NXT UK returns to sharing superstars’ favorite matches!
Superstar Picks returns! Who else from the NXT UK roster will share their favorite matches of all time? Will their favorites be some of yours?
- 3/3/97 – WWF European Championship Tournament Finals: Owen Hart VS The British Bulldog; Bulldog wins and becomes the inaugural WWE European Champion.
- 4/7/14 – WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee w/ Tamina VS Paige; Paige wins and becomes the new WWE Divas Champion.
- 11/1/19 – Dave Mastiff VS Jordan Devlin; Devlin wins.
- 6/19/18 – NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Moustache Mountain; Moustache Mountain wins and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
Andy Shepherd welcomes us back to NXT UK!
Once again, the platform is given to the superstars to share what matches and moments they enjoy watching. To start, it’s the Welsh Dragon, Eddie Dennis. Dennis wants us to understand the historical significance of a new championship being introduced in the WWE as Owen Hart took on the British Bulldog to become inaugural European Champion. They put on a match classic that became the measuring stick for both the North American and European styles. Those two men knew each other better than the back of their hands. And together, they painted a picture that even Picasso would be proud of.
3/3/97 – WWE European Championship Tournament Finals: Owen Hart VS The British Bulldog!
Tag team partners who became family now become rivals and opponents as Monday Night Raw came to Berlin, Germany! Witness history made on a global scale!
The two tie up, Bulldog gets the headlock and takeover, and has a cover. TWO as Owen seems to be taking it easy. Owen powers up and out and speeds things up, but his leg gives out! Bulldog walks over but into kicks! Was Owen faking out his own brother-in-law just to get an edge? Fans boo and Owen yanks on the leg. Owen goes to put on the Hart family Sharpshooter, but Bulldog powers out! Bulldog and Owen reset and start shoving. Bulldog drags Owen into a headlock but Owen powers out. Things speed up, BIG windmill kick takes Bulldog down! Owen shows his leg is just fine and fans boo. Owen stomps the legs then drags Bulldog up. Owen scoops for a big backbreaker! Fans rally up for Bulldog but Owen drops knees on Bulldog’s back. Owen drags Bulldog up to whip corner to corner hard! Bulldog hits buckles then the mat and Owen gloats.
Owen drags Bulldog up and scoops to slam Bulldog down, then drop a leg! Cover, TWO! Owen clamps on with a chinlock but fans rally up. Bulldog fights his way up and fights out, but Owen ducks the run and knees low with the kitchen sink! Owen drags Bulldog around and stomps him to the apron. Bulldog flops to the floor and Owen backs off to let the ring count start. Bulldog gets up at 4 and walks around the way at 5. He returns to the ring at 7, shoulders into Owen and slingshot sunset flips! TWO, and Owen LARIATS Bulldog down! Then drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Owen clamps back on and NXT UK goes to break.
NXT UK returns as Bulldog elbows free and runs, into Owen’s OVERHEAD! Cover, TWO! Owen keeps on Bulldog with a camel clutch! He cranks back on Bulldog but Bulldog endures. Fans rally and Bulldog powers up to Electric Chair lift Owen! For the DROP! Both men hurry to corners, and Bulldog runs corner to corner. Owen BOOTS Bulldog down, high stacks, and uses the ropes! TWO and Owen argues with the ref. The ref says it was two, so Owen drags Bulldog up for a neckbreaker! Owen goes up for a BIG elbow drop! Cover, TWO!! Owen keeps right on Bulldog with another chinlock. Bulldog endures and fans rally up again. Bulldog fights up and fights out again, but Owen rakes Bulldog’s eyes! Owen throws elbows and hoists Bulldog to the top rope. Owen goes up and SUPERPLEXES, but Bulldog makes it a crossbody!! Cover, TWO!! Bulldog almost gets Owen by surprise, but Owen is on him first.
