SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
NOVEMBER 28, 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 video package that featured General Manager, Drake Maverick. Maverick hyped the show’s matches which included Noam Dar vs. Mike Kanellis and a tag team match featuring the team of Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy against Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy. In addition, Maverick hyped the return of Hideo Itami.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Standard opening, but a good one as always.
-From there, the show open ran and the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. As they did, Mike and Maria Kanellis made their full entrance. Both got a small reaction. While the sauntered to the ring, the announce team recapped the events of last week that involved Kanellis and the Lucha House Party. When the video ended, Maria and Mike laughed at the footage. From there, Noam Dar made his entrance to a small reaction as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I’m enjoying the addition of Mike and Maria Kanellis thus far. The show has a true sense of itself in terms of athleticism. Their involvment gives the show a character and it freshens up the presentation.
(1) NOAM DAR vs. MIKE KANELLIS w/ Maria Kanellis
Once Dar got down to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Out of the gate, both men tied up in the middle of the ring. Kanellis quickly got the upperhand after he backed Dar into the corner. After that, he blew a kiss to Maria. In response, Dar waved to Maria as well who was sitting at the commentary team. On commentary, Maria explained her and Mike’s relationship with TJP. Maria answered and said she was interested in TJP because he was the first champion.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Finally! That explanation had been a long time coming. Good stuff.
Back in the ring, Dar was distracted by Maria while she was announcing. Because of the distraction, Kanellis nailed Dar from behind and controlled the match. From there, he continued to beat on Dar and locked in a rear chin lock. Eventually, Dar escaped and hit a dropkick on Kanellis after Mike missed a flying cross body. Out of the dropkick, Dar connected lit Kanellis up with a flurry of strikes. After those, Dar went for a vertical suplex, but it was countered by Kanellis who hit a spinebuster on Dar instead. With Dar down, the music for Lucha House Party hit. This caused Kanellis to become distracted. With the referee distracted too, Kanellis was kicked in the face by Kalisto who had been hiding. From there, Dar hit the Nova Roll and covered Kanellis for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Dar via pinfall
-After the match, the Lucha House Party celebrated on the ramp as Mike and Maria looked on from the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: An A to B style match, but effective in telling the broader story of the Lucha House Party against TJP and Kanellis. Both Mike and Maria really sold and almost oversold their reaction to the LHP music.
-When the match was over, The Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa were shown training backstage. Kendrick was lazily going through the drills until Tozawa riled him up. At that point, Kendrick laid into and put full effort behind them before walking off.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Well alright then. Buying a vowel on this one.
-After that backstage segment, a selfie promo aired from Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher. In it, they said they used to consider The Brian Kendrick a friend. They then said that Kendrick changed and became a pitiful, loathsome, and useless. They then called Kendrick a homeless Leonardo DiCaprio and said that he must be depressed in teaming with Akira Tozawa. From there, Gulak said he would put Kendrick out of his misery after they go one on one with each other next week.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Drew Gulak continues to slay his opponents on the microphone. As fun as that is, this particular feud needs to wrap up and it looks like it will next week. On a 205 Live level, this program has been built well. The benefactor at this point though has been Gulak. Kendrick isn’t any hotter than he was when he was Gulak’s right hand man. A win will help things, but Kendrick is not a viable title contender coming out of this.
-When the selfie video ended, Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese were shown warming up backstage.
-A commercial aired for the WWE Network and the Edge & Christian Show on the WWE Network.
-Out of the commercial break, Hideo Itami’s music hit and Itami walked to the ring to a small reaction from the crowd.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Man, that is a sad response for Hideo Itami. You could hear a pin drop in there. A brutal fall from grace.
(2) HIDEO ITAMI vs. LEVY CRUISE
As Itami walked to the ring, the announce highlighted why Itami had been out. Cruise was already waiting in the ring so once Itami got to it, the match began. Itami immediatley took control of the match after he crushed Cruise with a vicious boot to the face. From there, he yelled “respect me” to the audience as he beat on his opponent. The audience booed relatively loudly as he yelled those words. On commentary and as the beating continued they debated what thoughts Itami had going through his head regarding everyone that disrespected him. Back in the ring, Itami continued the destruction and decimated Cruise with a handful of moves and his finisher before he covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Itami via pinfall
-After the match, Itami arrogantly smiled and continued his beating on Cruise. Then, Ariya Daivari’s music hit. He entered the ring opposite Itami and stared Hideo down. From there, it appeared that Daivari was going to fight Itami, but instead, he helped beat down Cruise as well. After the beating, Daivari told Itami that he respected him and the two shook hands as the audience booed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Yes, it was a total squash, but an effective one. Itami received good heat in the end, he looked strong in the match, and has some direction moving forward with Daivari. Win. Win. Win.
