I dunno why I'm on this kick right now, but let's do it.
First up: The Man With the Plan is out! I looked up his janky-looking flag & it's Blackbeard's flag, which makes my opinion of Blackbeard diminished considerably. The flag goes with Kendrick's whole "Captain's Hook" thing I guess. Kendrick's tights are slightly less seizure-inducing than last week, he's going with garish patches of pink and gold on a black-and-silver swirl pattern, but at least it's only two distinct color schemes instead the seven from last week's tights.
He's fighting Mustafa Ali. I want to get into Mustafa Ali, but just cannot. His look is so awful (who goes with a full body lycra suit? And that hair...), his moves always seem, like, half a beat too slow and his "high-flying offense" is mostly based in throwing a forward roll into stuff.
Match is OK. Cutaway to Drew Gulak. Gulak has, indeed, gotten some collar stays in the last week. Ali looks likes he picked up a bloody mouth hardway sometime along the match, but I really can't tell where.
Kendrick's scouted Ali's jumping tornado DDT, and rolls out of the way. Next sequence sees Kendrick miss a move, Ali go up top for the inverted 450, Kendrick crotch him, and then do a VICIOUS chokehold wrench off the top rope into the Captain's Hook. Ali can't quite get to the ropes and that's the match.
BUT WAIT. Lil' Naitch says he didn't call for the bell! Three guesses who rang it. No, it's not Vince McMahon. Cut to Tozawa holding up the ring bell & grinning. Lil' Naitch says the match continues! One kick to the head & and inverted 450 (give that finisher a name) later & Ali picks up the W.
Tozawa has the Mic! "Hey Buddy Kendrick! You remember this? This is lesson #2... appearances can be deceiving!" I think this is in reference to Tozawa kind of disguising himself by dressing in black and wearing a baseball cap. It might also be a throwback reference to an earlier Kendrick lesson. Tozawa does his war chant and tosses his baseball cap at a fuming Kendrick. This feud continues to be everything. I sincerely hope they kick off 205 Live with this every week for eternity.
Next up is a review of Monday Night Raw's Aires/TJP match, won by TJP after a pep talk & distraction by Neville, and followed up with a beatdown on Aires, apparent heel turn by TJP, and awesomely smirky Neville watching on. Cut to TJP interview. He's the victim, blah blah blah. Looks like we have a new whiny heel on 205 Live.
Wait, is that an umbrella handle in the camera frame? Jackie G is here to ask TJP to take a more "gentlemanly" approach in their match tonight. Gallagher's outfit is maroon-on-lavender-on-purple-on-tan and somehow looks put-together. Gallagher has got to spend half his salary on wardrobe.
Next up: Can You Handle This? Swann throws a weird flapping-his-wings move into his dance intro that I'm not really feeling. Opponent is some guy named Johnny Ocean who Graves informs us is "not just some jamoke, but a defender of the sanctity of love." God Bless Graves for actively trying to put over this jobber's gimmick. I'm guessing he's a Boston-based indy worker, anyone know? Also, straight up, Johnny's presence is telling me that there was not an official 205 pound weigh-in before the show tonight. Swann picks up the W is short order with the (very good this week) Phoenix Splash & grabs the mic. He starts talking about Alicia Fox & the gifts, but the Scottish Supernova interrupts! He claims Rich is lying about giving the gifts, Rich contests this assertion, & here comes Alicia Fox to set the record straight! Alicia is dressed as a combination magician's assistant & funeral attendee. She backs up Noam's version of things, but Swann doesn't seem to mind. Wait, here comes a random courier with a gift! Maybe this has something to do with Swann keeping his chill in the situation. Noam claims the gift is from him & tells Swann to "jog on mate" which my smarky brain hears as "job on mate" at first. Noam's jacket says "Shades of Cool" on the back of it, which I think is Dar's attempt to develop a character beyond "I like Alicia Fox a lot." Swann takes a powder but hangs out on the entrance ramp so he can see a powder bomb erupt when Alicia opens the present. A baby powder bomb? You can't even take a squirt of water Alicia? Swann's music hits (hey wait, isn't that maybe a clue as to who's behind this guys?) and he demonstrates he is very, very amused at this turn of events by making a a crazy face & doing the "churning the butter" dance. Graves & Phillips sell the powder bomb like it's a fate just short of getting doused with Anthrax.
