By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live
Aired Live from Memphis, Tennessee at The FedEx Forum
205 Live started off with a teaser video narrated by Drake Maverick. Drake Maverick addressed Hideo Itami interfering in last week’s main event. Maverick said Itami was not permitted to compete or appear on this week’s show. Maverick then hyped up a few matches for this episode of 205 Live…
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 on television”. The Lucha House Party trio made their entrance. Kalisto brought out a piñata on wheels which had a cutout of Drew Gulak’s face on it. Their opponents were shown backstage getting ready and interviewed by Dasha Fuentes. Fuentes asked them why they were teaming up. Brian Kendrick talked about how he and Gallagher have to go through the team calling themselves the best tag team in 205 Live. Gallagher said that they teamed up to counter Lucha House Party’s numbers advantage. Gulak said his vision for a better 205 Live is not a Lucha Fiesta but a technical master class where he has enlisted two professors in Gallagher and Kendrick. Gulak said when you step in the ring with him you will tap out…
John’s Thoughts: I’m ready for these three guys to split to bigger and better things. I already said that Kendrick and Gallagher are holding back Gulak who has done a good job redefining himself, but they are holding each other down as well because they are extremely talented as singles wrestlers. Gulak’s cutting good promos, but his promos are very reminiscent of his quirky political character when he associates with Kendrick and Gallagher.
1. “Lucha House Party” Kalisto, Gran Metalik, and Lince Dorado vs. Drew Gulak, The Brian Kendrick, and Jack Gallagher. Kalisto and Gallagher started off the match with Gallagher dominating with the ground game. Kalisto escaped a belly-to-back with an armdrag. Kalisto then called for a time out and did some odd, but funny, hip movement dance that popped the crowd. Lince Dorado tagged in and hit a drop toehold on Kendrick. Lucha House Party then traded quick tags to work on Kendrick. Metalik grounded Kendrick with a huracanrana and dropkick. Quick tags ensued.
Percy Watson and Vic Joseph talked about how Lince Dorado was not only a real-life teacher but also a rocket scientist that NASA wanted to hire. Gulak tagged in and was sent outside by Dorado. Dorado hit all three opponents on the outside with a springboard senton to the outside. More quick tags ensued. Gulak managed to power Kalisto to his corner to tag in Gallagher and cut the ring in half in his favor. Kalisto hit Gallagher with a huracanrana but Kendrick made a blind tag and then tripped up Kalisto off the top rope. The heels cut Kalisto off from his team. Kalisto successfully tagged in Dorado but the referee put him back in the corner due to Kendrick causing the referee to miss the tag. Isolation offense ensued.
Gulak showed off some impressive chain wrestling by turning an Argentine Backbreaker into a Tequila Sunrise. Brian Kendrick tagged in when it looked like Kalisto’s free leg was getting him out. Kalisto knocked out Kendrick with a tornado DDT to set up for the hot tag to Gran Metalik. Metalik hit Gallagher with a hard slap to the chest and superkick. Metalik then did a tightrope dropkick. Metalik assisted Dorado’s Jackknife pin attempt with a dropkick. Gulak tagged in and fought Dorado. Dorado attempted a few quick pin attempts. Gulak hit Dorado with a Clothesline from hell for a nearfall. Gulak tried to win with a rollup with a hand full of tights but the referee caught it. This allowed Dorado to get a few quick pin attempts in.
Kendrick tagged in and locked in a clunky looking Captains Hook. Everyone kicked each other out. Gulak and Gallagher caught a flying Dorado. Dorado hit both men with a double Lethal Injection. Metalik and Kalisto hit Gulak and Gallagher with stereo Tope Con Hilos. Kendrick blocked Dorado’s Tope with a Captain’s Hook. Dorado escaped the hook and rolled up Kendrick for the win with a hand full of tights.
Lucha House Party defeated Drew Gulak, Brian Kendrick, and Jack Gallagher via pinfall in 15:13.
Kendrick tried to protest to the referee about Dorado cheating to win.
