SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
OCTOBER 17, 2018 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson
-The show began with the standard 205 Live opening video package that featured Drake Maverick. Maverick ran down the last few weeks of 205 Live and highlighted Buddy Murphy as the new cruiserweight champion, the debut of Mike Kanellis, and Cedric Alexander’s loss to Tony Nese from last week. From there, Maverick announced the main event fatal five-way for tonight’s show and highlighted each competitor in the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I continue to really enjoy these opening videos with Maverick. Not only does he set the stage nicely for fans who watch 205 Live on a regular basis, but he lays a foundation for new viewers as well.
-From there, the show open ran and the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. They plugged that Buddy Murphy would be in the building for the first time ever as cruiserweight champion and then cued up the first match.
(1) DREW GULAK vs. AKIRA TOZAWA
Gulak made his entrance first and received a quiet reaction from the audience. As he did, the announce team played a recap video that detailed the events of two weeks ago where Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher turned on The Brian Kendrick.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Playing this video tips WWE’s hand a bit and leads me to believe Kendrick will be getting involved in this match. Ordinarily I’d say that WWE overplayed this here and foreshadowed a bit too much. For this show though and the fact that new audiences could be viewing it on Wednesdays, it’s important to give back stories as much as they can.
Akira Tozawa walked out next and got a better reaction than Gulak did. While Tozawa did his entrance he started his war chant which got over with the crowd. Once Tozawa got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Out of the gate, Tozawa’s war chant continued in the crowd and Gulak responded by yelling “no chanting.” Of course, this prompted the audience to do the chant even more. From there, both men locked up and Gulak took Tozawa to the mat. As soon as this happened, the audience clapped to will Tozawa on to make an escape. Gulak then attempted a suplex, but Tozawa countered it with a hurricanrana. Out of that, Tozawa nailed Gulak with a stiff kick and followed that with a running Senton Bomb before covering for a two count. After the pin, Tozawa got the war chant going again and then stomped Gulak in the corner.
Heydorn’s Analysis: On commentary, Nigel and Joseph had a nice back and forth while discussing what each man needed to do to win the match. Very sports-like in nature and exactly what this brand needs to be to succeed.
Following the stomps, both men exchanged chops in the middle of the ring until Tozawa got the upper hand with a stiff punch to the face. From there, Tozawa attempted a cross body, but Gulak countered with a fall away slam after catching him mid air. Gulak owned the match from this point forward. He locked in an array of submission maneuvers before clubbing Tozawa with repeated shots to the back. After that, Gulak locked in a standing submission that focused all pain on Tozawa’s lower back. Eventually, Tozawa escaped, but was put right back down via a power bomb by Gulak. Gulak followed the move with a pin attempt, but Tozawa kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Gulak locked in a sleeper hold and then bit the ear of Tozawa.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Is Gulak getting coached up by Randy Orton these days? Ouch.
Tozawa escaped that submission too and after he did he connected with a flurry of moves including a top rope drop kick, a step up enziguri, and a suicide dive through the ropes. From there, he climbed to the top rope for his Super Senton Finish, but Gallagher knocked him off to cause a disqualification.
WINNER: Tozawa via disqualification
-After the match, Gallagher and Gulak destroyed Tozawa in the ring. Eventually, The Brian Kendrick made the save and got a nice reaction from the crowd for doing so. Gulak escaped relatively unharmed, but Kendrick caught Gallagher and put him in the Captain’s Hook submission. Eventually, Gallagher escaped and ran off with Drew Gulak.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A short but standard match. Nothing great, but certainly nothing awful. Existed mainly to help build the Kendrick vs. Gulak story. Look for these four guys to have a tag team showdown before Kendrick gets his one on one match with Gulak.
