10/10 Moore’s WWE 205 Live Review: Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese, Mike and Maria Kanellis make their 205 Live debut, Lio Rush’s open challenge

By John Moore, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

WWE 205 Live
Taped October 9, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The cold open of this week’s 205 Live was a highlight package from the Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy cruiserweight championship match at WWE Super Show Down. The WWE 205 Live theme aired…

John’s Thoughts: Wait? Why is John Moore doing 205 Live coverage this week you may ask? Well, Anish is off “on assignment” (is that the wording we’re supposed to use?) and I’m filling in for this week. Anish has been doing a great job the last few weeks and will be back next week but for this week you’re getting me filling in.

Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson checked in on commentary and offered their comments on Buddy Murphy dethroning the dominant Cruiserweight Champion in Murphy’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Vic Joseph set up this week’s Tony Nese and Cedric Alexander match by referencing a Twitter war the two men had..

Lio Rush made his entrance for his advertised open challenge. Lio Rush was wearing one of Bobby Lashley’s WWE Shop t-shirts. Rush soaked up the loud negative reaction from the crowd for a bit. Rush said it was time for the Man of the Hour, Rush hour. Lio Rush said every moment for Rush is a moment to make someone famous. Rush said he knows the people out here like fast cars and race tracks but there is no one or nothing better or faster than the 23 year old piece of gold. Rush then initiated his open challenge. Lince Dorado took him up on that challenge.

John’s Thoughts: A bit of a disappointment. I was kinda hoping for either a new wrestler or at least someone like Noam Dar taking a loss. As I said in my other reviews in reference to 205 Live, it’s getting a bit tiring seeing every episode of 205 Live start off with the same formula Lucha House Party match. And trust me, I think Kalisto and Dorado (due to their talent and English speaking ability) have World Title upside but WWE doesn’t know how to book Hispanic talent on their television.

1. Lio Rush vs. Lince Dorado. Former Impact referee Rudy Charles was the referee for the match. Rush started off the match with a wrist lock but both men traded position with lucha libre flips. Both men then were mirror images of each other for an indie style stalemate, complete with the double dropkick spot. Dorado managed to land a few clean dropkicks on Rush in the next sequence. Dorado hit Rush with a tilt a whirl backbreaker and trust fall splash on Rush.

Dorado went at Rush with gut punches. Rush gained a bit of breathing room by sending Dorado outside with double handstand boots and a darting missile lowpé. Rush hit Dorado with methodical strikes. Rush scratched Dorado several times and got a nearfall off a belly to back suplex. Rush said “you’re like a pathetic cat, you need some milk”. Dorado escaped a waist lock. Rush taged Dorado with a CQC forearm combo. Rush then did a dance and called Dorado stupid. Watson said Rush is wasting time with his taunts.

Rush then unhooked the button to Dorado’s mask. Dorado blocked Rush from taking off his mask. Rush came back at Dorado with a basement front dropkick. Dorado caught Rush with a spinning heel kick and strong chop. Dorado hit Rush with an innovative basement capoeira kick. Dorado hit Rush with a modified front power slam. Watson said Dorado has a power advantage over Rush (doesn’t everyone?). Dorado went to the top rope and hit Rush with a High Fly Flow for a nearfall. Rush held on for dear life. Rush then tagged Dorado with a nice slicing back roundhouse. Rush then hit Dorado with a twisting unprettier for a nearfall.

Rush went for the Final Hour but Dorado rolled to the opposite side of the ring to avoid the move. Dorado then got a victory roll attempt and a superkick on Rush. Dorado yelled “Lucha Time” and hit Rush with a running Bronco Buster. Dorado hit Rush with a Lethal Injection followed up by a corkscrew plancha on the outside. Dorado was about to go for the Shooting Star but suddenly he froze and was distracted by the lame entrance music of Mike Kanellis. Maria Kanellis made her entrance for the first time in a long time on WWE Television. Mike Kanellis shoved Lince Dorado off the top rope for the DQ.

Lince Dorado defeated Lio Rush via an apparent DQ in 9:36.

John’s Thoughts: Ugh, not a fan of babyfaces looking like dopes when entrance music plays.

