Two Cruiserweight superstars go from being a tag team to being enemies. Hideo Itami never wanted Akira Tozawa as a partner or a friend, and now he’ll make Tozawa #GoToSleep if it means getting the respect he demands. Plus, we’re a week away from Alexander VS Murphy for the title, what will both men to do prepare?
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Drew Gulak VS Gran Metalik w/ Lucha House Party; Gulak wins.
- TJP VS Christopher Guy; TJP wins.
- Akira Tozawa VS Hideo Itami; Itami wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Hideo Itami demands respect.
The Innovator of the GTS came to WWE via NXT to prove he’s a star. He had so much promise when he came in, but it was all halted by injury. Itami returned and started over in 205 Live, but he was forced to team with Akira Tozawa to keep that momentum going. But Itami asked “Why?” That momentum would also be stopped, and Itami only blamed Tozawa. Itami wants Tozawa to understand he made a mistake thinking they were friends. Will Itami make it even clearer when he makes Tozawa #GoToSleep?
Drew Gulak VS Gran Metalik w/ Lucha House Party!
The Cruiserweight Crusader knows that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Gulak takes one step forward when he defeats another member of Lucha House Party. And once he’s grounded all the flashy high-flyers, he’ll have proven that you can flip or dive, but you will tap out. Will he ground The King of the Ropes and do just that?
But before the match begins, Jack Gallagher & THE Brian Kendrick walk out.
The Ungentle Men join commentary, as they’ve had their run ins with LHS recently. They also share their “artwork” of the luchadors with the commentary team to show everyone what they think of Metalik, Kalisto and Lince Dorado. That aside, Gulak and Metalik tie up with the bell. Gulak gets the waistlock and moves to a headlock for the takeover. He traps an arm but Metalik uses the headscissors. Gulak powers his way out to a cover, ONE, and Metalik puts on a headlock now. They both stand up, and Gulak powers out. Metalik runs Gulak over and then speeds things up, front flip and then a stiff chop. Metalik acrobatically arm-drags Gulak, then dropkicks him down. Gulak bails out and Metalik builds speed, but Gulak slides in while Metalik slides out. Gulak reminds us this is a No Fly Zone.
Gallagher likes Gulak’s sound strategy, but Metalik still catches Gulak with the swinging kick. Metalik springboards and missile dropkcisk Gulak down. Cover, TWO, but Metalik keeps on Gulak. Metalik puts Gulak in a corner for a chop, then whips him corner to corner, but Gulak reverses. Gulak runs into Metalik’s back elbow, then Metalik hops up, only for Gulak to trip him up. Dorado and Kalisto rally for Metalik with the matracas, but Gulak puts him in a Tree of Woe to stomp away on the ribs and chest. Gulak backs off while Metalik gets out of the tree. He tosses Metalik out of the ring and lets him sit there for the ring count. Metalik stands at 4, then reenters at 6. Gulak is upon him, with the takedown and then sits down to pull on Metalik’s arm and leg.
Metalik endures this modified stretch hold, and Lucha House Party get the fans rallying again. Gulak shifts to just an armlock, but Metalik fights back with his free arm. Metalik gets to his feet but Gulak brings him back down for a cover. TWO, but Gulak maintains the keylock. Metalik slaps Gulak’s head, but Gulak wrenches the arm. Fans rally and Metalik throws body shots but Gulak throws in a knee. Gulak whips Metalik, but Metalik throws him with tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Metalik whips Gulak, but Gulak reverses and manages to avoid the handspring. Metalik dodges Gulak but Gulak boots him to a corner. Gulak runs into Metalik’s boot, and Metalik runs for a Sling-dog.
Metalik runs again and runs the ropes, to hit another missile dropkick! Cover, TWO, and Gulak gets to ropes. Metalik takes the gloves off but Gulak puts him on the apron. Metalik SLAPS Gulak, but Gulak hits back with a haymaker. Gulak runs in but Metalik springboards up and over for the Asai Moonsault!
Down goes Gulak! Lucha House Party and the fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” while Metalik stirs. Metalik brings Gulak up and into the ring, then goes back to the ropes for the springboard splash. Cover, TWO, but Metalik keeps his cool. Metalik drags Gulak up for another stiff chop. Gulak throws body shots, then hits a discus clothesline! Cover, TWO, and Gulak grows frustrated. Metalik rolls to a corner while the fans rally again. Gulak grits his teeth and runs in, but Metalik dodges to SUPERKICK Gulak down. Metalik then climbs up from the other side, for a tightrope walking Coast2Coast!
