By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Omaha, Nebraska at Century Link Center
The 205 Live teaser had Drake Maverick as usual recapping the existing storylines on 205 Live. Drake Maverick announced Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami for the Cruiserweight Championship next week…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. TJP made his entrance with a mic in hand. He continued to complain about not being in meaningful matches against meaningful opponents. Perkins went for cheap heat and drew a lot of cheap heat from the crowd for calling Omaha a dumb and “Yamaha” (the running joke is that he’s been mispronouncing city names on purpose). Perkins said Nebraska is where “fun and excitement come to die”. TJP’s mystery opponent was the returning Noam Dar…
1. TJP vs. Noam Dar. Noam and Perkins bodied each other before the bell. Dar beat Perkins to the punch when Perkins tried to jump the gun. Dar gave Perkins a European uppercut. Dar tripped up Perkins and then hit his Shining Wizard finisher for the win.
Noam Dar defeated TJP via pinfall in about 0:30.
Drake Maverick was shown applauding backstage while looking at the monitor at a 90-degree angle. Nigel tried to defend TJP by saying he couldn’t prepare for Noam Dar…
John’s Thoughts: A nice return for Dar and it’s good to see him pick up a win on this show after being a part of the 205 Live jobber brigade (which also included Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, and Ariya Daivari). Well… all heels including Enzo Amore lost weekly on 205 Live after Neville left. Anyway, I’m very intrigued to see where they go with TJP from here. I hope that they aren’t just burying him and moving on because they’ve been building up this story for weeks where Perkins has been beating up enhancement talent while bragging about his own ability. He’s also been cutting the best promos of his career so I hope that they continue to do something with him. Even on the stacked NXT roster, I feel that because of how well-rounded he is in the ring, that he won’t be lost in the shuffle.
The commentators recapped Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy’s past matches on 205 Live. Buddy Murphy was in the locker room training with some resistance bands. He said there is no cruiserweight like him and he is the juggernaut of the division. Murphy talked about how there was no rules in tonight’s match and said he was going to put Ali in a hospital. Murphy said it doesn’t matter who wins, Cedric or Hideo, Murphy will be waiting… [C]
Akira Tozawa made his entrance and this week’s mid-show enhancement victim was Jaysin Strife. Before the match could start, Lio Rush made his entrance wearing casual clothes. He went to ringside to scout Akira Tozawa…
2. Akira Tozawa vs. Jaysin Strife. Tozawa clocked Strife early on with his fakeout punch. Tozawa hit Strive with his signature running senton. Tozawa would take periodic looks over at Rush. Strive managed to get Tozawa on the ground somehow and then missed a moonsault. Tozawa hit Strife with a shining wizard and kick combination. Tozawa hit his signature diving senton on Strife for the win.
Akira Tozawa defeated Jaysin Strife 2:08.
Lio Rush stood on top of the announce table with a microphone in hand. Rush talked about how incredible that match was. He spoke in a condescending tone. Rush said Tozawa is really good. He said he can see why Tozawa is a former cruiserweight champion. Rush said he’s asking himself now, what has Tozawa done since losing the title. Rush said that Tozawa is just walking around waiting for opportunities. Rush said it was sad and embarrassing and that Tozawa should be ashamed. Rush said the difference between Tozawa and Rush is that Rush doesn’t wait for anything due to being quick. Rush said he’s too good to wait. Rush said he was calling his shot and Tozawa should stand in the ring with the Man of the Hour to “Feel the Rush”…
John’s Thoughts: We know Rush’s first real program and I’m glad they are getting right into seeing what Rush can do in a meaningful position. I hope Tozawa is a stepping stone here, but I also hope that Tozawa can gain something to contrast Rush’s somewhat true statements about him just middling in the mid-card. Rush has this awkward cadence to him, but I think it works to his advantage as it makes him sound condescending. He’s doing what TJP tried to do a long time ago, but doing a much better job at it. One way I’m hoping they build this feud is by having both guys try to one-up each other in the mid-show enhancement match. An “everything you can do, I can do better” approach would work with Rush’s move set.
The camera focused on Mustafa Ali and his lite brite ninja mask. Ali talked about how Buddy Murphy is dangerous and more dangerous in a no-DQ match. Ali said what makes him different is that he runs directly into danger. Ali said he’s going to prove to the world that the Juggernaut is just a human after all… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Speaking of starting to sound awkward, Ali is a great talker but his promos are getting a bit too poetic for my taste. Especially when he starts calling himself “the heart of 205 Live”. It can get as annoying as Moose in Impact Wrestling calling himself “Mr. Impact” as opposed to it coming up naturally. He really needs to sit down with someone like Drew McIntyre who cuts similar cheesy promos as a babyface, but Drew always knew how to walk that thin line between sounding credible and sounding too hammy. Mustafa falls in to the ham category sometimes.
