Lio Rush def. Akira Tozawa
I enjoyed the original match these two had a few weeks back and found this to be equally entertaining. Granted, they once again didn't go all out like I hoped they would, but it was still a strong effort from both men and it was perfectly positioned as the opener. Most importantly, Rush looked good against the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion and scored another credible win over him. He has a high ceiling on 205 Live if he can maintain this momentum moving forward.
Hideo Itami def. Trent Newman
I'm really digging this new aggressive side of Itami that we have been sorely lacking on 205 Live. He had that same edge toward the end of his stint in NXT and it was some of the best work he ever did since signing with WWE four years ago, so I'm happy he's tapping into that again. He took pleasure in inflicting pain on his unknown opponent here and went over in dominant fashion. We were also told by general manager Drake Maverick that he will be keeping Mustafa Ali off the show until he feels he is 100 percent.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher (Non-title)
I love the strategy Drew Gulak has implemented in recent weeks by having his minions Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick attempt to wear out Alexander ahead of their Cruiserweight Championship clash at SummerSlam. It is such simple yet effective storytelling. Even as a match, this was a ton of fun and given plenty of time. They managed to win the crowd over a bit by the finish and Gulak attacking Alexander afterward successfully hyped up their SummerSlam encounter, so all in all, this was excellently executed.
I'm stoked that 205 Live will be represented with a match at SummerSlam this Sunday. Granted, it's only one matchup and it will be on the Kickoff show, but it's better than nothing and I have faith that Alexander and Gulak are going to kill it (assuming they aren't limited and/or their time isn't cut). The build for that bout was well done on this episode, not to mention that Itami's squash was a solid showcase for him and Tozawa vs. Rush was a treat.
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