Cover, TWO! Kendrick and Gallagher don’t see the point in the rope walking if it was just a dropkick. Metalik drags Gulak up, into the fireman’s carry, but Gulak slips out to grab Metalik for a suplex. Metalik slips out, then hops up, for the victory roll. TWO, to Gulak’s cover, TWO! Gulak and Metalik stand, and Gulak ducks the punch to get the waistlock. Metalik elbows him down, and springboards for the Lionsault, but Gulak sticks his boots up! Gulak grabs Metalik, for the GuLOCK!
Metalik endures, but taps! Gulak wins!
Winner: Gulak, by submission
The Philly Fury lets go when he’s satisfied, and this win is satisfactory. Gulak keeps his word to check off another luchador, will he get the clean sweep?
One thing’s for sure, Kendrick & Gallagher approve. Gulak thanks them for their applause with a curtsy. Are we seeing the third man in the Ungentlemanly Alliance?
Buddy Murphy prepares for his Cruiserweight Championship match.
The Aussie Antagonist is sure that the current Cruiserweight Champion, Cedric Alexander, isn’t training harder than him. In fact, Murphy believes no one trains harder than him. Murphy will come in “the bigger, the faster, the stronger athlete”, which is something Alexander has yet to deal with. That’s why Murphy is so confident he’ll win. It’s why Murphy has won every match since coming to 205 Live. Murphy vows to be the next Cruiserweight Champion, “because you can’t stop the unstoppable.”
TJP VS Christopher Guy!
The “Cruiser-Great” feels underutilized on 205 Live, so he reached out to SmackDown GM Paige via Twitter to see if there are openings on the Blue Brand. Is the inaugural Cruiserweight Champion truly thinking of moving up a weight class? Or is he just acting like he’s above it all to compensate for his recent losses?
The bell rings, and TJP circles with Guy. They tie up, and TJP moves all around with holds to a takedown into the hammerlock. TJP handsprings off Guy and “kicks dirt” at him. He even dabs on ’em. TJP dares Guy to bring it, and they tie up again. TJP slips through to a wristlock and then the sideways headscissors takedown. He keeps moving around, and hammerlocks one of Guy’s arms to YANK on the other! Guy writhes in pain while TJP grins. TJP keeps on Guy in a corner with a European Uppercut, then sticks a foot in Guy’s face while pulling on the arm. TJP whips Guy corner to corner, then snap suplexes Guy up. He rolls through for the saido suplex, then slingshots for the senton atomico.
TJP vows to finish, and the 205 Live GM, Drake Maverick, watches with a disapproving frown. However, Guy fights out of the fireman’s carry! Guy dropkicks TJP down and the fans cheer. TJP runs in but Guy avoids him, then springboards for a sunset flip, only for TJP to roll through and dropkick him down. TJP grabs the legs, ties them up, and turns Guy over for an Angelito STOMP! Then he adds on the Detonation Kick!
Cover, TJP wins!
Winner: TJP, by pinfall
The FilAm Flash is smug as ever after winning. Whether he’s on 205 Live or goes to SmackDown Live, TJP makes the T stand for Tuesdays.
In-ring interview with TJP.
Dasha congratulates TJP on his win, and asks about the recent comments he’s made. TJP thinks that “One: I wasn’t just the first Cruiserweight Champion, I was the best Cruiserweight Champion. Two: I’m the best technical wrestler in the world! Three, and more importantly: I single-handedly revived Cruiserweight wrestling, and I carried this Division on my back. If that is the kind of competition Drake Maverick thinks that I deserve, it’s crystal clear exactly what 205 Live management thinks of me.” TJP clearly feels he’s better than just some Guy, but will complaining about it get him what he wants?
The Cruiserweight Division made a big impression on the WWE European Tour.
The Heart and Soul of 205 Live, Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander, were the cornerstone of the Cruiserweight action that wowed the crowds all over Europe. Ali himself made direct connections with the fans to share his light of inspiration with them.
Alexander also shared his feelings of the entire experience.
Exclusive interview with Cedric Alexander.
