By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Live in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Center
205 Live started off with the usual Drake Maverick recap where he recapped the Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak match at Summerslam. Maverick then hyped up the two advertised matches for this show…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary. Joseph introduced Hip Hop Artist Wale to the commentary table who was going to be the guest commentator…
TJP made his entrance sporting an updated entrance theme. It’s the same song but done with upgraded instrumentals (sounds like he went from Mega Man 2 to Mega Man X). TJP said this match was going to be over quick so he can go and enjoy the greatest city on Earth. Back home, at Los Angeles, California…
John’s Thoughts: Usually TJ comes out to cut cheap heat promos, but the man speaks the truth here. Los Angeles is the greatest city on Earth (wink… wink…). Go Lakers! Go Dodgers! and Go Rams! I’m indifferent towards the Clips and Chargers.
1. TJP vs. Noam Dar. Wale talked about Noam Dar being his boy and now being focused after ditching Alicia Fox. TJP went to the ropes to break up the early collar and elbow. TJP then rolled to the timekeeper area to cut a promo bragging about supposedly having Wale over to watch the “Cruiser-Great”. TJP did a Dab in front of Wale and in the line of the night, Wale goes “nobody dabs anymore dog”. Noam Dar dropkicked TJP and the mic from his hand. Noam Dar slammed TJP’s head right in front of Wale on the table.
Dar hit some clinch knees on Perkins. Perkins escaped an arm trap but Dar went over to a punch attack. Perkins put the brakes on with a tiger feint kick but Dar followed up with a dropkick. Dar managed to get a slam in on the left leg of Dar on the apron to shake up Dar a bit. The commentators focused on chatting with Wale. TJP locked in a modified Tequila Sunrise and then continued to beat up Dar. TJP locked Dar in a leg trap into a curb stomp. Dar blocked a slingshot senton bomb with his knees, but he sold the knees afterward. TJP landed a clean back kick during the strike exchange and then tripped up Dar with a dragon screw.
Dar hit TJP with a strike sequence ending in a shove. Dar hit TJP with a running shoryuken and a Northern Lights for a nearfall. Noam Dar kicked out of La Magistral from TJP. TJP managed to lock in Dar in his finisher, the kneebar. After some squirming, Dar made it to the bottom rope. TJP tried to go for the single leg crab but Dar hit Perkins with a series of overhead kicks. This allowed Dar to hit Perkins with a running PK to the knee and his Shining Wizard finisher.
Noam Dar defeated TJP via pinfall in 9:03.
John’s Thoughts: Aside from the commentators focusing on Wale for most of the match, this was entertaining. The booking was a bit odd but these storytelling matches sure beat the time-filler dry matches that were taking place before Paul Levesque took over. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the result because I thought TJP has improved enough to warrant some protection and thus should have gone over to rebuild his in-ring credibility. Noam Dar is looking good since his return, but he’s missing something as a babyface personality-wise. Can we bring up that storyline again where TJP was trying to “Graduate” to becoming a heavyweight? So many people need a light at the end of this nihilist tunnel (despite the show being good now, most crowds are tired and could care less).
Wale left the commentary table and Vic Joseph opened up a replay package for the Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak match from WrestleMania. Drew Gulak cut a promo in the empty seats before the show. Gulak bragged about being the better wrestler that night and the best submission specialist in WWE. Gulak noted that Cedric Alexander threw a Hail Mary and got lucky on Sunday. Drew Gulak asked for a rematch against Cedric Alexander…
Kayla Braxton interviewed Drake Maverick about Drew Gulak’s request. Drake Maverick said on his brand you aren’t given opportunities, you earn them in the ring. Maverick denied Gulak’s request… [c]
Akira Tozawa was making his entrance for the usual mid-show enhancement match. His opponent was former WWE-ECW wrestler and Tommy Dreamer Protege, Colin Dalaney. Drew Gulak and his goons, Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick ran in to stop this match and beat down everyone. Gulak grabbed the mic. He talked about how he tried to be reasonable and ask for a rematch. He said he was owed a rematch and until he gets it there will be no peace on 205 Live. Gulak accused Cedric Alexander of being scared.
