All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami VS Lucha House Party; no contest.
- Mark Andrews VS Drew Gulak; postponed to next week.
- Tony Nese VS Jonathan Pierce; Nese wins.
- Buddy Murphy VS Kalisto; Murphy wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami VS Lucha House Party!
The Stamina Monster and the Innovator of Pain use Strong Style while the Golden Lynx & King of the Ropes fight with lucha libre agility. This tag team rematch has pride and honor on the line, who will come out earning the other team’s respect?
Both sides are ready to fight right away, but we start with Itami and Metalik. Itami gets a waistlock and takedown, then floats around into another quick takedown. He mounts then tauntingly slaps Metalik before demanding they “Respect Me!” Instead, Lince starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. Itami turns around and knees Metalik in the stomach, then rocks him with a right hand and left kick. He keeps up the kicks, but Lince gets his attention. The two trash talk, but then Itami pie-faces Lince, and the Lynx wants in! The referee keeps him back, so Itami goes back to Metalik. He puts Metalik in a corner, then whips him corner to corner, but Metalik catches him with a thrust kick! Metalik then runs out of the corner to hit Itami with a sling-dog!
Metalik keeps going, he walks the ropes to missile dropkick Itami down. Cover, TWO, but Metalik keeps on him with an arm wrench. Tag to Lince, they double whip and double hip toss, then stomp and standing moonsault. Cover, TWO, but Lince keeps on Itami with stomps. Lince goes after the arm again, then tags Metalik. Metalik continues the wrenching, then suplexes, but Itami slips out and staggers back. Tozawa tags in and Itami boots Metalik. Metalik gets moving when he sees Tozawa, but runs right into a kick to the stomach! Tozawa brings Metalik up to snapmare and Penalty Kick him down, then hit the back senton, but Metalik makes it a crucifix pin! TWO, Metalik swings but misses. Tozawa goes for a back suplex but Metalik fights his way out. Metalik runs and handsprings, but into Tozawa’s dropkick!
Tozawa covers, TWO! He keeps on Metalik while he tags in Itami. Itami knocks Lince down before he and Tozawa double whip Metalik corner to corner. Tozawa hits a back elbow, then they combine for a knee-kick combo! Itami suplexes, covers, TWO. Lince protests but Itami keeps on Metalik while he taunts the Lynx. He drags Metalik over and tags in Tozawa, Tozawa chops Metalik. Tozawa chops again, then fakes the chop to hit the jab. Cover, TWO, but Tozawa is on him again. Tag to Itami, Itami kicks and whips Metalik. He knocks Metalik over with the kitchen sink knee, then mocks the “Lucha! Lucha!” right in Lince’s face. Itami stomps Metalik, but Metalik revives to chop and forearm Itami back. Itami slaps Metalik then kicks away on him, but Metalik responds with a dropkick!
Both men are down, but stirring. Metalik tags in Lince! Lince knocks Tozawa down then brawls full speed with Itami! He backs Itami down, whips but Itami reverses, only for Itami to run into Lince’s spinning heel kick! Lince keeps going with more kicks, then runs to springboard, quebrada! He won’t let up, he hammers away with both hands. Itami gets away, then boots Lince back to give him his strikes. Lince slaps and slaps, then whips but Itami reverses, Lince handsprings into the Golden Rewind stunner!
Itami ends up all the way out of the ring, so Lince fires up. He builds speed, Tozawa tries to intercept, but Lince evades to FLY onto Itami! Lince wipes Itami out, but Tozawa builds speed to DIVE!
The Tozawa Torpedo takes out Lince, but as everyone regroups, Metalik builds speed to FLY!
Metalik’s corkscrew plancha takes everyone out! He drags Itami up and puts him in the ring while fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” Metalik isn’t legal, but he still sets Itami up for Lince. Lince covers, TWO. Lince drags Itami up and over, Metalik tags in. They both get Itami up for Metalik’s fireman’s carry, but Itami fights his way out. Itami even goes after the mask! Metalik defends his face, Lince comes in to clobber Itami! Lince stomps and clubs Itami, Tozawa comes in but even he gets clobbered. Lucha House Party is livid, the referee has to throw the match out.
But Tozawa comes back for more! He ends up in a 2v1, until Itami returns to chop block Lince’s legs! Now Itami and Tozawa beat down the luchadors. An extra referee comes out to back them off, but Itami continues to demand respect. There wasn’t a lot of respect, but this was definitely an aggressive encounter. Another thing is for sure, neither side is through with the other. What will it take for these two teams to settle the score?
Drew Gulak speaks.
