The 205 Live Report Card (6/19/18): A Matter of Respect

If there’s one thing I’ve loved about 205 Live since Enzo-gate, it’s been the focus on good old fashioned one-on-one contests. Physical, athletic and dynamic matches, two men with one goal. Whether it be in the 205 Title tournament or during Buddy Murphy’s TV banger tour, this has been a show featuring standout singles matches almost every week. It’s been awesome, none of this silly gauntlet garbage or multi-man spottiness, instead we’ve got real rasslin. That’s why I love 205 Live and tonight, I cannot wait for a triple threat classic!!!!

NOTE: Mr Editor Man, please rearrange this intro so that it makes some sense, don’t forget to delete this note though. My credibility is pivotal.

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.

We get things started this week with a recap of the angle that set tonight’s main event up. I’m then welcomed into the arena by TOM PHILLIPS AND HE’S WITH PERCY WATSON…oh no, very scary times for my ear-holes.

Drew Gulak

On the bright side, things soon improved as everyone’s favorite man Drew Gulak arrived! He’s with Brian Kendrick too and is set to take on the one Lucha lad that he’s yet to defeat in singles competition: Lince Dorado. We went straight into some grappling exchanges here, with Gulak quickly taking control. Drew’s technical work here early was tremendous and only made better by his game-plan switch once Lince regained some momentum. That’s my favorite thing about him in fact, the way he’ll turn to headbutts and body punches in the blink of an eye. Tremendous.

Dorado did indeed flurry though, hitting some flashy offense until Drew cut him off on the top rope and pushing him to the floor. This encouraged Kendrick to chant LUCHA in Lince’s face…sublime. Gulak was insulted by Penelope (more on that later) and promised he’d make Dorado pay, soon doing just that, punishing the Lucha whilst threatening to remove his mask. Drew calmly explained that he simply wanted to see who was under there. Kalisto yelled “NO! You can’t” in response, what a geek.

Nonetheless, a double headbutt soon left both men floored before Lince made a mild comeback. After kicking out of a desperation pin-fall, Dorado hit the Golden Rewind but Kendrick allegedly put Drew’s foot on the bottom rope, breaking the pin. As the Lucha lads complained, the referee turned his back on the action, allowing a Kendrick interference that set up Drew’s Gu-Lock for the win. This wasn't a particularly stand-out match but I always enjoy Drew’s style and aggression regardless.

This angle as a whole? Not sure it needs to exist for much longer.

Grade: B

Lince Dorado

If you was to ask me for my general opinion: I’d quite confidently say that I think Lince is the weakest of this trio. Nothing personal, I just find his offense to be the least interesting and more than that, his stuff in-between is particularly weak in my mind. His comeback here was rather odd too, with a salvo of punches that I guess worked for the conflict but to me, contrasted with the whole point of this feud: enthusiastic acrobats against miserable mat mechanics.

The work here generally wasn't overly crisp either to be frank. Nothing bad just a little weak compared to the brand’s high standard. I’m actively trying to be nice to these Lucha fellows as they are talented but good lord, they don’t help themselves. In fact, there was a short promo clipped in here that I believe may have actually taken years off my life. It’s just not for me, that’s all.

Oh yeah, Penelope. They have a mascot. It’s called Penelope.

Grade: C

We move backstage next to Drake Maverick as he’s talking to a referee and Hideo Itami, assuring the credibility of tonight’s main event. Speaking of such, Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy don’t have shirts on and they are very excited about it.

We move backstage next to Drake Maverick as he’s talking to a referee and Hideo Itami, ensuring the credibility of tonight’s main event. Speaking of such, Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy don’t have shirts on and they are very excited about it.

TJP

‘The Cruisergreat’ is here for another showcase match now but first he wants to talk on the microphone. He complained about Maverick again and said that he’s not asking for much, just the main event every week. Fair. TJP is so disappointed in fact that he doesn't even want to add tonight’s opponent to his record. In response to TJP’s verbal burial, this young man punched TJP in the face. Floored, the former champ immediately grabbed a knee-bar on the local and had to be dragged off his screaming body.

