By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Taped November 27, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Target Center
The show started with GM Drake Maverick setting up the opening match between Noam Dar and Mike Kanellis while also hyping up Mike Kanellis. Maverick also announced the television of Hideo Itami, who hasn’t been on TV since his loss against Mustafa Ali a few weeks ago. Finally, Maverick talked about the main event of Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali…
1. Noam Dar vs. Mike Kanellis (w/Maria Kanellis). Dar and Kanellis locked up, and immediately Maria dropped into commentary, and started propping up her husband and TJP on commentary. In the ring, Dar got the first real shot, kicking Mike’s shin out from under him, forcing him to the outside. Kanellis and Dar then brawled near the announce table, where Dar made some comments towards Maria, along the lines of “Why are you with a guy like that?” Mike jumped on the distracted Dar and dragged him back into the ring to wear him down.
Kanellis attempted a running cross body, but Dar ducked under him to create some space. Dar followed up with a dropkick to Kanellis’s knee and a series of strikes to his upper body, before attempting a suplex, although Kanellis reversed this into a spinebuster. With both men down, the Lucha House Party came down the ramp and distracted the referee, allowing Kalisto to sneak up on Kanellis and smack him in the face, allowing Dar to hit his Nova Roller finishing move and get the pinfall victory.
Noam Dar defeated Mike Kanellis.
Anish’s Thoughts: Obviously, this match didn’t showcase the two men’s best skills as it was so short, and Lucha House Party’s grievances with Kanellis and TJP were more of the focus. It allowed LHP to look like they aren’t just completely going to take the heels tactics lying down. Although it wasn’t anything amazing, it was simple enough and didn’t take up too much time.
Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick were shown training backstage, before a promo by Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher. The heels stated that they used to think Kendrick was a friend, but now he’s washed up and nothing more than a homeless Leonardo Di Caprio. Gulak also set up himself vs. Kendrick for next week, proclaiming that he will tap Kendrick out…
2. Hideo Itami vs. a local competitor. Hideo Itami made his in ring return in Minnesota after a few weeks of being off the air. He came out of the gates firing with a running kick, and with his opponent down, began yelling ‘respect me!’ Much like how he would before his layoff. Doesn’t look like they have a character reset for him. Itami hit his opponent with a rope hung knee drop, and then a shotgun kick into the corner followed by what seemed to be a new finishing move. The move almost looked like a reverse Twist of Fate, but in all honesty I couldn’t tell if it was botched or not. Itami got the three count victory.
Hideo Itami defeated a local competitor.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very short match, and obviously the match itself wasn’t the focal point as we saw a return on 205 Live after the match was done…
After Itami got the victory, he started beating up the local talent, when Ariya Daivari’s music hit. This was to a relatively large pop, as Minneapolis is Daivari’s home town. Daivari rushed the ring and instead of taking on Itami, he helped him beat down the local competitor. This makes sense as Ariya has never been anything but a heel. After they disposed of Itami’s opponent, they shook hands in the ring. It seems that these two will be some sort of a unit for the near future…
A backstage segment aired with TJP asking for a WWE Cruiserweight Championship match. General manager Drake Maverick refused. Mike and Maria Kanellis then stumbled in and while they bickered for a bit, Maria got Mike and TJP on the same page and asked Maverick for a Tornado Tag Team match against LHP.
Anish’s Thoughts: For some reason, everyone in this segment kept calling it a “Tag Team Tornado match.” This wasn’t important, just a small nitpick and the important part is that we’ll see that next week.
3. Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese. Alexander and Nese started the match off in the ring. The two grappled for back control, with Alexander being in control for the majority of this exchange. They then ducked and swerved each other’s moves before Alexander hit Nese with a scissors whip and a Frankensteiner. Ali tagged in and hit Nese with a basement dropkick off a toe trip by Alexander. Nese muscled Ali to his corner and allowed Buddy Murphy to tag in.
Murphy didn’t focus on Ali immediately, getting distracted and taunting Alexander, which allowed Ali to hit a huracanrana followed by a dropkick, and tag in his partner. Murphy also tagged out and Alexander and Nese continued their battle, with Alexander soccer kicking Nese from the apron and chopping him on the ropes, however Murphy tagged in discretely and caught Alexander with a clothesline.
The commentators were quite annoyingly bickering about the fact that Murphy had to trick Alexander to get one up on him with that maneuver (I really wish they would allow this match to breathe instead of inserting ultimately overplayed story into every part of it). Murphy and Nese tagged in and out to control Alexander, attempting to cut off Alexander from Murphy effectively. Alexander quickly pushed them off with impressive leg strength and split them long enough to tag in his partner. Ali rushed the ring and hit the heels with some quick moves before catching Murphy with a rolling powerbomb.
This was only enough for a two-count and when Ali tried to follow up with a Tornado DDT, Murphy threw him off and elbowed him and kicked him to the outside of the ring, with Nese helping Ali find the floor instead of the bottom rope. Nese tossed Ali back into the ring and once more he and Murphy cut off the faces from each other, stomping on Ali and holding him down. Murphy especially walloped Ali with some strong strikes, as Ali sold convincingly, as always.
Ali attempted a quick small package, but this only frustrated the Champion who replied with a savage lariat. The crowd attempted to rally Ali, and right on cue, this allowed him to slug Nese right into Murphy and give himself a chance to tag Alexander. Right as he was about the make it however, Murphy pulled Alexander off the apron on the outside, blocking the tag. The crowd were visibly frustrated by this, good heel work on this near tag.
Murphy tagged in and continued beating Ali to his knees, although he did get caught by a spinning heel kick by Ali. This allowed Ali to make the tag, while Murphy tagged in Nese. Alexander rushed Nese and caught him with a bouncing springboard flatliner. Alexander didn’t get the pin with this, but jumped right to the apron to try and follow up, Murphy distracted him for a second however, allowing Nese to smack him with a palm strike.
Nese and Murphy attempted a Doomsday Device maneuver, but Alexander jumped off Nese’s shoulders and thrusted Nese into Murphy. He then tagged in Ali and they set up for what looked to be an attempted double Spanish Fly, but Murphy slipped as he attempted to place his foot and fell off, taking Ali with him. All four men were able to continue however, so it looks like no one was injured. Ali and Murphy got into it in the ring, with Murphy hitting a knee, but then getting hit by a DDT from Ali. In the chaos, Ali tagged in Alexander who followed up on Ali’s DDT with his Lumbar Check on Murphy to get the pinfall…
Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali defeated Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a really great match. All four men took some hard falls, but even through that their story was essentially the most basic of tag team wrestling done with real excellence. The crowd got really into it at certain points and it just goes to show that 205 Live really can pique the interest of Wrestling fans when done well.
Having Ali and Alexander work together to overcome the heels tactics is a good step as well, as it gives Murphy a reason to lose, he doesn’t look weak at all because he did put up a good fight and was simply overwhelmed as Nese was taken out. As of right now, I like the title picture with these four men and I think 205 Live can stretch it a little bit longer, they should continue to pair these guys up and just allow them to work.
With this segment of 205 Live being so entertaining, it’s a shame that the other storylines have faltered in recent weeks. I’m glad they took a simple approach when it came to the other storylines this week instead of cramming in an awful match or something. I hope they take that extra week to actually find a direction for the TJP and Kanellis vs LHP feud, and hopefully think of something genuinely entertaining for Itami and the returning Ariya Daivari to do as well.
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