The Cruiserweight Crusader lets us know that unfortunately, his match with Mark Andrews has been postponed until after Wrestlemania because he requested it. Fans might think this is mind games but this is the opposite. Gulak believes in a #Better205Live, and simply wants Andrews to be at 100% for their match. Andrews needs to recover from his “grueling bout” with Tony Nese last week, because then there will be no excuses when Gulak “utterly annihilates” him. He would’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation detailing why he tortured Andrews in his “GuLock” dragon sleeper during their Cruiserweight Championship Tournament match. But the more Gulak thought about it, he realized he only needed one slide to say it.
“The battle in the ring is won and lost on the mat”, and Gulak is the best submission specialist in WWE. He can do it to anyone, and when you step to him, you will tap out.
But Mark Andrews responds.
Does Drew Gulak think he’s the only one who can use the ring to prove a point? Andrews has come back to 205 Live to prove his own point. Gulak crossed the line, plain and simple. But this isn’t about flying versus ground, this is Andrews VS Gulak. When Andrews gets his hands on Gulak next week, Gulak will wish he never underestimated the underdog, and will never disrespect him again. Will the Post-Mania episode of 205 Live feature a High-Fiving, Stage-Diving victory? Or will it be another gritty grinding from Gulak’s ground game?
Tony Nese VS Jonathan Pierce!
Before the show, 205 Live GM Drake Maverick talked with the Premier Athlete. Losing to Mark Andrews last week may have been a setback, but that’s why Maverick put Nese in this match tonight. Nese just has to get back on the horse and use that untapped potential to remind everyone why he’s the Premier Athlete.
The bell rings and Nese circles with Pierce. They tie up, Nese pushes Pierce back, Pierce flexes at Nese. He says his is “way better” than Nese’s. They tie up again, Nese puts Pierce in a corner, then shows his muscles. Nese gets near Pierce, Pierce uses the ropes for safety, then gets a sucker punch on Nese. Pierce chops Nese, then whips him to a corner, but Nese comes back with a back elbow. Nese hops up and jumps back but Pierce gets under. Nese dares Pierce to come at him, then handsprings under to mule kick and knee lift, then roundhouse and leg sweep. He toys with Pierce, then chops him in return. Nese whips Pierce, Pierce holds ropes and bails out. Pierce wants out, but Nese slides out of the ring to rock him with a left forearm!
Nese embraces the cheers and jeers, then drags Pierce up and into the ring. He takes aim from the apron, to then triangle moonsault!
But Nese isn’t done there. Pierce gets to the apron, Nese drags him back up, Pierce hotshots Nese back! Pierce sees his opening and gets to the corner. He climbs up, Nese stops him with a leaping left uppercut! Nese then kicks Pierce off the top to dump him with a gutbuster. Pierce gets to a corner, so Nese brings the knee pad down. Nese runs to the adjacent corner, for the Premier KNEE-se!
Cover, Nese wins!
Winner: Nese, by pinfall
Nese snaps back to a win after a few losses, but will this be enough to prove to Maverick that Nese is ready for bigger and better in the Cruiserweight Division?
Lucha House Party regroups in the trainer’s room.
Clearly, Lince’s leg is hurting from Itami’s cheap shot to it. Kalisto has his match, but he promises to check in after. But he turns around, and Buddy Murphy is there.
Murphy assures Kalisto their match won’t be personal. The Best Kept Secret is in 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division to become Cruiserweight Champion. It just happens that Kalisto stands in his way. Murphy will do Kalisto a favor and make it quick so he can get back to his friends. Murphy is bigger, stronger and apparently more confident, will he be the brick wall that stops Kalisto’s breakneck speed?
Buddy Murphy VS Kalisto!
The mission is clear: keep winning, and you’ll get your shot at the Cruiserweight Championship. With that in mind, both the Daredevil from Down Under and the Lucha Dragon want to win and move into contention. Will size matter when things move at high speeds?
The bell rings, the two circle, and then tie up. Murphy powers Kalisto to a corner, but backs off at the referee’s orders. He gives Kalisto a little bump, but Kalisto doesn’t take it lightly. They tie up again and Murphy gets the headlock, Kalisto tries to power out but Murphy holds on. Murphy throws Kalisto down with a headlock takeover, Kalisto headscisors but Murphy pops out. Kalisto reverses roles, getting the headlock takeover but popping out of the headscissors. Murphy sweeps legs, Kalisto gets out, Kalisto sweeps legs but Murphy gets out. The two stand off and the fans applaud.
Murphy and Kalisto both stand up and circle again. They tie up, Murphy turns it to a wristlock and brings Kalisto down. Kalisto gets up but Murphy brings him back down, and again, and again. Murphy wrenches the fingers, bending Kalisto’s arm back. Kalisto slips out to hsi feet and wrenches Murphy back. Murphy reverses, snapmares, runs and headscissors, but Kalisto stays on his feet! Kalisto copies Murphy’s “Shhh…!” then speeds up again to handstand walk to handspring headscissors. Murphy stays on his feet and wags his finger at Kalisto. This exchange excites the fans so much, they chant “205! 205!”
