WWE 205 LIVE
OCTOBER 24, 2018 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson
-The show opened with a video hype package highlighting the rivalry between Hideo Itami and Mustafa Ali. Both Ali and Itami spoke in the package as their entire history was broken down in the lead up to tonight’s main event match between the two. Ali discussed how hard it was to sit on the sidelines and Itami detailed how what he did to Ali was not his fault. Ali said beating Itami was absolutely necessary and Itami countered by saying he would send a message to the 205 Live locker room with a victory of his own. The video concluded with Ali saying that after he wins, Itami will respect him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great hype video. The rivalry felt big and the match important which is a perfect combination. Both Ali and Itami were able to stay withing their character boundaries but explain why a win matter to them. Awesome start.
-From there, the show open ran and the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. The team highlighted the fact that this was the 100th episode of the show and as they did, Lince Dorado hit the ring with the Lucha House Party for the first match of the night.
(1) LINCE DORADO w/ Kalisto & Gran Metalik vs. MIKE KANELLIS
Dorado got a nice response from the audience in the form of lucha chants and as he made his walk down the ramp a recap video aired that highlighted the Kanellis debut in which he took out Dorado. Kanellis walked out next and did his full entrance with Maria. As they walked to the ring, the announce team told the audience who Mike and Maria were and what their career paths looked like to 205 Live.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s some well executed commentary. Vic, Nigel, and Percy gave the perfect amount of baseline knowledge on Kanellis and presented him as a winner. To most, Kanellis is a no name so defining him as a winner gives him immediate credibility on the brand.
Once Kanellis got to the ring, the bell rang and the match began. Out of the gate, Dorado got the lucha chants going and went to work on offense by connecting with a hurricanrana. After that, he attempted the springboard stunner, but it was countered after Kanellis rolled out of the ring. With Kanellis down and out, the audience cued up more lucha chants. From there, Dorado continued his momentum with strikes to Kanellis in the corner. Eventually, Kanellis took over with strikes of his own as TJP looked on from the backstage area. Back in the ring, Kanellis slowed the pace of the match down. He talked trash to the crowd and as he did, Dorado hit him with a sidewalk slam. Immediatley out of that, Dorado hit the ropes and attempted a suicide dive. Instead of hitting it, he stopped because Maria got on the apron to cause a distraction. Because of this, Mike was able to hit Dorado from behind to pick up the momentum again.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Smart move to involve Maria early on in the match. It solidifies their act as a team and gives Mike a way to differentiate himself from other stars on the 205 Live roster.
From there, Kanellis dominated the match with strikes and by slamming Dorado into each ring post. After a stiff elbow to the face, Kanellis made the cover, but Dorado kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Kanellis locked in a rear chin lock which prompted the audience to will Dorado on to escape. As he was about to, Kanellis took him back down to the mat and connected with a series of knee strikes to the back. After, Kanellis locked in a different submission and then hit Dorado with a stiff vertical suplex. Out of the move, he attempted a pin, but Dorado kicked out at the count of two. Right out of the pin, Kanellis stretched Dorado until Lince battled to his feet as the audience clapped for him. He created separation by nailing Kanellis with a snap hurricanrana into a pin, but Kanellis kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Kanellis nailed Dorado with a superkick and followed with his own pin, but Dorado kicked out at two. In the end, Dorado took over the match and connected with his usual offense which included his rolling enziguri. He also hit a top rope-rana, but Kanellis kicked out of the pin attempt. He kept that momentum until Kanellis nailed him with a gigantic spinebuster. Dorado then hit his Springboard Stunner which he parlayed into his Shooting Star Press. After hitting that, he attempted a pin, but Kanellis got his foot on the ropes to break the count. After the action spilled to the outside, Kanellis crushed Dorado by slamming the top rope into his face. Kanellis then hit his spinning DDT finisher for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Kanellis via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good opening match on the show and one that couldn’t have gone better for Kanellis. He was able to effectively work the WWE cruiserweight style while also showcasing his gimmick with Maria. A job well done. As for Dorado, he continues to be a workhorse on the brand and can have good matches with anyone. That said, he clearly isn’t the focus or the project like Mike and Maria are.
-After the match, Mike and Maria celebrated on the ramp as the Lucha House Party watched on.
-From there, 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick, sat backstage and addressed the WWE Universe on camera. He thanked the audience for their support and said that 205 Live reached a milestone in 100 episodes. Maverick said that tonight’s main event between Hideo Itami and Mustafa Ali exemplifies what his vision for 205 Live has been. He said that both Itami and Ali had different paths to the brand, but that they are top competitors on the show. From there, Maverick announced that next week there would be a number one contender match to determine Buddy Murphy’s next challenger to the WW Cruiserweight Championship.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I love this kind of promo from Maverick. He talks passionately about the brand and is able to sell it as good as anyone in the company. In this promo, he defined the show as sports-like in nature and then proved that definition in announcing the contender match for next week. Simple, consistent, and effective. Well done.
-Backstage, The Brian Kendrick addressed Drew Gulak in a pre-taped interview and said that better wrestlers than Gulak tried to get rid of him, but he’s still around. He said that Gulak called for no mercy and that he would show him no mercy next week in their match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Short, but ultimately effective. The dark, ominous nature of Kendrick’s promo made it hard to view him as a babyface, but the content of the promo certainly did. He said all the right things and next week’s payoff to the feud got primed up in the mid card-esque way it should have. Nothing more, nothing less.
-A commercial aired for WWE Evolution that featured the Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella match.
-Out of the break, the announce team highlighted Evolution and then recapped the events of last week in Tony Nese won a fatal five-way match with a pin over Cedric Alexander.
