SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
JANUARY 22, 2019 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Aiden English, and Nigel McGuiness
-The show started with the standard 205 Live opening video that featured Drake Maverick. In it, Maverick highlighted the matches on the show including Humberto Carrillo’s official debut as a roster member and the triple threat main event between Buddy Murphy’s challengers at the Royal Rumble. Maverick also hyped the fatal four-way cruiserweight championship match at the Royal Rumble this Sunday.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good verbiage on Humberto Carrillo. He has an incredible amount of skill and is primed for good things on this brand.
-When the video ended, the show open ran, and the announce team welcomed the audience into the program. After a very brief introduction, the announce team also plugged the Royal Rumble cruiserweight championship match. From there, they introduced Aiden English to the announce team and he said he wanted to help make 205 Live not only the most exciting hour of television, but the most dramatic hour of television as well. As he finished talking, Gran Metalik’s music played ahead of the opening contest.
(1) GRAN METALIK vs. HUMBERTO CARRILLO
Metalik got a small reaction that picked up with lucha chants as his entrance went on. From there, Carrillo walked out to a very quiet response from the audience. He smiled, but couldn’t muster a reaction during the entrance. Once Carrillo got to the ring, he shook Metalik’s hand, and the bell rang for the match to begin.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Humberto Carrillo has some charisma in him. He needs a gimmick and a character to help it shine through. Right now he’s simply too bland to get behind.
To start, both men tied up and wrestled in the middle of the ring. From there, both men hit the ropes and exchanged flipping counters and dropkicks before standing face to face in the middle of the ring. After, Metalik punched Carrillo in the face, but Carrillo responded by taking Metalik down with a springboard arm drag. Carrillo followed that with a corkscrew dive over the top onto Metalik who had rolled outside the ring. Carrillo quickly rolled Metalik back into the ring for a cover, but Metalik kicked out at two. Out of the pin attempt, Carrillo hit a vertical suplex on Metalik and then dragged him to the corner. From there, Carrillo attempted a shooting star press, but Metalik countered by getting his feet up to block the move. Metalik owned the match from here and nailed Carrillo with chops and shoulder tackles before landing a middle turnbuckle dropkick. Metalik then went for a cover, but Carrillo kicked out at two. Out of the pin, Metalik locked in a sleeper on Carrillo to ground him. Carrillo worked to battle out, but each time he got close, Metalik slammed him to the mat and kept the hold locked in. Finally, Carrillo did escape and nailed Metalik with a jumping kick to the face. Right after, he tried for a pin, but Metalik kicked out at two. After the pin, the action rolled to the ring apron. Both men exchanged kicks out there until Carrillo took control with a jumping top rope bulldog.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Big move, but a little miss timed on the part of Metalik. Not something you see often from that guy.
From there, Carrillo hit a top rope cross body before making a cover, but again, Metalik kicked out at two. Soon after that pin attempt, Metalik took momentum back after connecting with an over the top rope hurricanrana on Carrillo. After, he rolled Carrillo back into the ring and connected with a swanton before making a two count cover. In the end, Carrillo hit Metalik with his delayed sitting springboard moonsault before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Carrillo via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Decent match from a in-ring skill perspective. It lacked story though. Carrillo has all the physical tools in the world to be a very good worker for WWE. He needs to find a character though. Right now he’s just a guy with a smile and that alone won’t realize his full potential.
-After the match, Metalik and Carrillo shook hands again before Metalik raised Carrillo’s hand.
-Drake Maverick was shown in his office and was confronted by Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher. Maverick explained to them that Humberto Carrillo was the future of 205 Live as both men looked on with angry looks on their faces. From there, Gulak tried to speak back to Maverick but yelled in frustration before walking out.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Drew Gulak is a nice first feud for Humberto Carrillo. It makes sense given Gulak’s character as the “no flips” guy. Gulak also is an opponent that could help bring Carrillo’s character out. Smart move.
-Once Gulak and Gallagher left, Tony Nese barged into Maverick’s office. He told Maverick they needed to talk and demanded a rematch with Noam Dar. In response, Maverick said that he’d consider it which angered Nese. Nese then threatened Maverick and said if Maverick doesn’t give him the opportunity in the ring, he’d find one on his own.
-A backstage promo aired from Akira Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick. In it, Tozawa said that he didn’t travel across the world to become a joke. He said he came to WWE to win and that at the Royal Rumble he would become a two time WWE Cruiserweight Champion. Tozawa then smiled really big.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Talk about a contradiction. I liked what Tozawa said about not being a joke and wanting to win. High grades there. He ended the promo with his goofy smile that makes him look like a joke though. Eye roll, eye roll, eye roll.
-After Tozawa’s promo, Kalisto cut a promo backstage with Lince Dorado. Lince Dorado said that 2019 would be a huge year for the Lucha House Party. He said one thing was missing though and that thing was the cruiserweight championship. Kalisto then said in the triple threat main event, he’d show his opponents why he was to be feared and why he will win the championship at the Royal Rumble. (c)
-A commercial aired for NXT TakeOver: Phoenix and the new WWE: 24 for WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans.
-After the commercial break, Kalisto’s music played ahead of the main event triple threat match.
