205 Live Recap: Episode 108

Last week on 205 Live: Buddy Murphy defeated Gran Metalik and then Metalik took to Twitter to ask a poll if he should go to CMLL or the Mexican Indies. Then he took the poll down, so that’s something. Cedric Alexander beat Tony Nese in a match where I was too focused on Tony Nese’s ab based character even though he uses his knees and his name is a different spelling of knees.

Cold Open

The last of the main roster general managers Drake Maverick does his normal narration. It’s nice to know that 205 Live is doing well enough that the McMahon’s don’t have to get involved. Buddy Murphy retained his title at TLC during the preshow. Lio Rush shows up tonight. The main event is Akira Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick vs. Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher in a street fight.

Hideo Itami w/ Ariya Daivari vs. Noam Dar

  • This match was unannounced and the commentary team seems shocked by this teams entrance.
  • Daivari is the mouthpiece for Itami. Which is great for Hideo. It sucks that there is such a language barrier and WWE depends on promos. It’s hard to get non English people over in WWE and there isn’t really an answer to it. Asuka is an anomaly and has tremendous energy and charisma. Every time I watch 205 I try and think of things they could do to make the crowd actually care. Even having video packages before the matches doesn’t hype the live crowd.
  • Noam Dar comes out as Drake tries to fire Itami and Daivari. So we have a match instead of a firing.
  • Dar puts Itami in the backslide position but spins Hideo a punch before applying the actual backslide. That was different.
  • I don’t know when it happened but 205 doesn’t have purple ropes anymore.
  • This match is pretty basic from the get go with little crowd reaction. Maybe 205 would be better if it was filmed at a smaller location. Not Full Sail because they get NXT. Maybe like a place in Chicago. Since it’s “Live” though you can’t do a taping.
  • As Hideo gains the advantage and does some heel work. My brain starts thinking about the video game Blitz The League. In that storyline there are three tiers of teams. It would be nice if 205 was a type of tier. Maybe have a point system or some win/loss system. If you lose too much you go back to NXT. If you win a lot you get on the main roster. That would add something to every match, freshen up the rosters and then when some 205 guys gain some steam on the main roster, maybe the crowd would be more invested.
  • I mean 205 is a good wrestling show. It just is usually wrestling for the sake of wrestling. There is one championship that is barely defended monthly, the feuds have good stories but no crowd participation. It is just a forgotten show, and it feels like you could experiment more with it.
  • Noam gets his comeback and is able to fight off Daivari but it gives Itami the ability to land a strike flurry with a basement dropkick. Then he hits his falling knee strike finisher for a win. The crowd is absolute crickets.

And I’m Like… Both men did a great job actually wrestling. It probably would have been received better in front of passionate fans that follow the brand though. I think next week I am gonna listen to music while I watch the show so I don’t base my opinions off of crowd reactions. Crowds can make a good match great or a great match bad. 205 moving to before Smackdown! Live doesn’t help at all.

Buddy Murphy says his two biggest threats in Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander have lost to him. Buddy claims that he is the best cruiserweight in the world. Which is kinda true, he wants a challenge now. He needs one to prove he is the greatest cruiserweight of all time. Drake says he will put something together this week and will announce the challenger.

Lio Rush vs. Local Competitor

  • When WWE YouTube says local competitor even if it is Aaron Solow you already know this is a showcase match.
  • Lio talks a bit but cheap shots Aaron the local competitor.
  • I get that showcase matches are good for the wrestlers. The problem is most of the people that watch this show on the Network are well aware of all the wrestlers. The live crowd gets to see the showcase but they don’t follow the show weekly. Meaning at most they see this superstar twice a year. Not enough to make an impression.
  • Lio won without getting one move done or strike landed on him.

And I’m Like… Lio has a presence and a swagger that’s undeniable. He is very expressive and athletic and super easy to hate. I don’t know where he ranks in terms of 205 standings but he is probably the brands biggest star just because of his Raw exposure.

Cedric Alexander cuts a backstage selfie promo that this is his show and Buddy has Cedric’s title.

Next week is the best of 205 Live so I won’t be doing a recap. Meaning this is the last one of the year.

Akira Tozawa & Brian Kendrick vs. Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher

  • The Brian Kendrick coms out looking like its the mid 2000’s again. It’s amazing how different hair and a shave trims like 15 years off dudes look.
  • I really respect Drew and Jack wearing dress clothes with taped fists. It’s like a bunch of ruffians at a 1%er bar.
  • The good thing about this match is it’s a street fight and Tozawa and Kendrick brought out a table to the cheers of the crowd.
  • Gulak and Gallagher are anti hardcore so they take the table and put it back under the ring. Now we have clearly defined faces and heels that the crowd is invested in. Kendrick and Tozawa gave the crowd what they wanted and Gulak and Gallagher took it away. The spot revolved around a table but the crowd always chants “we want tables” so whoever came up with that was genius.
  • When 205 started a lot of the guys were newly signed to WWE. Meaning they didn’t spend a lot of time in NXT or even the performance center, they had to learn on the fly. I really wish Drew Gulak could have been in NXT. He really would have done something special. This man is the most diverse and interesting character on 205 and has already had man iterations. To have people that care about him have the ability to react to him would be amazing.
  • Other weapons have been introduced and Gulak and Gallagher now have no problem using the weapons to their advantage. Showing they are hypocrites and adding to the story of the match.
  • Gulak has used a mop and a broom in this match. It’s refreshing to see different weapons used in this match. A damn mop bucket is brought into play, it looks unused too so it’s nice to know the people at the arena aren’t messy.
  • Gulak wraps a bungee cord around his hand and Nigel says it’s used for added weight and added momentum. Then Gulak fishhooks Kendrick with the bungee cord and that really made me cringe. Definitely on the same level of Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy’s ear.
  • Akira is thrown over the guardrail. Gulak and Gallagher have a two on one advantage and all they do at first is repeated pinfalls. Not a smart move by 205’s smartest men.
  • The crowd doesn’t seem to respond to much. I believe it’s because the table hasn’t been reintroduced, because when the table was out they were excited.
  • Tozawa came back from the outside and tried to mount a comeback but Gulak used the microphone on Tozawa. Akira is able to just punch Gulak in the jaw. Akira does the Sabu trick by just throwing chairs at his enemies.
  • “We want tables” from the crowd. Tozawa and Kendrick bungee Gulak to the ring post to immobilize him. It didn’t last long.
  • Gulak puts Tozawa in an office chair and rolls Tozawa towards a flying Gallagher knee. This match is full of innovation but seems to be lagging now. Everyone waiting on the table.
  • Gulak is able to get the Gu-lock on Tozawa but Kendrick is able to break it up. This match has had so many comebacks and beat downs and back and forths. It’s really long.
  • Tozawa hits his top rope senton on Gallagher but Gulak breaks it up. Each man is doing big boi moves trying to win the match. Kendrick is able to hit Sliced Bread #2 from the top rope for the win. NO TABLES!!

And I’m Like… Maybe the table thing wasn’t genius? That match seemed like a fight with fun spots but it’s pacing was off and it lagged in parts. I guess the feud is over but it still kind of bugs me they introduced a table and never used it. It’s nice to have the old Brian Kendrick back and I hope he can expand his character more.

That’s it for this year. I hope 205 grows next year, maybe a new idea on how to do the show, or added factions with an expanded roster? Something to differentiate it from the other shows. They lost their purple ropes, and all the moves they do can be seen on the main roster. I really like the wrestlers on the show, I just wish they were able to be bigger stars.

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