SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
DECEMBER 5, 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 hype package that featured Drake Maverick. Maverick ran down the matches on the program including The Brian Kendrick vs. Drew Gulak and the Lucha House Party vs. Mike Kanellis and TJP in a Tornado Tag Team match. In addition, Maverick recapped the events of last week’s show and announced that after his win last week, Cedric Alexander was the new number one contender to Buddy Murphy’s cruiserweight championship.
Heydorn’s Analysis: And the new number one contender is crowned. Expected a bigger announcement for it aside from be squished into an opening video montage. Maybe that’s telling? We’ll see.
-After the video, the show open ran and the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. As they did this, Drew Gulak’s music hit for the opening contest of the evening.
(1) DREW GULAK w/ Jack Gallagher vs. THE BRIAN KENDRICK w/ Akira Tozawa
Gulak received a small reaction as he marched down to the ring with Gallagher. The announcers discussed the confidence of Gulak before hyping that we’d hear from Buddy Murphy on his new number one contender, Cedric Alexander. From there, Kendrick made his way down to the ring. Once he got there, the bell rang, and the match began.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I know The Brian Kendrick is a babyface, but there is nothing about his presentation that is “babyface.” He saunters to the ring, has a mean mug look on his face, and doesn’t acknowledge the fact that he’s supposed to be a good guy. A bit of a disconnect with that character right now.
Out of the gate, both men circled each other in the ring before each exchanged front headlocks. After the headlocks, Gulak took Kendrick down to the mat before taunting him and letting him back to his feet. From there, the audience chanted Kendrick as both men tied up in the middle of the ring. Out of the tie up, both men attempted strikes on the other, but Gulak was the one to land a clothesline that planted Kendrick into the mat. Right out of that move, Gulak looked for the Gu-Lock, but was unable to fully put it on. Instead, he raked the eyes and face of Kendrick, but was forced to break the hold when Kendrick reached the ropes.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A slow pace to start the match, but it fits the story well. Good stuff.
Once Gulak broke the hold, Kendrick picked up momentum. He locked in a full nelson on Gulak before nailing him with a German suplex. After, Kendrick crushed Gulak with a fury of kicks until Gulak countered one into a powerbomb which gave him all momentum back. Right out of the bomb, Gulak locked in an inverted ankle lock which caused Kendrick to writhe in pain. Eventually, Kendrick elbowed Gulak in the face which caused him to break the hold. The break was short-lived as Gulak immediatley locked in a side headlock. From there, Gulak owned the match with a variety of submission maneuvers. Kendrick attempted escapes, but each time he started offense, Gulak would counter it back into another submission move of some kind. In the end, the submission moves ended and the match devolved into a fury of strikes in the middle of the ring between both men. Out of that, Kendrick locked in his Captain’s Hook submission, but was forced to break the hold once Gulak got to the ropes. Instead of fully breaking it, Kendrick hit a Dragon Suplex and then went for a cover, but Gulak kicked out at the last second. Out of that, Jack Gallagher got involved on the outside of the ring by slamming Akira Tozawa into the ring post. Back in the ring, Kendrick nailed Gulak with Sliced Bread #2 and went for the win, but Gallagher broke up the pin by kicking Kendrick in the chest. At that point, the referee rang the bell for the match to end.
WINNER: Kendrick via disqualification
-After the match, Gulak and Gallagher decimated the team of Kendrick and Tozawa to some very loud cheers from the audience. When their destruction was over, both men walked up the ramp and taunted the audience.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. The root of the psychology stayed in the submission realm which worked given that Drew Gulak was in the match. The finish certainly sets up a tag match later down the road, but this program is teetering on the edge of too much. After the tag, its on to new things for all involved.
-When the match ended, the announce team recapped the events of last week between Buddy Murphy, Tony Nese, Mustafa Ali, and Cedric Alexander. When he recap video ended, Buddy Murphy was shown talking with Drake Maverick backstage in an interview-like format. Maverick thanked Murphy for joining him and said that he has had a tremendous 2018. He called Murphy’s story inspiring, but said that he was one of the most polarizing figures on the roster. In response, Murphy said he wasn’t there to make friends. From there, Drake Maverick told Murphy that his next opponent would be Cedric Alexander and it would be a rubber match of sorts since each man had one victory over the other. Murphy then chimed in and said that he was glad that Alexander was his opponent. He said that last week it took not only Cedric, but Mustafa Ali to beat him. He then called Mustafa Ali is tougher opponent and told Alexander to thank Ali because without him he wouldn’t have gotten the victory. From there, Murphy turned to the camera and addressed Alexander directly. He said that if he wanted to prove to the world how good he was, he should compete next week and should leave Mustafa Ali behind. Murphy said he would compete as well and suggested that Maverick decide their opponents for them. From there, Murphy asked Maverick if that was too polarizing for him before walking off.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good stuff. Plants seeds of dissent between Ali and Alexander and hypes their match. That’s what a promo is for, folks.
-A commercial aired for the Edge and Christian Show Season Two on the WWE Network.
-Out of the break, Ariya Daivari’s music hit ahead of match number two.
(2) ARIYA DAIVARI vs. CLAY ROBERTS
Once Daivari got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match started. Daivari took over immediatley and crushed Roberts with vicious strikes in the corner. The beating continued the entire match before the referee stopped the match because Roberts couldn’t protect himself.
