By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live on March 12, 2019 from Dayton, Ohio at Nutter Center
The show started with a promo by Drew Gulak talking about the WWE Cruiserweight Championship tournament. He declared that he would beat Tony Nese and make him tap out. Toney Nese also cut a promo and said that while Gulak is the most dangerous man in 205, but that Nese would not give up. Oney Lorcan also cut a promo from the locker room and said that while Cedric Alexander is athletic and experienced, he would fall to Lorcan. Cedric Alexander cut the final promo and said that while Lorcan is a bad man, Lorcan wouldn’t be able to go through him.
Before we got to the opening match, we saw one last promo but by Buddy Murphy via Melbourne, congratulating the semifinalists for possibly having the opportunity to face him at Wrestlemania, with the caveat that no matter who faces him at Wrestlemania, he could not be stopped…
1. Cedric Alexander vs. Oney Lorcan in a semifinal match. Lorcan and Alexander circled each other with big ‘let’s go Cedric’ chants raining down. Lorcan focused on Alexander’s arm for the opening part of the match, but Alexander flipped out and pushed Lorcan away from himself. Lorcan was being made to look like the more technically proficient wrestler in the opening exchange, with Alexander struggling to build space between himself and Lorcan.
Lorcan diversified his offense however, surprising Alexander with strong chops to stun him. Alexander did better after this however, not being fazed by the chops and using the space built to hit Lorcan with a dropkick. Alexander followed up with more strikes and a cover, but only got a two count. Lorcan retaliated by forcing a grappling exchange after hitting a clothesline and dragging Alexander down to the ground.
Alexander muscled out but got caught with a gut kick and then a kitchen sink knee to knock him to the ground. Lorcan went back to chapping Alexander and locked in an abdominal stretch to strain Alexander. The crowd continued to support Alexander and with them behind him, Alexander punched his way out but simply got caught in another stretch by Lorcan.
The crowd pumped him up once more and finally, Alexander reversed the hold and unloaded chops of his own on Lorcan. Alexander seemed keen to end the match, attempting a roll up before smacking Lorcan with hard elbows and a handspring head kick. With Lorcan dazed, Alexander caught him with a springboard flatliner, but Lorcan managed to kick out.
With a whole load of momentum behind him Alexander chopped Lorcan some more, but was clearly selling his ribs. He then propped Lorcan up on the top rope and looked to be going for a superplex, but Lorcan countered and pushed him off. Lorcan then tried a blockbuster, Alexander dodged, but Lorcan rolled through and hit an impressive running blockbuster from the mat.
Alexander kicked out of the subsequent cover attempt, frustrating Lorcan immensely. Lorcan picked Alexander up, and Alexander tried to catch him off guard with a lumbar-check. He couldn’t get him up however due to the damage to his ribs. With that thorn in his side, Lorcan saw his opening and caught Alexander with a half-and-half suplex. Lorcan rushed for the cover but again only got a two-count.
Lorcan attempted to follow up with some running uppercuts, but Alexander reversed the second one to toss Lorcan out of the ring. Alexander slammed Lorcan onto the apron and then tossed him into the ring for a Michinoku driver but only got a two count. This saw Alexander frustrated and prompted him to stomp a grounded Lorcan aggressively. He tried to hit Lorcan with a follow up springboard maneuver, but Lorcan surprised him with an uppercut. With Alexander dazed on the top rope, Lorcan hit a half-and-half suplex f rom the top rope.
There was an awesome near fall with Alexander barely kicking out and both men collapsing to the mat in fatigue after the kickout. Lorcan seemed spent and could barely make his way back to his feet. Lorcan propped the seemingly out Alexander to his feet, but Alexander definitely goaded Lorcan to strike him to the ground again. Lorcan obliged and got him back up again, Lorcan tried to head to the ropes for a running maneuver, but Alexander pulled him back by the trunks and executed the lumbar-check and got the three count victory…
Cedric Alexander defeated Oney Lorcan by pinfall to advance to the tournament finals.
Anish’s Thoughts: Now that was a fantastic match. The crowd was into it and with little setup, both guys had me invested. Even though Alexander was in the babyface role, I liked the idea of Lorcan as a wrench in the works for 205. It didn’t come to fruition however and after a really great match, Alexander will move on to the number one contenders tournament finale next week. I was a little surprised that Alexander kicked out of Lorcan’s finisher twice, including once from the turnbuckle, but Alexander did look great doing it. I am excited for the next match and for Lorcan’s continued involvement on 205 Live.
