After weeks of yours truly complaining about Chad Gable’s absence, the former NXT and RAW Tag Team Champion finally made his return to the land of the Cruiserweights when he took on ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher in a rematch in this week’s main event. Elsewhere on the show, Akira Tozawa opened the show against Samir Singh, and things got a little intense between Mike Kanellis and Drake Maverick.
Last week, I said that the main event helped elevate the show to make it one of the best episodes in recent weeks. Well, this week’s main event may have made it the best episode of the last year. Chad Gable and Jack Gallagher were given all the time in the world to put on a wrestling clinic, and elsewhere, the other talents kept the fans interested until a truly epic main event blew them all away.
Akira Tozawa vs. Samir Singh
Tozawa and Samir Singh followed in the footsteps of The Brian Kendrick and Sunil Singh by having another basic opener, only this time it was enhanced by Tozawa’s electric offence, most notably a running dive off the ring apron. Both men were solid, and they kept the match short and sweet. Nigel McGuinness was also his usual entertaining self, giving us a hilarious line about The Singh’s being stunt doubles for The Rock’s upcoming film Hobbs & Shaw.
After Tozawa picked up the win, The Singh’s initiated another post-match attack, and instead of Tozawa, Kendrick made the save this week and helped his friend fight off The Singh Brothers. A nice little opener, however, this combination of superstars is not something WWE should rely on for too much longer.
Mike Kanellis vs. Local Competitor
Mike dominated this squash match, displaying his frustrations over recent events by continuously hitting his helpless opponent with clotheslines. They also cut to shots of Maria watching her husband on a TV in the locker room, continuing this ongoing drama between the couple. Mike ended up getting the win, but that was by no means the story of this segment.
After earning the win, Mike Kanellis demanded Drake Maverick come to the ring so he could air his grievances in the ring instead of Drake’s office. Mike claimed he signed a new contract with WWE for two reasons. One being so he could show everybody how good he was by winning the Cruiserweight title and the second reason was that he could get a chance to beat up the 205 Live General Manager.
Both men went back and forth, taking shots at one another before Mike finally crossed the line by insulting Drake’s wife. Drake then hit a fantastic looking (and sounding) punch, and began unleashing an impressive attack (which included a dropkick) on his rival. Watching such a long in-ring promo segment on 205 is not something I want to get used to, but on this occasion, it was very effective.
Side note: WWE later released a video of Drake Maverick on social media. Drake said that if Mike beats him in a match, he can get a title shot.
Chad Gable vs. Jack Gallagher
Despite a disrespectful fan attempting to start a “boring” chant, Chad Gable and Jack Gallagher picked up right where they left off. Both superstars exchanged holds and engaged in some excellent mat wrestling exchanges, with neither man being able to take control of the match. They started things off slowly but expertly picked up the pace with some more impactful and faster-paced action that was topped off by an arm drag from Chad Gable that was almost as majestic as Ricky Steamboat’s arm drags.
It feels bad singling out a superstar for praise in a match where both of them did an incredible job. However, Gable’s shift in intensity was such a brilliant part of the story these men told. They started things off, almost in a friendly manner, and then in one moment, when Gable lifted Gallagher with one arm and slammed him down to the mat, it became clear how much both men needed to win this match. From then on, the flashy manoeuvres stopped. The former Olympian began working on his opponent’s ankle, trying to dish out as much damage as he possibly could. The bruises on Jack Gallagher’s body even enhanced the contest by showing us how intense it had become.
Gallagher’s comeback had plenty of fire and matched the intensity of Gable. He even did a great job with his facial expressions when he looked at Gable and began contemplating whether to attempt a suicide dive (the move that cost him in their previous encounter). He did eventually dive to the outside and even overcommitted on the dive, which meant Gable could not catch him. But they quickly got back to business as Gable picked him up and hit a German suplex on the outside.
They ended the main event with one incredible near fall after another. Gable applied the ankle lock which his opponent fought out of, Gallagher tried his running dropkick in the corner only for Gable to duck underneath and pick him up for a move of his own. The momentum kept shifting. You could not predict a winner. In the end, though, Gable managed to hit his roll-up German suplex (beautifully, might I add) for the one, two, and three.
“What a main event!” were the words uttered by Vic Joseph, and he could not have been more correct. These two produced one of the best matches 205 Live has ever aired, and a match of the year candidate. Unbelievable does not even do this main event justice.
Both superstars gave one another props after the match, while the fans in the arena also applauded their efforts. It was a nice ending to a professional wrestling bout that had it all. So if this week’s show was any indication of what we can expect from 205 Live and Chad Gable moving forward, I have to quote everybody’s favourite wrestler Ryback: “Feed me more!”
All images are courtesy of wwe.com