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5/8 Moore’s WWE 205 Live Review: Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali, Lucha House Party vs. Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher

By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live from Baltimore, Maryland at the Royal Farms Arena

The 205 Live intro teaser focused on the advertised matches for this episode. Each bit of match hype was accompanied by the wrestlers providing simple selfie promos. The 205 Live intro theme aired…

Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. Joseph said his contractually obligated line of calling 205 Live “The most exciting hour in television”. After the four wrestlers entered the ring, Drew Gulak entered the arena to join the commentary team for the upcoming match…

1. “Lucha House Party” Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik (w/Kalisto) vs. The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher. Kalisto was playing the role of cheerleader with his wooden noisemakers. Jack Gallagher and Lince Dorado started of the match with some ground based chain wrestling. Dorado broke up the chain wrestling with a slap to the rear of Jack Gallagher. Dorado and Gallagher traded monkey flips and victory roll attempts. This turned to a comical roll around with pin attempts. Drado did a free fall on Gallagher after Gallagher fell from a missed punch. Metalik tagged in and hit a slingshot dropkick on Gallagher.

Gran Metalik attacked both opponents on the outside with a Tope Con Hilo. Metalik didn’t notice that Kendrick tagged in which allowed Kendrick to nail Metalik with an enziguri. Kendrick went on to work on Metalik. Gallagher tagged in and initiated his signature joint manipulation. Watson and Gulak had contrasting views as to “what 205 Live was all about” (you can turn that line into a drinking game if you wish). Gulak mocked Watson by saying that he only provides one word every hour. Watson said Gulak is confusing him for Jonathan Coachman.

Metalik used a boot and a dodge to escape the corner of Gallagher and Kendrick to tag in Dorado for the hot tag. Dorado dominated Kendrick with high flying moves. Dorado hit Kendrick with a Lethal Injection. Gallagher broke up the subsequent pin attempt. After working over Dorado a bit, Kendrick hit Sliced Bread #2 on Dorado. Metalik broke up the following pin. Lucha House Party hit their opponents with stereo superkicks and stereo suicide dives. Dorado hit Gallagher with a Shooting Star Press for the three count.

Lucha House Party defeated The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher via pinfall in 7:50.

After the match, Gulak made a snide comment by saying “let him try that on me, Vic” (good line).Kalisto joined his fellow luchadores as he trio did their wooden noisemaker celebration…

John’s Thoughts: More good work from Lucha House Party with Lince Dorado continuing to make the most out of the extended TV time he’s been getting. He’s been taking advantage of this time before the 205 Live Reboot. As for Kendrick and Gallagher, those two aren’t in a great position. I know wins and losses are hard to distribute but it seems like Kendrick and Gallagher have regressed to their inconsequential standing before the 205 reboot. Gallagher started to gain some steam when Kendrick was out, but the moment he came back it was back to the background for Gallagher. These two were cutting some unique and dark promos behind the loses but losing meaningful matches hurts them overall. Maybe these two need a breakup and maybe we can try Kendrick as the babyface veteran?

Vic Joseph cut to a Mustafa Ali twitter promo. He didn’t do a cinematic one this time but rather a selfie promo. Mustafa Ali talked about breaking barriers. He was standing over some train tracks in daylight. Ali said it isn’t about Murphy avenging a loss or Ali trying to get a win. Ali said it was bout clearing the way. They cut to a Buddy Murphy backstage segment where he was trying to inspire Tony Nese about moving forward. Dasha Fuentes entered the locker room after Nese left to interview Buddy Murphy. Murphy talked about the one loss he’s had on 205 Live has come from Mustafa Ali but since that loss he’s been unstoppable. Murphy said he’s still adjusting to weight cuts. Murphy said he hopes the champion will be watching his match… [C]

After the break, Tony Nese made his unnecessarily long and hard-to-hear entrance. He also continues to count his abs and do ab comments…

2. Tony Nese vs. Keith Clayball. This enhancement guy has an awesome name. Nese tossed around Clayball like a ball. Ness chopped down Clayball with a Tae Kwon Do combination. Nese toyed around with Clayball with his signature moves including his cycle ab workout. Clayball managed to dodge the Running Nese and get a punch and kick in on Nese. Nese hit Clayball with a running axe handle and continued his onslaught. Nese botched the Running Nese by missing by a mile. Nigel McGuinness tried to cover for it by saying that Clayball was damaged by the running forearm before which knocked him out.

Tony Nese defeated Keith Clayball via pinfall in 3:03.

John’s Thoughts: A fine exhibition by Nese, but a lot about that match has me worried (similar to the opening match). Nese has improved his in-ring style to extricate all of the boring rest hold and yelling sequences. They were on the verge of something last week by having him break down after his need for vengeance clouded his better judgement. This week, he’s back to beating up enhancement wrestlers like nothing happened. This usually ends up with him getting beat by a 205 Live regular soon. Being reminiscent of the Vince McMahon 205 Live isn’t the best of things.