-Lio Rush cut a selfie promo and said he was not defeated last week. Rush downplayed Alexander hitting the Lumbar Check on him and called his loss bad luck. From there, he claimed that because he was defeated in a multi man match that he was still officially UN-defeated.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This type of promo wouldn’t take place on Raw. It existed in an effort to keep consistency with Rush’s character as unbeatable. Rush is grasping at straws, but he can because he’s a heel. Nothing much to the promo, but I respect the attempt at keeping a consistent story moving for Rush on the show.
-From there, Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy were interviewed backstage. Murphy said that if Maverick had any integrity, the number one contender match next week would feature Tony Nese. Nese then chimed in and said he’d beat anyone he needed to and that the title picture begins and ends with him and Murphy.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s a strange thing to say. Being the cruiserweight champion isn’t a team effort. Even with the big wins over Alexander, Nese still comes across as a lackey here for Murphy.
(2) HIDEO ITAMI vs. MUSTAFA ALI – Falls Count Anywhere Match
Ali made his way to the ring first and got a nice 205 Live level reaction from the crowd. Itami walked out next and got a small negative reaction. As both men walked to the ring, the announcers highlighted the history between the two men again and explained how they got to this point with this match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great announcing once again. The history is a big part of this match and the rivalry between these men. Yes, they gave the cliff notes on it, but doing so made the match feel bigger.
Once the bell rang, Ali intensely talked to Ali and attempted a tie up. Instead of getting it, Itami crushed him with strikes and yelled respect me to the crowd. The strikes caused Ali to roll out of the ring and as he got back in, he jumped over Itami to connect with a hurricanrana. The move caused Itami to fall out of the ring and Ali followed with a catapult that he successfully executed. From there, Ali attempted a pin on the outside of the ring, but Itami kicked out at two. From there, Ali rolled Itami back into the ring and chopped him with stiff shots to the chest. He then attempted a springboard move, but Itami kicked him in the face which caused him to fall off the apron and to the mat. After the move, Itami went for the cover, but Ali kicked out at two. As Itami stalked the fallen Itami and beat him up around the ringside area, the audience chanted “we want tables.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good action to start things off and smart to emphasize that pins can happen outside the ring. They got there in two contrived ways, but its important to condition the audience early that a fall like that can take place.
From there, Itami rolled Ali back into the ring and continued his assault with stiff kicks to the back. As he hit them, Itami yelled “respect me” and covered Ali for a two count. Out of the pin, Itami locked in a headlock and the audience responded by clapping for Itami to escape. Eventually, Ali did escape, but Itami was able to maintain momentum. Finally, Ali changed the course of the match by connecting with two super kicks out of nowhere. After, the audience chanted “Ali” and Ali responded by connecting with a kick to the face on Itami. From there, Ali hit Itami with a rolling facebuster and covered for a two count. Out of the pin, Itami rolled out of the ring and Ali followed. After they battled around the ringside area, Ali jumped onto the guardrail for a move, but Itami knocked him off and sent him crashing down onto concrete. As Itami gloated, Ali hit a splash on him and tossed him into the announce table. He then cleared the table of monitors and lifted Itami onto the table. From there, Itami countered Ali’s move and put Ali into a single leg Boston Crab on top of the table.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m not a huge fan of submissions on top of the things, but this was unique.
Once Ali broke the hold, Itami decimated Ali with a kick to the chest that sent him flying off the table and into the ring barrier.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ouch, that one had to hurt. Another really creative spot from these two.
After the move, Itami tossed Ali into the crowd. As Itami climbed over the guard rail to meet him, Ali crushed him with a third super kick and followed it with a two count pin attempt. Out of that pin, Ali lifted Itami to his feet and tossed him back into the ringside area. Once they were back near the ring, Itami drove Ali shoulder first into the steel steps. After, he maneuvered the steps and positioned them for a move. At this point, Ali fought back and the two men brawled up the entrance ramp. That brawl ended after Itami connected with a clothesline that sent Ali back-flipping into the air. After it, Itami went for a pin, but Ali kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Itami rolled Ali back into the ring and climbed to the top rope. He pulled Ali up with him and worked to secure a position to hit a vertical suplex. Instead, Ali pushed him off and connected with a huge cross body from the top rope all the way to the outside floor. From there, Ali pulled out a table from underneath the ring as the audience roared in approval. As he worked to set it up, Itami hit a dropkick on him that sent him crashing into the ring barrier. From there, Itami maneuvered the steel steps again. Seeing this, Ali attempted a move off the steps, but Itami tripped him up on top of them. With Ali draped over the steel steps, Itami positioned the other set of stairs against Ali’s face. From there, he went to kick the steps, but Ali pulled his head out of the way. After, Ali used the step structure to connect with his tornado DDT. After, he setup the table and rolled Hideo Itami on top of it. Then, Ali got back into the ring and climbed to the top rope. Ali then jumped off the top rope and hit his 054 finish through the table as he yelled “I always respected you.” Once he hit the move, he was draped over Itami and the ref counted the 1,2,3 pin.
WINNER: Ali via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Great match. They told their story well and used the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation appropriately. Loved Ali capping things off by saying “I always respected you” as he jumped off for the finish. Total babyface stuff and it made for an intense and impactful ending.
-After the match, the show cut back to Drake Maverick backstage. He announced that Ali beating Itami was the biggest win of his career. He then officially announced that it would be Tony Nese vs. Mustafa Ali next week to determine the number one contender to Buddy Murphy’s cruiserweight championship. After he made the announcement, the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That’s exactly the match to go to. Ali is the most over babyface on the show and this will give him a chance too officially be presented that way. Smart move.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/17 WWE 205 Live Report: Gulak vs. Tozawa, Fatal Five-way main event, and more