The 205 Live Report Card (8/14/18): Weakening the Champ

For those of you insane enough to read two of these awful pieces a week, you’ll enter this warily. Last time out, I seemingly had a mental breakdown of sorts but that’s all well and good because it’s SummerSlam week now, and that’s a beautiful thing. The biggest event of the summer is just days away, and that’s pivotal for 205 Live considering the rare Cruiserweight representation. In more important news, many of you will know that last week’s NXT Report Card was so horrific that in response I promised more silliness than ever.

Well, my intention is to indeed save that for Hunter’s outlaw promotion as frankly, this SPORTS STYLE PRESENTATION isn’t the place for my immature jokes about the very serious topic of professional wrestling. With that in mind, let’s get things started.

Malakai Black: Paul Heyman Told Me He Had One Night Of Control, Everything After Was A Debate

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 this week’s show started with Drake Maveri….oh stop. You all know that Drake opens every show and yet still demand that I tell you about it. No! Enough is enough. I will now write an intro about this that’ll be used every single week and guess what? You’ll not only read it every time, you’ll like it too.

Drake Maverick welcomed us and run through this week’s show. His teeth looked white.

Lio Rush vs. Akira Tozawa

Opening match time now with the Rush/Tozawa sequel. Lio is here with a microphone first though, burying the location before pointing out that the crowd is lucky to have the privilege of watching Lio live. In fact, he even called himself Lio Five Live as well as the best Cruiserweight in the world. My god. Tozawa soon arrived though and we got right into the action, with Akira jumping Rush as he attempted to remove his jewelry. Lio quickly began to evade Tozawa’s offense regardless but was then caught in a hurricanrana and scurried to the ropes.

Rush finally removed his jewelry at this point, but failed to use it as a distraction ploy, instead eating a kick and bailing to the floor. Tozawa chased him though, bringing things back to the ring before being floored by a handstand kick. Akira maintained control regardless, landing his fake-out right hand and a missile dropkick for 2. As he began to think senton though, Rush grabbed his leg and turned the tide, launching Tozawa into the ring-post and going to work. This included a back suplex as well as some gouging before settling in a hold.

Tozawa used this as a chance to shout “AHHH” and that tactic worked, with the people getting behind him as he made his comeback. However, his senton would be countered, with Rush getting the knees up and targeting the back briefly. Another hold followed and the people again rallied behind Tozawa, cheering him to his feet as he regained control, kicking Rush to the floor and hitting his big dive. The octopus stretch came next but Rush powered out and caught a quick pin before landing a sharp kick for 2.

Tozawa then cut Rush off on the top rope though, and began to look for a superplex. Rush halted those plans, head-butting Tozawa off and hitting the Final Hour for 3. This was a strong opener in which Tozawa looked good and Rush went over, protecting everyone and resulting in a very enjoyable affair. It didn't really reach that next level or gear but these openers never do as that’s just the format used. Nonetheless, I liked this quite a bit and am especially interested to see what Lio does next.

Grade: B

It was now time for a Drew Gulak video package in which he discussed Cedric’s flaws whilst also explaining why he’s unlike anyone the champ has ever faced before. This then transitioned into footage of Gallagher elbowing pads much to Kendrick’s joy.

Following this, we got a recap of last week’s dramatic main event before a Drake Maverick interview about Ali’s condition. He says that Mustafa has been suffering from exhaustion, and that he won’t compete in a 205 Live ring until Maverick is satisfied with his condition. This feels fresh, thumbs up.

Hideo Itami vs. Trent Newman

Showcase match time pal as Hideo Itami takes on Trent Newman. First though we saw footage of a savage promo about stopping the heart of 205 Live...cold Hideo, cold. Either way, Itami got started with a kick to the gut and then went right to work in the corner, landing more strikes and telling the crowd to “SHUT UP” and respect him. Newman then fired back briefly but got a slap for his troubles as well as a massive follow up lariat.

The spinning back fist came next but Itami refused to end it there, picking Newman up and landing a falcon arrow before again stopping the count at 2. A salvo of kicks followed in the corner and two big basement dropkicks mercifully closed the show via referee stoppage. Itami wasn't ready to stop there though, hitting that wacky knee thing as a post-match exclamation mark. Fine squash, Itami is a good heel.