John’s Thoughts: The match was fine, but again, the parts with Kendrick and Gallagher seem to be very worn out. I’m also not a huge fan of Gulak introducing the hands on the tights in his repertoire because that’s an “old” Drew Gulak. “New” Drew Gulak would win clean, but be a jerk about it by trying to injure his opponents. It also seemed to serve the short-term purpose of allowing the babyface Lince Dorado to return the favor. If this leads to Lince Dorado turning heel then I’m intrigued because this company has not had a true heel masked Luchador (Sin Cara Negro only lasted a few weeks before being pulled), but I feel that the cheap finish was only an excuse for the heels to ask for a rematch to drag out this feud.
Vic Joseph cut to a Hideo Itami twitter selfie promo. Itami said most of his promo in Japanese. Itami then spoke in English about how Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali don’t deserve to be champion. Itami ended his promo by saying “I will make you respect me”…
Buddy Murphy was called to Drake Maverick’s “office” for a meeting. Murphy cut off Maverick before he could say anything by saying that the only thing he wants is a match against Hideo. Murphy said if Maverick was “good” at his job he would book that match. Murphy threatened not to wrestle on 205 Live if that doesn’t happen. Maverick said Mustafa Ali also came to him with the same request to face Hideo. Maverick said neither man will get their request and he isn’t going to have another 205 Live main event ruined. Maverick said, as a word of warning, that the next time Murphy goes to speak to his boss that he should come with an actual request rather than an ultimatum. Maverick said everyone will get what they want when Maverick says so, but until then Murphy should just keep the peace… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Talk about wasted talent, the artist formerly known as Rockstar Spud is one of the better general managers in WWE today, but I can’t help but feel that his immense talking talents are wasted on a minor show like this. Maverick would be a great managerial mouthpiece for someone and even better as a wrestler who plays the underdog to giants.
Akira Tozawa made his entrance and was facing an enhancement wrestler who looked like a hobo version of Elias…
2. Akira Tozawa vs. Steve Irby. Tozawa knocked out Irby with his signature fakeout punch. Irby managed to get a thrust kick in on Tozawa but Tozawa picked things back up quickly and hit his signature running senton. Irby landed another kick and put the boots to Tozawa. Irby actually managed to get a decent amount of clean strikes and holds on Tozawa until Tozawa hit Irby with a huracanrana. Tozawa hit Irby with a missile dropkick. Tozawa used a spinning roundhouse to set up and hit Irby with the diving senton for the victory.
Akira Tozawa defeated Steve Irby via pinfall in 2:26.
John’s Thoughts: Not only was it odd that Tozawa was business-as-usual after what was supposed to be a personal feud with Itami, but Tozawa also oddly gave up more offense than expected to a guy we will probably never see on 205 Live again. I do understand that they want to move Itami to the main event, but that doesn’t make it less odd for Tozawa. Anyway, I like that 205 Live does do regular enhancement matches in the middle of the show to help keep wrestlers warm for upcoming feuds. The best enhancement match in this spot so far was last week’s TJP one where he performed the entire match with a microphone in hand.
Vic Joseph cut to the latest Lio Rush vignette. Lio Rush was shown standing at that penthouse area where EC3 cuts his promos. Lio Rush said he’s been waiting for the right time with a nice hook and right line. He said he was fishing for gold, the right kind. Rush said he’s a little upset and disrespected. Rush wondered why there were two cruiserweight tournaments without the best cruiserweight in the world. Rush said soon the world is about to find why Rush is the right man at the right place at the right time…
Tony Nese was shown doing tricep dips in the locker room. Nese said Mustafa Ali made a huge mistake accepting his challenge. Nese said tonight wasn’t about Ali, it was about Nese making a statement at Ali’s expense… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Looking forward to seeing what they do with Lio Rush and these vignettes have been very good. Rush is a better promo than I thought. The only thing I see holding him back is how he looks and sounds like a 14-year-old kid; but the guy can wrestle in a unique way that not many other people can wrestle. The only other person in all of pro wrestling that I can think of that can match Rush’s agility is Ricochet.
