Celebrate the holidays with a Cruiserweight rewind!
205 Live made it to three years old, and is still the fastest hour in the WWE! But now, we take a look back and remember some of this year’s best moments! What favorite moments of yours made the highlight reel?
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Tom Philips and Aiden English welcome you to this special edition!
As part of a two episode retrospective, 205 Live will give us the Top 8 for 2019! An exciting year for the Cruiserweight Division started in January with the Royal Rumble’s Fatal 4 Way for the title! It was Buddy Murphy at the time defending against Kalisto, Akira Tozawa AND Hideo Itami!
Number 8 – Royal Rumble Kickoff Show: WWE Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4 Way: Buddy Murphy VS Kalisto VS Akira Tozawa VS Hideo Itami!
The four men approach carefully, but Itami bails out. Murphy most of all wants Itami to get in this fight, but Tozawa rolls him up! Kalisto rolls TOzawa, but Murphy rolls Kalisto. Tozawa rolls Murphy again, ONE! Murphy pushes Tozawa to a corner, then back drops Kalisto. Kalisto sunset flips but Murphy breaks free to put him i a corner. Tozawa tilt-o-whirls to an Octpus Stretch! But Murphy powers out to a backbreaker! Kalisto CHOPS Murphy, then acrobatically springboards but his headscissor is blocked! Murphy goes to bomb but Kalisto slips out to headscissor Murphy this time! Kalisto runs into Tozawa’s kick, then Tozawa runs to step stool off Kalisto to dropkick Murphy. Tozawa fetches Murphy but Murphy sends him into barriers! Murphy catches Kalisto’s leap into a suplex!
Itami slithers into the ring to stand alone, and he soaks up the heat from the Phoenix fans. Murphy sees Itami and finally these two meet 1v1. Itami forearms fast then snapmares and kicks. But Murphy stands to snapmare and kick Itami back. Itami snapmares and kicks then SLAPS Murphy. Now it’s a slap fight! Itami lights Murphy up into a corner then stomps a mudhole into him. Itami wants everyone to respect him, but fans boo instead. Tozawa returns but gets a boot. Kalisto returns but gets a kick. Itami goes to suplex Kalisto but Kalisto resists. Itami climbs up to get leverage but Murhpy takes Kalisto away with a bomb lift. Tozawa rusn in a DIVES to blast Murphy and Kalisto into barriers!
Itami again stands alone, so he has his pick of them all. He stomps Kalisto and puts him in, then puts Tozawa in. Itami stomps both then covers Kalisto, TWO! He goes to Tozawa for a cover, TWO! Itami keeps on Tozawa with haymakers and more stomps. He also stomps Kalisto but Murphy returns to go after Itami. Murphy whips but Itaim reverses and sends Murphy out. Kalisto kicks Itami back, but then monkey flips Tozawa onto Murphy! Kalisto kicks Itami away, then springboards to seated senton! He keeps moving, Mexico City Twister! Kalisto rams a shoulder in, rolling Death Valley! Cover, TWO! This match has been so fast but Kalisto slows down long enough to rally the fans. Fans echo “Lucha! Lucha!” but Murphy grabs Kalisto. Kalisto fights back with forearms, Salida del Sol turns into a long dart!
Tozawa leaps at Murphy with a shouting missile dropkick! Tozawa kicks, swings, slides under and saido suplexes! Shining wizard! Cover, TWO! Tozawa keeps his cool as he drags Murphy to a drop zone. Fans echo “AH! AH!” as Tozawa climbs. But Itami intercepts with a fireman’s carry! Itami pops Tozawa up but Tozawa makes it a huricanrana. Tozawa builds speed and DIVES! The Tozawa Torpedo hits Itami! Kalisto runs at Murphy but is TOSSED onto Itami and Tozawa! Murphy sees his challengers all lined up, and so he FLIES onto them all! Strike from the Juggernaut! Phoenix loves this as Murphy puts Kalisto in the ring. Murphy catches his breath while he returns, but he gets a SPIKE-RANA in the ropes! Kalisto covers, TWO!! Murphy lives and Kalisto can’t believe it!
