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WWE 205 LIVE
JANUARY 15, 2019 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph and Percy Watson
-The show started with the standard 205 Live opening video that featured Drake Maverick. In it, Maverick recapped the events of last week which shored up the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble. From there, Maverick hyped tonight’s matches which include Lio Rush vs. Lince Dorado and Buddy Murphy’s open challenge.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This recap is impactful and important for 205 Live. Glad they kept it even though the show is back to being live on Tuesday nights.
-When the video ended, the show open ran, and the announce team welcomed the audience into the program. After a very brief introduction, Lio Rush’s music hit and he walked to the ring for the first match of the night. As he did his entrance, the announce team plugged that they were back being live on Tuesday nights. They also addressed Nigel’s absence.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I wondered if they’d formally address the time slot change and we have the answer. Joseph certainly didn’t try to sell or hype the move. Interesting given the fact that he is WWE’s pitch man for this brand. It’s almost as if he went through the motions in promoting it and who can blame him. Taping 205 Live ahead of SmackDown Live is the smart, logical move. To take three steps back like this has to be frustrating for all involved.
-From there, both announcers discussed who they thought would accept Murphy’s open challenge later in the night.
-Once Rush got into the ring, he grabbed a microphone and addressed the audience. He then welcomed everyone to “Lio 5 Live” and said that Lince Dorado has a misconception about him. He said that he isn’t there to party or to have fun, only to win. The audience booed as he said that and booed louder when he hyped the new WWE Intercontinental Champion, Bobby Lashley. Rush then said, that Lince Dorado stole his chance to become the cruiserweight champion and that he would show Dorado what it really means to feel the rush. After, the Lucha House Party music hit and Dorado hit the ring with Gran Metalik and Kalisto. As they did, Rush got back on the microphone and addressed the fact that Dorado walked out with his entourage. Rush yelled at Dorado for cheating and Dorado responded by sending Kalisto and Metalik to the back. As he did this, Rush attacked Dorado from behind.
(1) LIO RUSH vs. LINCE DORADO
After Rush got some shots in on Dorado, the referee separated both men, checked on Dorado, and then rang the bell for the match to begin.
Heydorn’s Analysis: That angle worked well to open the match. It set a good foundation for Rush to gain heel heat and allowed for Dorado to look like a classic babyface in trying to win the match on his own with his friends not at ringside. Well done.
As soon as the bell rang, Dorado clocked Rush with a punch before hitting some offense which included a spinning heel kick. Dorado then whipped Rush into the corner before connecting with a vertical suplex. Out of that, Dorado cornered Rush and hit him with strikes. From there, Rush hit the ropes and slapped Dorado in the face. This fired Dorado up and the result was Dorado connecting with a back breaker before making the cover for a two count. Out of the pin, Dorado climbed to the top rope for a move, but had to jump down because Rush rolled out of the ring. As Dorado approached Rush on the ring apron, Rush kicked Dorado into the ring post and then connected with a moonsault onto Dorado. After the moonsault, Rush beat Dorado around the ringside area before rolling him back into the ring. In the ring, Rush kept up his attack and kept momentum in the match. Dorado worked to battle back to change the tide at various points, but each time, Rush hit a move to keep the upperhand. From there, Rush clocked Dorado in the face with a kick before locking in a rear choke hold. Rush broke the hold himself and followed it with a series of strikes and punches to Dorado before connecting with a vertical suplex of his own. After, he went for the pin, but Dorado kicked out at two. Immediatley after the pin, Rush locked in another submission hold, but it was broken by a Dorado jaw breaker. From there, Dorado connected with a dropkick before hitting a running bulldog. That offense knocked Rush off his momentum, but he quickly took control again after he countered Dorado’s springboard stunner into a step up enziguri. Out of that, Rush locked in a submission hold again.
Heydorn’s Analysis: These two are incredibly smooth together and have chemistry. The entire match has been crisp, exciting, and an overall good display of what the 205 Live brand offers in terms of ring work.