Vic Joseph thanks the Cruiserweight Champion for taking the time for this interview, but it helps that Vic and Alexander go a ways back. Alexander is on quite the roll, and sets to defend the title against Buddy Murphy. How is Alexander handling the pressure of being champion? “One day at a time.” Alexander had pressure at Wrestlemania, at Greatest Royal Rumble, so pressure is just “another day at the office” for him. But when Alexander returns to his home state of Carolina, he’ll have family and friends in attendance, that has to be a different kind of pressure. Not at all to Alexander. His friends and family will be his support, he won’t fail.
Then on to Buddy Murphy, who is like we’ve never seen in the Cruiserweight Division. Murphy states he’s bigger, stronger and faster, and that Alexander has never faced someone like him. Alexander responds by saying that he himself cut weight to be a Cruiserweight. Alexander went through the very same things Murphy has, from hours of cardio to gallons of water day in and day out. Cutting weight gives you that agility, that speed, but it also drains stamina. If Murphy hasn’t figured that out, then Alexander plans to exploit it.
But how can Alexander be sure? Everyone else who has gone up against Murphy have failed to exploit a weakness, so what can Alexander do? “205 Live is full of young, hungry lions”, from Gran Metalik to Mustafa Ali and even Drew Gulak. But there’s a reason Alexander is champion: he’s well-rounded, can do it all and then some, and will remind Murphy that this is the #AgeOfAlexander. That may be the case now, but will it be after next week?
Akira Tozawa VS Hideo Itami!
The Stamina Monster and the Innovator of the GTS were a tag team that showed promise, but Itami never wanted that for himself. Now, to both earn respect and move towards a Cruiserweight singles title opportunity, Itami vows to make Tozawa see he is not on his level.
In a quick backstage interview, Tozawa says that “Hideo is a legend. I always respected Hideo, but Hideo did not respect me. If Hideo didn’t like me as a partner, he really won’t like me as an opponent.”
Th bell rings, and the two go right at each other with boot kicks. Then they throw fast and furious forearms. Itami kicks then whips but Tozawa reverses. Itami sunset flips but Tozawa rolls through. Tozawa kicks but Itami ducks and rolls him up, TWO. Itami kicks but Tozawa dodges, and fans applaud how even they are. The two circle again, and fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa. Itami hates that, and kicks at Tozawa. Tozawa blocks the kick then chops, so Itami chops back. Tozawa chops, Itami chops, and it’s a chop fight. Itami staggers, but fires up and chops Tozawa. Tozawa also staggers, but also chops back. Itami chops again, and fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa. Tozawa fakes the chop, to hit the jab! Itami crawls to ropes but Tozawa “AH! AH!” stomps away. Tozawa backs off at 4, then brings Itami up for a snapmare.
Tozawa runs to Penalty Kick and back senton on Itami. Cover, TWO, but Tozawa keeps fans in it with “AH! AH!” Tozawa stomps Itami, then brings him up for a shouting scoop slam. Cover, TWO, and Tozawa puts Itami in a chinlock. Tozawa brings Itami to the mat, but Itami endures. Itami stands up and jawbreakers out, but Tozawa ax handles Itami back. Tozawa stomps and chops Itami again, then again. Tozawa whips corner to corner then runs in, but Itami puts him on the apron, only for Tozawa to forearm Itami back. Itami sees Tozawa coming and kicks him between the ropes. Itami then climbs up, and drops the flying guillotine knee!
Tozawa goes down and Itami shouts at the fans, “Respect me!” Fans “AH! AH!” instead, so Itami tells them to “Shut up!” Itami stomps Tozawa while demanding respect, then brings Tozawa up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Itami keeps on Tozawa with kicks. Itami baseball slide dropkicks Tozawa out of the ring, then goes out to stomp him more. Fans continue to “AH! AH!” but Itami puts Tozawa into barriers. Itami stands Tozawa up for kicks against the barriers, then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO, but Itami keeps focus as he drags Tozawa back up. Itami snapmares Tozawa into a chinlock, and now Tozawa endures. Fans “AH! AH!” for Tozawa and Tozawa powers up to fight back. Itami clubs and elbows Tozawa, then whips him corner to corner. Tozawa boots Itami back, then climbs up to fly, into Itami’s kick!
