WWE 205 Live – April 10, 2018
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last week on 205 Live, Buddy Murphy continued his hot streak, defeating Kalisto in an outstanding Main Event. Mark Andrews’ match with Drew Gulak was postponed a week, per Gulak’s requests, so that Andrews would be fully rested from his match against Tony Nese and won’t have any excuses. The Lucha House Party and Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa had another match that fell apart with tempers flaring, this time with both Itami and Tozawa getting carried away. We also got one last plea from Drake Maverick to check into the WWE Network early so we didn’t miss the Finals of the Cruiserweight Title Tournament between Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander.
- Presented LIVE on the WWE Network from... *deep breath* the Gosh Darn Smoothie King Center in Gosh Darn New Orleans, LA. Vic Joseph and Percy Watson are calling the action from ringside, blah blah blah. Nigel McGuiness is off for the next two weeks, but Watson is going to be here moving forward. Yay, ANOTHER three-man booth. With Takeover: New Orleans, WrestleMania 34, Monday Night Raw, Smackdown Live, and now 205 Live, that combines for 16 HOURS of wrestling content covered this week. I think I might have reached burn-out levels.
- Show opens with highlights of Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali from WrestleMania 34. With the television production, you’d think this was a big deal on Pay-Per-View, but no, it was a Kick-Off Match, and even on the USA Network, was disrespected by being subjected to split-screen action, promoting the show we were already watching! I understand they simulcast on the USA Network (which also featured a TV Commercial break), but that just bugged the hell out of me.
Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa:
Kalisto with a cell-phone selfie promo with his Lucha House Party mates hyping a Tornado Tag Team Match... Next Week. Who wants to bet $20 that someone, likely Hideo Itami, interferes, leading a bull-crap finish? They jockey for position, trading wrist-locks. Kalisto cartwheels into a counter and transitions into a side headlock. Whip to the ropes, Kalisto hand-walks into a head scissors, sending Tozawa across the ring. Lockup to the ropes and we get a clean break, unless you consider Tozawa’s grunting as not-so-clean activity. To the corner and Tozawa with a boot to the midsection. They go through a lightning quick series of counters until Tozawa rocks Kalisto with a short right hand. He stomps away at Kalisto in the corner. Kalisto with body blows, but it’s not enough to swing momentum. Tozawa with a snap mare, running kick to the chest, and a jumping senton for two. Tozawa with chops and more stomps. Kalisto avoids a charge and springs in with a seated senton. Kalisto with a springboard corkscrew press and a short-rana for two. They trade blows on the top rope, with Tozawa getting the better of the exchange. Kalisto quickly returns to his feet, nailing Tozawa with a roundhouse kick. He climbs back up and takes Tozawa down with a springboard Spanish Fly for a near fall. They fight to their feet, trading forearms. Tozawa with an inverted heel kick for two. Kalisto avoids another charge, hitting Tozawa in the midsection with a Super-Kick. Kalisto with a rolling Death Valley Driver and kicks to the chest. Tozawa sends Kalisto crashing into the turnbuckles with a monkey flip. Kalisto rolls to the floor to avoid the senton, but Tozawa greets him with a suicide dive, followed by a rolling senton from the apron. Back inside, Kalisto gets the knees up to counter the Senton. Tozawa blocks the short-rana on attempt #2. They do a series of roll-ups and pinning combinations for near falls until Kalisto hits Salida del Sol for the three-count at 11:19. I was wrong, we got a clean finish. Not much heat here, even with the show starting earlier now that the Mixed Match Challenge is over. Still, good match from both, and I liked Kalisto trying (and mostly failing) at trying to compete Tozawa in strong style exchanges. ***1/4
- Tony Nese comes up to Mark Andrews backstage, and says he wants to get vengeance on Drew Gulak, but he wants Andrews to go out there tonight and kick his ass.
- Next year, WrestleMania returns to New York. Except it won’t. It returns to New Jersey.
Mark Andrews vs. Drew Gulak:
Rematch from the Quarter-Finals of the Cruiserweight Tournament. Andrews defeated Tony Nese ">two weeks ag0 to earn a shot at redemption. Gulak comes out in an oversized robe. Whoever created that must’ve done the same poor measuring work for Rocky Balboa before his first fight with Apollo Creed. Gulak offers the return of his PowerPoint Presentations, but he’s just messing with us, because he has business to take care of right now. Andrews gets no response, but Gulak got a decent babyface reaction, especially teasing the PowerPoint.
