Images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service.
- Third Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: Kalisto VS Lince Dorado; Kalisto wins and advances to the second round.
- Fourth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: Hideo Itami VS Roderick Strong; Strong wins and advances to the second round.
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205 Live and the Cruiserweights have entered a new phase!
We have our first-ever General Manager for the Cruiserweight Division, “Rockstar Spud” Drake Maverick!
With Spud at the wheel, the WWE Universe can expect the amazing action they’ve always wanted out of the superstars of 205 Live. And to start it off, the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament has begun! Only one man will be the new Cruiserweight Champion and crowned at Wrestlemania, and we already have two through the first round. Cedric Alexander defeated Gran Metalik, and TJP defeated Tyler Bate. Tonight, two more matches will see two more superstars move on to the second round!
Third Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: Kalisto VS Lince Dorado!
The King of Flight and Golden Lynx may be amigos in the #LuchaHouseParty, but they’ll put friendship aside if it means getting gold. Which luchador will score a win and move one step closer to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
The bell rings, the amigos shake hands to assure everyone this is going to be a respectful match. But then Lince holds on to let Kalisto know he’s going to treat him like any other opponent. The two circle, tie up and Lince gets the waistlock slam. Lince puts on the facelock, but Kalisto silps out to a wristlock. Kalisto arm-drags to a takedown but Lince hops right up. He flips Kalisto away then takes him down with a standing STO. Kalisto sits up, catches Lince’s kick and flips him away, both men stand up and stare down. The fans applaud, but then Lince rushes Kalisto. Kalisto arm-drags Lince, but then Lince arm-drags him back. Kalisto sweeps the legs, covers but Lince kicks out. Lince sweeps the legs and covers, Kalisto kicks out, double dropkicks and handsprings, the fans applaud this evenly matched match-up. Kalisto starts the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants, and the two circle again. Kalisto gets the waistlock to headlock but Lince powers out. Lince tosses Kalisto up but Kalisto narrowly balances on Lince’s shoulders!
Kalisto hops down, but Lince dropkicks him down. Lince runs at Kalisto in the corner but gets a back elbow. He tries again but Kalisto boots him down. Kalisto runs out but Lince manages to monkey flip him over. Lince gets up, Kalisto comes back with kicks. Kalisto whips but Lince reverses, swings but misses and Kalisto hits a tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Lince ends up outside, so Kalisto runs and DIVES!
Kalisto sends Lince into the announce table! The “Lucha! Lucha!” chants start up again while Drake Maverick watches from backstage.
Lince resists but Kalisto still gets him into the ring. Kalisto shoulders in then slingshots over but Lince sits on the sunset, TWO. SUPERKICK from Lince!
Kalisto is staggered, Lince throws him out to then build speed and DIVE!
A tope suicida senton topples Kalisto over! The fans applaud while the referee checks on both men. They’re both alright to continue, and fans already say “This is Awesome!” Lince gets up and gets Kalisto up for a stiff chop. He puts Kalisto in the ring, covers, ONE. Lince doesn’t slow down, he stomps and covers again, ONE. He puts Kalisto in a half clutch, saying he needs this win. The fans rally and Kalisto stands up, but Lince rocks him with a European Uppercut and throws him out. Lince hammers away, then stares at the Cruiserweight Championship belt. He puts Kalisto back in and jackknife covers, TWO! Lince returns to a chinlock, squeezing Kalisto. The fans build to a rally, Kalisto feeds off that energy to stand up. He fights out of the hold, then runs but into Lince’s slinger facebuster. Lince gets to a corner and climbs up. He takes aim, jumps but has to bail out when Kalisto rolls out of the way. Lince runs into Kalisto’s kick, then Kalisto climbs up. He reaches the top rope but Lince chops him. Lince climbs up but Kalisto fights back. Lince slows Kalisto down with headbutts, then stands up with him on the very top, for a SUPER STEINER!
Kalisto crashes down but Lince can’t make the cover right away. Both men are down while the fans applaud and the referee checks on them. Lince crawls to ropes and pulls himself up. He then crawls over to Kalisto just as Kalisto crawls over to him. The two friends brawl on their knees, then brawl on their feet. Lince chops Kalisto again and again, then runs into Kalisto’s enziguri. Kalisto fires off kicks, then runs to springboard for the corkscrew crossbody! He keeps going, mule kick and run for the spike-rana, but Lince counters into a seated cover! TWO! Lince staggers to a corner, Kalisto runs in but into a boot. Lince hops up, but Kalisto rocks him with a kick! Kalisto climbs up, Lince headbutts him a couple times, only for Kalisto to kick him again. Another try from Kalisto, SUPER Victory Roll Bomb!
