Jobber Knocker

Joestopper’s Cruiserweight Report 4/30: Did Gulak Slow Down The Champion?

Here in 2019, it would seem that cruiserweights have captured the minds and hearts of wrestling fans. As the Joestopper’s millions (and MILLIONS) of readers have learned, his definition of cruiserweight is the traditional 100 kg limit. The majority of WWE’s current champions (Kofi Kingston, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Johnny Gargano) all reside in this elite class. Challengers to those belts include AJ Styles, Adam Cole, and Daniel Bryan, whom will provide wrestling clinics for upcoming feuds. Ali, Andrade, and Ricochet are now candidates for the prestigious Money In The Bank briefcase. Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander are also looking to make their impact on the title scenes as they debut on Smackdown and Raw, respectively. And on 205 Live, champion Tony Nese sets his sights on defending against newly crowned No. 1 contender Ariya Daivari.

Nese kicks off 205 Live with a promo harkening back to the debut episode in which he was featured on. He doesn’t want to merely wait for a match with Daivari, and challenges former running buddy Drew Gulak to a match on this episode. Gulak says that while his plan for a better 205 Live hasn’t gone quite to plan, he reminds Nese of his stellar record against the champ. Not quite sure how booking a champion against a rival he rarely defeated in a non-title match is smart business, but it should a bruising matchup.

As usual, Lucha House Party (sans Kalisto) is out to the ring to liven the crowd. A pan to the announce table now shows FOUR analysts, with David Otunga not getting the hint that he’s not wanted by anyone on planet Earth. Apparently, GM Drake Maverick has made his first acquisition of the Superstar Shakeup, as the Singh Brothers are out next in their old Bollywood Boys gear! Samir reminds the Columbus crowd that they left 205 Live undefeated in tag team action, and this may be indicative of tag belts coming to the Purple brand. Aiden English quips that the duo could be re-christened as the Bolly Raiders, and it was appreciated! After sustained offense against Lince Dorado, Gran Metallik hot-tags in and Lucha House Party pick the victory. The Singhs’ streak is over.

Maverick is backstage with Humberto Carrillo, advising him to stay away from Gulak’s tutelage. Carrillo says he represents Lucha Libre, and doesn’t need Gulak. Gentleman Jack Gallagher politely interrupts to say that he and Carrillo have unfinished business that needs to be addressed, and walks away. It was a decent matchup while it lasted previously, but I don’t know if it needs to be revisited. 

THE Brian Kendrick is out next for a match, but is jumped viciously by Mike Kanellis. This draws out Akira Tozawa, who pummels Kanellis into a pull-apart brawl. Up next is a selfie promo from Daivari, bringing up his undefeated streak and assuring Nese will be humiliated by Gulak tonight. This is better than the age-old practice of joining commentary at ringside to interfere in your next opponent’s match.

For the main event, Gulak is out to complete silence. Nese doesn’t elicit too much of a fan reaction, either, but Ohio crowds only care about oVe! Nese’s athleticism has always vibed well with Gulak’s submission attacks, and he’s added some new aerial moves to his repertoire to aid his babyface push. Gulak eventually goes on offense after a painful-looking bodyslam onto the ring apron. After both spill to the outside, Nese begins to assault Gulak and hits a delayed suplex on the floor. After exchanging two-counts and slipping out of the GuLock, Nese hits a German suplex into the turnbuckle and follows with Running Nese for the win.

100% 100 kg Of The Week

I was worried that Vince McMahon would only think of Ricochet as a tag team worker after forming “Alei-Chet” (patent no longer pending) with Black in lieu of DIY crumbling after Tommaso Ciampa’s neck surgery. We all know how Vince McMahon regards tag team workers. But the addition of Ricochet to MITB is a nod to how swiftly he has adapted his game to the WWE-style of pace. Yes, he is the best aerial specialist in WWE, perhaps in the world (settle down, PAC, I will always love you!). Yet, his stay in NXT legitimized his striking ability as well. It’s hard to see him winning MITB with two current babyfaces as champions, but his inclusion is going to make for an epic PPV! Kudos to The One And Only!