SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
OCTOBER 3, 2018 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson
-The show opened with the standard 205 Live promo video narrated by General Manager, Drake Maverick. In it, Maverick hyped the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match between Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander at Super Showdown. He also stated that on tonight’s show, they’d look at how each man was preparing for the big match on Saturday night. From there, Maverick highlighted the matches on tonight’s show including Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher and Kalisto vs. TJP.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nice opening as usual. The preparation videos for Murphy and Alexander will be a perfect touch in the build to their match on Saturday. It’s been a sports-like build and these videos will put a nice cherry on top of the story being told.
-Out of the video, the show open ran and the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. They didn’t do much hype work as Akira Tozawa’s music hit right away for the first match to begin.
(1) AKIRA TOZAWA vs. JACK GALLAGHER w/ The Brian Kendrick & Drew Gulak
Tozawa got a small reaction from the audience, but a war chant broke out as he walked down the ramp. Jack Gallagher walked out next and was accompanied by Drew Gulak and The Brian Kendrick. As they walked down, the announce team recapped why Gallagher and Co. beat up Tozawa a few weeks ago to begin with. Once they got to the ring, the bell rang and the match began.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Smart for the announcers to recap what happened between these guys. It’s been a while so good to refresh the audience.
Out of the gate, a second war chant broke out which allowed for Tozawa to take control of the match. He took Gallagher to the mat, but Gallagher quickly reversed momentum and locked in a side headlock. He then transitioned the headlock into a pin attempt, which was reversed by Tozawa. Both men exchanged a flurry of pin attempts, before Tozawa ended them with a swift kick to Gallagher’s chest. Out of that, he connected with a series of chops to Gallagher and finished that series with a punch to the face. This caused Gallagher to roll out of the ring. Seeing this, Tozawa hit the ropes for a flipping Senton, but was tripped up illegally by Drew Gulak. This allowed for Gallagher to crawl back in and take over the upper hand in the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Just classic heel stuff that works when executed properly. When Gulak tripped up Tozawa, you could really feel the air drop out of the crowd’s sails. Well done and it’s laid the groundwork nicely for Tozawa to make a comeback.
From there, it was all Gallagher. He locked in various submissions and head locks to keep Tozawa grounded. The audience clapped for Tozawa to escape and once he did, he was immediately knocked back to the mat via a Gallagher shoulder tackle. After that move, Gallagher attempted a pin, but Tozawa kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Gallagher went back to the submissions and locked in an inverted headlock. He then locked in a unique back submission. Eventually, Tozawa broke out of the hold and flipped momentum by connecting with a snap hurricanrana. Tozawa then climbed to the top rope to hit is Senton Bomb, but Gallagher rolled out of the ring again. This time, Tozawa hit the ropes without any problem and dove through them to connect with a suicide dive. From there, he hit a top rope dropkick and made a cover, but Gallagher kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Tozawa locked in his own submission in the form of an Octopus, but Gallagher countered. Immediatley after the counter, Gallagher locked in another submission of his hold. This time, he targeted Tozawa’s knee.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Excellent commentary regarding the submission hold. Smart of Nigel to outline that Gallagher changed his move to accommodate the pain he endured throughout the match. Commentary is supposed to help drive the story of the match and this was a perfect example of that working.
From there, Gallagher pulled Tozawa up to the top rope for a move, but Tozawa pushed him off. This left Gallagher in the drop zone and Tozawa nailed him with his Senton Bomb for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Tozawa via pinfall
-After the match, an angry Drew Gulak got on the microphone to a chorus of boos. He said that his team was not living up to their fullest potential. He then said that it was in their best interest to revisit his PowerPoint presentation for clues to their future success. Gulak cued up slide number ten with was titled “No Mercy.” He said mercy has it’s place, but not in his ring. He said in the ring, mercy is weakness. From there, he said that there was no place for weakness or weak links, former cruiserweight champions, or dead weight. As he said this, he looked right at Brian Kendrick. After taking the verbal blows, Kendrick attacked Gulak and Gallagher to a nice little pop from the audience. He locked in the Captain’s Hook submission Gallagher, but it was quickly stopped by Gulak. Gulak and Gallagher then took over and beat Kendrick down to the mat.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tons to digest there. First off, Drew Gulak without the PowerPoint stuff is a better Drew Gulak. The PowerPoint was a comedy gimmick and Gulak with a more serious tone is infinitely more effective and fun to watch. That said, the turn worked well. Gulak was vicious and reprehensible which will play well off of Kendrick as the underdog. Now, is Kendrick the true week link though? Gallagher was the one that lost the match.
-Once Gallagher and Gulak left the ring, the announce team debated Gulak’s devious move and then moved their attention to Super Showdown. They quickly ran down the title match and then cued up the training videos on both competitors.
-The video started by detailing the Murphy/Alexander story to this point and included footage of various Alexander and Murphy matches. Clips of their stare down from last week also aired. Mixed in throughout was the training footage and the new interview segments with both men. They each highlighted why winning this match was important to them and why they each needed to walk out victorious.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Excellent hype video as usual. Didn’t quite live up to the expectations that Maverick set the tone for at the beginning of the show. This was more standard promo stuff rather than insight into Murphy and Alexander’s training. Not bad by any means, but a miss in terms of delivering what was promoted.
-A commercial aired for WWE NXT and WWE Shop.
