205 Live Review, 9/19

It’s been a great buildup to tonight’s Cruiserweight Championship rematch. Gulak vs. Alexander is the best feud 205 Live has had in its short history. Gulak has been great since he stopped doing PowerPoint presentations.

TJP VS. LINCE DORADO

Fast-paced back-and-forth action to start, which is typical of most moatches on 205 Live. TJP is smart to slow it down so he can work his submission holds. TJP can keep up the pace with the luchador, but Dorado can’t match TJP’s mat wrestling ability, so that’s where TJP should try to keep the match: on the mat. On paper, TJP should win the match, but there’s no measurement for heart and ability to close out a match. The members of Lucha House Party take their share of losses, but they also have a knack for finding ways to win matches where they’re outclassed and clear underdogs.

Dorado is showing that ability in this match as he makes TJP miss and continues to fight and come back despite taking a lot of punishment. TJP also gets frustrated and often spends too much time playing to the crowd rather than keeping the pressure on his opponent. TJP reverses a Salida Del Sol and rips off Dorado’s mask, a HUGE breach of etiquette, and Dorado covers his face and suffers a roll-up pin rather than give away his identity. As I wrote about in my Gorilla Fighters feature on Andrade “Cien” Almas, a luchador’s mask and identity are sacred, so it’s no surprise Dorado would rather take a loss than uncover his face.

Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals

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Lio Rush must fulfill his 205 Live obligations, he wrestles Noam Dar next week, and Mustafa Ali gets Hideo Itami. Two potentially terrific matches.

 

CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: DREW GULAK W/GENTLEMAN JACK GALLAGHER & THE BRIAN KENDRICK VS. CEDRIC ALEXANDER (c)

I’m wagering that Kendrick and Gallagher are ejected by the referee at some point. In fact, Kendrick almost cost Alexander the match right away, luckily Gulak wasn’t able to fully lock in the Gu-Lock. The match starts fairly slowly, which is unsurprising because I think they’re gearing up for a 15-20 minute match with a frantic pace in the later stages. As I once again prove I’m a genius, Kendrick and Gallagher are ejected nary five minutes into the match. As I’ve said before, I don’t know why you’d read any other blog.

It’s smart by Gulak to keep Alexander on the mat as much as he can. Working on Alexander’s arms and midsection affect his stamina, speed, and power, the most important attributes for his style. Gulak is relentless and constantly a step ahead of the champion. He’s always been very good, but as I wrote above, he’s been on another level since becoming a more serious competitor. He is a dangerous dude.

Holy hell, that suplex over the top rope into another suplex on the floor spot was fucking awesome. I love the psychology of Alexander smiling when they roll back into the ring and shit talking to Gulak, because it gets him frustrated and takes him off his game, allowing Alexander to take advantage, leading to a flurry of big moves and a near fall. Alexander gets so much distance on his dives over the top rope. He nearly made a fatal mistake and got caught in the Gu-Lock, luckily he was near the ropes. Gulak seems to back in his element and is all over the champ. Now he’s the one shit talking, but he’s taking way too much time circling Alexander and yelling at him. It gives Cedric a chance to reverse a body slam and get a near fall, but holy shit, Gulak nearly decapitated him with that clothesline.

Great reversal of a power bomb into a Michinoku Driver by Alexander for another two count. Now we’re at the point in the match where I’m reminded of Rocky IV: “Forget technique, forget strategy, this is just a street fight.” Gulak went to the top rope, which he has always railed against, and it seemed obvious that they missed what would have been an AWESOME spot with Alexander catching him for a Spanish Fly in midair. It looked bad afterwards with both guys sitting there for a second or two like “… shit, what now?” before Gulak just went for a pin. Cedric amazingly fights out of the Gu-Lock, I really thought the match was gonna end there. Alexander ducks a strike, hits an elbow, and nails the Lumbar Check to win and retain his title. Terrific match in every aspect. And now that I watch the possibly botch spot again, they may not have been going for that, as Gulak was going to the side and hit a clothesline, Cedric just flipped to sell the strike. Maybe. Either way, Great match.

Match Rating: Eight Gold Medals

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BACKSTAGE PROMO: BUDDY MURPHY

Murphy gets to face Alexander in his home town at the Super Showdown. He is extremely confident, and for good reason: he’s fucking awesome, and he’s going to have full crowd support.

Promo Rating: Six Stone Colds

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Overall Show Rating: Eight Gold Medals

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