By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired Live in Lafayette, Louisiana at the Cajun Dome
205 Live started off as usual with the weekly Drake Maverick show teaser where he recapped last week’s show while also advertising the matches on this week’s episode. The 205 Live theme aired…
Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary as Joseph said his contractually obligated line of calling 205 Live “the most exciting hour on television”. The commentators discussed the upcoming matches on the show…
As Buddy Murphy made his entrance, the commentators advertised Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy at the Super Show Down show in Buddy Murphy’s hometown. The Lucha House Party came out next to Kalisto’s Lucha Dragon theme. Kalisto and Dorado went to the back as Vic Joseph noted that Drake Maverick continued to enforce the rule that both of these teams would have their tag partners banned from ringside…
1. Buddy Murphy vs. Gran Metalik. Both men got strikes in and ended up in a stalemate during the opening chain wrestling sequence. Metalik used his acrobatics to avoid Murphy’s power strikes. Murphy sidestepped a baseball slide to the outside to land a right hand on Metalik. Murphy continued to soften up Metalik at ringside by tossing him into barricades. Metalik caught Murphy with a dropkick when Murphy went to jaw at fans. Metalik caught Murphy with a high Triangle Moonsault. Murphy used his vertical base to block a Metalik driver. Murphy regained control with a hard face slam on Metalik into the LED ringpost.
Murphy went methodical and started off his offense with a PK to the back of Metalik. Murphy locked in an extended chinlock. Murphy pummeled Metalik in the corner with precision right hands. Murphy put Metalik on the top rope. Metalik managed to fight out and hit Murphy with a sunset flip bomb. Metalik caught Murphy with a step up enzuigiri and then hit Murphy with a reverse sling blade. Metalik hit a sequence of offense topped off with a high springboard back elbow. Murphy fought out of a Metalik driver but ate a superkick. Metalik hit Murphy with one moonsault. Murphy went for another but was crotched on the top rope.
Metalik missed a moonsault. Metalik went for a tightrope huracanrana but he went right into a double deadlift powerbomb from Murphy for a nearfall. Murphy landed a nice CQC combo on Metalik but Metalik responded with a quick superkick. Murphy escaped the Driver. Metalik turned Murphy inside out with a clothesline from hell and then hit his finisher on Murphy. Murphy kicked out at two. Metalik went for a springboard but was caught by Murphy. Metalik tweaked his leg on a flip. Murphy hit the high knee and Murphy’s Law on Metalik for the win.
Buddy Murphy defeated Gran Metalik via pinfall in 10:47.
The commentators looked at this win as a potential preview to Murphy’s title match in his hometown. Murphy took a mic and talked about how you can’t stop the unstoppable. Murphy said he was the biggest, fastest, and strongest cruiserweight in the division. Murphy said this was just a little step forward to WWE Super Show Down…
John’s Thoughts: A good television match without much drama due to Gran Metalik not having much steam on 205 Live. 205 Live crowds are usually dead, but someone like Kalisto or Lince Dorado would have woken up the crowd (credit to how talented Kalisto and Dorado are). Murphy continues to put on good matches that start slow and accelerate to a hundred on a dime. More tune-up here though than his usual epic battles.
Vic Joseph said that Mustafa Ali has been medically cleared by the doctors and Drake Maverick. The commentators recapped the clips of Mustafa Ali getting “exhausted” (the censor for Concussed. Seriously, you don’t run brain tests for “exhaustion”). The replay even showed the referees and medics making sure that Ali’s motor skills were working and that he knew what year and location he was in via an impact test…
John’s Thoughts: So, one week after they announce that Mustafa Ali was banned from wrestling to sell their concussion storyline, they go on and medically clear him? This isn’t as bad as Kevin Owens quitting for less than a week, but it’s pretty close as far as short-sightedness is concerned. That said, Ali vs. Itami was my favorite 205 Live match in the past few months so I’m still looking forward to the rematch.