Kalisto goes at Murphy with the waistlock, Murphy standing switches but Kalisto switches back. They go back and forth with switches until Murphy throws Kalisto out. Murphy runs, slides out and chases Kalisto, but Kalisto goes to arm-drag. Murphy blocks so Kalisto spins to the other side and gets the arm-drag. Kalisto keeps moving, and manages to tilt-o-whirl headscissor Murphy down. Murphy’s back up but into a dropkick! Kalisto is fired up while Murphy gets to a corner. He runs in but Murphy puts him on the apron, only for Kalisto to swing kick Murphy away. Kalisto climbs up to the top rope, takes aim, and spins for a flying arm-drag! Murphy ends up outside the ring, Kalisto runs but fakes him out with a rebound while Murphy slides in, for another stand-off. And fans are loving it!
The chants of “205! 205!” echo out again while the two men stand up. Kalisto changes it to “Lucha! Lucha!” as he gets in Murphy’s face. Murphy just throws Kalisto into a corner, then tosses him back in when he tries to escape. Kalisto can’t get out, Murphy rocks him with a right hand! Murphy stomps on Kalisto, then backs off at the ref’s count. Kalisto comes back but Murphy blocks the kick and sweeps the legs. Murphy stomps Kalisto more, then drags him up and around into an abdominal stretch. The fans chant for “Buddy Murphy!” as he grinds an elbow into Kalisto’s side.
Kalisto endures the hold while fans rally for him. He works his way out of the hold, getting up and around into a sleeper hold! Kalisto’s weight brings Murphy to his knees, but Murphy gets a second wind to power Kalisto into buckles. Murphy breaks free, then swiftly kicks Kalisto right back. Murphy catches his breath before walking over to fetch Kalisto, but Kalisto kicks him in the face! Kalisto shoulders in, then swing kicks again. Murphy staggers, Kalisto springboards for a seated senton! Kalisto keeps moving, building speed, to hit a tilt-o-whirl DDT!
Cover, TWO! Kalisto can’t believe it. Murphy crawls around, getting to ropes. Kalisto joins him on the apron, clubbing away. Murphy shoves Kalisto so Kalisto kicks back. Kalisto shouts, “Lucha House Party, baby!” but Murphy fights back. He kicks and forearms Kalisto, to then suplex him to the apron!
Even Murphy crashes and burns a bit on that one. The referee checks on them while the fans lose their minds. Murphy and Kalisto are both somehow okay to continue, and Murphy gets Kalisto into the ring. Cover, TWO, and now Murphy can’t believe it. Murphy grits his teeth as he stands up, and brings Kalisto up. He rocks Kalisto with an elbow, then another. Murphy drags Kalisto up to whip him hard into buckles. Kalisto writhes from the pain in his back, while Murphy endures the pain in his own ribs. Murphy whips Kalisto hard again, to go chest first, then runs but into the windmill kick!
Both men are down but stirring. Fans rally while Kalisto drags himself around to a corner. Murphy follows, but Kalisto elbows him away. Kalisto then kicks, hops up, jumps over, to then springboard backwards onto Murphy’s shoulders. If Kalisto wanted a reverse-rana, he doesn’t get it as Murphy makes that more like an Electric Chair drop! Murphy still rolls out of the ring, and Kalisto builds speed, to FLY!
Kalisto topples Murphy over, then gets him back in the ring. Fans actually chant “This is Awesome!” as Kalisto hits Murphy with the spike-rana! Cover, TWO! Kalisto is shocked! Murphy rolls back out again, fans continue to declare “This is Awesome!” while Kalisto stalks him. Murphy shoves Kalisto away, then monkey flips Kalisto to the announce desk!
The Lucha Dragon crash lands right on the monitors, and fans lose their minds all over again. Kalisto slumps down to the floor while the ref counts. Murphy heads for the ring while the count reaches 5. He leaves Kalisto at the count’s mercy, it reaches 8. Kalisto sprints to beat it at 9.9! Murphy can’t believe it, but he keeps on Kalisto with a right hand. Kalisto responds, and unleashes furious palm strikes! Murphy blocks the big one, lets out his strike fest, finishing with a back elbow that rocks Kalisto to a corner. Murphy runs in, but into Kalisto’s boot. Kalisto hops up, flies for headscissors, but Murphy blocks that with strength to make it a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, but Murphy flips Kalisto over for a knee trigger!
