SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
JULY 18, 2017
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. AT LEGACY ARENA
REPORT BY JOEY GALIZIA (@RamJan89), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Corey Graves
JG here. And I’m the face of America.
205 opens with a video package highlighting the purple brands unique high-flying action, and the campaign of one Drew Gulak, who believes that high-flying is killing the wrestling business and wishes to implore his “NO FLY ZONE” strategy to the rest of the roster. His biggest enemy in this ridiculous fight has been Mustafa Ali, one of the biggest risk takers in 205. Up to this point the men have had four matches against one another, and each has won two. Tonight, a 2-out of-3 falls match will end this “unique” rivalry. (Hopefully Gulak returns to his human torture device personae.)
“Hail the Crown” intro. (When the smoke clears, you’ll all thank me for reminding you on a weekly basis how bad this song is.)
Vic Joseph and Corey Graves welcome us to the most exciting hour on television. They hype the Mustafa Ali and Drew Gulak match, as well as Tozawa versus Daivari in a rematch from last week that Neville interfered in.
Ali comes out first. (Oh they’re doing this now? Cool.) Mustafa looks confident.
Gulak comes out next with his ugly smug, picket sign, and megaphone. (Jimmy Hart would be turning in his grave if he was dead and had a grave that is.) Graves puts Gulak over, calling him a man of action who just wants to help the future of 205. (We all do Corey, we all do.)
(1) Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak – Two-out of-three falls
Tie-up. Gulak takes position with a waist lock and pulls Ali to the mat by the arm. Ali reverses the pressure but Gulak locks on a headlock. Ali escapes and runs through Gulak with a shoulder block, does a backflip to showboat, and then a crucifix pin attempt. Only two. Another roll-up but only two. ANOTHER ROLL-UP AND ALI GETS THE FIRST FALL IN THE EARLY MINUTES!
First fall: Mustafa Ali
Drew flees the ring to regroup. When he comes back in he surprises Ali with a back elbow and immediately starts working him down with strikes. Corey says that Drew’s back is against the wall, and he needs to be careful, while Ali can keep his foot on the gas pedal. Dropkick by Ali. He bounces off the ropes and rolls drew up with a backslide! Only a two. Ali goes for a springboard but Drew throws him over the top rope and Ali hits off the apron and the floor pretty hard.
Now in control, Drew smashes Ali with a headbutt. Lateral press cover but just a two count. Modified cobra-clutch by Gulak, wretching on Ali’s head and neck. Drew throws Ali to the corner and starts bad mouthing Ali. Ali starts Hulking up (LITERALLY HIS FACE) and destroys Gulak with a spin kick. Gulak charges but Ali hits his crescent kick and roll-through neckbreaker in succession. Gulak goes to the outside and Ali with a dropkick through the ropes! Gulak throws Ali into the barricade, but Ali jumps up and hits a frankensteiner! Both men are hurt.
Back in the ring Ali goes up for his inverted-450 but Drew pulls him off the top rope. He then throws Ali into the turnbuckle, and locks on his dragon-sleeper. Ali taps.
Second fall: Drew Gulak by submission
Gulak holds the submission on well after the tap out in order to inflict maximum damage. Graves reminds us that the dragon sleeper was made famous by Fujinami. (Looks like someone’s been using him in 2k online.)
Drew nails Ali with a standing big boot, a jumping elbow, and again locks on a modified chin-lock to target Ali’s neck. Ali pops to his feet, blocks a clothesline and goes for a springboard frankensteiner! Gulak BLOCKS IT WITH A POWERBOMB. (Wow he hit hard.) Cover, only two! Drew can’t believe it! Back drop attempt but Ali lands on his feet! Poison frankensteiner! (Inverted.) OMG. (They show it in slow motion and it really looks like Drew’s head and neck were destroyed. Hope he’s okay.) Drew rolls to the outside and he’s VERY disoriented. Ali goes to the top and takes out Drew with a summersault from the top! Vic Joseph says this is the type of action that you can see every Tuesday! (Nice plug Vic.) Back in the ring Ali hits a cross-body but Gulak reverses the momentum! Two count! Suplex into the turnbuckle from Gulak! Another two count!
To his feet and Gulak runs into an elbow. Ali with a tornado DDT from the second rope! Another two count! Ali goes for a roll-up but Gulak transitions into the dragon sleeper! Now Ali turns it into a pin attempt! Two! Clothesline from Hell from Gulak! Cover…TWO.
Drew looks to the turnbuckle and goes to the top rope! He looks frightened. He takes too long and Ali runs up and takes him down with another Frankensteiner! Ali goes up! Inverted-450 and it’s over!
WINNER: Mustafa Ali at 23:15.
Graves commends both men, and says that action like this is only available on 205. He’s also been calling Ali’s finisher the 054 since it’s an inverted 450. (I too, will only refer to that move by that name because it’s awesome.) Graves also says that this match was one of the most exciting he’s ever seen on this show.
Vic Joseph takes us to a video package of last night’s Raw match between Ariya Daivari and Akira Tozawa, where Titus threw in the towel in fear that Akira’s shoulder was getting permanently damaged. Post-match Titus apologized, but told Akira that it was for his own safety. Akira understood, but demanded Titus get’s him a rematch.
Cut to another video which was a WWE.COM exclusive where Apollo Crews is talking with Akira. Apollo says that Titus was just looking out for his safety, and that whether Akira believes it or not, Titus is just looking out for his clients. Apollo says that Titus even stood up for him when Braun Strowman kicked him to hell a back a few weeks ago. Segment ends with Apollo wishing Akira luck in tonight’s match, and Akira calling out Daivari saying he better bring it.
Brian Kendrick is on his way to the ring as we cut to commercial.