WINNER: Daivari via KO and referee stoppage
Heydorn’s Analysis: Total squash, but effective. Not much more to say other than that.
-After the match, Mustafa Ali addressed the audience via a recorded interview backstage. He said that everyone falls, but the hard part is getting back up. He said at Survivor Series he took the fall, but he’s going to get back up. From there, he said last week’s victory was a good step in helping him get back up. Ali then addressed Cedric Alexander and said he was proud of him. He said he was rooting for him before telling Alexander that when its his turn to fight for the championship again, the champion better be ready to fight for his life because he would be.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Another good promo that also planted some possible dissent between Ali and Alexander. This will be an interesting side story to watch as Alexander challenges for the title.
-When the Ali segment wrapped up, Cedric Alexander was interviewed backstage. Alexander joked about Murphy’s comments regarding him and Mustafa Ali and laughed off Murphy’s attempts to drive a wedge between him and Ali. Cedric then said he didn’t need silly mind games to keep his championship. From there, Alexander accepted Murphy’s challenge for next week and walked out of the shot.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked that Alexander confidently accepted the stakes that Murphy outlined earlier in the show. True babyface stuff there and it worked.
-A commercial aired for this week’s episode of NXT TV on the WWE Network.
-After the break, a selfie promo aired from Noam Dar. In it, Dar said that Buddy Murphy disrespected him and cost him a match last week against Tony Nese. He then challenged Murphy to a match next week.
-When the selfie promo finished up, the Lucha House Party’s music hit and Kalisto and Lince Dorado walked to the ring for the main event. LHP got a decent pop from the crowd before the cheers were drowned out by a handful of lucha chants.
(3) LUCHA HOUSE PARTY (Kalisto & Lince Dorado) vs. TJP & MIKE KANELLIS w/ Maria Kanellis
From there, The Kanellis’s made their entrance. They got a small negative reaction and then were joined by TJP. Once they got down to the ring, all four men entered the ring, and the match began. Out of the gate, LHP took control and nailed their opponents with stiff chops. They then connected with some tandem offense on Kanellis before connecting on a double teamed dropkick on TJP. Both of those moves caused Kanellis and TJP to roll to the outside of the ring. Seeing this, Dorado climbed to the top of the ring post and jumped off to connect with a high risk splash.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Big spot. When the Lucha House Party wrestles with real rules and within a real story, their act can be effective. Take note, WWE. More of this and less of their shenanigans on Raw.
When the action spilled back into the ring, Kalisto crushed TJP with a stiff spinning DDT. Then out of nowhere, Mike Kanellis decimated Dorado with a stiff spinebuster on the outside of the ring. Then, Maria Kanellis stole the LHP pinata. This caused Kalisto to get distracted which allowed TJP to dropkick him over the top rope. From there, Kanellis and TJP owned the match. Not only did they decimate both Kalisto and Dorado with double team moves, but they along with Maria stepped on and destroyed all of the Lucha House Party pinatas and masks that they brought down to the ring. As they did that, the audience booed loudly.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Pinatas? Alright, to be fair, the audience did react for the heels destroying them. C’mon though LHP, THAT is going to distract you? The destruction of your pinatas? Eye roll.
Eventually, the beating of Kalisto and Dorado continued to the outside of the ring where Kanellis left Kalisto lying after dropping him over the ring barrier. Kanellis then went back to the ring to double team Dorado. Together, they whipped him into the ropes for a move, but Dorado countered by hitting a double springboard stunner on both to turn the tide. LHP owned things for a brief period time after Kalisto connected with a springboard clothesline, but TJP turned the momentum back by countering Kalisto into his specialty Knee Bar submission.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Typically, I’m not a fan of the way Kalisto sells in his matches. This worked though. For one thing, he was in the hold for a while so the audience had time to invest in his escape. In addition, he used his body language well enough to convey the pain he was in.
The battle waged on from there with the momentum shifting back and forth throughout. In the end, Kalisto connected with a top rope hurricanrana on TJP that sent Perkins flying through the air and into his opponent. Dorado hit a move right after which eventually gave Kalisto time to dump a pile of mini pinatas in the ring. Kalisto worked to slam TJP onto them, but each time, TJP countered. From there, all four men battled around the top rope area before Dorado and Kalisto hit a superplex on TJP into the pile of pinatas. They then went for the cover, but TJP kicked out at two. Finally, after more distraction from the larger LHP pinatas, Kalisto hit TJP with the SDS before Dorado nailed him with his top rope shooting star press. After, Dorado made the cover for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Dorado and Kalisto via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Decent, but not good or great. Way to much usage of the pinatas. Up to this point, the story told between these four men was that of disrespect. For weeks, TJP and Mike Kanellis openly dismissed and spit on the lucha culture. Now, when then match happens, they turn to pinatas for heat? Just a miss and they had the pieces there, they just chose not to use them and went for a goofy premise for the match instead.
-After the match, LHP celebrated in the ring. The announce team then announced Buddy Murphy vs. Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese for next week’s show. Tony Nese then cut a selfie promo and said that the last time he fought Cedric Alexander he didn’t just win, he broke him. From there, he said that he had Alexander’s number and that he would dismantle Alexander so bad next week that he wouldn’t be able to wrestle Murphy for the title.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Solid setup for next week’s show. No complaining from me there.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 11/28 WWE 205 Live Report: Ali and Alexander vs. Murphy and Nese in the main event, Itami returns, and more