By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live
Live from Corpus Christi, Texas at The American Bank Center
The 205 Live intro teaser recapped last week’s Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy match. Drake Maverick talked about how “the future starts tonight”. Maverick hyped up the advertised matches for this episode. The 205 Live intro theme aired…
After Lucha House Party made their entrance, Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary…
1. Lince Dorado (w/Kalisto and Gran Metalik) vs. The Brian Kendrick (w/Drew Gulak). Drew Gulak joined the commentary table. Kendrick immediately pummeled Dorado with strikes at the onset of the match. Dorado returned the favor after a few haymakers. Dorado sent Kendrick outside with a huracanrana while Kalisto taunted Kendrick with his noisemaker. Drew Gulak noted that Jack Gallagher was in England to attend to family matters. Kendrick gained control and initiated his methodical offense. Watson and Gulak bickered.
John’s Thoughts: Gulak has been good in getting his character over on commentary, but I fear that it’s starting to drift closer to his comedic “political” character that existed before the 205 Live reboot. One thing I wouldn’t mind seeing is Drew Gulak vs. “Showtime” Percy Watson based on their constant bickering.
Kendrick maintained control for several minutes until Dorado was able to hit a dropkick. Kalisto led everyone in his lucha thing. Dorado planted Kendrick with a headscissors and had a punch rally. Dorado got a nearfall after a high fly flow. Dorado then hit Kendrick with a suicide dive. Dorado taunted Gulak with the lucha thing. This allowed Kendrick to toss Dorado into Metalik who was cheer leading. Dorado pulled out the surprise victory after hitting Kendrick with the Lethal Injection.
Lince Dorado defeated The Brian Kendrick via pinfall 7:37.
Drew Gulak kicked Kalisto aside and also put the boots to Dorado in the ring. Gulak kept calling Dorado “Dorito”. Gulak and Kendrick retreated up the ramp. The commentators cut to a highlight package from last week’s episode. The package showed Cedric Alexander celebrating with his family last week. They also showed Jonny Fairplay in the video package…
John’s Thoughts: This was okay for a television match but it ultimately did no favors for Brian Kendrick who has been very stale since his comeback alongside Jack Gallagher. As I mentioned last week, Drew Gulak has done a great job building up credibility for himself since the reboot and Kendrick and Gallagher are just dragging him back down. Even Lucha House Party is being dragged down despite showing good energy. Another baffling part about the Kendrick and Gallagher pairing is both men are great talkers yet they aren’t given any promo time.
Mustafa Ali cut a promo in the locker room. He said he was proud of Cedric Alexander last week. Ali said he was hungry after seeing that match. Hungry to go after the title. Ali brought up how he’s facing Buddy Murphy and how Murphy is known as the Juggernaut. Ali said Murphy may be stronger, but does he have heart. Ali said he was going to show Murphy that he has the heart of a champion… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Ali’s a solid promo, but he’s starting to do that thing that I was so afraid of Drew McIntyre doing when he was in TNA as the white-meat babyface. Ali is starting to get a bit too hokey and poetic. He just needs to dial it down a bit. Speaking of the main event and the opening match, 205 Live is starting to show that despite good booking, their roster’s thinness is showing. Can we get maybe 3 or 4 new wrestlers in to freshen things up? Where’s Noam Dar?
TJP made his entrance ready to face his latest enhancement wrestler. This week it was Bryan Keith. Keith was dressed in a button up shirt. Nigel McGuinness joked at Keith’s cowboy boots…
John’s Thoughts: One weekly highlight from this show has been the jobbers. This week we get Dapper Jobber.
2. TJP vs. Brian Keith. Perkins pulled Keith in for a handshake but turned it into a short-arm lariat. TJP grabbed a microphone and said he was sorry he had to do this in front of Keith’s family and friends in Corpus “Crispy”. He then said, “Killer boots man!”. Perkins said Keith wasn’t going to make his name off the “Cruisergreat”. Perkins hit a slingshot senton bomb on Keith while holding the mic. Perkins continued beating up Keith while cutting his promo. He asked if this is the competition that the first cruiserweight champion deserves?
Perkins said that Drake Maverick has forgotten that Perkins carried the division on his back before Maverick got here. Perkins hit Keith with the (real) Curb Stomp on the mat. Perkins said maybe another general manager like Paige, Kurt Angle, or William Regal would appreciate his talent better. TJP Locked Keith in a cloverleaf. TJP said he might be available to those other brands very soon. TJP said it was time for “this guy” to tap out. Perkins yanked on the cloverleaf hold causing Brian Keith to tap out.