Kalisto sees he’s the only one up and decides to climb. Fans fire up with him, but Tozawa grabs Kalisto’s leg. Kalisto elbows Tozawa away but Itami gets Kalisto. Kalisto elbows him away but MUrphy tucks him in for a cheeky SUPERKICK! Murphy hits a sit-out bomb on Kalisto! But Tozawa breaks the cover! Tozawa grits his teeth as he drags Murphy up for CHOPS! Murphy pushes Tozawa away but walks into a boot. Tozawa climbs and leaps, crossbody but Murphy rolls through! Murphy pops Tozawa up, but gets a REVERSE-RANA! Cover but Itami shoves Tozawa. Cover but Kalisto rolls Itami, TWO! SALIDA DEL SOL!! Cover, TWO!! All four men are down but fans are firing up for this kickoff show closer!
The fans rally up as the four men stand. they start brawling, Murphy and Tozawa hitting while Itami has Kalisto. Itami and Murphy stay standing and go after each other! Itami hits a strike fest but misses the back hand to get a knee. Kalisto enziguris at Murphy but it hits Itami! Murphy boots at Tozawa but Tozawa sends it into Itami! DOUBLE SUPERKICK on Murphy! Tozawa has Kalisto but standing switch to Liost Kick! Kalisto runs, but misses, rolling roundhouse from Tozawa! Murphy strike fest lights up Tozawa but Tozawa fakes the chop to get the jab! Tozawa runs into the knee trigger! Kalisto springboards INTO a knee trigger! But both Tozawa and Kalisto roll away. Itami dodges to fireman’s carry, but Murphy denies Itami, only to get a back hand! Murphy denies Sakura Knee to knee trigger, then AUSSIE GOYE! Pump handle, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, Murphy wins!!
Winner: Buddy Murphy, by pinfall; still WWE Cruiserweight Champion
Unstoppable is truly unstoppable! Murphy overcomes the odds to retain his title!
The Best Kept Secret was out, and he would keep the Cruiserweight Championship to defend it against Tozawa in 1v1 action at The Elimination Chamber PPV.
Number 7 – Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Akira Tozawa!
Tozawa and Murphy circle and tie up. Murphy gets the wrist and wrenches, then brings Tozawa to a knee. Tozawa gets up and flips through to reverse the wrench. Murphy rolls and handsprings to reverse back, and he yanks the arm over and over. Tozawa spins through and CHOPS! But Murphy just shrugs it off. Tozawa CHOPS, but Murphy puts him in a corner. Tozawa dodges and CHOPS but Murphy tosses him out. Murphy follows but gets another CHOP! Murphy swings but Tozawa dodges, Murphy hits the post with his hand! Tozawa CHOPS and puts Murphy back in. Tozawa runs but into a flapjack!
Murphy clutches the bad hand but runs into a huricanrana! Murphy bails out and Tozawa baseball slides him back. Tozawa builds speed, and DIVES! But is caught into a suplex! Murphy shows off his strength as he brings Tozawa crashing down. The ring count begins and Murphy leaves Tozawa behind. Tozawa crawls up at 6 but flounders. He springs back up to get in at 9! Murphy grits his teeth as he drives a knee into Tozawa’s back. Murphy stands Tozawa up but Tozawa gives chops! They still do nothing, but Murphy’s one CHOP takes Tozawa off his feet!
Meanwhile, Kayla interviews the New Day in hopes of talking to Kofi Kingston before tonight’s WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match. Murphy rocks Tozawa with a right while Xavier Woods and Big E explain Kofi can’t talk right now. Kofi is getting a maple syrup massage from Mr. Bootysworth. Murphy chokes Tozawa on the ropes but backs of at 4. Tozawa gets in the corner, but Murphy goes right at him. Tozawa elbows Murphy away but then he’s yanked off the top! But Tozawa tilt-o-whirls to an Octopus Stretch! Murphy powers out for a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Murphy tries again, ONE! Murphy keeps on Tozawa with a chinlock.
