WWE 205 Live
3rd July 2018
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
Another night of cruiserweight action is upon us, grapple fans. Big main event this week as Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy tussle in a no-disqualification match. TJ Perkins will also be in action, taking on “an opponent of Drake Maverick’s choosing”. Well, you can certainly cut the anticipation in my lounge with a knife. Let’s get to it! Oh, and before I forget, I hope all my American readers have a happy Independence Day!
Also confirmed during the opening graphic was that Cedric Alexander will defend his Cruiserweight Title against Hideo Itami next week. It’s all kicking off on 205 (obligatory soccer reference there).
We’re not messing around this week, as we’re straight to the ring for TJP vs Mystery Man. Were I to have a bet, my money would be on Hornswoggle, as I believe he makes the weight comfortably. Perkins moans on his way to the ring, stressing that while he asked for a high profile match, this isn’t for the title and it’s not the main event.
TJ Perkins vs Noam Dar
Very lukewarm reaction for Dar here, as most of the fans probably can’t remember who he is. A concerned look on the face of TJP, as he is aware of Dar’s credentials. A flurry of strikes for Noam to start, including a headbutt and an uppercut. Kick to the calf from Noam, before finishing Perkins early with a running knee to the face at 0:34.
Match rating: D If this is the payoff to the ‘TJP wants competition’ story, then what a disappointment. If it’s merely a chapter in the story though, I’m interested to see where it goes. I’ll simply reserve judgement. Lousy stuff regardless as, even if we go down the squash match route, you’d like to see more offense from Dar to help re-establish his character.
We get several replays of the finish, which in itself probably goes longer than the match that preceded it.
A recap of Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali’s beef, as Ali knocked Murphy out of the Cruiserweight Title tournament prior to WrestleMania, before Buddy got the better of Mustafa two months ago in a rematch. Enjoy rubber matches, grapple fans? Then tonight is your thing!
Murphy, looking ripped as ever in a backstage promo, vows to put Ali in a hospital bed.
Ad for Extreme Rules, with the hype focusing on Roman Reigns vs Lashley. This feud, in a nutshell, seems to be about answering the question “who’s the man”? Hot take: it’s Sycho Sid.
Dasha looks to interview TJP backstage, but he blanks her and dejectedly leaves the building.
Akira Tozawa vs Jason Stryke
Before the bell, Lio Rush’s music hits. Rush struts out onto the stage, sporting his trademark bling. He stalks the ringside area while the match is in progress. It’s all Tozawa here, with a hurracanrana takeover to start, followed by some stomps in the corner. Sunset flip from Stryke, but Akira rolls through and connects with a boot to the chest, following up with a senton splash. High knee from the jobber and a running forearm in the corner. Stryke misses a lionsault. Shining Wizard from the Japanese grappler. Tozawa downs Jason with a spin kick to the side of the head before hitting a senton splash from the top for the 1-2-3 at 2:05 (can’t believe I’ve reviewed this for almost 6 months and this is the first time the match length has matched the name of the show).
Match rating: D A textbook squash match if ever I’ve seen one.
Rush gets on the mike in the post-match, sarcastically putting over Tozawa. But he then questions what Akira’s been doing around here lately, accusing him of waiting for opportunities rather than grasping them. Lio, however, calls his own shots and won’t wait. The ’23 year old piece of gold’ then challenges Tozawa for a match. This goes unanswered, but something tells me these two will be cruiserweighting each other sooner rather than later.
Backstage promo from Mustafa Ali, on hype duty for tonight’s main event. I feel like a broken record, but I must once again point out that Ali shows buckets more charisma and presence than Cedric Alexander and should be featured as the top babyface of the brand.
Ad for ‘Something else to wrestle with’, with this week’s subject being The Rock. Should be a good watch.
Cedric cuts a crappy selfi-promo on Hideo Itami. Just watch his promo and then take a look at Ali’s. One is a one-dimensional goon reciting a script, the other is a guy who appears to be talking from the heart.