The show cut to a TJP selfie promo. TJP pointed out how this was another 205 Live episode without TJP in a high-profile spot. He said he was going to continue stack up weights and Instagram likes. TJP said when the Cruiser-great becomes a heavy-great, you’ll never know where he’ll show up next. TJP said when he’s gone, Drake Maverick won’t have to be reminded of TJP carrying 205 Live on his back. Perkins said that Maverick will remember him as the one that got away…
John’s Thoughts: Something’s really clicking with him. This wasn’t the greatest promo in the world by any means, but TJP is doing some of the best mic work of his career in the past few weeks. Is he putting in some work in the performance center on promos? Anyways, let’s hope he continues to keep this up. Another very cool aspect that TJP introduced was the “graduating” to heavyweight concept that we usually see formally in companies like New Japan. That can be a nice tool in WWE’s storytelling arsenal if done right.
Tony Nese did his old and unnecessarily long entrance which includes ab puns. He did bring out Buddy Murphy with him. Cedric Alexander came out to even the odds…
3. Mustafa Ali (w/ Cedric Alexander) vs. Tony Nese (w/ Buddy Murphy). Nese started off the match with some good stiff punches on Ali. Ali sent Nese outside with a dropkick and spinning heel kick. Buddy Murphy distracted Ali enough for Nese to get a cheap shot forearm. Nese threw Ali like a basketball into the ringpost. Drake Maverick was shown watching the match at a 90-degree angle backstage. Nese used a body scissors and chest slap on Ali on the ground. Ali countered a Nese slam into a crossbody. Nese dunked Ali’s head into the top rope. Ali dodged a springboard moonsault.
Ali hit Nese with the rolling X-Factor. Nese countered into a pumphandle move but Ali slipped away. Nese blocked a tornado DDT and did a matrix dodge. Ali and Nese took each other out with a double clothesline. Ali staggered Nese on the top rope with a dropkick. Nese shoved Ali off the top rope and quickly gave Ali a lariat to the chest. Nese hit a pumphandle michinoku driver on Ali for a nearfall. Ali blocked the Running Nese with a superkick. Nese escaped the inverted 450 with Buddy Murphy pulling him to ringside. Cedric Alexander yelled at Murphy for getting in the middle of this match. Ali hit Nese with a Tope Con Hilo.
Murphy caught Alexander with a running high knee. In the ring, Alexander caught Murphy with a back elbow and followed up with a suicide dive. Both men brawled up the ramp. Nese turned a rollup into a vicious bucklebomb. Nese put the boots to Ali’s face while yelling “I’m better than you”. Ali rolled away from the Running Nese causing Nese to knee the buckle. Ali hit Nese with the Tornado DDT and then the inverted 450 for the win.
Mustafa Ali defeated Tony Nese via pinfall in 10:09.
Ali grabbed a microphone and asked Drake Maverick to give everyone what they want. Ali said he, Murphy, and Hideo want to rip each other’s heads off. Ali asked for a triple threat match for next week. Dasha Fuentes then interviewed Drake Maverick. Maverick said sometimes his job is very easy because of how things set themselves up. Maverick then closed the show by booking next week’s triple threat main event…
John’s Thoughts: A good match where the outcome was not in question at all. The extra players on the outside were also extraneous. The oddest part was Alexander coming out to help his buddy Ali when it would have been better for WWE to try to spark some tension between the two since Ali wants a match against Alexander down the road. To Nese’s credit, he has made efforts to improve his in-ring style and stands out in that aspect compared to what he was doing before the show reboot. What Nese struggles at is his character which is an old relic of a bad time.
Mixed feelings on this episode. It was decent. The in-ring was solid, but nothing stood out as must-see or great. This reminded me of a good episode of the “old” 205-Live with Neville as Champion. That’s not a great thing to be compared to and hopefully this week is an anomaly. I’ll have more thoughts for the Dot Net Members in my 205 Live audio review.
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