By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live
Aired Live in Tampa, Florida at the Amalie Arena
The intro teaser focused on last week’s number one contender fatal four way match which Drew Gulak won. The 205 Live intro theme aired…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. The commentators mentioned a contract signing that happened “earlier today” between Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak which would lead to this week’s Alexander vs. Brian Kendrick match somehow. Percy Watson also noted that 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick has confirmed that Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak for the Cruiserweight Championship will now occur at SummerSlam. Kalisto made his entrance alone to have the match that was scheduled to happen last week. Vic Joseph reminded viewers that Nese set this match up to occur with neither person having their usual tag partners with them. Joseph also noted that Gran Metalik was still settling his Visa in Mexico while Lince Dorado had a ruptured thumb ligament…
1. Kalisto vs. Tony Nese. McGuinness’s heeling on Lucha House Party got so out of control that Vic Joseph called him out at one point. Nese dominated the collar and elbow with sheer power. Kalisto escaped and hit some strikes on Nese. Nese ran though Kalisto with a running axe handle. Buddy Murphy was shown watching form the back. Nese worked on Kalisto for a sequence. Nese caught a flying Kalisto and kneed Kalisto’s gut while also hitting him with kicks from the Tree of Woe. After being worked on a bit, Kalisto managed to nail Nese with a flying crossbody.
Kalisto hit Nese with the Listo Kick. Nese blocked the Frankendriver and hit Kalisto with a gutbuster to get a nearfall on Kalisto. Kalisto went for a rollup attempt. Nese hit a reverse chop block. Nese tweaked his knee on a reverse Triangle Moonsault. Kalisto took advantage of this by hitting Nese with a Frankendriver. Kalisto did his lucha thing and went for the SDS. Nese reversed into a deadlift buckle bomb to lead to a nearfall. Kalisto pulled out a Selida Del Sol out of nowhere for the win.
Kalisto defeated Tony Nese via pinfall in 7:28.
Nigel McGuinness noted that Nese tweaking the knee was the turning point. Nigel also gave Kalisto credit for having a versatile finisher that he can hit on anyone at anytime. Buddy Murphy blocked Kalisto from going up the ramp. Murphy was about to press slam Kalisto but Lince Dorado ran out for the save. Dorado and Kalisto gave Murphy a superkick and then retreated up the ramp.
John’s Thoughts: A good match with a surprising finish in my opinion. I thought they were going to give Nese the clean win here but he continues to lose a majority of his matches. Kalisto has been losing a lot so I could see putting him over and Nese’s matches mean more these days between the bells because of his revamped wrestling style after the 205 Reboot. His lack of character reboot still has Nese defined as “enhancement guy Tony Nese” so hopefully this loss leads to that anticipated character shift for him. Seeing is believing on that one though.
Vic Joseph sent it over the the Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak contract signing. Drake Maverick was proud to have 205 Live represented on Summerslam. Drew Gulak was asked to sign first. Drew was about to cut a promo but Cedric cut him off saying that he has no time for PowerPoints and talking. Cedric signed and asked Drew to just sign. Drew said he only wanted to congratulate Cedric for being undefeated in 2018 even though there’s an asterisk. Drew asked Cedric what Cedric has done since WrestleMania. Drew said while Cedric wasn’t having title matches, Drew was being a workhorse on 205 Live with the other workhorses. Drew accused Cedric of letting his competitors get tired while he takes all the glory. Drew Gulak said Brian Kendrick is a fighting champion with a legacy. Drew said that Cedric Alexander will be known as “The Brock Lesnar of 205 Live”. Drew signed the contract. Cedric Alexander told Drew Gulak to watch this episode for 205 Live since Brian Kendrick is in for a world of hurt…
John’s Thoughts: Great heel logic by Drew Gulak and I liked the promo. What I didn’t like is this notion WWE is trying to put out there that the Champions have to wrestle TV or Tag Team matches on a weekly basis. Champions fight their way to the top for a reason and deserve to have contenders fight their way up the mountain. NXT does a great job with their champions by not having them wrestle every week. Gulak is right though in that Cedric defends his title every several months or so so there’s that but I personally like the approach of building up to big matches that deliver.
Lio Rush strolled to the ring in his ring gear and holding a mic. Lio Rush said people are irritated that he didn’t give Akira Tozawa a rematch. Rush said that it’s time to be honest and know that Rush is a hot comoddity. Rush said everybody wants a piece of the man of the hour. Rush said he was in fact tempted in giving the former Cruiserweight Champion a rematch but it wouldn’t be fair because he found someone way more qualified for a match against the 23 year old piece of gold. A presumed enhancement wrestler was already in the ring. He looked well built but was shorter than the short Lio Rush (at least shorter than Rush with his hair). Rush said the guy is what the people call “The Real Deal” and he’s heard impressive things about this guy.
