By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Taped November 27, 2018 in Austin, Texas at Frank Erwin Center
The show started with general manager Drake Maverick giving a preview of the show. WWE also included a graphic dedicating the show to Dynamite Kid, who passed away on Wednesday. Maverick hyped up the singles match between Drew Gulak and Brian Kendrick. He also talked about the upcoming WWE Cruiserweight Championship match between Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy, and announced that he would be sitting down with them both. Finally, Maverick announced that the main event would be a Tornado Tag Team match featuring Lucha House Party taking on TJP and Mike Kanellis… Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson were on commentary…
1. Drew Gulak (w/Jack Gallagher) vs. Brian Kendrick (w/Akira Tozawa). Gulak and Kendrick started off by trying to take each other down, with Gulak seemingly having the grappling advantage over Kendrick. Gulak looked smug in the ring, while Kendrick played it as if he was fighting an uphill battle. Kendrick tried to strike with Gulak but had his kick caught and was then clotheslined to the ground. Gulak used this position to lock in a Bow a leg lock and yanked on Kendrick’s hair until Kendrick made the ropes.
The leg lock led Gulak to expose the previously injured ankle of Kendrick, giving the heel something to work on during the match. Kendrick attempted a Full Nelson lock on Gulak but resorted to a Full Nelson Suplex when Gulak would not tap. Kendrick attempted to strike again but Gulak caught him with a powerbomb and transitioned to a single leg Boston Crab.
Gulak transitioned into a leg guillotine, but Kendrick knocked him off, building some space. Gulak followed up by attempted to muscle Kendrick down with a headlock, but Kendrick shot him towards the ropes and hit a side kick. Kendrick attempted to cover Gulak, but got caught by a single-leg takedown and then another leg lock. Kendrick eventually made the ropes but Gulak picked right back up and scoop slammed him and locked in a front face lock on the ground to continue.
Kendrick fought back for a little bit, out-striking Gulak and knocking him down, quickly following up with the Captain’s Hook. However, Gulak crawled to the ropes quickly to force the break, although Kendrick broke with another Full Nelson Suplex. Kendrick went in quick for the cover after this, but only got a two count.
With a little space on his side, Kendrick tossed Gulak outside the ring and back again. As this happened, Jack Gallagher rammed Tozawa into the corner post. Gulak attempted to roll up Kendrick on the distraction, but Kendrick kicked out and rallied by hitting Sliced Bread No. 2. While it seemed like Kendrick had the match won, Gallagher interfered and broke the count, giving Kendrick only a DQ win.
Brian Kendrick defeated Drew Gulak by disqualification.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a great match and the crowd was visibly into it because of how simple it was. It was a very good example of very simple heel work being effective. Very standard wrestling techniques and storytelling that we see all the time being used to great effect. Once again it’s the case of Gulak and Kendrick not letting all their cannons loose and they could certainly have another match in the future to greater effect. A good way to kick off the show and I think it hyped up the crowd for the rest of the night and for the continuation of this feud.
After the opening match we cut to Drake Maverick sitting down with Buddy Murphy, who said that Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali only beat him because they had the numbers advantage. Murphy also started planting some seeds of strife between Alexander and Ali, saying that Ali is a tougher opponent. Murphy then laid a challenge to Alexander where they both compete in separate singles matches next week with Maverick picking each of their opponents…
2. Ariya Daivari vs. Clay Roberts. Ariya Daivari made his way to the ring and his return from last week was recapped by the commentators. Daivari started the match by stomping on Roberts before throwing him to a turnbuckle and hitting a running boot. We also cut to Hideo Itami watching on a screen backstage. Daivari then hit his Devil Lock clothesline but picked his opponent’s shoulders off the mat as the referee was about to count the pinfall. He did this multiple times and repeatedly clotheslined Roberts until referee Charles Robinson had to call for the bell to be ringed and gave Daivari the victory via KO.
Ariya Daivari defeated Clay Roberts by KO.
Anish’s Thoughts: Good strong use of a squash match and well placed in the show. I’m glad that they didn’t just rush this budding alliance between Daivari and Hideo Itami. It was a good first step.
