WWE 205 Live
17th April 2018
Providence, Rhode Island
Commentators: Vic Joseph and Percy Watson
Time for another week of cruiserweight action, grapple fans, as 205 Live is seemingly entirely unaffected by the ‘Superstar Shakeup’. The hype video focuses on tonight’s tornado tag match between Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik and Hideo Itami & Akira Towawa. Let’s get to it!
Vic and ‘Showtime’ Percy (what the hell did he do to earn a nickname?) welcome us from ringside and Watson informs us McGuinness has been missing from the booth as he’s on paternity leave following the birth of his new daughter.
Mustafa Ali vs Ariya Daivari
Dasha interviews Daivari backstage pre-match; he says nothing of note. Ariya attacks Mustafa from the bell and pounds away in the corner, but Ali comes back with some forearms and a hurracanrana takeover. Ali tries to go aerial but gets crotched on the middle turnbuckle, then Daivari brings him down to the mat with a backstabber. Backbreaker from Ariya and he taunts the crowd. Two more backbreakers from Daivari for a near fall. Scorpion deathdrop from Ariya gets another two count. A waistlock on the mat from Ariya as he continues to work the back; sound focus from the Iranian grappler. Back up and Mustafa comes back with some hard knife-edge chops. Ali goes for a facebuster but Daivari escapes and lands a superkick for yet another near fall. Dropkick from Ali sends Daivari to the outside. Mustafa charges at Ariya but Daivari catches him with a spinebuster on the floor, as Ali’s back continues to take punishment. Back in the ring and Daivari goes up top and hits a frog splash, but Ali gets the shoulder up once again. Rollup from Ali gets a near fall, before he gets turned inside out by a clothesline. Daivari perches Ali on the top turnbuckles and goes for a super belly-to-back suplex, but Mustafa moonsaults out of it. The 054 wins it for Ali at 7:45.
Match rating: C+ Decent match, with a nice basic story of Daivari working the back and Ali overcoming adversity. A little too one-sided at times for my liking (Ali was particularly short on offence for a guy who just reached a tournament final) but nothing technically wrong with the action. And with both guys’ Eastern heritage, look out for them both in The Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia.
A re-cap from last week, with Buddy Murphy turning heel on new Cruiserweight Champion, Cedric Alexander. Cedric responds with a Tweet. Siv’s Take: Is this the world we now live in? One wrestler attacks another and the victim strikes back on social media?! When Vince Russo said all attacks in wrestling should be followed by a ‘receipt’, I don’t think he meant this nonsense.
Drake Maverick, complete with hideous pink blazer, addresses this issue backstage and tells us he’d provisionally booked Alexander vs Murphy for The Greatest Royal Rumble. Amusingly, however, Murphy didn’t make the weight, so next week we’ve got a gauntlet match to determine Alexander’s opponent in Saudi Arabia. Another match on that card?? Seriously, how long is this damn Greatest Royal Rumble event going to be???
Ad for The Greatest Royal Rumble. Rusev’s literal burial at the hands of The Undertaker is heavily promoted.
Jack Gallagher & The Brian Kendrick vs Vinny Scalese & Kevin De Tebris
The announcers tell us this is Kendrick’s first match since suffering a broken orbital bone on Christmas Day. What the hell happened? Did Taylor ‘Tough Enough’ Kendrick hit him in the face with a turkey during dinner or something? Jack and Vinny start things off and Gallagher takes early control with a wristlock. Kendrick is tagged in. Jack has Vinny in a fireman’s carry and clotheslines him on the top rope, before Kendrick takes him out with a boot to the face. Brian applies an armbar and hits some elbows to the face, but Vinny manages to make a comeback and gets the cold tag to Kevin (jobbers can’t get hot tags). De Tebris runs straight into a heel kick. Forearms and chops from Brian, but the jobber comes back with a chop of his own. Gallagher is back in but Kevin gets a head of steam with some right hands. Kendrick tags back in as Jack headbutts De Tebris, leading Kendrick to lock in the Captain’s Hook for the submission win at 3:57.
Match rating: D Okay squash to establish Gallagher and Kendrick is a new heel tag-team.
Mustafa Ali is interviewed backstage and asked for his opinion on Murphy not making weight. Ali hopes Buddy does make weight, so he’ll get what’s coming to him, before shifting focus to hyping next week’s gauntlet match.
Hype video for ‘Something Else To Wrestle’, Bruce Prichard’s new podcast. Considering this guy is the King of Kayfabe, don’t expect anything earth-shattering.
Drew Gulak cuts a promo backstage, telling us his victory over Mark Andrews last week showed that ground-based superiority prevails over aerial delinquency (brilliant stuff). Drew tells us this should serve as a warning to Tony Nese, before telling us he’s focused on next week’s gauntlet match. Nice little promo here, as Gulak continues to be the most entertaining character on the show.
