Venue: Huntington Center (Toledo, OH)
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, & Aiden English
This week on 205 Live the Cruiserweight Championship at Elimination Chamber between Buddy Murphy and challenger Akira Tozawa is made official via contract signing. Also on the show the feud between Noam Dar and Tony Nese ratchets up a notch in a No-DQ match and The Lucha House Party’s Lince Dorado takes on Jack Gallagher.
- WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Buddy Murphy
- Lince Dorado vs. Jack Gallagher (***)
- No-Disqualification: Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese (***3/4)
-Opening video recaps the feud between Noam Dar and Tony Nese that began a month ago. They settle the score tonight in a No-Disqualification Match.
-Joseph, McGuiness, and English hype the No-DQ match as well as the Cruiserweight Championship contract signing.
–The Lucha House Party make their way out to the ring and get on the mic before the opening match. They welcome the Toledo crowd (cheap pop) to 205 Live and mention the attack by Elias the previous night on RAW, saying they didn’t get to finish their duet. Gran Metalik goes to sing but is interrupted by the music of ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher, who’s joined by ‘Also Gentleman’ Drew Gulak. Gulak joins the commentary team.
Lince Dorado [w/ Kalisto & Gran Metalik] vs. ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher [w/ Drew Gulak]
Gallagher brings Dorado to the mat with a wristlock, Dorado kips up and breaks it but Gallagher goes right back to it, bending the fingers in addition to bending the wrist. Gulak is apparently trying to take Humberto Carrillo under his wing. Dorado with a hurricanrana and a drop toehold into a baseball slide for a one-count. Gallagher wrenches in a headlock, Gulak loving this ‘real wrestling’ instead of the flippy sh*t. Dorado connects with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and falls on top for a two-count. Gallagher ducks a clothesline and drops Dorado throat-first across the top rope. I just noticed they didn’t change the ropes to purple for this episode, did WWE stop trying even though this is one of their better shows? Lame. Dorado sends Gallagher to the floor, Gallagher goes to talk with Gulak to avoid getting splashed in a high-flying manner. Dorado brings Gallagher back in the ring Gallagher sweeps the feet and lays into the kidneys with a series of forearms. Gulak calls Dorado ‘Lindsay Dorito’ which isn’t SUPER clever but I still laughed. Gallagher connects with a backbreaker, Dorado kicks out at two so Gallagher settles into a surfboard-like submission. Dorado almost escapes so Gallagher headbutts him in the midsection and goes back to work, locking in an abdominal stretch. McGuinness is apparently being extra goofy tonight, throwing Joseph off on commentary. Dorado counters into a hip toss that sends Gallagher to the floor, then follows up with a springboard splash with so much air he almost misses his opponent. Hot dang. Back inside Dorado rolls Gallagher up a few times but can’t keep the shoulders down. Dorado connects with a flying crossbody for the 1…2…Gallagher kicks out in the nick of time.
Gallagher rolls through a roll-up attempt, Dorado makes him pay with a kick and a pair of moonsaults. Dorado tries to go for a third Super Crazy-style but Gallagher counters with a pair of knees. Gallagher connects with a power bomb for the 1…2…Dorado kicks out and Gallagher immediately transitions into a half-crab. Dorado with a monkey flip and superkick, Gallagher boomerangs against the ropes and hits a headbutt for the 1…2…nope. Dorado with a back handspring cutter for the 1…2…still nope! Dorado tries a hurricanrana from the middle buckle, Gallagher rolls through into a sunset flip for the 1…2…3!
Jack Gallagher defeated Lince Dorado via pinfall with a sunset flip (10:12)
- I enjoyed this one a lot, from the action to the commentary. Dorado and Gallagher worked well together, and I loved English constantly ragging on Gulak for not respecting lucha tradition or liking high flying moves. Plus they continued building the story of Gulak wanting to bring Carrillo into the fold. Good stuff all around. (***)
Gallagher jumps into Gulak’s arms and they celebrate by screaming ‘MAT-BASED OFFENSE!’. So good. How have they not given Gulak a run with the Cruiserweight Championship yet?!?
–Kayla Braxton is backstage outside of the 205 Live locker room. Humberto Carrillo tries to go get a snack or something, but Braxton stops him to ask about Gulak’s recruitment efforts. Carrillo enjoys everything he does in the ring, and if two of the best wrestlers (Gulak and Gallagher, I guess?) want to train him he has to at least listen.
–Ariya Daivari is hanging out on a late-90s rock music video set, and is coming for the money and respect. Sounds good to me.
-Backstage promo from Mike Kanellis and his wife Maria. Kanellis says it took him sixteen years to get to the WWE, and he didn’t work that long to be seen as a joke following all of his losses. Maria says it’s not about the losses, it’s about the process and every loss is a step closer to success. Sounds like a bad motivational speech or Facebook post.
