By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Taped December 19, 2018 in Fresno, California at The Save Mart Center
The show started with general manager Drake Maverick recapping the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match at TLC in which Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander to retain the title. Maverick then ran down the show for tonight, announcing that Lio Rush would be wrestling tonight but did not reveal his opponent. Maverick also hyped up the main event tag-team street fight featuring Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa taking on Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher… Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinnes, and Percy Watson were on commentary…
Hideo Itami and Ariya Daivari opened up the show, catching the announcers off guard, as if they were not scheduled to be out here. Daivari asked the crowd to show Itami the respect he deserves and for them to shut their mouths. Daivari said that he cannot sit idly by while the WWE Universe mistreats a legend like Itami. Daivari stated that Itami hasn’t gotten any real competition in two months and until Itami is respected, 205 Live is ‘cancelled.’ Maverick then came out and stated that Daivari and Itami would be suspended for their attempt at holding up 205 Live.
Noam Dar came out unannounced and asked Maverick to give him a match against Itami. Dar said that he wanted a challenge, so instead of suspending Itami and Daivari, he placed Itami in a match against Dar to open up tonight’s show…
1. Hideo Itami (w/Ariya Daivari) vs. Noam Dar. Itami started the match with an attempted kick, but Dar dodged and rammed Itami into the corner turnbuckles. Dar followed up with a dropkick and sent Itami to the outside and chased him into the ring, following up with his spinning Unprettier hold into a backslide. Itami built himself some space with a strike and draped Dar over the top rope, allowing him to catch the hanging Dar with a leg drop.
Itami slotted Dar with a series of kicks and a running knee while Dar struggled against the Japanese wrestler. Itami slowed the action down with a chin lock and paraded around the ring before hitting Dar with a snapmare and a pair of knee drops. Dar fought back with a kick to Itami, but could not keep the momentum as Itami kneed him to the mat and continued to grind Dar down with a chin lock. Itami then picked him up and attempted a running knee, but Dar dropped to the ground to dodge him. Itami then tried to regain control by heading to the top rope, but Dar knocked him off and then hit him with a corner clothesline and a northern lights suplex.
Only managing a two count, Dar set up Itami for a kick and after the two dodged each other’s strikes, Dar caught Itami up in the ropes and kicked his legs out from under him. From here, Dar attempted to head to the top rope, but Daivari distracted him and allowed Itami to follow up with a corner dropkick and his finishing knee to get the pinfall victory.
Hideo Itami defeated Noam Dar by pinfall.
Anish’s Thoughts: This match was very simple, and I think it did all three men a favor. Itami certainly looked strong and made Dar look like he is always ready for a fight. Dar only lost because Daivari distracted him, so the pairing of Itami and Daivari looks like an effective one. The match was not anything special, but it got the job done and keeps Itami’s momentum going. One criticism is that Itami’s finisher looks absolutely terrible. He’s been going back and forth on his finisher ever since debuting in WWE, and I do not understand why they don’t just let him use the Go To Sleep. This new ‘falling knee drop’ finisher looks like it’s a botch and certainly looks worse than his running knee, and the submission finisher’s that he has used in the past.
We then cut to a backstage segment in which Buddy Murphy was annoyed with general manager Drake Maverick. Murphy stated that he is annoyed that he is not being recognized as the single best cruiserweight in the world. Murphy said he challenges anyone on the roster to take his title, and as such, Maverick stated that he would make an announcement next week on who the next challenger for the title would be…
2. Lio Rush vs. a local wrestler. Rush cut a quick promo before the match, or at least started one before using the microphone to whack his opponent before the match started. The match ended quickly with Rush throwing his opponent in and out of the ring before hitting two Final Hour Frog Splashes to pin his opponent.
Lio Rush defeated a local wrestler by pinfall.
Anish’s Thoughts: WWE has certainly had more useless squash matches in the past, so I’m not complaining with this one. Rush looked cocky and confident and had no trouble at all in dispatching his opponent. It didn’t overstay it’s welcome, therefore I don’t have a real problem with it.
Cedric Alexander delivered a backstage promo, stating that Buddy Murphy should enjoy his victory at TLC because this is still Alexander’s show…
3. Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher vs. Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick. Before Tozawa and Kenrick could make it to the ring, Gallagher and Gulak jumped them but the two faces won out in the initial brawl. The four competitors spilled into the ring and as soon as the bell rung, Tozawa and Kendrick brought a table out and into the ring. Gulak and Gallagher jumped them as they made it into the ring and took the table and placed it right back under the ring.