Owen whips, Bulldog dodges and flying lariats! Bulldog is rallying with clotheslines and Berlin is thunderous! Bulldog suplexes Owen up high and hard! Cover, TWO! Bulldog whips Owen to the corner hard, and then scoops for a military press! Bulldog crotches Owen on the top ropes, and the ref reprimands him for that. Bulldog “apologizes” and suplexes Owen in, but Owen turns it to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Owen haymakers Bulldog to a corner and whips corner to corner. Bulldog reverses and catches Owen going up and over. Owen holds the ropes and uses Bulldog’s momentum to his advantage for an inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Owen springboard crossbodies, but Bulldog rolls through! TWO, Owen ENZIGURIS! Owen doesn’t cover, he wants to finish this with the Sharpshooter! He turns Bulldog over and Bulldog endures!
Owen sits down deep on the hold but Bulldog claws his way as the fans reach a fever pitch! Bulldog gets the ROPEBREAK! Owen lets go, thinking he won, but the ref says that was just the ropebreak. Owen whips but Bulldog reverses to scoop, but Owen slips out! Owen gut wrenches but Bulldog turns it around! Bulldog hits the POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!?! Owen survives and Bulldog is furious. But Owen gets up on him, victory roll, TWO! Bulldog sits on the cover, BULLDOG WINS!
Winner: The British Bulldog, by pinfall (INAUGURAL WWF European Champion)
Davey Boy Smith makes Europe proud by being their European Champion! He and Owen are both still WWF Tag Team Champions, so history is also made as the first champion is also a dual champion! Will we ever see a modern tag team have a match like that against each other?
Candy Floss gives her picks.
The sugary sweet superstar chose Paige VS AJ Lee, the Raw after WrestleMania 30. Candy grew up watching the Glampire in the UK, FCW and NXT. Candy got chills watching Paige walk out and challenge AJ Lee for the title on her main roster debut. Candy instantly related because of Paige being British. If Paige can accomplish her dreams, than so can Candy Floss, and so can you!
4/7/14 – WWE Divas Championship: AJ Lee w/ Tamina VS Paige!
NXT UK goes the extra mile with this match, as we get the whole segment from that Monday Night Raw after Mania! AJ Lee walked out with Tamina, feeling great after winning the 13 Woman Vickie Guerrero Invitational just the night before. This marked 295 days as champion for the tiny, bubbly bad girl. AJ goes to the ring and grabs herself a mic. “295. For 295 days, I have been your Divas Champion, the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time.” A couple months ago, AJ tore the entire roster a “Much deserved new one,” but gave them a chance. She gave them the past 295 days to prove her wrong, and they couldn’t. And then they proved AJ Lee is the hero of this story! Fans agree with that. AJ Lee VS The World has how it’s always been, just like it has been her entire life. From a poor girl in Jersey to the BEST IN THE WORLD. Fans chant “CM Punk,” and those in the know will know why.
AJ Lee is the Savior of the Divas, and she IS the Divas Division. But wait! Here comes a new face! It’s the NXT Women’s Champion, PAIGE! Paige applauds AJ Lee but fans are fired up to see Paige here. AJ Lee herself isn’t as pleased. Paige gets in the ring with a mic of her own, and hears the fans chant her name. AJ asks what the hell she’s doing here, and Paige says she’s here to do what no one else will. And that’s to congratulate her! AJ was amazing! Yes, everyone should be congratulating and thanking AJ for everything she’s done. BUT, she doesn’t need it. So just go run back to NXT, because the champion doesn’t like being interrupted. Paige apologizes, she just wanted to say congratulations. Well isn’t she a sweet little crumpet. But while Paige is here in AJ’s ring, and all dressed up to compete, maybe AJ will do to her what she did to 13 others: beat her. Paige says she’s not ready to wrestle tonight. Oh? Maybe she is. AJ SLAPS Paige right off her feet! Ready now?
