205 Live – July 18, 2017: When Wrestling Isn’t the Answer

205 Live
Date: July 18, 2017
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Corey Graves

We have another showdown tonight as Mustafa Ali and Drew Gulak blow off their feud in a 2/3 falls match. This is all about high flying vs. mat wrestling and seems like the big ending. We also have Akira Tozawa vs. Neville II on the horizon but first, Tozawa has to get some revenge on Ariya Daivari. Let’s get to it.

The opening video looks at all the great high flying around here before shifting to Gulak’s No Fly Zone. We move on to a recap of Gulak vs. Ali, including their trading the first four matches, one of which included Gulak trying a top rope splash when he was pushed too far. This video makes the feud seem far more important and interesting than it probably is, which is exactly the point.

Opening sequence.

Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali

2/3 falls and I guess this is how they keep the arena from emptying out to open the show. Gulak wristlocks him to start but gets caught in a hammerlock. Ali grabs a pair of rollups for two before he grabs both arms and spins Gulak around into a third rollup for the first fall at 1:53.

Gulak gets more aggressive to start the second fall but eats a dropkick for two. A monkey flip is broken up though and Gulak dumps him to the floor for a big crash. Back in and Gulak grabs a chinlock while yelling a lot. Ali gets all fired up and doesn’t mind the knees to his face. It’s time for the comeback with a series of clotheslines and a kick to the head, followed by the rolling neckbreaker. They head outside with Ali hitting a hurricanrana but landing on the back of his head for a bad sounding thud. Back in and Gulak sends him head first into the middle buckle, setting up the Dragon Sleeper for the tap at 7:55.

Ali says he can continue so Gulak kicks him in the head. We hit the chinlock again before Ali fights up for a hurricanrana out of the corner. That doesn’t work as well either though as Gulak plants him with a powerbomb to counter and knock Ali silly again. A reverse hurricanrana puts Gulak down and a big flip dive to the floor draws a one man HOLY S*** chant.

Back in and they do the high crossbody spot that ended one of their earlier matches with Gulak rolling through for two. Another enziguri sets up Ali’s tornado DDT for two more, only to have Drew take his head off with a clothesline. Gulak takes WAY too long going up though and actually decides to come back down, only to get caught in another hurricanrana. The inverted 450 puts Drew away at 16:52.

Rating: B. That might be the longest 205 Live match to date and that’s a good thing. This is the kind of match that needed more time to make things work. Ali winning is probably the right call, though again I would have liked to see Gulak keep going with this idea and gain a few followers. If Ali doesn’t go anywhere from this, I don’t see the point in having him win here but that’s one of the least of this show’s problems.

We look at Titus O’Neil throwing in the towel for Akira Tozawa. Post match, Tozawa got Titus to get him a rematch with Daivari.

Earlier today, Tozawa told Apollo Crews that he was fine but Crews reminded him that Titus stood up for him because he cares about the two of them.

Brian Kendrick vs. Devin Bennett

Before the match, Kendrick asks Bennett, who is from Manchester, England ala Jack Gallagher, if the people of Manchester are proud of Gallagher. This is America and it doesn’t work the same as things do over in England. Here you have to work hard and not be a clown like Gallagher so Devin can walk away now if he wants to. Devin is ready to go so Kendrick beats him down while asking if Bennett is a clown. Bennett’s head is kicked into the ropes and Kendrick chops away in the corner. Kendrick offers him a free shot and is incensed when Bennett takes it. A boot to the face sets up the Captain’s Hook for the tap at 1:35.

Video on last week’s I Quit match between Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar with Cedric stomping on the arm with a chair wrapped around it to make Dar quit. After the match, Dar dumped Alicia Fox in what sounded like a major heel turn but was received like a face turn.

TJP doesn’t think much of what he did last week and thinks it’s only Rich Swann who has a problem with it. They still have issues from when TJP eliminated Swann from the Cruiserweight Classic so next week they can have a tag match with both of them picking a partner.

Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari

Daivari again dedicates the match to the Iranian gold medalist. He defeated a Japanese wrestler to win his medal and history repeated itself last night. Tozawa comes in with a very bad shoulder and starts fast with the fake out right hand to the face. Daivari makes things harder on himself by missing a charge into the corner, only to bail to the apron before Tozawa can try the top rope backsplash.

The bad shoulder is sent into the post and Tozawa is in big trouble. Tozawa tries a sunset flip but gets stomped in the shoulder, leaving Daivari to pose. Daivari takes a bit too long though and gets sent outside for the suicide headbutt (which probably should have hurt the shoulder too). Back in and Daivari is right back on the shoulder but a Shining Wizard gives Tozawa two. A Codebreaker on the arm sets up a top rope splash for another near fall on Tozawa, who grabs a quick rollup (and maybe the trunks) for the pin at 8:32.

Rating: C+. Good match here but again it’s hard to get into Daivari as he’s one of the most generic heels I’ve seen in a long time. He’s just kind of there with the “Iran is awesome” stuff and that’s not enough to work too well when he’s not the most interesting wrestler in the world. Tozawa would seem to be heading towards a rematch with Neville but they’re taking their time advancing things.

Post match Daivari posts Tozawa’s shoulder and stands tall to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This show had some better wrestling but the problem continues to be a lack of reasons to care about most of these people. They all feel very low level compared to everyone else on the roster and that makes for some difficult shows to sit through. There were two good matches on here and the show still felt especially long. I know there are a lot of reasons to dislike 205 Live but above all else, they need to give me a reason to care about or connect to the roster.

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