Fans rally as Murphy drives his knees in. Tozawa feeds off the energy and gets up, but Murphy shifts to a standing abdominal stretch! Tozawa endures again, and manages to pop out! They go around but Murphy gets the stretch back on Tozawa. Murphy blocks the hip toss but so does Tozawa. Tozawa hip tosses Murphy out of the ring! Tozawa catches his breath, and SUPERKICKS Murphy as he runs back in! Murphy and Tozawa crawl to opposite corners as fans rally up. Tozawa runs in but Murphy puts him on the apron. Tozawa kicks Murphy back then climbs up quick. Big missile dropkick! Tozawa runs in for a helluva kick in the corner! Murphy staggers and Tozawa takes aim.
Tozawa kicks, spins, slides, but is caught! Murphy lifts but Tozawa slips out, Tozawa gets the saido suplex! Tozawa hits a Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Murphy lives but Tozawa knew he was tough. Tozawa drags Murphy to a drop zone and climbs up top again. Fans fire up, Tozawa aims, but he has to leap over Murphy. Murphy boots Tozawa away, but then Tozawa boots back! Tozawa climbs up to join Murphy on the top rope, but Murphy fights back. Murphy headbutts Tozawa away but Tozawa comes right back! Murphy lifts, but Tozawa still SUPER STEINERS!! Cover, TWO!! Houston and Tozawa are shocked that Murphy survives! But the fans do know “This is Awesome!” as Murphy and Tozawa stir.
Tozawa stands and stalks Murphy. Murphy tosses Tozawa to the apron but Tozawa climbs up again. Tozawa leaps, crossbody, but Murphy rolls through! Murphy pops Tozawa up but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa leaps but into a jaw jacker, knee trigger, and suplex! Cover, TWO!! The Stamina Monster lives and fans are fired up all over again! Murphy eggs Tozawa on but Tozawa only gets angry. Murphy throws haymakers, but Tozawa laughs!? Tozawa chops and Murphy finally feels it. Murphy sees through the feint, starts a strike fest, but Tozawa still gets the JAB! Tozawa waistlocks but Murphy elbows out, only to get clobbered by a clothesline! Deadlift German! Bridging cover, TWO!! Fans rally with “AH! AH!” alongside Tozawa.
Tozawa puts Murphy in the drop zone again and climbs. Murphy anchors the foot but Tozawa stomps away with the other. Tozawa finishes climbing but Murphy tucks him in! But the superkick is denied! Tozawa hops back for the Reverse-Rana! Murphy flounders out and Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! The Tozawa Torpedo hits! But he keeps going, for a SECOND DIVE! Tozawa drags Murphy in and to the drop zone. He climbs up and aims, but Murphy gets to the apron. Tozawa kicks Murphy, GUILLOTINE SENTON!! Cover, TWO!? Murphy survives?! Tozawa fires up with more “AH! AH!” and Houston echoes it. Tozawa drags Murphy up for slapping palm strikes and a mule kick. He runs, but into Murphy’s KNEE TRIGGER! MURPHY’S- Wheelbarrow! TWO, tilt-o-whirl to the Octopus! Tozawa has the Iron Octopus! Murphy endures, powers up, and pops Tozawa out to Murphy’s Law! Cover, Murphy wins!
Winner: Buddy Murphy, by pinfall; still WWE Cruiserweight Champion
The unstoppable remains unstoppable and remains the champion! Is it inevitable that the Juggernaut becomes THE greatest Cruiserweight of all time?
Buddy Murphy was an incredible champion, but it all reached a new level when he and former friend, Tony Nese, went head to head at WrestleMania 35!
Number 6 – WrestleMania 35 Kickoff Show, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!