TWO!! Both men are exhausted, but somehow still moving. The fans start up the “Lucha! Lucha!” and the two men feed off the energy. Kalisto is ready, waiting for Lince to turn around. Lince does, but he denies the Salida with a shove. Kalisto turns things around, roll for the Listo Kick, but Lince caught it! Lince drags Kalisto up, shouting that “I need this!” Kalisto enziguris but Lince ducks it, to handspring and hit the Golden Rewind stunner!
Lince doesn’t stop there, he gets to the top rope again. He aims, and hits the Shooting Star!
The impact was so strong, Lince bounced off! Kalisto rolls and escapes the ring. Lince pursues, and drags Kalisto up and in. Kalisto surprises him with a small package, TWO! Salida Del Sol outta nowhere!
Kalisto- no, ROPEBREAK!! Lince survives by mere seconds! Both men are exhausted but Kalisto forces himself over. Lince grabs ropes, then shoves Kalisto away. Kalisto returns, but Lince backslides, TWO. Kalisto runs, springboards back and hits a Poison-Rana!
THEN Salida Del Sol!! Kalisto wins in furious fashion! But because they’re still friends, they each raise the other’s hand in turn.
Spud is still watching, of course, and he likes what he sees. Can Kalisto go all the way to Wrestlemania to attempt becoming a two-time Cruiserweight Champion?
205 Live takes a look at Roderick Strong.
The Savior of the Backbreaker normally competes in NXT, but he’s being given a huge opportunity in this Cruiserweight Championship tournament. Strong endured rough times as his parents struggled with their inner demons. “Professional Wrestling saved my life.” Strong vows to give everything he has for as long as he has to, and will “risk it all” for victory. This isn’t just his journey, it’s his family’s. Can Strong do his family proud here tonight?
Cedric Alexander speaks.
The Carolina Kid won his first round match, and he’s one step closer to the championship. No one is going to stand in his way. However, Mustafa Ali surprises him from behind!
Ali warns Alexander to be careful or someone might sneak one on him. Ali takes his leave, saying there’s an 0-5-4 with Alexander’s name on it. Alexander counters that “it’s all fun and games until somebody’s lumbar gets checked.” He’ll be watching round one, but now he feels he’ll need to watch his back.
The “Cruiser-Great” reads the Tweets and comments about his controversial victory over Tyler Bate. He was holding the tights, which is why many in the WWE Universe posted things like “Great match, wrong guy.” TJP feels that “it really sucks to dedicate 20 years of your life to something just to get booed for succeeding at it.” Back in the Cruiserweight Classic, TJ Perkins “lived and died” on the idea that he was giving the fans someone to believe in. But now he must ignore the fact that the fans don’t. TJP did what he had to in order to win. This time, he’s not doing it for the fans, but for himself. Can the selfish former champion succeed by any means necessary and compete for the title at Wrestlemania?
205 Live takes a look at Mark Andrews.
The High-Fiving, Stage-Diving “Mandrews” is normally of the WWE United Kingdom Division, but he qualifies for the Cruiserweight Division so why not give him a chance? He helped put both UK and Wales on the map for professional wrestling back in the inaugural WWE UK Championship tournament. Next week, the fun-loving high-flyer gets a chance against former Cruiserweight Champion, Akira Tozawa. Can Andrews succeed as a crossover competitor for both himself and all of Wales?
Akira Tozawa speaks.
The Stamina Monster knows he faces Mark Andrews next week in this Cruiserweight Championship tournament. Andrews has talent, but he can’t beat Tozawa. To prove it, Tozawa asks a backstage worker who they think will win. “Mark Andre–” “Hey, hey, hey! You don’t know.” Tozawa promises to win, and then this guy, “You’re Fired!!” Tozawa then grins and swaggers away like once Vincent Kennedy McMahon might. Will the former champion’s confidence help him or cost him in this tournament?
Drake Maverick is visited in his office by Drew Gulak & Tony Nese.
The Cruiserweight Crusader and the Premier Athlete are both glad to meet with the GM, and know Spud wanted to talk with them about something. Is it perhaps about Gulak’s #Drewtopian plans for a #Better205Live? Something like that. By the way, thanks for the flowers. Spud asks Gulak, “What happened to you?” Gulak asks what he means by that. Spud explains that Gulak used to be “the most rugged grappler” on 205 Live. But Spud sees a Gulak who has PowerPoint presentations and picket signs. “When did you become such a goof?” Spud asks. Nese chuckles, but then Spud calls him out on it. Nese is the “most physically gifted athlete” here, but he wastes it on flexing and counting! “Congratulations, Tony, you have abs.” These two are the two most wasted members of the Cruiserweight Division, because while they have their own futures in their hands, all they do is resort to comedy acts. Spud says “that train” has left the station, 205 Live has changed. Therefore, the Cruiserweight Championship tournament’s first round will have Tony Nese VS Drew Gulak! The two PowerPoint pals look at each other with cold realization.
