By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Taped October 23, 2018 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
The show started with a recap of the feud between Mustafa Ali and Hideo Itami which is obviously going to be the focus of tonight’s show. Ali and Itami recapped their rivalry themselves in backstage vignettes, combined with highlights and some narration by Drake Maverick. Ali said that he was frustrated watching Itami brutalize his opponents while he was on the shelf. Ali did most of the talking since he is the face, and also the more comfortable with English. However, Itami is definitely getting better with his English promos and he chipped in a few lines about wanting to end Ali’s run as well.
Anish’s Thoughts: The package was very well put together, and I liked that as the title has been put into a little bit of a rest period as challengers line up for Murphy, Ali and Itami has been made the focus of tonight’s show. Both men made the match seem like it was must win, and Ali ended the package by saying that they must respect him.
1. Mike Kanellis (w/Maria Kanellis) vs. Lince Dorado (w/Gran Metalik, Kalisto). As Lucha House party got ready in the ring, the commentators recapped the Kanellis couple arriving to 205 live. The match started off with LHP taunting Kanellis and with Dorado getting the initial offense in with a couple of head scissors whips and some strikes to keep him cowering. However, Mike managed to take advantage later by striking a distracted Dorado.
The two went back and forth, with Dorado attempting a plancha only to being blocked by Maria Kanellis, allowing Mike to wallop Dorado from behind. He worked slow and methodical, using clotheslines and forearms to drive Dorado into the ground. Dorado didn’t get much offense in for a while, absorbing a lot of damage from Mike’s strikes.
The match never really picked up, with Dorado really being taken to town by Mike. Dorado eventually created some separation and got the chance to hit Mike with a huracanrana, but Mike just bounced right back to hit a superkick. Dorado then hit Mike with a wheel kick as Metalik and Kallisto rallied him on to hit some more strikes and even a super huracanrana, but Mike kicked out.
As Dorado tried to follow up, it seemed like he had a hurt back, meaning that Mike had enough time to roll out of the way a top rope maneuver attempt. From here, Mike attempted to capitalize, but Dorado hit a handspring stunner followed by a plancha and a shooting star press. As he went for the cover, Mike got his leg on the bottom rope, breaking up the pin. Mike then got into it with Kalisto and Metalik on the outside, distracting Dorado as they moved back into the ring, allowing Mike to spring the top rope into Dorado’s eyes and hit his finishing Neckbreaker for the 3 count.
Mike Kanellis defeated Lince Dorado via pinfall.
Anish’s Thoughts: Not a very exciting match and I don’t think it did much for anybody. Dorado unloaded all of his offense on Mike, with some very flashy moves and maneuvers that are regularly used as finishers, all for naught. This doesn’t even help get Mike over, as it was such a lackluster match so I doubt anyone will remember it in the future. I don’t know what the point of this was, I feel like these are the sort of matches that gave 205 Live a reputation of being missable for so long. If they just had these guys go out there and have a solid match with no gimmicks, I feel like it could have been something. But alas, nothing to write home about.
Drake Maverick thanked the audience for making 205 Live what it is in the last 100 episodes and hyped up the main event between Ali and Itami. Brian Kendrick also had a backstage promo, saying that he would be coming for Gulak. We then went to break…
After the break, we saw a recap of the Fatal 5-Way from last week, followed by Lio Rush cutting a selfie promo about not being beaten, and still undefeated on 205 Live. Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy also had a backstage interview, talking about how they are at the top of 205 Live, and how there is no tension between them. They said that as long as either of them are champion, 205 Live is theirs…
2. Hideo Itami vs. Mustafa Ali in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Ali came out with smoke effects in full Sub-Zero cosplay as he has been doing to supplement his ‘Be The Light’ gimmick. Cool stuff, Ali is certainly good at making his stories as entertaining as he can. Itami then came out, and with little prelude they locked up hard. Itami got the first shot in, slapping Ali’s ribs and kicking him out of the ring. Ali bounced back and ran around Itami and concluded with a huracanrana to the outside and a pinning plancha attempt, reminding the audience that this is indeed Falls Count Anywhere.
Ali then moved the action back into the ring and as he attempted an apron springboard, Itami hit him with a surprise high kick and knocked him face first to the outside. Itami only got a two count, so he started ramming Ali into the barricade and then back into the ring for some kicks. Ali retaliated however, using some time bought as he was being Irish Whipped to light up Itami with a series of superkicks. Itami tried to neutralize Ali with a Helluva kick type move, but Ali moved out of the way and hit a rolling facecrusher. They then brawled on the outside, with Itami blocking a barricade move attempt by Ali, swiping his feet and toppling him into the timekeeper’s area.
As Itami gloated, Ali surprised him with a dive and then threw Itami into the announce table, prompting table chants. As if right on cue, Ali ripped up the announce table and tried to send Itami through it. However, Itami hit a single leg takedown and locked in a Boston Crab. Ali broke the hold however, and as he tried to recover got kicked in the face, off the table with a big boot by Itami. They then went back and forth, with Ali managing to recover and hit Itami with a superkick over the barricade into the audience, only enough for a two count.
As Ali tried to hop back over the railing, Itami kicked him right in the foot, and tossed him into the steel steps. Itami then tried to hit Ali with a back suplex onto the ramp but ended up settling for a quick clothesline as Ali flipped out of his suplex. Itami threw Ali back into the ring to try and hit a top rope move, but Ali jumped up, pushed Itami off and hit a cross body to the outside, although it only got him a two count. Ali then went to pull out a table from under the ring, but Itami stopped him from setting it up, hitting him with a boot.
Itami then pulled out one set of steel steps and hit Ali with a flapjack onto them. He then pulled over the other set of steps and tried to sandwich Ali’s head between them. Ali just rolled out of the way however and managed to instead hit Itami with a tornado DDT on the floor using the steps as a launching pad. With Itami down, Ali finally set up the table and climbed up to the top rope and dived off to hit a stunning 450 splash through the table, picking up the victory via pinfall…
Mustafa Ali defeated Hideo Itami.
After the match, Drake Maverick announced that next week Ali will fight Tony Nese to determine a number one contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Title.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was just a fantastic match by all counts. Both men really went at each other hard, and didn’t give any quarter. They didn’t just use brute force either, they told a very nice story with Ali having to fight back against Itami’s striking prowess. They worked the crowd well, getting Ali as many people behind him as possible before he made his comeback and trounced Itami. This show was a tale of two halves. Very sluggish and unimportant seeming first half, while on the other hand the main event was supremely entertaining.
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