2. Lio Rush vs. Ricky Martinez. Martinez dodged Rush’s opening onslaught and hit Rush with a kick. Rush quickly did his matrix stuff to catch Martinez with rapid kicks. Rush hit Martinez with a quick Suicide Dive. Watson wondered if that was a message to Tozawa. Rush caught Martinez with a enzuigiri and then hit the Final Hour on Martinez for the win.
Lio Rush defeated Ricky Martinez via pinfall in 1:11.
Replays aired of the height of the Final Hour Frog Splash. Akira Tozawa’s entrance theme interrupted Rush’s theme. Tozawa marched to the ring and put on his mouth guard. Rush flashed his smirk at Tozawa. Rush retreated after Tozawa entered the ring. Rush shruged off Tozawa and retreated up the ramp with confidence…
The Brian Kendrick was shown in the locker room being coached by Drew Gulak. Cedric Alexander was doing resistance band traininga in a different area of the backstage… [C]
John’s Thoughts: This was the usual enhancement match in the middle of the show. I liked that WWE has found a way to extend the Lio Rush vs. Akira Tozawa feud despite having the rushed blowoff a few weeks ago. You had to think they had more planned but you never know sometimes with this company. Rush continues to shine bright on the mic. His odd promo cadence combines arrogance with annoying which is good at drawing heat. It was also good to see Tozawa walk to the ring more focused and not pandering to the crowd which is what I criticized him of not doing after the Hideo Itami feud.
Cedric Alexander wore his Black Panther themed gear this week…
3. Cedric Alexander vs. Brian Kendrick in a non-title match. Kendrick stayed close to the ropes to keep Alexander at bay early on. Alexander grounded Kendrick and then locked in an ankle lock. Alexander dominated the chain wrestling sequence with Kendrick slipping out. Alexander turned a test of strength into a wristlock with a ground roll. Kendrick hit Alexander with a shoulder block. Alexander responded with an armdrag. Kendrick shoved Alexander which Alexander returned and caused Kendrick to fall on his backside. Kendrick tried to show aggression but Alexander’s strikes ended that little rally.
Cedric Alexander continued to dominate Brian Kendrick. Drew Gulak walked out to draw a bit of Alexander’s attention. Brian Kendrick hid under the ring and yanked Alexander into the apron from teh prone position. Kendrick whipped Alexander into the steel steps. It was Kendrick’s turn to dominate. Drew Gulak joined the commentary table. Gulak reminded the commentary table that Cedric Alexander himself invited Gulak to watch the match according to what they saw during the contract signing. Kendrick tripped Alexander off the top rope. Alexander blocked Sliced Bread #2 by tossing Kendrick outside of the ring. Alexander hit Kendrick with a Tope Con Hilo.
Kendrick dodged Alexander’s signature slingshot lariat. Alexander regained control and hit Kendrick in the back of the head with a step up enzuigiri. Alexander hit the slingshot lariat for a nearfall. Kendrick held on to the second rope to block the Lumbar Check. Kendrick got a rollup but Alexander kicked out and hit the back elbow. Alexander hit the Neuralizer Kick on Kendrick. Kendrick retreated to the ropes. Kendrick blocked Alexander’s springboard Paydirt into the Captain’s Hook. Alexander surprised Kendrick with a quick Michinoku Driver for a nearfall.
Alexander hit Kendrick with a series of uppercuts. Kendrick rolled up Alexander for a nearfall. Kendrick hit a superkick on Alexander. Cedric Alexander reversed the Sliced Bread into the Lumbar Check for the win.
Cedric Alexander defeated Brian Kendrick via pinfall in 12:20.
Replays of the ending sequence aired. Drew Gulak walked up to the ring apron to jaw with Alexander a bit. Jack Gallagher came from behind and gave Alexander a headbutt. Gulak took off his suit jacket and stood tall over Alexander with a fighting pose. Drake Maverick and the referee brigade ran out to get between Gulak and Alexander. Drake Maverick could be heard saying that Drew Gulak will relinquish his title shot if he puts his hands on Cedric Alexander. Drew Gulak retreated and Gulak’s theme played.
John’s Thoughts: Sad to say, I had low expectations for this match. Thankfully, Alexander continues to deliver in any match he’s involved in and Kendrick had one of his better matches in recent memory. There is something missing from him though and he hasn’t returned to the form that he was wrestling in during the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. There’s still a bit too much rest periods in his offensive strings, and not the resting that comes off as heel stalling. Speaking of reboots, I wouldn’t mind seeing Kendrick get a veteran’s babyface run to see how he can do. A good win for Cedric and I hope this doesn’t lead to him wrestling in tag matches against Kendrick and Gallagher down the road. What is obvious is that next week we’re probably getting Alexander vs. Gallagher. 205 Live needs to expand their roster a bit and they do have a few guys like Raul Mendoza in the Performance Center who I wouldn’t mind seeing called up. Just don’t call up Ricochet for 205 Live. Ricochet is main roster destined.