Mark Andrews def. Akira Tozawa in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
Andrews has always been a blast to watch whenever I've seen him compete on WWE's U.K. shows and on NXT, so unsurprisingly, he and Tozawa gelled very well here and had an entertaining opening match. The toughest task of these 205 Live matches is that the guys have to get the audience invested after they're already exhausted from SmackDown Live and the Mixed Match Challenge, but I thought they did a great job of making the crowd care here. Andrews winning was a nice touch, but I do feel bad for Tozawa. He's a former Cruiserweight Champion in his own right and has been horribly underutilized for many months.
Drew Gulak def. Tony Nese in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
This was totally different from Andrews vs. Tozawa, and that was exactly what I loved about it. Although both Gulak and Nese are technically heels, Nese seemed to get over as a babyface with his offense, and Gulak's hard-hitting style was such a treat to watch. That was what brought him to the dance in the first place, and while I do enjoy the PowerPoint stuff more often than not, the extremely aggressive side of Gulak is money. What we saw from him here was excellent and having him come across like a badass at the end instantly made him a favorite to win the whole tournament.
In just three weeks, a case can be made that 205 Live has become the best WWE weekly show today. I realize that's saying a lot and there's only been two matches each episode since the reboot due to the Mixed Match Challenge, but those two matches have featured outstanding action and this week was no different. Andrews vs. Tozawa was a ton of fun as the opener and then Gulak vs. Nese exceeded expectations with an awesome effort from both men. Next week, we'll see Buddy Murphy debut against Ariya Daivari while Gentleman Jack Gallagher takes on Mustafa Ali.
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