The 205 Live Report Card (4/9/19): Stopping the Unstoppable

Just a couple of days ago, we were overcome with joy. Kofi Kingston had just become WWE champion and Alexa Bliss was in the midst of her 4th costume change. It was a great night but about four hours earlier, our little lads kicked things off, with Tony Nese winning the Cruiserweight Title in a delightful 10 minute sprint. Tonight, we #RunItBack and with about 15 more minutes to play with, these dudes are ready to rock and roll. It’s been a long weekend so seatbelts on folks, let’s wrap this weekend up.

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.

NJPW Castle Attack Night Two Results (2/28): Four Title Matches

We begin this week’s show without Drake’s teeth, instead featuring an immense video package all about this Sunday’s Cruiserweight Title match.

Gentleman Jack Gallagher vs. Humberto Carrillo

To the ring then and Drew Gulak is on commentary here, watching on as this learning experience commenced. Gallagher went to work right away, grounding things until acrobatics left Humberto standing nonetheless. Carrillo’s next offensive aerial attack was halted though, with Gallagher countering while Drew applauded at ringside. Jack then followed up with strikes, battering Humberto in the corner as Aiden English suggested that Gallagher has helped Carrillo more than Gulak. In the meantime, some ground and pound kept Jack in control, constantly cutting Humberto off until he finally fired back, making a comeback that culminated in a spectacular dive to the floor.

This enraged Drew of course, lecturing Carrillo only to be ignored while Humberto continued to flurry. A strike exchange then took place, with Carrillo coming out on top but then heading up top for the final touches too. Gulak cut him off though, pushing Humberto off the top rope to cause a DQ finish. Post-match, Gulak roughed Carrillo up, throwing some ground and pound and landing a heavy lariat too. Gallagher then stopped him, landing a sudden headbutt to send Drew flying out of the ring.

This match was fine but obviously not the focus, with the angle instead taking center stage. As for that element, everything here was executed well in a vacuum but frankly, this moment warranted better build-up. It felt like I’d missed a chapter almost but nonetheless, Gallagher’s actions were very, very interesting.

Grade: C+

This was followed by a promo from Buddy Murphy, with the former champion promising that tonight, he’ll prove that he’s still the greatest Cruiserweight of all time. Nese responded with his own promo, calling WrestleMania the best day of his life and making it clear that Buddy is never taking that title from him.

We then moved into Drake Maverick’s office, with Oney Lorcan entering only to be swiftly followed in by Cedric. Maverick booked the pair’s rematch for next week, as Lorcan reminded Alexander of his compliment during the tournament. Lorcan plans on beating the man next week and Cedric simply dared him to bring it.

WWE Cruiserweight Title

Buddy Murphy vs. Tony Nese (C)

Main event time now and we’ve got a feeling out process early, as the crowd welcomed this one with trading (kinda) chants. Nonetheless, things quickly picked up, as Murphy tackled his foe to the mat before slowing him with a hold as well. Nese responded though, landing a sharp back elbow to reset things once more. The audience was with this a staggering degree, making actual noise as a wild strike exchange commenced. That was soon halted though, with Murphy clutching his supposedly injured knee only to cheap-shot Nese just moments later.

The challenger then flung Nese around at ringside, even launching him over the announce table as well. He then followed up in center ring too, landing his big knee for 2. A sharp suplex came next but Nese kicked out yet again. Murphy then took to the sky, hitting a spectacular dive and double knees off the top. Buddy then slowed things down, grounding Nese again but then finding himself sent flying from the middle rope to the floor. Nese was flying next, landing feet first on a spectacular dive and then using the barricade as a weapon himself.

Back in-ring and the champion continued to build momentum, hitting a hurricanrana to remove Murphy from the top rope. ‘This is Awesome’ chants were rightly building steam at this juncture while in the meantime, Nese hit a springboard moonsault for 2. The crowd then transitioned into a ‘This is Wrestling’ chant as Tony hit a pump handle driver for yet another near-fall. A sit-out powerbomb then came back in response but Nese barely kicked out as well. Tony caught Buddy’s follow-up knee also, firing back and thinking Running Knese only to be caught and dragged to the apron.

Murphy then violently kneed his foe off the apron, leaving both floored on the outside. Buddy next shifted his attention to the announce table, planning a powerbomb but finding himself unable to move the lifeless champion. This only distracted Murphy though, next turning into a sudden back body drop that launched him onto and over the announce table. Even still, Buddy beat the count, making it in at 9.9 and swiftly regaining control via superkick and wacky spin move for 2.

Murphy’s Law followed but Nese somehow kicked out regardless, sparking more ‘205’ chants as in-ring, Nese landed the inverted rana and then finally, two Running Knese for the win.

Wow, this was just sublime. Intense, explosive and enthralling from start to finish, simply brilliant. This match reminded me of how much I’ve missed Buddy wrestling regularly on 205 Live and on that note, it’s worth stopping for a moment of consideration. It feels as though this may be Murphy's last stand at Cruiserweight and while his absence would sting, he certainly deserves main roster exposure. This run has been immense, a full year of absolute excellence that’s been a pleasure to watch.

As for Nese, this is the perfect start to his reign, he has big shoes to fill but his evolution very much warrants this very spot. He’s been tremendous as of late, better with each and every showing. Great job lads, loved it.

Grade: A*

Final Thoughts

This episode had one of the finest main events in 205 Live history and on that alone, it enters an elite category. I didn’t particularly love the first portion but there’s no point dwelling on that as frankly, Nese/Murphy is the story here. Those two produced a wonderful title match, almost single-handedly making this was an incredibly worthwhile 50 minutes.

Grade: A

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