The former Mike Bennett was wearing a leather jacket and he slammed it to the ground. Mike pummeled Dorado with punches. The commentators pointed out that we’ve seen Mike and Maria sparingly in the last two years (Maria was out on maternity leave). Maria twirled her finger to tell Mike to finish Dorado. Mike then hit Dorado with a reverse Cross Rhodes. Nigel said that Mike and Maria made their “Impact” in WWE (is that a mandatory line WWE uses now for former Impact wrestlers?). Maria then held up the hand of her husband and then the couple shared a kiss as Mike’s lame ass entrance music played…

John’s Thoughts: While I was disappointed that we got yet another Lucha House Party match to open the show, Rush and Dorado put on an entertaining indie-style match using moves we don’t usually see often from WWE wrestlers. The real high point for me is the return to WWE television for Maria Kanellis and the 205 debut of Mike Kanellis. Fingers crossed that they get things right with these two. Mike [Bennett] is a solid wrestler and great talker. While I may be in the minority (for now) on this one, I would argue that two years ago Maria Kanellis was one of the top three heel talkers in ALL of pro wrestling. First order of business, get rid of that terrible entrance music which was already dubbed a failure on WWE television.

The commentators cut to a cell phone selfie promo from new Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy who was in a skyscraper in his home town of Melbourne. Buddy talked about being unstoppable and how he’s the new champion. He said he’s not going to be on 205 Live tonight because he does what he does when he wants and he’ll stay home for a bit…

Cedric Alexander was sitting in the locker room wearing headphones and looking a bit depressed. Mustafa Ali walked in to support his friend. Ali then said he just came from Drake Maverick’s office who gave him a falls count anywhere match against Hideo Itami in two weeks (which is going to be great!). Cedric congratulated Ali and went back into sitting depressed mode. Ali then sat with Cedric and told Cedric that having a match against Tony Nese might be too soon after just wrestling a huge match overseas. Alexander stopped Ali and said he’s going to do what he does best. He said he was going to use Nese as a way to send a message to Murphy that can be heard all the way to Australia. Cedric left and the camera stuck on Ali for a while showing that he looks worried… [c]

A recap video aired of last week’s Drew Gulak slideshow segment where Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher beat up The Brian Kendrick and kicked him out of their trio. Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher then cut a promo in front of a purple backdrop. Gulak talked about how he wasn’t supposed to let a wound fester and exercise it immediately. Gallagher said he was once inspired by former champion Kendrick and that their relationship was built around being scoundrels. Gallagher said that Kendrick seemed to be getting a bit sentimental. Gulak said Kendrick lost his killer instinct. Gulak then said that he might have beat Cedric Alexander if he took care of Kendrick earlier. Gulak ended his promo by saying that he’s going to make a better 205 Live…

John’s Thoughts: I have a lot of intrigue in this split of Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher. I’ve been saying for months that Gallagher needed the split and Kendrick needed a babyface run. Kendrick is a great heel, but he was really boring for months and felt like a relic of the old Vince McMahon booked 205 Live. Gallagher felt wasted because he wasn’t allowed to speak for some reason. Fingers crossed that they do right by Kendrick now that he’s got his long due reset. Either that or they just turned Kendrick so they can feed him to Buddy Murphy…

The commentary team announced Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa next week…

Tony Nese made his usual entrance and this week you didn’t even hear a mumble of his weekly on-stage promo because the camera didn’t pick up the mumble this week. He’s probably making muscle group puns. Cedric Alexander wore Spider Man themed gear…

2. Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese. Nigel McGuinness were talking about how Cedric Alexander might not be 100% due to having a lot of mental and physical stress from his long trip and loss. Vic Joseph said that Tony Nese called Cedric Alexander a fluke on Twitter. Alexander went for his usual opening head-scissors sequence but Nese pushed off Alexander. Percy Watson noted how Cedric hasn’t lost a singles match in over a year. Alexander reversed a Ruff Ryder but Nese followed into a armbar. Nigel said that Cedric looked depressed.