-Drake Maverick was shown backstage and he welcomed Tony Nese and the WWE Cruiserweight Champion, Buddy Murphy, into his office. Maverick said that as the GM of 205 Live he wanted to officially congratulate Murphy on becoming the cruiserweight champion. Murphy thanked him, but said that he would have been the champion six months ago if it wasn’t for him. He then said the past was the past and that he looked forward to seeing how Maverick would build the 205 Live around him and Tony Nese. Nese finished things up by saying in the main event tonight, he would show the locker room that everything moving forward would run through them.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nothing wrong with this promo at all from a content standpoint. Murphy’s delivery was excellent as well and he looks the part of a champion for the brand. That said, Tony Nese next to him isn’t cutting it for me. Never has. It defines Murphy down a bit because Nese has continually been defined down as a jobber heel on the show. Yes, he got a win last week over Cedric Alexander, but his stigma as a loser is still prevalent among fans. Murphy doesn’t need that for his act and his run as champion to get over.
-After the backstage segment with Maverick, Mike and Maria Kanellis cut a selfie promo. They said that attacking Lince Dorado last week wasn’t personal, but about business. They said they’d been waiting for an opportunity and that opportunity came in the form of an invitation to 205 Live. From there, they said that the mission is the cruiserweight championship and that they’d get there because they are the new power couple on 205 Live.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Short, but sweet. This was more effective in 30 seconds than Trish Stratus’s 10 minute promo from Raw. Kanellis gave himself a purpose, a mission, and told the world why they’d be able to do it. Well done.
-After the selfie video, the announce team said that next week Kanellis would have his first match against Lince Dorado next week.
-A commercial aired for WWE 2K19 and then plugs for NXT TV aired after it.
-Out of the break, Hideo Itami was shown backstage. He spoke Japanese before he looked into the camera and told Mustafa Ali that he should have shown him respect. He said that in their Falls Count Anywhere match, he would end his career. From there, an Ali promo aired in which Mustafa said that he and Itami had been on their road for too long and they needed to go on a different road. Ali said that on the new road, things would go down differently and that there would be nowhere for Itami to run.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Excellent stuff. Especially from Ali. Both promos were dark and intense which perfectly matched the intensity of the feud and the upcoming gimmick for their fight. The rain in Ali’s promo and the way in which it was shot was perfect and helped tell the story of danger going into next week’s main event match. Really good stuff here.
-After the promos, TJP made his entrance for the main event fatal five-way match. TJP got a small reaction and was holding Kalisto’s lucha mask as he walked to the ring. As he made his entrance, the announce team highlighted his disdain for the lucha tradition.
(2) TJP vs. LIO RUSH vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. TONY NESE vs. GRAN METALIK
Gran Metalik walked out next and was accompanied to the ramp by his fellow Lucha House Party friends. Metalik got a good reaction due to the lucha chants. That reaction was quickly overshadowed by Lio Rush who walked out next. Rush was a hometown attraction and got huge pop from the crowd. As Rush walked to the ring, the announce team detailed his success on Raw with Bobby Lashley. After Rush, Nese walked out and was followed by Cedric Alexander. Alexander got a really nice reaction as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: As Alexander walked out the announce team highlighted that he got rest throughout the week and was ready to go on another record setting tear through the division. Great work on their part. Last week, Alexander’s loss was explained by being mentally and physically fatigued due to Australia match and travel. They addressed that with these comments to keep with consistency not only from the story perspective, but from the Alexander character perspective too. Good stuff.
Once Alexander got to the ring, the bell rang and the match began. To start things off, each competitor was slow to the trigger. Eventually, Rush rolled out of the ring and Alexander and Nese battled within it. Alexander tossed Nese over the top rope which prompted Rush to roll in. As he and Alexander went face to face Rush smiled before attempting to kick Alexander in the leg. Cedric caught the kick and countered by flipping Alexander into the air. From there, Alexander chased Rush around the ring as the announce team highlighted Rush’s quickness. Eventually, Alexander caught Rush and tried to hit a spider hurricanrana. Rush countered that though and hit his own. After, Rush talked trash, but then rolled on the outside of the ring. As Alexander chased him he was decked with a clothesline. Back in the ring, Rush got kicked by Gran Metalik who followed with a springboard cross body.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good action to start things off and the crowd is buying it all. With a full audience ahead of SmackDown Live, this is an important time for the cruiserweight style to shine in front of a large group of people. It’s doing exactly that here.