Cedric Alexander made his entrance to meet Gulak. Alexander said that Gulak is the one who looks scared surrounded by “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”. Alexander wanted a fight as long as Kendrick and Gallagher step aside. Drake Maverick ran out to hold back Alexander as Gulak started quoting Green Eggs and Ham. Drake Wertz and the referee brigade ran in to stand in-between Alexander and Gulak. Gulak yelled mocking the “Age of Alexander”. Gulak said the Age of Alexander sucks. Gulak continued to try to goad Alexander. A louder than usual (but 205 Live standards) “let them fight” chant started. Alexander managed to break away and enter the ring as Gulak retreated in the crowd… [c]
John’s Thoughts: I’m okay with them continuing with this feud. The match I feared would happen happened at SummerSlam where Gulak and Alexander weren’t given the time to show off what they could really do, similar to how Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali was so rushed at WrestleMania. If this leads to the “real” match we should have got on the SummerSlam pre-show, then I’m all for it.
2. “Lucha House Party” Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado (w/Kalisto) vs. Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy in a Tornado Tag Team match. Murphy and Nese surrounded LHP to start off. Tornado madness ensued. Lucha House Party dominated Nese and Murphy until they created a bit of separation on the outside. Lucha House Party hit their opponents with stereo Asai Moonsaults. Kalisto led the crowd in the Lucha thing. Metalik singled out Nese in the ring. Nese punched both opponents with forearms and Murphy took out Dorado with a head slam to the metal ramp. Metalik fended off both opponents with a dropkick. Nese and Murphy caught Metalik during a Tope Con Hilo and power bombed him into the barricade.
Murphy stomped on Dorado’s injured thumb which Joseph noted has broken ligaments. Nese and Murphy then tried to rip off the cast from Dorado’s arm. Metalik ran in to save his partner’s hand. Metalik showed off some impressive bouncing around off the ropes. Metalik went for a tightrope huracanrana but Murphy used his core to reverse into a sitout power bomb. Murphy worked on Metalik with right hands while Metalik was restrained by Nese. Metalik escaped but Nese and Murphy hit a pumphandle slam on him. Dorado prevented the pin attempt.
John’s Thoughts: If Dorado was hurt, why didn’t Kalisto work the match?
Dorado managed to take down both opponents with kicks. Dorado hit Nese with a bronco buster. Dorado hit Murphy with a Bulldog and Frankendriver for a nearfall. The crowd seemed distracted at something else. Dorado ran on Nese and hit Murphy with a tornado ddt for a nearfall. Murphy hit Metalik with a CQC comboand blocked a DDT into a front Suplex. Many flips ensued. Murphy hit Dorado with a side flapjack slam. Dorado and Murphy brawled on the apron. They fought to the top rope. Nese got involved. Dorado German Suplexed Nese from the Tree of Woe. Metalik ran the tightrope for a dropkick on Nese. Murphy hit Metalik with a top rope meteora. Now the crowd was cheering for the actual match.
A superkick party ensued with the LHS dominating. A bunch of moves happened. LHP hit ladder moonsaults on Nese. Murphy broke up the pin. Murphy and Dorado were disposed to the outside. Nese tried to go for the illegal tight rollup. Nese German Suplexed Metalik on the bottom turnbuckle. Nese was crotched on the top rope. Dorado tried tried to splash Murphy but ate dirt on the ringside floor. Metalik then huracanrana’d Murphy from the top rope to ringside on top of Murphy. 205 Live might have got its loudest active crowd in a long time. Metalik missed a slingshot and was kicked to the outside by Murphy.
Murphy ripped off Kalisto’s shirt and shoved him to provoke him. Kalisto didn’t bit initially. The referee was distracted which allowed Kalisto to trip Murphy. Gran Metalik defeated Buddy Murphy with a sunset flip rollup.
Lucha House Party defeated Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy via pinfall in 17:20.
The Barclays crowd did Kalisto’s Lucha Thing after the match as Gran Metalik celebrated with the Mexican Flag. The replays focused on the Murphy and Kalisto interaction by the end of the match…
John’s Thoughts: This was an immensely fun match that exceeded my expectations. I shouldn’t have had low expectations given the talents involved but I’m just not buying Tony Nese as credible and LHP needs something to do other than just be luchadores that do lucha things. This ultimately became a match that woke up the tired crowd (some who have probably survived Takeover, SummerSlam, Main Event, dark matches, and/or Raw). The television viewers got to witness some classics over the past few months, but this was one of the first matches in a while that got a legit loud reaction from the crowd. The fact that both teams were able to tell a 17 plus minute story is also an example of how WWE should allow the cruiserweights to get time on the PPV pre-shows instead of crunching them for time. Raw matches are mundane and formula 15 minute plus encounters, so why not use the Paul Levenque storytelling style of TV match as a replacement.
This episode of 205 Live breezed by. A solid (yet forgettable) opener and a really hot main event. The middle of the show wasn’t wasted too with a continuation of the Alexander and Gulak feud. I’ll be by later today with my audio review for the Dot Net Members.