Who says WWE doesn’t do long term booking?! Mike Kanellis has been vocal about his treatment at the hands of 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick for months now, a story told to us in the form of an excellent hype video to kick off this week’s show. Maria Kanellis has played her part in it all too. Whispers in her husband’s ear have turned into public embarrassment.

This has culminated in an emotionally wrought man willing to do anything to win back his wife’s respect, as well as take out all of his frustrations on his boss in an attempt to get to the top of the Cruiserweight division. Tonight’s Unsanctioned Match should be a cracker!

Elsewhere on 205 Live this week, Lince Dorado of Lucha House Party “fame” will take on Ariya Daivari in singles action. Vic Joseph, Aiden English, and the returning Nigel McGuinness welcomes us to the show, and the first match….

Akira Tozawa & Brian Kendrick vs The Singh Brothers

Can someone else type this and wake me up when it’s done? My apathy towards the Singh Brothers is more vocal by the week. Add to this that we have another tag team “feud” that culminates in nothing more than bragging rights. One could argue, however, that the Singhs’ “Boscar” is on the line in this one. Not exactly tag team titles, but it will suffice. 

Both Tozawa and Kendrick have singles victories over their opponents for tonight in recent weeks. That confidence sees both men exchange tags and make easy work of Sumir with an impressive array of tandem offense. Sunil comes to the rescue of his brother, but to no avail, as he takes a boot from Kendrick for his troubles. 

The distraction allows Sumir an in. He cheap shots Tozawa and the tide has turned. Sunil comes into the match and stomps mudholes in Tozawa in his team’s corner, swapping frequently with his brother and isolating Tozawa deep in the corner. I will admit, this tactic often used by heel tag teams is one of my favorites, so they at least have that going for them. 

Tozawa looks to be in trouble in enemy territory. He edges close to Kendrick, but a Jinder Mahal chin lock special keeps Tozawa from his partner. Into the adjacent corner, and an Irish whip assist gone wrong sees Tozawa escape the clutches of his punishers, finishing off the revival with an enziguri to Sumir. Tozawa finally tags in Mr. Kendrick who is fresh and ready to lay waste to the former Bollywood Boys. 

A high leg lariat from Kendrick sees him earn a two count. Sumir looks to cause confusion in the match by bringing the Boscar into proceedings. The plan backfires as, once Sunil wins hot potato with the Boscar, he aims for Kendrick, who moves out of the way. Sumir takes all the brunt of the….plastic prop. 

Kendrick capitalizes quickly with a Sliced Bread 2.0. He tags in Tozawa who hits his high senton, then the pin, for the clean victory. 

Winners: Akira Tozawa & Brian Kendrick

So. Three and Oh for Kendrick and Tozawa. Maybe we will be spared anything further between these two teams. Only for the Singhs to get in someone else’s craw in probably two weeks’ time. Oh the joy. 

We have the final Humberto Carillo super push vignette up next, where he talks about his time on 205 Live to date. He is working every single day to get the Cruiserweight Title in his hands and would love to face Drew Gulak. Ohhh dear. My worst nightmare could come to life very soon. Spare me in your thoughts, readers!

Next up, Lince Dorado is receiving warm-up chops from his Lucha House Party stablemates. Kalisto bigs up the Luchador style that is prevalent on 205 Live. He goes on to heap praise on Humberto Carillo. Thankfully, Lince calms Kalisto down, stating Carillo can’t be considered one of the best on 205 Live unless he faces a true Lucha Libre expert, Dorado himself. Hmmm. That initiation of sorts could actually be quite interesting. But, first, Dorado has to go through this man before he books himself into any other matches….

Lince Dorado vs Ariya Daivari

Out of the three members of LHP, Lince Dorado is the one who seems to “botch” the least. He is always a steady hand with enough flare to show when given the chance. Even with Ariya Daivari’s stifling style, Dorado still manages to keep the match at his pace. Gearing up for a handstand springboard Stunner, Dorado scares Daivari out of the ring very early in the match. 

Daivari makes for the back, but Dorado chases him down with a club to the back. Daivari has lost his bearings, and Dorado moonsaults off the apron to further discombobulate his opponent. Back in the ring, Daivari feigns mercy and offers a hand. Dorado is having none of it, leveling Daivari with a series of dropkicks and then a two count.  

Dorado leaps atop the turnbuckle, but Daivari shoves him off and all the way to the floor on the outside. Daivari hauls Dorado into the ring and brings things back to his pace with a headlock. Dorado tries to wriggle free, but Daivari nails him with an excellent inverted DDT. Shades of future Hall of Famer Christian there!

Daivari props Dorado on the top turnbuckle, looking to catapult him onto the mat. Dorado fights out of it and lands a nice, high impact crossbody. Dorado seems to have regained momentum in the match, but Daivari plants him with yet another great DDT. It would appear Mr. Daivari has been watching some old Jake the Snake material on the network.  These are some really flush DDTs, people. 

Daivari takes to the skies for a Persian lion splash, but Dorado gets his feet up in time. Once again, Daivari looks for some respite on the outside, but Dorado springs off the top rope and hits a high and deep cross body onto the floor. 

A tussle ensues on the apron until Dorado gains the upper hand. Dorado takes to the skies to the turnbuckle, but Daivari lands a superkick square into Dorado’s face. Daivari goes for the cover, but no three count this time around. 

Daivari nearly falls victim to another springboard stunner, but he catches Dorado and locks in a “Billion Rial Dream”. Dorado shimmies down Daivari’s legs, rolling him up for a surprise two count. Daivari kicks out, quickly gets to his feet, and hits a….Rock Bottom…??!… This only garners a two count. The Rock will be livid if he sees this!