Cover, TWO!! And Murphy is truly stunned. But the fans are loving every second, giving a standing ovation even. Murphy stands back up while fans chant “205! 205!” He brings Kalisto up and then to the top rope. Murphy climbs up, but Kalisto resists as fans hope they “Fight Forever!” Kalisto fights Murphy off on the top rope, then adjusts, and sunset flips over! But Murphy holds on to deny the powerbomb! He goes to punch Kalisto, but Kalisto evades to trip Murphy up. Murphy hits buckles, Kalisto rolls him for the Listo Kick! Then the Sunset Powerbomb!!
TWO!? HOW?! Fans only know “This is Awesome!” Both men stir, Kalisto starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. They both stand, Kalisto goes for Salida but Murphy blocks. Murphy wants a backslide but Kalisto blocks. Kalisto swings a punch but Murphy uses that for the pumphandle. Murphy lifts, Kalisto flails, but Murphy’s Law STILL happens!
Cover, Murphy wins!
Winner: Murphy, by pinfall
The Best Kept Secret may not be a secret anymore. He’s gotten two huge wins, and he’s certainly impressed Nashville tonight. Is there no stopping the Aussie Action Hero’s rise towards the top of the Cruiserweight Division?
Drake Maverick speaks.
The General Manager of 205 Live and Cruiserweight Division congratulates Buddy Murphy, but that’s not why he’s here. Maverick wishes to reflect on the changes to the Division over the last few months. Cruiserweight Championship Tournament: huge success, thanks to the WWE Universe and the 16 athletes who stepped up. Maverick couldn’t be prouder of his roster, but especially Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali, who will compete for the Cruiserweight Championship as part of Wrestlemania “in front of over 70 thousand people.”
But Maverick has a message for the WWE Universe. Wherever you are on Sunday, be ready for Wrestlemania so you can feel that roller coaster ride of emotions! You’ll see Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, Daniel Bryan, but the match that everyone will talk about is Alexander VS Ali! And you can say, “I was there! I saw a new WWE Cruiserweight Champion crowned, and that was my Wrestlemania Moment!” The GM is just as pumped as anyone for this amazing match, who will win when the Heart and Soul of 205 Live collide?
205 Live takes a closer look at the Cruiserweight Championship Wrestlemania match.
It all started on January 30th, when SmackDown GM, Daniel Bryan, introduced the WWE Universe to 205 Live GM, Drake Maverick. It was Maverick’s idea to “usher in a new era” with his 16 man, single-elimination tournament that would culminate at The Grandest Stage of Them All! Cedric Alexander, who had already fought so hard to earn previous title shots, said no one has been hotter than him in the Cruiserweight Division. But Mustafa Ali said this tournament was his “opportunity to show the world” what he’s all about. Alexander would overcome Gran Metalik, TJP, and even NXT’s Roderick Strong while Ali would defeat Jack Gallagher, NXT’s Buddy Murphy and his familiar foe in Drew Gulak. It all resulted in “the best Cruiserweight competition” week in and week out.
Neither Alexander nor Ali could help be emotional when they won their semifinal matches to earn their spot on the Show of Shows. And neither man has been in a position where so much was on the line. Ali makes his PPV debut, let alone his Wrestlemania debut. Alexander dreams of adding his name to the same list as Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, those who inspired him. Alexander is the Soul, Ali is the Heart. However, souls leave the body, but Ali will always have his heart. But using your heart means not using your brain. This is man versus man, two warriors fighting for a dream they’ve both had forever, wanting the same thing and hoping to steal the show in the process. Who will be the one to win the grand prize on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
What a great episode! THIS is a Wrestlemania Go-Home! And the craziest thing about it, the advertised match didn’t even happen! That in itself was disappointing, but between Gulak’s and Andrews’ promos and the matches we go instead, it didn’t matter in the end.
The tag team match, while ending in a No Contest, was still great with the action and the story. Tozawa-Itami VS Lucha House Party has to be the match-up for the inaugural Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships after Wrestlemania, it just makes so much sense to do it. From there, WWE can add more teams to the Cruiserweight Tag Team Division, which may also include recruiting more talent in general since two teams isn’t really a division. Nese, while going up against a jobber to fill for time, was still good as always. Pierce even did a good job of being the arrogant kind of jobber thinking he could stack up against the 205 Live full-timer.
Then, the Best Kept Secret puts on quite possibly his best singles match ever, and Nashville ate it up. 205 Live finally feels like it is being properly received by live audiences, and it’s insane to think it is through Kalisto and Buddy Murphy. Before this opportunity in 205 Live, Murphy was lingering in NXT Limbo, but now he’s revitalized himself and the show with amazing performances. He may very well be a key player in the coming days, and could even find himself in the title scene already. Closing with a video package was more for the Network audience, but it was a really great package to frame the title match. Alexander’s story of coming up short and Ali’s story of inspiring change are both so strong, and that match really could go either way.
My Score: 8.5/10