All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service.
- First WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: Cedric Alexander VS Gran Metalik; Alexander wins and advances to the second round.
- Second WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: TJP VS Tyler Bate; TJP wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan is here!
But who is that walking out with him?
The fans cheer “YES! YES!” all the same, then shift to “Spud! Spud!” Bryan explains that he was so proud to be part of the Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016. Therefore, it is his privilege to introduce the first ever General Manager to 205 Live and the Cruiserweights. This new GM shall lead the Cruiserweight Division into a new phase as he allows the superstars of 205 Live to give us “the action they should’ve always given us” and the action that everyone wants! Bryan introduces the WWE Universe to “Rockstar Spud”, Drake Maverick!
The fans still want to think of him as “Spud” but Drake introduces himself, then tells us that he’s worked his entire career to stand here before us in the WWE! Drake is proud to be here and he thanks Bryan for making him the 205 GM. He is here to help 205 Live, and the first thing is: a new Cruiserweight Champion! Philly fires up for that, so Drake details his plan: “A 16 Man, Single-Elimination Tournament!” The winner naturally becomes the new Cruiserweight Champion, “on the biggest stage of them all,” Wrestlemania! But don’t worry, it won’t be all in one night, the tournament starts tonight! Two first round matches will be held tonight, “hit the graphics!” Yes, the Carolina Kid takes on the King of the Ropes, followed by the inaugural New Era Cruiserweight Champion to take on the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion! Yes, TJP VS Tyler Bate happens for the first time later tonight! “My lords, ladies and gentlemen,” Drake Maverick commences the WWE Cruiserweight Championship tournament!
First WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: Cedric Alexander VS Gran Metalik!
This momentous tournament opens with a major match, as the former #1 contender once again competes for a chance against a Cruiserweight Classic finalist. Which man will be a finalist in this Cruiserweight tournament?
While Alexander has only himself to rely on for encouragement, the King of the Ropes has his amigos in the Lucha Spirit trio there to rally for him. Even Spud comes by to shake Metalik’s hand and encourage him that this is his time to shine.
The bell rings, the two men circle and the fans build to a rally while they shake hands. Then they tie up, Metalik getting the waistlock but Alexander the reversal. Metalik slips around and reverses back, fans duel while Alexander spins and flips to reverse back. Alexander shifts to a headlock, Metalik powers out and things speed up. Alexander handsprings to the headscissors but Metalik rolls through, saying he won’t get the dropkick so easily. The fans applaud this exchange, and things speed up again, Alexander narrowly avoiding Metalik’s handspring. Metalik gets moving again, and hits a running headscissors, but now Alexander rolls through to say “not so fast.” They go again, Alexander getting a waistlock but Metalik reversing with an arm-drag takedown into the armlock. Alexander gets up and lifts but Metalik arm-drags Alexander back down again. The fans duel while Metalik wrenches but Alexander kicks him low. Alexander brings Metalik up for chops, then whips him corner to corner, but Metalik slips out to the apron. Metalik kicks Alexander away, then springboards for the missile dropkick!
Alexander gets out the far side while fans build to a rally. Metalik builds speed but Alexander flies in with the springboard lariat! Now Metalik bails out, so Alexander builds speed and FLIES!
Down goes Metalik, and Philly fires up for Alexander as he puts Metalik back in. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool. He puts Metalik in a straitjacket hold and pulls back. Metalik endures while fans duel with chants. Metalik works his way out as fans build to a rally, but Alexander slams him down. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool. He drags Metalik up and chops him to the ropes. He whips Metalik to ropes, Metalik comes back for headscissors, but Alexander blocks with pure strength! Alexander lifts Metalik up for the powerbomb, but Metalik reverses into a sunset flip powerbomb!
TWO, and Alexander handsprings for the Neuralizer! Cover, TWO, now Alexander grows a bit frustrated. Metalik gets to a corner while he takes the elbow pads off. Alexander runs corner to corner but into Metalik’s SUPERKICK! Metalik runs, Sling-Dog and then walks the ropes for another missile dropkick! Alexander rolls out while the fans rally for Metalik. Metalik builds speed and now HE FLIES!
He topples Alexander over and fans chant for “2 0 5! 2 0 5!” Metalik puts Alexander in the ring, then takes aim to springboard splash! TWO, but so close. Metalik drags Alexander up while fans rally again, but Alexander slips out of the fireman’s carry to rock him with a European Uppercut. Alexander runs, but into another SUPERKICK! Metalik runs but into the SPANISH FLY!
