The 205 Live Report Card (1/9/19): Falcon Arrow Agony

Cedric Alexander.

Hideo Itami.

Hard forearm strikes.

Thigh slaps.

Bloody mouths.

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.

Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese

Before we get to our opener, it’s first time for a short selfie promo from Tony Nese. He mocked Dar’s complaints as well as his silly accent…tremendous. In-ring, some back and forth grappling got us started until the ongoing exchange of antics upped the ante, with strikes coming into play as Dar briefly took control. Nese then cut him off though, landing a flurry of knee strikes and flooring Dar with a back elbow too. With Dar grounded, Nese slowed things down, applying a hold and continuing to halt Noam’s momentum along the way.

This unsurprisingly included a range of offense, with Nese combining his flashy outbursts alongside more traditional heel attacks too. Soon enough, Dar fired back though, stringing together a strike-filled comeback and hitting a Northern Lights Suplex for 2. An exchange of counters came next but Dar stayed on top, hooking a guillotine choke until Nese muscled him to the ropes. He quickly turned the tide also, dropping Dar over the top rope and hitting a springboard moonsault for 2. His attempts at a follow-up German Suplex were thwarted though, eating a salvo of kicks to reset the action.

Nese returned the favor nonetheless, landing a massive strike of his own before again being caught in the guillotine choke. Unable to initially power out, Nese battled through and reached his destination regardless, suplexing free for yet another false finish. Dar had one final flurry in response but Nese’s power again shined, launching Dar to the mat before seemingly setting him up for some kind of finishing touch. In the meantime, Dar countered, catching a quick roll-up for the surprise win.

After a somewhat muted start, this match became a very strong opener and in its final stretch, had quite tremendous momentum swings too. The finish felt reminiscent of prior directions with Nese though, and I hope that was a deliberate move rather than simply complacency.

Grade: B+

The Brian Kendrick is here next, happily delivering a message for the absent Akira Tozawa. Back in Japan, Tozawa is preparing for the biggest match of his life at the Royal Rumble. According to Kendrick, he then began to cry ‘AAAHHH’ in written form. Either way, Kendrick plans to do everything in his power to help Tozawa, as he still owes him.

Off to Drake’s office now as Gulak and Gallagher hand over a list of candidates for potential 205 signings. Maverick acts delighted in response before dismissing the gift as Mr and Mrs Kanellis arrive. Mike is very angry about his five-week absence from 205 Live. Drake seemingly doesn't care but after Maria explained the gravity of this decision, Maverick apologized to no avail. Instead, Mrs Kanellis seemingly threatened the upcoming newcomers…all hail.

Following this, we moved to a Lio Rush selfie promo about how the Lucha House Party cost him last week’s match. I mean, he’s correct and even if he wasn't, his inevitable match with Metalik will rule.

Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami

Main event time pal, and Itami has Daivari by his side here which for some reason, has me suspicious. At the first bell, very tight grappling exchanges got this one started as Cedric gained control early, using his speed and chopping Itami to the mat. Hideo fired right back though, flurrying with some kicks and getting the better of a striking back and forth too. Alexander’s explosiveness almost immediately turned the tide regardless, flurrying big even if Itami’s kicks had already slowed him down.

This was wonderful selling from Alexander as the fight soon made its way to the outside, with a Daivari interference then very much turning the tide. A double foot-stomp to the floor allowed Itami to follow-up as he continued his assault, launching Cedric into the barricade before returning things to the ring. From there, some spiteful kicks kept Itami on top as Cedric unsuccessfully sought some respite from the onslaught. The kicks continued to amount regardless, soon positioning Cedric for a leg drop from the middle rope.

This was intense rasslin action but Itami quickly put an end to the fun, grabbing a hold (brother) as Cedric began to fight upright. That process included a wild flurry of strikes as Alexander reset the action, eventually hitting his flat-liner for 2. Cedric was continually unable to follow up though, struggling to recover even while gaining momentum. Itami cut the Neuralizer off either way, kicking Cedric mid-move and hitting a Fisherman Suplex for 2. His kicks continued to find a home also, next dropping Alexander throat first on the top rope before hitting a clothesline for 2.

As both men wore down, a dramatic strike exchange took center stage, with back and forth flurries on either side until the Neuralizer earned Cedric a near-fall. Itami held the ropes to avoid The Lumber Check though and Daivari even dragged him to the outside, forcing Alexander to lay both out with a big dive. Cedric’s focus on Ariya immediately cost him regardless, eating a violent palm strike for his troubles and then, falling victim to a FALCON ARROW TO THE FLOOR.

MY GOD….this looked horrific.

Even still, Alexander somehow made it back in-ring at 9.9 but then ate a basement dropkick for his troubles. Nonetheless, Cedric managed to evade Itami’s finisher before taking one more basement dropkick and then, succumbing to Itami’s knee strike finish for the win. What a tremendous main event this was, fitting physicality and intensity throughout while spotlighting both men’s in-ring strengths too. More than that though, this match featured some tremendous subtleties in the selling department and for me, that really put it over the top.

Great stuff, much better than their prior title match in fact.

Grade: A

Before we go off the air, Buddy Murphy sarcastically congratulated Itami and announced an open challenge for next week….ALL HAIL.

*awaits inevitable disappointment*

Final Thoughts

Good lord pal, this show is the easiest watch imaginable. Outside of a few minutes’ worth of backstage shenanigans, 205 Live is literally just two very good matches and for me personally, that’s impossible to criticize. This brand has had better main events but just like last week, this latest showing was very much to my tastes and frankly, it ruled. Combine that with Nese vs. Dar and suddenly, you have a quite tremendous 47 minutes. No complaints on my end pal, let’s keep the momentum going.

Grade: A

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