The 205 Live Report Card (6/12/18): Manager's License?!

Last week on 205 Live, Hideo Itami ruined my day. Thankfully, this week my compatriot Drake Maverick makes him pay. Isn’t that guy great by the way? Drake Maverick, what a man…great teeth, a wrestler tan and outstanding hair. He’s the British triple threat in that sense. In fact, he’s probably the greatest thing to ever hail from Birmingham. How much of a compliment that is? Well it’s probably best left unsaid. Maverick’s finest achievement has come recently though, when he helped me get through an intro for a show headlined by little lucha lads. 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.

Tony Khan Says They're Lucky Kenny Omega's Bomb Was A Dud, Not Shocked His Crayon-Drawn Plan Failed

We start things off exactly as I had hoped, with Drake Maverick laying down the law. He says that Itami isn’t allowed to be here tonight…oh, that’s it? Fair I guess, I probably deserved this disappointment. On the other hand, Mustafa Ali will take on Buddy Murphy’s TRAINING PARTNER Tony Nese. I love it maggle.

The Lucha House Party

I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that the 205 booking office is very angry with me. They clearly don’t want my revered analysis and in a desperate attempt to halt it, they are literally force feeding me these masked men. Unfortunately for Hunter and co though, my conditioning is legendary and with immense fighting spirit in my core, I’ll fight on like the champion writer I am. To the action now as Kalisto got things started with Gallagher. The Gentleman immediately grounded him but Kalisto created some space and ‘had some fun’ before bringing in Lince.

He flurried on an incoming Kendrick in-between embarrassing himself with some form of whassup taunt. Nonetheless, the lucha lads strung together some awesome offense that culminated in a big splash from Metalik, only after he’d walked the ropes though of course. All three were dominating Kendrick here before he tagged in Gulak to create an all-time wrestling moment (more on that later). Dorado fired back regardless, running wild and eventually hitting a big dive on all three of their foes. Their momentum would soon be halted nonetheless, with Kalisto being cut off and isolated.

After selling a marvelous heat segment to almost silence, Kalisto fought free, hitting a DDT and tagging in Metalik for his wacky hot tag. Some tandem offense with Dorado followed but Gulak broke the fall and came in for a back and forth with Lince. They even exchanged roll-up attempts whilst holding each other’s tights. See kids? Cheating…it doesn't always work. An awkward Captain’s Hook from Kendrick came next and things broke down at this point with everyone hitting big moves until the Lucha lads cleared the ring.

With big dueling dives from Kalisto and Metalik, Dorado was left all alone and Kendrick seized, grabbing the Captain’s Hook in much smoother fashion. After a struggle though, Lince rolled him up and grabbed the tights for a TAINTED VICTORY. This spot would’ve been better if Lince hadn't already tried the payback tights grab but whatever, fun match pal.

Grade: B

Gulak, Gallagher and Kendrick

Considering the build-up/people involved, the physical story here was obvious and they quickly established that as Jack immediately grounded Kalisto early. Now skipping forward a little, let’s get to that ‘all-time wrestling moment’ that I mentioned earlier. After being tagged in, Drew Gulak walked directly towards Dorado and floored him with a forearm to the chest. No subtlety, no shenanigans, just a single strike. What a hero. I loved the cut-off spot here too, with Kendrick using the blind tag before yanking Kalisto, dropping him head first on the top turnbuckle.

Kendrick then continued his assault, landing some ground and pound before grabbing a hold. The heels maintained control too, isolating Kalisto and cutting off the ring beautifully. In response, Kalisto used a jawbreaker, creating some space and making a tag but brilliantly, Kendrick had the referee distracted, making the tag useless. This was seamless 6-man teamwork from the gentlemen as they continued to dominate poor Kalisto. We even got some fitting tandem offense from Gallagher and Kendrick in here too.

Gulak continued to play his part sublimely of course, at one point applying a hammerlock/single leg boston crab combo to maintain momentum. This was a prolonged heat that frankly, ruled and if the lucha lads were over at all as a group, this would’ve had the people rocking and rolling. That’s not a knock on anyone though, this show is hard for everyone in that sense. Eventually, the hot tag arrived but Drew was once again the equalizer, dragging Gallagher back to his corner for a tag before flooring Dorado with a heavy lariat.

As I’ve already mentioned, things soon went downhill for our delightful villains but they were awesome here and I especially loved their heel work in the heat. Good stuff.

Grade: A

Following this, we got a recap of last week’s closing angle as well as a short clip of Hideo Itami saying that he’ll be the next Cruiserweight champ. Back in Drake Maverick’s office now and Buddy Murphy is refusing to rassle until he gets a match with Hideo. Buddy looked like 2000 Scott Steiner here. Translation: he was looking real jacked baby.

