SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
NOVEMBER 7, 2018 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson
-The show began with the standard opening video package in which Drake Maverick highlighted last week’s number one contender battle between Mustafa Ali and Tony Nese. In it, he announced that Mustafa Ali would get his shot against Buddy Murphy for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Survivor Series. From there, he highlighted the action on tonight’s show which included a tag team match pitting Lucha House Party against TJP and Mike Kanellis as well as a special appearance by Mark Andrews versus Buddy Murphy.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Murphy vs. Ali will probably hit the kickoff show for Survivor Series, but it’s can’t miss folks.
-From there, the show open ran and the announce team welcomed the audience to the show. The team highlighted the announced cruiserweight championship match and then cued up the first match.
(1) TJP & MIKE KANELLIS vs. LINCE DORADO & KALISTO
TJP received a small reaction from the audience and walked to the ring holding his collection of lucha masks that he ripped off the heads of Lucha House Party throughout the last few weeks. As he did his entrance, a highlight video aired that detailed TJP removing the masks. Mike Kanellis walked out next and did his full entrance with Maria. Just like TJP, he received a small reaction from the crowd.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Kanellis is a good addition to the 205 Live brand. For one thing, he has a defined character and is a true personality which is something the show needs. It’s not main event, but it’s depth, and that’s important.
From there, the Lucha House Party walked out and got a nice reaction for lucha chants from the crowd. As they walked to the ring, a pre-taped promo aired in which they called out TJP and Kanellis for disrespecting them. They said that TJP and Kanellis like to play games and that they like to play games as well. In the end, they said that they invited them both to join the Lucha House Party as VIP’s and that they would lose their match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: LHP promos are typically too goofy and reliant on their lucha chant for my liking. This was much better. Dorado and Kalisto looked relaxed and acted like they were talking like real people. Good (and surprising) stuff.
Once Dorado and Kalisto hit the ring, the bell rang and the match began. Kalisto and TJP started things off and wrapped up in the middle of the ring. Right out of the gate, TJP tried to remove the mask, but was unsuccessful. From there, Kalisto took TJP down with an arm drag and then connected with a dropkick before tagging Dorado into the match. Once Dorado got in, he hit a splash on TJP before TJP tagged in Kanellis. Kanellis was quickly dismissed by Kalisto and Dorado who posed at Kanellis to taunt him after they tossed him out of the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good psychology out of the gate with TJP working to remove the mask. It gives the match a story out of the gate and is also consistent with what’s happened in the previous weeks.
Eventually, Kanellis got back in the ring and took the upper hand over Dorado with an array of strikes. Dorado worked to battle back and did so with a head scissor takedown. He then connected with a dropkick of his own before locking in a headlock. From there, TJP was able to gain control of the match and pummeled Dorado with strikes. He quickly went for a pin, but got a two count, and then tagged Kanellis into match. Mike kept momentum and nailed Dorado with corner clothesline before slamming him to the mat with a shoulder tackle. Kanellis then went for the pin, but Dorado kicked out at two. This assault continued until Dorado was able to toss Kanellis out of the ring. He then went for the hot tag, but was stopped by TJP. Dorado then nailed TJP with an enziguri and made the tag. Kalisto fired up nicely as he hit the ring and cleared it. From there, he hit is rolling kick while Kanellis made a blind tag into the match. As Kalisto went for more offense, Kanellis tripped him up from behind and hit a side Russian leg sweep into the outside barricade. He then rolled Kalisto back in and locked in a chin lock submission. In the end, Kalisto made the hot tag to Dorado again and the two hit some tandem lucha offense on both TJP and Kanellis. TJP would alter momentum a little bit by locking in his knee bar submission on Kalisto, but Dorado would eventually break it up. Then, TJP removed Dorado’s mask, but it was revealed that Dorado had a second one underneath it. Since TJP was confused, Dorado was able to nail him with a hurricanrana for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Lucha House Party via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match with quite a bit of action that continued the mask story. Very simple stuff, but effective in the end. TJP really lost to a hurricanrana though? On this show, that move is the same as a headlock. Curious.
-After the match, Lucha House Party celebrated in the ring before the announce team cued up a clip of Cedric Alexander training at the performance center. He was executing moves and watching them back until he was interuppted by Lio Rush. Rush said Cedric Alexander was training with the rookies and Alexander responded by saying that if Rush would ever stop carrying Bobby Lashley’s bags and fight, that he could become a champion too. Rush told Alexander he knew what he wanted and said that Cedric Alexander would not win the cruiserweight championship by training. He said the way to get in line for a shot was to beat him. From there, Rush said he would give Cedric a match against him and then walked off because he had “better things to do.” The announce team then revealed that that match would take place next week.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Absolutely love the sports like feel of Alexander working out in the ring and watching his stuff back to see improvement. Like a hitter in baseball watching tape of his swing. Great stuff.
