By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live on March 5, 2019 from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania at Mohegan Sun Arena
The show started with a recap of the two Cruiserweight Championship No.1 contenders tournament matches, with Drake Maverick announcing that Tony Nese would take on Drew Gulak in a second-round match next week. He also announced that Humberto Carrillo would be taking on Oney Lorcan of NXT in a first round match tonight. He also announced the main event between Akira Tozawa and Cedric Alexander that would be the final first round match in the tournament.
1. Humberto Carrillo vs. Oney Lorcan in a first round tournament match. Before the match started, we saw a promo video about Oney Lorcan in order to introduce him to the 205 Live Crowd. I liked that they added this in there to give Oney some backstory in order to make him seem like a potential threat at the Cruiserweight title in the near future. Oney took it seriously and seemed set on this being his path to Wrestlemania.
We also saw a quick backstage promo by Carrillo, essentially it was just him saying that he would win. Lorcan and Carrillo started with a strong lockup, and a series of quick hip-tosses into a stalemate. Carrillo and Lorcan exchanged arm drags as well, although Lorcan was clearly trying to take control of Carrillo’s back rather than flip him about, which was a nice clash of motivations in the match.
Carrillo muscled Lorcan to the corner and tried to hit him with a dropkick but got caught in a headlock. Lorcan slowed the pace of the match down and the two chopped each other heavily with Lorcan winning out and subsequently kicking Carrillo out of the ring and hitting him with a suplex onto the floor.
Lorcan then grabbed a hold of Carrillo in the ring and wrenched a chin lock with a few big knees interspersed as well in order to try and knock the wind out of him. We cut backstage a few times to see Gulak and Gallagher seemingly making comments on Carrillo’s performance. Carrillo managed to muscle Lorcan off him and wearily tried to strike with Lorcan, but was weakened and hence lost the strike battle.
However, as Lorcan tried to hit Carrillo with an Irish whip, the luchador reversed it into a big springboard armdrag out of the ring and hit him with a suicide dive to follow up. Carrillo then rolled Lorcan back into the ring and hit him with a few chops before ending up on the apron, prompting Lorcan to baseball slide out of the ring and following up with a tope suicida. Carrillo couldn’t take advantage however as when he rolled Lorcan back into the ring, Lorcan caught him with a punch and then locked in a choke.
Carrillo escaped the choke and and dragged Lorcan to the apron to try and suplex him, but after a battle of chops and elbows, Lorcan won out and hit him with a skillful looking fisherman suplex onto the apron. The seemingly out cold Carrillo managed to kick out of the following pin-attempt . A frustrated Lorcan tried to elbow Carrillo again but, instead got caught in a strange botch sequence.
Carrillo tried to hit Lorcan with a head-scissors whip, but they couldn’t connect and had to settle for landing on his feet and hitting a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. Carrillo tried to follow up with a big moonsault, but Lorcan got his feet up to cause Carrillo to flip onto his head. With Carrillo dazed, Lorcan hit a big clothesline followed by a half-and-half suplex to get the pinfall victory.
Oney Lorcan defeated Humberto Carrillo to advance in the tournament.
Anish’s Thoughts: Really fun match, despite the weird botch in the middle. Lorcan brought a very NXT sort of intensity which was different to a normal Cruiserweight match. The botch slightly took the crowd out of it, but otherwise the match was pretty solid. I liked the story of Carrillo not being able to figure out a brawler like Lorcan and I thought that the finish of Carrillo failing on a high risk maneuver was a good reason for Gallagher and Gulak to criticize him as their client and continue that story.
2. Mike Kanellis vs. Colby Corino. We saw Mike Kanellis complaining backstage to Drake Maverick about how he wasn’t getting a tournament match, but rather a regular singles match on 205 Live. As soon as he walked into the ring, Kanellis threw his jacket at Corino and hit stomped him and hit him with a big clothesline. Kanellis picked up Corino and hit him with a reverse Cross-Rhodes maneuver to get the pinfall victory.
Mike Kanellis defeated Colby Corino by pinfall.