Mustafa Ali is talking to us through his phone now and he claims that he had Buddy beat before Hideo was a big meanie and ruined everyone’s night. Fair.

Akira Tozawa

Everyone’s favorite shouting man is here again and he’s taking on Steve Irby. Tozawa got started with his traditional strikes before stomping a mud-hole in the corner. Irby then cut him off with a neat kick to the body but Tozawa regained control immediately, hitting a big senton and almost forcing the crowd to cheer for him…he rules. Irby rallied slightly once again, stunning Tozawa before the former champ made a comeback and soon closed the show via his big senton off the top. Fine showcase match for a guy who always ensures that the crowd makes some noise. Tremendous talent.

Grade: B

Following this, we got another Lio Rush vignette. I too enjoy playing with an hour glass. This made me laugh much more than it should have.

Speaking of comedy, Tony Nese cut a promo next. He’s working out, of course, and tonight he plans on making his statement at Ali’s expense.

Before we officially move to our main event, TJP spoke about a potential move up to Heavyweight. Genuinely somewhat interested to see where this goes and regardless of how sarcastic that reads, it’s not sarcasm….well at least not totally anyway.

Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese​​​​​​​

Well, it’s finally main event time and after he’d counted his abs, Tony introduced his training partner Buddy who apparently, will be accompanying him tonight. Inexplicably, Nese and Murphy seemed set to murder Ali but before they could, Cedric Alexander came out and this is now a tag match playa!!!!!

Oh no, it’s not…but they are staying at ringside? EXCUSE ME SIR BUT WHERE ARE THEIR MANAGER’S LICENCES?

Either way, Nese quickly went to work with some vicious strikes in the corner but Ali quickly fired back, sending Tony to the floor before walking into a Buddy Murphy distraction that allowed Nese to hit him in the face. Buddy is pushing his luck here pal but the referee just continues to warn him, this is an incredible and alarming shift for the SPORTS STYLE PRESENTATION.

Nese was obviously in control now regardless and he was super aggressive here too, which is always refreshing to see. I liked how he’d change his own position too, halting Ali’s brief offensive spurts to maintain the match’s momentum. However, it wasn't all optimal as Nese then hung Ali on the top rope with one of the most obscene wrestling moves I’ve ever seen. He probably does this all the time but Tony, please pal, no more. Via the wrestling gods, he paid the price too, with Ali then making his comeback.

Nese eventually fired back with some big strikes himself though and a double clothesline soon left both men floored. They then fought up top but Nese pushed Ali off and sprinted at him whilst stumbling…this created a very scary *Mauro voice* malfunction at the junction. Ali then dropped Tony with a superkick and headed up for 054 but Buddy pulled Nese to the floor. This brought Cedric to the scene of the crime as Ali dived onto Nese, distracting Alexander enough for Buddy to kick him directly in the face.

He then threw Cedric inside the ring but Alexander came back with a big elbow that sent Murphy to the outside. A big dive followed but his foot caught the ropes, preventing him from making any real contact. Buddy responded to this as you’d expect, by launching himself backwards and forcing himself up the ramp way. Their brawl continued up there too as our focus was shifted back to the ring. Speaking of such, after one last big maneuver from Nese, Ali evaded The Running Nese, hit his tornado DDT and got the win via the always spectacular 054.

I must say, this was a good match but for whatever reason, it lacked some of the crispness that I'm used to seeing from my 205 main events. This is all relatively speaking of course but this just lacked the intensity that some of its predecessors have carried. Then again, part of that maybe due to the pretty obvious direction of an Ali victory. That's not a critique, just an inevitable result of logical booking. Either way, this was solid stuff but never really got going for me, and wasn't quite as technically sublime as I've come to expect from this show's headline matches. Nothing bad, just felt it was missing something.

Grade: B-

Following the match, Ali grabbed a microphone and asked for a triple threat match with both Buddy and Hideo. The crowd didn’t care but that’s not Mustafa’s fault and personally, I cared a lot...well not really but whatever. Backstage now, Dasha invited herself into Maverick’s office and he quickly agreed with Ali, booking the match for next week. Very exciting, I’m hoping that they use this to get to Buddy/Cedric 2 whilst spinning off Ali with Itami. Either way though, there isn’t really a bad option here so I just hope that the match is great.

Final Thoughts

As is pretty much always the case, 205 Live continues to be an easy watch. That said, there was nothing on this show worth going out of your way to see. The 6-man tag was good but isn’t something I personally connect with much and as I’ve already said, the main event is fun without ever reaching the lofty standards set in recent weeks. It’s tough, they are a victim of their success in that sense as at this point, I genuinely expect to be wowed by every single main event they produce.

With all of this said though, 205 continues to be an enjoyable hour of wrestling content and more importantly, a show that has a clear direction and comes with a very cohesive, logical feel. Always a thumbs up for that.

Grade: B

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