Cedric Alexander met Mustafa Ali in the locker room to wish him luck. Alexander said that 205 Live hasn’t been the same without Ali. Ali said he’s excited about wrestling tonight, but he wishes he were tagging with Alexander tonight. Alexander said he’s okay with his tag partner tonight. Akira Tozawa was in the same locker room shown looking very intense. Then he got cute and gave a cute wave at Alexander and Ali. Alexander and Ali gave an awkward hi back and Tozawa went back to being intense. Alexander and Tozawa traded “ah” chants… [c]
Mustafa Ali was wrestling in the weekly mid-show local enhancement wrestler match. This week’s victim literally is going by the ring name Michael Thompson, which is odd only to me since that’s the exactly the name of my uncle Mike. Thank God, it wasn’t my uncle in that ring…
Anyway, before the match could start, Hideo Itami made his entrance. Itami wore a “Pushing Personal Limits” shirt from Tapout. Itami called Ali “Mustafa-san” and then cut a promo in Japanese and then sarcastically laughed about missing Mustafa Ali. Itami sarcastically wished Ali luck and condescendingly told him that he hopes Ali is feeling better.
John’s Thoughts: While not as eloquent as someone like Pentagon, Hideo Itami’s promos recently have reminded me of a smug Pentagon Jr. heel promo which is a good thing. Itami is firing on all cylinders on this unwatched show and I really would like to see Itami back on NXT doing this act. As bad as Raw has been recently, if Itami was allowed to do this act on that show and not be jobbed out, he WILL get over. Good luck getting Vince McMahon to allow Itami to speak Japanese on the Monday show.
2. Mustafa Ali vs. Michael Thompson. Ali easily took down Thompson with his signature offense. Ali hit Thompson with the rolling X-Factor. Itami was shown laughing on the stage. This distracted Ali which allowed Thompson to get a drop toehold on Ali. Ali recovered and hit Thompson with a superkick and tornado DDT. Drake Maverick was shown watching the match backstage. Ali hit Thompson with the inverted 450 for the win.
Mustafa Ali defeated Michael Thompson via pinfall in 1:47.
Itami continued to laugh while standing on the stage while Ali celebrated his win…
Drake Maverick was shown on his cell phone in the back. Maverick then met with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher backstage. Maverick said he’s excited for the main event but hopes the match doesn’t turn into chaos. Drew Gulak tried to refute that but then said that they were dedicating the match tonight to Brian Kendrick who was “injured” by Akira Tozawa. Jack Gallagher insinuated that Drake Maverick allowed the chaos to happen due to being distracted managing the Authors of Pain. Drake Maverick said he wasn’t letting his managerial role impede his General Manager duties and he joked about calling over the Authors to chat with Gulak and Gallagher. Gulak quickly shut that down and went into his proclamation on becoming the next Cruiserweight Champion… [c]
John’s Thoughts: Couldn’t Maverick have come back at Gallagher’s jab but saying that Drew Gulak might as well be the visual leader of the WWE Raw undercard? Anyway, this dual-universe thing with Raw and 205 Live is getting weird. Back to the enhancement match, nothing special other than Ali’s signature moves. The highlight was Hideo Itami being an A-hole on the stage. A-hole Itami is best Itami. As long as he keeps up this character and continues to be stiff (without head shots of course) then 205 Live has a hidden gem on their hands.
Nigel McGuinness talked about being excited to see the Mae Young Classic after NXT tomorrow. Vic Joseph transitioned to talking about Noam Dar and Lio Rush. Noam Dar cut a selfie promo. Dar related Rush’s attitude to his own as a younger man on 205 Live. Dar mocked Rush’s “23-year-old piece of gold” catchphrase while also mocking Rush’s odd (but funny) talking cadence (for some reason Dar made it sound like a southern accent). Dar told Rush that if he wants to see the hype is all about then Rush can meet Dar in the ring. Dar called Rush “Dafty”(?) which I’m assuming is UK slang.
Rush cut a selfie promo with a slightly higher quality camera. Rush said that Dar should have learned from Tozawa which was to keep Rush’s name out of his mouth. Rush said Dar already met his peak and Rush has big things ahead of him on Raw. Rush said next week Dar will “feel the Rush”. Nigel McGuinness hyped Lio Rush vs. Noam Dar for next week…
John’s Thoughts: Interesting. Two things. One, WWE should stop doing selfie promos. They just come off as low budget. Two, we need more promos far Dar because he does have some personality in there. I hope they don’t job Rush out on his way out of the door and that he ends up just doing double duty on Raw and 205. I also hope that Rush doesn’t become a WWE Main Event Jobber because the guy is just do damn talented and unique. That isn’t out of the question because he was treated as enhancement talent on NXT before he adopted the EC3 like gimmick.
