By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired Live in Detroit, Michigan at the Little Caesars Arena
205 Live started off with 205 Live General Manager (and newest Author of Pain) Drake Maverick doing his usual recap of the previous week’s episode and upcoming matches. The 205 Live theme aired…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary…
The Lucha House Party made their entrance to Gran Metalik’s music. Kalisto and Lince Dorado sent Metalik to the ring by himself. Kayla Braxton tried to interview Tony Nese but Nese argued that he was having a match in 30 seconds. Buddy Murphy cut in and hyped up his match with Cedric Alexander at the Super Show Down in his hometown of Melbourne. Murphy was overly animated for some reason…
1. Gran Metalik vs. Tony Nese. Percy Watson noted that Drake Maverick banned both of the wrestler’s tag team partners from ringside. Nese and Metalik had a lucha libre stalemate. Nese did a matrix dodge into a CQC combo on Metalik. Metalik used his agility to lead into his armdrags. Metalik dropkicked Nese to prevent him from entering the ring. Nese countered Metalik and tripped him onto the ring apron. Metalik blocked an apron power bomb and hit Nese with a superkick. Nese blocked a seated senton and slammed Metalik into the ringside barricade.
Nese used his core strength to block a tornado DDT and hit Metalik with a gutwrench suplex. Vic Joseph compared the natural ability and physique to Apollo Crews. Nese caught Metalik off a moonsault but Metalik countered into a hanging DDT. Nigel noted that Nese made one pause too many which allowed Metalik to negate Nese’s counter. Metalik walked the ropes and hit Nese with a dropkick. Metalik messed up a sling blade attempt and went into a rollup. Nese hit Metalik mid air with a spinning heel kick.
Nese ran off the body of Metalik but Metalik hit Nese with a high roundhouse. Metalik hit Nese with a sick but effective huracanrana from the inside of the ring to the outside. Metalik went for a triangle moonsault on Nese but Nese got his feet up at ringside. Metalik posed on the rope and chanted which allowed Nese to trip him off. Nese then hit Metalik with an impressive and innovative corkscrew Fosbury flop. Nese hit Metalik with a 450 for a nearfall. Nese went for the running Nese but Metalik recovered. Metalik hit the Metalik driver on Nese and Nese kicked out. Both men brawled to the top and Metalik crotched Nese on the top rope to allow him to Frankensteiner him. Metalik hit a diving elbow on Nese for the victory.
Gran Metalik defeated Tony Nese via pinfall in 11:10.
Kalisto’s theme played for some reason. Kalisto and Lince Dorado came out to celebrate with noisemakers and “Penelope the Piñata”…
John’s Thoughts: The match was decent enough especially by the latter half. Both men worked hard especially with some sick and risky moves in front of the announce table. I’m not sure this result really moves anyone forward. Nese never, ever picks up any steam because he eats so many damn loses. Metalik, while putting on decent matches, hasn’t reached the high level of in-ring storytelling that he did in the Cruiserweight Classic. Metalik is very similar to Brian Kendrick in that case. I would have given Nese the win here but maybe the guy just needs a babyface run since his offense is just so cool looking.
Vic Joseph recapped Hideo Itami continuing to punish his opponents and Mustafa Ali’s run-in last week…
Mustafa Ali was chatting with a referee to make sure that nothing gets out of hand with Cedric Alexander. Mustafa Ali walked in and joked about Drake Maverick dressing like an Author of Pain last night. Drake Maverick said what he does on Raw is not Ali’s concern. Maverick said Maverick’s concern is Ali running in to attack Hideo Itami before Ali’s medically cleared. Ali said he’s not just going to stand by while someone is attacked (someone tell this to Raw babyfaces). Ali claimed to be fine. Maverick said that is exactly what Ali said last time. Maverick reiterated that Ali will not step foot in a 205 Live ring again until Maverick says so… [c]
John’s Thoughts: The hottest feud on 205 Live in my opinion and I can’t wait til we get to the rematch between Ali and Itami. Itami is closer to his old Kenta form and Ali always has great matches. The added layer is them going with the concussion storyline (just they are censoring the word “concussion” with “exhaustion”).
Noam Dar made his entrance for the regularly scheduled mid-show enhancement match. This week’s enhancement victim was Bryan Kelley. We’ve seen this guy before. Before the match could start, Lio Rush made his entrance. Rush wore an all purple suit jacket and slacks. He was shirtless underneath. Lio Rush saved off all his hair now and now is sporting a buzz cut. Rush joined the commentary table.
2. Noam Dar vs. Bryan Kelley. Rush complained about not being booked during Summerslam weekend and the subsequent weeks. Rush said when Wale was on 205 Live, he should have been here for Rush not Dar. Watson and Rush argued a bit. Rush said he wanted a smoothie because he’s getting a bit thirsty. Bryan Kelley was dominating Dar for a sequence. Joseph noted that Dar glared at Rush. Dar hit Kelley with a PK to the shin and his finishing Shining Wizard for the win.
