First up - Akira Tozawa! The Man with the Plan is out with his weird flag to teach him lesson #9? I think? The outfits are an absolute assault on my eyes. Kendrick's tights look like an acid trip vomited on them and Tozawa's aren't much better, basically a 90s NBA jersey in a wrestling outfit. Some back & forth. Tozawa hits a sick Tope Suicida and then pounds his head & screams cause Tozawa rules. Screaming shows off his blue & purple mouthguard, which does NOT go with his teal & yellow shorts. What's up with Japanese wrestlers & mouthguards anyway? Ending comes when they're on the top rope, Tozawa shoves Kendrick off, & before Tozawa can hit a move, Kendrick fakes an eye injury & hides behind the ref. Then Tozawa jumps off & injures his knee. OR DOES HE?!?!?!?! Rollup on Kendrick WITH TIGHTS GRAB and Tozawa steals one! Tozawa then announces (in pretty good English) that he teaches Kendrick lesson number 1! Replay shows Tozawa actually tweaking his knee a bit on the landing, which is a hell of a dedication to the little things and reason #54 why Tozawa is awesome. Then Tozawa dances his way back to the curtain showing off how not-injured his knee is while Kendrick fumes. This feud is everything.
Next - Rich Swann is out! He's rocking a very appropriate sequined black jacket. Swann does a little robot move & lapel pop instead of his usual cross-arm stance & nod. I love how Swann switches up the dance intro a little bit each time. His opponent - the Brooklyn Braw... err, Boston Brawler, Oney Lorcan. Wonder if Lorcan is resigned to being an NXT jobber, or if he one day aspires to be a Main Roster jobber. Weird spot where Lorcan does an angry-looking wobbly running Alabama Slam into the ringpost. Upon replay it looks like Swann had his tights, hence the wobbly running. Was that a botch or a rib? They do a way-too-telegraphed spot off the top where Swann does a backflip & lands (kinda) on his feet, then Swann (kinda) hits a Phoenix Splash for the W, and then announces he was the one sending Alicia Fox presents. Eh, OK. Rich Swann deserves better than this silliness. Wasn't he the champ like, a month ago?
Mustafa Ali runs into Drew Gulak backstage. Hey, Gulak's got a gimmick! It's kind of a Bob Backlundy thing where he dresses in a suit and complains that 205 Live's style is too high-flying & risky. The main problem with this gimmick is Gulak apparently has never worn a collared shirt before, which Graves just buries him for. Even Phillips chimes in with a 'got to agree, get some collar stays.' Ali has the worst haircut this side of AJ Styles.
Next up the UK wrestlers (Trent Seven, Mark Andrews, Wolfgang, and the one Pete Dunne) get an announcement & say hi to the crowd. Crowd chants "bruiserweight!" as Tyler Bate's music hits. Bate's character is so weird. It's kinda like Jack Gallagher-lite, with this strange "I am so confused to be here, but OK, let's do this" vibe. He's wearing suspenders with skull & crossbones on them, which is a interesting little touch. Maybe it's just the angle, but he also looks super little, even compared to Pete Dunne.
Here's comes the King! The E should have gone with this guy & not the "real life superhero" from the get-go. Neville is gold as a bad-ass heel, and even manages to carry a 4-minute in-ring promo pretty well (and gets the crowd to give their king three cheers!). Neville hits the commentator's table for the upcoming 4-way.
Gallagher is out first with William the Third and Rainbow tights.
Next come TJ Perkins. Pause the beginning of the TitanTron on his entrance & you'll see his character gets picked from what looks like a lineup of Metalik, Cedric Alexander, Bryan Kendrick, Lince Dorado, and Rich Swann. Nice touch! Is it me, or has TJP kind of switched up the dab entrance to be more of a salute, now that dabbing has jumped the shark? TJP gives his glasses to some fat guy, & not a kid. Very un-Bret Hart there TJ. Neville just absolutely glowers in the commentators chair STILL WEARING THE BELT like a boss.
Mustafa Ali follows. Get this guy a gimmick (or at least a personality, or at the very least a new look), stat. He's not half bad on the mic, and his wrestling (which was just this side of terrible in the CWC) has grown on me, he just needs something to work with.
Last is the Greatest Man Who Ever Wore A Fuzzy Sparkle Jacket and we're off. Neville is still glowering.
Four way handshake to start. So it's gonna be that kind of match, eh? Match is a lot of "two guys roll out of the ring, two guys wrestle" with an occasional three-way high(ish) spot. Funniest moment comes when Gallagher just casually kicks TJ Perkins off the apron. Gallagher is so awesome. The guy can wrestle a completely solid standard WWE match, but also has his repertoire of goofy stuff to go to, as well as having a really fun character to play around with. He'll be great to watch if he ever gets some 15-20 minute 1-on-1 matches to work with. Aires gets booted in the face & is still selling the eye injury. Fun four-way spot where Gallagher & Aires stand on TJP's back in order to superplex Ali. Aires hits his not-as-good-as-Tozawa's Tope Suicida, which leads to Gallagher hitting the Umbrella Jump he's been teasing all match. Gallagher hits the concussed head butt & falls on Aires for the two count (I love that spot). Ending comes when TJP hits Gallagher with a Detonation Kick, but Gallagher comes off the ropes with another concussed head butt on TJP, followed by Aires hitting TJP with the Masato Tanaka roaring elbow (I refuse to call it the "rolling fivearm" which is the dumbest name ever) for the three count. Aires sells the eye injury as Neville glowers at him. A bit of jawing at each other, and we're out.
Solid show overall. 205 Live is definitely my favorite hour on TV. Three pretty good matches, some solid character & storyline development, reasonably snarky commentary (Gulak's never going to wear a non-starched collar again), and no less than 10(!) entrances, which we all know are the best part of wrestling.
205's quietly been kind of a great show lately. You're more or less guaranteed one great match, and maybe more like we got on this episode. People really shouldn't be sleeping on this show.
Originally posted by MoeGatesMustafa Ali runs into Drew Gulak backstage. Hey, Gulak's got a gimmick! It's kind of a Bob Backlundy thing where he dresses in a suit and complains that 205 Live's style is too high-flying & risky.
I've kind of been loving "Drew Gulak for Mayor" as I've been calling him. I'm not sure where it goes, but I like the fact that it's given Gulak some much-needed direction.
Originally posted by MoeGatesMaybe it's just the angle, but he also looks super little, even compared to Pete Dunne...
Gallagher is so awesome. The guy can wrestle a completely solid standard WWE match, but also has his repertoire of goofy stuff to go to, as well as having a really fun character to play around with. He'll be great to watch if he ever gets some 15-20 minute 1-on-1 matches to work with.
Fun fact! If you combine Dunne and Gallagher, you get one full William Regal!
Oldies- (random order) Nikita Koloff turning face after Magnum T.A.'s career ending car accident (1988?). Tommy Rich emerging from under the ring in Memphis during a cage around the entire ring area match between Austin Idol and Jerry Lawler (1987?)