02nd Aug2018

‘WWE 205 Live’ Review (July 31st 2018)

by Nathan Favel

205-live-header

Welcome to this week’s 205 Live review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have lots to cover (we have nothing to cover), so let’s just jump right in (go read some-thing else).

Match #1: Kalisto def. Tony Nese

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After their last meeting ended in a brawl that involved Buddy Murphy and the other members of The Lucha House Party, Kalisto and Tony Nese decided to battle without their allies at ringside. Riding high following a tag team victory last week, Kalisto was certainly poised to keep that focus and silence The Premier Athlete once and for all. Locking up, Nese immediately used his power advantage by tossing Kalisto to the mat with ease and shoving away an offensive flurry. Despite using his speed to try and outwit The Premier Athlete, Kalisto was unable to counter the sheer strength of his opponent.

Nese remained dominant, countering The Lucha Dragon’s attempts to fly high and take control. Focusing his attacks on his opponent’s abdomen, The Premier Athlete maintained pressure in relentless fashion, impressively stopping Kalisto’s agility with his own. After slamming Kalisto to the mat, Nese took a moment to showboat, giving the former Cruiserweight Champion the reprieve he needed to fight back. As they tussled back and forth, Nese tweaked his knee following a high-risk move attempt that allowed Kalisto to score a near-fall. Reeling from the intense battle, both competitors again exchanged moves and counters with Nese scoring a near-fall of his own. Frustrated by missing the three-count, Nese slowly turned his attention back to his opponent after arguing with the official but was captured by the Salida del Sol, allowing Kalisto to pick up the win.

After the match, Nese’s ally Buddy Murphy confronted the former Cruiserweight Champion and was prepared to decimate him outside the ring. However, Lince Dorado charged to the ring and helped Kalisto fend off The Juggernaut of WWE 205 Live.

My Take: This was an excellent opener for 205 Live. It’s nice to see Nese get an actual match of his own, for a change. I can’t think of any wrestler that has ever appeared on national television more and gotten so little for it in return. Nese has appeared for TNA/Impact Wrestling and the WWE on the RAW roster and 205 Live, yet has gotten so little exposure or attention from the various booking committees that have been given control over his career. What has Nese ever done to receive so few opportunities to be seen as important? If you look at his opponent, Kalisto, he has won several titles in the WWE, yet he has never been perceived as vital to the company, despite having great matches and being one of the most consistent fighters in the league. Consider how good the wrestling is here and how good it is when-ever either of these athletes compete and then compare that to their standing in the company. Why should two of wrestling’s best talents not be used to their greatest potential? These are decisions that Vince still has complete control over, despite Triple H having immediate power over the division. I’m getting a little worked up about this, because it’s frustrating to see so many great performers be neglected in favor of a status quo that has nothing to do with them succeeding. If this rant is any indication of my fervent passion for what these athletes are doing, then you can bet that this match is worth your time.

Match #2: Lio Rush def. Ricky Martinez

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Following a string of impressive victories after his WWE 205 Live debut, Lio Rush turned his attention to former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa. When the two faced off, The Man of the Hour confronted his most daunting challenge, but he shocked the WWE Universe by emerging victorious. Tozawa refused to go quietly, and after defeating Gentleman Jack Gallagher last week on WWE 205 Live, requested a rematch. Although WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick is taking the match under consideration, Rush has shown little interest in facing Tozawa again. Addressing the WWE Universe before his match, Rush explained why Tozawa didn’t deserve a second match. Addressing his opponent Ricky Martinez, Rush believed that he could put up a better fight than Tozawa.

As the match got underway, Martinez was ready for The Man of the Hour’s speed, using his size advantage to gain an early advantage. However, Rush quickly turned on his afterburners and used his incredible speed to take down Martinez. After a series of high-impact strikes, Rush ascended the ropes and executed the Final Hour for the win. Following Rush’s victory, Tozawa made his way to the ring ready for a fight. However, The Man of the Hour quickly left as The Stamina Monster entered the ring. Rush waved off his rival and made his way back to the locker room.