Lockup and Gulak easily sends overpowers Andrews and throws him into the ropes. Andrews with a head scissors, followed by a pair of arm drags. Gulak blocks a third, but Andrews changes arms to take him over, sending Gulak to the floor for a breather. Gulak uses Andrews’ aggression against him, hitting him from the apron with a shoulder to the midsection. Andrews recovers, landing a series of leg strikes. Gulak overpowers him again, yanking him to the canvas several times while holding onto a wrist-lock. Gulak goes for the dragon sleeper, but Andrews counters with a victory roll for two. Andrews with a shoulder to the midsection and a slingshot into a wheel barrow bulldog. Andrews goes for a hurricanrana on the apron, but Gulak throws him off and sends him back-first into the post for a crash landing. Back inside, Gulak puts the boots to Andrews and hooks the cravate. Andrews lands on his feet on a snap mare, but Gulak just as quickly levels him with an elbow for two. Gulak with a pair of back breakers for two. Andrews escapes a chin-lock with a jaw breaker and connects with a jumping roundhouse kick. He hits Gulak with a 619 to the midsection and springboards off the top rope with a body press. Standing corkscrew moonsault for two. Andrews with a crucifix spike for another two-count. Something in the crowd is distracting the audience, probably beach balls. Gulak avoids another wheel barrow bulldog and hits a clothesline to the back of the head for two. They trade chops and slaps. Gulak blocks a suplex but gets nailed with the Stun-dog Millionaire. Andrews to the top rope but Gulak rolls to the other side of the ring. He throws Andrews face-first into the turnbuckle and hooks the Gu-Lock (Dragon Sleeper) for the tap-out at 10:30. They lost the crowd to some shenanigans, but Gulak’s work continues to be some of the best on 205 Live. Andrews, on the other hand, was mostly a punching bag here. **1/2
- Post-match, Gulak reapplies the hold, but the save is made by Tony Nese. He sweeps Gulak’s legs and pounds away. Gulak rolls to the floor, so Nese hits him with the twisting tope over the top rope. Something tells me we’re getting a Gulak/Nese rematch in the coming weeks as well.
- Drake Maverick is backstage to grant someone the wish for Tag Team competition: Gentleman Jack Gallagher and THE Brian Kendrick. They assure Maverick there is no vendetta against Hideo Itami. Kendrick says he should consider their issues water under the bridge. For some reason, I don’t believe them.
- Drake Maverick comes to ringside for our Main Event segment. He puts over the honor of being the 205 Live General Manager. He talks about sitting at ringside to witness the heart and soul of 205 Live battle it out at WrestleMania for the Cruiserweight Championship. Here’s Cedric Alexander to kick off the “Age of Alexander”, celebrating his newly won Cruiserweight Championship. Alexander reminds us it was two years ago that the WWE universe chanted “please sign Cedric”, and its because of the fans that he got to compete at WrestleMania and walk away the new Champion. Mustafa Ali interrupts, dressed for a funeral and with a sour look on his face. He’s here to tell Cedric face-to-face, that he doesn’t just deserve it, he earned it. There’s a long line of guys waiting for an opportunity at the Cruiserweight Title, and he’s one of them. Buddy Murphy interrupts, sneaking in from behind and laying Alexander out with Murphy’s Law (after once again botching the move on the first attempt). Drake Maverick chews him out, yelling he was going to get his opportunity and there will be consequences. Meanwhile, Mustafa Ali stands there like a dork (bold prediction: Ali vs. Murphy next week).
Final Thoughts: A couple of good matches, with Kalisto and Akira Tozawa having the better match of the two to kick off this weeks episode. THE Brian Kendrick is back as we establish another tag team on the roster. At this point, you keep pairing guys up, there might be a Tag Team Division. Having Murphy attack Alexander and position himself as the heel is for the better, but his flashy move-set will likely need to be toned down moving forward, and for the love of God, that finisher needs to go. Last week they tried to play it off as someone struggling to fight it, but here it was the same story, and it clearly is a struggle to pull off.
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