WWE 205 Live
10th July 2018
Manchester, New Hampshire
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
We’re one week removed from the greatest match in 205 Live history, grapple fans. In last week’s broadcast, Mustafa Ali bested Buddy Murphy in an incredible no-disqualification match; a contest so intense, in fact, that one wonders why it wasn’t saved for the upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view. This week sees Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander defend the strap against Hideo Itami. Let’s get to it!
Long opening video sequence summarising the events that led to Hideo poking his nose into the title picture. As well as highlighting Alexander and Itami’s beef, it also does a good job, albeit unintentionally, of reminding us how terribly bland Cedric is on the mike.
Kalisto (w/Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) vs Tony Nese (w/Buddy Murphy)
The masked morons are waving maracas and doing the inane ‘Lucha!’ chants on the way to the ring, reminding me how much I didn’t miss them last week. Seriously, will these mugs ever attempt any form of character development? Stalling to start as Kalisto rolls out of dodge of Nese’s first couple of strike attempts. They finally lock up at the 8:30 mark of the broadcast. They trade moonsault attempts before Kalisto lands a headscissor takeover. Overhead slam from Nese before locking in a body-scissors. The crowd is dead for this one and it’s hard to blame them; bland action here to start us off this week. Springboard spinning shoulder tackle from Kalisto, followed by another headscissor takeover. Springboard crossbody from the masked man gets two. Tony avoids a basement rana attempt, but walks straight into a spinning heel kick. Nese escapes a Solida Del Sol attempt and turns a rollup from Kalisto into a one-armed powerbomb. Murphy starts beefing with Metalik and Dorado on the outside, no doubt annoyed by their incessant waving of the maracas. Nese joins the argument on the floor, only to be taken out by a somersault plancha from Kalisto. The Luchadore rolls Nese back into the ring, but gets decked from behind by Murphy. The ref calls for the DQ at 6:16.
Match rating: D Pretty much a house show match, and not a good one at that. Too much stalling in the early going and they barely got out of second gear.
The Juice Brothers continue to brawl with Lucha House Party in the post-match, as one suspects a new programme is starting between these two factions. But unless Nese starts showing some personality and the Luchas evolve their characters past brainless ‘Lucha!’ chanting, I can’t say I’m too excited by any of this. All is not lost however, as the prospect of a Murphy vs Dorado match is intriguing at least.
Drake Maverick welcomes Noam Dar back to 205 backstage, complimenting him on his victory over TJ Perkins last week. TJP joins them and complains that he didn’t have enough time to prepare. Maverick books a rematch between the two for next week. Dar’s Scottish accent is particularly strong; his promos should probably come with subtitles. Siv’s Take: Sorry, grapple fans, but after all the anti-England sentiments from Scottish friends and acquaintances during the World Cup, I couldn’t resist having a dig.
Ad for Extreme Rules, focussing on the 30-Minute Iron Man match between Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental Title.
Lio Rush vs Colin Delaney
Akira Tozawa comes out to watch the action, mirroring Rush’s behaviour from last week. Amusingly, Lio rolls to the outside early and offers Tozawa a chair, which Akira contemptuously kicks away. Back in the ring, the jobber gets a rollup for a near fall. Kick to the gut and then an enziguiri from Rush. Lio has a lot of tattoos on his arms and torso (too many from my liking, but then I’m from an era when a lot of ink meant you’ve done time) but none on his back; strange imbalance there. The Final Hour (frog splash) wins it for Rush at 1:50.
Match rating: D Another good squash win for ‘the 23 year old piece of gold’, with a match against Akira Tozawa around the corner.
Tozawa gets on the mike in the post-match and tells Rush he’s done nothing around here. Rush demands the mike, so Akira gets in the ring, holds it out but then drops it, to Lio’s annoyance. Drake Maverick comes out and books a match between these two for next week. Smart choice of first programme for Rush here, as Tozawa can make him look like a million bucks.
Extended highlights of last week’s killer main event. If you’ve not watched this match yet, you’d better get on it; it was a tremendous slice of pro wrestling.
