It’s the 5th of February or as some of us call it: 205 Live Day!!!! Now, cynics would say that as Brit, I’d likely see today as 5/2/19 but to that I’d say one simple thing: it’s actually the 6th at this point so no, go away. Either way, I’m excited because considering what this show is usually like, you have to assume that it’ll be even more spectacular on its own national holiday. 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.
Mike Kanellis vs. The Brian Kendrick
Mr and Mrs Kanellis are here to open another 205 Live but this week, THE beautiful Brian Kendrick is his foe. Maria is once again on commentary as in-ring, Kanellis initially forced himself into control until Kendrick fired back with a right hand. Kanellis bailed in response but Maria quickly told him to get back in. He did exactly that but ate a flurry of strikes for his troubles, and then returned to the floor only for a courageous Maria sacrifice to turn the tide.
Kanellis then built momentum too, back suplexing Kendrick off the apron and launching him into the ring-post. After beating the count-out, Kendrick found himself mauled by Kanellis, with Mike unleashing some ground and pound as well a suplex for 2. He then grabbed a hold before using more strikes too, kicking Kendrick to the floor but then being launched into the ring-post himself. Both men then slowly returned to the ring where Mike quickly regained control, landing a massive lariat but then being caught in the Captain’s Hook.
After an immense struggle, Kanellis’ fingertip reached the bottom rope but Kendrick continued his onslaught regardless, landing two more kicks for another near-fall. Regardless, Kanellis then returned the favor but failed to close the show himself, suddenly becoming frustrated and hitting a spinebuster for 2. A vicious flurry of elbows came next but Kendrick continued to wave Kanellis on, eating three kicks to the face in response. Even still, Kendrick avoided Kanellis’ finish and then out of nowhere, hit Sliced Bread #2 for the win.
Solid match with a simple layout that told an effective story. No real complaints but it’s not a match I’ll remember either. In fear of repeating myself, I’ll just move on.
Post-match, we moved to a recap of last week’s closing segment as Ariya Daivari turned on Hideo Itami. This was followed by a short promo in which Daivari explained his heinous actions. BOO that man.
By the way, they’ve yet to mention the national holiday…pretty weird.
Either way, tonight’s main event is a number one contender, fatal 4 way elimination match between Lio Rush, Akira Tozawa, Humberto Carrillo and Cedric Alexander. This allowed for short promos from all involved. Tozawa has a great smile.
A recap of Tony Nese’s recent suspension followed as we next transitioned to Drake Maverick’s office. The Submission Commission were in attendance, unsuccessfully asking if they can accompany Humberto for tonight’s main event. They fear he could head down the wrong path and rightly so. Noam Dar arrived next, explaining that he’s healthy and next week, he wants to face Tony Nese. Maverick initially refused this but eventually changed his mind, booking the match under No Disqualification rules.
Number One Contender Elimination Match
Lio Rush vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Cedric Alexander
Main event time pal and trash talk got Rush in early trouble, forcing him to evade all three of his foes until Tozawa landed his trademark dive. In the meantime, Alexander and Carrillo went head to head but Tozawa then re-entered, scoring a sunset flip to coincidentally assist Cedric’s German suplex. Rush cut him off there though, hitting a pair of dives as well as his handstand kick too. He went to work from there, grounding Humberto and taking control while keeping the ring clear as well.
Carrillo then fired back though, landing some strikes of his own before turning into Tozawa’s missile dropkick. Rush then regained control either way, stopping Tozawa in his tracks and heading up top for Final Hour. Tozawa avoided it, firing back and pushing Lio directly into Alexander’s Lumbar Check to end Rush’s night. Alexander didn't have much time to celebrate his elimination though, with Carrillo immediately flurrying on both including a massive moonsault for 2. His momentum then came to a sudden end regardless, with Alexander scoring a springboard clothesline to leave all three men floored.
That soon changed though, with all three men heading up top until only Tozawa remained. He seized right away too, hitting his senton to eliminate Carrillo. The two former champions now remained, slowly fighting to their feet and then meeting in center ring for a wild brawl. This included the removal of mouthpiece and elbow pad, before resulting in Tozawa catching the Octopus Hold as well as a quick roll-up for 2. Simultaneous big boots then left both men floored again though. The fake out punch quickly put Tozawa back in control regardless, setting up a pair of German suplexes for 2.
Cedric refused to give in though, somehow evading Tozawa’s senton and then exploding with an STO of sorts on the apron. A wild rasslin move followed but Tozawa stayed alive, kicking out at 2. Alexander next turned to the Lumbar Check but Tozawa somehow avoided it, next hitting the inverted rana out of nowhere. He then closed the show, hitting his senton for the win!
In terms of layout, this match was rather creative and in general, elimination rules always add an extra layer for me. Aside from athletic innovation though, this match’s real beauty came in its execution. The quality of work here was simply staggering, everything landed with a sudden sharpness that maintained immense physicality too. Exceptional performances from all involved, wonderful main event.
Post-match, Tozawa is greeted by a Buddy Murphy promo on the big screen. He smugly congratulated Tozawa before saying that he’ll look through him on his path to WrestleMania. It’s there that he’ll cement his legacy as the Cruiserweight GOAT.
The first half of this show wasn't exactly must-see but the main event made the whole thing worthwhile. That fatal 4-way captured everything that makes 205 special and I’m legitimately pumped for Tozawa vs. Murphy. Onwards and upwards pals, the purple brand is back!!!!
Happy 205 Live Da…wait, they legit didn't mention that thing once huh? How weird, do these people have no awareness or what?!
Either way, all hail.