-A commercial aired for WrestleMania 35
-After the commercial break, Lio Rush hit the ring to a very small response from the crowd. Rush sauntered out like he usually does, but didn’t cut a promo on the way to the ring.
(2) JOSH MORRELL vs. LIO RUSH
Morrell waited for Rush to get to the ring and once he did, the bell rang. Out of the gate Rush handled the match and took momentum with his fast paced offense. The action spilled to the outside eventually and after, Morrell got some offense in. His offense was short lived as Rush battled back and quickly hit the Final Hour for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Rush via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Smooth win for Rush in what was a total squash. He is unique in that he is able to effectively showcase his character within his wrestling.
-After the match, Rush cut a promo and said that he dedicated that win to Cedric Alexander. He said ever since Cedric lost the championship, he’s been in a slump. Rush then said he respected Alexander for working hard to get his confidence back, but that nobody worked harder than Lio Rush. Rush said Cedric wouldn’t be getting back on track at the expense of him. Rush closed by saying that next week, the Age Of Alexander will meet its final hour.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow. Nothing funny about that promo. We saw a serious Lio Rush here and a Lio Rush that has range. Great work.
-A hype video aired that highlighted Mark Andrews.
-A commercial aired for Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch at Survivor Series.
-After the break, a Mustafa Ali selfie promo aired. In it, Ali said people call him the heart of 205 Live. He said at WrestleMania, he had a chance to be called champion, but let it slip through his hands. He said that since then he’s scratched and clawed for another opportunity and now he has one. From there, he said that Buddy Murphy and him were on a collision course and that he would finally become champion.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This wasn’t your “classic” selfie promo, but your typical out of the box Ali promo. He’s creative in this regard and has a true babyface aura about him. This title match is a long time coming and should supplant him as the brands number one babyface.
-After the promo, Buddy Murphy’s music hit and Murphy walked to the ring for his main event match. As he walked to the ring, a pre-taped promo aired in which he mocked Ali’s run to get a title opportunity. Murphy said that there would not be a happy ending to that fairy tale because the bad guy always wins. He called himself the baddest in the entire division and that he would prove it by beating Mark Andrews.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Murphy and Ali have a tremendous chemistry together. As I said at the top of the show, this match at Survivor Series is can’t miss.
(3) BUDDY MURPHY vs. MARK ANDREWS
From there, Mark Andrews made his entrance. The announce team talked him up as a prominent member of the NXT UK brand. Once he got to the ring, Andrews posed on the top rope. Then, the bell rang and the match began. Both men exchanged holds and take downs at the beginning. Eventually, Murphy took over and grounded Andrews with an arm lock. Andrews worked to battle out as the audience chanted for him. As they did, Andrews countered the move and then flipped out of the hold. Andrews then tried to hit a standing shooting star press, but Murphy rolled out of the way. Both men then stared each other down and tried to tie up again. This time, Murphy took over with stiff punches which caused Andrews to roll out of the ring. When Andrews got back in the ring, Murphy attempted a powerbomb, but Andrews countered it into a pin attempt. Murphy kicked out at two and out of the pin, Andrews connected with an over the top rope hurricanrana.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Whoa. That’s a big time spot that didn’t get nearly the reaction from the audience that it should have. Speaks to how much “fluff” surrounds Andrews. He’s the typical bland babyface that just doesn’t give the audience a reason to care.
After, Andrews rolled him back into the ring and then scaled to the top rope for a move. As he jumped off, Murphy countered which caused Andrews to miss his move. Instead, Murphy slammed Andrews face first into the ring post. From there, it was all Murphy. He hit Andrews with various strikes to the lower back of Andrews and taunted the audience each time he did.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tremendous work from Murphy. His precise demolishing of Andrews’s back is putting heat on him and drumming up the sympathy that Andrews needs. A true heel at work.
Murphy then tossed Andrews around the ring and connected with pinpoint strikes to various body parts. As he did, he attempted pins, but only got two counts. After a pin attempt, Murphy locked in an inverted chin lock while pounding on Andrews’s stomach at the same time with strikes. Eventually, Andrews gained some separation by connecting with a chin breaker. Out of that, he hit a reverse hurricanrana which sent Murphy to the outside of the ring again. Seeing that, Andrews hit Murphy with a suicide dive that sent him into the announcers area. With Murphy down, Andrews dove at him again and crushed him with strikes to the back. In the end, Andrews got some major high flying offense in, but Murphy countered his Shooting Star Press by getting his knees up ahead of impact. From there, Murphy was able to hit Murphy’s Law and make the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Murphy via pinfall
-After the match, Murphy celebrated, taunted the crowd, and held up his championship as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Very much a filler episode of 205 Live this week. That said, Murphy had a heel showcase match that he won decisively. Ahead of a huge Survivor Series match, that type of win is effective in establishing credibility. He played the heel role well, which primes him for Mustafa Ali.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/31 WWE 205 Live Report: Ali vs. Nese number one contender match, Kendrick vs. Gallagher, and more