WWE 205 Live
1st May 2018
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
We are 5 days removed from Oil Rumble, grapple fans, and Cedric Alexander is still the Cruiserweight Champion, having bested the winner of last week’s gauntlet match, Kalisto in Saudi Arabia. What does 205 Live have in store for us this week? Let’s find out!
The three goons welcome us from ringside and run down tonight’s plans; Buddy Murphy returns to the show (following his previous failure to make weight) and Drew Gulak tangles with Kalisto in tonight’s main event.
Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami vs Jack Gallagher & The Brian Kendrick
As the Orientals come down to the ring, highlights are shown from their loss to Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado in a stellar tornado rules tag match two weeks ago. Neither of these teams have names, grapple fans, and I feel like the writing team need to get on that. Any suggestions? Beyond ‘Gentlemen with a plan’ for Kendrick and Gallagher, I’ve got nothing. Tozawa and Gallagher kick things off here. Knife edge chops from Tozawa to start and some stomps in the corner. Akira shows more personality in 30 seconds than his tag partner, Itami, has displayed in his entire WWE run. Senton splash from Tozawa and he tags in Hideo. Jack tags in Brian and now we’ve got Spanky vs KENTA, which would have been a real show-stealer on the Indie scene 10 years ago. They grapple to start, trading wristlocks and headlocks. Both guys trade forearms, before Itami tags back out. Double team action as the Orientals both strike with kicks to Kendrick in the corner. Tozawa comes off the top with a dropkick to Brian. Akira knocks Gallagher off the apron with a boot to the jaw but gets kicked to the outside by Kendrick. Jack gets tagged in and, on the outside, sends Tozawa crashing into the barricade with a side Russian legsweep. Back in and a quick tag to Kendrick, as he and Gallagher have cut the ring in half. Tozawa evades further offense and makes the hot tag to Itami. A series of boots to the midsection from Itami to Kendrick and he knocks Gallagher off the apron. Tornado DDT from the middle turnbuckle from Hideo, but instead of going down to the mat he rotates further and drops Kendrick throat first over the top rope with a clothesline; nice innovation there. Flying clothesline from the top from Itami for a near fall. Kendrick is downed in the corner and Hideo connects with a running dropkick to the face. Tozawa is tagged back in as Kendrick has slid out to the floor. Suicide dive through the ropes from Akira, taking out both Brian and Jack on the floor by the announce table. Back in the squared circle and Tozawa gets Kendrick in an Octopus stretch, but Gallagher is in to break it up. Jack gets tagged in and has Tozawa up for a powerbomb near the corner, as Kendrick goes to the top. Akira fights back, nailing Brian with a right hand, sending him down to the floor, before taking Gallagher down with a hurracanrana takeover. Windmill kick from Tozawa, building momentum (#wwecorporatespeak), as he then goes up to the top. Kendrick and Itami are back in. Brian sends Hideo into the ropes, which causes Akira to lose his balance and get crotched on the top turnbuckle. Kendrick knocks Itami to the outside and Gentleman Jack strikes with the headbutt on Tozawa for the 1-2-3 at 8:09.
Match rating: C+ Solid action from these four. In the post-match, Itami shoves Tozawa down to the floor, as the ringsiders chant “no respect!” at him as he leaves the ring. This of course points to a split between the Orientals.
Re-cap of three weeks ago, where Buddy Murphy gate-crashed Cedric Alexander’s celebration interview, as he downed the new champ with Murphy’s Law.
Ad for Backlash, with the third match in the Styles/Nakamura series given focus. Can they finally get beyond *** on WWE TV? Find out this Sunday!
Drew Gulak, lacing his boots backstage, cuts a promo on his opponent for tonight, Kalisto. Good fire from Gulak here, as usual, as he continues to be the most interesting personality on the 205 Live brand.
Buddy Murphy vs Liam Louis
Murphy is announced as 204lbs, as his struggle to make weight continues. Murphy dominates the jobber in the early going (who looks like Low Ki and may have been named after a new-born English prince). Vertical suplex from Buddy as he’s showing some good heel fire. Watson notes, “if you don’t make weight, you can’t participate”; that phrase could catch on. The jobber strikes with a forearm, so Buddy responds in anger by drilling him with three consecutive powerbombs; shades of Chris Jericho. He goes for the cover but breaks it himself at two as he wants to inflict more punishment. The ref calls for the stoppage anyway at 1:45 as the jobber is in no shape to continue.