Eventually, Dorado fully turned the tides in the match. He connected with a flying cross body, but couldn’t follow-up quickly due to the damage suffered earlier in the bout. Dorado eventually did get to his feet and crushed Rush with a running suicide dive. From there, he rolled Rush back into the ring and nailed a Shooting Star Press before covering, but Rush kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Dorado cued up a lucha chant, but then was taken down to the mat by Dorado. Lince countered the ensuing move with stiff kicks to the face and then went for a springboard stunner again. Again, Rush countered, but Dorado countered his counter with a kick to the face. Then, Dorado finally hit the Golden Rewind springboard stunner and covered, but Rush kicked out at two. Out of that pin, Dorado climbed to the top rope again and crushed Rush with a leg drop. Dorado then charged Rush in the corner, but Rush dodged it which sent him flying into the turnbuckle. With Dorado down, Rush climbed to the top rope and hit the Final Hour on Dorado for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Rush via pinfall
-After the match, Rush attacked Lince Dorado from behind and was chased off into the audience by the rest of the LHP.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. Unique spots and a pace worthy of the brand. As for the winner, Rush is clearly the project being focused on so it makes sense for him to go over. In seeing his reaction to the other LHP guys ahead of the match beginning and the post match angle, look for Rush to continue the LHP program and work the other guys in the group.
-Noam Dar was interviewed backstage. He talked about beating Tony Nese and mocked Nese for thinking he was the premiere athlete. As he was talking, Nese walked up and said he was lucky. He said he dominated bell to bell before Dar cut him off and said that he lost. Nese owned the loss but said that 99 out of 100 times he’d win. From there, Nese challenged Dar to a rematch and Dar accepted.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tony Nese continues to come off as a weak and whiny dweeb. Until his character is tweaked, nothing he’s involved with will seem important for the brand. He’s as broken as broken can be from a character perspective and just can’t drive interest in his current state.
-After the Dar/Nese confrontation, Drake Maverick was shown talking to a referee in his office. The ref then walked out at TJP walked in. Maverick addressed TJP and assumed he was there to speak to him about the Buddy Murphy Open Challenge opportunity. Before TJP could speak, Maverick said that that opportunity was already taken and that it was taken by a new superstar on the show. TJP laughed him off, but Maverick said he liked the fact that TJP was asking opportunities. TJP continued to laugh and then walked out of the shot.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tonight will be our first look into the new talent pool that Maverick talked about a couple weeks ago. Featuring that talent in this spot against the champion defines them as big time for this brand right out of the gate. Smart move and good stuff.
-Buddy Murphy was shown walking backstage with his cruiserweight championship as the show went to commercial break. (c)
-A commercial aired for WWE Shop and the Royal Rumble on the WWE Network.
-Out of the commercial break, each 205 Live challenger in the fatal four-way WWE Cruiserweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble cut a pre-taped backstage promo on what winning that match would mean to them. Kalisto was first and was followed by Akira Tozawa with The Brian Kendrick, and Hideo Itami with Ariya Daivari. Then it was announced that those men would collide in a triple threat match ahead of the Royal Rumble next week.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Simple, but incredibly effective. This type of promo gives the match realistic hype and high stakes. It’s always important to show the “why” within the story and these short promos accomplished that goal. Each man seems more dedicated to winning and the entire match is elevated because of it.
-After the promos, Buddy Murphy’s music hit and the WWE Cruiserweight Champion walked to the ring. He received a quiet negative reaction as he slowly made his way down the ramp. Once he got to the ring, Murphy posed to the audience and then picked up a microphone. On it, he addressed the fans and told them to shut their mouths. This got a good heel reaction. From there, he called himself the greatest cruiserweight of all time. He then told the audience to stop “What-ing” him and continued to address them by telling them that he does what he wants and they must sit and listen to him. The audience booed even louder after.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A nice little ad lib there from Murphy. The audience reacted too. Well done.
