17th Aug2018

‘WWE 205 Live’ Review (August 14th 2018)

by Nathan Favel

205-live-header

Welcome to the 205 Live review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have lots of cruiserweight action to get to before Summerslam arrives this Sunday. I apologize for this coming a bit late, but a hectic schedule prevented me from writing anything the past few days. Everything is back to normal and should stay that way now. Wait a minute… it’s The Yetaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy! That’s a WCW joke. WCW did the cruiserweight division first and best, so that reference has some merit… no, it doesn’t.

Match #1: Lio Rush def. Akira Tozawa

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

In their first match, Lio Rush narrowly escaped with a victory against former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa. Despite the loss, The Stamina Monster wanted a second opportunity to silence The Man of the Hour. After reluctance from Rush, WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick made the match. Before the bout got underway, Rush addressed the WWE Universe, disparaging their hometown but explaining that they had the privilege of watching the 23-year-old Piece of Gold in action. The Man of the Hour then explained that Tozawa is going to face the best Cruiserweight in the world once again. Brimming with confidence, Rush awaited Tozawa, who approached the ring ready for a fight.

As the match began, Tozawa charged forward, not allowing Rush to remove his jewelry. As The Man of the Hour attempted to escape, The Stamina Monster remained relentless. Attempting to use his bracelet as a distraction, Rush was again taken down before trying to make his way back to the locker room. Tozawa gave chase and tossed his opponent back into the ring. Although Rush enjoyed a brief reprieve, the Japanese Superstar remained in control of the contest. Desperate to get back on track, Rush pushed Tozawa into the ring post and quickly unleashed his technical arsenal.

With the WWE Universe behind him, Tozawa recovered and once again mounted a striking offense before The Man of the Hour stopped him by countering a standing senton. Once again, Rush applied his technical prowess, but he soon found himself overwhelmed, culminating in a dive to the outside and a devastating submission hold that nearly secured the victory for Tozawa. Rush broke free and turned up the speed, hitting Tozawa with an impactful kick. The Man of the Hour’s frustration grew, and as he tried to execute the Final Hour, Tozawa struck back, and the two Superstars battled on the top rope with Rush avoiding a superplex. Rush wisely knocked his opponent’s legs out from under him, sending Tozawa crashing to the mat. Wasting no time, Rush hit his patented Final Hour for the victory.

My Take: This was an excellent opening match that provided a worthy climax to what may be the first level of their feud. These two are one of the better pairings you could ask for in wrestling right now and these two really delivered a great fight that proved that sentiment. It’s amazing to consider the fact that both Tozawa and Rush are not having this match on RAW or Smackdown, or even Pay Per View. The cruiserweight division may be a dead end for most in the WWE, but it can serve as a way of creating a certain amount of momentum in the largest wrestling league in the world, which can be very handy if you eventually leave for other promotions, which will likely happen with both of these men. You can expect action on the level of the most exciting cruiserweight bouts of World Championship Wrestling’s history from this match.

Match #2: Hideo Itami def. Trent Newman

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After decimating Mustafa Ali last week on WWE 205 Live, Hideo Itami looked to continue his path of domination. Before the match, WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick provided an update on Ali. Maverick revealed Ali has been suffering from severe exhaustion but is expected to make a full recovery. Maverick also explained that he will not allow The Heart of WWE 205 Live to compete until he feels Ali is ready. Ready for action and pleased with the destruction of Ali, Itami squared off against Trent Newman. As the opening bell rang, Itami taunted Newman before delivering a series of crushing strikes and methodically unleashing his anger on his opponent. As Itami demanded respect, Newman saw an opening to strike and managed to get in a few good hits before Itami recovered. Again unleashing his sadistic rage, Itami refused to score a pinfall and instead continued to punish his opponent. With Newman defenseless in the corner, Itami struck with a series of basement dropkicks that knocked his opponent out. As a result, the official was forced to call the match. However, as Newman got back to his feet, Itami attacked again and demanded respect from the WWE Universe.

My Take: Hideo was pushed as a relentless killer in this match. As squashes go, this was a good one.

Match #3: Main Event – Cedric Alexander def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander has not lost a match in 2018, but he’s facing one of his most daunting challenges in Drew Gulak at SummerSlam. The Soul of WWE 205 Live was poised to send Gulak a message against his ally, Gentleman Jack Gallagher. After Alexander defeated The Brian Kendrick two weeks ago, Gallagher attacked, allowing Gulak to send a message of his own to the champion. Alexander was certainly ready for action as the match began, but Gallagher danced around the champion and avoided him by ducking through the ropes. The British Superstar unleashed mind games to frustrate his opponent, but Alexander maintained his composure as the two Superstars traded counters and near-falls. Alexander quickly turned up the heat, striking with agility and strength to force Gallagher to the outside.

Targeting the back of Alexander’s neck, Gallagher advanced with precision strikes and excruciating technical holds. Firmly in control, Gallagher advanced with malicious intentions, and he continued to attack the back of Alexander’s neck. Gallagher displayed his incredible technical savvy, applying pressure and countering the champion with a perfectly executed neckbreaker. The strategy was clear as Gallagher twisted and pushed on Alexander’s neck – weaken him for Drew Gulak’s patented Gulock at SummerSlam. Despite the pain, the resilient champion took over, and Alexander fought back, executing two suplexes and delivering an elbow followed by a neutralizer to take control. Gallagher avoided a Lumbar Check by attacking his opponent’s neck.

Alexander was clearly in pain, and Gallagher continued to strike, finding innovative ways to attack the back of Alexander’s neck. Gallagher maintained the pressure and countered a Lumbar Check into an impressive guillotine hold. Refusing to tap out, Alexander overpowered Gallagher and dropped him with a Falcon Arrow. As both competitors rose to their feet, they exchanged counters with Gallagher nearly scoring a win following a running dropkick. Desperate to defeat the champion, Gallagher used every ounce of strength to deliver a doctor bomb to his larger opponent. Waiting for Alexander to get back to his feet, the British Superstar charged forward but was met with a Spanish Fly, allowing The Soul of WWE 205 Live to score the pinfall.

After the match, Alexander made his way to the locker room but was attacked by The Brian Kendrick. The Man with a Plan threw the champion back into the ring, but Alexander managed to fend off both Kendrick and Gallagher. However, this allowed Gulak to strike and apply his patented Gulock in the center of the ring before placing the Cruiserweight Championship on Alexander, sending a clear message that The Age of Alexander must end for a better WWE 205 Live.

My Take: This was a fabulous main event that did more to get me excited for Summerslam than any-thing on RAW or Smackdown. It’s a shame that Gulak and Alexander will not be on the main Summerslam card, because their match is more interesting than the likely climax of that card, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Alexander showed more here than he has in the past and is coming along as a champion each time he wrestles. Gallagher was a great person to give Alexander a shine before the PPV title match, as he knows precisely what he is doing in the ring and what effect it will have on his opponent. Both men came across as professionals in this bout and proved their worth in spades.

News Of The Night:

  1. Mustafa Ali has been put on temporary leave as a result of exhaustion. This can be a good angle, as long as it doesn’t go the way of Shawn Michaels “losing his smile”.

Final Verdict: It’s a shame that the cruiserweight division doesn’t matter in the WWE, because it may finally be the best thing in the WWE. Triple H may not be able to make NXT interesting every week, but 205 Live seems to have finally found its footing. The title match of Drew Gulak and Cedric Alexander may be relegated to the Summerslam Kickoff card, but it may prove to be the sleeper hit of the night.

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