Match rating: D By the numbers squash here, but with Murphy showcasing his new heel mannerisms. As Murphy leaves the ring Cedric’s music hits and they brawl up the aisleway and to the back. I’m looking forward to a high-profile match between these two. These face vs face matches have done nothing to further Cedric’s rather bland character; let’s hope a strong heel like Murphy can bring something more out of him.
Kalisto is warming up backstage, being hyped-up by his Luchadore colleagues, Dorado and Metalik. Neither of his buddies look much use here, as Gran is manically waving a Mexican flag and Lince is flapping a towel around.
Ad for nXt tomorrow night as Pete Dunne is set to clash with Roderick Strong.
Ad for ‘Something else to wrestle with’, Bruce Prichard’s excellent podcast with Conrad Thompson. In their next episode, tomorrow night, they’ll be discussing all things Shawn Michaels. If you’ve not checked this out, I strongly suggest you do so. Prichard is clearly full of sh*t sometimes and is as big a “yes man” for Vince as you’ll come across in the business, but there’s some tremendous insight and humour in these podcasts, with notable chemistry between Bruce and Conrad.
Announced for next week on 205: The Brian Kendrick & ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher vs Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik.
Cedric is interviewed backstage by Dasha. Nothing to see here.
Kalisto vs Drew Gulak
This is a rematch from last week’s gauntlet finale, but Gulak was a spent force by that stage of the match and was relatively easy pickings for the Luchadore. Crappy selfi-promo from Kalisto and the gang pre-match, concluded with the usual mindless “lucha!” chanting. Ground action from Gulak early on as he works a full nelson on the mat. Kalisto escapes a wristlock and commences some “lucha!” chants; seriously, when are we going to get some character development from this guy? Drew has Kalisto down working another wristlock. Kalisto tries to flip out of it but is brought straight back down to the mat by his submission-specialist opponent. Headlock takeover from Drew as he continues his methodical offense. Kalisto manages to reverse into a headlock of his own and then both guys are back to a vertical base. McGuinness likens Kalisto a circus performer which, considering his one-dimensional act, is a pretty fair comparison. Half crab locked in by Gulak, but Kalisto escapes. The Luchadore makes a comeback with a corkscrew into an armdrag takeover from the top, before a hurracanrana takeover sends Gulak bailing under the bottom rope and to the outside. Corkscrew plancha from Kalisto to the outside, but Drew gets out of dodge. Back in the squared circle and Gulak gets Kalisto up into a Canadian backbreaker, turning it into a Gory Stretch. Drew squats down, really bending Kalisto’s body here; I think I’d probably tap to that. Gulak then gets Kalisto down for a pinfall attempt, before stepping through into a Boston crab variation; some excellent submission work here from Drew.
Mid-match announcement: next week’s show will also see Buddy Murphy take on Mustafa Ali. Gulak is still on top in this one, as he sends Kalisto into the corner with an Irish whip and follows in with a hard clothesline for a near fall. A bow an arrow submission on the mat from Gulak, as he taunts the ringsiders. Kalisto fights back with some boots to the jaw and then to the thigh, but Drew waffles him with a stiff forearm to the face. Gulak tries to unmask Kalisto, coming pretty close, but the Luchadore manages to escape the grip and sends Drew falling to the outside. That one deserved a “no respect!” chant. Gulak is back in but Kalisto is on the comeback trail with a springboard dropkick. Drew is out on the floor but gets little respite as Kalisto strikes with a plancha into an armdrag takeover. Hurracanrana takeover from the apron from Kalisto before, back in the squared circle, the Luchadore connects with a springboard crossbody for a near fall. Back outside again and a springboard somersault plancha from Kalisto draws cheers from the ringsiders. We go back into the ring once more. Solida Del Sol attempt from Kalisto, but he can’t connect. Gulak hits the ropes and Kalisto goes for a leapfrog; Drew goes under him with a forward roll and catches him coming down with a roll-up for a two count in a particularly crisp exchange; I’d have bought that as the finish. Big-time sunset flip from Kalisto gets a two count. Basement rana from Kalisto. The Luchadore goes for Solida Del Sol from the corner, but gets caught in the Dragon Sleeper from Gulak, which is good for the submission win at 12:47.
Match rating: B+ Strong main event this week. Enjoyable submission work throughout from Gulak and the closing couple of minutes were particularly hot. A much-needed, high profile victory for Drew, who is a real highlight of the week these days.
Overall show rating: B Enjoyable 45-minute show this week. The Orientals look like splitting, Buddy Murphy further cemented his heel turn, Gulak showcased his submission skills and we’ve got some exciting matches set for next week’s broadcast. And we got through a show in Montreal without anyone getting screwed, so we have that much to be thankful for.