Itami looms over Tozawa, wanting Tozawa to respect him while he suffers. Itami drags Tozawa up, whips and runs him down with the kitchen sink knee. He toys with Tozawa, showing little respect to him. Itami mocks the “Ah! Ah!” while fans genuinely echo it. Itami kicks Tozawa while he’s down, right in the ribs. Fans refuse to respect Itami, so Itami drags Tozawa up for another whip. Itami hits another kitchen sink knee, then paces around Tozawa. Itami drops short knees into Tozawa, then brings down the knee pad forthe leaping scuff. He shouts “Respect me!” then mocks the “Ah! Ah!” again. Tozawa gets up and swings on Itami, but Itami drops him with a DDT! Cover, TWO, so Itami puts the chinlock on again.
Tozawa endures, and “AH! AH!” gives him energy. Tozawa fights back again, but Itami knees again. Itami whips, but Tozawa anticipates the knee and rolls Itami up! TWO, and Itami boots Tozawa, only to run into the headscissors! Tozawa hits the Shining Wizard, then fires up as he goes to the corner. Fans “AH! AH!” while Tozawa climbs up. Tozawa aims, but Itami rolls out. Tozawa simply changes flight plans, and leaps from the apron for a cannonball!
Fans fire up with Tozawa as he puts Itami back in the ring. Tozawa hurries back up top, and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, TWO, but Tozawa keeps focus. Fans “AH! AH!” again, and Tozawa drags Itami up. Itami resists the lift and elbows Tozawa’s head. Tozawa chops, then runs into the corner, but Itami boots him. Itami hops up, for the tornado hotshot! Itami climbs up, and flies for the clothesline! Cover, TWO! Frustration grows for Itami, but he goes after Tozawa again with a strike fest. Tozawa ducks, but swings into a Fujiwara armbar, that Itami transitions into a crossface. Itami wants the other arm but Tozawa slips out to inside cradle, TWO, rolling roundhouse!
Tozawa hurries to a corner and the top again. He takes aim, but Itami trips him up. Itami rocks Tozawa with a right, then climbs up, but Tozawa fights back. Tozawa clubs away with every “AH! AH!” and then reaches for a Fisherman. Itami fights back, and gets a SUPER FALCON ARROW!!
Itami crawls to a cover, TWO!? Somehow Tozawa survives, and Itami can’t believe it. Both men slowly stand up, and Itami runs to build speed for a big dropkick! Cover, TWO! Tozawa stirs, so Itami gets to a corner. Itami runs in, but misses, and Tozawa tilt-o-whirls into an Octopus Stretch!
Itami endures while walking towards ropes, and he collapses into the ropebreak. Tozawa lets go quickly, to then build speed and DIVE!
The Tozawa Torpedo connects! Tozawa quickly puts Itami in the ring, then climbs back up. He takes aim and leaps, but Itami rolls out of the way! The Super Senton back flops on the mat! Itami drags himself up and gets to the other corner, to run back in for the hesitation dropkick! Tozawa is dazed, but Itami won’t stop there, he hits another one! Itami still isn’t done, as he brings Tozawa up for the GTS Mk.II!
Cover, Itami wins!
Winner: Itami, by pinfall
Itami takes the win, but still demands respect. Now that he’s a singles competitor again, will Itami at least earn a Cruiserweight Championship match in the near future?
This was a solid night of action for 205 Live. It was three matches this time, but it all did matter in the end. Gulak and Metalik have a great match, and I sensed Gulak was going to join Gallagher & Kendrick in their stable. I don’t think WWE would go from a Cruiserweight Tag Team Division to a Cruiserweight Trios, but they could at least establish more than one trio stable in the Division. Lucha House Party going against Gulak, Gallagher & Kendrick in a Six Man Tag would be great, and then have things come down to Gulak VS Kalisto in singles while Metalik-Dorado take on Gallagher-Kendrick in tag team action. By the way, where are the Daivari Brothers? They need to join the unofficial Tag Team Division already.
TJP beats a jobber but not just for the sake of an easy win. His story has shifted from arrogant sore loser to arrogant yet overlooked talent. I don’t really think TJP would actually move out of the Cruiserweight Division to join Raw or SmackDown. Those shows barely have room (or interest, rather) for everyone they already have *cough* Tye Dillinger */cough* so TJP is best served staying a Cruiserweight. But for story, it works that he’s making it as if he can leave at any time so it’s up to Maverick to give him reason to stay. Murphy and Alexander each do well in their promos to hype next week’s match, and I still feel that can go either way. Itami-Tozawa felt like it could go either way, too, but it works for Itami to go over. If Alexander retains, he’ll need a good number of Heels to face.
My Score: 8.5/10