By John Moore
205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live from Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
205 Live started off with the Raw Cruiserweight recap package of the prior night’s Raw. The replay ended with highlights from the Goldust and Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari and Drew Gulak match. The 205 Live intro aired. Hideo Itami was added to the intro video…
Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary as Joseph said his contractually obligated line of calling this boring show “The most exciting hour in television”. Nigel hyped up Hideo Itami vs. Jack Gallagher. Joseph advertised Goldust and Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari in a rematch from Raw. Akira Tozawa made his entrance as Vic Joseph told the viewers that Tozawa would be facing a mystery opponent. Tozawa’s opponent was the returning TJP[erkins] who was returning from injury…
John’s Thoughts: Nice surprise return, but I’m more disappointed than excited. TJ does gain a bit of credibility for just being gone a long time but I feel that he would be a much better addition to the NXT, Raw, or Smackdown rosters. I also feel bad that the guy goes from being wasted talent in the TNA X Division to being squandered in 205 Hell.
1. Akira Tozawa vs. TJP. Perkins pressured Tozawa into the corner. Tozawa tried to fight back but Perkins made the rope break. Tozawa gained an advantage for a sequence. Nigel mentioned that Perkins wrestled Shinsuke Nakamura last year (that’s true, in NXT, and I consider TJ Perkins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura as Nakamura’s best television match of 2017). Tozawa hit a feint right hand punch on Perkins. Tozawa also hit “ah” kicks on Perkins. Tozawa hit his signature kick and senton. Tozawa went for a tope but Perkins caught Tozawa with an enziguri.
Perkins focused on Tozawa’s injured shoulder. Nigel said that Perkins trained in the New Japan Santa Monica, CA dojo with Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Samoa Joe. Perkins hit Tozawa with a body slam and slingshot senton bomb. Tozawa fought out of an armbar but Perkins slammed Tozawa to the ground. Perkins hit Tozawa with the Pentagon Jr. arm breaker. The crowd chanted either “we want tables” or “we want gable” I couldn’t tell. Perkins hit a hammerlock suplex on Tozawa. Perkins used hammerlock variations to focus on the injured shoulder of Tozawa.
Tozawa hulked up with his “ah” chants. Perkins grounded Tozawa with a flying clothesline. Tozawa escaped a hammerlock suplex and hit Perkins with a big boot. Nigel noted that Tozawa fell on his bad shoulder and probably aggravated it. After a striking exchange, Tozawa hit Perkins with a Saito Suplex. Tozawa set up and hit Perkins with his signature suicide dive. Tozawa got a two count and Nigel pointed out Tozawa’s selling of his shoulder. Perkins went for a Bennadryller but Tozawa counted with a hurricane kick. Perkins rolled to the apron to avoid Tozawa’s signature senton. Perkins thumbed Tozawa’s eye and slammed his head on the LED ringpost. Perkins hit the detonation kick for the win.
TJ Perkins defeated Akira Tozawa via pinfall in 9:56.
Perkins pointed up the ramp. Nigel went to the recap and focused on the suicide dive. Joseph reiterated Nigel’s point of Tozawa aggravating the shoulder injury from the suicide dive. TJ did a dab after his match.
John’s Thoughts: This was one of the matches on 205 Live that I thought did a good job protecting both men. It’s not like NXT where they get the loser over, but I don’t feel Tozawa is too damaged from the loss despite him picking up a few recently. It’s good to see a heel pick up a credible win for once. As for Perkins, it’s still wait-and-see as far as character is concerned for him. He is a top tier in-ring talent. I think he should be a playful babyface but for some reason he always channeled Former Laker Swaggy P Nick Young. The best character work I’ve seen from him is being playful in this one skit he did with TNA’s Mahabali Shera back in the day.
Cut to a backstage skit with Cedric Alexander and Goldust. Goldust talked about their tag team match. Cedric called Goldust a legend and fanboyed over him. Cedric joked about Goldust weighing more than 205 pounds. Goldust said with a nip and tuck he can become a slim Goldust. Goldust called Cedric a rising star and said he was here to help Cedric on a quest for gold. Goldust compared their team to a handful of duos from cinema. He mentioned Turner and Hooch. Cedric said Hooch was a dog. Goldust responded by saying that Cedric was his “Dawg”… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Let’s ignore that Dustin isn’t a cruiserweight because this show actually needs as many stars and new faces as it can get. I’m just disappointed that we never got to see the realization of the throwback Goldust gimmick that Dustin started in his feud with Ron Killings. Now he’s back to wacky Goldust from his comedy days with Booker T.
Jack Gallagher made his entrance for his upcoming match with Hideo Itami. Joseph and McGuinness went over the twitter exchanges that set up this match. Gallagher told the production crew to replay the GTS that injured Kendrick. Joseph said that Brian Kendrick is sidelined for two months. Gallagher said that Kendrick got a broken nose on Christmas. Gallagher said it may be irreparable damage. Kendrick asked the crowd to replay the GTS in slow motion.