Murphy runs right at Nese but Nese dodges the knee trigger! Nese fires off furious hands then counter punches. Murphy boots then goes up and over, but Nese keeps up to trip him up! New York fires up with their hometown kid, but Murphy dodges the triangle moonsault. Nese lands on his feet to slingshot and somersault to rock Murphy with a left! Nese puts Murphy in but has to push Murphy away on the top rope. Murphy comes right back but Nese resists the fireman’s carry. Nese fights back but still gets a gut buster drop on the buckles! Murphy checks his teeth while we go picture in picture.
Murphy stomps a mudhole into Nese but backs off at 4. Nese staggers up but Murphy is on him with a snapmare. Murphy swiftly kicks then covers, TWO! Murphy wraps Nese up in a chinlock but Nese endures. New York rallies behind Nese as Murphy shifts to a stretch. Murphy drives his elbow in again and again then wraps the chinlock back on. Nese fights his way up, we return to single picture as Murphy wrangles him back down. Murphy cranks Nese’s neck and leans his weight on him. Murphy’s eye is bloody but he ignores it while holding Nese down. Nese powers up and bumps Murphy off buckles. Murphy holds on but Nese bumps him again. Murphy is still caught so Nese tries again, but Murphy uses that to throw Nese into buckles. Nese staggers into Murphy’s grip, tornado DDT denied with a snap suplex into the buckles!
Murphy is down and Nese crawls to the opposite corner. Both men stand slowly, but Murphy walks into Nese’s elbow. Murphy comes back again but gets a haymaker! Nese rocks Murphy again, then again! Nese counter punches and snapmares to a facebuster. He runs, hits a knee lift and a heel kick! Murphy flounders to a corner while Nese nips up and fires up! New York fires up with him as he runs in for a big back elbow. Nese keeps moving but Murphy throws him to the apron. Murphy turns around to counter and rock Nese, then climbs up for a suplex chance. Nese sweeps the legs and rocks him with a roundhouse, DRAPING triangle moonsault! Cover, TWO! Murphy survives, but Nese keeps his cool.
Nese drags Murphy up for a whip but Murphy holds the ropes. Nese tries again but Murphy holds on. So Nese mule kicks Murphy into a whip. Murphy reverses but Nese slips under, pump handle but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Nese away! He hops up but Nese SHORYUKEN! Nese climbs up to join a dazed Murphy, but Murphy resists a superplex. Murphy bumps Nese on a buckle, then sunset flips over. Nese denies the powerbomb but gets the SUPERKICK! Murphy brings Nese out, AK-DDT! Cover, TWO! Nese survives but Murphy keeps his focus. Murphy drags Nese up by his hair and prepares the pump handle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to a TKO knee to AUSSIE GOYE! Murphy suplexes but Nese slips out and shoves. Nese hits a REVERSE-RANA! Both men are down and New York cheers for this kickoff to the kickoff!
Nese and Murphy get to opposite corners. Both men slowly stand as fans rally up. Nese and Murphy bob ‘n’ weave but Murphy gets his strike fest. Nese dodges the knee and goes Matrix to mule kick! Knee lift and roundhouse but Murphy jumps the sweep for buzzsaw, mule kick, but runs into Nese’s left forearm! Nese runs but fakes Murphy out for an elbow. Murphy rebounds to LARIAT Nese off his feet! Murphy keeps going, but Nese back drops, to a Vertabreaker! Cover, TWO!! Nese cannot believe Murphy survives! Murphy crawls to a corner but Nese pursues. Nese runs side to side but Murphy bails out, so Nese FLIES! The flop takes Murphy out and New York fires up as Nese puts Murphy in. Nese climbs up high, 450 splash! Cover, TWO!! Murphy survives again and Nese is beside himself.
Murphy gets back to a corner and Nese brings down the knee pad. But Murphy grabs Nese’s leg, so Nese stomps a mudhole into him. Nese runs but into a KNEE TRIGGER! Murphy pump handles, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Nese still lives!! Murphy is shocked but then he gets an idea. Nese is in the corner, and Murphy brings down his knee pad. Murphy runs side to side, but Nese SUPERKICKS him! German Suplex into buckles! PREMIER KNEE!! Cover, NESE WINS!!