Anish’s Thoughts: Quick squash match, got the job done and didn’t take up too much time at all. Simple and effective for now, I hope they do more with Kanellis going forward.
Backstage promos aired from Tony Nese, Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, and The Brian Kendrick, each declaring why they would win the cruiserweight tournament…
3. Akira Tozawa vs. Cedric Alexander in a first round tournament match. Tozawa and Alexander started out with a handshake, and after circling for a little, Alexander took Tozawa down and tried for a quick roll-up, but Tozawa kicked out. The two hand fought for a quick-second before Tozawa grabbed a headlock. Alexander muscled out and caught Tozawa with a springboard head-scissors whip, but Tozawa rolled out and caught Alexander with an armdrag.
A few off moments in that opening sequence, with Alexander and Tozawa looking like they were having a little trouble finding their timing. Tozawa grabbed an arm-lock on Alexander and whipped him out of the ring. Tozawa looked like he would follow up with a dive, but Alexander rolled right back in and caught Tozawa mid run with a big gutbuster.
Alexander went for the cover, but only got a two count, prompting Tozawa to roll out of the ring to safety. Alexander followed him there and tossed him right back in and caught him in a bearhug submission. Tozawa struggled to find the ropes and eventually tried to elbow Alexander away, but Alexander instead pushed him off and hit him with a dropkick. Alexander locked in another chin lock, but this time Tozawa countered with a jaw-breaker to build some space.
Tozawa found an opening to try for a running senton, but Alexander got his knees up and shot Tozawa out of the ring. Alexander rammed Tozawa into the apron multiple times and rolled him into the ring for an unsuccessful pin attempt. Alexander went for another bear hug, but Tozawa got to his feet within seconds and successfully elbowed Alexander senseless. The Japanese superstar hit Alexander with some chops to buckle Alexander and caught him with a springy huracanrana out of the ring and caught him with a suicide dive.
With both men down, the crowd chanted ‘205’ and Tozawa rallied. Tozawa rolled Alexander back into the ring for a missile dropkick but again only got a two count. Both men took their time getting up, with Tozawa attempting a deadlift German suplex. Alexander was too heavy however and the time taken to try and lift him allowed him to counter and reverse an octopus stretch attempt into a sidewalk slam.
Alexander then tripped Tozawa into the turnbuckle and kicked his face off it from the apron, before following up with a flatliner. Another two count left Alexander annoyed and he lifted Tozawa up to strike face to face. The two went punch for punch before Alexander attempted a Lumbar-check multiple times. Tozawa rolled out each time and tried to get a few quick roll ups. Alexander would not be trapped however and smacked Tozawa with an elbow before trying another Lumbar-check.
Tozawa countered with a DDT and followed up with a poisoned Frankensteiner in a fantastic near-fall sequence. Alexander just managed to kick out with ‘This is awesome’ chants raining down. Both superstars got to their feet and slotted each other with forearms. Eventually, Tozawa gave up on striking and dragged Alexander to the ground with an octopus stretch.
In another awesome near fall sequence, Alexander looked like he was going to tap but when it was clear that he wouldn’t, Tozawa lifted him and hit him with a big German suplex. With Alexander down, Tozawa went to the top rope, but Alexander followed him up there. Tozawa knocked him off but Alexander jumped right back up and whipped Tozawa’s legs from underneath him to hit the Lumbar-check and get the pinfall victory.
Cedric Alexander defeated Akira Tozawa to advance in the tournament.
Anish’s Thoughts: Now that was a main event. This match was given a lot of time, and although Alexander and Tozawa took a little bit of time at the beginning of the match to get their chemistry in check, when it clicked it really clicked. Both men put their all into it, and Alexander hugging a crying Tozawa at the end of the show really summed up how well the two built the story throughout the course of the match. This match showcased everything that both men can do, and while the crowd didn’t sound large, they certainly sounded like they were into it and that’s more important. Overall, the show was well paced, and although both the headlining matches had a few stumbles, they each roared to a finish.
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