And now that it’s sunk in, Spud wants to know which one of them will step up. He dismisses them from his office and returns to his work. With only one week until they face off, what will Nese and Gulak do to get the edge over the other?
Fourth Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: Hideo Itami VS Roderick Strong!
The Innovator of the GTS was in NXT with the Savior of the Backbreaker not too long ago. Now Strong joins Itami in 205 Live for a chance at a championship. Itami declares 205 Live his home, and Strong doesn’t belong. Will Itami kick Strong out to ride down the road to Wrestlemania with respect?
The bell rings and the two circle. The fans are already chanting for “Roddy! Roddy!” as he and Itami tie up. Itami gets the waistlock but Strong the takedown. Itami catches Strong in the headscissor hold and Strong can’t pop out of it. Strong endures the squeeze then shifts up to slip out, and gets Itami into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow lock!
Itami endures the bend then pops out to a cover, ONE. The two back off and the fans applaud before they circle again. They tie up, push each other back, but Itami gets the wristlock control. Strong reverses to his own wristlock and brings Itami to the mat. Itami keeps his shoulders up, then headscissors Strong again, but this time Strong pops up with a kip-up. The two stare down again, and fans applaud. Each man dares the other to bring it, so they both tie up again. Strong gets the wristlock to an armbar, but Itami pushes and whips Strong to a corner. Strong goes up and over and catches Itami, but then Itami slips out of the half-nelson. Itami puts on a headlock and grinds Strong down, keeping hold even as Strong pushes. The fans rally for Strong, Strong gets to his feet and fights out with body shots and a shove. However, Itami runs Strong over and things speed up. Strong hurdles over Itami then holds ropes, and hits Itami with a big calf kick!
Cover, TWO, but Strong is not deterred. He brings Itami up for a stiff shop. Itami ends up in the corner, Strong chops him again. Strong backs off, then runs back in, but Itami puts him on the apron. Strong rocks Itami with a forearm, then goes around the corner. Itami sees him coming, and kicks him between the ropes a few times. Itami positions Strong right and hops up to the second rope, for a flying guillotine knee!
Strong goes down, clutching his head, and Itami covers. TWO, and Itami grows a bit frustrated. He brings Strong up and whips, bringing him down with a kitchen sink then lighting him up with a stiff kick to the back. Itami drops knees on Strong’s head, even bringing the knee pad down, for the jumping heel scrape. Itami poses to gloat, then stomps Strong in a corner. Strong reverses the corner-to-corner whip, but Itami boots him away. Itami hops up, goes for the tornado hotshot, but Strong blocks and adjusts for a shoulder gutbuster!
Cover, TWO! Strong keeps on Itami with stomps again and again. He drags Itami up, but Itami fights back. Strong chops Itami down, then bumps him on a buckle before ramming in shoulders to the torso. More chops, then Strong brings Itami out for the butterfly suplex, cover, TWO. Strong grabs Itami in a seated abdominal stretch, mirroring it to go after the repaired left shoulder. Fans rally for both men, Itami stands up and fights out. Strong knees low, then brings Itami up for a pumphandle backbreaker!
Cover, TWO, but Strong doesn’t lose focus. He grab Itami’s hands to help in a stomp into the mat. Strong dares “Kenta” to get up, toying with him even. The fans rally while Strong throws hands, Itami feeds off them. They brawl back and forth, Itami runs but into a big dropkick! Cover, TWO, now Strong feels some frustration. Strong keeps on Itami, bringing him up and back into a seated position. But instead of the abdominal stretch, Strong puts Itami’s legs in an Indian deathlock, and then a modified crossface.
Itami endures the bend and stretch while fans build to a rally. He pries his way out, then fights out with a jawbreaker. Strong runs in but misses in the corner, Itami counters into a DDT! Both men are down, but Itami crawls his way to a corner. Strong stands up and Itami runs out, Itami starts rallying. He kicks, then Fisherman suplexes Strong over, firing up! He boots Strong in the corner, then dumps him down to climb up to the top. Itami jumps for the flying clothesline! It connects, and Itami covers, TWO! Itami brings Strong up, gives him some strikes, but Strong counters to a fireman’s carry. Itami slips out and shoves Strong to ropes, which Strong grabs hold. Strong boots Itami back, then enziguris him before hitting an Olympic Slam!