‘The Scottish Supernova’ Noam Dar vs. ‘The Premier Athlete’ Tony Nese
Nese wants to beat up Dar so bad he doesn’t even count his abs on his entrance. Dar goes on the attack immediately and almost gets the pin off a Northern Lights suplex. Nese bails to the floor, Dar bounces his head off the barricade and sends him into the steps. Dar takes the top part of the steps off and drops Nese crotch-first on the barricade, then launches off the top steps and hits a crotch lariat. An old Nigel move I guess. I should watch more ROH, I’ve got a box of DVDs I’ve never checked out that an old movie critic colleague sent me. Dar works on Nese’s hand, Nese smashes his skull into the LED post and sends him into the barricade. LOTS OF BARRICADE STUFF. Nese grabs a chair from under the ring, Dar tries to fight him off but gets a chair to the gut for his trouble. Nese drapes Dar on the middle rope/chair and hits a springboard moonsault to the back (OUCH) for the 1…2…nope. Crowd wants tables, Nese wants to jam the edge of the chair into Dar’s ribs so he does that instead. Nese continues using the chair, slamming Dar onto it to continue weakening the back. Dar tries to fight back, Nese connects with a back kick to the midsection. Nese jumps over a legsweep attempt but misses a crossbody attempt. Dar counters a kick with a Dragon Screw Legwhip (which Joseph struggles to say, the poor guy). Nese tries a rolling something or other, Dar catches him and hits an Exploder into the buckles for the 1…2…not yet. Nese rolls to the floor to create some separation. Dar pulls out a bunch of chairs from under the ring as well as a TABLE, which pops the crowd. Dar goes to hit Nese with a chair but gets stopped with another back kick. Nese charges, Dar backdrops him onto the pile of chairs and both are down. Dar finally gets Nese back in the ring but it’s been too long and he kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Dar smashes Nese’s left knee repeatedly onto a chair and applies a half-Crab. Nese escapes by bending Dar’s pinky finger back and hits a Michinoku Driver on the chair for the 1…2…Dar kicks out just in time.
Toledo continues chanting for the table as Dar and Nese trade bombs. Nese shoves Dar into the ropes and rattles the brain with a forearm. Nese accidentally punches the chair, Dar wraps the left arm in the chair and applies a chair-assisted Fujiwara Armbar! Nese manages to roll through to shift the weight into a pinning combo, forcing Dar to let go so he can kick out. Back to the floor we go and Dar lays the table against the barricade. Nese counters an Irish whip and sends Dar shoulder-first into the steps. Nese sets up the bottom half of the steps with his one good hand and teases using the table to GET THAT HEAT. Dar trips Nese, driving his face into the steps. Dar applies an armbar on the apron, Nese lifts him up and slams him on the steps. Dar is rattled but reapplies the hold, Nese climbs the steps and sends Dar crashing through the announce table! Nese rolls Dar in for the 1….the 2….DAR KICKS OUT much to Nese’s surprise. Dar surprises Nese with a roll-up for the 1…2…Nese kicks out. Nese misses the running knee, Dar clotheslines him from the apron and connects with a DOUBLE STOMP to the left knee. Dar applies an Ankle Lock, Nese grabs a chair from the floor and hits him with it to break the hold. Nese uses the chair as a crutch and hits Dar right in the left kneecap. Nese wraps Dar’s ankle in the chair and glancingly steps on it. Not quite a Pillmanizer. Nese measures Dar and delivers a goddamn running knee THROUGH THE BARRICADE AND INTO THE TIMEKEEPER’S AREA. That gets a ‘THIS IS AWESOME’ chant from the crowd, and deservingly so. Nese limps Dar back into the ring and covers for the 1…2…3!
Tony Nese defeated Noam Dar via pinfall after a knee through the timekeeper’s barricade (19:12)
- TREMENDOUS. This was some real hard-hitting sh*t and I appreciated every minute of it, from the limb work to Nese teasing using a table to piss off the Toledo crowd. These two went at each other like they were trying to end each other’s careers and got the post-SmackDown crowd invested which is a feat of strength few on this roster can successfully accomplish. The only thing that dragged this down a bit for me was the commentary, who had to repeatedly say this was a ‘No-Disqualification Match’ every five goddamn seconds just in case we somehow forgot. If I had turned that into a drinking game I would be dead. That aside though this is worth checking out for sure. TONY NESE ACTUALLY WON A MATCH, Y’ALL. (***3/4)
-Video plays of Akira Tozawa’s victory over Cedric Alexander last week, earning a Cruiserweight Championship match at Elimination Chamber. Champ Buddy Murphy gives him some guff via TitanTron after.
-GM Drake Maverick mediates the contract signing between champ Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa backstage. Maverick puts them both over and says this is the first-ever encounter between these two. Tozawa signs first in his stylish WWE polo. Murphy decides to jaw jack before signing, offering to take a selfie with Tozawa since it’s the closest he’s going to get to the title (even though he’s a former champion but hey). Murphy says his competition isn’t with Tozawa or 205 Live, it’s with history as he aims to become the greatest Cruiserweight of all-time. Murphy signs the contract. Tozawa says ‘The King of the Cruiserweights’ (Neville) also thought he was unstoppable but he beat him and took his title. Tozawa says he’ll see Murphy on Sunday and GRINS to end the show.
Overall Thoughts: Not enough good things to say about this week’s episode. Both matches delivered, the No-DQ match especially, and the contract signing at the end but was simple but effective. A good hour of pro wrasslin’, can’t ask for much more. I just hope the Cruiserweight Championship match is actually on the proper Elimination Chamber card so I don’t have to sit through another awful Kickoff show.
- Match of the Night: Noam Dar vs. Tony Nese
- Moment of the Night: Drew Gulak treats Jack Gallagher’s win like they just won a gold medal at the Olympics. YAY FOR MAT-BASED OFFENSE.