Mustafa Ali vs Buddy Murphy
Ali goads Murphy as he comes down the aisle, so Buddy jumps up onto the apron, but is knocked straight to the floor with a dropkick. They’re not wasting any time here! Ali goes up top and strikes with a somersault plancha. Mustafa rolls Buddy back in as the ref calls for the bell to start the contest. They fight to the floor, where Murphy tosses Ali over the announce table. They trade forearms by the table and continue to exchange blows around the ringside area. Mustafa sends the Aussie face first into the steps before clotheslining him over the barricade and into the crowd. Ali with a springboard crossbody from the barricade as they’re scrapping among the Omaha faithful. Murphy is back over the barrier and around by the aisleway as Ali goes for a Jeff Hardy-esque walk along the barricade and a clothesline. Murphy sees it coming though and counters, slamming the Chicago native onto the steel portion of the ramp. Both guys tussle over a suplex attempt, with Buddy winning the exchange, sending Ali back-first again onto the steel. We’re back in the squared circle and Buddy applies a chinlock, increasing the pressure by sticking a knee into his adversary’s back. Ali escapes with a jawjacker, but tastes a stiff kick to the lower back. Hard Irish whip from Buddy as he’s slowed the match to his ideal pace. Some feeble strike attempts but Ali, but it’s all Buddy as he works over Mustafa in the corner with right hands and stomps.
Another Irish whip from Buddy and a high back-body-drop for a near fall. Murphy repeats the process with another whip and a back drop. Forearms and knife edge chops from the Aussie grappler, as Ali looks spent. Buddy goes for a third back drop, but goes to the well once too often as Ali connects with a back elbow, a boot to the face and a slingshot, sending the Aussie crashing face first into the ring post. Springboard dropkick from Ali, followed by a stiff kick to the side of the head. Roll-through X-Factor is countered by Buddy, but Ali sends him through the ropes and onto the apron, before hitting an X-Factor anyway, which brings Murphy back into the ring, in a fantastic spot. They fight back to the outside by the announce table and Murphy sends Ali crashing into the steps. Murphy has evil intentions and slides the ringsteps into the ring. Mustafa takes over on offense and clears the announce table of its monitors. Baseball slide from Murphy, sending the steps crashing into the chest of Ali. Somersault plancha to the outside from Murphy, using the steps for extra propulsion, as the fans start a “holy sh*t!” chant. Back in the ring and a cover from Buddy gets a two count. Murphy leans the steps up against the corner and beels Mustafa into them. Boy, that back of Ali is taking some punishment in this one.
Murphy trash-talks Ali and beels him into steps a second time, as some sadistic ringsiders chant “one more time!”. Buddy goes for it again, but Mustafa sends him crashing face first into the steel with a hurracanrana takeover. Ali goes up top, looking for the 054. Murphy pulls him back by the hair, and drags him down with a powerbomb. One isn’t enough though, as Buddy hoists his opponent back up and connects with another powerbomb, this time sitting down for the pin attempt, but Ali kicks out at two. Murphy repositions the steps on the mat and repeatedly rams Ali’s head against them, before rolling Mustafa onto his back on the steel. Murphy goes up to the top rope, but takes too long about it as Ali recovers and crotches the Aussie on the turnbuckle. Ali pushes the steps up to a vertical position and repeatedly rams them into the face of Murphy, who is still sat on the top turnbuckle. The stairs remain vertical, so Mustafa climbs up to the top of them and takes Murphy up and over with an incredible superplex! The fans are on their feet after that one!
Back to the outside and Murphy has Ali laid out on the announce table and stands up on the barricade. Mustafa recovers however and takes Buddy crashing down onto the table with him with the Spanish Fly, but the table doesn’t break. That was a wonderful spot in itself, but in a match of this caliber, it’s feeling par for the course. Back in the ring and a knee strike from Murphy has Ali tied in the ropes; shades of Andre the Giant! Running knees to the face from Murphy, almost decapitating Mustafa. The ref is asking Ali if he wants to give it up before Buddy frees him from the ropes, drags him to centre ring and damn near takes his head off with a knee to the face and that’s all she wrote at…NO, Ali kicks out!! Damn, I’d have put the mortgage on that being the finish (if I owned my own home). Murphy tries to drop the steps on the prone Ali, but Mustafa rolls out of dodge and stands up in the corner. Murphy charges into a boot to the face, before Ali takes him down from the steps to the mat with a tornado DDT for the victory at 22:43.
Match rating: A+ WATCH THIS F’N MATCH! Absolutely incredible from both guys and this must clearly stand out as the best match in 205 Live history. And while we’re only 3 days in, this will take some beating as match of the month in North America. A wonderful feud-ender between two guys who have upped their respective games continually throughout the year; I can’t praise this enough.
Overall show rating: A- The fantastic main event takes up half the show, so it’s an easy recommendation. Lio Rush had a nice little character showcase as well, with the only black mark being the TJP/Noam Dar crap, but at least they got that out of the way early. Cedric and Hideo main event next week; good luck topping tonight’s no-DQ classic!