A recap aired of Mike Kanellis’s squash match against Colby Corino last week and then they cut to the Kanellis’s backstage talking to Drake Maverick. Mike said that he has been wrestling for 16 years and has earned everyone’s respect and hates that Maverick pitied him by putting him in the ring with a rookie last week. Kanellis said that he deserved better. Maverick agreed and said that he would give Kanellis a match against one of the top cruiserweights in the world next week. Maverick also said that there are no room for losers on 205 Live and that he would not be able to coast by looking good in defeat for very long…
A selfie promo by Ariya Daivari was shown. He said that his leash is coming off and that he would show everyone on 205 Live what one year of frustration looks like…
2. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese in a semifinal tournament match. Gulak and Nese started the match with a lockup that Gulak got the better of. Nese tried to throw him off but needed a few attempts before doing it and using the counter to hit Gulak with an arm drag. The crowd seemed to be behind Gulak even though this was a heel versus heel match. Nese attempted a Moonsault as he rebounded off the turnbuckle, but Gulak dodged and locked in the Gu-lock for a second before Nese got to the ropes and rolled out.
Nese tried to use a wrist lock to keep Gulak on the ground. While he had the strength advantage, Gulak used his technical ability to reverse Nese’s grappling attempts multiple times. Nese gave up on technical wrestling and hit Gulak with a dropkick to knock him out of the ring. Nese chased him out there and rocked Gulak with a superkick and a series of chops to rattle him around ringside.
Nese then tossed Gulak back into the ring and hit Gulak with a standing suplex and a cover, but only got a one count. The crowd chanted ‘Let’s go Drew, and Gulak seemingly used this to catch Nese off guard with a kick and an alley-oop powerbomb to Nese onto the ring ropes. The commentators pointed out that this was to target Nese’s neck and as this happened the crowd chanted ‘Drew’s a legend,’ really laying on that they were a pro-Gulak crowd. Nese had a quick second to try for another suplex, but Gulak reversed it into a reverse suplex, once again targeting Nese’s neck.
Gulak then switched his focus to Nese’s legs, cranking on his lower body and locking in a deathlock and pulled on Nese’s hair to keep him in pain. Gulak then locked in a chin lock to wring the air out of Nese, but Nese used his strength to get to his feet and hit Gulak with a back suplex. Gulak was still the first one to get up however and clawed at Nese’s face and chopped him to continue his attack.
Nese retaliated and knocked Gulak with some elbows and a kick to the torso to get back into it. Gulak countered with a shoulder block and a suplex of his own, but with the cover, this was only enough for a two count. Gulak chased Nese to the corner next and got caught with a kick to give Nese some space. Nese used this space to hit Gulak with a some more strikes and a clothesline, finally gaining some control.
Nese hit Gulak with a northern-lights suplex and a bridge cover, but only got a two-count. With the crowd cheering Gulak on, Nese stomped on him but took time to taunt, allowing Gulak to get back into it. Nese was the more athletic man and used this to his advantage to catch Gulak with a hotshot. He tried to follow up with a moonsault and after some swerving, Nese caught him. Even this only got Nese a two-count however, and left Nese far more tired.
Gulak smiled through the pain and urged Nese towards him and finally hit Nese with a big dropkick to get back on the pedal. Gulak stomped Nese on the apron and went to the outside to attack Nese’s neck even more. He then got back in the ring and tried to lock the Gu-lock in but had to settle for a pair of powerbombs. Gulak didn’t use his full body weight to get the cover however, allowing Nese to kick out.
Both men were down and as they struggled to their feet, Nese propped Gulak onto the top rope. Nese hit Gulak with a rising palm strike and a quick super hurricanrana to follow up. He tried to follow up with a 450 splash, but Gulak rolled out of the way and after he got up he tried to use the Gu-lock. The two went counter for counter however, and after some struggle Gulak was denied the Gu-lock as Nese got to the ropes. Gulak tried to pick Nese up, but Nese countered and hit Gulak with a German suplex in the corner. Nese tried to follow up with the running knee-wash, but Gulak got up and hit a rope rebound clothesline and finally got the Gu-lock in.
With Nese in the Gu-lock and almost about to pass out, Nese got his foot to the ropes and kicked-off to trap Gulak in a pinning maneuver. The ref counted the pin and Tony Nese won right before tapping or passing out.
Tony Nese defeated Drew Gulak by pinfall to advance to the tournament finals.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very different match to the opener, but it was just as enjoyable and the crowd decidedly being behind Gulak made it fun to watch as well. Both wrestlers showed off their specialties, with the match being marked by Gulak focusing too much on his submissions to ever really take control of Nese. A fun show overall, and more than anything it was simple. I liked both matches and the crowd made it doubly fun to watch as they supported all the wrestlers. I generally like the shows where the title is the focus and everyone is trying to achieve that.
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