John’s Thoughts: Well, that does a good job building up how devastating the GTS is. Similar to how New Japan did the same with AJ Styles’s move that injured people in real life. I do hope that Hideo does figure out a way not to hurt people with that move. I don’t think CM Punk injured anybody with Hideo’s move, did he?
Gallagher said he’s inspired by that footage to make Hideo Itami suffer. Hideo Itami came out next. Nigel McGuinness said that Itami has inspired the movesets of Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins (no mention of CM Punk for obvious reasons). Gallagher tried to hit Itami with the umbrella before the match but Itami managed to dodge the moves. Itami hit a few of his signature strikes on Itami. Gallagher managed to run over Itami with the help of his umbrella. Joseph noticed that a steel pipe flew out of the umbrella (that’s something we don’t see used in WWE often these days). Gallagher hit Itami several times in the back with the pipe. The referee brigade ran in to run off Gallagher and check on Itami.
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes interviewed Zo Train members Ariya Daivari and Drew Gulak. Daivari said he demanded the match since they weren’t ready for non-cruiserweight Goldust. Gulak agreed. Daivari said he meant only 205 roster members when he issued the challenge. Gulak said he was going to dedicate the victory to his personal best friend. Goldust walked up behind Gulak and said “Goldust” while doing his signature bite. Gulak responded by doing a dorky version of Goldust’s bite. Goldust responded in his comedy voice by saying that Gulak’s breath stinks.
John’s Thoughts: That was some of the best work we’ve seen from Gallagher since the heel turn. He’s still damaged though due to him being Kendrick’s fall guy in most cases while they gave Kendrick the wins. It also seems a bit bass ackwards they way that WWE had Itami easily defeat Gallagher last week and this was the week they do the heat angle. Weird. Let’s see where they go. I still have now hope and think that Itami just steamrolls Gallagher like any other heel on this show. I still would rather have Itami pick up where he left off on NXT as a credible heel.
The teams made their entrance. Joseph said this was the first time a non-cruiserweight has wrestled on 205 Live. Goldust wore his modern Goldust gear on this episode as opposed to the throwback gear from Raw.
John’s Thoughts: Thinking this through, on one hand I see that Goldust adds star power to the show. On the other, having a non-cruiserweight on this show may just brand this show as WWE Superstars, the WWE D-Grade show that this replaced.
2. Goldust and Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari and Drew Gulak. Cedric and Ariya started off the match. The match started off with chain wrestling. Cedric hit a few of his signature starting moves. Alexander locked Daivari in an armbar and called for a Goldust tag. The crowd chanted “we want Goldust”. Goldust tagged in and dominated Drew Gulak after Gulak tagged in. Goldust hit his signature offense on Gulak. Daivari tagged in and called Goldust a freak. Goldust had an impressive running sequence with Daivari and then started a comedy sequence with him acting winded.
Daivari was angered and pressured Goldust in his corner. Gulak tagged in and locked Goldust in a hammerlock. Goldust tried to escape but Daivari and Gulak traded keep tags to maintain the advantage. Alexander tagged in and had a bit of a run but Gulak managed to start an isolation sequence on him. The 205 Live live event crawler appeared on the screen to hype up the live tour. Alexander gained breathing room with a jawbreaker. Alexander caught Daivari with a handspring roundhouse. Alexander tagged in Goldust for the hot tag. Goldust hit his signature power slams on both opponents and built up going on the top rope. Instead Goldust went for his signature kneel punch.
Daivari prevented Goldust from hitting Gulak with the Final Cut. Alexander tagged in and took down Daivari. Goldust teased a plancha but instead helped Alexander hit a tope con hilo on the opponents. Alexander hit Gulak with a Lumbar Check for the win.
Goldust and Cedric Alexander defeated Ariya Daivari and Drew Gulak via pinfall in 11:54.
Alexander and Goldust celebrated to close the show…
John’s Thoughts: This was an interesting match in that just like Raw, Goldust overshadowed everyone else in it including his tag team partner. That’s a good thing for crowd interest but we’ll see where it goes from here on out and if having a heavyweight wrestle on 205 was just a one-off or if it’s going to be a regular thing.
This was a better episode of 205 Live by the low standards of this show. You still can miss it and miss nothing since ultimately, they are just spinning their wheels in their main event picture until Enzo Amore is healthy. I heard reports earlier that Rockstar Spud was backstage again and I’m a bit happy that they aren’t putting him on this crappy show right now. Hopefully they save him for when the show is less crappy because Rockstar Spud has a main event level skillset despite the guy looking like a regular teenager. I’ll have more thoughts on this show in my member exclusive audio review.