With victories on last week’s 205 Live for Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in the first night of the number one contender tournament to see who will face Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania 35, General Manager Drake Maverick reveals that Nese vs Gulak will be the first semi final match in the coming weeks.
The remaining quarter finals take place tonight. Humberto Carillo looks to continue his impressive start in the Cruiserweight Division against NXT fan favourite, Oney Lorcan. In the main event, 205 Live veterans Cedric Alexander and Akira Tozawa fight, rather surprisingly, for the first time against each other. Both have held the Cruiserweight Championship before, and a loss by either man would be a significant one. Two very interesting bouts indeed this week!
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Aiden English are the commentary team for this week. After an “introduction” video surrounding Oney Lorcan’s first foray in the WWE Cruiserweight Division, both competitors come to the ring and the match gets under way!
Humberto Carillo vs Oney Lorcan
One thing that Carillo lacks, personally, is that his move-set lacks impact. For those familiar with Lorcan, you’ll know that he incorporates a very smash-mouth style to proceedings. It will be interesting to see how Carillo copes with such a wrestler. Carillo’s aerial evasion does keep Lorcan in check for a short while early on, and he is able to keep him at bay with some ground based holds, but Lorcan begins to overpower him.
A number of headlocks slow Carillo down, and things start to go downhill quickly for the protege of Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher, who are seen watching backstage. A brutal chest chop sees Carillo crawl to the outside for safety, but Lorcan hunts him down and suplexes him onto the floor. Back in the ring, and Lorcan continues the punishment with more chops and a driving Eurpoean Uppercut. He keeps Carillo grounded with a grinding headlock.
As McGuinness accounts, Lorcan is stylistically similar to Gulak in relation to the grappling sensibilities of wrestling. Perhaps Gulak will have helped Carillo with strategy to deal with Lorcan. Unfortunately, there is little sign of that so far. Carillo’s chest is brightening by the open handed strike. He may be on the defensive, but he powers through the onslaught, sending Lorcan to the outside. He follows up with a suicide dive through the middle rope.
More back and forth ensues, and Carillo keeps momentum on his side with a fosbury flop to Lorcan on the outside. He throws Lorcan into the ring and vaults onto the apron. Before Carillo can progress further, Lorcan with powers up with another viscous uppercut. The pair exchange strikes on the apron, with Lorcan winning the mini battle after a fisherman suplex onto the unforgiving surface beneath them.
Lorcan is in typical hard hitting form tonight, but Carillo is doing very well for himself, it has to be said. He is showcasing many different styles in an attempt to ward off the frenetic Lorcan. Meaty slaps to the face. Half and half suplex attempts. Carillo is doing more than surviving these. He seems to be soaking up the relentless punishment from Lorcan and using it himself to great effect. He swings round Lorcan and lifts him up for a huge powerbomb. Lorcan looks out for the count, but is able to kick out at two.
Carillo drags Lorcan over to the corner and ascends the turnbuckles. A moonsault attempt goes awry as Lorcan gets his feet up. Lorcan capitalises with a monster clothesline, a snap half and half suplex, and a hook of Carillo’s leg for the pin and the victory!
Winner: Oney Lorcan
Wow. I would hardly call this an upset, knowing what we do about Lorcan’s reputation. However, with how Carillo has been presented to the 205 Live audience, coupled with his apprenticeship under Gulak, I was convinced he would win this match. But it was not the case! A great performance by Carillo, to be fair. He should hold his head high after such a spirited display. I do wonder, though, how Gulak and Gallagher will react to the loss. On the other hand, fantastic news for Lorcan, who advances in the tournament.
Mike and Maria Kanellis are backstage next. Mike is angry that he doesn’t have a tournament match. Maverick states that he only has a match with a local talent due to his poor win/loss ratio. Maria adds complaint to Mike’s They warn Maverick that he better start doing his job properly.
Mike Kanellis vs Colby Corino
Mike’s music hasn’t even finished playing as he throws his jacket towards Corino and unleashes quite the aggression on Corino. Mike is almost apoplectic, while Maria is almost salivating with pleasure on the outside. A near decapitating clothesline for Corino, followed by a wristlock assisted neckbreaker, Maria joins Mike in the ring. The bell never even sounded, and the ring announcer calls the match a no contest, so sound was Kanellis’ beating of Corino. Mike sent a clear message tonight. If Maverick doesn’t consider him tournament worthy, anybody is fair game.
Winner: No Contest
Tony Nese is backstage, stating how laser focused he is in advancing through the tournament to WrestleMania. He acknowledges that Gulak has beaten him before, but that was not the same Tony Nese he will face next week. Both wrestlers are among my favourites on 205 Live, but Nese is riding quite the wave of momentum right now. A chance to fight for the title would please me greatly.
