By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live on February 5, 2019 from Everett, Washington at the Angel of The Wind Arena
205 Live comes to you today on 2/05. Why WWE didn’t take the initiative to trademark the fifth of February as National Cruiserweight Day, I do not know. General manager Drake Maverick kicked off the show by announcing a number one contenders match for the Cruiserweight Championship at Elimination Chamber. Cedric Alexander will take on Akira Tozawa, Lio Rush and Humberto Carrillo in a Fatal-4-Way match to qualify for a title match. He ran through each of the competitors in that match and espoused their credentials and their chance at becoming a title contender…
1. Mike Kanellis (w/Maria Kanellis) vs. Brian Kendrick. Maria was on commentary for this match and like last week barbed back and forth with the commentators to prop up her husband. Kendrick started off the match in control of Kanellis’s wrist and managed to control the match, forcing Kanellis out of the ring with a clothesline over the ropes. Kendrick chased him out there and tried to continue his strikes, but Maria blocked Kendrick at one point, allowing Kanellis to recover and reverse Kendrick’s attempt at Sliced Bread No.2 off the corner post into a back suplex.
With this, Kanellis rolled Kendrick back into the ring rocked him with a standing suplex before grabbing a chin lock to wear him down. Kendrick tried to muscle out at one point but Kanellis just hit him with a snapmare and then a basement dropkick right out of the ring. Kanellis taunted Kendrick from in the ring, giving Kendrick enough time to get his feet under him. Kanellis followed Kendrick out to the ring and attempted to Irish Whip him into the post, but Kendrick reversed it and whipped Kanellis into the post before falling to the ground himself. They both got back into the ring slowly and went 50-50 for holds before Kanellis attempted a back suplex which Kendrick reversed smoothly into a captain hook.
Kanellis made it to the ropes with just a fingertip to break the hold. After he and Kendrick disengaged, they got right back up and attempted to gain control to running attacks, with Kendrick winning out with a dropkick. Kendrick tried to take advantage but as he tried to pull Kanellis in for a big move, Kanellis hit a fireman’s carry slam for a two count.
Kanellis again hit Kendrick with a big running slam to follow up, but Kendrick managed to kick out. This frustrated Kanellis to no end. Kendrick looking groggy and out of it rose to his knees and goaded Kanellis onwards for more. Kanellis smacked Kendrick with three big kicks in sequence, but none of them were enough to get the pinfall victory.
Kanellis took his time lamenting his inability to pin Kendrick each time, but with all of his hesitation, Kendrick was able to recover and reverse a Neckbreaker into Sliced Bread No.2 and get the pinfall victory.
Kalisto defeated Mike Kanellis by pinfall.
Mike Kanellis acted extremely frustrated after the match, while Maria just seemed like she had had enough of losing. It seems like there is some sort of plan for Mike rather than him just losing continuously, so hopefully they will transition him into a different role rather than just having good matches to build up others…
Anish’s Thoughts: This match was pretty brutal, especially for Kendrick, who took a fair few hard looking shots to the face with those kicks at the end. The match was just the right about of length with Kanellis getting the majority of offense, allowing Kendrick to build up a lot of sympathy from the audience before making a strong comeback.
Between the break we saw a recap of Ariya Daivari’s attack of Hideo Itami from last week before seeing him cutting a promo, stating that Itami kept blowing his opportunities and didn’t deserve any respect, finally stating that if you want to get something done, you have to do it yourself.
We then saw a short promo from each of the four contenders in the main event just hyping themselves up to win the number one contender’s match. Finally, when we came back from break we saw Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher once again berating Drake Maverick on the job he has been doing. Finally, Noam Dar came to Maverick to ask for a chance to face Tony Nese who attacked him. Maverick gave Dar the opportunity to fight him in a No DQ match next week.
2. Cedric Alexander vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Lio Rush in a four-way No.1 Contenders Match. To start off the match, the three babyfaces cornered Rush, the sole heel and targeted him. The match started off pretty chaotic with everybody rushing each Rush who was talking smack to the others before the match. They all cornered Rush by the announce table before Tozawa hit him with a suicide dive over the announce table. With Rush out of the way, Carrillo & Alexander got into it, exchanging arm drags before Alexander hit Carrillo with a big German Suplex with a Sunset Flip assist from Akira Tozawa.
Rush had recovered by now and chased down both Alexander and Tozawa with suicide dives to the outside. Carrillo wandered into the ring still a little dazed, allowing Rush to smack him with some chops and stomps. Alexander tried to get back into the ring but was blocked by a wrecking ball dropkick from Rush. Carrillo tried to catch Rush off-guard with a clothesline but got wrecked with a head-scissors DDT in answer.
