By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live on January 22, 2019 from Wichita, Kansas at Intrust Bank Arena
General Manager Drake Maverick set up the show’s two matches… Aiden English joined the broadcast team and was on the call along with Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness…
1. Humberto Carrillo vs. Gran Metalik. Carrillo and Metalik shook hands before the match and started off by immediately looking to grab control of each other’s heads. Metalik and Carrillo exchanged leapfrogs and backflips to dodge each other’s maneuvers, ending in a stalemate and applause from the audience. Carrillo then grabbed a hold of Metalik’s arm and hit him with a springboard arm drag to whip him to the outside before smacking Metalik with a tope.
Carrillo moved the action back into the ring and hit a couple of slams to keep Metalik on the mat. Carrillo got a little ahead of himself and attempted a moonsault, but Metalik hit an up-kick straight to Carrillo’s chin. The masked Luchador followed up with a reverse slingblade and then a middle rope dropkick, but Carrillo wouldn’t stay down for more than two.
Metalik brought the action down a little and wrenched Carrillo with a chin lock and a snapmare. He then attempted to hit Carrillo with a fireman’s carry slam but Carrillo bumped off and caught Metalik with an enzuguiri. Metalik kicked out and rolled to the front apron where the two exchanged big boots to the face. Eventually, Carrillo knocked Metalik backwards and with Metalik groggy on the apron, the newest member of 205 Live hit him with an apron facecrusher from the top rope.
Carrillo took too long to capitalize however and even with a follow up cross body in the ring, Metalik had enough in him to kick out. Metalik built some space for himself and forced Carrillo to the apron and out of nowhere hit a huge tope huracanrana to the outside. Metalik shot the seemingly out cold Carrillo into the ring and followed up with a rolling senton, but Carrillo rose to life and kicked out at two.
Metalik strategized for a little bit and opted to place Carrillo on the top rope to try for a superplex. Carrillo fought back and the result was that Metalik stumbled off the apron, allowing Carrillo to wallop Metalik with a missile dropkick. With an opportunity in sight, Carrillo placed Metalik prone onto the mat and hit a very unique and impressive handstand springboard moonsault to get the victory.
Humberto Carrillo defeated Gran Metalik by pinfall.
Anish’s Thoughts: This match was pretty great. Just a built in story of two luchadors trying to prove themselves, especially with Carrillo looking to make a name on 205. Metalik and Carrillo had great chemistry and while Metalik’s matches sometimes have a very rough quality to them, this match was smooth as silk. Carrillo has had two great matches in a row and I’m especially glad that the crowd appreciated this one. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him. As an aside, Aiden English was pretty good on commentary. He has a great voice and sounds very knowledgeable on the matches themselves. I have an inkling that this might be to transition Nigel McGuinness out of the color role for now, especially since he is doing commentary for NXT UK, but that’s purely speculation.
We went backstage for a couple of promos. The first being with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher, expressing their disappointment with the job that Drake Maverick has been doing as GM. Tony Nese also popped in and asked for a rematch with Noam Dar. Maverick said he would consider it, which angered Nese and prompted him to talk about Dar being a fluke. He ended by saying that if Maverick doesn’t give him an opportunity against Dar, he would make his own opportunity…
We then saw a few short promos from all three of the competitors in tonight’s main event, essentially hyping themselves up for the win tonight and the WWE Cruiserweight Championship four-way on Sunday…
2. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami vs. Kalisto. Before the match started we saw a promo by Ariya Daivari and Hideo Itami as his music hit. Daiviari said that Itami would make an example of his opponents and Itami said in Japanese “I will do what I do for myself. I will win the Cruiserweight Championship.” Very simple, straight to the point, nice emphasis on Itami being the heel in this triple threat dynamic.
Right as the bell was about to ring, Buddy Murphy’s music hit and he made his way to ringside. And picked a spot on commentary. I don’t mind Aiden English or Buddy Murphy being on commentary, but boy a four man booth is chaotic.
Itami started in control of the match, tossing Tozawa out of the ring and going toe to toe with Kalisto. The luchador managed to get his feet under him and springboard arm whipped Itami out of the ring, but was quickly jumped by Tozawa who forced all three men to the outside. Kalisto got the wrong end of the fork and get tossed underneath the announce table, allowing the two Japanese wrestlers to go at it on the outside. Itami enforced his will onto Tozawa with strong kicks and rolled him into the ring and wrenched a chin lock.
Tozawa made it to the ropes, (which should have had no effect) but alas Itami broke the hold and used his elbows to push Tozawa to the outside. Itami continued his warpath by booting Kalisto into the audience and rolled Tozawa right back into the ring with a chin lock. Itami attempted a running maneuver, but Tozawa used the little space he had to counter with a huracanrana and a rapid German suplex. Kalisto also dived into the ring, and got immediately caught with a dropkick by Tozawa.
The action got a little chaotic here with Kalisto and Tozawa getting distracted with each other, allowing Itami to recover and whack both of his opponents with clotheslines. With all three men down at each other’s fee they got up slowly, walloping each other with kicks and strikes the whole time. This was a great exchange and Tozawa won out, knocking the other two to opposite corners. Tozawa tried to rush Itami in one corner but got caught into a facelock and a hotshot onto the top rope. Kalisto took advantage and tried for a superplex. As happens in most multi-man matches, this resulted in a tower of doom spot. But in what was a pretty entertaining move, Buddy Murphy ran into the ring and powerbombed the whole structure.
Because this match was no DQ, Murphy had free rein to wail on all his opponents for Sunday and took his time knocking them all to the corner. Murphy took a little too long however and Kalisto caught Murphy with a kick and a Salida del Sol. With Murphy out of the way, Itami took control and hit a dazed Tozawa with a falcon arrow to get a two count.
Itami and Tozawa went at it with strikes and just as Tozawa execute a rush and a strong enzuguiri, Kalisto hit a springboard cross body on him. With a little bit of time to his name, Kalisto popped Tozawa onto the top rope and attempted another superplex. Itami interrupted but Kalisto backdropped him over the top rope.
He then attempted a super huracanrana but Tozawa flipped him off and attempted his jumping senton. Kalisto moved out of the way and with that miss, Itami ran right in to pick up the scraps and hit his finisher to get the pinfall victory.
Hideo Itami defeated Akira Tozawa and Kalisto in a Triple Threat.
Anish’s Thoughts: This match was great as well. All three men paced the match effectively and made sure everyone got enough time with each opponent. I liked the two face/one heel dynamic, and Kalisto and Tozawa didn’t look like they were being too heelish and ganging up on Itami which could have easily been the dominant theme of the match. Instead, the match was fast and frenzied with all three men looking like they could win.
I loved Murphy’s involvement in the match. It made him look like a crafty heel and the crowd certainly reacted that way. Itami taking advantage of all the chaos to knock off the two babyfaces was a good move as well. I doubt he’ll be winning the title and a win against two of his three opponents here at least keeps him in good standing following The Royal Rumble. Overall, this was another solid edition of 205 Live into the new year and I can see the cruiserweight title match at the Rumble being a show stealer. Hopefully the show can keep this momentum going.
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