold, slowing things down before Kalisto fired back to make his usual comeback.

With both men now fatigued, Kalisto began to think Salida Del Sol but Kanellis countered, scurrying to the outside. This resulted in a Kalisto dive but Kanellis countered, violently slinging his foe into the barricade. Back in-ring, Kanellis failed to capitalize, eating a superkick and DDT for his troubles as the action was reset again. Kalisto also couldn't follow up though, instead getting slammed hard from the 2nd rope but still kicking out regardless. A salvo of suplexes came next, with the frustrated Kanellis almost closing the show as Kalisto barely got his foot on the bottom rope.

Out of nowhere, Kalisto then closed the show, suddenly catching a quick roll-up for the win. This was a fine match without any flaws but it didn't reall…DOLPH ZIGGLER JUST ELIMINATED DREW MCIN…my bad, I warned you though. Either way, I liked this match without ever coming close to loving it. Not a flaw that I could point too, just failed to reach the next level in my view.

Grade: C+

Off to a promo from the Submission Commission next. They welcomed Humberto Carrillo on-board with some delightful advice against his acrobatics. This RULED.

In less fun fashion, Ariya Daivari and Hideo Itami were very angry. Daivari pointed out why singles matches are different and then claimed that Hideo will prove it tonight. Fair.

Much more excitingly, a clip from earlier followed as Tony Nese battered Noam Dar in the parking lot. He was eventually pulled away by Buddy Murphy as everyone shouted and screamed. Nese has been suspended for this but I don’t know why, he literally promised the entire world that this would be his next step. Maverick’s fault in my opinion. Either way, this transitioned to a Buddy Murphy interview in which he subtly took Nese’s side, before continuing his claim of being the Cruiserweight GOAT.

Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami

Main event time pal and Kendrick and Daivari are here respectively as in-ring, Itami briefly stalled before taking control. A stalemate then reset things though and Tozawa flurried, stringing together some strikes and building momentum too. Following some early dominance, Tozawa began to think Senton but it was blocked as Itami finally turned the tide. Now in control, Itami focused in on Tozawa’s back, unleashing some strikes and then slowing things down with a hold. This preceded an onslaught of neckbreakers but with Kendrick’s support, Tozawa soon fought to his feet.

This began with the Octopus Hold and continued even after Itami had powered free, next landing a hurricanrana as well as a missile dropkick too. The trademark dive followed but Itami’s strikes put him back in control, hanging Tozawa over the top rope and hitting a big clothesline for 2. A strike exchange comm….OH MY GOD IT’S RHEA RIPLEY…never mind, a strike exchange commenced from there, with Tozawa creating some space and then heading up top for the senton. A Daivari distraction halted him though, allowing Itami to intervene and score a violent clothesline for 2.

The falcon arrow couldn't close the show either and Tozawa then avoided Itami’s finish, landing a kick of his own as in the meantime, Daivari nastily silenced the excited Kendrick This caused another distraction but it backfired, with Itami inadvertently taking out Daivari as Tozawa seized, hitting a beautiful German suplex as well as his Senton for the win. Probably not an elite 205 main event but still an incredibly enjoyable affair nonetheless and more than that, one that’ll leave a lasting memory too.

Grade: B

Post-match, Daivari helped Itami to hit feet but then flattened him, hitting his lariat and sending poor Itami off into the sunset. Speaking of such, if you’re reading this then you should probably be aware of Fightful’s SCOOP. Hideo Itami has requested and been granted his release from WWE and it only feels right to wish him well. Itami obviously entered WWE with immense hype but my own ignorance meant that for the most part, his work was at the time, a mystery to me.

However, with both this Report Card and the NXT one, I’ve had the pleasure of covering most of Itami’s WWE run and in doing so, my respect for the man has only grown. Itami entered WWE a legend and while circumstances limited this run at times, Hideo always worked incredibly hard and was an undeniable asset to any brand he appeared on. This last 205 Live stint has especially been a pleasure to watch, a fitting tribute to Itami’s prior heights and a satisfying end to this chapter of his career.

Hideo, you have our support, love and most importantly, our respect. Good luck in your next chapter sir, we’ll be watching.

Final Thoughts

This wasn't a particularly thrilling episode of 205 Li…OH MY GOD NIA JAX JUST GOT RKO’D…good lord will these Rumble flashbacks just stop already. Anyway, not an outstanding episode but a fun one nonetheless and more than that, one that we’ll remember as Itami’s WWE farewell. The main event was an enjoyable watch but in truth, it symbolized more than that which leaves a rather satisfying feeling overall. All the best lads.

Grade: B

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