Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena – Jacksonville, FL – Wednesday, January 9, 2019
General Manager Drake Maverick recaps last week, when Kalisto and Akira Tozawa advanced to the Royal Rumble Fatal 4-Way Match by defeating Lio Rush and Drew Gulak, respectively. Tonight, we will see Cedric Alexander battle Hideo Itami for the final spot.
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson are on commentary.
Noam Dar defeats Tony Nese at 12:39. These two have wrestled several times before so there’s familiarity there. The opening minutes are a back-and-forth, both men eager to prove they were overlooked by not being involved in the Fatal 4-Way qualifying matches. I like how McGuinness points that out on commentary. He’s pretty good. Nese uses his superior strength to maintain an advantage, but Dar is a crafty fighter and perseveres. Dar tries using a guillotine choke, going back to it multiple times. Late in the match, Nese gets over confident and wants to inflict punishment rather than go for a pin, and Dar traps him in a victory roll to get the pin. Good, competitive match and a solid win for Dar. The commentators point out that Nese made a mistake and took his eye off the ball, so we’ll see where that goes.
Backstage, The Brian Kendrick is here to read a letter from Akira Tozawa, who is not here this week. Tozawa is wrestling in Japan to hone his skills, and he promises to beat Buddy Murphy and win the Cruiserweight Title again. Kendrick says he will do everything in his power to make sure Tozawa becomes the next Cruiserweight Champion.
Elsewhere, Drew Gulak and Gentleman Jack Gallagher are speaking with GM DM. Gulak has a list of potential candidates for Maverick to hire for 205 Live.
Maria and Mike Kanellis come in and remind Maverick that they haven’t been on the show in five weeks. Maverick says he doesn’t have time for everyone, and that just makes Mike angry. Maria says she hopes that Maverick’s new faces are willing to fight as hard as they are.
Lio Rush gets promo time and tells everyone that Kalisto and the Lucha House Party cheated in their match last week. He’s not entirely wrong. Rush promises that the LHP will Feel the Rush.
Hideo Itami (w/ Ariya Daivari) defeats Cedric Alexander at 17:05 to earn the final spot in the Fatal 4-Way Cruiserweight Championship match at the upcoming Royal Rumble. They wrestled back in July when Alexander was the Champion, and Alexander got the win that night. Both men fight hard in the opening parts of the match, and it takes interference by Daivari to give Itami control of the match. Itami focuses on the ribs, which makes it hard for Alexander to breathe. Alexander does what he can to fight back, but Itami is in the zone tonight. He wrecks Alexander with a basement dropkick in the corner, and then hits the Double Knee Jawbreaker to get the pin. Great dissection of Alexander by Itami here, who just took everything Alexander was dishing out and was like, “nah, I’m good,” then beating him with his setup move and finisher. Good showing for both guys.
Backstage, Kayla Braxton asks WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy who he thinks the biggest threat to his title is. Murphy congratulates Itami and says all his opponents for the Rumble are talented, but they’re sheep and he’s a wolf. He offers an open challenge to anyone that meets the 205-pound weight limit, in a non-title match of course.
The field for the Royal Rumble Fatal 4-Way is now set, and it looks pretty good to me. Granted, it would look like a good match no matter who won the qualifiers, but I think this is a good lineup for Murphy to go against and I’m hoping they get time. I liked the Dar v Nese match and I’m curious to see where it goes. I’m also curious about what’s happening with Lio Rush and the Lucha House Party, Maria and Mike Kanellis, and who answers Murphy’s open challenge next week. I love this show.
Tags: 205 live, cedric alexander, Hideo Itami, JZ Says, WWE