By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Taped November 13, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri at Enterprise Center
The show once again started off with a preview narrated by general manager Drake Maverick, who hyped up the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match that will be happening between Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy at Survivor Series. Maverick also talked about the ongoing Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher vs. Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick storyline and set the scene for their tag match later in the night, as well as the singles match between Cedric Alexander and Lio Rush.
1. Jack Gallagher and Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick. The commentators started by recapping Kendrick’s win last week and emphasizing how frustrated Gallagher and Gulak were. Before the match, we saw a pre-match interview featuring Tozawa and Kendrick talking about how they can work as a team when they have been rivals. Tozawa didn’t answer and neither did Kendrick, good message to show that they will do their talking in the ring, that the commentators picked up on.
Kendrick and Gallagher kicked off the match, with Kendrick getting the best of the Brit initially and tagging in Tozawa to hit a quick senton and some chops to put the hurt on Gallagher. Tozawa stomped on Gallagher and he and Kendrick managed to keep control for a while with some double team moves, even controlling Gulak when Gallagher tagged him in.
The heels took control when Gallagher kicked Kendrick from the apron when the referee was distracted, throwing Kendrick back into the ring where he and Gulak cut him off from Tozawa. Gulak knocked Kendrick to the mat with a hard clothesline and he and Gallagher used a few submissions to wear down the veteran Kendrick.
Gulak and Gallagher double teamed Kendrick a fair bit, with Tozawa having to wait a while before Kendrick managed to get the tag by hitting Gallagher with a backdrop. Tozawa rushed the heels and delivered a flurry of kicks and chops and even a missile dropkick. Tozawa attempted an octopus submission move to try and tap out Gallagher, but Gulak managed to throw Kendrick into Tozawa to break it up, allowing Gulak to roll Tozawa and get the pinfall victory.
Jack Gallagher and Drew Gulak defeated Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick
Anish’s Thoughts: A fun tag team match-up between these four, and while it wasn’t anything spectacular. They definitely told a good story that can be built on in the future, with Tozawa and Kendrick really only losing due to miscommunication. WWE can go the route of telling the story of how Kendrick and Tozawa work to get on the same page in the future to take it to the heels. It was also a good win for Gallagher and Gulak, who have had a fair few losses in recent weeks.
We saw a pre-taped backstage segment in which Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy weighed in before their championship match on Sunday. Murphy and Ali argued back and forth and got into a tussle before Drake Maverick and some WWE staff pulled them apart. We also saw Murphy cut a promo about how this match isn’t their opportunity to ‘steal the show’ but rather, his opportunity to prove that he’s the best.
2. Kalisto and Lince Dorado vs. Mike Karma and Craig Keesman. Dorado started the match against Keesman and flipped around the ring for a bit before hitting the local competitor with a lionsault and a few kicks and ranas. Keesman tried to taunt Dorado, but this lead to his getting superkicked, followed by a tandem splash attack from LHP on himself and Karma. Kalisto then hit his Selina Del Sol on Keesman, followed by a shooting star press by Dorado to pick up the pinfall victory.
Kalisto and Lince Dorado defeated Mike Karma and Craig Keesman.
Throughout the match, the commentators hyped up Lucha House Party’s upcoming appearance in the Survivor Series tag team match on team Raw. After the match, Maria Kanellis’s face came up on the Titantron and she cut a sarcastic promo on LHP. Kanellis stated that the only reason her husband didn’t come out and make an example of LHP today was because they wanted to make an example of the whole squad and not just those two. She also announced that TJP would take on Gran Metalik next week…
Cedric Alexander then cut a backstage promo on Lio Rush, stating that he fights not for himself, but for his fans and the legacy he leaves for his family…
3. Cedric Alexander vs. Lio Rush. As the match started it was apparent that Rush was very effective at getting people to react to him. “Let’s go Lio/Lio Sucks” chants rained down on him. Alexander took initial control of the match, using his strength to capture Rush’s wrist and keep him grounded. Rush used his athleticism to flip out of Alexander’s holds. Rush even managed to catch Alexander off guard and hit him with a rope hung huracanrana to whip him into the corner.
Alexander came right back on Rush though, with a very painful sounding dropkick to the face of Rush. The crowd loved Alexander’s offense and gave him a fair few cheers as he chopped and kicked Rush around the ring. Rush kept running into Alexander’s offense, with Alexander ramming him with a basement dropkick into the bottom buckle and a stinging kick to the chest.
Rush managed to catch Alexander with a superkick as he tried to get back into the ring. Rush then hit Alexander with a suicide dive and a running dropkick on the outside. Rush tried to take Alexander’s arms out, throwing him into the steel steps and stomping on him in the ring. He switched his strategy as well to wear down Alexander, trying to smother him with a rear naked choke in the ring, eliciting a fair few boos from the crowd.
The commentators noted that this may not be the best strategy for the quick Rush, and the action in the ring reflected this as Alexander fought back, and Rush only took control again by using his athleticism to strike Alexander down. Cool bit of foreshadowing from the commentators here. Rush taunted Alexander, giving him the time to smack Rush with a back elbow and retake control. Alexander surprised Rush with a corner kick and a springboard cross body. He tried to follow up with the Lumbar-check but Rush flipped out of it, forcing Alexander to settle for a handspring enziguiri. Rush tried to push Alexander out of the ring but got hit with Alexander’s ‘Get over here’ flatliner from the ropes.
Rush hung onto the ropes to keep Alexander from hitting the Lumbar-check. This allowed Rush to jump up, superkick Alexander and execute a crafty looking spinning killswitch maneuver, but only got a two count. Rush tried to continue his offense, but Alexander slugged him with a big fist and tried to follow up with a scoop slam, but got rolled up by Rush.
Alexander kicked out, but Rush caught him in a Spanish Fly. Rush then hopped to the top rope to attempt his frog splash, but Alexander moved out of the way. Alexander then hopped on it, trying to hit the Lumbar-Check, but Rush reversed it into a huracanrana and a handspring stunner. However, Alexander then caught Rush with a Spanish Fly of his own, followed by the Lumbar-Check for the pinfall victory.
Cedric Alexander defeated Lio Rush.
The show went off the air with Mustafa Ali cutting a backstage promo, saying that he would be showing Murphy what it means to be a champion on Sunday…
Anish’s Thoughts: A cool promo to highlight everything that Ali has been doing on 205 Live, I definitely have high hopes for the 205 Live match at Survivor Series. Meanwhile, the main event was an awesome match. Both men put this together in a great way that ramped the story up as we got deeper and deeper. There were a few false finishes in there that had me biting hard for Lio Rush to beat Alexander. Rush really put in some effort and this seemed like a star-making performance for him, at least on the 205 Live scale. Alexander sold really well for Rush, and showed why he is a much beloved babyface even with an opponent like Rush who has been getting many fans.
Overall this was a great show, very symbolic of what WWE’s one hour slots can be when they are good. The opening tag match was a simple story, and while the LHP match wasn’t anything special, it sets up a story going forward. Meanwhile, the main event was a good pay off, at least for now to the Alexander vs Rush feud.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and John Moore discussing WWE Survivor Series and NXT Takeover: War Games.