By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live
Aired live from Manchester, New Hampshire at the SNHU Arena
The 205 Live intro teaser showed highlights of the build towards the Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami main event for the Cruiserweight Championship. The 205 Live intro theme aired…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. Lucha House Party came out first. Tony Nese made his entrance first with Buddy Murphy following Nese to the ring…
1. Tony Nese (w/Buddy Murphy) vs. Kalisto (w/Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado). Kalisto dodged several early Nese moves with quick judo rolls. Nese and Kalisto then showed off similar agility in the next sequence. Kalisto mocked Nese’s bicep pose. Nese managed to get his hands on Kalisto and hit his signature punt up fallaway slam on Kalisto. Nese worked on the Core of Kalisto with a body scissors submision. Metalik and Dorado fired up Kalisto with their noisemakers.
Kalisto managed to escaped the hold and hit a fatigued frankendriver on Nese. Kalisto got to his feet and hit a seated senton on Nese followed by a corkscrew forearm on Nese. Kalisto got a nearfall after a springboard crossbody. Kalisto did his pelvic thrust dance (instead of his lucha lucha thing, I’m surprised). Nese managed to knocked down Kalisto with a forearm. Kalisto came back with a spinning thrust kick. Nese blocked the SDS with a deadlift bucklebomb.
Nese and Murphy started to argue with Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado at ringside. Kalisto hit Nese with a flip senton. Murphy and Kalisto started to yell at each other. Murphy started to punch Kalisto force the ref to invoke the bell.
Kalisto defeated Tony Nese via apparent DQ in 6:14.
Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik tried to run at Murphy for the save but Murphy managed to fend them off. Nese tried to help out his friend counter the numbers game. Lucha House Party got the upper hand when kalisto hit Murphy and Nese with a flying crossbody. Nese started to hold Murphy back as the heels retreated.
John’s Thoughts: It looks like 205 Live is moving on from several feuds. I’m ok with the Lucha House Party one ending since Kendrick and Gallagher weren’t the best opponents. Gulak was great, but the other two seemingly held him back. I’m afraid that Nese will end up holding Murphy back due to his lack of character progression since his enhancement wrestler days on this show. At least we know that Kalisto will be able to tear it up with Murphy when they get in the ring together. Nese is a top tier wrestler too, but the guy needs a soft-repackage ASAP.
Drake Maverick was chatting with Noam Dar who was glad to be back. Drake Maverick noted that Noam Dar’s past career on this show had “distractions” (I’m assuming the Alicia Fox and subsequent Zo Train runs). Maverick noted to Dar that this was a different 205 Live. TJP walked into the scene to make excuses about losing last week. He blamed it on not being prepared for a “mystery opponent” and asked if this was some sort of game show or something. Dar got on TJP’s nerves a bit by pointing out he won last week in 30 seconds. Drake Maverick calmed everyone down and told TJP that he’ll have time to prepare because TJP was going to have a match against Dar next week…
John’s Thoughts: I know that TJP is in the storyline doghouse, but I hope this isn’t a parallel to some sort of real life doghouse problems. I don’t think he has backstage heat, but you never know. Never say never, they say. The reason I bring that up is I think that TJP is really starting to turn the corner on the mic and in the ring consistently. I’m not saying he’s the Miz on the microphone, but he has gotten a lot better.
The commentators transitioned to a Hideo Itami vignette that showed him getting ready for his Cruiserweight Championship match by kickboxing in the gym against kick pads in side of a caged area. Heading into commercial, the camera showed Lio Rush backstage on his way to the ring for a match… [C]
Nigel McGuinness thanked Dead Sera for providing the WWE Extreme Rules theme. Lio Rush made his entrance and his opponent was already in the ring. His opponent was former Tommy Dreamer protege (from WWECW) Colin Delaney. Before the match could start, Akira Tozawa made his entrance. Akira Tozawa sat against the announce table and clapped at Rush, to replicate the condescending nature of Rush last week…
John’s Thoughts: By the way, Colin Delaney was the James Ellsworth of WWE about ten years ago. The funny thing is, he got himself into good shape and now it makes him less memorable then when he was the skinny guy with no muscle tone.
2. Lio Rush vs. Colin Delaney. Lio Rush called for a time out right after the bell. He strolled to the timekeeper area and continued to act condescending towards Tozawa by offering Tozawa a steel chair to sit on. Tozawa said “thank you” and then kicked it to the ground. Rush was distracted and rolled up by Delaney for a two count. Lio Rush quickly escaped and did a matrix dodge. It took two thrust kicks to knock down Delaney. Rush easily punched around Delaney. Rush ran past Delaney in a Z formation (he can do that), and made Delaney miss several times like Rush was a matador. Rush went to Tozawa and asked what time it was. Tozawa gave Rush a thumbs up. Lio Rush hit the Final Hour (a.k.a. Five Star Frog Splash) on Delaney for the victory.
Lio Rush defeated Colin Delaney via pinfall in 1:52.
Akira Tozawa grabbed the microphone and cut a promo from on top of the announce table (just like Rush did last week). Tozawa said that Rush was good but “what have you done here”. Tozawa said that Rush has done nothing. Tozawa said Rush is calling his shot, “but boy, do you really want to fight me?”. Off-mic, Rush said he’ll fight anytime and anywhere. Tozawa said he can’t hear Rush so Rush asked for the mic. Tozawa said okay and then “noooo” when he psyched out Rush (that was great). Tozawa said he was kidding and was about to hand RUsh the mic. He dropped the mic and was squaring up for a fight. Rush was taking off his earrings but was cut off by Xavier Woods’s music, which is now being used by Drake Maverick. Maverick said he doesn’t know what has gotten into everyone tonight. He then said he’s the one that makes matches and Maverick booked Tozawa vs. Rush for next week…
John’s Thoughts: I’m a bit disappointed that they are already rushing towards the Tozawa vs. Rush match so soon. These two have good non-in-ring chemistry. Rush showed off good heel mic skills the past few weeks and Tozawa showed that he isn’t a slouch when you give him a microphone. Tozawa’s huge weakness is his heavily broken English, but the guy has shown that he has good grasp over the language compared to a lot of the native Japanese speakers in WWE. I liked Tozawa staying away from grinning at the end with the badass body language, that helped his cause.
A Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy video package aired. Mustafa Ali was shown wearing a suit supporting his friend Cedric Alexander who he wished well on the way to the ring… [C]
Drew Gulak cut a selfie promo with Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick behind him. He talked about how he’s only using a selfie because that’s how the young people of today can get his message. Gulak said “heed this selfie” (oh lord). Gulak said he, Gallagher, and Kendrick have moved on from Lucha House Party and are on to higher prizes. He said they will be looking at the Cruiserweight Championship match really closely. The commentators hyped up TJP vs. Noam Dar as well as Akira Tozawa vs. Lio Rush for next week…
Hideo Itami made his entrance first with the champion coming out after. Alexander wore his black colored Spiderman gear. Greg Hamilton handled the formal ring introductions. Charles Robinson was the referee…
3. Cedric Alexander vs. Hideo Itami for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Cedric shoved Hideo to the ropes during the collar and elbow. Hideo pie-faced Alexander and Alexander dared Hideo return the favor to him. Hideo shoved Alexander into the ropes. Alexander ducked a roundhouse with Alexander acknowledging the knockout power of Hideo’s kick. Alexander got Itami grounded after nailing him with a dropkick. Alexander yelled “show me something!”. Alexander gave Itami a stiff chop to the chest. Alexander went for a springboard move and got kicked out of the air in the chest with a roundhouse from Hideo.
Itami kicked Alexander down and then went to the ground and pound. Itami was bleeding from the mouth and yelled “respect me!”. Itami gave Alexander methodical roundhouse kicks and said “come on champ!”. Hideo caught Alexander with a running knee. Itami accepted a few forearms to the chest and then kicked down Alexander. Alexander gave Itami a few chops but the rally was ended with a running knee. Itami used body scissors on Alexander. Alexander tried to mount another rally but was taken down by the same running knee of Itami. Itami hit Alexander with a running calf lariat for a nearfall.
The crowed tried to rally up Itami. Itami told them to shut up. Itami hit a few roundhouse kicks and boots to keep Alexander grounded. Itami hit Alexander with a swinging neckbreaker. Itami locked in another headlock while the crowd tried to fire him up. Itami snuck in a rollup attempt and then ended Itami’s onslaught with a rising uppercut. Alexander hit a springboard paydirt for a nearfall. Alexander caught Itami on the apron with a running forearm and then hit Itami with a Tope Con Hilo. Itami caught Alexander and the announcers were selling it like Itami was going to hit the GTS (they didn’t mention the move my name though).
Alexander caught Itami with a Neuralizer kick to get his latest nearfall. Itami used double boots to halt the incoming Alexander. Itami hit Alexander with a hanging tornado DDT and a high risk lariat for a nearfall. Hideo Itami hit a series of roundhouse kicks on Alexander. Alexander blocked a kick. Itami dodged Alexander’s signature backfist. Itami hit Alexander with a fisherman suplex for a nearfall. Alexander went for a rollup. Itami attempted to pull off the bottom turnbuckle (is he Toru Yano now? I’m kidding). Itami tripped Alexander off the top rope. Itami dropkicked Alexander’s head into the steel stairs. Nigel noted that the dropkick was similar to what Itami did to Mustafa Ali against the bottom turnbuckle.
Alexander was dead weight on the way to the ring. Itami got a nearfall off the dropkick. Itami went for his unnamed new finisher but Alexander escaped. Itami escaped a Lumbar Check attempt. Itami nailed Alexander with two spinning backfists. Itami ran the ropes and Alexander caught him with a Lumbar Check out of nowhere for the victory.
Cedric Alexander defeated Hideo Itami via pinfall in 15:42 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Cedric Alexander sold the thrill of victory in the center of the ring while 205 Live closed…
John’s Thoughts: A pretty good main event match. While it was good, it was a bit underwhelming given how they are presenting Cedric Alexander as a legend in pro wrestling. It’s not like the guy’s over the hill too as he’s around his mid-30s. He’s a legend because so many wrestlers patterned their pro wrestling style on his exciting matches. Drew Galloway, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan even use his finishers. Paul Levesque talked about this during a conference call in that Hideo Itami’s weakness in the WWE ring is him holding back. He overcame that by the end of his NXT run, but it’s come back after the big injury to Brian Kendrick. So I’m not reporting anything, just speculating based off deduction, but I would guess that either Itami’s pulling back himself or being coached to. Let’s just hope if he can’t go all out like he used to, that he finds a good middle ground that is safe for everyone while also entertaining. The extended chin lock syndrome is a problem that the Ascension struggled with for years. That said I did leave the window open for a title change given WWE’s relationship with Noah and advertised match between Hideo Itami and Naomichi Marufuji (one that I am looking forward to seeing because Marufuji is really good).
This was a pretty good episode of 205 Live. Despite my criticisms of Hideo Itami holding back, he still held his own in a good match against Cedric. The Akira Tozawa and Lio Rush stuff was the highlight. I’ll be by later today with my audio review for the Dot Net Members.
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