Winner: Tony Nese, by pinfall; NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion
The unstoppable HAS been stopped! The Premier Athlete was the Juggernaut’s Kryptonite, and now he is the new champion!
Nese took the title from Murphy and would have a solid run of his own. But 205 Live isn’t just about the title, there is also pride. The Stamina Monster, Akira Tozawa, and the Opportunist of Love, Mike Kanellis, fought for pride and glory in a No Disqualifications grudge match!
Number 5 – 205 Live 5/7/19, No Disqualifications: Akira Tozawa VS Mike Kanellis!
No THE Brian Kendrick, no Maria Kanellis, and no rules to hold them back! Will The Stamina Monster survive the Opportunist of Love? Or will Mike finally prove to Drake, to the fans and to himself that he can win on his own?
The bell rings and Tozawa goes right at Kanellis! He fires off clubbing fists and doesn’t have to stop! Kanellis falls over but Tozawa goes after him with stomps. Tozawa whips Kanellis but Kanellis holds the ropes. Tozawa clotheslines Kanellis out then pursues him! He clubs Kanellis to the ramp and fans fire up. Tozawa throws Kanellis into the LED boards then stomps him on the stage .He headlocks and brings Kanellis back down the ramp. Kanellis fights back and throws big haymakers. Kanellis drags Tozawa up to whip him, but Tozawa stops himself at the apron. Tozawa elbows Kanellis back then runs to tilt-o-whirl into the Iron Octopus! But submissions don’t matter out here because this isn’t Falls Count Anywhere. Kanellis powers out to sidewalk slam Tozawa on the ramp!
The referee checks on Tozawa but Tozawa is somehow okay. Kanellis leaves Tozawa behind to fetch a chair! Kanellis puts chairs in the ring, and even drags out a table! Fans like to see that as Kanellis drags it around the way. Kanellis fetches Tozawa to rain down rights before setting the table up. Then he drags Tozawa up, but Tozawa fights back. Kanellis knees low then scoop slams Tozawa on the floor. Kanellis fires himself up as he fetches a second table! Fans are really liking where this is going as he brings it over to join the first. Kanellis sets the tables up side-by-side. The referee can only shout they get back in the ring as Kanellis drags Tozawa up again. Tozawa fights back but Kanellis rocks him with a right. Kanellis puts Tozawa in the ring and stomps him out.
Kanellis moves the chairs out of the way for now before he runs. Tozawa gets Kanellis with a huricanrana! Kanellis bails out and Tozawa builds speed to DIVE! Into a SUPERKICK! The Tozawa Torpedo has been intercepted! Kanellis fires up but fans boo as he drags Tozawa back up. Kanellis drags Tozawa into the ring and covers, TWO! Tozawa lives but Kanellis keeps his cool. Kanellis drags Tozawa up and suplexes high and hard. Kanellis gives Tozawa another hard suplex, and Tozawa writhes in back pain. Fans rally for Tozawa but also want Kanellis to use those tables. Kanellis sets up the chairs he brought in first. Kanellis grins as he drags Tozawa back up. He goes for another suplex but Tozawa resists! Tozawa turns it around but now Kanellis has to fight off the suplex.
Kanellis switches, Tozawa switches, Kanellis blocks, Tozawa blocks. They go around more, but it’s Tozawa who suplexes Kanellis onto the chairs! Fans rally with “AH! AH!” while Tozawa takes aim at Kanellis. Tozawa hits the Shining Wizard! Kanellis bails out but Tozawa pursues, to throw Kanellis over the announce desk! Tozawa won’t let up, as he brings a trash can out from under the ring! Tozawa drags Kanellis up and throws forearms. He mule kicks then puts the can on Kanellis. Tozawa gets back in and builds speed, to DIVE at Kanellis! The Tozawa Torpedo hits the trash can for a double-edged attack! But Tozawa drags Kanellis out of the trash can and into the ring. Tozawa climbs up high and takes aim, to missile dropkick Kanellis down! Cover, TWO!
