The 205 Live Report Card (3/19/19): The Final Two

And then there were two.

Well folks, it’s been a journey but after…*checks notes*…four weeks, our incredible tournament has finally reached its climax. Six men have fallen and we are now left with two fellows and their many abdominals. I’m very excited folks and frankly, you should be too. High spots, thigh slaps, bloody mouths and of course, abdominals. Its 205, it’s live and then there were tw…never mind, already done that part. By the way, make sure to read that in your best movie trailer voice, sounds way better like that.

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.

We then transition live as Mike and Maria Kanellis are here for our opener. Maria introduced Mike as “the greatest wrestler in the world” but the crowd didn’t react to this much. This enraged Maria who promised that in his upcoming match, Kanellis will prove the world wrong.

Mike Kanellis vs. Akira Tozawa

YAS! Kanellis’ opponent will in fact be King of the AHHHH: Akira Tozawa. To the action now as the pair exchanged holds until a kick/senton combo put Tozawa in control. Kanellis fired back though, halting the big dive with a sudden superkick in center ring. Now with the upper-hand, Kanellis went to work, landing a suplex as well as some vicious elbows, before slowing things down with a hold. Tozawa came back in an instant though, scoring shining wizard and the missile dropkick for 2.

The octopus hold followed but Kanellis powered free, resetting things once again. A strike exchange commenced from there, going back and forth until Mike hit a spinebuster for 2. The action then headed up top and Kanellis came out on top, hitting a Michinoku driver off the top. However, Tozawa kicked out, angering a frustrated Kanellis who as a result, unleashed another onslaught of elbows. He still couldn’t close the show though, with Tozawa instead firing back until Maria prevented him from going up top.

That forced Tozawa to switch corners which gave Mike time to recover, getting his knees up and hitting the Inverted DDT for the win. This was good stuff pal and it told a rather effective story too. Kanellis’ frustration once again almost cost him but Maria’s presence got him over the line and he can now move on without spoiling his recent presentation. The work here was rock solid and while it didn’t have any moments that’ll live long in the memory, it was considered throughout and left me without any real complaints. Good match.

Grade: B

Elsewhere, Cedric Alexander is interviewed by Kayla Braxton. He admits that he’s confident, citing last year’s victory until Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese interrupted. Nese claims that he’s better than ever while Alexander has simply remained the same. Cedric responded by pointing out that he was good enough to be champion and then played some mind-games between Murphy and Nese. This resulted in Buddy subconsciously revealing that he expects Alexander to win. Legitimately strong segment here, all hail.

Next week, The Lucha House Party will take on Humberto Carrillo and The Submission Commission. Mentorship for the win!

Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander

A feeling out process got this one started, easing into things until Nese began to focus on his foe’s arm. This included a salvo of arm drags and then some early control too, with Nese using a sharp kick to halt any potential comeback. Alexander soon fired back nonetheless, landing some of his signature offense and then grounding things himself. He then avoided Nese’s springboard moonsault too, seizing with some sharp strikes for 2. Nese responded with a similar attack of his own, regaining control via a flurry of kicks.

A hold followed, with Nese slowing things down before hitting a Northern Lights Suplex for 2. Cedric eventually created some space though, creating space with strikes and resetting things along the way. He then rallied, soon landing Neuralizer and Springboard Flatliner for 2. His next thought was Lumbar Check but Nese had it blocked, soon hitting some form of pump-handle gimmickery instead. The action then spilled to the apron, with Nese seizing to hit a springboard moonsault on a precarious Alexander.

Michinoku Driver quickly arrived in response, but Nese kicked out at 2 and then fired back, landing his patented palm strike before heading up top. A strike exchange sent both men flying to the floor though as well-deserved ‘205’ chants commenced. Both men barely beat the count of 10 and then traded exhausted strikes until a superkick almost scored Alexander the win. Nese was back on top in an instant either way, scoring…*checks notes*…Fosbury Flop as well as a 450 splash for 2.

Now desperate, Nese unleashed an onslaught of kicks but ran directly into Spanish Fly for another near-fall. Lumbar Check followed but even still, Nese somehow kicked out as ‘This is Awesome’ chants ran wild all hail. Nese avoided the 2nd Lumbar Check as well, trading quick pin attempts and then scoring Running Knese for the win. Good lord pal, this was tremendous. Things were refreshingly calm early, steadily building to what in the end, was an enthralling finish.

These two 205 originals are admirable in their consistency and that was clear here, with both performing brilliantly to give this tournament a fitting finish.

Winner: A

Post-match, Alexander and Nese shook hands, sharing a brief embrace before the former champion left. That brought out Buddy Murphy, raising Nese’s arm but then flooring him with a knee and holding the title high over him. Not a surprising turn here but an effective one nonetheless. They’ve told Nese’s story well and it’s naturally made him increasingly endearing until this week, his shift reached its conclusion. This is a simple angle but I’m personally invested and at WrestleMania, I’d expect these two to produce an absolute thriller.

Final Thoughts

This was a pivotal week for 205 Live and overall, it’s hard to be anything but pleased with the final product. The tournament’s main objective was turning Tony Nese babyface but considering this brand’s identity, match quality also mattered so thankfully, Nese and Alexander delivered immensely here. I enjoyed the opener and loved the main event, ideal as WrestleMania is now only two weeks away. Let’s rock and roll pal.

Grade: A

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