-The action then moved to the backstage area where TJP was shown talking with Drake Maverick. He told Maverick that he was the best technical wrestler in WWE and the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion. From there, TJP asked Maverick why he wasn’t the number one contender to the cruiserweight title given his credentials and resume. Maverick responded by saying that the reason he wasn’t was because he lost to Gran Metalik last week. TJP argued that point and said that he beat Gran Metalik years ago in the CWC. TJP then made fun of Maverick’s peeing issue on Raw before they both were interuppted by Maria and Mike Kanellis. Mike said that he wanted to end the Lucha House Party once and for all and that he wanted TJP’s help in doing so. TJP said that he was moving onto bigger and better things, but Maria told him that was too bad because they were in it together. TJP acquiesced and Maverick said he would take it under advisement. This angered Maria who told Maverick that she wanted her husband and TJP to embarrass the Lucha House Party in a match that they were known for. She then said that she wanted Maverick to officially make the match of TJP and Mike Kanellis vs. Lucha House Party a Tornado Tag Team match. Maverick liked the idea and agreed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Wow. Now that’s what you call a promo segment. In one segment, the WWE Cruiserweight Championship appeared to be the most important part of the program, Maverick conveyed a sense of authority and control, minor details were kept consistent, and a main event for next week was locked into place. That’s some business right there. Good stuff.
-After the backstage segment in Maverick’s office, Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali were shown warming up backstage.
-A commercial aired for WWE 365 featuring AJ Styles and for this week’s episode of NXT.
-Out of the break, Mustafa Ali’s music hit and he walked to the ring to a nice 205 Live response from the Minneapolis crowd. After, Cedric Alexander walked out to a similar sized response. As Alexander walked to the ring, the announce team highlighted Alexander’s title run and the fact that he lost the title to Buddy Murphy at Super Showdown.
(3) BUDDY MURPHY & TONY NESE vs. MUSTAFA ALI & CEDRIC ALEXANDER
Once Alexander got to the ring, Tony Nese made his entrance to a small response from the crowd. He waited on the ramp and Buddy Murphy walked out next. From there, Murphy and Nese walked together to the ring. Once they arrived, the bell rang, and the match began.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good commentary there on the championship regarding Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander. It’s puts the championship between the two babyfaces will be an intriguing road to follow moving forward.
Back in the ring, Nese and Alexander started things off. They tied up and then wrestled to the corner before they were broken up by the referee. Eventually, they tied up again and Alexander got some momentum after taking Nese down to the mat. After the takedown, Alexander whipped Nese into the corner and followed, but Nese countered with an elbow to the face. Right out of that, Alexander got the momentum back and hit Nese with hurricanrana before following with dropkick. At that point, Alexander tagged Ali into the match and they hit some nice tandem offense on Nese. From there, Ali made the cover, but Nese kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Nese made the tag to Buddy Murphy. Murphy flipped the script on Ali a bit which caused Ali to make the tag to Alexander. Murphy wanted nothing to do with Alexander and tagged his partner in as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Classic heel running from the babyface. Good psychology.
With Nese as his opponent again, Alexander continued his dominance. He connected with a step up enziguri and then made a cover, but Nese kicked out. Out of the pin, Alexander whipped Nese against the ropes and Murphy made a blind tag into the match. Alexander didn’t see this and after he bounced off the ropes on the other side, Murphy clocked him with a jumping knee to the face. Right after, Murphy made the cover on Cedric, but Alexander kicked out at two.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Oof. Vicious knee right there. Great spot.