Kanellis survives but Tozawa goes back for the can. Tozawa tosses it in and sets it down in the middle of the ring. He drags Kanellis up despite Kanellis holding the ropes. But No DQ means no ropebreaks, so Tozawa waistlocks Kanellis. Kanellis resists and gets a standing switch. But now Tozawa resists and elbows Kanellis off him. Kanellis scoops Tozawa to a fireman’s carry, but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa kicks, spins, slides under, but Kanellis gets Tozawa for a Death Valley Bomb on the trash can! Cover, TWO!! Tozawa still lives and Kanellis can’t believe it! Louisville rallies up as both men slowly stand. Kanellis is up first and he CHOPS Tozawa. Tozawa CHOPS back, so Kanellis comes back with another CHOP! They continue to trade CHOPS, and Tozawa only seems to fire up. Tozawa fakes Kanellis out for the JAB!
Kanellis wobbles and Tozawa runs, but into a boot! Kanellis runs but into Tozawa’s boot. SUPERKICK! SPINNING ROUNDHOUSE! Tozawa blocks the next superkick and the clothesline to get Kanellis in a German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Kanellis escapes and Tozawa is exhausted. Tozawa finds energy to drag Kanellis to a drop zone. Tozawa climbs up top but Kanellis intercepts him with an uppercut! Kanellis crawls to join Tozawa on the apron. They both stand up and brawl on the edge. Kanellis boots but then Tozawa boots. Tozawa waistlocks and gives Kanellis a German on the apron! Kanellis crumples to the floor, safe from pinfalls. Louisville knows “This is Awesome!” but now they’ll get what they’ve wanted! Tozawa puts Kanellis on the tables!
Tozawa hurries to the top rope and takes aim. But Kanellis saves himself by rolling off. Tozawa hops down and goes after Kanellis, but he gets a SUPERKICK! Kanellis puts Tozawa on the table now, then hobbles to the corner. Kanellis drags himself up top, but Tozawa uppercuts him back! Tozawa climbs and fans anticipate what’s about to happen! Kanellis does, too, and fights for his life. Kanellis adjusts and gets Tozawa in a fireman’s carry! He stands, but Tozawa turns it into a SUPER STEINER, through the tables!! Louisville loses its mind over the carnage!
Tozawa drags Kanellis from the wreckage and puts him back inside. Tozawa has a chair and he sets it on Kanellis’ chest. He buries Kanellis with more chairs, then climbs back up. Tozawa leaps for a SUPER SENTON CHAIR SANDWICH!! Cover, Tozawa wins!!
Winner: Akira Tozawa, by pinfall
These two went to extremes just to settle the score! And in the end, the Stamina Monster wins!
English and Philips both commend Tozawa and Kanellis for going to such daring levels that of course inflicted such damage upon themselves and each other. But these are just the first four of eight! Which matches and superstars made the Top 4 of 2019?
So I just got through an hour of programming in under 20 minutes. I suppose it helps when this episode and therefore this article were copy-pasted pieces from the previous 50 weeks of programming. I do love that this is where they went with it as opposed to a good portion of the hour being just talking about it. This helps fans who weren’t paying attention earlier in the year see what they were missing. Even for a fan that was watching since day one, this makes for a good hour to relive these moments. But overall, I don’t think this episode will make much of a splash in the ratings.
I do like that this bottom half of the Top 8 featured guys who were certainly more the upper midcard of the Cruiserweight Division in 2019, even though Nese made it to the championship. Murphy is growing in stature on Raw, but it was good to have him be in three of the Top 8 since he really was a cornerstone for the division and the title during his run. I therefore would hope the top half feature the even bigger names. We need Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, more Murphy since he faced those two guys regularly, and I think even Humberto Carrillo could eek in at Number 4 with his match against Murphy.
My Score: 7.9/10