Noam Dar defeated Bryan Kelley via pinfall in 2:30
Dar and Rush taunted each other from a distance…
John’s Thoughts: Good to see Rush moving on, but this feud seems too similar to the feud with Akira Tozawa just minus the charm and personality of Tozawa. Dar has been okay since his return but he’s a blank slate at the moment rather than redefined. I don’t think it would be a bad thing to allow the guy to speak a little bit since he does have confidence on the microphone as we saw during the Alicia Foooooox run.
Drake Maverick confronted Cedric Alexander backstage and told Alexander to keep it professional or else he’ll intervene… [c]
Vic Joseph hyped Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Championship in Melbourne Australia…
John’s Thoughts: I know that these international shows are non-cannon, but I can see WWE finally giving a 205 Live match some time on a PPV-like show because Murphy is a hometown guy. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Murphy become champion in front of his home town crowd. Ultimately I think Cedric going over is a forgone conclusion because I feel like they want to add length to Ced’s reign and as I mentioned already, these international shows are non-canon.
Alexander called out Drew Gulak in the ring. Instead, TJP made his entrance to his newer 16-bit theme. TJP said Gulak is an opportunist while TJP is impatient. Perkins told Alexander that his belt has cool side plates but the plate in the middle is made for TJP. Perkins said if Alexander wants to fight then Perkins will put Cedric on his new trading card where he’s on the mat tapping out to TJP. Xavier Woods’s singles theme played, which means it was Drake Maverick (shouldn’t he be using the Authors of Pain theme now?). Maverick said that Maverick is the only person that makes matches. Maverick said booking random matches goes against the general manager code but he’s also a promotor who sees a marquee matchup. Maverick booked TJP vs. Cedric Alexander right now…
3. Cedric Alexander vs. TJP in a non-title match. Perkins and Alexander started off with chain wrestling. Alexander quickly caught TJP with his signature Neuralizer kick. Alexander then gave TJP a suicide dive. Alexander dominated TJP at ringside. TJP snuck in a DDT on the ring apron to Alexander. TJP locked Alexander in a headscissors into an octopus stretch. Alexander reversed into a stretch muffler. Alexander then hit TJP with his signature dropkick sequence.
Vic Joseph noted Alexander has been champ for 141 days. Perkins kicked Alexander and used a rope leverage octopus stretch on him. Alexander and Perkins traded strikes. Alexander set up and hit Perkins with a slingshot paydirt for a nearfall. Perkins rolled through on Alexander and hit Alexander with the Sacrifice Arm Breaker. TJP hit Alexander with a front-back suplex combo. TJP then locked Alexander in a seated Rings of Saturn. TJP caught Alexander with a flying forearm. Alexander kicked TJP and hit his signature flying clothesline on TJP.
Alexander mounted a rally of strikes. Alexander hit a reverse End of Heartache on TJP for the nearfall. TJP reversed a lumbar check into a body scissors wrist lock. Alexander countered the submission into a Michinoku Driver. TJP countered the flying clothesline into a fujiwara armbar. When Cedric escaped, Perkins locked in the kneebar. Alexander made it to the bottom rope for the nearfall. Alexander initiated boxing while Perkins utilized kickboxing. Counters ensued until Cedric Alexander hit the Lumbar Check for the win.
Cedric Alexander defeated TJP via pinfall in 11:01.
Drew Gulak’s theme interrupted Cedric’s. Drew Gulak walked to the stage in his ring gear. Gulak said he accepts Alexander’s challenge. Jack Gallagher blindsided Alexander which allowed Gulak to hit Alexander with a lariat and Gu Lock. Drake Maverick ran in to separate and send Gulak to the back. 205 Live closed…
John’s Thoughts: A good match that I thought should have been saved for a bigger stage. Maybe they come back to this after building up TJP a bit more, but I’m more hopeful for a move to Smackdown or NXT for TJP since 205 Live just keeps having him enhance other wrestlers. It’s a shame, since the guy has developed into a good promo over the span of the last six months or so. The Gulak vs. Alexander stuff is fine and I know it’ll lead to the match they should have had at SummerSlam (a match with more time), but this one felt very similar to a segment they had several weeks ago.
Overall, this felt like a very filler episode of 205 Live. Unlike the old Vince McMahon 205, the saving grace of the more filler episodes this time around are the matches actually telling stories rather than the wrestlers performing formula spots to lead to a predictable outcome. What did take away from this episode was similar to what they did when they had to rework things for the Greatest Royal Rumble, except Buddy Murphy is allowed to go overseas due to the event happening in his hometown. This is odd because the show, the wrestlers, and the announcers are building towards Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak and Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy at the same time. I’ll be by today or tomorrow with my 205 Live audio review.