Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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WWE 205 LIVE TV REPORT
JANUARY 31, 2020
REPORT BY MICHAEL TAYLOR, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Aiden English, Jon Quasto
-The show opened with highlights of the Cruiserweight title fatal four-way match at Worlds Collide. Before the match, Triple H presented Angel Garza with the new Cruiserweight title belt which featured the NXT logo instead of the WWE logo. The highlights ended with Jordan Devlin pinning Isaiah Scott to win the title. He celebrated in the ring as Tom Phillips announced that he was the first NXT UK wrestler to hold the NXT Cruiserweight title. The 205 Life intro video began. After the video, the camera entered the arena and panned the audience before landing on the announcers. They commented on the dog food around ringside from the closing angle of Smackdown. English called Devlin one of his favorite wrestlers and said he was excited to see what Devlin would bring to the Cruiserweight title. Quasto threw to highlights of Ariya Daivari helping The Brian Kendrick beat Danny Burch on last week’s episode. He announced that Burch would Face Kendrick in a rematch later in the night. They ran down the rest of the card. Joaquin Wilde made his ring entrance, followed by Raul Mendoza.
(Taylor’s Analysis: The video package highlighting Devlin’s win was top notch. It made his victory seem like a big deal and the shots of the excited NXT audience only helped. As far as Wilde goes, his entrance attire is unlike anything I have ever seen. English said it was inspired by Wilde’s favorite musical artist, Daft Punk. It needs to be seen to be understood.)
(1) JOAQUIN WILDE vs. RAUL MENDOZA
The bell rang, and they locked up. They traded wrestling holds before the pace quickened. They each dodged several attempts at offense and came to a standstill. The crowd applauded the exchange. Eventually, Wilde knocked Mendoza over the top rope. Wilde attempted a suicide dive, but Mendoza ran in the ring and dropkicked him. Mendoza hit a running clothesline for a two count. From there, Mendoza cinched in a modified chin lock. Wilde stood and created separation by hip tossing Mendoza over the top rope. Wild hit a moonsault over the top rope. Back in the ring, Wilde hit a flurry of offense. He dove off the top rope, but Mendoza countered with a standing dropkick. Mendoza hit a springboard moonsault for a two count. Both men stood and traded strikes until Wilde hit the Wilde thing for the win. After the match, they shook hands in the ring. Wilde held the ropes open for Mendoza and they left the ring together.
WINNER: Joaquin Wilde via pinfall
(Taylor’s Analysis: This was a good match, but the presentation of Wilde is awful. The announcers were telling Wilde’s story throughout, which consisted of emergency surgery and a near-death experience. This serious, life-changing event does not match Wilde’s goofy “EDM clubber” gimmick. He continues to mock a siren sound as his signature taunt. It’s annoying, confusing, and the crowd doesn’t care about it. He doesn’t have to dwell on his past but having a more serious gimmick would make him feel relatable to the audience.)
-A commercial for Super Showdown aired, followed by a commercial for Miz and Mrs.
-The show returned with The Brian Kendrick making his ring entrance accompanied by Ariya Daivari, followed by Danny Burch.
(2) THE BRIAN KENDRICK vs. DANNY BURCH
The bell rang, and Burch charged at Kendrick. Kendrick retreated to the outside of the ring and taunted the crowd. Daivari tried to distract Burch so Kendrick could attack him from behind, but Burch knocked Kendrick to the outside. Kendrick tried to throw Burch into the ring steps, but Burch reversed him. They brawled around ringside and Burch threw Kendrick into the barricade. Kendrick responded by hip-tossing Burch over the announce table. Kendrick distracted the referee and Daivari attacked Burch. Back in the ring, Kendrick attacked Burch’s leg and cinched in a modified leg lock. He knocked Burch into the corner and twisted Burch’s leg around the rope. Eventually, Kendrick knocked Bruch to the ring apron. Daivari tried to attack Bruch again, but Burch countered him and knocked him to the mat. Back in the ring, Burch rallied and hit a flurry of offense. He scaled the ropes and hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Both men returned to their feet. Kendrick attempted to pin Burch with Daivari’s assistance for a second week in a row, but this time, the referee noticed and broke the pin attempt. From there, Burch hit a headbutt and cinched in a cross face. Daivari ran into the ring and attacked Burch. The referee called the bell. Kendrick brought a chair into the ring and hit Burch in the knee. Oney Lorcan’s music hit and he ran into the ring with a chair. Kendrick and Daivari retreated up the entrance ramp. Lorcan and Burch stood in the ring with chairs as the crowd cheered.