Rush took a little too long bringing Carrillo to his feet, allowing the bigger Carrillo to counter an Irish whip attempt into a big enziguiri. With Rush down, Carrillo turned right around into a big Missile Dropkick from Akira Tozawa. Rush wasn’t completely stopped by the enziguiri from earlier so jumped on Tozawa and hit him with a rolling sunset flip and a kick to the back of the head, only for a two-count however.
With Tozawa down, Rush tried for his Final Hour Frog Splash, but Cedric Alexander distracted him, allowing Tozawa to roll out of the way and kick him into Alexander’s arms for a big Lumbar-check. Alexander got the pin and eliminated Rush,
Carrillo jogged back into the ring and immediately picked up the pace after the elimination. He hit Alexander with a few quick kicks before running and springboarding off him to whip Tozawa with an arm drag to the outside. With Alexander down as well, Carrillo took advantage and hit Alexander with a top rope cross body and followed it up with a handspring moonsault.
This was only enough for a two, and Carrillo tried to follow up with a powerbomb, but was stopped by Tozawa. Carrillo tried to transition to powerbombing Tozawa, but the Japanese Superstar whipped him into a Sunset Flip by Alexander. Carrillo rolled out and jumped right back up to hit Tozawa with a springboard cross body, before being hit by a clothesline from Alexander, leaving all three men down.
As they rose to their feet, all three men headed to a turnbuckle, and fought for position. Carrillo managed to knock Alexander to the floor before attempting a Spanish Fly on Tozawa. Carrillo failed however and Tozawa managed to knock him off and rally for his Senton Splash finishing maneuver, getting Carrillo eliminated via pinfall.
Tozawa and Alexander took their time before getting into it, staring each other down and daring each other to give their best. Alexander & Tozawa smacked each other with chops before Tozawa ditched attempting to fight the stronger man and ran to the ropes to hit an octopus stretch. Alexander got caught in it for a while, but managed to counter into a sidewalk slam.
Alexander picked up the dazed Tozawa and tried for the Lumbar-Check but Tozawa flipped out of it spectacularly and avoided the finisher. Alexander hit him with a quick gut kick and tried to run at him with a clothesline, but Tozawa took his back and smashed a quick German Suplex. With Alexander down, Tozawa stomped him and climbed to the top rope, but Alexander rolled to the apron. Still groggy, Alexander blocked a suplex attempt and just managed to catch Tozawa in an STO as he was falling to the floor.
Seeing the opportunity, Alexander hurried Tozawa into the rung and hit a huge Falcon Arrow, with both men getting some air and hitting some pretty GIFable disbelief faces when Tozawa kicked out. Alexander picked him up once more with a look of determination to hit he Lumbar-Check but Tozawa struggled and mounted to Alexander’s head, hitting him with a reverse Frankensteiner. With Alexander down and seemingly out, Tozawa hit him with a final Senton Bomb for a three count…
Akira Tozawa defeated Cedric Alexander, Lio Rush, and Humberto Carrillo by pinfall to become No. 1 contender.
With that done, Carrillo took center stage trying to out work the to more experienced challengers and biting off more than he could chew. With the two veterans of 205 Live taking out the ballsy Carrillo, they had an old fashioned staredown to get into the last part of the match. This part was the shortest but I think the most captivating as they gave it their all, with eventually Alexander giving just a little too much, allowing Tozawa to stay calm and avoid Alexander’s moves while hitting his own.
After the match, we saw Buddy Murphy cut a promo from the big screen. He sarcastically clapped for Tozawa’s victory, saying that he should be glad to have an opportunity to face the Unstoppable…
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a fun match that had a great escalation of pace and stakes. The priorities in the match were always shifting and that made it very interesting and dynamic to watch. Aside from the big moves and great selling of the three babyfaces, I think all four men told a continuous and evolving story over the course of the three eliminations. The first part of the story was the three faces looking to take out the brash Rush who was just a thorn in the side of the three faces.
Overall, this was a really good episode of 205 Live. While I’m unclear on where the story is heading with Mike Kanellis, he and Kendrick had a great match today and at least it seems like WWE do have a plan for him. Tozawa also looks really strong and for the first time in a while, I think Buddy Murphy’s reign might be in trouble, especially since the crowd are very positive towards Tozawa.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom with Jason Powell and his guest Rich Bocchini (f/k/a Rich Brennan) discussing his work with Tony Schiavone in MLW, working for Michael Cole in WWE, his trial by fire in NXT, being produced by Vince McMahon, and much more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...