Cover, TWO, and Alexander can’t believe it. He and Metalik are both down but stirring. Alexander rolls to a corner and pulls himself up. Metalik comes over and overhand chops him down! Metalik drags Alexander up and hoists him to the top rope for another stiff chop. The fans fire up as Metalik climbs, but Alexander fights him off. Metalik rocks Alexander with a swing kick, then climbs up from the outside, springboard LUCHA Steiner!
Cover, TWO! Now Metalik cannot believe this isn’t done. He drags Alexander up again, and gives him elbow after elbow. Alexander blocks one to give back an elbow of his own, then throws him to ropes. Metalik handsprings, but Alexander catches him! He tosses Metalik up, but Metalik counters with a DDT!
Cover, TWO!! Metalik keeps his cool as he keeps going, dragging Alexander over to a corner. He then climbs up while the fans rally. Moonsault, but Alexander gets boots up! Alexander hurries, drags Metalik up, and hits the LUMBAR CHECK!
Alexander wins and advances! If this was just the first match of the tournament, imagine what all the others will be like! Not only that, but with this amazing performance, does Alexander have what it takes to reach the finals and finally become Cruiserweight Champion?
WWE and 205 Live take a look at the inaugural WWE UK Champion, Tyler Bate.
The young man from Dudley, and one half of Mustache Mountain, Bate won the first ever WWE UK Championship Tournament over one year ago. Bate stands out because of his maturity despite his young age, and he’s shown as much in amazing matches against the British Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne. Together, Dunne & Bate put on NXT’s Match of the Year award winner in last year’s TakeOver: Chicago UK Championship match. Bate also qualifies for the Crusierweight Division, and gets his first opportunity towards a Cruiserweight Championship match tonight. Can Bate make history again by being the first crossover champion?
“Gentleman” Jack Gallagher speaks.
So the 205 Live GM is a “fellow countryman” to the British superstar? Then hopefully Spud understands the importance of a gentleman making it through to the finals. Is Gallagher expecting special treatment on the Road to Wrestlemania?
Drake Maverick explains the importance of this tournament.
A 16-man tournament, single elimination, and the finals happen at Wrestlemania 34. However, Drew Gulak appears.
“On behalf of the entire 205 Live locker room”, Gulak must tell Drake how happy they all are to have him. Gulak also wants Drake to know that they “crave law and order”, and he is personally excited to see what changes Drake has to create a #Better205Live. He gives Drake his bouquet and bow, then takes his leave. Drake then gives that bouquet to the backstage employee. Is Gulak going to be pleased or disappointed in the Spud Administration?
Mustafa Ali speaks.
“Yo, last week was insane.” The Pakistani Prince took on his pal, Cedric Alexander and “tore the house down.” They showed the world what 205 Live is all about. The fans stood up, cheered and chanted “This is Awesome!” Then Ali lost. That wasn’t as awesome for him, but it’s okay. Because he has a wake-up call going into the tournament. Ali will steal the show and punch his ticket to Wrestlemania. Can the Prince rise up and finally take the throne on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Backstage interview with TJP.
However, he wants everyone, especially Dasha Fuentes, to get it right. He is the “first-ever WWE Cruiserweight Champion, TJP.” Since his return to 205 Live, he’s had a string of losses, and now he faces the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion. “The thing is,” everyone has a short memory. TJP won the first ever Cruiserweight Classic, which is how he became the first-ever (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion. But then the 205 Live GM walks in.
Spud formally introduces himself and hears how TJP talks about his CWC win. But that was a long time ago, and tonight is TJP VS Bate. Bate is hungry for gold, he wants to go to Wrestlemania and become champion. Which TJP shows up tonight? The TJP that won the CWC? Or the TJP that “whines and complains when he doesn’t get his way”? A good question, what will TJP’s answer be in tonight’s main event?
Akira Tozawa speaks.
“I’m disappointed.” The Stamina Monster wanted to be 205 Live GM, but he isn’t. That’s okay, because now he can win the tournament and become a two-time Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania! And then, “You’re FIRED!”
Will Tozawa make good on a golden opportunity? And who even is that that he’s “firing”?
Second WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match: TJP VS Tyler Bate!
In this battle of first-ever champions, only one of them can advance towards being the next champion. Can the “Cruiser-Great” overcome the Mustache Mountain prodigy?
