By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Streamed live on July 30, 2019 from Memphis, Tennessee at FedExForum
The show started with a video package about Mike Kanellis and his rivalry with Drake Maverick… The broadcast team was Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Aiden English… To kick off the show, Akira Tozawa came out to the ring with Brian Kendrick, with the Singh Brothers’ trophy in hand.
1. Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick vs. The Singh Brothers. Tozawa and Samir Singh started off in the ring, with Tozawa being forced into the corner to start it off. Tozawa bounced back and managed to take control. Tozawa managed to get Samir down and hit a senton bomb before tagging in Kendrick. Tozawa and Kendrick tagged back and forth for a little bit, even hitting a dropkick flatliner on Samir.
The Singh Brothers were able to break free and take out Tozawa, isolating him from his partner. After some alternating stomps, Samir was able to take control of Tozawa, wrenching a chinlock and keeping him downed. After continued tags, the brothers used a tag team whip attack and when they tried for another, Tozawa escaped and hit a spin kick to knock Samir away and tag in Kendrick.
Kendrick rushed the ring and hit Sunil with multiple dropkicks, however got distracted when Samir tried to steal back their Boscar trophy. Kendrick allowed himself to be grabbed by Sunil but when Samir tried to hit Kendrick with the trophy, Kendrick dodged and caused the brothers to take each other out with the trophy. Kendrick then tagged in Tozawa who hit Sunil with his top rope senton bomb to get the pinfall victory.
Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick defeated The Singh Brothers.
Anish’s Thoughts: Standard opening match. All four men worked to sell and make the match seem important, however I think that because they played it so straight, the comedy didn’t really work. I think that this feud over a fake trophy detracts from the rivalry if anything. These guys can all put on good matches and I think if the story was simply more about the Singh’s being sneaky and dastardly, it might have more of an impact, rather than four grown men fighting over a plastic trophy.
In between matches, we saw another video package hyping up Humberto Carrilllo. We also saw the Lucha House Party backstage trying to get Lince Dorado ready for his match. They were asked about what it means to them to see 205 Live being influenced by Lucha Libre style. Kalisto said that Humberto Carrillo was one of the best superstars on 205 Live. Dorado disagreed with Kalisto and said that LHP were the ones on the rise as opposed to Carrillo.
2. Lince Dorado vs. Ariya Daivari. The match started with Dorado and Daivari locking up and trying to draw first blood with some quick moves. Daivari did well to keep up with Dorado’s handspring maneuvers and flying arm drag attempts, although Dorado forced him out of the ring. Daivari tried to take this opportunity to leave the arena, but Dorado chased him down and dragged him back into the ring before hitting him with a springboard clothesline.
Daivari tried to beg for a timeout, but Dorado didn’t give him one. Dorado kept the pressure on, not letting Daivari get a break. However, Daivari was able to buy himself some space by pushing Dorado off the top rope when he tried to hit another top rope move. Daivari then followed Dorado outside and after wailing on him there and taking the time to taunt, he rolled Dorado back into the ring and propped him up on the top rope to try for a goriconoclasm.
Dorado blocked the attempt and pushed Daivari off. Dorado attempted to follow up by running at Daivari but got caught with a DDT to leave him grounded. Daivari then tried for a top rope move of his own but when he went for a Jerry Lawler like fist drop, Dorado got a foot up. Dorado used Daivari’s stunned nature to chop him out of the ring and followed up with a cross body to the outside.
Daviari tried to escape by heading back into the ring and fought with Dorado on the apron for a little bit. This little time was enough for Daivari to recover and hit Dorado with a superkick as he came off the top rope. Daivari went for the pinfall and only got a two count. Daivari and Dorado then went punch for punch on their feet, however Daivari was able to catch Dorado in a Million Dollar Dream sleeper and slam when Dorado attempted a handspring elbow.
Dorado didn’t let Daivari take advantage after this and warded off another pinfall attempt from Daivari. The luchador was able to fight through Daivari’s subsequent whip attempt and rebounded to roll Daivari up in a bridge to get the pinfall victory.
Lince Dorado defeated Ariya Daivari by pinfall.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a pretty good match, one that could have been nothing, however Dorado and Daivari worked some fun spots and I liked that after LHP talked about Lucha style being so important on 205, Dorado used continuous cross bodies and dives to disorient Daivari. The whole match had sort of a chase feel to it, with either Daivari trying to escape from Dorado’s offense, or Dorado being chased down by him. Overall a good way to make a throwaway match mean something.