From there, it was all Buddy Murphy. He stalked Alexander and beat him near his corner where he tagged Nese back into the match. Both Nese and Murphy proceeded to tag in and out of the match to stay fresh as they grounded Alexander. In the meantime, Mustafa Ali worked to rally the crowd and get them loud so Alexander could feed off of them and make the tag. Finally, Murphy and Nese’s tag strategy failed them and they ended up hitting each other. This left a clear path to Ali open and Alexander took and made the hot tag. Upon entering the match, Ali hit a double dropkick on both Nese and Murphy and followed with a series of clotheslines on Murphy. Ali then hit his rolling DDT on Murphy before lifting him up for a powerbomb. After, he went for the pin, but Murphy kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Ali attempted to lift Murphy to his feet, but Murphy countered by slamming Ali into the ring post. It didn’t have a huge effect on Ali who proceeded to climb to the top rope so he could attempt his tornado DDT. As he went for it, Murphy caught him in mid air and nailed him with a back elbow instead. After the elbow, Murphy kicked Ali to the outside of the ring. With Ali down, Murphy tagged Nese into the match and Nese proceeded to beat Ali up around the ringside area. Eventually, Nese rolled Ali back into the ring for the pin, but Ali kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Nese stomped on Ali before making the tag back to Buddy Murphy. Murphy kept momentum against Ali. Each time Ali worked to turn that momentum, Murphy grounded Ali with offense including a massive clothesline to Ali in the middle of the ring. At that point and with Ali down, Murphy went for the pin. Ali kicked out at two as the audience chanted and clapped for him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tremendous selling from Ali. He may be the best in all of WWE right now in using his facial expressions to tell his story in the ring.
Out of that pin, Tony Nese tagged into the match and attempted a shoulder tackle. Ali dodged it which caused Nese to hit Murphy. Both partners rolled to the outside which cleared the lane for an Ali tag to Alexander. As he was about to make the tag, Buddy Murphy knocked Cedric off the ring apron so Ali couldn’t get to him. Instead of hopping back on the apron and making the tag, Alexander chased Murphy down. This left Ali open which allowed for Nese to run him over with a flying forearm. The announcers commented on this and caused it a pivotal mistake in the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Interesting commentary and narrative from the announcers regarding Cedric Alexander. They are positioning Alexander as obsessed with the title. Not only something to watch for the rest of this match, but moving into the next few weeks as well.
From there, Ali continued to take a beating from both Nese and Murphy. Finally, Ali nailed Buddy Murphy with a spinning heel kick and then made the tag to Alexander. Cedric cleared the ring after crushing Nese with a spinning elbow and nailing Murphy with a knee to the chest. From there, Alexander hit the Flatliner on Nese and followed with a cover, but Nese kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Alexander attempted a springboard clothesline, but initially got distracted by Murphy. He dismissed Murphy with a kick and then attempted the move, but by that time Nese had come to and countered it with an open handed strike to Alexander’s face. Nese proceeded to tag Murphy into the match and the two men attempted a double team on Alexander. In response, Cedric battled out of it and made a tag to Ali. The two of them tried for their own double team off the top rope, but Ali fell off and took Murphy with him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A bit of a botch there. It looked like they were cuing up a top rope double Spanish Fly. Maybe next time.
Instead, Alexander hit a flipping suicide dive on Nese who was on the outside of the ring. This left all four men down until Ali and Murphy rolled into the ring. Murphy nailed Ali with another knee strike and then attempted Murphy’s Law, but Ali countered into a two count pin attempt. From there, Ali nailed Murphy with his tornado DDT and as he did, Alexander tagged into the match blindly. With Murphy dazed because of the DDT, Alexander hit him with his Lumbar Check for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Alexander and Ali via pinfall
-After the match, Ali and Alexander celebrated as the announcers sold that Alexander had pinned the champion. They also told the story of it taking two people to beat Murphy. As their celebration continued, Nese spoke to Murphy and told him “not to worry, because he was champion.” The show then faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match and based on the commentary, it appears that Cedric Alexander could finally be in line for his championship rematch. They setup Ali vs. Alexander too. That blind tag at the end wasn’t there just to be there. Look for that and the shot at the title to get in the way of these two babyface friends.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 11/21 WWE 205 Live Report: Survivor Series fallout, Nese vs. Dar, TJP vs. Gran Metalik, and more