205 Clive’s Purple Brand Review:
205 Live Results (06/04/19): Drew Gulak Returns With A New Look & New Attitude
With last week’s frustrations over the somewhat lifeless 205 Live creative of late coming to a point personally, I’m hoping for an injection of some oomph tonight. Whether that happens remains to be seen.
General Manager Drake Maverick is more preoccupied with the 24/7 Title. Tony Nese is actively looking for competition to no avail. Drew Gulak is on social media finding himself, while the 205 Live twitter account itself is as active as Dean Ambrose’s once was. It’s a strange time in the Cruiserweight division. Some direction, and soon, would be greatly appreciated…
Akira Tozawa vs Noam Dar
Vic Joseph, Aiden English, and Nigel McGuinness discuss how this match will have significant ramifications as to who will next face Tony Nese for the Cruiserweight Championship. Both of them are “deserving” of a spot, according to the commentary team. With Dar only returning to 205 Live last week to beat enhancement talent, and Tozawa winning matches left right and centre, is there really a question of who deserves it?
It would appear very quickly, though, that we might not get that answer. While Dar makes his way to meet Tozawa, already in the ring, none other than Drew Gulak attacks Dar from behind. Sporting all black attire and slicked back hair, Gulak cuts an ominous figure. Dar makes his way over to the stairs, but is followed by Gulak with a shotgun dropkick to Dar’s knee.
Drake Maverick rushes down to both check on Dar and admonish Gulak. Regardless of Gulak’s action, Maverick makes the match between Gulak and Tozawa, citing the need for competition regardless. An altogether strange decision by a babyface manager, but I shall never begrudge Gulak involved in the Cruiserweight show in any way, shape, or form.
Akira Tozawa vs Drew Gulak
Tozawa charges Gulak instantly, ensuring intimidation and shock won’t work against him. Dropkick. Shining Wizard. Senton splash. Tozawa has come out the gate with the same mentality I imagine he would have approached the Dar match, had it taken place.
He goes for a crossbody, but Gulak catches him with ease, following up with a fall away slam. Gulak rips Tozawa apart on the outside, then back in the ring with a tightly applied cravat lock. Tozawa wriggles free and fights back with an octopus stretch, but Gulak is in no mood for a back and forth, launching Tozawa across the ring.
Perhaps it’s the new look, but Gulak cuts a more imposing figure this week. Could he have been bulking up in his absence from television? Tozawa seems to sell this possibility as he struggles to hoist Gulak up on his shoulders. Gulak has been working the back, however, and the terrifying snap suplex that follows simply does not help matters in that regard.
Gulak continues to torture Tozawa in the middle of the ring. Tozawa’s caws, echoed by the crowd, indicate the fightback is on. Tozawa powers out of the hold, spilling Gulak to the outside. Gulak plays possum as Tozawa looks to inflict aerial damage. Gulak turns his back on two separate occasions, both times feeling Tozawa’s wrath with a somersault splash and then a suicide dive headbutt.
Surprisingly, Tozawa is in full control of the match. A missile dropkick back in the ring earns him a two count. He keeps momentum on his side with punches peppered. Another octopus stretch. The submission specialist is in danger of tapping. Gulak’s desperation allows him to reach the ropes for safety.
Tozawa looks for another shining wizard, but Gulak hoists him up, an elevated flapjack the result. Gulak then applies my favourite submission in all of the wrestling, the Texas cloverleaf. I’m sure the Texan crowd in attendance will appreciate that. Well, maybe some of them…
The stamina monster eventually breaks free. The pair now exchange punches and chops. Gulak literally shoves Tozawa into the ropes, Tozawa bouncing back to eat a clothesline. A spinning gutwrench suplex follows. Tozawa fights back, finally hoisting Gulak up successfully onto his shoulders. He slams Gulak to the ground, following up with a low dropkick to prone Gulak’s head.
Tozawa goes for his senton bomb finisher, but Gulak heads to the top rope, himself. A superplex crashes both men to the floor. Gulak capitalises on this rare deviation from modus operandi with an Argentine backbreaker. The referee counts to three and Gulak is your winner.
Winner: Drew Gulak
Well, well, well. A new image. Some new moves. A willingness to take to the skies. This new Drew Gulak is a Drew Gulak I can get behind. All respect to Tozawa, but Gulak is my man. With this spot on the card apparently having Cruiserweight Championship ramifications, my fingers are tightly crossed for Gulak to advance officially to number one contender.
Mike and Maria Kanellis are backstage. Mike hates that he isn’t considered the best for a number of reasons. He says he is the best when he beat Brian Kendrick last week. Mike is simply better. It’s time that everybody starts paying attention to him. He aims his words directly at Maverick. He begs Maverick to send him his best Cruiserweights. He is better than the best.