The bell rings and the Philly fans chant “Let’s go, Tyler!” They tie up, Tyler pushes TJP but TJP turns it around to put Tyler on the ropes. The ref calls for the break, and TJP honors it cleanly. They circle again, tie up, TJP gets the waistlock but Tyler gets the wristlock. TJP rolls and reverses to then hook Tyler’s nose. Tyler stands up and wrenches the wristlock again. TJP rolls and spins to then throw Bate with a spinning headscissors takedown. This becomes a cover, TWO as Tyler gets a shoulder up, so TJP dabs on ’em.
Philly boos his ego, but TJP doesn’t care. Tyler rolls around while fans continue to cheer him on. He reaches up to headscissor TJP now, and TJP flails as Tyler props himself up on his hands to wrench the neck. He also grabs one of TJP’s arms, but TJP uses his legs to help pop out of the hold. However, Tyler keeps hold of the arm to then bring TJP back down into the headscissors. TJP keeps resisting while fans duel, and rolls out to stand up. He works to pin Tyler but Tyler gets him with another headscissors takedown. TJP gets angry now, but the fans keep dueling. TJP pops out, Tyler kip-ups, TJP whips Tyler at the ropes. Tyler comes back with the rebound, but TJP ducks under. Tyler throws TJP to ropes, TJP goes Spider-Man to slip out to the apron. TJP says “not so fast” with the finger wag, then he slips under Tyler again to roll him up. TWO, but TJP rolls Tyler sideways now for a seated surfboard!
The fans applaud while Tyler endures the stretch. TJP pulls back more, but Tyler works to use his strong arms and legs to roll. The fans rally as Tyler reverses the surfboard into a surfboard of his own! With a lift!
Tyler has the full swinging surfboard, but TJP won’t give up. Tyler drops him, body scissors cover, TWO, Tyler runs TJP over with a shoulder. Things speed up, Tyler showing off his agility to then dropkick TJP down! While TJP rolls out, Tyler takes a moment to tweeze the mustache. Tyler then builds speed to DIVE!
TJP goes down, but Tyler kip-ups to again tweeze the mustache. He brings TJP up and into the ring, then takes aim from the apron. Tyler shoulders in then slingshots for the sunset flip, but TJP holds onto ropes. TJP spins around to DDT Tyler’s ankle into the mat. The fans duel with chants as TJP puts Tyler in a corner then rock Tyler with a EuroUpper. TJP grinds Tyler down with a boot to the chin, then backs off at the ref’s order. He comes back, however, to drag Tyler up and snap suplex him. He rolls through to then back suplex Tyler down, covers, TWO. TJP keeps his cool as he puts Tyler into a combination Deathlock and Butterfly Lock.
He bends Tyler from arms to spine to legs but Tyler endures. The fans build to a rally, and Tyler works his way out of the Deathlock. He stands up while TJP maintains the butterfly underhooks, but Tyler powers TJP into a corner. TJP goes after the arms again, so Tyler rams him into the corner again. Tyler gets space to then run back in, but TJP hops up and grabs a leg for a hanging Boston Crab!
The referee counts, this is illegal on virtue of the ropebreak. TJP holds on all the way until 4 then lets go. He brings Tyler out and scoop slams before hitting the slingshot senton. Cover, TWO, but TJP just keeps going. He ties up Tyler’s legs again and then stands on the left knee. TJP dares Tyler to do something, Tyler manages to push him away, then a second time. They both stand up, Tyler gives TJP a knee to the head, but the beat-up knee forces Tyler to stagger away. Even so, Tyler comes back to headbutt TJP in the stomach, then give him a EuroUpper. Tyler whips TJP, TJP reverses, but then runs into Tyler’s boot! TJP gets himself to a corner, Tyler comes running in for a big running EuroUpper. Tyler hops up, hits a flying knee strike, then a delayed German Suplex with the bridge! TWO, and Tyler is a bit surprised. He makes sure his leg is okay while TJP slowly stirs. The fans duel again while Tyler gets to his feet. He brings TJP up for the double underhook but TJP resists and fights back. TJP kicks the bad leg a couple times, then lifts in the fireman’s carry. Tyler slips out and staggers to a corner. TJP runs in but Tyler catches him, to TJP’s surprise! Tyler turns around and throws TJP overhead! Tyler kip-ups again but that bad leg slows him down, yet he still hits the shooting star!