Cedric Alexander is up next, answering his critics as it pertains to his inability to beat Buddy Murphy. Alexander has committed himself to 205 Live, and there is nobody who will stop him heading to WrestleMania. He calls for Tozawa to bring everything he has, as he will do the same.Tozawa is backstage receiving encouraging words from Brian Kendrick. The main event is up next!
Cedric Alexander vs Akira Tozawa
Alexander and Tozawa show respect to one another with a handshake at the start of the match. Understandable, considering the contribution to 205 Live from both men over the years, ahead of this “first time ever” encounter.
Tozawa has the early dominance with a headlock that Alexander is unable to power out of. He blocks an incoming dropkick after a flurry of action, and quickly sees off a roll up pin attempt by Alexander. The Stamina Monster has a confidence instilled in him from recent form on the show.
Alexander, however, has the confidence of being synonymous with the Cruiserweight Championship for a significant amount of time on 205 Live. He channels that confidence in mounting a comeback. He counters an air-born Tozawa on the outside, and delivers some dense chest chops. He takes Tozawa back into the ring and applies a rear bear hug that slows Tozawa down. Tozawa fights out of it and runs the ropes, but Alexander answers with a dropkick and a pin attempt.
The previous champion keeps Tozawa grounded, but Tozawa fights out of it by rising, then dropping to his knees, Alexander’s chin feeling the impact from the headbutt. The show of respect from earlier seems to have disappeared now. Alexander is starting to look frustrated, and the aggression with which he is now attacking Tozawa is beginning to ramp up. He returns to the rear bear hug, but Tozawa’s own aggression increases as he breaks the hold following a series of hard elbows to the top of Alexander’s head.
Tozawa delivers a succession of unanswered strikes. A hurricanrana sees Alexander fall through the ropes, and Tozawa hunts him down with a suicide headbutt. “205” chants ring out from the crowd, which is always a nice thing to hear. Tozawa follows up with a missile dropkick back in the ring, but it’s not enough to secure the victory. He looks for a deadlift German suplex, but those earlier bear hugs are starting to show effect, negating any further offense from Tozawa.
Alexander is showing effects from the beatings he has taken so far also, but a dropkick to the incoming Tozawa’s knee brings him back into the match. A bottom rope assisted facebuster earns him a two count. The eyes are bulging out of Alexander’s head as he cannot end his opponent, a familiar theme in his matches since the losing streak he had some months ago.
Both men are rocked now. A high impact strikes rocks Tozawa, who answers in kind with high kicks to the jaw. Tozawa looks for a German suplex, but Alexander lands a hard elbow which knocks Tozawa’s mouthpiece to the mat. Alexander goes for the Lumbar Check, but Tozawa counters with a surprise DDT. Excellent action in this match tonight.
Tozawa sees victory in his sights as Alexander is sprawled close to the corner. He climbs the ropes, but spots Alexander getting up. Tozawa wastes no time, however, as he jumps onto Alexander’s shoulders and nails him with an inverted ‘rana. Fantastic wherewithal from Tozawa, whose success rate with the top rope senton bomb is low. This is a reinvigorated Tozawa, for sure.
He has Alexander in an extremely tightly applied octopus stretch. Alexander is inches from tapping out. Unable to reach the bottom rope, adrenaline takes over and he powers to his feet. But Tozawa counters the sudden revival of Alexander with an elevated German suplex. What a battle this has been. As Vic Joseph says probably every week, this is what 205 Live is all about!
The pair are on the top rope, and Alexander falls to the mat. Tozawa goes for the top rope, but slips. Alexander capitalises quickly by sweeping Tozawa’s feet out from underneath him, transitioning beautifully into the Lumbar Check. Alexander rolls up Tozawa and wins the match.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
A part of me is worried that Alexander will work his way towards another WrestleMania match, so deserving are so many of the Cruiserweights who have yet to have that chance. That feeling is amplified again after possibly Tozawa’s best ever match in WWE. An unbelievable performance, but still he comes up short. Frustrating, but an amazing match nevertheless.
Alexander and Tozawa hug it out in the middle of the ring, while the graphic comes up showing that Alexander will face Oney Lorcan in the other semifinal match.
Make sure to check out the latest “Ricky & Clive Wrestling Show“. Ricky & Clive come to you this week after an action packed few days in WWE! We talk at length about the fantastic news of Roman Reigns’ fight with leukaemia, and that he looks set to return to full time action. We also cover other returning faces in the form of Dave Batista, who looks set to take on HHH at WrestleMania 35, and Kevin Owens, who has thrown a spanner in the works in relation to Kofi Kingston’s ascent to the top. We finish with a “February in WWE History” quiz.