WWE 205 Live
7th August 2018
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness and Percy Watson
Should be some hot action tonight, grapple fans, as Kalisto and Lince Dorado take on The Juice Brothers (Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese) in tag team action, whilst Mustafa Ali goes one-on-one with Hideo Itami. Also, look for possible developments in the rivalry between Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak, as they’re set to fight for the Cruiserweight Championship in 12 days at SummerSlam. Let’s get to it!
Kalisto & Lince Dorado w/Gran Metalik vs Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese
Gran Metalik is back this week, having clearly resolved his VISA issues. The good news is I don’t need to knock up another ‘Where’s Waldo’ image; the bad news is Metalik will be waving that damn maraca throughout this match. Murphy and Nese look as juiced as ever; they’re starting to remind me a little of Hogan and Beefcake, i.e. one’s a star and the other is a bum riding his coattails. Nese is better in the ring than Beefer, to be fair to him, but he’s shown very little in terms of presence or star power during his 205 run. Murphy, on the other hand, has been a revelation in 2018. Buddy and Lince start us off as they lock up and the Aussie immediately shows his strength advantage by shoving the masked man into the corner. Lince strikes with an overhand chop but nearly gets obliterated by a knee to the head. Nese gets tagged in and he stomps away on Lince in the corner, as he and Buddy have cut the ring in half. Dorado comes back with a hurracanrana takeover and a dropkick. Kalisto and Murphy are now in there and going at it. They tussle for the advantage, which the masked man attains as he strikes with a roll through boot to the head and a basement rana. Tony is tagged in and pummels away on Kalisto with some forearms to the jaw before locking in a poor man’s camel clutch. More quick tags from The Juice Brothers are they are in complete control, having slowed the match to their pace. Lionsault from Nese gets two. Chinlock applied from Murphy, as Kalisto is a long way from his corner.
The chinlock seems to go on for an eternity before Kalisto escapes with a jawbreaker. Sunset flip from the apron to the inside gets two for the Luchadore. Kalisto throws Nese to the outside and looks for the hot tag to Dorado. Just as he gets there, however, Tony knocks Lince off the apron. German suplex, with a bridge, gets two for Murphy. Nese gets tagged back in and he and Buddy go for a double belly-to-back suplex. Kalisto flips out of it and again is crawling over for the tag. This time he makes it and Dorado comes in with a high cross body from the top on his adversaries, before striking with forearms, overhand chops, an enziguiri and a spinning heel kick. Lince dropkicks Murphy and uses his resulting momentum to land a standing moonsault on Nese for a near fall. A superkick and a bronco buster from Lince has Tony reeling before Dorado hits a Curtain Call for another near fall. All four guys are in there now and Murphy downs Kalisto with a stiff forearm. Springboard double stunner from Dorado takes out both opponents, who roll to the outside for respite. They don’t rest for long, however, as both Kalisto and Dorado strike with somersault planchas to the outside. Back in the ring and it’s Kalisto and Nese squaring off. Buddy trips Kalisto from the outside. The masked man starts beefing with Murphy, leaving Nese free to get the 1-2-3 following a rollup (with the tights hooked) at 10:35.
Match rating: C+ Decent tag action, if nothing spectacular. Murphy is wasted in this team though, as he’s far better than being relegated to tagging with the nondescript Nese. Fine action, but nothing I’ll remember tomorrow. The cheating to win from the heels suggests we’ve not seen the last of this programme; lucky us.
We’re shown a Tweet from Mustafa Ali, bigging up his recovery from injuries sustained at the hands of Hideo Itami in the fatal fourway main event from two weeks ago. Ali’s Twitter avatar looks worryingly like Kamala Khan from the Ms. Marvel comics. Drake Maverick then talks with Ali backstage, advising him to watch out and not take too many risks following the knocks he took a fortnight ago. Mustafa is confident he can handle Itami.
Hideo is shadow boxing backstage and tells us Ali should have shown him respect.
Ad for SummerSlam, focussing on Roman vs Lesnar IX (or at least it feels like they’ve failed this experiment eight times before).
Video package for Noam Dar, highlighting his recent comeback from injury.
Noam Dar vs Sean Maluta
Maluta gets a full entrance as this is either his first appearance on 205 Live, or at least his first since I started reviewing. Collar-and-elbow tie-up to start and Dar works a headlock. They fight to the ropes and we almost get a clean break, only for Maluta to strike with a spin kick to the gut. Elbow to the knee and then a dropkick to the same limb from Maluta, as he’s targeting Dar’s long-term injury. Sean misses a crossbody however and Noam strikes with a pair of headbutts and an uppercut. TJ Perkins looks on backstage and is unimpressed, as he quickly ignores the monitor and checks his phone. Northern lights release from Dar before finishing his foe with a kick to the head at 2:23.
Match rating: D Glorified squash here, but Dar looked pretty poor out there. Just no star quality at all and you could have heard a pin drop in the arena, as the fans couldn’t care less.
Highlights from last week’s main event, where Cedric Alexander defeated The Brian Kendrick, but got jumped by Jack Gallagher and Drew Gulak after the bell.
Cedric with a fairly one-paced, mundane selfi-promo on Gulak; this man is in serious need of acting lessons.
