Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly 205 live review column. This week was one with lots of anticipation and I was interested to see how it would help build anticipation for Summerslam. It’s time to find out the answer to that question so let’s begin.
Match 1 Akira Tozawa vs Lio Rush:
This match was very good, it told a simple story of an experienced veteran versus a rookie, but it did so in a way that felt unique to the combatants involved. I particularly loved the new hints of aggression in Akira’s movements and strikes because it really gave the feeling that he was done playing around with his extremely entitled adversary. Therefore making the match seem more personal than it had been perceived to be at first glance.
However, that still didn’t distract me from the wonderful performance that the “23-Year-Old Piece of Gold,” Lio Rush put forth in this bout. With his amazing speed and agility showcasing his athleticism on one hand. Rush also used his amazing sense of crowd control to gain their appreciation but still had them wanting him to lose.
In spite of the crowd’s wishes Lio did not crack under the pressure, in fact, he did quite the opposite, he forged through to become a diamond with an impressive victory! Overall this match was extremely solid and a great way to kick off the show.
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Sidenote: Heading into his debut on 205 live earlier this year I was slightly worried how Lio would fare as a heel because the majority of the work I’ve seen of him has been as a babyface in ROH a few years back. However, I am proud to say he passed this unique test with flying colors and I can’t wait to see what he does next!
Throughout the night we had some really great video packages setting the stage for the Cruiserweight Championship match this Sunday between Drew Gulack and the reigning champion Cedric Alexander. They showed the journeys that have led both superstars to this collision course. These are well worth seeking out if you need a quick refresher on this rivalry, WWE’s production team did a wonderful job here!
Match 2 Hideo Itami vs Trent Newman:
Next up we got to see Hideo Itami for the first time since last weeks brutal and yet classic match with Mustafa Ali.
This was a simple and effective squash match showcasing the brutality of Hideo’s moves along with the utter disdain that he has for his opponents regardless of their status in the ranks.
I also really enjoyed the selling of Trent because I felt like it helped legitimize the match and make Hideo feel like a true threat.
Too short to grade
Match 3 Cedric Alexander vs Jack Gallagher
This was a very good main event not only from an in-ring standpoint but also from a storyline standpoint. It helped set up the major differences of the two halves of Sunday’s match from a character perspective.
In one corner we have the valiant and battle-tested Cedric Alexander who was putting his health and undefeated streak in the year of 2018 on the line in a major way as mentioned by the commentary team.
However, on the other hand, you had a cold and calculated Drew Gulack who was sending out one of his stablemates to make things easier on him by wearing down his opponent heading into the biggest match of his life.
Some of the things that I enjoyed from a physical standpoint while watching the match was the deliberately devastating ways in how Jack tore Cedric’s neck apart piece by piece and the ways that Cedric had to adapt as a result.
Finally, the finish was surprising since Cedric won without the use of his finisher. Also, the numbers game catching up to him in the closing moments of the show was a great way to add more intrigue to this weekends festivities.
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
Overall this was a very nice episode of 205 live and while it wasn’t exactly anything special it certainly did its job in getting me more excited for Sunday. I can’t wait to see how the future of 205 live will be shaped in the wake of this Sunday’s upcoming repercussions.
Thank you for reading and see you all next week!