Fans rally up for Paige, and AJ says ready or not, here’s a match! And it’ll even be for the title!! Let’s get a ref and do this! “Ready or not, this is MY house. I’ll tell you when you’re ready.” The referee appears, the title is on the line, and “This is Awesome!” Tamina gets out of the ring, the bell rings, and AJ CLOBBERS Paige! AJ rains down furious rights and lefts on Paige but lets up at the ref’s count with a big grin. AJ whips and runs Paige over but the fans are on Paige’s side. AJ frolics around the ring before bringing Paige back up. She mule kicks Paige, then runs, tilt-o-whirls, and puts on the Black Widow! Paige endures this version of the Iron Octopus, flails and pries free, to hit PAIGE TURNER!! Cover, PAIGE WINS!!
Winner: Paige, by pinfall (NEW WWE Divas Champion)
The 295 day reign ENDS! And for just a few hours, the 21-year-old is dual NXT Women’s and WWE Divas Champion! With a historic moment like that, how could Hollywood resist but make a movie about Paige?
The Hunt’s Primate gives his picks.
Primate pumps iron to stay strong, and says that his choice is Mastiff VS Devlin. This match came about because Devlin bragged he was the biggest star in NXT UK. Mastiff didn’t like what he was hearing, made his challenge, and we got a huge match between two of NXT UK’s best! Speed VS Strength and a lot of heart. The crowd was on their feet, and the roster was just as fired up backstage. Does Devlin back up his words? Or does Mastiff prove he was right to bet against the Ace?
11/1/19 – Dave Mastiff VS Jordan Devlin!
In the United States, this was on Halloween. For the UK, it was the first day of November. But either way, it will be a day and match remembered for The Bomber and the Irish Ace leaving it all in the ring to prove who is the biggest and baddest superstar on the brand!
Devlin attacks just seconds before the bell! He and Mastiff brawl and Mastiff makes him pay for it. Mastiff whips to the corner but Devlin slides out. Devlin grins, but Mastiff chases after. They get back in the ring and Devlin stomps, but Mastiff has his foot! Devlin SLAPS Mastiff, but Mastiff just grins. Mastiff flips Devlin then whips him to back drop him! Devlin begs Mastiff to wait, but Mastiff sees the sucker punch coming and SLAPS Devlin down first. Mastiff rains down elbows, then stomps Devlin down. Mastiff drags Devlin up and throws a big European Uppercut! Devlin ends up in a corner, but Mastiff TOSSES Devlin across the way! Mastiff runs in but Devlin boots him. Devlin hops up but Mastiff grabs him with both hands! Devlin hotshots Mastiff’s arm on the rope! Devlin hurries in to get the arm again, for another hotshot!
Mastiff shakes out the arm but Devlin is on him with a wrench. Devlin wrings Mastiff out to the mat then hits the standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Devlin keeps his cool as Mastiff works on his arm. Devlin drives elbows into Mastiff’s face then stalks him to the corner. The ref counts but Devlin laces the arm on the ropes to pull. Devlin lets up to then stomp and yank the arm. Devlin brings Mastiff out for a double knee strike! Devlin has the bad arm and stands on Mastiff’s head as he pulls! And then Devlin falls back to yank on the arm more! Fans rally up for Mastiff but Devlin stands on Mastiff’s face again. Devlin pulls on the arm and yanks the arm again! Fans boo but Devlin soaks up the heat. Devlin elbows Mastiff in the face again, and then wrenches to wring Mastiff out again. Devlin drops a leg on the arm for a short-arm scissors. Mastiff endures and fans rally up.
Mastiff throws big haymakers but Devlin just wrenches tighter! Mastiff keeps his shoulder up so it isn’t also a cover, and he fights back with more haymakers. Devlin pulls harder on the arm scissor again, but Mastiff refuses to quit. Fans rally and Mastiff works his way up and around! He has a cover, TWO, and he dead lifts to an electric chair drop! Both men are down but fans rally for “NXT! NXT!” Devlin slowly rises and gets to ropes. Devlin comes back to throw a big right! Mastiff gives it back, so Devlin hits again. They brawl back and forth, but Mastiff ROCKS Devlin! Devlin runs in, but gets caught! Mastiff holds him there, to then shift and overhead suplex! Devlin writhes now as Mastiff stands back up. Mastiff whips Devlin and runs him over with a clothesline! And drops a big senton! Cover, TWO!! Devlin survives but Mastiff won’t let up.
