WWE 205 Live
15th May 2018
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
Here we are, grapple fans, in my neck of the woods; the U.K.! A nice change of pace is in store this week as the stars of 205 Live clash with combatants from the U.K. Division. Let’s get to it!
Drake Maverick hypes tonight’s line-up, as we’ll see a fatal four way and a six-man tag match. Don’t expect anything of any storyline implication, folks, as this is all about WRESTLING tonight.
They show plenty of crowd shots before cutting to the announcers; probably not the greatest move as there are empty seats galore. The announcers talk us through on-screen graphics of all the Brits that’ll be in action tonight; a nice touch there.
Tyler Bate vs TJ Perkins vs Kenny Williams vs Kalisto
Bate and Williams both get selfi-promos to accompany their entrances. Considering their respective Dudley and Glaswegian accents, subtitles wouldn’t have gone amiss. TJP bails to the floor early, as Kalisto rolls Bate up for an early pin attempt, broken up by Williams. Some quick three-way action in the ring, before TJP pulls Tyler to the outside and rams him into the guardrail. Perkins back into the ring where he runs straight into a forearm from Williams, who then decks Kalisto with a back elbow. Williams gets tossed to the outside, leaving Kalisto and Perkins in the ring. Lucha offense from the masked-man, as he connects with a head-scissor takeover and a dropkick. McGuinness explains the U.K. grapplers are “biding their time on the outside” which is him covering for the generic, dull WWE formula multi-man match, as guys keep getting thrown to the outside to allow for a succession of quick singles tussles in the ring. Surely the U.K. guys should be scrapping on the outside? Pendulum Boston crab applied by Perkins; impressive submission move. Perkins hoists Kalisto onto the top turnbuckle and looks for a super belly-to-back suplex but gets knocked down into a tree of woe. Dropkick from Williams sends TJP back down to the mat. Williams back on the floor, where he gets taken out by a sloppy cross body from Kalisto. Bate and Perkins go at it in the ring, Tyler still miffed at his Cruiserweight Classic elimination by TJP. A series of strikes from Bate has Perkins reeling in the corner. Exploder from Tyler for a near fall. Airplane spin from Bate on TJP; shades of Piper and Flair at Rumble ’92. Williams and Kalisto come back in but get taken out by the flailing legs of Perkins, who is still in the airplane spin. The two Brits go at it and Williams connects with a springboard back elbow from the middle turnbuckle on the inside. Perkins grapevines the legs of both his British adversaries and also gets Kalisto in a front facelock; this might be the first time I’ve seen a wrestler get submission holds on three guys simultaneously.
Kalisto goes up top but gets crotched. Bate and Williams both go up to try for a superplex, before TJP brings them all down to the mat with a powerbomb. The crowd are pretty dead here, and even that spot didn’t get much reaction. The insistence on taping this after a SmackDown episode continues to kill the 205 Live brand. Back elbow from Williams sends TJP to the floor. Kenny then decks Kalisto with a baseball slide through the ropes before skinning the cat back into the ring. Suicide dive through the ropes from Williams on Perkins. Bate with a dive over the top onto TJP and Kenny. Kalisto joins in the fun with a somersault plancha. The serious lack of crowd reaction to this also highlights the overreliance on dives in these cruiserweight matches; do the same spots every week and, no matter how impressive or risky they look, you just won’t get the big pop you deserve. Kalisto throws Williams back in and tries to wake up the crowd with some “Lucha!” nonsense. Lovely tornado DDT from Williams, who goes for the cover, but Tyler is back in to break it up. TJP is back in, decking Williams with a spin kick before he and Bate down each other with a double clothesline. On the outside, Williams catches Kalisto by the foot and shoves him back into the steel steps. Kenny looks to dive back into the ring but gets knocked back down to the floor by a hard left hand from Bate. Perkins goes for the detonation kick on Tyler but can’t connect. Hard lariot from Bates almost knocks TJP out of his shoes. Tyler Driver from Bates is good for the pin at 10:33.
Match rating: C+ Solid action throughout with a popular choice of victor, but this felt more like an exhibition than four guys trying to win a match. And, par for the course with 205 Live in recent weeks, the dead crowd puts a real downer on things. The two Brits impressed (particularly Matthews), while TJP continues to shine as a heel. Kalisto however is staler than yesterday’s sliced loaf; mindlessly chanting “Lucha!” every five minutes and never updating your look or your offence will only get you so far. Time for him to change things up a bit.
We get a video package reminding us of Buddy Murphy gate-crashing Cedric Alexander’s championship celebration after WrestleMania. Sit-down comments from Buddy, nicely showcasing his new heel demeanour. And IT’S BOOKED: we’ll be getting Alexander defending against Murphy in two weeks on 205 Live.
Ad for Camp WWE. The theme music continues to be its only redeeming feature. The voiceover guy calls it an ‘adult animated series’; I’ve not met an adult yet who hasn’t thought it’s utter crap.
Ad for Money in the Bank on June 17th. It’s all about OPPORTUNITY. #wwecorporatespeak.
IT’S BOOKED: Next week we get former tag partners Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami meeting in one-on-one action.
Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali are talking backstage, when Flash Morgan-Webster interrupts them. Flash shows much charisma and character in 10 seconds than Alexander has in his entire WWE run to date.
Drake Maverick comes down to join us for colour commentary. One of the announcers speculates if he may be attending the royal wedding this weekend. Hey, maybe he could walk Meghan down the aisle? McGuinness tells the other two goons to “spend less time on social media and more time in the real world”; as someone who recently took a four-month hiatus from Facebook, a heartily concur. Siv’s Take: seriously, as I’ve been typing this review my housemate has sent me two links on FB Messenger for videos he thinks I might be interested in watching. Yet HE’S IN THE SAME APARTMENT AS ME RIGHT NOW. Why not just say “hey, come look at this video.” It’s scary how using social media has become a substitute for actually living life properly.
Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali & Flash Morgan-Webster vs Joseph Conners, James Drake & Drew Gulak
Dasha interviews the heels backstage before they come out. Good stuff from Gulak, as he explains they’ve spent all day doing team-building exercises, before he signs off with a “cheerio.” Hey, when in Rome. Now, I know he’s a character wrestler, but Morgan-Webster’s physique looks terrible, like he shouldn’t be out there at all. I know I rag a lot on the roided-up goons that plague 205 (Murphy and Nese, I’m looking at you), but would it kill the guy to look like he’s visited at a gym at some point in the last month? Conners and Alexander kick us off by trading wristlocks. They fight to the corner where the ref calls for a clean break. Joseph doesn’t oblige however, as he unloads with a series of back elbows. Head-scissor takeover and an impressive dropkick from Cedric. Flash gets tagged in and he connects with an armdrag takeover. Conners tags out to Drake, who falls pray to another armdrag takeover from Flash before begging off back to his corner. Drake tags to Gulak, who looks like he can’t wait to tie Morgan-Webster in knots. It doesn’t go to plan for Drew however, as he falls victim to a hurracanrana takeover from Flash. Conners tags back in but runs straight into trouble. Flash catches Joseph in a wristlock and tags in Ali, who connects with a double axe from the top. Spinning heel kick from Mustafa for a near fall. All six guys come in and look like they’re set to beef, before common sense prevails and Ali squares off with Drake. James cheap shots Mustafa and takes Conners back in, before the two heels stomp away on Ali. Boot to the lower abdominal area from Conners. Gulak is back in and goes for a belly-to-back suplex on Ali. Mustafa flips out of it and gets the hot tag to Flash. The tag turns out to be cold however, as Flash walks straight into trouble. Drew gets him up for a suplex and dumps him midsection-first down on the top rope.
Drake is back in and he’s got Morgan-Webster in a chinlock, as Flash is bleeding from the mouth. A plethora of Tweets about 205 scroll along the bottom of the screen; they all look doctored to me. Another chinlock from Drake, channelling his inner-Randy Orton. Flash fights back and hits a hurracanrana takeover, before crawling over to his corner looking for the tag. Hot-tag to Ali, who is in tussling with Conners. Roll-through X-Factor to Conners from Ali, getting no reaction from the crowd. Ali nails the other two heels on the apron before lifting Conners to the top turnbuckle. Drake looks to nail Mustafa from behind, but Ali moonsaults away from danger. Drake goes for a clothesline, but Ali ducks, runs up to the top and sends Conners crashing down onto Drake with a hurracanrana; cool exchange right there. Conners come back, clotheslining Ali onto the middle rope and tags in Drake. Ali escapes a vertical suplex attempt and tags Alexander back in. Cedric strikes with a series of clotheslines and stiff uppercut. Springboard clothesline from the apron from Alexander on Drake, but the pin attempt is broken up by Conners. Flash is back in and takes Conners out with a scorpion death drop, before being knocked down by a stiff Lariot from Gulak. Superkick from Ali to Drew as all six guys are going at it now. Flatliner from Joseph on Mustafa. Neuraliser from Cedric on Conners. Forearm from Drake to Alexander, but Cedric comes back with a hard back elbow. All six guys are down to some polite applause from the clearly drained ringsiders. Gulak and Alexander are the legal men, as Drew runs into a boot to the jaw. Flash takes out Conners and Drake on the outside with a suicide dive. Neuraliser attempt from Cedric is countered into an ankle lock from Gulak. Alexander fights the pain and manages to roll through, sending Gulak crashing into the turnbuckles. Cedric tags in Ali, who connects with a picture-perfect tornado DDT on Drew. 054 from Mustafa to win it at 12:41.
Match rating: B- Decent work all round, but again the lack of crowd heat makes it all feel a bit run-of-the-mill and skippable. The faces celebrate and we’re out.
Overall show rating: C+ Fine action and it was nice to see the fresh faces of the U.K. scene mixed in, but the different environment didn’t solve the problem of crowd apathy. When the live audience clearly doesn’t care, why should the viewers watching at home? That continues to be a huge problem with this brand. Tape it before SD when the crowd is fresh, run a taping cycle at a different venue, or just kill the whole project. Keep going as they are and the whole brand doesn’t do anyone any favours.