Cover, TWO! Itami gets to the ropes while Strong stands up. Strong walks over and joins Itami on the apron. He brings Itami up, but Itami senses what he’s after so he grabs onto the ropes. Itami fights back with elbows to Strong’s head. The two start brawling on the apron edge, back and forth with chops and forearms. Strong gets the edge then takes a step back, but Itami boots him in the face! Itami goes to kick Strong again, but Strong catches the kick to yank him down. Strong wants the cradle backbreaker but Itami fights out. They brawl again, forearms and chops back and forth. Itami starts kicking, but Strong ducks one to pick Itami up and throw him into the apron edge!
Itami falls to the ground in a heap while Strong rests against the barrier. The referee checks on Itami, Itami is somehow okay to continue. Strong puts Itami in the ring, covers, TWO! Strong catches his breath before standing up. He drags Itami up to his feet, preparing something with the facelock. Itami resists, Strong clubs away, but Itami still resists. Strong chops him, then tries again, but it’s Itami who hits a Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Both men get up, and fans know “This is Awesome!” Itami runs into Strong and hits him with a hip attack against the ropes. Itami keeps going, but Strong catches the shotgun knees! Strong puts Itami down and goes for the Strong Hold! Itami crawls for the ropes, but Strong keeps him away. Itami gets a leg free and kicks Strong again and again until he lets go. Strong staggers but comes back, he and Itami brawl with forearms again. Strong gives a stiff trio of elbows, but then Itami counters into an armbar takedown. Itami floats over into a modified Rings of Saturn!
Strong endures, and drags himself with his legs! He reaches with his feet, and gets the ropebreak! Itami lets go, but neither man is giving up just yet. Itami starts kicking, then runs to try again, shotgun knees hit! TWO! The fans fire up as Itami calls for the end, but Strong reverses out of the dragon sleeper hold to a fireman’s carry. Itami slips out, but Strong rocks him with a back elbow. Itami boots Strong, then runs but into Strong’s POP-UP gutbuster!
Then in the corner, big shining wizard, and the Cloud Nine facebuster! TWO! Strong can’t believe it, but he won’t stop here. The fans repeat that “This is Awesome!” while Strong lifts Itami up to the top rope. Strong climbs up with him, for another fireman’s carry, but Itami fights out again. Itami rocks Strong with a big kick, then climbs back up to be the one in control. He tries but Strong resists the superplex. Itami headbutts away on Strong, then adjusts for a SUPER FALCON ARROW!
Cover, TWO!! Itami is shocked! Both men are down while the fans cheer Strong on. Strong and Itami flounder but stand back up to brawl again with haymakers. They shift to forearms, but then Itami swings a big right to rock Strong! He back hands but Strong ducks, to then dodge Strong’s jumping knee. Itami catches strong with the backhand, then goes corner to corner for the skateboard dropkick! He fires up, and calls for the end again, but Strong again reverses to hit the jumping knee! Itami staggers, and into Strong’s End of Heartache!!
Strong WINS!! The Strongest Workhorse actually wins to move on in this Cruiserweight Championship tournament! Can Strong keep going to grab a Wrestlemania Moment for himself?
What an incredible episode! There was great character work in just about every part from start to finish, especially with Rockstar Spud. I know I said I enjoyed Gulak’s politician gimmick, but I also like Spud calling him out for how it softened his in-ring presence. Instead of being both a funny character and a tough competitor, Spud points out how #Drewtopia actually weakened Gulak while also pointing out Nese is essentially jobber to the stars. If Spud getting on their cases helps revitalize one of them into a more serious serious competitor, I’m all for it. Especially in a match against each other, as WWE as of just tonight has shown how good friends facing each other brings out the best in both. Lince VS Kalisto was such a match, and there was great story there that while Kalisto wants to be champion again, Lince wants to be champion for the first time at all. It really helped up the physicality of the match, and it really got me invested in wanting Lince to win. However, Kalisto wins, perhaps because he is the more experienced in the “WWE style” and pace. Hopefully this means that while Kalisto aims for singles gold, there will be some way of getting Lince and Gran Metalik to represent #LuchaHouseParty in the Raw Tag Team Division. (Probably not, though)
Great character promos from Alexander/Ali, TJP and Tozawa to frame how each of them feels about the tournament. Tozawa being a sort of Cruiserweight Vince McMahon is becoming a fun little theme for his promos, but I’m thinking it’s best left as just that. We don’t need there to suddenly be a Japanese Vince running around trying to boss people around. Then in the main event, there wasn’t exactly character work, but that wasn’t really needed as Strong VS Itami was excellent on their in-ring skills alone. I knew this match-up would be hard hitting, and it did not disappoint. And best of all, it surprised me by having Strong go over! Strong, despite still being part of NXT, wins this opening round as a major sign that we should expect the unexpected on the “main roster” for once. I hope Strong at least makes it to the semi-finals to give one hell of a match against Cedric Alexander or TJP, who are still my two choices for the Wrestlemania match.
My Score: 8.5/10