Mastiff slaps feeling into his bad arm and hauls Devlin up into position. Mastiff powerbomb lifts, but Devlin slips out to kick away on the left leg! Devlin has the bad arm and pulls, but Mastiff is too much to reel in! Devlin keeps trying, but Mastiff yanks him into a headbutt! Devlin headbutts back! The Irish Ace won’t be denied, but Mastiff does reverse the whip to send Devlin tumbling up and out! Mastiff and Devlin are each gasping for air, but Mastiff goes out to fetch Devlin. Mastiff fireman’s carries but Devlin gets free and on the apron. The Penalty Kick is blocked! Fireman’s carry, rolling senton on the floor! Mastiff crushes Devlin but his bad arm is still bothering him. The referee tells them to get back in and Mastiff pushes Devlin in. Devlin bails out to the apron but Mastiff is on him. Devlin hotshots the arm again! Slingshot cutter!
Devlin hurries up top, MOONSAULT! Direct hit, cover, TWO!! Mastiff survives and Devlin is furious! The fans rally up but Devlin drags Mastiff into the drop zone. Devlin climbs up again, MOONSAULT onto boots! Devlin flops all the way to the other corner, Mastiff runs, INTO THE VOID! But Devlin slumps halfway out of the ring, and then all the way to the floor! Mastiff goes out to fetch Devlin again, frustrated as he is. Mastiff drags Devlin up and in again, but Devlin stays on the apron. Mastiff meets Devlin at the corner, then hops up to bring Devlin up top, and into a fireman’s carry! Devlin fights out and PELES! Devlin uses the top rope for a SUPER DEVLINSIDE!! Cover, Devlin wins!!
Winner: Jordan Devlin, by pinfall
The Ace trumps the Bomber! And while Devlin didn’t move on to usurp the Ring General, he did become the UK’s first NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Of course, even that is in jeopardy with the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament going on in the States. Who wins that tournament to incur the wrath of Jordan Devlin?
Trent Seven makes his pick.
The Man of Moustache Mountain wants us to remember the summer of 2018. What a summer. The sun was beating down and there was a glimmer of hope that England would bring the FIFA World Cup home. But the second United Kingdom Championship Tournament was held, and British Strong Style took on The Undisputed Era in an epic Six Man Tag. But then, there was an NXT Tag Team Championship match in a sold-out Royal Albert Hall. Enjoy reliving what went down.
6/19/18 – NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Moustache Mountain!
Don’t get it twisted, this really did happen on the 19th, not the 26th. Tape delay is a hell of a thing. But either way, travel back and see how the Big Strong Boy and the Artful Dodger stepped to the reign of Roddy and O’Reilly!
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we start with Strong and Bate. The two circle, tie up, and Strong gets a headlock takedown. Bate headscissors but Strong pops out. They tie up again while fans sing for Bate. Strong gets the wristlock but Bate slips through to dropkick Strong down. Bate tags Seven, and Seven takes the hand-off. Strong backs Seven down and tags in O’Reilly. O’Reilly gives a wristlock but Seven breaks free to chop and chop. O’Reilly grabs Seven again but Seven powers out. They collide, neither man moves, and Seven dares O’Reilly to bring it. O’Reilly kicks, wrenches and shoulder breakers. He brings Seven over and tags Strong back in. They both stomp Seven, then Strong whips Seven. Seven reverses but Strong goes up, only to get a chop.
Seven lifts, tags in Bate, and then dumps Strong down for Bate to knee-flip senton onto Strong. O’Reilly comes in, but Bate catches him to dump him down. Tag to Seven, and Mustache Mountain work together to back senton Seven onto O’Reilly. Fans duel while both teams regroup. Undisputed era see Bop, and get BANG. Strong stands and gets a chop, then a European Uppercut, and repeat. Bate exits but Strong throws Seven out. O’Reilly keeps Seven in place for Strong to hit the wrecking ball dropkick! Fans boo as Strong mocks the mustache tweeze. Strong then throws Seven into the apron, then places him in the ring. Tag to O’Reilly and they stomp away on Seven. O’Reilly brings Seven up but Seven fights back.