My Take: This was a short bout that favored the bigger star in Rush. Rush has done well for himself on 205, coming across as a big deal in a time where so many wrestlers seem to have his same appeal. Rush has been handled well by Triple H, it seems, although I don’t see Rush getting a chance outside of the cruiserweight division, barring any major developments in Rush’s run in the company. Over-all, this was a fun little jaunt down the trail. I sound like a Boy Scout in that last sentence… not the kind that take kids off into the woods and ruin their child-hood, the kind that are Melvin-dink, twit-wad morons. Well, that got away from me. I need a delete button, already.

Match #3: Main Event – Cedric Alexander def. The Brian Kendrick

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Setting out to prove his is indeed a fighting champion despite Drew Gulak’s assertions to the contrary, Alexander faced the daunting challenge of former Cruiserweight Champion and veteran The Brian Kendrick. Hoping to send a message by defeating Gulak’s ally, Alexander was fully aware that Kendrick is a relentless and dangerous technician and must that he must be wary of suffering any damage with only weeks until SummerSlam. The Soul of WWE 205 Live refused to back down early in the match, breaking free of Kendrick’s advances and holds by using his own unique skillset of speed and power. The WWE Cruiserweight Champion remained focused and maintained a dominant advantage against his opponent, much to the delight of the WWE Universe. However, as Alexander’s momentum reached its peak, Drew Gulak made his way to the ring. The distraction allowed Kendrick to roll to the outside and under the ring apron.

As Alexander went to retrieve The Man With a Plan, Kendrick pulled him into ringside before tossing him into the steel steps. As Gulak joined the commentary team, Kendrick began to unleash his rage on the champion. Combining his technical ability with hard-hitting strikes, Kendrick left Alexander reeling and on defense. As they exchanged blows in the center of the ring, The Soul of WWE 205 Live began to regain his composure, hitting Sliced Bread No. 2 and flattening his opponent on the outside. Showing the resilience that helped earn him the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Alexander continued to strike, scoring several near-falls as Gulak grew increasingly frustrated. Desperate to regain control, Kendrick pulled the champion out of the ring before masterfully applying the Captain’s Hook as Alexander reentered.

Refusing to give up, Alexander barely made it to the ropes to break the hold. Frustrated, Kendrick attempted his signature maneuver a second time but was countered, bringing the battle back to a stalemate. Kendrick and Alexander continued to exchanged strikes and counters, and The Man With a Plan hit a near-perfect superkick. With Kendrick attempting to capitalize and again execute Sliced Bread No. 2, Alexander countered and nailed his opponent with the Lumbar Check for the win.

As Alexander celebrated in the ring, Gulak confronted the champion. This allowed Gulak’s other ally, Gentleman Jack Gallagher, to level Alexander. As Gulak, Gallagher and Kendrick prepared to attack Alexander, WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick charged into the ring, forcing the aggressors to retreat or else Gulak would lose his SummerSlam opportunity.

My Take: This was an excellent main event that gave both men a chance at showing some depth to their wrestling abilities. Kendrick has always suffered from being able to display the full range of his skills when he has worked for the WWE in the past. As one of wrestling’s most unique performers, Kendrick has always flown under Vince’s radar, even when he was one of the WWE’s champions. It was nice to see Kendrick get to look more confident than he normally is booked to be. Alexander is coming along as a champion, with his personality becoming his secret weapon. I liked the break from the kinetic style that has become prominent in cruiserweight wrestling, mainly the X-Division style, with the methodical, psychological approach giving way to more suspense this time. This is an excellent match for any-one that likes to savor what they’re seeing.

News of the Night:

  1. The Lio Rush/Akira Tozawa feud continued with Rush telling Tozawa he doesn’t need to fight him again.

Final Verdict: This was an excellent episode of 205 Live that had lots of exciting action and a good atmosphere. The cruiserweight division feels like it has some purpose again.
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Thank you for reading and I’ll see you for NXT.

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