(2) KALISTO vs. HIDEO ITAMI vs. AKIRA TOZAWA
Kalisto got a nice reaction of lucha chants and as he made his way to the ring the announcers hyped the Royal Rumble on Sunday night. Nigel also commented on the pinata that Kalisto walked to the ring. After Kalisto, Akira Tozawa walked out to a small reaction with a sprinkle of Tozawa war chants. As he walked down, the announce debated how much of a threat Tozawa was to Murphy’s title. Before Hideo Itami’s entrance, he was interviewed backstage with Ariya Daivari at this side. Daivari spoke for Itami and said that he was the only person in the title match that hasn’t been champion. He said that that makes him the hungriest and the most dangerous. Daivari then said that in the triple threat he would make an example out of his opponents ahead of his title match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not sure of the Daivari/Itami pairing at this point. They seem to be paired just to be paired. Nothing more, nothing less. Daivari does a nice job talking for Itami, but he’s been defined down for so long on this brand that Itami takes a slight hit by associating with him. At the moment, Itami isn’t elevating Daivari. Just the opposite in fact.
From there, Itami spoke Japanese into the camera before walking out to the ring. Once Itami got down, the bell was about to ring, but Buddy Murphy walked out and down to the ring. As he did, the announce team said he was out there to distract his opponents. Eventually, Murphy walked over to the announce table and joined the announce team for the match. Then, the bell finally rang, and the match began. Out of the gate, Itami attacked both Tozawa and Kalisto. He tossed Tozawa out of the ring before whipping Kalisto into the ropes. Kalisto countered and decked Itami with clotheslines before hitting a flipping top rope arm drag that sent Itami to the outside. From there, Tozawa connected with a top rope missile dropkick on Kalisto and followed that with a running suicide dive on him through the ropes.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tough bump for Kalisto on that one as his back nailed the announce table. Will be sore in the morning!
After he hit the move, Tozawa taunted Buddy Murphy but was quickly attacked from behind by Hideo Itami. Itami beat Tozawa all around the ringside area before yelling “respect me” to the crowd. Eventually, Itami rolled Tozawa back into the ring and went for a cover, but Tozawa kicked out at two. After the pin, Itami kept the momentum in the match by striking Tozawa in the ring and kicking Kalisto back to the outside. From there, he locked in a sleeper hold on Tozawa. Itami kept up his attack on both Tozawa and Kalisto until Tozawa turned the tide with a snap hurricanrana. Tozawa then caught Kalisto with a dropkick as Kalisto jumped off the top rope. After, he made a cover, but Kalisto kicked out at two. He then went to cover Itami, but Hideo also kicked out at two. Out of the pins, Tozawa crushed Kalisto with a forearm shot that sent Kalisto to the outside of the ring. He then went for a second running suicide dive, but Itami decked him with a clothesline. Itami then covered, but Kalisto broke the pin at two. Out of the pin, all three superstars stumbled to their feet and exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring. Finally, Tozawa jabbed both opponents and was left standing at the audience did his war chant. As Tozawa did the chant, Itami planted Tozawa in the ropes and climbed to the top turnbuckle for a move. Before he could hit it though, Kalisto nailed him with a kick and climbed to the top to meet him. Tozawa then joined the fray on the top rope and once he did, he and Kalisto both positioned Itami for a top rope suplex. Instead, Buddy Murphy jumped into the ring and slammed all three men down to the mat from the top rope. As he did, the announce team reminded the audience that there are no disqualifications in triple threat matches.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Look, that spot is in the match to get heat on Buddy Murphy. If the rules allow his participation though, he can’t effectively get the heat he needs. A dumb rule no matter how you slice it.
After, Murphy gloated the referee and then picked up Itami and beat him in the corner. From there, he lifted Kalisto and Tozawa up and did the same thing. The announce team commented that Murphy did this to establish dominance and weaken his opponents before his title match. Finally, Kalisto and Tozawa super-kicked Murphy in the face as he taunted the audience. Kalisto then hit the SDS on Murphy and tossed him out of the ring. Seeing this, Tozawa nailed Murphy with a suicide dive as well. From there, Kalisto continued the match and hit Tozawa with a 450 swanton over the top rope. The action continued in the ring with all three men hitting big offensive moves on the other. In the end, Tozawa countered Kalisto’s top rope hurricanrana and attempted his top rope Senton finish instead. Kalisto moved out of the way, but was blasted by Itami’s basement dropkick in the corner. From there, Itami lifted Tozawa to his feet and hit him with his Sakura Knee Kick before covering for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Itami via pinfall
-After the match, Itami celebrated in the ring with Ariya Daivari before staring down Buddy Murphy as the show faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: A fine match start to finish. That said, Murphy looked awfully weak during his portion of it. Not only did he not get the heat he wanted because of the silly triple threat rules, but two moves by Kalisto and Tozawa knocked him out of commission for five minutes. Sure, the goal was to make all three challengers look like viable threats, but the cost to Murphy as champion took a hit to accomplish that goal. Regardless, the fatal four-way should be action packed given the talent in the match on Sunday.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 1/15 WWE 205 Live Report: Buddy Murphy’s open challenge, new 205 Live talent debut, Rush vs. Dorado, and more