Cedric Alexander cut a selfie promo. It was simple and he talked about adding Hideo Itami to his legacy. The main event wrestlers made their entrance…
3. Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy in a no-DQ match. Ali attacked Murphy during his entrance and hit him with a senton flip from the ring to the outside. Murphy reversed a single leg take down with his boot. Murphy tossed Ali over the announce table and into the direction of Vic Joseph. Ali and Murphy brawled around the ringside area. Ali sent Murphy over the barricade. Ali awed the crowd with a crossbody from the ring barricade and into the crowd area. Murphy staggered Ali with a front kick. Ali put Murphy back at ringside and went for a tightrope move on the barricade but Murphy grabbed Ali by the head and slammed him into the metal part of the entrance ramp.
Murphy nailed Ali with a snap suplex. The action found its way back to the ring where Murphy worked on the lower back of Ali. Ali escaped a chinlock with a jawbreaker but Murphy made sure to maintain a striking advantage over Ali. Ali gained control after a catapult and popup dropkick. Ali did a parkour dodge through the ropes. Murphy blocked an initial X-Factor but Ali caught Murphy on the ropes and gave him a draping spike X-Factor. Both men made their way to the announce area again. Murphy took the bottom of the ring steps and put it on top of the ring apron.
Ali blocked being sent into the steps. Ali cleared the announce table. Murphy baseball slid the steps into Ali and then hit a crazy Tope Con Hilo with help of the steps on Ali. Murphy tossed Ali against the steps inside of the ring. Murphy got several nearfalls off the tosses. Ali gave Murphy a huracanrana into the steps. Murphy rolled recovered before Ali could hit the inverted 450. Murphy hit Ali with two power bombs for a nearfall. Murphy slammed Ali’s head several times into the steps and went high risk. The crowed wanted Murphy to use a table but he didn’t give it to them. Ali crotched Murphy on the top ropes.
Ali put the steps in the upright position and hit a sick usperplex from the top of the upright stairs and onto the ring. The crowd’s tone towards the usage of stairs changed due to that impressive move. Murphy rolled to the outside to prevent a pin attempt. Murphy flapjacked Ali on the announce table. Murphy tried to splash Ali though the table but was crotched on the barricade. Ali ran at Murphy and hit a sick Spanish Fly from the barricade to the announce table (that didn’t break). Murphy caught Ali in the ring with a high knee strike and trapped him in the ropes like a crucifix. Murphy hit Ali with consecutive face wash knees. Murphy hit Ali with a short-arm knee and got a nearfall off it.
In a scary and funny spot. Murphy dropped the stairs on Ali but Ali rolled away . Ali hit a tornado DDT on Murphy from the top of the stairs to the mat to pick up the win.
Mustafa Ali defeated Buddy Murphy via pinfall in 22:43.
Vic Joseph continued to try to push Ali as “the heart of 205 Live”. Vic Joseph closed the show by hyping up next week’s Hideo Itami vs. Cedric Alexander match…
John’s Thoughts: The match was long as hell, but it was fun as hell. That was a fun match as all of these Ali vs. Murphy matches have been. Murphy has put on quite the highlight reel on 205 Live. If you want to show your friends how good 205 Live is these days, direct them to any Murphy match like that one against Alexander or the many ones against Ali (I would also personally recommend Roderick Strong vs. Cedric Alexander). Ali is something special but he’s going to have to mix things up a bit. I already mentioned earlier that his promos need to be tweaked a bit. His selling is superb but his false finishes are becoming less believable. Murphy has great false finishes but Ali is starting to come off as having plot armor when he’s not hit by a finishing move.
I’m looking forward to see Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami next week and wonder if we’ll finally see the Hideo Itami that was tearing it up at the end of his NXT run and as he has become famous for in Pro Wrestling Noah. Speaking of WWE’s relationship with Noah, I wonder that since a match between Hideo Itami vs. Naomichi Marufuji is being hyped for a few months from now, if they are going to have him enter that Noah anniversary show as Cruiserweight Champion. I’m not saying they’ll do the title switch, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they put the belt on Itami for PR purposes. Anyways, I’ll be by later today with my members exclusive audio review. Also, Happy 4th of July everyone! Make sure to practice good fire safety.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisner discussing the March 24 second season premiere focusing on the Benoit family tragedy, plus their pro wrestling fandom, the show's name and origins, highlights of season two, Chris Jericho becoming the narrator, and much more...