After, Metalik kept up his offense and went for a cover, but Tony Nese blocked it. It was now Nese vs. Rush in the ring and Nese dominated after connecting with kicks and strikes. Rush battled back with the same though which got a nice reaction from the DC crowd. From there, the action spilled back to the outside of the ring for a bit before Rush rolled Metalik back in. Then from behind, TJP locked in a double submission on Rush and Metalik. As TJP had the submission locked in, he tried to remove Metalik’s mask. As that happened, Tony Nese broke the entire thing up and hit each man with some offense. After he cleared the ring, he posed as the announcers called him a “new Tony Nese.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: The “new” Tony Nese? Conceptually I like it, but it’s a long road to getting the audience to forget him on the “Zo Train.” Eye roll.
When the posing was done, Nese maintained the upperhand and worked over Metalik. He hit a suplex before being interrupted by Cedric Alexander. Nese quickly dismissed him from the ring and then locked in a submission on Metalik. As he did, he gloated which got good heat from the crowd. Again, Nese’s run was halted by Alexander who rolled him up for a two count from behind. Out of the pin though, Nese destroyed Cedric with a clothesline and went for his own pin, but Alexander kicked out. From there, Nese continued his attack on Metalik.
Heydorn’s Analysis: So Gran Metalik is the bump taker in the match, huh? Not a flashy role, but an important one. For what it’s worth, he’s selling well and making both Alexander and Nese look like a million bucks.
Finally, Alexander broke Nese’s run and clocked in some time of his own on offense. He dismantled Nese and then connected with a springboard clothesline on Metalik. From there, Alexander continued to hit offense on Nese before hitting a Pele Kick on TJP. After, Alexander hit the Flatliner on Nese in the ring and tried for a cover, but it was stopped by Rush. After that happened, the audience chanted “Lio.” TJP then hit from behind again and tried for the Detonator Kick but Rush countered it. The two men then climbed to the top rope, but TJP knocked Rush to the apron. Instead, Alexander and Metalik tried for superplex on TJP, but it was countered when Tony Nese knocked them all off balance. From there, TJP nailed Alexander with a top rope cross body. On the other end of the ring, Lio Rush had climbed back to the top rope and hit the Final Hour on Alexander right after TJP kicked out of his roll up pin. Rush then attempted a pin, but it was broken up by Nese and Metalik.
Heydorn’s Analysis: What a spot. How those guys didn’t fall off the top rope early is beyond me. The audience is loving it too and giving a clapping ovation. Great stuff.
From there, each man hit their big offensive moves on one another. This caused the action to spill out of the ring where guys were able to connect with their flying suicide moves. In the ring, Nese slammed Lio Rush to the mat and then dead-lifted him in the air and tossed him over the top rope and onto the bunch on the outside of the ring. This got a huge reaction from the crowd. In the end, after Alexander was locked in the Knee Bar by TJP, he connected with the Lumbar Check on Rush. As Cedric crawled to make the cover, Nese caught him and rolled him up for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Nese via pinfall
-After the match, Nese celebrated on the ramp as Cedric Alexander looked on in disgust. From there, the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good main event. The action was crisp and exciting and also continued the story of Cedric Alexander’s life after losing the cruiserweight title. The story is good, I’m just not sure Tony Nese is the right guy to be telling it with. He’s been defined down too much. In my eyes, TJP is the guy I’d have in the role of Nese. He has more credibility and is better on the microphone which gives him a leg up in actually getting the story told. Nese needs these wins, but I can’t help but think he’s a step out of his league within this main event program on the show. Last but not least, Lio Rush was a hit in this match. His quickness is off the charts and as a character he’s clicking on all cylinders.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/10 WWE 205 Live Report: Buddy Murphy’s championship reign begins, Lio Rush open challenge, and more