O’Reilly drags him back down with a hammerlock, then throws in elbows and knees. He adds a running knee, then covers, TWO. O’Reilly hammers away on Seven, then swags around while mocking the mustache. Tag to Strong, and Strong drags Seven up. Strong whips while fans duel. He chops Seven, then gives a forearm. Tag to O’Reilly, and they go off with chops and kicks. O’Reilly snapmares and drops a knee, grinding it into Seven’s head. Strong likes what he sees as O’Reilly wraps Seven in a chinlock. Seven endures while fans sing for him. Seven stands up, fights out, but O’Reilly knees back. O’Reilly runs into a boot, but Strong tags in. Strong stops Seven, but Seven then kicks him away. Seven dumps Strong out but Strong drags Seven. Seven shoves Strong, but O’Reilly comes in, only to get tossed, too!
Fans fire up, and Seven crawls, but Strong returns. Seven shoves him away again, but O’Reilly takes out Bate! Strong stalks Seven, for a dropkick! Cover, TWO! Strong drags Seven back, and tags in O’Reilly. Fans continue to duel while O’Reilly throws in knees on Seven. O’Reilly swings at Bate, then goes back to Seven. Seven fakes the chop to get the DDT! Both men are down, but fans fire up. Seven and O’Reilly crawl, hot tags to Strong and Bate! Bate rallies, dodges, and back drops Strong! Bate hits a corner elbow, then exploder! He kips up, and fans applaud. Standing Shooting Star! Cover, TWO! Bate catches his breath and keeps his cool as he brings Strong up. They go for a spin! Around and around, but O’Reilly comes in. O’Reilly goes for a spin, but turns it into a sleeper! Bate backs him into buckles, then boots Strong.
Bate stalks Strong but O’Reilly clamps on again. That doesn’t stop Bate, he still deadlifts Strong, and combines to German Suplex Strong while slamming down on O’Reilly! Fans applaud Bate’s super strength while he covers, TWO! Strong crawls while Bate catches his breath. Bate heads for his corner, and tags in Seven. Mustache Mountain work together on Strong, but STrong slips out to shove them into each other. Strong hits the Olympic Slam, then tags O’Reilly. O’Reilly Penalty Kicks Seven, covers, TWO! And Undisputed Era is frustrated. Strong comes back, and together they stalk Seven. Ax, Smash- Seven dodges so the Smash goes into each other! Seven rocks O’Reilly with a right, torture rack, but O’Reilly lands on his feet. O’Reilly rocks Seven back, but Bate tags in! O’Reilly runs into the full nelson, rebound, Lariat Dragon Suplex!! Cover, but Strong barrels through Seven to break it up!
Fans are thunderous for this intense tag team opener! This is what the fusion of NXT and UK truly means! Seven and Strong stand to brawl. Strong knee smashes, but Bate EuroUppers. Bate grabs O’Reilly but O’Reilly slips under to come back with so many strikes! Bate jumps the sweep but O’Reilly knows what Bop means this time. O’Reilly hits first, but BANG still comes through! Bate runs, but into a knee. O’Reilly suplexes, brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Fans are fired up all over again but O’Reilly is furious. He tags in Strong, and Undisputed Era bring Bate up. Ax, SMASH, cover, Seven breaks in! Undisputed Era grab and toss Seven out, then go back to Bate. Tag to O’Reilly, preparing but missing Strong Elimination! Strong hits O’Reilly, Bate hits the rolling kick on Strong! Mustache Mountain tag and Bate FLIES! Bate takes Strong out, Seven gives the Seven Star Lariat to O’Reilly! Bate goes up, knee drop burning hammer!! Cover, MUSTACHE MOUNTAIN WINS!!