Nese did a Matrix dodge to avoid a lariat from Alexander. Nese then mocked Cedric with jumping jacks while Cedric continued to sell his depression. Alexander powered Nese to the corners and hit him with methodical chops and boots. Referee Charles Robinson then pulled Alexander away when he kept going at Nese’s hair. Nese then pulled Alexander on the floor and slammed him on the ground along with boots for good measure. Alexander fought his way out of a waistlock. Alexander caught Nese with a knee.

Alexander managed to hit his usual opening head-scissors sequence this time. Nese quickly reentered the ring to stop Alexander with a running axe handle strike. Nese then went back to the waistlock with a body scissors. Nese also yanked at Cedric’s hair to return the favor. Percy Watson compared Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy to Lonzo Ball and Lebron James (an odd comparison but I like any positive reference to my hometown Laker team. Go Lakers!!!). Nese bulldogged Alexander on the top rope. Alexander then blocked a triangle moonsault with his knees.

Alexander went after Nese with several lariats. Nigel was laying it on thick that Cedric seemed slower than usual and said it might be jet lag. Alexander then gave nese a running knee which set up for a slingshot Paydirt. Nese rolled to ringside. Nese stopped the initial Tope attempt but Alexander followed up and hit a Tope Con Hilo on Nese. Alexander hit Nese with a slingshot flying lariat for the nearfall. Nese then shifted his shoulders to block a backslide pin attempt. Alexander hit Nese with a Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. Alexander went for another slingshot Paydirt and was staggered off the top rope with a rising palm.

Nese then punted Alexander in the air and hit him with a gutbuster. Nese got a two count. Nese then yelled “you were a fluke of a champion!”. Nese and Alexander traded chops with Alexander gaining momentum. Nese came back with a kick combo. Nese followed up with a running forearm. Alexander surprised Nese with a Neuralizer kick. Cedric also struggled to his feet.

John’s Thoughts: So when you want to tell a story about “Exhaustion” this, right here, is exactly how you do it. Not WWE in recent months using the word “exhaustion” as a censor word for “concussion” during the Mustafa Ali storyline.

Nese and Alexander had a chop battle. Alexander reversed a pumphandle driver and then nailed Nese with a standing Spanish Fly. Alexander pinned Nese and Nese got his feet on the bottom rope. Nese tripped Alexander onto his head with a kick combo on the apron. Nese flipped away from a Lumbar Check attempt. Nese held on to the ropes to create separation. Nese caught Alexander with a left hand and German Suplex on the turnbuckle. Nese hit Alexander with the Running Nese and followed up with a 450. Nigel noted that Nese understands that Alexander is a high quality wrestler so he has to add the extra move. Nese defeated Cedric Alexander.

Tony Nese defeated Cedric Alexander via pinfall in 15:12.

The commentators were selling the point that this is the biggest win in the career of Tony Nese due to him beating Cedric Alexander who doesn’t lose on 205 Live. The camera showed Cedric continuing to look depressed while sitting in the corner…

John’s Thoughts: While not the acrobatic spotfest you would expect given the athletes in the ring, there was a lot of psychology and character development in this match. Alexander was great throughout the night in selling his bout of depression stemming from the lost in Australia. This was a criticism of John Cena for a long time after his title losses. The commentators were laying it on a bit thick to protect Alexander but I thought it was ultimately a positive because they seemed naturally concerned and it didn’t sound fake like the way Matt Striker would get ham-fisted on occasion. Tony Nese has two weeks of great performances in a row and hopefully he picks up steam. Hopefully 205 Live gets more wrestlers so we don’t get repetitive Lucha House Party and Akira Tozawa matches.

Overall, this was a nice hour of wrestling television. Nothing you really have to go out of your way to see if you don’t have the time, but you wouldn’t have wasted your time if you watched it because there were some things pushed forward. The development I’m looking forward to the most is seeing what they do with Mike and Maria Kanellis. Remember when Impact ran a story that Mike Bennett was too heavyweight to wrestle in the Cruiserweight Division? Hopefully we don’t get New Japan/ROH Maria which was just fan service eye candy. I have nothing wrong with fan service what that would be a disservice to Maria’s main eventer level talking ability. I’ll be by later today for the Dot Net Members with my Members’ Exclusive Audio Review.

Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Chris Harrington.

The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...

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