Drew, flanked by Jack Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick, talks from a lectern (more like a State of the Union address) and explains the division finds itself at crossroads. Will the champion that walks out of SummerSlam be all about flashiness, or a champion that is “steadfast in his belief and practise that the cruiserweight division is the last true bastion of pure wrestling in WWE today”? Wonderful quote.
Ad for NXT, as Aleister Black clashes with Jonny Gargano. Should be a match worth watching.
IT’S BOOKED! Next week Cedric Alexander will meet ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher in non-title action.
IT’S BOOKED! Another one for next week, as Lio Rush and Akira Tozawa clash again.
Mustafa Ali vs Hideo Itami
Ali is out first and he continues to be the undisputed star of this show. Thank goodness he’s not been called up to the main roster, where the likes of McMahon would probably present him as a terrorist sympathiser. Ali isn’t just the best babyface on 205, he’s up there with Jonny Gargano as being one of the best fan favourites in North America today. Itami barks “respect me!” at the ringsiders during his entrance. Can we not just get on and change his entrance music to Aretha Franklin’s ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’? Tentative start to this one, as Ali gets the early control with a takedown and a headlock. More feeling out commences before Mustafa strikes with a kick to the jaw and a flurry of rights on the mat. Itami misses with a spinning palm strike and Ali applies another headlock. Spinning heel kick from Mustafa and then a somersault plancha to the outside, as he’s been in complete control in the early going.
Siv Says: I must again labour the point that somersault planchas are massively overused on this show. It is a spectacular and dangerous move, but when you see it every week it just ceases to be special.
As they return to the ring Ali is favouring his back; it looked like he landed a little awkwardly from the dive to the outside. Crossbody from the top from Ali gets only a one count. Spin kick to the gut from Hideo as he comes back into it. They fight to the outside, where Mustafa lands a stinging overhand chop. Boots to the midsection from Itami as he again chants “respect me!” to the ringsiders. Both men fight onto the ring apron, where they trade forearms. Front dropkick from Itami sends Ali crashing spine-first into the ringpost and down onto the floor, writhing in agony. Back in the ring and Itami is in control, nonchalantly kicking away at his foe. Hideo whips Ali into the ropes and strikes with a knee to the bread-basket. Chinlock from Hideo as Ali is excellently selling it as the babyface in peril; he’s in his element out there. Irish whip from Hideo and another knee to the gut. Hideo covers with a lazy single foot on the chest, but Ali kicks out at two; shades of Chris Jericho there. Itami goes for a third knee to the midsection, but Ali rolls through and into a crucifix pinfall attempt for a two count. Knife edge chops from Ali is he’s coming back into it. Mustafa goes for the roll-through X-Factor from the apron back in, but Itami has it scouted and lands a roundhouse kick, which folds Ali up like an accordion.
Itami hoists Ali up, possibly looking for the GTS, but Mustafa escapes and connects with a dropkick. A succession of clotheslines from Ali follows and this time he hits the roll-through X-Factor for a near fall. Superkick to the back of the head from the Chicago native, but Itami hits back with a spinning back fist. Both men are down and it’s anyone’s match. Ali goes for the tornado DDT but can’t connect, leaving Hideo to hit a falcon arrow for a two count. Itami lifts Ali up to the top turnbuckle and goes for a superplex. Ali gets out of it and shoves Itami down to the mat. Mustafa dives down for a sunset flip, then rolls through and lands a fantastic sit-down powerbomb, hooking the arms for a super near fall; wonderful stuff there. Overhead belly-to-belly from Itami, sending Ali crashing into the corner. The cover only gets two, to the Japanese grappler’s frustration. Hideo eyes the ringsteps and drags Mustafa under the bottom rope and to the outside, with evil intentions. Hideo drapes Ali’s head over the steps and looks set to deliver a running dropkick. Mustafa avoids the contact however, as Hideo eats the steel. Ali stands up on the apron and climbs to the middle turnbuckle on the outside before landing a wicked tornado DDT to the floor. Ali rolls Itami back into the ring and goes for the 054. He appears to lose his balance on the top turnbuckle as his back may still be giving him grief, giving Hideo the opening to crotch him. Mustafa falls back into a tree-of-woe position, from where Itami strikes with a charging dropkick. Two more running dropkicks from Itami are good for the win at 16:31.
Match rating: A- Strong main event from these two, but a notch or two below some of Ali’s better matches. Hideo seemed off the pace on a couple of spots, as the years of elite level competition have clearly taken their toll. Still, a very worthwhile encounter here and they’ll no doubt meet again down the road.
After the match, Itami, bleeding from the mouth, gloats to the fans as he makes his way to the back. Ali is back up in the ring, but then collapses back to the mat. The worried ref asks him what year it is as another ref and Drake Maverick run out to check on him. Maverick barks for some medical personnel as the show ends. Decent show-closing angle, but not a patch on HBK’s collapse following the Owen enziguiri.
Overall show rating: B- Good show this week as the wrestling was above average for the most part and the build to Cedric vs Gulak is slow but effective. The only real black mark was the Noam Dar squash, as it looks like cruiserweight wrestling has moved on without him. He’ll need to work an awful lot harder to be relevant on this show.