SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
FEBRUARY 19, 2019 ON WWE NETWORK
NEW ORLEANS, LA
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Aiden English, and Nigel McGuiness
-The show began with the usual opening video that featured Drake Maverick. In it, Maverick recapped the cruiserweight title match between Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa at Elimination Chamber. In addition, Maverick announced a single elimination tournament between eight superstars that would determine the number one contender for Murphy’s cruiserweight championship at WrestleMania. From there, Maverick announced that tonight’s matches could impact who those eight superstars are. He then said that tonight’s show would feature Humberto Carrillo vs. TJP and Mike Kanellis vs. Cedric Alexander.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This type of thing is what 205 Live does really well. The tournament will allow for great matches to be had while presenting the brand in a very sports-like way. Really good stuff and a good road for the show to follow in the lead up to WrestleMania.
-After the video, the show open ran and the announce team welcomed the audience to the program. As they did, TJP’s music hit and he walked out to the ring. While he made his entrance, the announcers discussed Maverick’s WrestleMania tournament announcement and debated who they thought would be the winner. Once TJP got into the ring, Carrillo walked out to a small reaction from the crowd.
Heydorn’s Analysis: TJP is still a heel and he’s slapping hands of fans on his way to the ring? The guy has always had issues connecting with the audience. As a heel, he’s been more effective in doing so, but now he’s slapping hands? Smells like Dolph Ziggler 2.0 to me.
(1) HUMBERTO CARRILLO vs. TJP
Once Carrillo got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. TJP took Carrillo down early on in the match, but Carrillo countered that takedown into a quick one count pin. Out of the pin, both men exchanged and countered each other’s offense until Carrillo hit TJP with a springboard arm drag that sent TJP out of the ring. With TJP on the outside, Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher walked out to watch Carrillo’s match. With them at ringside, the announcers recapped the storyline of Carrillo and Gulak from last week.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I like the consistency of Gulak’s involvment with Carrillo as well as how the announcers discuss it. Good stuff.
Back in the ring, Carrillo took TJP down to the mat. He worked to capitalize on the takedown, but TJP countered and kicked Carrillo in the face. He then went for a takedown, but Carrillo countered. As this happened, the audience quietly chanted “TJP.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: And that’s what TJP’s hand slaps got him. Now, as the heel, he’s getting chanted for. Good grief.
Eventually, Carrillo landed a big top rope splash on TJP before covering for a two count. Out of the pin, Carrillo attempted a springboard maneuver, but TJP countered and slammed his face into the mat. From there, TJP went to work and locked Carrillo into a variety of submission holds. He then connected with a body slam before hitting a springboard shoulder roll on Carrillo’s chest. After, he went for the pin, but Carrillo kicked out at two. Out of the pin, TJP maintained his momentum and immediatley put Carrillo into a rear chin lock. Carrillo battled out, but as he worked to capitalize, ended up crashing into the ring post. In response, TJP choked Carrillo with his boot before hitting him with a dropkick as he laid prone and upside down on the turnbuckle. From there, TJP made the cover, but Carrillo kicked out at two. After that pin attempt, TJP went back to his submission game and worked over Carrillo’s shoulder. Finally, Carrillo battled out and took momentum after connecting with a top rope dive into a pin. Out of the pin, Carrillo connected with a flurry of kicks that sent TJP out of the ring. With TJP out there, Carrillo connected with a corkscrew suicide dive. After, he rolled TJP into the ring for a pin, but only received a two count. Right out of the pin, Carrillo attempted a top rope dive, but TJP countered and moved out of the way. In response, Carrillo hit another round of kicks before connecting with his rolling sunset flip. From there, Carrillo attempted his finish, but TJP countered into a modified STF submission hold. While he was in the hold, Gulak and Gallagher cheered Carrillo on to will him to the ropes. Eventually he got there and TJP was forced to break the hold. In the end, the action spilled to the ring apron where Carrillo nailed TJP with a kick. From there, he connected with a missile dropkick before nailing TJP with his springboard splash finish for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Carrillo via pinfall
-After the match, Gulak and Gallagher cheered Carrillo on and celebrated with him in the ring. They then lifted his arm in the air and picked him up on their shoulders as Carrillo continued his celebration.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good A to B match. Carrillo needs a new finisher. Most of what he does in the ring throughout the match vastly outdoes that generic springboard finish. If he is going to be 205 Live’s new and flashy star, he needs a finishing move that mirrors up properly. I like the story and involvement with Gulak and Gallagher. They are letting this simmer which will make the inevitable turn more impactful. Like last week, Carrillo needs to make sure not to look dumb and silly as Gulak and Gallagher try to woo him.
-A pre-taped promo aired from Tony Nese. He said that 205 Live was his for the taking and that it always had been. He said that after his match with Dar, all mental blocks holding him down were gone. Nese then made a promise and said that he would win the upcoming tournament and win the championship at WrestleMania.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It’s not saying much, but that was probably the best promo Nese has had on the show. Again, not saying much, but he properly alluded to big events that could have reasonably changed his mindset and demeanor. This is the lane he needs to stay in.
-Mike and Maria Kanellis were shown backstage and then interviewed. Maria answered for Mike and ran down the interviewer for not asking about Mike’s accomplishments. She continued to question Kayla and said that Mike didn’t become who he was by taking the easy way out. She said that that was why he challenged the soul of 205 Live in Cedric Alexander. She said that by beating Alexander, he would prove that he is the most dangerous superstar on 205 Live. (c)
-A commercial aired for NXT TV featuring Velveteen Dream vs. Johnny Gargano for the North American Championship. After, a commercial aired for WWE Shop.