After the match we saw a promo from Drew Gulak backstage with the Cruiserweight Championship, talking about SummerSlam. He said that no matter who faces him they will face only pain and punishment. While this was a solid promo it might mean more if an opponent was set for Drew.
3. Drake Maverick vs. Mike Kanellis in an unsanctioned match. As Maverick made his way to the ring, Kanellis jumped him from the back and pounded the General Manager about the ringside area. Kanellis furiously battered him and ripped up a sign from the audience to show his frustration towards Maverick.
I was impressed to see that the crowd were booing Kanellis pretty heavily, so kudos to him for drawing a reaction out of them. Maverick did a fantastic job in selling as well and the shot of him being helped into the ring by the referees did a really great job at buying him sympathy. Maverick waddled towards Kanellis with his hands up and was smacked back to the mat by his opponent. Kanellis then yelled in Maverick’s face and tossed him to the outside. All the while, we saw Maria Kanellis watching on from the backstage area, wearing her 24/7 championship on her shoulder.
Mike and Maverick brawled around the ringside area, although it wasn’t as much of a brawl as it was Kanellis throwing Maverick around the ring and into the barricade. The crowd watched on and almost groaned at the beating that Kanellis was dishing out, really great reaction for him here.
Kanellis yelled that Maverick is not a wrestler and continued to kick him and rammed his head onto the announce table. He then threw Maverick over the table and attacked him with one of the announcer’s chairs for good measure. Maverick then brought back into the ring and papered Maverick’s face into the turnbuckle and then with some strong right hands.
Kanellis then tore Maverick’s shirt off and stood him up to crack him with a running lariat. With Maria watching on with a smirk from backstage, Kanellis took off Maverick’s belt and whipped Maverick’s back raw while he was propped on the ropes. Kanellis then locked in a sleeper on Maverick, however the GM struggled and put up a fight. And forced Kanellis to let go. Maverick drooped into the corner and goaded on Kanellis, dodging at the last second and seeing Maverick fly into the turnbuckle.
It looked like Maverick might have a chance, however as he tried to hit Kanellis with a sliding attack to the outside, Kanellis caught him in a wheelbarrow clutch and tossed him into the apron. Kanellis then brought out Maverick’s 24/7 posters and rubbed them in Maverick’s face. However, this proved to be a mistake as Maverick, spurred on by the sight of his beloved 24/7 title, managed to Hulk up and no-sold Kanellis as he rammed his face into the turnbuckle again.
Maverick used this second win to rock Kanellis with a dropkick. The crowd surged as Maverick got his back on Kanellis, using his belt to whip Kanellis’s back raw. With Kanellis struggling to get his bearings, Maverick hit him with a suicide dive to the outside and knocked him to the announce table. As they were on the table, Maverick hit Kanellis with a DDT on the table, setting him up for an elbow drop.
Maverick tried for the diving attack from the barricade, however Kanellis rolled out of the way. With this, Kanellis rolled the GM back into the ring and looked like he was going for his finishing maneuver, however he let go. Instead, Kanellis hoisted Maverick on the top rope and tried for a super Crucifix bomb.
In an awesome spot, Maverick reversed this and caught Kanellis with an awesome super Frankensteiner. With Kanellis rattled, Maverick caught Kanellis with a follow up rope rebound cutter to get the pinfall victory.
Drake Maverick defeated Mike Kanellis by pinfall.
After the match, it was confirmed that Drake Maverick would be receiving a WWE Cruiserweight Championship match.
Anish’s Thoughts: Yay, more authority figures being involved in championship storylines after minimal matches. I guess this makes some semblance of sense at least since Maverick is a wrestler, I think the fact that his name just sounds too much like ‘McMahon’ was putting me off. Objectively speaking, this was a fantastic match. So simple, just a heel going to town on the face for so long until the face was able to get a moment to take it all back.
Really great work from both men, Kanellis looked vicious and Maverick was able to sell and garner real sympathy from the crowd. Although I will say, the match did feel weird as while Maverick came out looking great, it did not help that Kanellis comes out of this looking even weaker. If Kanellis had been treated well in recent weeks or month, he may have been able to come out of a match like that still looking strong, however because he hasn’t looked strong in a very long time, this match hurts him even more.
Overall, this was a fun show and while the opening match did not feel like it meant much, the other two matches really made this episode worth watching. Even if the Daivari vs. Dorado match didn’t have a real backstory, they worked to make it fun, and even if the main event puts Maverick in another championship picture, I think this match was worth it. Props to this crowd for buying into Kanellis and Maverick’s efforts and further amplifying the great work in this match.