As the audience booed, Murphy continued and said that he wasn’t worried about his title match yet. He said he was focused on his open challenge and called out his opponent. Then, as Murphy gazed at the ramp, Humberto Carrillo answered the call. As he made his way to the ring, the announce team talked him up as one of NXT’s brightest stars. They also talked about his family lineage and said that wrestling was in his DNA. The announce team also gave major props to Drake Maverick for signing such a prolific star.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Just a complete non-reaction to Carrillo from the crowd. Unless indifference is a reaction. Carrillo is talented but needs to hit a grand slam with his performance to get the audience on his side.
(2) BUDDY MURPHY vs. HUMBERTO CARRILLO
Once Carrillo got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. Murphy circled Carrillo to start things off and then shook his hand. From there, the men tied up and Murphy took him down to the mat. After, Murphy worked over Carrillo’s arm to ground him even more. Eventually, Carrillo reversed the hold, but Murphy reversed it right back. Again, Carrillo reversed the hold and took Murphy to mat before locking in a side headlock on Murphy. After a few seconds in the hold, Murphy broke free and nailed Carrillo with a shoulder tackle. From there, the two men countered an array of holds until Carrillo got the upperhand. With Murphy on the ground, Carrillo offered his hand, but Murphy got up on his own. Next, Carrillo took Murphy down with an arm drag and sent him out of the ring with a dropkick. With Murphy on the outside of the ring, Carrillo went for a moonsault, but Murphy countered it by slamming him into the steel entrance ramp.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Carrillo is crisp in there, but lacks a character. At this point, it’s not a major issue, but to be a mainstay on the brand, he needs something aside from his crisp work for people to grab on to.
Both men battled on the outside of the ring until Murphy rolled Carrillo back in. Once he did, Murphy attempted a cover, but Carrillo kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Murphy locked in a shoulder submission as the audience clapped for Carrillo to escape. Eventually, Carrillo got some momentum back and launched Murphy out of the ring with a hurricanrana. He then attempted a running suicide dive through the ropes, but Murphy moved out of the way which sent Carrillo crashing down to the floor. After, Murphy beat Carrillo around the ringside area. He slammed Carrillo into the guardrail before rolling him in the ring for a cover, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Murphy continued his dominance with an array of stomps and strikes to Carrillo. Finally Carrillo took the momentum back after he countered Murphy into a back body drop on the ring apron. This caused Murphy to roll to the floor which prompted the referee to start the official count. At the count of six, Murphy rolled back into the ring and was immediatley kicked in the face. Carrillo then connected with a springboard splash before covering for a two count. After the pin, Carrillo picked Murphy up and hit him with a springboard kick. He then climbed to the top rope and hit Murphy with a high cross body before making a pin attempt. Again, Murphy kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Carrillo moved Murphy’s body near one of the corners. He climbed to the top rope, but Murphy stopped him from executing a move. From there, both men exchanged kicks until Carrillo connected with a missile dropkick from the top rope. Right after, Carrillo went for the cover, but Murphy kicked out at two.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Carrillo has the audience on his side. They are clapping for him during submission holds and counting with his potential near falls. Credit goes to Carrillo for sure, but Murphy must be credited as well. His dominance and alpha tendencies as a heel force fans to engage with his matches. Carrillo is reaping the benefits of that right now.
In the end, Murphy faked an injured knee to gain an advantage. The referee checked on him and as he did, Murphy bulldozed Carrillo as he was clapping for him. From there, Murphy attempted Murphy’s Law, butt Carrillo countered it into a two count pin attempt. Carrillo saw momentum after that and parlayed it into a suicide dive on Murphy that sent Murphy crashing into the announce table. Carrillo then rolled Murphy into the ring and jumped off the top rope for a move, but Murphy countered with a jumping knee to the face. From there, Murphy hit Carrillo with Murphy’s Law and covered for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Murphy via pinfall
-After the match, Murphy walked up the ramp with his belt as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good match. Carrillo made the audience believe that he could win and went toe to toe with the champion. That’s an effective debut. He needs a character though. Period. As for Murphy, he continues to be a bright light on the show and a reason to tune in and watch this brand on a regular basis.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 1/9 WWE 205 Live Report: Alexander vs. Itami in the final championship qualifier match for the Royal Rumble, Dar vs. Nese, and more