Mustafa Ali is giving Cedric a pep-talk backstage, as our main event is NEXT.
Ad for WWE 2K19 with the focus on Ronda Rousey.
Ad for Miz and Mrs. This looks atrocious; I’d rather watch an entire season of Two Broke Girls than one episode of this tripe.
Selfi-promo from Drew Gulak, The Brian Kendrick and ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher. Gulak does all the talking and tells us they’re paying close attention to tonight’s main event.
Cruiserweight Title Match
Hideo Itami vs Cedric Alexander (c)
The commentators tell us Cedric Alexander has been Cruiserweight Champion for 94 days. He’s proof that a long reign doesn’t necessarily mean a good one; he’s barely defended the strap and has proven a charisma vacuum whenever interviewed or featured in segments. Both guys grapple on the mat in the early going, with neither really getting the better of it. They tussle to the ropes, but no clean break follows as Itami lands a right hand. They trade hammerlocks and Itami gets a one-count off a rollup. Headscissor takeover from Alexander, followed by a picture-perfect dropkick. Stiff knife-edge chops from the Charlotte native (sounds familiar), but Hideo strikes back with a boot to the sternum and a barrage of right hands. Itami trash-talks the champion and chokes him in the corner. Knee to the bread-basket from the Japanese grappler for a near fall. Hideo has the match slowed to his pace, as Cedric fights back with more chops, but runs into another knee to the gut. Running boot to the sternum from Itami gets two. Chinlock applied by Hideo, reminding me how much I don’t miss Randy Orton. Hideo taunts the ringsiders, as he’s bleeding from the mouth. I’m surprised that, in such a pondering, uneventful match, anyone would have drawn blood. Another chinlock from Itami as this match as certainly not threatening to match last week’s main event for excitement.
Cedric comes back into it with an uppercut before hitting a downward spiral for a near fall. Alexander knocks Itami down to the floor with a forearm and then hits a somersault plancha, which made a lot more contact with the protective mats than his opponent. Back in the ring and Alexander lands the Neuraliser (handspring kick to the head) for a near fall. Hideo goes for a tornado DDT but spins it into a clothesline over the top rope in a nice spot. Hideo goes for a fisherman suplex, but Cedric blocks it. Both guys trade forearms and kicks. Big time open-palm strike from Hideo, followed by a running boot to the face and a fisherman suplex for a two count. They go out to the floor and Itami has Cedric propped down by the steps, where he connects with a running dropkick. Hideo struggling to get Alexander back in to beat the count as he’s dead weight, but he just about manages it. Itami with the cover, but Cedric kicks out at two. A frustrated Hideo covers his man again, but once again to no avail.
Siv’s Take: I’ve never been a fan of the multiple cover spot. Seriously, if one pinfall attempt won’t do it, why on earth would a second one? Has anyone ever won a match on a frustrated second or third consecutive pinfall attempt? Answers in the comments section, please!
Lumbar Check attempt from Cedric, but Hideo escapes and strikes with a spinning back fist. And a second one from the Japanese grappler. Hideo comes off the ropes looking to finish the champion, but Alexander catches him coming in with the Lumbar Check for the 1-2-3 at 15:42.
Match rating: C+ Rather disappointing considering the talent of both guys. This one never really got going and further highlighted that the top face of this brand is Mustafa Ali and the top heel is Buddy Murphy. Cedric just lacks the charisma, presence and seasoning, whilst Itami, for all his wonderful exploits down the years, is over the hill.
Overall show rating: C Some nice advancement of storylines tonight, but bland action. Lio Rush continues to impress, and his first feature match with Akira Tozawa next week should be worth watching. Also, next time, we’ve got TJ Perkins getting a rematch against Noam Dar, which should be decent if they get more than 30 seconds out there. But the sooner they get the title off of Cedric Alexander and onto Mustafa Ali the better. The main events this week and last week were like comparing caviar and cod, and only served to point out that Ali is leaps and bounds ahead of Alexander in terms of likeability, presence, wrestling ability and long-term potential.