JZ Says: WWE 205 Live Episode 118 (Drew Gulak, Brian Kendrick)

Spectrum Center – Charlotte, NC – Tuesday, February 26, 2019

General Manager Drake Maverick talks about the Number One Contender’s Tournament that gets underway tonight. Tony Nese will face Kalisto, and The Brian Kendrick battles Drew Gulak in tonight’s first-round action. Maverick does a good job hyping everyone up.

Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Aiden English are on commentary.

~MATCH #1~
Tony Nese defeats Kalisto in a First-Round Tournament Match. They start with some chain wrestling and mat wrestling, which I sometimes forget Kalisto is pretty good at. Kalisto takes the early advantage, as the commentators discuss how the other Lucha House Party members aren’t at ringside for this prestigious tournament match. Aiden English is still the worst. Out on the floor Nese catches Kalisto with a big back body drop, and that’s more than enough to take control. Every time Kalisto tries to fight back, Nese uses his power to cut him off. Nese hits an avalanche German Suplex, and tries to follow with a 450 Splash but Kalisto avoids it. Kalisto hits his own 450 Splash and Nese gets his foot on the ropes to avoid being pinned. This leads to a series of reversals that ends with Nese hitting a release German Suplex into the turnbuckles. Nese hits the Running Nese and that’s enough for the pin. Excellent contest here, starting off slowly and then building up to a pretty wild closing stretch. Great finish too. Buddy Murphy is shown backstage, cheering on his training partner and friend.
Rating: ***¾

Backstage, Gentleman Jack Gallagher and Humberto Carrillo are watching footage of Carrillo’s victory over TJP last week. Gallagher is trying to guide Carrillo more towards wrist locks than high flying offense. Carrillo seems unsure.

Elsewhere, they recap Mike Kanellis’ loss to Cedric Alexander last week. They pivot to Mike and Maria backstage with Drake Maverick, who says that next week Mike will have a match on the show.

~MATCH #2~
Drew Gulak defeats The Brian Kendrick in a First-Round Tournament Match. This should be primarily mat-based, which Nigel certainly seems to enjoy. Kendrick goes for quick wins, and Gulak responds by slowing him down and trying to keep him on the mat, using all kinds of modifications to really amp up the punishment. Kendrick fights back periodically, but Gulak mostly keeps him subdued. Gulak even breaks the Captain’s Hook with a Fish Hook, which is neat. Kendrick makes one last gasp and tries the Sliced Bread No. 2, but a series of reversals ends with Gulak putting on the Gu-Lock to get the win. This was quite different than the opener, and I appreciate that. They worked well together and Gulak looks strong, winning by sticking to his strategy and getting the win with his finisher.
Rating: ***

Next week – Oney Lorcan v Humberto Carrillo and Akira Tozawa v Cedric Alexander in first-round matches.

JZ Says
Good show this week, with two different types of matches, each with the right person advancing in the tournament. The Carrillo and Kanellis storylines continued on as well, so this was a good use of 45 minutes for the purple brand.

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