By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live on June 4, 2019 from Laredo, Texas at Sames Auto Arena
205 Live general manager Drake Maverick welcomed viewers to the show and hyped Ariya Daivari vs. Oney Lorcan, and Akira Tozawa vs. Noam Dar as this week’s matches… The 205 Live opening aired…
Powell’s POV: I’m filling in for Anish V, who needed the night off and will return next week. It’s worth noting that I typically keep up with 205 Live through Anish’s reviews and haven’t been watching on a regular basis, so I’m coming at this from the perspective of someone who checks in on the show every now and again as opposed to being a regular viewer.
The broadcast team of Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Aiden English checked in. Joseph raved about the conclusion of Smackdown and hyped Undertaker vs. Goldberg for WWE Super ShowDown. A shot aired of Ariya Daivari shadowboxing, and then another showed Oney Lorcan preparing in his locker room…
Powell’s POV: I love the shots of the main event wrestlers preparing backstage. It’s similar to what you see on a big boxing or MMA fight, and I’m all for anything that creates more of a sports-like vibe.
Ring entrances for the Akira Tozawa vs. Noam Dar match took place. Dar was out second and was attacked on the stage by Drew Gulak, who ended up taking Dar to ringside and dropkicking his knee into the ring steps. Joseph noted that Gulak attacked Dar’s surgically repaired knee. Drake Maverick ran out and scolded Gulak. Tozawa called for Gulak to face him. Maverick informed ring announcer Kayla Braxton of the change…
1. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak. Tozawa got off to a quick start, but Gulak caught him with a fallaway slam and then a boot to the face, which led to a two count. Tozawa rolled to ringside while Joseph noted that the match came out of nowhere for Tozawa, who prepared for a match with Noam Dar. Joseph said Gulak hasn’t appeared on 205 Live since he lost to Tony Nese over a month earlier.
Tozawa went for an octopus, but he was unable to lock it in and Gulak threw him to the mat. Gulak continued to dominate the match and mauled Tozawa with a lot of moves, holds, and strikes. Tozawa eventually came back and performed a cannonball dive off the apron onto Gulak at ringside. Tozawa followed up with a suicide dive. Tozawa rolled Gulak back inside the ring and then performed a missile dropkick for a near fall.
Tozawa applied the octopus hold. Gulak reached the bottom rope with his foot to break the hold. Gulak came back and applied a cloverleaf, which Tozawa broke by crawling to the ropes. Both men traded chops. Gulak shoved Tozawa into the ropes and then clotheslined him. Gulak performed a gut wrench suplex for a near fall. Tozawa fought back and caught Gulak with a couple of kicks. Tozawa went to the top rope, but Gulak cut him off and superplexed him. Gulak followed up with a torture rack neckbreaker and scored the clean pin.
Drew Gulak defeated Akira Tozawa.
Powell’s POV: A good match. I didn’t keep time, but it went several minutes longer than I expected. The live crowd was mostly quiet with some cheers for Tozawa’s offense. It’s a lot to ask a crowd to sit through a lengthy match involving wrestlers they didn’t come to see, but at least they didn’t turn on the wrestlers. I love the way that Gulak has reinvented himself. The quirkiness of his old persona is gone and he’s all business now.
Mike Kanellis delivered a backstage promo while Maria Kanellis stood by. Mike said he hates the idea that he’s not considered the best because he’s not showcased on WWE television enough or been in WWE long enough. He said he was the best when he debuted two years ago and he’s the best now. He said he proved it by beating Brian Kendrick last week. Mike said everyone should start paying attention to him, especially the wrestlers who have become complacent because he’s not. Mike said he knows Drake Maverick is running around chasing other titles, but the WWE Cruiserweight Title is the most important thing. He begged Maverick to send him his best cruiserweights and said he is better than the best…
Powell’s POV: A strong promo from Mike Kanellis. I don’t understand why he and Maria have been wasted throughout most of their WWE run. Here’s hoping that the company either gets behind them or they opt to go elsewhere when their deals expire shortly.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese was interviewed by Sarah Schreiber backstage about his rival Drew Gulak returning. Nese said he saw what happened and no one knows what Gulak is capable of better than he does. Nese said he also saw Drake Maverick making a match that he didn’t agree with. Nese said he understands that Maverick has been a little preoccupied lately. Nese said he wants to test himself against Tozawa and has no love loss for Gulak. Nese said he would let Maverick do the decision making and he’d be ready no matter what he decides… [C]
The broadcast team hyped Lucha House Party vs. Lars Sullivan for WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia… LHP were shown talking backstage. Kalisto said the Singh Brothers have been begging the for another rematch. Lince Dorado said that once they beat Sullivan at Super ShowDown they will be happy to beat the Singhs back to Bollywood…
2. Ariya Daivari vs. Oney Lorcan. Daivari sold his ear while Joseph explained that Daivari was still recovering from six stitches to close a cut he suffered at the hands of Lorcan. A few minutes into the match, Lorcan applied a cross armbreaker, but Daivari reached the ropes to break the hold. Daivari rolled to ringside and called for Lorcan to join him. Lorcan came to ringside only to have Daivari enter the ring. Lorcan returned to the ring and Daivari tried to elbow drop him, but Lorcan avoided it.
Daivari caught Lorcan in the corner and performed a neckbreaker. Daivari followed up moments later by turning Lorcan inside out with a clothesline. Lorcan came back with a running uppercut. Lorcan suplexed Daivari and then performed a running blockbuster for a near fall. Lorcan ducked Daivari’s hammerlock lariat attempt, but Daivari caught him with a nice superkick. Lorcan fought back and threw several chops at Daivari and scooped him up, but Daivari slipped away and applied the Million Dollar Dream and took him to the mat. Lorcan got back to his feet, but Daivari dropped him with a Persian Drop. Daivari performed a Persian Lion (top rope frogsplash) but then sold arm pain. Lorcan used a crucifix to get the pin.
Oney Lorcan defeated Ariya Daivari.
Joseph noted that Lorcan staked his claim for a title opportunity, but he also listed other wrestlers in convention. Daivari charged at Lorcan, who ducked and pulled the top rope, causing Daivari to tumble to ringside. Joseph closed the show by wondering who will be the next to challenge Tony Nese for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship…
Powell’s POV: A good main event and a good two match show. Both matches felt a little longer than the need to be, especially given that they are playing to crowds that primarily came to see Smackdown. And it really is a shame that 205 Live doesn’t play to crowds that specifically come to see the cruiserweights. The atmosphere would be so much better if they had a Full Sail University setup similar to NXT. The product is solid and it doesn’t feel nearly as hopeless as it has in the past, but it will be tough for the show to generate momentum in this setting. It’s still baffling to me that WWE doesn’t tape the 205 Live matches before Smackdown when in timezones where it makes sense to do so, as these matches would surely get more crowd participation earlier in the night.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and new MLW National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone, who discusses his background, how the underdog story has been overplayed in pro wrestling, the Dynasty faction, and more.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Frank Zarrillo discussing his film "The Wrestler: A QT Marshall Story", which includes appearances by Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, Gerald Brisco, Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and many more, the involvement of Marshall's wife and mother, and much more. Stick around after the interview for Powell's audio review of Wednesday's AEW Dynamite television show...