By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Taped May 15, 2018 in London, England at the O2 Arena
This week’s 205 Live Teaser had Drake Maverick hyping up the WWE 205 Live and UK Division special show. Maverick hyped up the two matches for this episode. The 205 Live theme aired…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. Vic Joseph mentioned his contractually obligated line of calling this show the “most exciting hour on television”. The commentators ran through the UK wrestlers that were going to be showcased on this episode including Joseph Connors, James Drake, Flash Morgan Webster, Kenny Williams, and Tyler Bate. Each man got a full screen info-graphic. They mentioned that Connors lost his ear in a bar fight and that Michael Cole really likes this guy. James Drake was eliminated in the first round of the UK Tournament. Flash Morgan Webster messed up his ankle and shoulder trying to qualify for the WWE Cruiserweight Classic (in a match against Zack Sabre Jr.). Kenny Williams is an underdog. Everybody already knows Tyler Bate…
John’s Thoughts: I like the infographic approach, especially for debuting wrestlers. They add a sports-like touch for first time viewers while also helping to define characters without promo or video packages.
1. Tyler Bate vs. TJP vs. Kenny Williams vs. Kalisto. Tyler Bate talked about wanting to get payback against TJP for cheating to beat him in the opening round of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Vic Joseph mentioned that the 2nd WWE UK Tournament is happening next month in London, England and the first 8 wrestlers in the tournament will be mentioned tomorrow at noon. Four-way madness ensued to start the match. Kalisto hit Kenny with a nice spinning roundhouse. Kenny took down both TJ and Kalisto. TJ Tried to toss people aside one by one. Kalisto caught Perkins with a headscissors and got a nearfall on him.
Perkins caught the leg of Kalisto and rolled into a Boston Crab. Perkins locked in his pendulum and broke the move to knock off Bate and Williams from the apron. Kalisto tried to hit a Super SDS but Perkins blocked it by going for Kalisto’s mask. Williams knocked down Perkins with a dropkick. Kalisto yelled “Luchaaaaaaa” in the air and then hit Williams on the outside with a crossbody. Inside of the ring, Tyler Bate went all Fist of the North Star on Perkins (I love Bate’s anime punches). Bate hit a T-Bone suplex on Perkins for a nearfall.
McGuinness reminded the viewers that Bate was only 21. The crowd sung their Tyler Bate song (I really have to ask Haydn Gleed about this one). Tyler Bate used the helicopter spin on Perkins, acted like he was dizzy, and then did a helicopter spin again to knock down Williams and Kalisto. Bate tossed Perkins in to Williams. Williams hit Bate with a springboard back elbow. Perkins cleaned house. Perkins used his parkour escape to block a whip. Perkins used an Indian Deathlock on Williams, an Octopus Stretch on Bate, and a Guillotine Choke on Kalisto. Kalisto escaped and hit two wrestlers with a dropkick.
Perkins shoved Williams into the bottom rope to crotch Kalisto. The wrestlers got together to do a Tower of Power spot with Perkins hitting the Power Bomb. Perkins hit Bate with the wrecking ball dropkick. Williams hit TJP with a Suicide Dive. Bate cleared the top rope for a top rope suicide dive on Bate and Perkins. Kalisto hit everyone with a Tope Con Hilo. Kalisto did his Lucha thing. Williams nailed Kalisto with a popup tornado DDT. TJP hit Bate with a spinning Roundhouse and hit Williams with a Rolling Sobat. Perkins and Bate took each other out with stereo lariats.
Williams and Kalisto brawled outside. Williams shoved Kalisto into the metal steps. Bate caught Williams with a rising fist. Bate reversed TJP’s detonation kick and then nailed TJP with the rebound lariat. Bate hit TJ with the Tyler Driver 97′ for the Victory.
Tyler Bate defeated TJP, Kalisto, and Kenny Williams via pinfall in 10:38.
The commentators ran through the closing minutes of the four way…
John’s Thoughts: A good spot-fest style match. Not quite my cup of tea because this seemed very TNA X-Division-y (I’m not a fan of the cooperative high spots involving all four men) but at least these men were given time. I don’t want to be too critical, but I’m not a huge fan of Tyler Bate going over and the announcers not pointing out that Bate has broken out of his losing streak. Especially Nigel (who was smart enough to remember that Michael Cole really likes Joseph Connors), a lot of people are aware that Bate has lost a lot. At least this beats last year’s Enzo Amore game show segment and Bate having to sell a clean loss to Enzo. This could have been a good spot to give Kenny Williams a win over Bate if they are going to use Williams in the upcoming tournament. Williams got lost in the shuffle. I’ve seen this guy before, his theme music is the Huey Lewis Power of Love song. So he’s a UK Kushida?