Tony Nese is asked for his comments on the match we’ve just seen. Nobody knows what Gulak is capable of better than Nese does. Nese also saw Maverick sanction a match he didn’t agree with. With that being said, Nese wants competition, no matter how it comes to be. Whenever Maverick makes his decision regarding the number one contender, he’ll be ready.
The commentary team hype the Lucha House Party vs Lars Sullivan at Super Showdown this Friday. Like this match needs any hype, people! LHP are backstage next to offer their thoughts on the social media gossip regarding The Singh Brothers looking for another rematch. After LHP are done with Sullivan at Super Showdown, they’ll be ready for the Singhs.
Oney Lorcan vs Ariya Daivari
This has been hyped throughout the night as a potentially very brutal match. After Lorcan’s car crash of a ladder match at NXT Takeover XXV last Saturday, I’m surprised he is able to walk, never mind wrestle.
In more pressing matters, it’s just occurred to me that Ariya Daivari wears trousers/pants when he wrestles. Is a faction with Baron Corbin imminent? What would the name of this faction be? Answers on a postcard, please!
A collar and elbow starts proceedings. Lorcan immediately goes for the recently stitched up ear of Daivari. During the down time, NXT chants ring out from the crowd. Nice to hear some appreciation for Lorcan’s work outside of 205 Live. This doesn’t phase Daivari, however, as the show of strength spot is easily Daivari’s to win. Lorcan eventually powers out from underneath. He breaks free, spins Daivari round, locking Daivari’s arms round from behind and applying unwanted pressure on Daivari’s deltoids.
Daivari is showing considerable strength in this match, reversing the submission and applying it himself. Lorcan finds the pressure so much that he finds himself on his knees. He flips through, however, kicking Daivari away from him. Lorcan looks to deliver some signature offense, eventually relying on his uppercut. He slows things down again, working once again on Daivari’s arm.
I have no qualms with a slow introduction to a match. I’m all for a casual build. But this is not something Lorcan is known for. Lorcan usually starts matches as frenetically as he wishes to go on. The change of tact is possibly Lorcan getting more used to the “WWE way”, shaking off the indie wrestling habits. That’s not to say that is a good thing though. Lorcan stands out on NXT, for all the right reasons. On 205 Live? Not so much.
The match struggles to get out of second gear as momentum swaps between the two with admittedly high impact moves, but recovery time for both men comes in to play. A massive lariat from Daivari after a draping neckbreaker speeds things up a bit. Daivari is hurt, and continues to inflict steady punishment on Lorcan.
Lorcan fights back with a series of crushing chops. Daivari stops the offense with a boot to the midsection. Daivari has Lorcan on the turnbuckle again, grabbing Lorcan’s hands a whipping him over his head to slam onto the mat. He takes to the top rope, nursing his arm all the while. A frog splash results in failure as he crashes to the mat.
Nigel McGuinness compares the hard hitting nature of the match so far to Matt Riddle vs Roderick Strong from last week’s Takeover. The hitting is hard, but come on Nigel. We don’t believe that, and we know you don’t either. Do better! Lorcan at least tries his best to emulate this comparison with a lightening fast blockbuster. He looks for a half and half suplex, but Daivari counters with a superkick.
Lorcan fights back, once again concentrating on Daivari’s arm. He resorts to more chops, but Daivari shoves Lorcan into the corner. Daivari hunts Lorcan down and applies the million dollar dream submission. Lorcan is fading in the middle of the ring, but fights through the pressure before the referee checks for Lorcan’s ability to continue.
Daivari with an inverted DDT and a a successful frog splash. The impact rocks Daivari’s knee and is unable to cover Lorcan immediately. Once he goes for the cover, Lorcan rolls him up himself, surprising Daivari. Lorcan wins!
Winner: Oney Lorcan
While it may be fun to see Daivari lose, I can’t shake the feeling that Oney Lorcan just isn’t suited to whatever the goal is with him on 205 Live. It’s a different side to Lorcan that is taking a long time to materialise into something better than what we already have on NXT.
Having said that, what we got tonight was an altogether better 205 Live. Gulak’s shock return has lit a fire under everything, giving Maverick quite the headache. Although we will have answers soon, this tired trope of a contender being announced on merit has to change. Give us something new!
Elsewhere in 205 Clive land, the third match of the Quiztime Invitational has arrived. Friends of the show and Lords of Pain personalities, “Implications” and “Sir Sam”, battle it out in a wrestling trivia only podcast to see who will advance to the semifinals. Who will be the Lord, and who will suffer Pain? Listen now to find out!
*** NEW COLUMN SERIES*** – Check out the THIRD installment of an ongoing collaboration between between myself and LOP’s “The Doc” Chad Matthews, as we keep a running update on the best matches on 205 Live throughout the year.
Have a look at all of my 205 Live Lords of Pain reviews to date.
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