WINNER: Danny Burch via DQ
(Taylor’s Analysis: While I’m typically not a fan of DQ finishes, it set up a babyface making the save and added another layer to the feud. I maintain that Lorcan could be a star on the show and I would prefer him to be treated as a top contender for the Cruiserweight title rather than in a tag team with Burch.)
-A commercial for WWE Shop aired, followed by a commercial for WrestleMania 36.
-The show returned, and the announcers talked about Jordan Devlin’s win at World’s Collide. They announced Devlin would make his 205 Live debut next week. Angel Garza made his ring entrance, followed by Tyler Breeze.
(3) ANGEL GARZA vs. TYLER BREEZE
The bell rang, and Garza called Breeze an “ugly man”. They locked up and Garza pushed Breeze into the corner. Garza knocked Breeze to the mat and taunted Breeze from the corner. Garza knocked Breeze down once more and taunted him from the corner again. Breeze responded with a shoulder tackle before taunting Garza from the corner. The pace quickened. Garza stopped the momentum and tried to rip off his tights. Breeze hit an enziguri and knocked Garza to the outside. Breeze tried to meet Garza outside the ring, but Garza pulled his leg and knocked Breeze to the floor. Garza propped Breeze up against the ring steps and shoved his knee into the Breeze’s face. Back in the ring, Garza scored a two count. He shoved Breeze into the corner and punished him with knees and strikes. Garza cinched in a modified surfboard. Eventually, Garza propped Breeze on the second rope and dropkicked him in the mid-section. Garza tore off his tights and taunted the crowd. On commentary, English asked Quasto to remain quiet to enjoy what just happened. With Breeze still on the second rope, Garza hit a running kick and scored a two count. Garza cinched in a modified armbar. Breeze created separation and hit a flurry of offense before scoring a two count. From there, Breeze propped Garza on the second rope. Garza pushed Breeze away and attempted a dive, but Breeze countered with the supermodel kick for a two count. Both men were slow to their feet. Garza hit a running knee for a two count. Garza hit a modified slam for a two count. Both men laid on the mat and the referee started a ten count. Garza hit a basement dropkick and pulled Breeze into the corner. He scaled the ropes, but Breeze rolled to the other side of the ring. Garza scaled the opposite corner, and Breeze rolled away again. Garza attempted a springboard moonsault from the middle rope, but Breeze put his knees up. Both men returned to their feet, and Garza hit the wing clipper for the win. After the match, Garza motioned into the camera that he wanted his belt back and the show ended.
WINNER: Angel Garza via pinfall
(Taylor’s Analysis: Another good match, but we’re back to the trading wins and losses style of booking. Previously, Breeze won several weeks in a row. He should have kept his momentum and gone on to challenge Devlin for the Cruiserweight title. Also, there should have been a promo from Garza on this episode where he spoke about how important it was for him to win to re-enter the title picture. That would have made a win, or a loss, mean so much more.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This felt like a notch above the typical 205 Live episode. The wrestling was more satisfying, and it felt like each match had a purpose. The opening match introduced us more to Wilde, the second match added to the feud between Burch and Kendrick, and the main event re-established Garza as a title contender in the future. I don’t agree with the general booking philosophy, but the show was an enjoyable watch.