By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live
Taped in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Streamed April 3, 2020 on WWE Network
Jon Quasto and Aiden English were on commentary…
1. Kushida vs. Danny Burch. The wrestlers started the night by circling and each trying to gain wrist control. Kushida managed to take Burch to the ground with a snapmare but Burch held his own and they continued to fight for control of a limb there. Burch used his strength to control Kushida from his shoulder and pushed him to the mat until Kushida was able to reverse and force Burch to try for a crucifix pin.
Kushida kicked out and he and Burch reset before reengaging. Kushida tried to pull standing guard on Burch and did so, using this position to try for a double wrist lock. Burch pushed him off however and attempted a Half Crab, but Kushida got to the ropes. The two now fought for control of each other’s legs, with Kushida grabbing a toe hold followed by a seated Omoplata on Burch.
Burch just managed to crawl under the ropes, prompting the two to clinch again. Burch used a headlock takeover this time to ground Kushida, all while squeezing the air out of him. Kushida wriggled out and prompting a running exchange with Burch. Initially Burch hit Kushida with a kick to the face, but as they kept at it, Kushida was able to goad Burch to the apron and used a handspring kick to the face to knock Burch to the outside.
Kushida the went to the top rope and tried for a diving axe handle but Burch caught him coming in with a right hand. Burch went to work again on Kushida’s hand, using a wrist lock stomp combination to continue the assault on his limbs. Burch grabbed a chin lock in between as well to keep Kushida guessing.
Burch propped Kushida up and tried for an Irish whip attack, but Kushida managed to duck under and used his speed to hit a handspring elbow. Kushida caught Burch dazed and hit him with a running corner kick from the apron. Kushida tried to follow up in the ring, however Burch caught him with another strike and then transitioned to a crossface.
Kushida just managed to roll out and exchanged strikes with Burch, eventually ending in a hip toss and basement dropckick.With Burch stunned again, Kushida picked him up and executed a rope rebound arm drag into a Kimura to get the submission victory.
Kushida defeated Danny Burch.
Anish’s Thoughts: Solid match. I mean it was always going to be when you consider the wrestlers involved. These two played the match like a straight standoff between their individual skills. Burch took most of the match as well, meaning that even in losing, Kushida did a great job of making him look good, as well as himself in the eventual victory. A great match to kick off the show and given the lack of crowd, they did well to keep me hooked.
2. Tyler Breeze vs. Jack Gallagher. The wrestlers went right for each other here, locking up and pulling each other around the ring, more with brute strength than technique. Gallagher attempted a headlock to try and wear Breeze down, however Breeze shot himself off the ropes and landed a quick standing dropkick on Gallagher. Breeze then used a headlock of his own, having more success and using this position to land a kick on Gallagher, followed by a headlock takeover to take him to the ground.
Gallagher struggled to his feet and reversed the hold, leaving Breeze on the ground and in his clutches. Gallagher then hit a shoulder block on Breeze followed by a Fireman’s carry Stun-Gun and some vicious ground and pound. With Breeze dazed, Gallagher tried to prop him in the corner and chop, but Breeze flopped to the mat.
Gallagher then stomped on the fallen Breeze before grabbing a wrist lock and elbowing Breeze. Eventually, Gallagher rammed Breeze’s head against the turnbuckle, before stomping on his face and racking him with uppercuts. Firmly in control Gallagher pushed a knee into the face of Breeze. Gallagher took too long enjoying his advantageous position however as Breeze was able to turn the tables and hit Gallagher with a number of strikes and trap him in the corner.
The two exchanged running corner strikes and pin attempts, with Breeze hitting Gallagher with a Supermodel kick and getting a very close two count. With Gallagher on the mat, Breeze went to the top rope, but before he could do anything, Gallagher yanked him off the top rope and used a couple of armbreakers before transitioning into a modified Fujiwara armbar.
Breeze wailed in pain but just managed to get to the bottom rope, frustrating Gallagher. The two then got to their feet and went back and forth with right hands before Breeze surprised Gallagher with a jumping knee strike. Breeze and Gallagher both rolled to the outside while fighting, where Breeze was able to toss Gallagher into the barricade. As Breeze was trying to make his way back in, Gallagher played possum and hit Breeze with a discus elbow and got the pinfall victory.
Jack Gallagher defeated Tyler Breeze.
Anish’s Thoughts: Another really good match. This one was a little slower, but I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. I liked the way Breeze was able to slowly work his way out of Gallagher’s offense and holds. The fact that Gallagher won with a surprising maneuver like that does not do Breeze any disservices, and they put on a good show.
Overall, this was a solid half hour of wrestling. Props to all four guys and the commentary team for doing their best. I will say one thing, the lack of crowd isn’t all bad as the camera cuts for 205 and all of WWE programming in general has been less erratic and seizure inducing. I hope they do not relapse as soon as a live crowd is back, but for now this seriously helps the watchability of all of the WWE product, including this episode of 205 Live. Dot Net Members will hear my audio review of this show on Saturday morning.