205 Live – December 19, 2017: Maybe Gulak Does Make a Better 205 Live

205 Live
Date: December 19, 2017
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph

The big story tonight is the (second) debut of Hideo Itami, who made his main roster debut last night on Raw in further proof of the fact that 205 Live really doesn’t need to exist. Other than that we have a new #1 contender in the form of Cedric Alexander in a title match with a date to be announced. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last night’s #1 contenders match. Again: why does this show exist when the big story happens on Raw?

Opening sequence.

Tonight: a rematch of Alexander vs. Gulak. THIS SHOW DOES NOT NEED TO BE AROUND!

Kalisto/Gran Metalik vs. Brian Kendrick/Jack Gallagher

Before the match, Kendrick talks about Metalik getting involved in their business last week. Kalisto nips out of Kendrick’s wristlock to start but doesn’t have as much luck with a top wristlock. Some chops put Kalisto in the corner but he comes out with kicks and a headscissors. Nothing wrong with some lucha. Metalik comes in for the rope walk crossbody but gets kicked in the face to cut him off.

Not that it matters as he rope walks into a dropkick to Gallagher, setting up the double flip dives to the floor. Back in and Gallagher ties Metalik in the Tree of Woe (because you should be doing that fifteen seconds after a big high spot) for the running dropkick before starting in on the leg. Kendrick comes in for a half crab before shifting to just pulling on the leg. It’s back to Gallagher for more leg pulling as this match is rapidly dying.

Kendrick takes him to the top, only to get pulled down into a faceplant. The hot tag brings in Kalisto with a springboard seated senton and a double armdrag. The hurricanrana driver and the Salida Del Sol get two with Kendrick making the save. That’s actually enough as the match is thrown out at 8:56.

Rating: C. The match wasn’t the worst but that leg work in the middle destroyed the crowd’s entrance. It doesn’t help when you’ve seen some combination of these four have very similar matches for far too long now and it’s not getting any better. They need to mix things up a bit, or just let them fight some fresh opponents. I know it’s crazy but maybe they could TALK about their issues to hype up the matches a bit. That’s nuts right?

Post match Kendrick and Gallagher use the steps to crush Metalik’s leg.

Enzo yells at Gulak and Ariya Daivari for Cedric getting the title shot. Gulak takes the blame and says he can make up for it by taking Cedric out tonight. Enzo tells Daivari to show some emotion. As usual, Gulak is one of the best things about this show without doing anything more than making simple things look good through delivery.

Hideo Itami vs. Colin Delaney

Itami wastes no time in kicking Colin down before shouting RESPECT ME. The tornado DDT into a neck snap across the rope sets up the top rope clothesline. Itami hits a running corner dropkick and the GTS is good for the pin at 1:51. Total and complete squash, as it should have been.

We look back at Tony Nese standing up to Enzo and getting beaten down as a result.

Enzo says that was a learning experience. Cedric comes in and Enzo mocks him for needing a second chance to qualify for the title match. Alexander says if Enzo was so great, he wouldn’t need the Zo Train. There’s only one word to describe him. Enzo: “Champion.”.

Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak

Enzo is with Gulak. Before the match, Drew says there will be no chanting and tonight he’ll only make one PowerPoint. Tonight, he’ll overpower Cedric and make a salient point. They fight over a lockup to start until a palm strike drops Alexander in the corner. It’s off to the knee with Gulak dropping some elbows and grabbing a leglock.

Cedric fights up and kicks him in the face, only to get chopped and kicked down again. That’s quite different for Gulak and it’s kind of working for me. Drew takes him outside for a posting before we hit the chinlock. That’s switched into an armbar with Drew wrapping his leg around Cedric’s face for a little bonus. Cedric fights back with a string of clotheslines, followed by a flip dive dropkick to the chest (cool) to knock Gulak silly.

Gulak is rocked but manages to avoid the C4. A clothesline gets two on Cedric and Enzo is elated. Cedric is right back with the bottom rope springboard Downward Spiral but gets tripped down into that seated STF. Drew shifts it over into a crossface chickenwing but Cedric makes the rope. Back up and Alexander loads him up for a superplex, only to be shoved back down. Drew slowly climbs down, allowing Cedric to grab the Lumbar Check for the pin at 11:53.

Rating: B. I had a blast with this one as they had one of the best matches 205 Live has put together in a long time. Gulak is getting better in the ring every single week and Cedric is always fun to watch. They were having some extra energy this time around and it was much better than their Raw match. Again though, if you’re going to have a better version of the same match, why in the world did you do the first one on Raw?

Daivari tries to run in but gets a Lumbar Check as well.

Overall Rating: B. Good show this week, Raw induced problems aside. The one thing I’m worried about is how long they want to stretch out Enzo vs. Cedric. They couldn’t possibly try to get this all the way to the Rumble right? I mean, I’d be fine with the match taking place on the first Raw of the year but there’s not enough stuff to build to what should be a one sided match. Gulak vs. Alexander was very good and Hideo’s debut was solid, making this one of the better shows they’ve done.


Brian Kendrick/Jack Gallagher vs. Kalisto/Gran Metalik went to a double DQ when all four brawled in the ring

Hideo Itami b. Colin Delaney – GTS

Cedric Alexander b. Drew Gulak – Lumbar Check

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