As they then made their way over to Kendrick and Tozawa who were by the announce table, Gulak and Gallagher found themselves being rammed by the plastic announce table cover. Tozawa and Kendrick isolated the stunned Gulak and hit him with an Irish Whip clothesline combination in the ring. Gallagher broke up the subsequent pinfall attempt but quickly found himself being hit with a clothesline and a senton by Tozawa. The faces took control of the ring, and as they were rallied on by the crowd, Gulak and Gallagher tripped them up and dragged them to the floor. The heels then brought out a trash can from underneath the ring and used it to take out Kendrick.
Gulak then threw Tozawa into the ring and smacked him with the trash can, before placing it on his head and using a broomstick to drum the head of Tozawa. Gulak attempted to pin Tozawa but the Japanese wrestler kicked out at two. Gulak moved on to Kendrick and slammed him on the floor outside, while Kendrick worked on Tozawa inside the ring. Gulak then picked up a mop and a janitor’s bucket from ringside and threw both at Kendrick, before using the mop like kendo stick.
Meanwhile, Gallagher used the rest of the plastic janitor’s toolkit to wail on Tozawa in the ring, applying a submission maneuver as well, although this did not successfully get the tapout On the outside, Gulak used his belt to fishhook Kendrick but Tozawa caught him on the apron and fishhooked Gulak as retaliation. Although this stunned Gulak, Gallagher was able to catch Tozawa and threw him to the outside. The two heels then isolated Tozawa and tossed him into the timekeeper’s area. They then threw the lone Kendrick into the ring and smashed him with a series of tag team moves.
Kendrick kept kicking out and resisting until Tozawa managed to rush the ring and throw Gulak to the outside. Gulak however grabbed a microphone on the outside and went back and forth with Tozawa as they both used it as a weapon. Tozawa won out and found his way to Gallagher in the ring where he hit the Englishman with a shining wizard and then with a chair. Gulak attempted to rush the ring but was also met with a chair, allowing Kendrick to grab a bungee cord and strap Gulak to the corner post.
Tozawa and Kendrick chopped the daylights out of the bound Gulak but were caught off guard by Gallagher who rammed them both with the trash can. Gulak then used one of the commentator’s office chairs as a launcher to roll Tozawa into a dropkick by Gallagher. They attempted to do the same to Kendrick, but Kendrick backdropped Gallagher onto Gulak while in the chair and managed to isolate the Englishman.
Gallagher and Kendrick engaged in a submission battle in the ring, but Tozawa interfered, catching Gallagher in an Octopus stretch while Gallagher had an Indian Deathlock in on Kendrick. Gulak completed t he chain of submissions by catching Tozawa in the Gu-lock, allowing himself and Gallagher to take control. Gulak and Gallagher attempted to submit Kendrick with a double submission, however Tozawa broke it up with a top rope Senton on Gallagher. Tozawa attempted to pin Gallagher but Gulak broke it up. Kendrick then tried to hit Gulak with Sliced Bread No. 2, but was dispatched onto the top rope. Gulak made it to the outside and held off a suicide dive by Tozawa by ramming him with the trash can.
With Gulak and Tozawa done on the outside, Gallagher attempted to hit Kendrick with a Super Back-Plex, but Kendrick reversed into a Super Sliced Bread No. 2 (try saying that three times fast,) and pinned Gallagher to get the victory for his time.
Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick defeated Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher by pinfall.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a fun match, and a great way to end the show. All four man took some interesting looking bumps and they found a way to make this street fight a very unique one. I always hate when WWE wastes stipulations like this and have the wrestlers just stick to the typical chair and kendo stick combo to deal damage onto each other, so I appreciated the use of the office chair, the trash can and the janitor’s bucket in this match.
This seemed like it was the payoff to the feud, or at least to a part of this feud for these four men, with Gallagher and Gulak being bested by Kendrick and Tozawa in a hard-fought match. Since Buddy Murphy needs a new challenger and Maverick seemed like he would be looking to people outside Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander to find challengers, it makes sense that next week he might announce either Tozawa or Kendrick as the next challengers to Murphy’s title.
This show was a good one overall, and while the opening match wasn’t spectacular it was serviceable, and the main event was fun and made this show easy to sit through. Next week will be a ‘Best Of 205 Live 2018’ show and will feature clips of the most exciting 205 Live moments of the year, along with the likely announcement from Drake Maverick.
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