TWO, but very close. The fans keep cheering and dueling while Tyler makes sure that leg gets moving again. He and TJP brawl on their knees, EuroUppers and haymakers back and forth. They stand up now, TJP ducks to forearm, but then Tyler ducks to EuroUpper, then they double boot! Tyler returns and boots TJP again, TJP sits down. Tyler brings him up, runs, but TJP dropkicks the bad leg out! The fans rally again as the two men stir. TJP crawls over for that leg, but Tyler shoves him away with the good one. TJP returns and unloads strikes onto Tyler. He throws Tyler, Tyler rebounds again, but TJP still ducks under to then trip him up and wrap on a Kneebar!
Tyler endures, as well as resists TJP’s attempts to add the figure four grapevine. Tyler drags himself to the ropes and gets the break! The hold is undone, and fans applaud Tyler’s grit. TJP gets up while Tyler drags himself up on the ropes. TJP lifts Tyler in the fireman’s carry but Tyler slips out to a waistlock. Standing switch and a shove, Tyler finally hits the rebound lariat!
Cover, TWO, and Tyler is shocked. That leg is still a problem but Tyler still stands up. He calls for the spin, and the fans fire up. Tyler lifts TJP into the fireman’s carry, and begins the airplane cyclone! Tyler goes around and around and the fans count it out to about 20. He dumps TJP down, then calls for the finish. He hobbles over and lifts TJP, but TJP trips him and gets the Kneebar again! Tyler drags himself, TJP drags him back, so Tyler rolls through to pin, TWO! Bop up, BANG out!
TJP goes down, Tyler crawls to drag him over to a corner. Tyler goes up top on one leg, and takes aim. He goes for the corkscrew senton, but flops as TJP evades! TJP gets on Tyler, Kneebar with figure four grapevine! The fans duel while Tyler endures! Tyler reaches, drags himself as best he can with TJP on his legs. Tyler rolls and gets the break again! TJP lets go and grows further frustrated while the fans applaud. He throws off his wristbands and then runs at Tyler, but into a EuroUpper! He tries again, Tyler sticks a boot out but TJP catches it. TJP pulls Tyler out to the middle, spins him around but gets another EuroUpper! Tyler then rebounds for the rolling kick! TJP goes down, Tyler hurries to bring him back up. Double underhook and full powerbomb lift, but TJP reaches for the corner and grabs on! Tyler lets go long enough to turn around, but TJP uses that to his advantage, sunset flip! TJP grabs trunks, TJP steals the win!! Tyler cannot believe he got cheated, but TJP is elated.
The FilAm Flash found a way to win tonight, but this is just the first round. Will the “Cruiser-Great” start a win-streak to again become Cruiserweight Champion?
Another great episode of 205 Live in this post-Enzo era. I’m pleased by having Rockstar Spud as the inaugural GM, though I agree with Philly that he should’ve been called Spud. Copyright likely gets in the way of that, but he still shows great personality in his WWE debut. I personally was hoping for a Cruiserweight Championship Elimination Chamber, but this 16 Man tournament is also a great idea. Tonight was a great indicator that, as Daniel Bryan put it, the matches really will give us that Cruiserweight experience WWE has been under-utilizing since 2016’s CWC tournament. Alexander VS Metalik was great, especially as an opener, as it sets the tone for the rest of the opening round. Alexander keeps in character, as well, where he shrugs off being delayed because at least he still has a shot. I expect him to go far since it felt like he was going to win against Enzo at the Rumble anyway.
Nice surprise to see Tyler Bate, a member of the UK Division, crossover into this division to try his hand. He and TJP also have a great match, though there were moments where the crowd drifted out. TJP and Tyler are both great with technical wrestling so I enjoyed their exchange of the holds, such as the surfboard reversal and TJP’s creative combination of Butterfly and Indian Deathlock. In the end, TJP wins because he’s a full-time member of the 205 Live roster and Cruiserweight Division and it helps move his story along. He’s broken his brief losing streak and his ego can balloon with every win, to then have it pop the moment he has his next loss. For that reason, I hope TJP goes far, maybe even to Wrestlemania, to then lose to (I assume) Cedric Alexander in the championship match. Alexander can have his crowning moment on the biggest PPV of the WWE calender, and TJP can throw the biggest #TJPissed tantrum ever on that same Grandest Stage of Them All.
My Score: 8.5/10