Daivari and Dorado exchange counters once more, the struggle between the two to come out on top well done. Dorado finally folds Daivari up in a very tight matchbook pin. Daivari has no chance of kicking out of this. The referee counts to three, and Dorado is your victor. 

Winner: Lince Dorado

Not a bad match at all. Also, a welcome change from the squash matches that usually take place in the middle of 205 Live. More could come of this also, as Daivari’s shoulder was up just in time. The commentary team mentions that this is a statement to Humberto Carillo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Daivari has his own statement to make in due course. 

Mike Kanellis is warming up backstage. His wife, and current 24/7 Title champion walks by with a coy smile on her face. Nice to see the beautiful green and gold belt make an appearance on 205 Live!

Drew Gulak is backstage next. At Summerslam, he’s supposed to defend his Cruiserweight Title. But where is his opponent? Nobody from 205 Live has dared step to Gulak since he became champion. Regardless of who faces him, Gulak promises two things for his opponent. Pain. And Punishment. 

Drake Maverick vs Mike Kanellis: Unsanctioned Match

Drake Maverick vs Mike Kanellis

Wow. Hilarious scenes at the start of this match. Drake Maverick has a 205 Live vest on, and his entrance music is that of the 205 Live opening theme. That popped me, I have to say. 

The funniness wears off quickly though. Mike Kanellis comes out and attacks Maverick on the ramp from behind. He throws Maverick into the screen area, and lands blow upon blow upon the hapless Maverick. Dragging him down the ramp, Kanellis hammers Maverick’s head into the steel fan barriers on the side. That one had to hurt, surely?!

The assault continues, and Maverick has no chance. Kanellis receives a chorus of boos as he enters the ring, Maverick defenseless on the outside. Kanellis demands that he wins the match by forfeit, saying he can do what the hell he wants. 

Maverick staggers away from the helping hands of referees, drunkenly entering the ring. Maverick demands for the bell to finally be struck, but Kanellis lands a big boot before the chime has rung out. Maria Kanellis watches on from backstage, a wicked smile stretched across her face. 

The merciless beatdown continues, as do the crowd’s loud jeers. Maverick is playing the role of crash test dummy too convincingly  if you ask me. Kanellis berates Maverick as he tries to get to his feet, only to hit him with a superkick, arguably the first “normal” move of the match so far.

Kanellis smashes Maverick’s head repeatedly into the commentary table. He then props Maverick onto a swivel chair, before teeing up for possibly the easiest superkick of his career to date. He drags Maverick into the ring and continues to ragdoll Maverick about the place. Kanellis could win this right now if he wanted to, but he would rather inflict punishment. He is clearly channeling nearly half a year’s worth of pent up frustration. 

A massive clothesline next, but Kanellis doesn’t even try to pin Maverick. Instead, he takes Maverick’s jeans belt off, and rains whip after whip down onto the General Manager’s exposed back. Finally, a sleeper hold by Kanellis sees the man try to put an end to the match. 

Maverick fights through the pain and impending unconsciousness. He scurries across the ring while still being held, somehow throwing Kanellis into a turnbuckle. Maverick is now playing possum, as the incoming Kanellis is thrown through the ropes. Maverick goes for a baseball slide, but Kanellis catches him in a wheelbarrow, and violently crashes him into the barricade. Face first. Dear God Almighty, Maverick is committed to this one!

Kanellis picks up the 24/7 Title “Wanted” posters that usually accompany Maverick. He strews them around the ring, forcing Maverick to eat one of them. This mockery of all that Maverick has held dear these last few weeks brings the red mist down. Maverick powers through the subsequent punches thrown his way. The comeback is on!

Maverick swings a flurry of punches at Maverick. A dropkick next, then a hesitation dropkick in the corner. Maverick picks up the belt now and wails on Kanellis with a fury never seen from Maverick before. Kanellis takes cover on the outside, but Maverick lands a suicide dive. Maverick then nails Kanellis with a DDT on the commentary table. He hurts his back in the process, but that doesn’t stop him from running the nearby barricade, attempting an elbow drop. 

Sadly for Maverick, Kanellis moves out of the way at the last moment. Maverick sells the resultant elbow injury – again – all too convincingly. Kanellis drags Maverick back into the ring and is about to hit his spinning neck breaker. Instead, Kanellis hoists Maverick up behind him atop the turnbuckle. What looks to be a massive powerbomb variant is reversed into a frankensteiner by Maverick. 

Kanellis is rocked by the sudden change of fortune. Maverick grabs Kanellis’ head, runs the ropes and hits a Spike Dudley style bulldog. Still nursing his bad elbow, he lies atop Kanellis as the referee counts one, two, three.  

Winner: 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick

I’ll be honest in saying I knew very little of Rockstar Spud before he signed for WWE. He, as Drake Maverick, has played a non-active role as a TV character for what is now nineteen months. The question I ask is why on Earth was he not given a wrestling role? This match may not have been a mat-based classic, but THIS MAN CAN TELL A STORY IN THE RING! Many high level, main roster Superstars could learn a thing or two from the psychology on display from Maverick tonight. A truly outstanding performance that won the hearts of the crowd in a big way. Give this man a raise! 

Check out the latest Ricky & Clive podcast! Clive takes the reins this week as Ricky is off doing Ricky things. This week, I do a preview of the NXT TAKEOVER: Toronto II card so far, and general overview of our brand of the moment: NXT UK. Before that, I talk about the mammoth 2 night ICW Weekender PPV: Shug’s Hoose Party 6, as well as the news of ICW’s pending move to the WWE Network.

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