Vic cut to a Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy video package. Buddy Murphy said the million dollar question is “what was I thinking?”. Murphy said a lot of people don’t know that he’s been in WWE for over 5 years. Murphy said he was a former NXT Tag Team champion. Murphy said when you take that label away from him, what has he done? Nothing. Murphy said everyone else on the roster has the luxury of having stuff handed to them. They haven’t gone through the things Murphy went through. Murphy said he had to go through a lot of training, tired nights, and gallons upon gallons of water. Murphy said nothing was handed to him. He said it was up to him to make a statement. Murphy said Cedric and nobody has a chance. He said he’s the Juggernaut of the division. Murphy said he was also the next Cruiserweight Champion. Nigel McGuinness announced that Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy is going to happen in two weeks in Cedric’s home state of North Carolina… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Good video package and that was the type of heel promo that I said Murphy was good at cutting when I saw him at that one NXT Taping I attended where the crowd crapped all over his (and Wesley Blake’s) hard work. Murphy played the character great with taking a bootstrap babyface modus operandi and turning it into a psychopath archetype. This Alexander vs. Murphy match should be great and made even greater with it being in North Carolina, Cedric’s home state.
Vic Joseph announced that Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami is happening next week. Cedric Alexander was shown warming up and was approached by Mustafa Ali. They were ready to fight. They noticed Flash Morgan Webster in the room wearing a flight jacket over a suit over a shirt. He also had a flight helmet for some reason. Flash talked about how 205 got a “touch of the flash” (oh lord)…
John’s Thoughts: Ok… that was confusing, but Dot Net Staffer Haydn Gleed helped me out with this one about a year ago. Apparently Flash Morgan Webster’s gimmick is that he is a representative of the “Mod” Culture. I concluded that this was like a British Hippy? Like Austin Powers?
Drake Maverick made his entrance to his Xavier Woods entrance theme. He joined the commentators for the upcoming match. Dasha Fuentes interviewed the heels at the Gorilla Position. Drake and Connors said generic heel threats. Drew Gulak said they’ve been going through team building all day. Gulak said Drake and Connors are two of the best mat wrestlers in the UK and Drew Gulak is the best submission specialist in WWE. Gulak said they were going to put the UK and Cruiserweight Division “on notice”. Gulak ended the interview by telling Dasha, “cheerio”. The babyfaces came out to Cedric’s theme while the heels came out to Drew’s theme…
John’s Thoughts: Random comment. Cedric Alexander is still wearing his Black Panther gear and Mustafa Ali is still wearing his Sub-Zero gear. Do they not have any other ring gear that isn’t a cosplay?
2. Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, and Flash Morgan Webster vs. Drew Gulak, James Drake, and Joseph Connors. Alexander and Michael Cole’s favorite UK wrestler (Nigel pointed this out in addition to me) started out the match. Alexander and Connors started off with chain wrestling. Connors won the battle and went at Alexander with aggressive elbows and forearms. Alexander countered with his signature headscissors sequence. Alexander did the house show thing of hyping up the tag to Flash Morgan Webster who took down Connors easily.
James Drake tagged in and was scared to the ground. He tagged in Drew Gulak. Gulak punched Webster in the gut. Nigel McGuinness noted that Flash Morgan Webster is from Wales. Connors tagged in. Webster hit Connors with a standing imploding senton. Ali tagged in and was rushed to the corner by Connors. Ali caught Connors with a double spinning heel kick. Both trios had a standoff. Drew Gulak was heard coaching his team. Drake hit a feint gut punch on Ali. He tagged in Connors. The heels played the isolation game on Ali. Ali escaped and tagged in Webster. Webster tripped up Webster and then manhandled Webster all over the place.
Webster was bleeding profusely from the mouth after his mouth guard was knocked out. Isolation ensued on Webster. Ali and Connors tagged in. Ali hit Connors with a popup dropkick. Ali hit Connors with a rolling X-Factor. Ali Frankensteinered Connors into Drake. Connors managed to get the advantage over Ali and tag in Drake. Ali tagged in Alexander for the hot tag. Webster hit Connors with a Shiranui. Madness ensued with everyone knocking each other out with their signature moves. After some offense, Webster (barely) hit Connors and Drake with a Suicide Dive. Gulak reversed the Neuralizer with an ankle lock. Alexander managed to escape and tag in Ali. Ali hit a tornado DDT and Inverted 450 on Gulak for the win.
Mustafa Ali, Flash Morgan Webster, and Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak, Joseph Connors, and James Drake via pinfall in 12:42.
The commentators ran through the closing moments of the match and 205 Live closed…
John’s Thoughts: A fine match, but similar to the first, it was more of a house show spot fest. Most people got their signature moves in. Joseph Connors got to look good for a little bit. James Drake still makes me laugh every time I seem him attempt his lame “bad guy” act. Drew Gulak has in-ring credibility these days, that’s a plus. Ultimately, this was house show material and I don’t like that Drew Gulak had to eat the win. Did WWE not want to have one of the UK guys pinned as a political move with Progress? I’m semi-kidding on that one. FMW got a few moves in but not enough to really stand out.
Ultimately this was a missable episode of 205 Live, which is disappointing since 205 Live has been on-fire (by b-show standards). It also seemed like the video packages and hype were focused on next week’s and the two weeks from now shows. I’ve seen all of the UK talents on this show in other promotions and aside from James Drake (no huge knock on the guy, he’s just an awful heel), all of the UK guys in the other promotions are great. They just blended in the background on this episode. We didn’t even get Pete Dunne doing his Dunne things. No Jack Gallagher either (which I understand to a point)? The highlight of this show as a good one and it lasted about 3-5 minutes. The Buddy Murphy video package. The wrestling wasn’t bad, it was just very homogenous like the TNA/Impact X Division. I’ll be by later today with my 205 Live Audio Review.