Winners: Mustache Mountain, Seven pinning; NEW NXT Tag Team Champions
They have done it!! Bate & Seven have dethroned the Undisputed Era from atop the tag team division, and fans chant “You Deserve It!” We know that in present time, they couldn’t hold onto the titles forever, and have struggled to capture the NXT UK Tag Team Championships. Will Seven and Bate return to this same tag team glory soon enough?
Next week: NXT UK’s Most Brilliant returns!
The retrospective continues and NXT UK takes a closer look at the incredible Triple Threat UK Women’s Championship, Kay Lee Ray VS Toni Storm VS Piper Niven! Prepare to relive TakeOver: Blackpool II!
I loved all the picks for this episode! Owen VS Bulldog was a great match and the historic significance is something you forget with everything going on in the modern era. Not even ten years removed from the Berlin Wall falling and Berlin, Germany gets to be the site of pro-wrestling history. I’m still a sucker for Paige, and getting to relive her entire debut was great, and of course I loved going back to recent matches like Devlin VS Mastiff and the incredible NXT Tag Team Championship match of Undisputed Era and Moustache Mountain. And not just because I was able to copy and paste, but because those were matches worthy of being favorites. Next week’s Most Brilliant episode sounds great, as that Women’s Triple Threat was a great part of Blackpool II. Hearing the thoughts of each woman in the lead up as well as during and after, that is great material.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (4/9/21)
205 Live nostalgia, anyone?
The Cruiserweight Division looks back before moving forward!
Now that there is ONE TRUE Cruiserweight Champion, the division moves forward. But with that, we also take a look back at some classic title matches!
- WrestleMania 34, WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- WrestleMania 35, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese; Nese wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- TakeOver 31, NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Nigel McGuiness opens the show!
“On the heels of the instant classic ladder match between Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin, welcome to 205 Live!” Tonight, we revisit some of the very best Cruiserweight title matches of all time! And not many come better than the WrestleMania 34 showdown!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!
Months before April 8th, 2018, this title had been vacated and a tournament had been put in place! Before they were #PRIMED and the (former) leader of Retribution, they were the Heart and Soul of 205 Live! The then 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, stands with the title belt to watch as theses two finalists battle it out for that very prize!
The bell rings and we begin. The fans are thunderous for them as they high-five and circle. Ali gets the waistlock but Alexander the standing switch and slam. The fans cheer for “Both These Guys!” while Ali gets up and puts on a headlock. Alexander lifts but Ali holds on. Alexander powers out, they collide, Alexander shoulders Ali down on the rebound. He wants Ali to show that heart, and they speed up. Ali headscissors Alexander and then dares Alexander to show the soul. They tie up and go against the ropes and into a corner. Neither man backs down until the referee separates them, then Ali shoves Alexander.
Alexander shoves back and dares Ali to hit him. Ali does with a chop, so Alexander responds with a kick. Alexander whips but Ali kicks him back, so Alexander rolls under and headscissors and dropkicks Ali down. Cover, TWO! Alexander puts Ali right in an armlock, but Ali works his way up and out. Ali whips but Alexander reverses, flapjack dropkick! Alexander staggers, Ali runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron to block a kick and hit a kick. Ali goes down, Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Down they both go, but Alexander is up first. He puts Ali in the ring, covers, TWO! Alexander keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Fans rally while Ali endures the squeeze.
Ali gets up and fights out of the hold, rocking Alexander with a forearm. Alexander responds with a running European Uppercut! He whips Ali corner to corner then throws him with a big back body drop. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool as he puts Ali back in the bearhug. Ali endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Ali gets up and fights back but Alexander knees low. Alexander chops Ali, then brings him up for a suplex, but Ali slips out. Alexander knees low again, then runs, but into Ali’s lariat. Ali starts to rally and chop, but Alexander reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop, and intercepts Alexander with a ROUNDHOUSE!