Mustafa Ali delivered a promo about the WWE Cruiserweight Title picture. Ali said that the hardest part about falling isn’t the fall but is getting back up. He also stated that he would be supporting Cedric Alexander in his upcoming title match and would eventually bring the fight to them…
Cedric Alexander was then seen giving an interview backstage in which he feigned that he was falling for Murphy’s mind games. He revealed that he was joking and that Murphy’s ‘third rate mind games’ wouldn’t work on him. He accepted Murphy’s challenge for separate singles matches next week…
Right before the main event we saw a promo by Noam Dar in which he challenged Buddy Murphy to a match, completely aside from the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Anish’s Thoughts: This made sense as it gives Murphy a match against Dar next week, while Alexander will likely face Tony Nese.
3. Mike Kanellis (w/Maria Kanellis) and TJP vs. Kalisto and Lince Dorado (w/Gran Metalik). Lucha House Party started the match off aggressively, charging the heels and tossing TJP out of the ring immediately. They followed up with a series of splashes against Kanellis and a further dropkick to TJP who ran back into the ring. LHP then took advantage of their opponents being dazed on the outside and Dorado hit a splash on the pair of them onto the outside.
Dorado then whipped Kanellis into the barrier, while Kalisto rocked TJP with a DDT in the ring. Dorado got distracted by his own sack of gifts that LHP brought to the ring, allowing Kanellis to hit him with a Spinebuster. Maria also distracted LHP by stealing their Pinata, allowing TJP to knock Kalisto to the outside. This left Dorado in the ring, where Kanellis and TJP stomped on him, although not before they wrecked LHP’s pinata to very pronounced heel heat.
TJP and Kanellis worked in tandem to assault Dorado with Tag Team maneuvers, with Kanellis stopping at a point to go the outside and keep Kalisto down. Dorado attempted to mount offense, dodging a double clothesline attempt to hit a double handspring stunner. This allowed Kalisto to hit TJP with a pair of splashes and a kick, but it didn’t last long as TJP reversed a second kick attempt into a modified STF where he targeted Kalisto’s mask.
Meanwhile, the cameras did a phenomenal job of missing Mike Kanellis neutralizing Dorado with a Russian Leg Sweep off the apron to the floor. They showed this move on the replay, long after the move was done. After this was clarified, we continued to watch TJP wail on Kalisto, while targeting Kalisto’s knee. TJP locked in his kneebar at a point, but the crowd rallied behind Kalisto who alligator-armed his way to a ropebreak.
Kanellis hopped back into the ring to continue the offense on Kalisto. TJP attempted to head to the top rope, but Kalisto caught him with a kick midway and Rana whipped TJP into Kanellis. Dorado appeared at the other turnbuckle and hit the heels with a splash as well, disorienting them. Dorado smacked them both with a series of kicks and isolated Kanellis to hit a trio of moonsaults.
Dorado almost got the victory, but TJP broke it up. LHP maintained control however as Kalisto kicked TJP down. LHP then had a moment where they paid homage to The Dudleys, with Dorado yelling at Kalitso to get their Christmas sack. Kalisto brought in a Christmas sack that was sitting ringside and poured out a bunch of toy pinatas as if they were thumbtacks.
After some rallying back and forth, LHP managed to set up a Tower of Doom spot and Superplexed TJP into the pinatas with devastating effect. TJP looked down and out, but Kanellis broke it up and turned the tides, allowing TJP to powerbomb Kalisto into the destructive toy pinatas. Despite the added pain of paper toys, this was not enough to give TJP the victory however as Kalisto kicked out. TJP signaled for the Kanellis’s to bring in LHP’s large pinata to use as a weapon, but this only distracted his team. In the confusion, not only did LHP get their pinata back, but Kalisto hit his finisher on TJP and got the pinfall victory…
Lucha House Party defeated TJP and Mike Kanellis.
After the match ended, we saw the announcement that next week Cedric Alexander will face Tony Nese, and Buddy Murphy will face Noam Dar…
Nese cut a promo where he stated that last time he faced Alexander, he beat him and broke him. Nese claimed that he has Alexander’s number and that he would dismantle Alexander to the point of no recovery…
Anish’s Thoughts: The main event was definitely better than I thought it was going to be, and I have to give credit to all the wrestlers for that. The crowd also played a part as they were far more invested in the story than I though anyone could be at this point. The sound structure of the show undoubtedly helped the crowd get to this point. I don’t know where this feud could go from here as it seems LHP really got their retribution against TJP and Kanellis. I could see TJP and Kanellis having their own feud against each other stemming from this, but I guess if WWE wants they could continue this as a mid-card feud in the near future.
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