Hi, kids. It’s the Botching one with ready to “Pickup” another edition of “205 Live”. For my part, I couldn’t possibly be happier to see Cedric Alexander – a guy who I’ve been following since his days with CWF in North Carolina, punch his ticket to WrestleMania. It’s almost hard to believe his journey but considering his athleticism, it’s no giant leap at all. If anyone deserves to go to “the show of shows”, it’s Cedric. I’m equally excited to see who ends up winning this match between Mustafa Ali & Drew Gulak. Both of them deserve to go so I don’t really have a dog in the fight.
Lince Dorado (w/ Kalisto & Sin Cara) vs. Hideo Itami (w/ Akira Tozawa)
Fun fact: Lince Dorado translated means Golden Lynx. That explains his mask. Okay, onto the match…
Lince is a real beast in there. His high-flying is some of the best in “205”. He also has a bit of a sense of humor. Nigel said something about never having been to a house party and Lince piped up with “I’ll invite you next week” in perfect English. This does beg the question why he hasn’t cut a promo yet in WWE. Either way, he’s a heck of an athlete. Hideo does less but he’s a heel so he’s more vicious with what he does. The ending was interesting as the Lucha House Party went after Hideo when he went outside the ring. Interesting, too, that Akira Tozawa isn’t really a heel like Hideo is.
Cinéma de Backstage – Drew Gulak
He’s clearly been told to tone it down and he’s doing it. He’s exuding great confidence and his humor and fun is completely gone. Honestly, I miss it, but I get it.
Cinéma de Backstage – Cedric Alexander
I’m thrilled for Cedric but this is was particularly bad acting. At least it didn’t last long
TJP vs. Kenneth Johnson
For those who may be wondering, Kenneth Johnson is a guy trained by Curtis Hughes (Mr. Hughes) at his WWW4 wrestling school and he appeared in the Cruiserweight Classic – losing early on. He’s pretty messy in there but he was in the ring with TJP who’s more than capable of dealing with it. This was essentially a jobber match TJP heeled it up nicely by holding the knee bar for a really long time.
Cinéma de Backstage – Mustafa Ali
He said his appearance at WrestleMania is more about changing people’s perceptions and less about the wrestling itself. That’s noble and I get it. He did this fairly well too. Good for him.
Backstage segment – Drake Maverick
So it appears Drake will now be the one used to move storyline along. He does it well so I can get with that.
Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali
Gulak is far more vicious in the ring than he used to be and it works beautifully in the ring. Ali returned fire too and it was cool to see. For once, I have to hand it to the commentary team – especially Nigel. He really told a great story that embellished what they were doing in the ring. That’s what good commentary should be and we finally got it here.
Ali’s leap from the top rope onto Gulak was really beautiful. It’s done to death but Ali really knows how to do it. Gulak is an expert at selling viciousness. Few do it better. The psychological effect of screaming before you do something awful is really effective. Better yet was the stuff that happened outside the ring. They both got incredibly hard hitting and very un-cruiserweight-like. There were a bunch of near-countouts to heighten tension. Ali’s timing was just perfect with the way he got back into the ring within milliseconds of the ten count.
This was a first-rate match! I can’t say enough about it. I saw work from both I’ve never really seen before. Again, I wouldn’t have been mad at either one winning but Mustafa and Cedric will be fun.
I love the equality platform Mustafa is standing on too and it came through loud and clear in his end-of-match promo.
As for my prediction, I hope Cedric takes it. He’s been the on the edge twice before and not been able to get it done due to circumstances beyond his control. Don’t get me wrong – I like Mustafa Ali muchly. I just really want Cedric to finally make the dream come true – especially on that stage. Even if Mustafa wins, I won’t be mad. I absolutely cannot wait for Cedric and Mustafa to steal the entire night. Heaven help all those who have to follow that match.
Another “205 Live” is now in the books. Please join me for another edition of “The Pickup” next week right here on Wrestle Royalty.com!