-Out of the break, the announce team hyped DX’s upcoming induction into the Hall Of Fame and plugged tickets being on sale over the weekend.
-When the plug ended, Ariya Daivari walked out onto the ramp for a promo. He said that the audience was there to witness the beginning of his destruction of the cruiserweight division. The audience booed and he responded by saying he would beat his opponent so badly that nobody could try and sue the referee for the wrong call.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Ugh, he made a valiant attempt at getting local heat with the Saints stuff, but the line just made no sense.
Daivari then continued to run down New Orleans before climbing into the ring. When he got in, the bell rang, and the match began.
(2) ARIYA DAIVARI vs. JOHNNY LYONS
Immediatley out of the gate, both men tied up in the middle of the ring. Lyons locked in a headlock, but Daivari quickly broke the hold. After, he punched Lyons in the face, but was then dropkicked by Lyons. From there, Daivari maintained control as the audience chanted “let’s go Johnny.” In the end, Daivari kept up his attack and crushed Lyons with a devastating hammerlock lariat for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Daivari via pinfall
-After the match, Daivari celebrated as the announcers discussed the statement he made with that win heading into the WrestleMania tournament.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Squash match, but an effective one for Daivari. He needs wins like this to build credibility heading into the tournament which he’ll presumably be featured in.
-A backstage promo aired from Buddy Murphy. He said he needed to hand it to Drake Maverick. He said that it must be hard to run a brand with such a dominant champion like himself. He said that he sees Maverick trying to get him the challengers that he wants and he is appreciative of that. From there, Murphy ran down all of the opponents that he’s beaten as champion. Murphy then addressed the tournament, but that he was the best cruiserweight ever. (c)
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good promo. Right in line with Murphy’s character and how he’s being presented as a character.
-A commercial aired for Fighting With My Family and Ric Flair’s upcoming birthday celebration on Raw.
-Out of the break, Mike Kanellis made his entrance with Maria at his side.
(3) MIKE KANELLIS w/ Maria vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER
Kanellis received a very small response from the audience as he walked to the ring.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Kanellis needs to get his gimmick lined up. You can’t call yourself the most dangerous cruiserweight on the show and then walk out to the ring with his same music and presentation. They don’t line up and it hurts him.
Once Kanellis got to the ring, Alexander made his entrance to a quiet response as well. As he did, the announce team cued up highlights of Alexander winning the cruiserweight championship at WrestleMania last year. After he got to the ring, the bell rang, and the match began. To start, both men tied up the middle of the ring. From there, they wrestled each other to the mat and countered each other back to their feet before Kanellis pushed Alexander into the corner. From there, they tied up again. This time, Kanellis got the upperhand and took Alexander to the mat with a headlock. After, he hit Alexander with a series of chops before Alexander countered with his handspring hurricanrana. Right out of that, Alexander connected with a dropkick and stiff chops of his own. Eventually, Kanellis halted Alexander’s momentum and continued to try and ground him by beating him with elbows to the side of Cedric’s face. From there, he locked in an aggressive cross face submission by using the ropes.
Heydorn’s Analysis: They’ve setup a nice story in Kanellis working to ground Alexander. Cedric now has something to overcome in the match that the audience can get behind. Good stuff.
From there, Kanellis continued to dish out damage before locking in a rear chin lock submission hold. Finally, Alexander battled out of the hold and strung a series of offense together that included strikes, dropkicks, and knee strikes. After, Alexander connected with a series of clotheslines before nailing Kanellis with his back elbow. From there, he hit the Neuralizer. Out of that, Alexander attempted his springboard clothesline, but slipped off and injured his knee. Seeing this, Kanellis ran over to Alexander and worked that injured knee in vicious fashion. Cedric stopped Mike’s momentum by rolling him up for a pin, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Alexander delivered a superkick to Kanellis on one leg. In the end, Kanellis and Alexander battle on the outside of the ring. Kanellis continued to focus on Alexander’s injured leg to keep him grounded. In doing so, Alexander almost got counted out of the match, but made it back into the ring at the count of nine. As soon as he did, Kanellis locked in a submission hold that continued to focus on Cedric’s injury. From there, Kanellis hit Alexander with his twisting DDT finish and covered, but Alexander lifted up his shoulder at the last second. Alexander didn’t kick out like normal, but clearly lifted his shoulder off the mat.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Awesome spot. Sold the beating that Alexander took in a big way that made Kanellis look great even if the pin didn’t fully materialize.
Mike and Maria celebrated until the referee told them that they didn’t really win the match. Mike then tried another pin, but Alexander kicked out. From there, he hit Kanellis with the Lumbar Check and covered for the win.
WINNER: Alexander via pinfall
Heydorn’s Analysis: Really good match. Especially for Kanellis. Mike looked tough and aggressive. He needs to work that into the entirety of his presentation as a character. This is the start of a good foundation though.
-After the match, Cedric Alexander celebrated in the ring. From there, Drake Maverick announced some of the superstars that would take part in the WrestleMania tournament. He announced that he carefully considered recent accomplishments and past history in deciding who would be involved. From there, he announced next week’s first round match-ups which include Kalisto vs. Tony Nese and The Brian Kendrick vs. Drew Gulak. The show then faded to black.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The tournament format works for 205 Live. Both of those matches should be good, but they are matches that the audience could reasonably see on any episode of the show. New stars would add intrigue to this entire story moving forward. Time will tell if we’ll get them.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 2/12 WWE 205 Live Report: Championship contract signing, Tony Nese vs. Noam Dar, Gallagher vs. Dorado, and more