26th Jul2018

‘WWE 205 Live’ Review (July 24th 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 some excellent action to cover, so let’s do so.

Match #1: Akira Tozawa def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Following his narrow defeat to Lio Rush last week on WWE 205 Live, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa looked to get back on the winning track against Gentleman Jack Gallagher. The British Superstar was looking to take a page out of Drew Gulak’s playbook and prove himself worthy of a WWE Cruiserweight Championship opportunity. As the match got underway with WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick joining the commentary team, Gallagher and Tozawa locked up, and their styles immediately clashed. The brutal and effective technical abilities of Gallagher were on display just as Tozawa used his quick and hard-hitting offense to counter his opponent. Gaining an advantage, Tozawa charged forward, ready to slide into Gallagher on the outside, but the British grappler wisely used the ring apron to turn the tide and take control.

With the bout in his favor, Gallagher began targeting his opponent’s left hand with relentless cruelty. However, The Stamina Monster channeled the energy of the WWE Universe to regain his composure and strike back, leveling Gallagher both inside and outside the ring. Unable to secure the win, Tozawa kept the pressure on, but Gallagher displayed his own resilience, fighting back and once again taking control. Tozawa countered a suplex and nearly executed his patented Senton, but Gallagher countered and continued to apply pressure to his opponent’s left hand, this time on the top rope. Unfortunately for Gallagher, Tozawa dropped him to the mat and nailed him with the Senton for the win.

My Take: This was a very good match that put two of the most unique wrestlers in the sport today in a position to do good work. Tozawa always comes across as some-one that could kick right through someone like Braun Strowman and that was evident here. Gallagher is what some would call a twat, at least as far as character details are concerned. Gallagher is a great heel and one that makes any-body that beats his ass look like a public hero. I always have a hard time figuring out who Vince wants as a face and a heel, but Gallagher came across as the heel to me, so that’s what I went with. As far as the fight itself was concerned, they had a pretty good pace going and a nice sense of symmetry between who did what to whom and when it needed to happen. Over-all, this was a good match that got the night off right.

Match #2: Kalisto & Lince Dorado def. Ryan DePolo & Chris Robinson

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

With Tony Nese unable to compete on WWE 205 Live and fulfill his challenge to Kalisto, the former United States Champion teamed up with his Lucha brother to battle Ryan DePolo & Chris Robinson. The battle began with Lince Dorado channeling the WWE Universe for the energy to forge an impressive offense. The Golden Lynx and Kalisto displayed their uncanny speed and teamwork, leaving their opponents on defense for the entire battle. With momentum in his team’s favor, Lince Dorado flattened Robinson on the outside of the ring – while making a tag to Kalisto – allowing the Lucha Dragon to execute Salida del Sol on DePolo for the win.

My Take: This was a nice little exhibition of what Lince and Kalisto can do. As good as Lince has been in his career, Kalisto has always been a few marks ahead of most and has been a a duplicate of Rey Mysterio since coming to the WWE. This was a lot of fun.

Match #3: Main Event – Drew Gulak def. Mustafa Ali, TJP and Hideo Itami

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

TJP, Hideo Itami, Mustafa Ali and Drew Gulak each made a strong case for a WWE Cruiserweight Championship opportunity against Cedric Alexander. As the match got underway, Gulak and Itami attacked Ali as TJP waited in the corner. Annoyed, Gulak and Itami allowed TJP to advance, but Ali was ready and managed to take control of the bout. As Ali attempted to pin Gulak, Itami struck and gained the edge with his hard-hitting style. Ali was at a disadvantage as Gulak, Itami and TJP appeared to be on the same page against The Heart of WWE 205 Live. Despite the numbers working against him, Ali did his best to counter double-team attacks from TJP and Itami before being leveled by his longtime rival, Gulak.

With Ali on defense, Gulak unleashed his technical ability, keeping Ali grounded. However, Gulak and Itami grew frustrated with TJP as he continued to break up pinfalls. Conspiring against Ali, the three came up with a strategy to take down their opponent until The Fil-Am Flash rolled up Gulak following a suplex. With the alliance crumbling, Ali launched himself off the top rope and took down his opponents. Ali’s momentum was stopped as TJP applied a submission hold on Ali and then Itami, clearly at an advantage before Gulak entered the fray and applied a brutal hold and a series of near-falls on The Cruisergreat. TJP and Gulak engaged in a stalemate that received an ovation from the WWE Universe before Itami took them both down.

Itami and TJP again forged an alliance, but it was short-lived, as The Heart of WWE 205 Live threw Itami into TJP in the corner, then took down Gulak by executing a hurricanrana on TJP into Gulak. Displaying his resilience and fortitude, Ali took down all three of his opponents in quick succession and nearly scored a pinfall on Gulak. After Itami saved the match, all four Superstars were slow to recover and engaged in a sequence of blow after blow that again left them all down and out on the mat. The first to recover, Ali attempted to take out TJP, but the two countered each other until crashing into one another and were again left reeling.

This left Gulak and Itami facing off in the center of the ring exchanging slaps, strikes and kicks that ended with The Philadelphia Stretcher executing a suplex. However, Itami struck back with a Falcon Arrow and both Superstars again traded strikes in the center of the ring. Rolling to the outside, they continued to brawl with hard-hitting haymakers, and TJP and Ali threw down in the ring. With The Cruisergreat preparing to take out Ali, Gulak and Itami pulled him down before being flattened by Ali.

Ali nearly secured victory following the 054, but Itami pulled him away, slamming him into the steel steps. Itami continued his brutal assault, kicking Ali into the steps and throwing him face-first into the ring post. With Ali knocked out, Itami rolled him back into the ring but was blindsided by Gulak. Wasting little time, Gulak applied the Dragon Sleeper to an unconscious Ali for the victory, earning the right to challenge Cedric Alexander for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

My Take: This is one of the best WWE matches of the week. It’s a shame that a match like this doesn’t get promoted on RAW. Besides the gauntlet match from earlier this year, RAW has been lacking a variety of quality matches, rather than just Roman Reigns having a good opponent or Seth Rollins having another good night. The fact that the cruiserweights weren’t allowed to do have great matches when they were on RAW is a sign that Triple H did the right thing when he fought to have the division sequestered to 205 Live. Over-all, this was an excellent main event and one that will assuredly make the top 5 list, later this week.

Final Verdict: This was a fine night of fights that had a strong main event that gave a worthy name a chance to compete for the title.

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