Grade: B-

Just like Drew did earlier, Cedric Alexander now got a video package about his thoughts heading into SummerSlam. He says that Gulak is very dangerous, especially with his pals, but he’s always ready regardless which is why he’s been undefeated in 2018. He was very fired up here and I felt it, good stuff. However, Cedric wrongly called SummerSlam the biggest party of the summer…it’s the biggest event of the summer now mate, grow up.

Backstage, Drake congratulated Nese and Buddy before questioning their route of victory. He then booked a tornado tag rematch. All hail, that’ll rule. In less exciting news, TJP vs. Noam Dar 3 will also occur…

Cedric Alexander vs. Gentleman Jack Gallagher

The main event is here but Jack delayed things early like a prime Alexa Bliss, or Larry Zbyszko for my younger fans. Nigel smartly explained that this was all part of his game-plan of taking things late and that ruled. Meanwhile, a quick exchange of pin attempts occurred, eventually culminating in Cedric powering out and flurrying with some of his signature offense. Gallagher responded like any revered grappler would though, by scurrying under the ring and attacking Alexander from behind. Cedric’s power continued to pay dividends regardless, throwing Jack to the floor and going to work with some strikes.

Gallagher countered either way, violently pushing Alexander into the ring-post to turn the tide. He then began to control things in center ring, focusing on Alexander’s neck just as Gulak would like him to. This included a whole bunch of heel chicanery and just good stuff overall as Cedric sold with desperation too. “ALEXANDER” chants emerged in response and that ruled. In fact, it was so refreshing that I almost wish they’d have gone straight into the comeback as a reward for making noise.

Nonetheless, Gallagher continued to control things and in relentless fashion too, but the people stayed with them (somewhat) and eventually, Cedric indeed made his comeback. It was unsurprisingly fun, including a couple of suplexes as well as a big back elbow and the neuralyzer. Gallagher kicked out at 2 though, and used some elbows to halt the Lumbar Check attempt also. Alexander’s rally continued regardless, landing his big springboard clothesline for another near-fall. Gallagher fired back right away, scoring with an elbow of his own before hitting an awesome knee off the top for 2.

The crossface followed, and Alexander sold this brilliantly until his roll through counter forced a reset to the action. “ALEXANDER” chants came again at this point as they fought to their feet but Cedric failed to capitalize, getting caught in a guillotine instead. Alexander didn't tap here but did lightly tap Gallagher’s back (questionable) before powering free. Another attempt at the springboard clothesline then missed and Gallagher seized, landing dropkick in the corner and forcing Cedric to get only his foot on the bottom rope at 2.

A scary powerbomb came next for one final 2 but Cedric then caught Spanish Fly out of nowhere, getting the come from behind win without even needing the Lumbar Check. I personally thought this was a very good main event that made Gallagher look great whilst telling Alexander’s story of naive pride neatly. Just well-worked, physical stuff with some nice subtlety in there too. Nothing outrageous or special but certainly strong and the crowd was behind Cedric too.

Now, my intern has admittedly informed me that this show took place in the Carolinas but my knowledge of The United States of America is so poor that I’m not even sure as to that fact’s impact on this crowd. You say ignorant, I say yes, I agree.

Grade: B+

Post-match, Kendrick jumped Alexander just as we looked set to go off the air, dragging him back to the ring. Gallagher then re-entered but Cedric disposed of him and hit a beautiful Lumbar Check on Kendrick too. However, Gulak suddenly arrived out of nowhere, catching the Gu-Lock and standing tall with the belt held high. Strong closing angle that will have convinced many that Cedric is winning due to the totally full-proof REVERSE MOMENTUM FORMULA.

Final Thoughts

This was an absolutely rock solid show and well worth anyone’s time. With a good opener and an even better main event, this was undoubtedly one of 205 Live’s better recent efforts. On the other hand, I do feel that this hour lacked anything truly spectacular enough to catapult it into the upper echelon and that is a critique only if a minor one. SummerSlam will be interesting for the little lads as for all of Drew’s talent, I’m unsure as to whether or not his style will correctly advertise 205’s potential. We’ll see though, and I do think he deserves this spot nonetheless.

Grade: B+

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