By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Taped October 2, 2018 in Portland, Oregon at Moda Center
205 Live started off immediately with focus on the Cruiserweight title match at WWE Super Show-Down. Like last week, I liked Drake Maverick’s involvement and the idea of looking at how Alexander and Murphy are preparing is a cool one. 205 definitely has an advantage over some other shows due to the relatively lower number of Superstars and the shorter format, but it’s good that they take advantage of it. The show started right away with Akira Tozawa and Jack Gallagher coming out for their match. Gallagher was of course accompanied by Drew Gulak and The Brian Kendrick.
1. Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher. Tozawa started off by bringing attention to his screaming gimmick, getting the crowd to rally behind him and startling Gallagher with a yell in his face. They then exchanged leg locks, with Gallagher immediately getting the better of Tozawa. They went back and forth with pinning combinations and Tozawa hit a strong kick and a senton to gain some momentum.
Gallagher took some time outside the ring and as Tozawa was preparing for a Tope, Kendrick and Gulak tripped Tozawa and allowed Gallagher to regain control. Tozawa attempted to rally, but Gallagher utilized simple strikes and locks to keep Tozawa at a lethargic pace. Gallagher got caught however when transitioning from a front facelock to a running strike. Tozawa hit a Frankensteiner and a series of enzuigiris to force Gallagher to the outside, where Tozawa followed him with a Suicide Dive, and a quick Missile Dropkick to follow up on Gallagher’s hip.
Tozawa then tried to grapple and managed to lock in a Christo submission lock, although Gallagher reversed it into a swinging Sidewalk Slam and and hooked in a Boston Crab. Gallagher then attempted a Superplex but Tozawa reversed into an impressive looking X-Plex from the top rope and followed up with a massive Senton Bomb to get the win by pinfall…
Akira Tozawa defeated Jack Gallagher.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very simple and classic opening match. Tozawa and Gallagher didn’t do anything amazing but told a fun story and had a couple of fun spots in between. The X-Plex off the top was especially gnarly looking and not something that I’ve seen that often. I think both men looked good regardless, and Gallagher didn’t look weak, getting in some good offense and only being put down after a series of painful looking moves.
After the match, Gulak decided to pull up another PowerPoint presentation and hinted that in their team there is no more place for weak links. While I originally though this was going to be the place for Gulak and Kendrick to turn on Gallagher who just lost, instead Kendrick was the one identified as the weak link…
Anish’s Thoughts: This was very unexpected for me, because I don’t know where Kendrick will go from here unless he turns face. I did like that Kendrick realized what was coming and took it to his two former partners before the numbers advantage took him down. Either way, they could go with a Kendrick face turn next week, or he might instead take some time off and come back later on…
We then saw another promo for the championship match between Cedric Alexander and Jack Gallagher. Maverick continued to be a welcome presence in these vignettes and Murphy and Alexander each said their piece, in previously seen interviews as well as a new one by Alexander in his back garden training.
Anish’s Thoughts: A short promo that continued the good work done by 205 Live in making this match seem important. I am definitely looking forward to this match in Melbourne.
We then had a short backstage interview with GM Drake Maverick, who announced Ali and Itami will face off soon in a “match that nobody wants to miss.” There was also a graphic announcing that Lio Rush will have an open challenge next week…
2. TJP vs. Kalisto. Kalisto and TJP started off with a battle of wrist locks and trips with both men struggling to escape monkey flips and pinning attempts. Kalisto especially flipped out of the wrist lock and landed in a flashy manner on his feet. Kalisto got first blood with a handspring Head Scissors takedown into a sweep and an armbar. TJP attempted to swipe at Kalisto’s legs but was met with a few entertaining flips and a throw to the outside and a faux dive from Kalisto.
TJP broke the momentum with a basement dropkick to Kalisto as he was doing a handstand. TJP then locked in a leg lock and ripped the tail off Kalisto’s mask and stomped his head into the mat. TJP continued to grind Kalisto down with submissions as Kalisto tried to rally and kept him down by scouting a springboard move by Kalisto and catching him with a springboard Russian Leg Sweep. TJP started targeting the lower back, taking his time as well.
The commentators kept teasing that TJP could use a submission to force Kalisto to tap anytime. TJP kept taunting the crowd, garnering a fair amount of boos before missing a rolling Senton attempt. This allowed Kalisto to rally and hit a seated Senton, followed by the Springboard Mexico City Twister. Kalisto attempted to follow up with a top rope maneuver, but TJP caught him and threw him off the top with a Goriconoclasm but didn’t get the pin.
TJP then went to the top again, but was again foiled and was hit by a top rope Victory Bomb by Kalisto and just managed to kick out at two. As Kalisto looked to continue his offense, he was caught in a kneebar by TJP and after a fair amount of struggle and a nice near fall, got to the bottom rope. TJP then tried to take the mask off Kalisto, prompting Lince Dorado to rush the ring and distract TJP, leading in Kalisto rolling him up for the three count.
Kalisto defeated TJP.
After the match, TJP attacked Kalisto and took off his mask, prompting even more boos from the crowd and for the rest of Lucha House Party to rush the ring to Kalisto, aiding him and covering up his face. The show ended with TJP retreating into the crowd holding Kalisto’s mask…
Anish’s Thoughts: The match was good, yet nothing spectacular. It was interesting to see that TJP was an effective heel and was booed quite a bit by the crowd, which is definitely a benefit of being taped before Smackdown. TJP and Kalisto had some sick looking spots in there, and I was rather surprised by how much the crowd were into a match. Good on both men for getting the most out of a simple storyline.
Overall, this was a sound episode of 205 not really Live, and again I say that not being live definitely helped them out. I would have liked a little more buildup to Alexander vs. Murphy, but regardless I am still looking forward to their title match on Saturday. The stories built by Kendrick’s elimination from the heel faction, and TJP walking away with Kalisto’s mask to a rather large amount of boos gave me the idea that WWE may have run into something in both scenarios. I’ll be interested to see how they double down on the TJP storyline, and how they justify Kendrick being booted out.