Alexander staggers, Ali rolls in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO! Ali brings Alexander up, but Alexander blocks and counters with a EuroUpper. Ali yanks his waistband and counters a kick with a kick! He runs, but into Alexander’s Spanish Fly! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Alexander gets up while Ali gets to a corner. Alexander runs in, but into Ali’s boot. Ali hops up, tornado DDT blocked! Alexander hangs Ali up on the ropes, then catches his breath before climbing up to join him. Fans anticipate something, and Ali resists. They brawl on the top rope, but Alexander gets the better of Ali, only for Ali to almost send Alexander tumbling down with his counter.
Ali and Alexander brawl more while trying to stand up, Ali hits Alexander with a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Even John Cena watching from the audience is stunned seeing that! Cover, TWO, and Ali can’t believe it! He shakes his head as he watches Alexander flounder about. Ali brings Alexander over to a corner but Alexander knows what that means and resists. Ali kicks Alexander, then climbs, but Alexander gets up to throw him off! Maverick and the referee check on Ali after his crash landing, but Ali is still good to go. Alexander waits as the count begins, but Ali dares Alexander to finish him. Alexander takes the bait, he puts Ali in the ring and covers, TWO!
Alexander gets frustrated, but tells Ali it’s already over. Ali shakes his head, it’s not over. Alexander kicks Ali and then stomps away in a rage! He yanks Ali up, back suplex lift but Ali slips out! Ali hits the Reverse-Rana! Alexander is dazed, and Ali gets going. Ali hops up, flying tornado DDT! Alexander lands in a drop zone! Ali goes up, and hits the 0-5-4! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Alexander survives with a foot on the ropes! Ali shouts for Alexander to stay down before he stomps him back. Ali climbs up again, 0-5-4 FLOPS as Alexander moves! Alexander scrambles to his feet while Ali drags himself back up. They run at each other, Alexander’s big back elbow rocks Ali, but he still gives another.
Alexander tells Ali “This is enough!” But clearly, it isn’t, and the third back elbow flips Ali over! Alexander lifts Ali up, for the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The Carolina Kid didn’t want to go that far, but he had no choice but to break the Heart of 205 Live. More importantly, Alexander finally proves he can win the big one! Drake Maverick personally presents the belt to Alexander, and the true celebration begins! The Age of Alexander would go on for quite a run, before running into an Aussie Juggernaut, who is featured in our next match!
Nigel McGuiness introduces the next match.
We fast forward an entire year to WM35, and Nigel was again there to see Tony Nese in his home state taking on the Australian Sensation, Buddy Murphy, in another incredible Cruiserweight kickoff to the Showcase of the Immortals!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!
The Aussie Juggernaut proved himself against some of the best in the Cruiserweight Division, from Cedric Alexander to Mustafa Ali to three opponents at the same time. And on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he went toe-to-toe with the Premier Athlete, a man who is a parallel to him in physique, a man who used to be his friend, and a man he betrayed over the greed for this title! But Nese had homefield advantage, and it came in handy!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of Body Guys!
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 pumphandle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to the TKO knee to knee trigger! 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! We know the Premier Era ended with a Triple Threat involving Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak, and the title itself would be integrated into the NXT system, eventually leading it to where it is today! As such, we relive a highlight of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship era!
Nigel McGuiness returns again for another match introduction.
The Cruiserweight title didn’t just make it to WrestleManias, it finally made it to NXT TakeOver thanks to Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
The year 2020 was certainly a mess, and the Irish Ace being isolated in the UK further complicated how this division worked. El Hijo del Fantasma won the “interim” title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, with some controversy to it, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! Swerve wanted revenge, but that is always hard to come by!
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!
Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!
Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all!
Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues. Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takedown into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists.
Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm! Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him!
Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified. Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner!
The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!!
Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes! Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!!
From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric! Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos!
Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar is worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up. Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up.
Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! And he would continue to rule over the division in this way, even to the point of having Wilde & Mendoza help at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! Will the tyrannical Emperor of Lucha always have this crown?
Nigel McGuiness returns once more to wrap up the show.