Drew Gulak made his entrance with Gentleman Jack. Gulak was wearing a stars and stripes version of his boxer’s robe…
3. Cedric Alexander and Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher. Gulak mocked Alexanders’ “Age of Alexander” catchphrase right after the bell. Alexander went for an early Lumbar Check but Gulak escaped and quickly retreated to his corner to tag in Jack Gallagher. Alexander slowed things down and went into the headlocks on Gallagher. Gallagher got to a vertical base and locked in the limb manipulation on Alexander. Alexander escaped and initiated his signature head scissors and dropkick sequence. Tozawa tagged in. Alexander and Tozawa hit Gallagher with a stereo fakeout punch. Gulak tagged in and ate one of Tozawa’s fakeout punches.
Gulak went for a sunset flip on Gulak but he absorbed Tozawa’s signature punt and senton combo. Gulak recovered but Tozawa used a headscissors to lock in an octopus hold. Gulak made it to the bottom rope to break the hold. Tozawa went for a crossbody on Gallagher but Gulak helped Gallagher catch a flying Tozawa. Gallagher locked in a side surfboard. Tozawa made it to the rope for the break. Gallagher and Gulak traded tags for isolation offense. Tozawa tried to escape the corner with gut punches to Gallagher but Gallagher ended the rally with a European Uppercut. More isolation ensued. Gulak smoothly transitioned a Russian Legsweep into a power bomb. Tozawa countered a power bomb with an ugly but effective DDT. McGuinness and Joseph noted how ugly it looked.
Cedric Alexander tagged in for the hot tag. Alexander hit Gallagher with a neuralizer for a nearfall. Gallagher reversed a Lumbar Check into a rollup exchange. Alexander hit Gallagher with a Spanish Fly. Gulak broke up the pin and then retreated to avoid Alexander. Gallagher ended up surprising Alexander with a gentleman dropkick for a nearfall broken up by Tozawa. Gallagher and Gulak hit Alexander with a high-low combination for a nearfall. Alexander flipped away from a double suplex. Tozawa tagged in. Tozawa hit Gallagher with a missile dropkick. Tozawa caught Gallagher with a spinning roundhouse and his sweet suicide dive. Gulak pulled Gallagher out of the way from Tozawa’s finisher.
Alexander caught Gulak with a Thesz Press on the outside. Gallagher broke up the ground and pound with a Northern Lariat. Gulak tossed Alexander into the LED ringpost. Gallagher knocked out Tozawa with a headbutt. Gulak yelled “For a better 205 Live”. Gulak locked in the Gu-Lock on Tozawa for the clean victory.
Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher defeated Cedric Alexander and Akira Tozawa via submission in 12:40.
The commentators noted that the moment Gulak pulled Gallagher away from Tozawa’s finisher, it was the turning point of the match…
The show cut to Drake Maverick backstage being interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Drake Maverick said that Gulak’s form in recent months has been undeniable. Drake Maverick booked Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander for next week’s 205 Live.
John’s Thoughts: This was a fine television main event. I guess not every single 205 Live has to have the in-ring classic, but having rudimentary matches make this show feel needless to watch. I don’t mind telling you that you don’t have to watch it because a lot of this show feels inconsequential. Even the in-ring has toned down a bit since the cruiserweight tournament. It isn’t as bad as when Vince was booking things, but they are working a NXT-WWE hybrid style where the WWE in-ring style lacks storytelling and includes more yawn-inducing time filler. What I did like about the main event was the heels getting a clean win. Heels don’t have to always cheat folks. Just look at Gulak and Itami, they can be credible in the ring and you hate them because they are douchebags.
Gallagher looked better without Kendrick as he got more of a chance to shine. It would be cool if they either let the guy show the personality we know he has or at least try to integrate some of his real-life MMA experience into his wrestling character. Gulak, while better than the nerdy lawn sign guy, has lost a bit of what made him great after the character reboot. This is another Vince-Paul Levesque creative hybrid. He’s going back to the political stuff but not being a nerd. I kinda wish he’d go back to the Caucasian Minoru Suzuki bit where he was just brutal and talked a bit less. I know it might be redundant with Itami being brutal, but the talking works better with Itami and Gulak should try to not remind people of the dorky gimmick that defined him down in the eyes of old 205 Live viewers. This show was fine, but I’m looking forward more to next week where there will be a cool Lio Rush match and hopefully the “real” cruiserweight championship match we should have gotten at SummerSlam with about five more minutes. I’ll be by later today with my 205 Live Audio Review for the Dot Net Members.
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