I have watched 205 regularly since the shows inception, but I am going to start these recaps as if I were a first time viewer.
The show opens with 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick narrating a video package. This episode will be centered around the number one contender match for the Cruiserweight championship. Drake says there will be a Fatal 4-Way match to determine who will face champion Cedric Alexander at a later date. Maverick says that the wrestlers in the match were determined by their win/loss record and overall body of work. All four competitors are shown with career highlights and recent events. This is all in the first two minutes of the show and I am amazed at how easy it is to dive into this show while grasping the characters of the wrestlers. It’s not stated when said championship match will take place, but don’t bet on it being on a pay per view since not many people can even remember the last time the Cruiserweight championship was defended on a main roster show.
Akira Tozawa vs. Gentleman Jack Gallagher
Before the match starts, Drake Maverick is shown at the announce table along with the 205 commentary team of Vic Joseph (formerly of House of Hardcore fame), Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson who are the resident NXT commentators.
The story of the match is Jack trying to establish himself as a serious singles competitor while Tozawa is trying to find the spark that once lead him to being Cruiserweight champion. Jack uses his ring prowess to gain control early on by trapping Tozawa in the ring apron. The guys are working hard in this match but the crowd is pretty dead.
During the middle portion of the match, commentary are talking up the main event and why neither of these two qualified for the Fatal 4-Way. Jack works over Tozawas arm with a multitude of punishing moves, while Akira tries to overcome the odds with high flying maneuvers.
The end comes when Akria is on the top rope and is able to fight an attacking Gallagher off. Leading to a top rope senton for the win. All in all a very well wrestled basic match with not much story outside of the physical story the wrestlers told.
TJP is laying on a couch backstage being braggadocios about his abilities, calling himself the Cruisergreat and these other dudes Loserweights.
Hideo Itami cut a promo in half Japanese and half English saying he will win tonight.
Kalisto and Lince Dorado vs. Ryan Depolo and Chris Robinson
I recognized one of the enhancement talent as indie upstart Ace Austin, but didn’t recognize the other guy.
I really dug the Lucha House Party shirts that mirrored the In Your House font. Before the match started the LHP cut a backstage promo about how their speed can’t be matched and Gran Metalik not being with them because of visa issues. I wish I had more to say about the match but it was a basic squash match that had no consequence.
Gulak has a backstage promo talking about how he will tap people out.
Mustafa Ali puts over his opponents in his promo, sarcastically saying that it will be an easy night for him but that he will win with the 054.
Lio Rush is interviewed and is very condescending towards Akira and saying that Lio views that feud as over.
Mustafa Ali vs. TJP vs. Hideo Itami vs. Drew Gulak
I know that the WWE superstars have to pay for their own gear, so I can’t help but wonder how much Mustafa spent on his entrance gear.
Match starts with TJP watching the other three wrestle each other until it breaks down to the typical WWE multi-man match. One or two Superstars get thrown out of the ring or hit with a big move, leaving two in the ring to basically have a one on one match.
What’s nice is that when the match happens that way, we get a bunch of sequences where everyone can get their shit in and shine in a way where each has a believable chance at winning. There was a turning point in the match where Gulak talked TJP and Itami into all teaming up to take out Ali. Mustafa is at his best when he is fighting underneath, and that truly shows during a few spots. Ali’s flurry of offense ends with a big crossbody.
TJP shows off his move innovation skills when he gets Itami and Ali in an almost double abdominal stretch. Gulak gets a nice fish out of water spot going with TJP after the submission is broken up. All four Superstars give it their all and the match gets really chaotic before settling back to the “two on the floor, two in the ring” bit from earlier.
Itami and Gulak have a nice little spot where Gulak tells Itami “I respect you” while offering the olive branch in the guise of a handshake. Before the hands shook Gulak slapped Itami in the face.
The finish comes when Ali hits the 054 on TJP, Mustafa is then taken out when his head his kick into the steps by Itami. Bigger and bigger moves happen until Gulak senses his opportunity and locks the Gulock in for victory and a shot at the championship.
Great show that is only an hour long and full of action.