It’s time for another #1 contender in 205 Live and tonight, that’s exactly what we’ll get. TJP, Hideo Itami, Drew Gulak and Mustafa Ali find themselves in the hot seat as tonight, we have some fatal 4-way fun that all the family can enjoy. Forearms, fire ups and flashiness, this one has all the ingredients to be quite exciting before leaving my memory within minutes. Good thing I take notes pal…actually you know what, I was going to make light of my note-taking but no, I’m not going to do that. I actually take notes and I want you to know that I take this job very seriously. Don’t you forget it either!
I’m in a foul mood now, so let’s get started.
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.
Once again, we start this week’s show with Drake Maverick staring us in the face. He runs through tonight’s main event participants and he’s not leaving us alone either, joining the commentary team because 3 men isn’t enough to call a 2-man match.
Opening bout time now as Akira Tozawa takes on Gentleman Jack Gallagher. After being grounded early, Tozawa’s striking gained some brief momentum before he was taken down again. A big chop exchange followed before Akira rocked Gallagher with his fake-out punch, sending him to the floor. His follow-up basement dropkick was blocked though, with Jack trapping him in the ropes and unleashing some strikes. After withstanding Gallagher’s control portion, Tozawa eventually fired up with some cries of AHH, landing a big kick and heading up for his senton.
Jack smartly rolled to the floor in response but Tozawa handed him a violent dive for his troubles. A big dropkick off the top came next, but Gallagher turned the tide until his arrogance briefly cost him. Akira rallied and after fighting Jack off the top rope, he hit his aforementioned senton for the win. This was a decent match that allowed Tozawa to return to the win column even if he wasn't exactly the main focus here from bell-to-bell.
Post-match, Tozawa headed over to Maverick and said something that my notes failed to capture. This would be disappointing at any time but considering this week’s intro, it’s particularly saddening right now.
Gentleman Jack Gallagher
Though he understandably lost here, Gallagher’s in-ring style was captured perfectly. Early on, Jack’s grappling prowess was established with quick takedowns and after he’d ate some strikes, his mean-streak came to the fore too, unleashing some nasty elbows from the guard. It was the heat segment that really encapsulated the strengths of his heel work though, as nasty joint manipulation coincided with some intricate mat wrestling.
His character work is always strong and speaking of such, he cut an effective little pre-match promo here, focusing on his new quest to remind the world of his singles credentials. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed Jack here and I’d honestly like to see him in more singles matches on 205 Live.
Off to TJP now as he talks about Drake Maverick finally getting it right and putting him in the main event. Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
Following this, Hideo Itami looked angry. Same.
The Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Kalisto)
Last week, a match that I didn't want to review was booked as Tony Nese and Kalisto were ready to settle the score. However, Mr Nese can’t be here tonight which instead means a showcase match for the masked men. This also meant though that first, I’d have to watch these two gentlemen talk about this news…very sad. On the bright side, in the gloomy mist of this horror, I heard Nigel McGuinness poking fun at Vic Joseph’s size (or lack thereof). This admittedly cheered me up.
To the action now and their opponents this week are Ryan Depolo and Chris Robinson. Lince got us started here and used his speed to flurry, stunning his opponent before bringing Kalisto in for some tandem offense. Buddy was watching along backstage at this juncture (I sympathize), and this was definitely a worthwhile trip to 205 Live for him. The lucha lads then kicked these men in the face and Dorado hit a Double Golden Rewind as well as a big dive to the outside whilst tagging in Kalisto.
The Salida Del Sol came next and that was that. Fine, I guess?
Off to Drew Gulak now. He’s talking about this week’s main event and the immoral chaos that it’ll inevitably bring. He believes he’ll win though. A Mustafa Ali promo followed and it was fine. Regardless, I do enjoy that everyone got a chance to speak.
Speaking of such, Lio Rush is here looking smug as Dasha Fuentes suddenly began an interview with him. She asked for his response to Tozawa’s request for a rematch but….oh, so THAT’S what he said. My bad guys, I’ll amend my notes for future reference. Anyway, Lio basically said that he’s moving on. Fair.
Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak vs. Hideo Itami vs. TJP
Main event time pal and as you’d expected, we were immediately in the thick of things here as Gulak and Itami jumped Ali right away. TJP walked off initially before attempting some offense of his own but Ali countered in response, rallying on all three heels until Itami kicked him in the spine. He’d soon land another violent kick on Ali too, this one directly to the brain. Hideo was in control of Ali here but TJP soon distracted him enough for Mustafa to turn the tables, kicking Itami in the face before being dropped by a big lariat from Gulak.
Drew was now on top, soon convincing an arguing Itami and TJP to beat up Ali rather than fighting amongst each other. They did just that too, dominating poor Mustafa until TJP attempted a quick roll-up on Drew much to his disgust. Itami broke the fall and all three men then squabbled before turning into a big cross-body from Ali. His comeback was brief though, with TJP snatching a submission on both him and Itami at the same time.
Gulak was unimpressed by this, wrenching TJP violently and allowing for the classic exchange of pin attempts that apparently has to appear in all ACTUALLY GOOD wrestling content. Following this, Itami and TJP were suddenly left alone but Hideo was again convinced against fighting him, focusing back on Ali until he fired back, wiping out all the heels with some snazzy multi-purpose offense. His comeback had very much arrived now too, hitting all of his signature moves until everyone was looking up at the lights.
They fought to their feet but a big exchange of strikes again left all four floored in an instant. TJP and Ali were first up, taking each other out with clashing cross-bodies. This left Gulak and Itami and though Drew claimed to respect Hideo, he then slapped him in the face instead. A wild brawl broke out in response and an exchange of big moves too, both of which only garnered a 1-count each. They then fought to the floor, allowing TJP to get the better of Ali in the meantime.
Seeing this, Gulak and Itami briefly teamed up again, taking out TJP before returning to their own fight. Ali took both out with a big dive though, afterwards hitting his DDT and the 054 on TJP before Itami yanked him out just in the nick of time. He was suddenly in some wild state of rage too, landing a massive steel step assisted dropkick before launching Ali into the ring-post. However as he threw Mustafa back in the ring, Gulak seized, removing Hideo and applying the Gu-Lock on Ali to get the win.
This was a super fun main event and Gulak was certainly a deserved winner too. These matches will never be my thing but there was some nice storytelling in here and all of their personalities felt clear throughout too, thus making this much easier to follow. Genuinely enjoyable from start to finish. Post-match, Gallagher and Kendrick joined Gulak to celebrate and Jack was so overjoyed that he even hesitantly accepted a hug, hurt or not.
With a neat opener and an engaging main event, this week’s 205 Live is another solid outing. I wouldn't say that anything was must-see, and I would appreciate a greater variety as far as format and layout but overall, this formula works and consistently produces a show that’s very easy to watch. This week’s episode is no different, and the outcome of Gulak as #1 contender would’ve made the journey worthwhile regardless of its quality. Luckily, the main event itself was a very impressively organized affair and this was another good show in Cruiserweight land.