Battleground preview highlighting the Punjabi Prison match. (I’m sure you’re very excited for that huh?)
Kendrick comes out ready for action. His opponent, Devin Bennett is already in the ring. (Wonder who is going to win this one. ☺)
They announce that Devin’s from Manchester, England. Kendrick gets on the microphone and asks if he knows Jack Gallagher. Devin says he does. Brian wonders if the people of Manchester are proud of Jack Gallagher. Devin says they are. Brian says that in America there are two types of competitors: Fighters like him, who work hard, and then there are people like Jack Gallagher, who steal opportunities with stupid gimmicks. They are called clowns. Kendrick then states that Bennett should just walk away because he doesn’t stand a chance. He even asks him if he thinks he can beat him. Bennett says he believes he can. Bell rings.
(2) Brian Kendrick vs. Devin Bennett
Kendrick lures in Devin with a test of strength but opens up with a kick to the stomach. Suplex by Kendrick. He keeps screaming at Bennett asking if he’s a clown. He puts Devin in the corner and chops him multiple times. He gives Devin a free shot and Devin nails him. That makes Kendrick mad, so he big boots his head off his body. He locks on the Bully Choke and Bennett taps.
WINNER: Brian Kendrick by submission at 3:03.
Highlight of last week’s very good “I Quit” match between Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander. (Seriously, if you like 205, it was one of the better main events in a while.) If you missed it, Cedric would come out on top putting an end to a love triangle angle that’s been going on LITERALLY since the show debuted back in November. Post match Noam quit his relationship with Alicia Fox saying that he only used her to try and get move his way up the roster, and that he could have any woman he wants. (BARF.)
Backstage T.J. Perkins is getting interviewed by Dasha. They show us last week’s 205 where T.J. and Rich Swann both defeated the same guy on the same night, but T.J. did it a little bit faster. Back to the interview and T.J. states that Rich Swann is upset that he continues to come in second in their competitive streak, and reminds us, yet again, that he defeated Rich in the CWC on route to becoming the first cruiserweight champion. He says that next week in 205 he’ll bring some real competition to their rivalry, and tells Swann to get a partner, because it’s going to be a tag-match PLAYA.
Joseph and Graves hype the main event between Tozawa and Daivari which is next.
Commercial break for NXT. Big #1 contenders match. GET PUMPED.
Daivari comes out first. He’s sporting a gold silk shirt that actually goes really well with his knee pads and attire. He gets on the mic and starts screaming in Iran. In English, he tells the fans that he’s competed all over the world, and that there is no better place to wrestle than in Iran. He puts over his hero, an Iranian Olympic medal winner, Emam-Ali Habibi for winning the gold in 1956 in the wrestling category. Daivari says Habibi defeated a Japanese competitor in the finals, and parallels it with his victory over the Japanese Tozawa from Raw last night. Daivari concludes his promo by saying he’ll become Iran’s next great champion.
Tozawa comes out next, he’s still wearing protective padding over his shoulder.
(3) Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari
Crowd “AHHH” chants with Akira. Daivari forces Akira to the corner but Akira opens up with some vicious strikes. Dropkick and senton in succession. Cover from Akira but only two. Graves says that Akira needs to be careful because the simplest move could further damage the man’s shoulder.
Davari whips Tozawa in the corner but Akira moves! He goes to the top for his finishing senton, but Daivari moves and then wretches his shoulder over the ropes! He targets the shoulder, throwing him into the turnbuckles numerous times.
In full control Daivari pulls Akira’s arm over the metal post on the bottom turnbuckle. Daivari with a lateral-press but only a two count. Submission on the shoulder, a hyperextension.
Tozawa begins his comeback with a sunset flip, but he lands on his shoulder and isn’t able to bring Daivari down, he takes advantage by stomping the injured limb. To the outside, Daivari attempts to smash Tozawa’s arm in the ring steps, but Akira escapes and hits a big boot.
Back in the ring Akira hits a frankensteiner sending Daivari to the apron. Running forearm and then a suicide dive! Both men are down. Akira’s favoring his shoulder after the dive, but Daivari looks dazed as well. The ref counts but they beat it.
Tozawa throws Daivari back in the ring. He goes up but Daivari gets to his feet. Akira jumps over him and goes for an attack but Daivari takes him down with a hammerlock. Suplex attempt but Akira blocks it. Shining wizard by Akria! Cover but only two.
Arm-breaker by Daivari. He goes to the top and frog-splashes Akira right on his back! (And he got some distance on it.) He goes for the cover but only two. He tries it again but Tozawa reverses the momentum and grabs the tights! HE GETS HIM!
WINNER: Akira Tozawa at 9:21.
Immediatley after the bell Daivari Pearl Harbors Tozawa walking up the ramp. He screams in Iranian obviously upset at how he lost. Graves says it was an incredible victory by Akira, but the last man standing is Ariya. Tozawa is screeching in pain, and Daivari stands tall to end the show.
JG FINAL ANALYSIS: Perhaps it’s because the G1 has begun and I’m just excited about wrestling in general but I rather enjoyed this show. Mustafa Ali and Drew Gulak had an exciting conclusion to their odd storyline with a very well put together affair that the crowd was really into. Brian Kendrick furthered his hatred for the English hero Jack Gallagher by defeating a jobber who also happened to be from Manchester, and Tozawa and Daivari worked a fine main event that made Akira look vulnerable in his future hunt for the cruiserweight belt. 205 will continue to get better as these guys become more comfortable with their characters. Not the best wrestling show by any means, but a thoroughly enjoyable hour nonetheless.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 7/11 WWE 205 LIVE REPORT: Cedric vs. Noam Dar in an I Quit match, Daivari vs. Tozawa (w/Titus), plus Rich Swann and T.J. Perkins