This was another creative segment that established TJP’s skill-set and personality all in just a couple of minutes. Very well-done…oh, and tremendous selling by the opponent too.

Grade: A

Backstage again now as we see Cedric Alexander giving some pre-match support to his friend Mustafa Ali. In other news, Lio Rush debuts next week and also, last week’s 6-man will receive an elimination rematch.

Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy vs. Hideo Itami​​​​​​​

Main event time now and a traditional feeling out process got us started until Buddy and Mustafa seemingly decided to both focus on Hideo. Aware of the new plan, Itami rolled out but Murphy chased him to the floor, landing a punch to the brain. With both men on the outside, Ali seized with a huge dive before he and Murphy began to fight over who could beat up Hideo more. Disappointingly, neither Itami nor Ali had done their research as both tried to chop Buddy Murphy…fools.

No-sell or not, Ali soon got the better of things, sending Murphy to the floor before his attempted dive was cut off by Itami. Whilst shouting ‘RESPECT ME,’ Hideo then grabbed a hold. On that topic, I love the way commentary was reiterating Hideo’s story thus far. By reminding the audience of Itami’s injury struggles since joining WWE, they’ve made his frustration so much more believable. Back to the action and Hideo was still in control, keeping Murphy on the outside as he went to work on Mustafa.

Ali sold Itami’s brief but spiteful heat segment nicely but Buddy soon creeped up on Hideo, quickly trading kicks to the spine with him….good lord. Wow, this is that fighting spirit stuff that the kids talk about nowadays, at least they didn't just sit themselves down like some of the lads do though. A big slap exchange came next either way with Itami coming out on top before Ali came back in to score some offense on him. Sadly, he then turned into a massive Buddy lariat as well as a German suplex that simply ruled. Incredible.

Murphy was in control now, keeping Hideo on the floor as he caught a sleeper hold on Ali. Itami soon came in to grab a hold of his own though, breaking Murphy’s sleeper and allowing Mustafa to rally on both men. He then attempted an X-Factor but Buddy pushed him over his head and directly into Itami who he happily hit the move on anyway. Ali made it up to Murphy though, nailing a poison rana and tornado DDT, both of which Buddy violently spiked himself for.

Mustafa then headed up for 054 but Itami cut him off. Somehow though, this still led to Buddy murdering both men…delightful. Now exhausted, they traded insane strikes, leaving all three men floored in a spot that finally drew an ovation from what had been a previously awful crowd. After even more craziness, Hideo and Buddy were left stacked on top of each other. Taking advantage, Ali headed up top, landing a 450 on both. However, Buddy dragged him to the floor, breaking the fall before preparing the announce table for destruction.

Ali wasn't impressed though, pulling Murphy’s foot out before leaping up to the announce table and landing a SPANISH FLY ON THE FLOOR. Look guys, I love you both but this was ridiculous and from my vantage point, very bad for your health. No more of this please, it’s almost pointless pain. Thankfully, it did at least take Buddy out of the match as Ali rolled back directly into Itami’s hesitation dropkick. Ali kicked out but Hideo then exposed the turnbuckle and hit another dropkick as Mustafa’s head rested on the steel.

Cool finish but not personally sure about the result. Either way, great match. This triple threat mostly avoided the clichéd layout and had a ton of creative content throughout. The offense was simply sublime with Murphy’s especially coming along with some tremendous extra spite. Just great stuff that’s pretty hard for me to fairly recap, I’ll just say that I strongly recommend you watch it, it really was excellent.

Grade: A

Final Thoughts

As has been the case for the majority of 205 Live episodes as of late, this was a show that you could’ve easily missed the first 30 minutes of. This brand continues to rely on outstanding main events and this week, that paid off as we got another enthralling affair. If I’d have enjoyed Gulak/Dorado a little more, I likely would’ve liked this week’s episode more but as is, it was still tremendous fun just purely due to the immense triple threat headliner. I want to see the non-title picture programmes improve but right now, these incredible main events are hugely important to making 205 as must-see as it really can be. It’s just about bringing the rest up to that level now.

Grade: B+

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