TJP defeated Brian Keith via submission in 2:11.
John’s Thoughts: The “crispy” line and the entire first stanza of that promo was cringeworthy bad and had me looking out for the worst. Thankfully, he turned things around after the slingshot senton and cut a fun and unique promo. You don’t see anyone wrestle with a microphone all too often which added to the innovation. This is two appearances in a row where Perkins is finally showing that he is pulling it all together. Because of the low roster depth, is this building towards Drake Maverick vs. TJP?
Vic Joseph cut to a Lio Rush vignette. Rush looked like he was sitting around the same penthouse as EC3 does these days. Rush asked “where oh where? is the man of the hour?”. He said he was lying in the back planning a perfect attack. Rush said it’s no secret that he’s the best cruiserweight in the world. Rush said you’re looking at a 23-year-old piece of gold, a gift, a living legend, a phenomenon, and it’s only a matter of time before 205 Live feels the rush. Rush put down an hourglass and the camera panned over stacks of cash in front of him… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I know he was always a little dude, but in extended talking time the guy really does look like he’s 14 years old. Anyway, he was a bit hammy there but that could work in his favor in making him unlikable to the fans. I was worried earlier of this roster being too thin earlier and it looks like WWE is starting to address that problem. Lio Rush is going to be a great addition too since there are very few people in the wrestling industry who can move like him.
Vic Joseph announced Lucha House Party vs. Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher, and Brian Kendrick in a trios match. Mustafa Ali made his entrance still wearing his Sub-Zero gear. Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese were chatting backstage. Dasha Fuentes tried to interview Buddy Murphy about his upcoming match but Tony Nese took over and said Murphy took Alexander to the limit last week. Murphy said he still the juggernaut of the division. He said he is going to prove that you can’t stop the unstoppable…
3. Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy. Nigel McGuinness talked about how people were hyping last week’s Murphy vs. Alexander match as a potential Match of the Year. Murphy tossed around Ali like a battering ram into the opposite turnbuckles. Ali landed a chop which Murphy no sold. Murphy no sold several chops. Ali landed a back elbow but Murphy responded by grabbing Ali by the hair. Ali sent Murphy outside with a dropkick. Ali hit Murphy with a corkscrew plancha. Ali got a nearfall after a crossbody.
Ali and Murphy brawled to the top rope. Murphy gained the upper hand and hit a super TKO on Ali with Ali’s neck on the top rope. Murphy hit Ali with a knee. Joseph noted that the knee shot was targeted at Ali’s injured ribs. Murphy tossed Ali rib-first into the top rope. Murphy hit Ali with a backbreaker and gutbuster combo. Ali escaped a body stretch and planted Murphy with a reverse Frankendriver. The replay focused on the head being driven into the mat. Murphy stood up in a daze.
Ali caught Murphy with a superkick. Murphy responded with an elbow. Ali hit Murphy with a slingshot splash. Joseph noted how the splash might have hurt the ribs of Ali. Ali and Murphy traded fatigued punches. Murphy gained control with a gut punch. Murphy hit his signature combo. Ali pulled out a desperation spinning heel kick. Ali and Murphy hit each other but couldn’t drop the other person. Murphy blocked the X-Factor with a high knee. Murphy tried to go for a knee from the apron but Ali sidestepped him. Ali hit Murphy with an X-Factor on the apron which led to a nearfall. Murphy used a flatliner into the bottom rope to gain control. Murphy used a superkick to set up and hit Ali with The Burning Hammer for a nearfall. Murphy yelled that he was next in line. They made it to ringside. Ali was on the top rope and hit Murphy with a tornado DDT from the top rope to the bottom of the ringside floor. Ali tried to go for the inverted 450 but Hideo Itami ran out for the DQ.
Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy ended in an apparent No-Contest in 12:09.
Itami attacked both men. Itami hit Murphy with a hesitation dropkick and then hit his unnamed finisher on Ali. Ali yelled for everyone to respect him. The referees and Adam Pearce ran out to check on Ali and Murphy…
John’s Thoughts: Another good main event from 205 Live with two great storytellers. Murphy continues to captivate crowds with his revamped in-ring style and Ali continues to put in compelling long-form matches. I was afraid that 205 Live was starting to run out of matchups with their thin roster but with the addition of Lio Rush, the rebuild of TJP, and the introduction of Hideo Itami to the main event picture of the show look to freshen up that issue. I’m not sure if this is going to be successful, but it’s good to see WWE taking effort to improve 205 Live. I’ll be by later today with my Members’ Exclusive Audio Review of this show.