Interview with AA who doesn't say much of note, but does run down TJP for still dabbing in 2017. He then closes by doing a sarcastic dab while eating a banana! That was random but kinda dope.
Time for our main event! Jackie G is out first with William III & rainbow tights. TJP is out next with no glasses anymore. He throws a little more "oomph" into the dab too. I'm not optimistic about this heel turn, but I'll give it a shot & TJP does look like he's dedicated to it. Graves says "TJP has a face best described as 'punchable'" and I have to say I agree. Gentleman Jack offers a handshake, but TJP is more interested in futzing with his hair (which Graves calls "criminal" but is definitely well short of Mustafa Ali-levels of horrid). Bell rings & we're off. Neville is watching backstage, btw.
Some nice chain wrestling to start, capped by Gallagher's leg hammerlock-backbend thing, which he turns in a pinning combination! Haven't seen that before. Gallagher rules. Perkins grabs a leg scissors on Jack & dabs. I feel like TJP was like "look, I don't care if it's not cool anymore, I'm keeping the dab" the writers responded "ok, but that means we gotta turn you heel" and TJP was like "WAIT. DOES THAT MEAN I MORE DABBING? DONE!" More mat wrestling, which these two are great at. I would be down if neither guy got up from the mat the whole match. Gallagher goes for the umbrella jump (Graves: "I have looked through the gentleman's code and have yet to find the part where it says it's acceptable to use an umbrella in combat"), but TJP throws up the deuces & heads down the ramp. Jackie G throws him a dab, which gets TJP mad enough to run back into the ring, & we get a cool rollup for 2 & then Jack does his stupid headstand on the ropes spot. Only part of Gallagher's moveset I don't like.
TJP starts to go to work on the knee, and we get some more MAT WRESTLING & cool submission attempts out of it. Gallagher can take it & not just dish it out when it comes to the human pretzel stuff. The knee continues to be the story. They do a great sequence where Gallagher has to hit a backbreaker on the injured knee to get out of a headlock. TJP goes for the wrecking ball kick but Jack dodges, wraps him up in the ring apron (I think that was on purpose?) & hits a headbutt. Striking exchange. Concussed headbutt! Gallagher wants the Gentleman's Dropkick but his knee gives out, and TJP hits the detonation kick for 3. TJP does his "holster the guns" move as he heads back, which (like all his taunts actually) works way better with him as a heel. Neville comes out at the end to raise Perkins' hand as Jack glares & nurses the knee, and we're out.
OK show. Pros: really nice main event, I'm liking the TJP turn & angle with Neville, and Kendrick/Tozawa continues to rule. Cons: Swann/Dar/Fox is a complete waste of time & talent, the Kendrick/Ali match was eh, and the Swann match perfunctory. But still a good hour of TV.
Once again, just a dynamite main event. The wrecking ball-ring apron-headbutt spot was killer, and TJP's mat game is a lot stronger than I realized. The heel turn is definitely working for me, too.
My favorite thing about Corey Graves' commentary (and it IS hard to narrow it down) is that he does the same thing that I do whenever somebody does a move that you don't see very often. He stops to figure out what it was, and it makes me feel good that most of the time we get the same answer. Like this week, when neither of us knew what to call TJP's not quite sharpshooter, not quite cloverleaf submission. Graves is a treasure.
Originally posted by MoeGatesGallagher's outfit is maroon-on-lavender-on-purple-on-tan and somehow looks put-together. Gallagher has got to spend half his salary on wardrobe.
Gallagher has the most impeccable sense of style, and I think you're right about his wardrobe budget. He was only in that segment for like 10 seconds, and then he changed into his ring gear, which probably means he was just wearing that out and about all day. I wish I had walking around clothes that nice.