Vic cut to a Hideo Itami interview video package. Hideo Itami said he came to WWE to prove and show he’s a star. They showed clips of Triple H, Paige, and Big E Langston talking about how great Hideo Itami was based off of his reputation. Big E said Itami was the top talent in NXT. Itami said everybody wants to see him. Itami said he didn’t like teaming up with Tozawa and he asked “Why do I need a partner?”. Itami said Tozawa doesn’t deserve him. Itami blamed Tozawa for costing his team the match against Gallagher and Kendrick last week… [C]

John’s Thoughts: Now that was really good. Impact Wrestling needs to replicate this type of development if they want to create stars. It beats not knowing who the hell Pentagon Jr or Jimmy Jacobs are. Anyway, back to 205. They are finding a good groove with Itami as a heel. This video package made Itami look like a big deal by having people like Triple H or Corey Graves speak highly of Itami. It also makes Itami come off as an Egomaniac which will play well into his senpai-kohai relationship with Tozawa.

Cedric Alexander met with Drake Maverick in his “office”. Maverick asked Alexander not to interfere in Murphy’s main event. Alexander assured Maverick that he was taking a back seat this week after returning the favor to Murphy last week. Maverick was pleased and moved on to hyping up next week’s 205 Live in London England. Maverick gave Alexander some tourist recommendations while also saying that 205 Live next week will contain stars from WWE’s UK Division.

John’s Thoughts: At least this year we don’t have to worry about Tyler Bate losing cleanly to Enzo Amore via a lame Eat Defeat. Last time they did this and Enzo did his Talk Show thing, it flopped. With the reboot, it’ll be cool to see how the UK guys interact with the WWE guys now that the show is focused on in-ring action and logical storytelling.

During Buddy Murphy’s entrance, Vic Joseph cut to a replay from two months ago where Murphy lost his match due to being handicapped after Mustafa Ali hit a 450 on Murphy’s arm. Mustafa Ali made his entrance still using his WrestleMania where he looks more like DJ Zema Sub Zero…

3. Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali. Joseph talked about how Murphy got his recent win via a TKO (technical knockout). Ali and Murphy tested the waters with each other to start. Murphy used his core strength to block a huracanrana. Ali blocked a powerbomb. After a sequence, Murphy went for another powerbomb but Ali was able to reverse into his huracanrana. Nigel noted “that’s what 205 Live is all about” (take a shot). Murphy hit Ali with a running suplex which Ali sold with a good bump thud. Murphy slowed down the action by kicking Ali’s shoulder and locking in a chinlock. Ali escaped the chinlock with a jawbreaker.

Both men took each other out with a high crossbody. Nigel noted that Murphy’s muscles give him more padding. Ali grounded Murphy with a pop-up dropkick. Ali used his parkour dodge to set up his X-Factor. Murphy reversed the hold into a sleeper. Ali reversed Murphy’s sleeper with a sleeper of his own. Ali got Murphy down to one knee. Murphy had a unique escape to the move by cannonball-ing himself into the turnbuckle to shrug off Ali. Murphy toyed with Ali with some short-arm boots. Ali responded with a series of strong forearms.

Murphy responded with CQC combo. After a series of reversals, Ali hit an innovative move of his own. A hanging Tornado DDT. Nigel noted that the elevated pivot point gave the DDT a spike impact. Murphy escaped a superplex and gave Ali a series of knees. Murphy hit a turnover Impaler DDT for a nearfall. Ali tried to jackknife cover Murphy but Murphy reversed into the same multiple power bomb spot that won him the match last week. The referee called a time out to check on Ali. Ali was responsive and dared Murphy to attack him so the match continued. Ali reversed a power bomb into a Spike X-Factor.

Both men rolled to the apron and made their way to the top of the turnbuckle. Ali landed feet first all the way to the ground. Murphy went for a high risk move but right into the foot of Ali. That move popped the crowd. Murphy broke up the pin attempt with a rope break. Murphy had his arm on the bottom rope which Ali remember won him the match last time. Murphy rolled away causing Ali to crash and burn from the 450. Murphy stomped on Ali’s arm to handicap Ali this time, returning the favor from the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Murphy tossed Ali’s shoulder and arm into the turnbuckle. Ali went for a one-armed rollup but it didn’t work. Ali went for a Guillotine choke but it was easy to break due to the arm injury. Murphy tossed Ali into the ringpost and hit the Murphy’s Law for the win.

Buddy Murphy defeated Mustafa Ali via pinfall in 15:46.

After the replays, Murphy celebrated his win to close the show while Ali recovered at ringside…

John’s Thoughts: The match started off a bit slow. I was about to write this show off as an average episode of 205 Live with some concerning relics of the old Vince McMahon run show. Thankfully, Ali built upon the slower start into a match that had a nice progression. Great storytelling, simple as that. We saw spots from their previous match. The triple power bomb came into play and was given some credibility. The best part was Murphy baiting Ali by replicating the arm 450 spot only to return the favor by snapping Ali’s arm. Bonus points to both men on the selling. Ali’s one of WWE’s best sellers, but Murphy is one of WWE’s hardest workers (due to him seemingly being on the chopping block it seemed).

In the first two matches, the heels in the ring didn’t look great. Both Tony Nese and Jack Gallagher regressed to their pre-reboot form. Hopefully WWE either tries to move past that or maybe they need Gallagher and Nese to be heels which would be a waste of talent from both men (especially after they did such a great job almost righting the ship with Nese in the Gauntlet). The Murphy vs. Ali match is what you need to go out of your way to see and the match would be enhanced for you if you watched their first encounter in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. As scared as I was with the weaker heels looking very weak, WWE has built up Buddy Murphy, Drew Gulak, and most likely Hideo Itami to be very strong. All is well and they have to move forward. I’ll be by later with my 205 Live Audio Review for the Dot Net Members.

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