Tornado tag-team match
Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik vs Hideo Itami & Akira Tozawa
Drake Maverick is on commentary; lucky us. The Orientals are out second and the Luchadores attack them in the aisleway to kick things off. They fight to the ring, but Itami and Tozawa are sent back to the floor with superkicks, before Dorado and Metalik take them both out with suicide dives through the ropes. All four get back in the ring as the ref sounds the bell to get us underway in this one. Tozawa is thrown outside as the Luchadores double team Itami. Double hiplock, then Dorado headscissors Metalik into a splash on Hideo. Tozawa is back in to break up a pin attempt. The Mexicans get Tozawa in the corner and nail him with chops. Itami is sent to the floor as the Luchadores seem well on top of things. Akira and Metalik fight to the apron, and Tozawa downs Gran with a boot to the face. All four are on the outside and Tozawa downs both of his foes with a back splash. The Orientals get Dorado back in and stomp away on him in the corner. Tozawa plays to the crowd, although, sadly, he doesn’t tell any of them they’re fired.
Falling neckbreaker from Hideo on Lince as Akira is brawling with Gran on the outside. Tozawa is back in as the Orientals double team Dorado. Metalik is back in but is straight into a head-scissor and armbar combo from Tozawa, while Itami has Dorado locked in the Rings of Saturn. Metalik manages to fall to the mat, straight onto Dorado and Itami, causing both submission holds to break. Itami is trying to unmask Dorado. Maybe Hideo wants it for himself; he’s no looker. Small package from Lince on Akira, but Hideo breaks it up. Itami goes outside to brawl with Metalik, while on the inside Tozawa is in control of Dorado with a bodyslam and a senton splash. Itami is back in and both Japanese combatants assault Dorado with chops and boots to the midsection, before Tozawa downs Lince with a right hand to the jaw. One announcer asks Maverick “what’s at stake in this match?” (a dangerous question to ask in WWE, where booking is done on a napkin) and Drake waffles on about The Greatest Royal Rumble. If only Gorilla Monsoon was still with us; he’d have likely noted that they’re fighting for the winner’s share of the purse. Metalik comes back in with a springboard dropkick, downing both his foes. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Metalik on Itami. And one for Tozawa as well. Dorado sends both Itami and Tozawa to the floor with a dropkick. The Luchadores go out to the apron and both land Asai Moonsaults from the top rope.
All four guys are down on the floor. Itami sends Dorado into the steel steps, as Lince hits them knees first, flipping over them for the bump; shades of Mick Foley. Metalik downs Itami with a superkick, before getting taken out by a suicide dive through the middle rope from Tozawa, sending Gran onto the announce table. The intensity has ramped up in this one now, as some ringsiders chant “we want blood!”. Tozawa goes up to the top, with evil intentions, as Metalik is prone on the table, but Dorado goes up top to meet him and crotches him on the top rope. Itami goes up top as well, and Metalik soon joins then, as all four are jockeying for position. Hideo and Akira have Lince set for a double suplex, while Gran climbs above everybody. Metalik sunset flips the Orientals, who in turn send Dorado crashing to the mat with the double suplex. Everyone is down and this is anyone’s match. Tozawa and Dorado are back up and trading forearms. Hurracanrana takeover from Lince gets two, before Akira strikes with a heel kick. Senton splash from the top from Tozawa, but Metalik breaks up the pin with a double stomp. Metalik goes for a springboard back elbow, but Akira dropkicks him in the back. Springboard Stunner on both Itami and Tozawa from Dorado, which gets a hot near fall. Spinning back elbow and then a spinning fist from Itami to Lince, sending Dorado down into the corner. Charging dropkick to the face from Hideo. Metalik is back in and rolls up Itami for another near fall. Itami tries to unmask Metalik. Tozawa goes for a boot to the face on Gran, but accidentally nails his partner. Heel kick to the side of the head from Dorado takes out Tozawa. Both Luchadores go up top; Golden Lynx (shooting star press) from Lince on Akira and flying elbow from Metalik on Itami. That’s enough for the win at 15:37.
Match rating: A- Excellent main event this week. A little too reliant on one guy getting knocked to the outside to allow for double-teaming, but the action and intensity built nicely and the closing sequences were fantastic. A little disappointed to see a table spot teased but not delivered (Wrestling 101: if a table is introduced, someone had better go through it!), but that’s a minor quibble; this was brilliant stuff from all four. Kalisto is out to celebrate with his mates to close out the show.
Overall rating: B Good stuff this week. Mustafa Ali, Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick all got some nice promotion and the main event was well worth a look. Make sure to check back next week as we have a gauntlet match to decide the number one contender to take on Cedric Alexander at The Greatest Royal Rumble.