-After the commercial break, Drake Maverick was interviewed backstage. He was asked about last week’s Hideo Itami vs. Mustafa Ali match and said that what Ali did last week was reckless. He said that he gave each man the night off to recover, but said that the rivalry wasn’t over and needed to finish. From there, he announced that the next time they step in the ring together, it would be a match that nobody will want to miss.
Heydorn’s Analysis: If that tease is going to be teased across a few shows to build anticipation for their next match, I’m fine with them not announcing it here. If not though and this is happening next week, tell us what the match is to start building anticipation now. If this was Raw I’d be more concerned, however, 205 Live has a good track record with this kind of thing.
-When the interview ended, the announce team said that next week Lio Rush would issue an open challenge to the entire 205 Live cruiserweight division.
(2) KALISTO vs. TJP
Kalisto was introduced first and walked out onto the stage with the rest of the Lucha House Party. They didn’t accompany him to the ring. Once Kalisto got into the ring, TJP hit the ring to a small response from the crowd. As TJP walked down, the announce team talked about the lucha tradition and how TJP refuses to respect it. As TJP entered the ring, he taunted Kalisto which prompted Kalisto to go after him. The referee separated them and got each man to their corner before ringing the bell to officially start the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: TJP has found himself in this arrogant heel role. It comes naturally to him and will be main event level stuff in the near future.
The action started with both men circling each other in the ring. They then tied up with TJP earning the upper hand after he took Kalisto down to the mat. TJP then attempted a monkey flip, but Kalisto countered and took TJP to the mat instead. They then exchanged holds until Kalisto took over with a spider walk hurricanrana. From there, he locked in a submission. TJP quickly escaped the hold, but Kalisto kept up the offense by clotheslining him. This caused TJP to roll to the outside to regroup.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Impressive and creative in-ring work to start here. Good stuff.
Once he hit the ring again, he whipped Kalisto into the ropes, but Kalisto impressively turned that into a spider walk. Instead of hitting a hurricanrana out of it though, this time TJP clocked him with a dropkick that sent him out of the ring. On the outside, TJP connected with a slingshot dropkick before rolling Kalisto back into the ring. Inside, he covered, but Kalisto kicked out at two. Out of the pin, TJP whipped Kalisto into the ring post and taunted the fans as he proceeded to gloat. From there, TJP walked over to Kalisto to keep up his attack, but was struck in the face by a flurry of punches. TJP kept them at bay though and locked in a Sharpshooter-esque submission. While Kalisto was in the hold, TJP removed part of Kalisto’s lucha mask and tossed it to the outside of the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s your story folks. TJP disrespecting the lucha tradition. Smart to feature that story within the fabric of the match itself. TJP conveyed a perfect emotion of disdain in how he looked at the mask fabric before throwing it away.
It was all TJP from this point on. He wore Kalisto down with a series of different submission holds as the audience clapped for Kalisto to escape. Eventually, he did escape and hit the ropes for a move, but TJP countered with a Russian Leg Sweep off of the second rope. He followed that move with the same submission that targeted the lower back of Kalisto. On his own, TJP broke his hold and instead connected with a vicious back breaker. Out of that move, he taunted the crowd again with a dab which got a nice negative reaction from the crowd. He then kept up the attack.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great attitude from the heel TJP, good selling by Kalisto, and a reaction from the audience. That’s how its supposed to go.
Along the way, TJP attempted to pin Kalisto, but each time he only got a two count. Out of each pin, TJP kept up his attack with strikes, submissions, and body slams. Eventually, TJP climbed to the top rope and mocked the lucha chants. He then dove off, but missed the senton after Kalisto moved out of the way. From there, Kalisto the momentum over and connected with a handful of strikes before connecting with his rolling kick to the face. He then hit his basement-rana and made the cover, but TJP kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Kalisto got a lucha chant going and attempted the SDS. TJP countered it and flipped Kalisto to the outside for the ring. Kalisto landed on the apron and then nailed TJP with a kick to the face. From there, Kalisto climbed to the top rope, but TJP crushed him with a kick to the face. TJP then tossed Kalisto off of the top rope and covered him for a two count. Out of the pin, TJP climbed to the top rope and Kalisto knocked him off with his own kick. Kalisto then met him on the top rope and both men battled. Finally, Kalisto connected with a Victory Bomb off the top rope and then covered, but TJP kicked out at two once again. In the end, Kalisto attempted the SDS, but TJP countered it into his Knee Bar submission. Kalisto writhed in pain, but got to the ropes to force a break. Out of the break, TJP attempted to fully remove Kalisto’s mask. This prompted Lince Dorado to run out which distracted TJP. Because of the distraction, Kalisto was able to roll TJP up for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Kalisto via pinfall
-After the match, Kalisto celebrated on one leg, but was then attacked by TJP. During the attack, TJP removed Kalisto’s mask and ran off into the crowd. In the audience, he held up the mask as the audience booed. From there, the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A good match with a good story and continuation of that story at the end. Both Kalisto and TJP were excellent in their roles and based on the crowd reaction, they have something here that should be a staple of this show for the foreseeable future.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another week with this show being taped ahead of SmackDown Live and another week of increased crowd engagement. Yes, the show still needs star power, but the audience isn’t sleepy and its resonating throughout every aspect of the show.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 9/26 WWE 205 Live Report: Itami vs. Ali, Murphy and Alexander face off, Rush vs. Dar, and more