It has been a great experience on 205 Live to see some of the greatest title matches of all time. But speaking of great title matches, that makes you think of great champions. Just last night at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar proved he is a great champion by winning the Cruiserweight Championship Unification Ladder match! Relive that and both nights of TakeOver on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else! But what will see now in the future was we continue in the Era del Fantasma?
Recap episodes are always fun for looking back, but also because it’s super easy for me to cover them since it’s just copying, pasting and editing. I like the three they selected, basically giving us a look back at the last three years of the Cruiserweight Division, but it also makes us see how far 205 Live has dropped off in the WWE because Alexander, Ali and Murphy were so awesome in 205 Live. Nese is still here but more for lack of WWE/NXT not giving him more to do. Admittedly, Murphy has dropped off on RawDown, too, but at least WWE has tried with him. I almost feel like worst case scenario for Murphy is to come back and be the Aussie Juggernaut again. Escobar’s a beefy Cruiserweight, so is Murphy, let’s get something like that going again.
I am also disappointed, because it was advertised that we’d get a special look at Escobar VS Devlin, but that wasn’t there. I couldn’t have gone through the content too fast, a segment like that wouldn’t be just a few seconds long. Maybe there was another “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” moment and that information was put out without knowing what the final episode would look like. I wouldn’t mind if they gave us that segment for the aftermath NXT on Tuesday, and encored it on next week’s 205 Live, but WWE/NXT needs to get 205 Live going like how it was when Ali, Murphy and Alexander were here.
My Score: 8.1/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.9.2021
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
Now I haven’t kept close eyes on the product last few months, because personally, they weren’t grabbing my interest post Quarantine Comeback. But since my Puro Patronus Mathew Sarpraicone is having some computer issues, I guess I’m covering the first couple of these!
Let’s see how the tournament starts!
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi: Ishikawa wins via Thesz Press @9:09 – ** ½
- Suwama vs Kohei Sato: Sato wins via German Suplex Hold @10:49 – ***
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani: Otani wins via Overhand Chop @9:51 – *** ¼
- Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino: Jake wins via D4C @3:44 – **
- Zeus vs Kento Miyahara: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @18:16 – **** ¼
Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi
Doi is the least recognized name in the tournament this year, and last I was aware of his was during the closure of Wrestle-1. Most of his success has come in the tag team division, but he’s no real slouch. Interestingly, Ishikawa is the newest Gaora TV Champion, but also was tied heavily to Suwama and their Violence Giant tag team.
We see Doi come out fast trying to throw Ishikawa into the corners and take him off his base. Ishikawa towers over Doi, so Doi was underneath, literally and figuratively the entire match. As Ishikawa hit most of his signature spots, including the Mushroom Stomp from the middle rope, Doi had a moment where he locked in the Rings of Saturn; but Ishikawa is just too big.
As Doi tried to keep the pressure up, rope runs, big strikes, Murder Lariat attempts from Doi but Ishikawa stifles the surge with a Fire/Thunder Driver. They both stumble up, run the ropes a bit trading lariats and charges, Ishikawa jumps, hits a Thesz Press and manages to keep Doi down for the 3 count!
Suwama vs Kohei Sato
An early card match gives us the Triple Crown champion against one of his more recent challengers! Falling short for the Triple Crown a few months ago, Sato has a little bit to prove.
The match opens as a slugfest, Suwama gets the best of things and rides the power advantage over Sato for a long time. Sato is taller than Suwama but Suwama is more powerful and controlled the pacing. Things went to the outside and the former Violence Giant kept up to the name.
When the match came back in to the ring Suwama looks to try and finish things, goes for the Rolling Lariat, but it gets blocked. Sato starts fighting back, hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall, and then Suwama starts looking like he’s in trouble. Suwama hits the Double Chop comeback, and tries a Powerbomb, but Sato blocks it, Sato goes for a Powerbomb, but Suwama blocks it. The power struggle is tangible, but Suwama seems to be losing some of the back and forth. Sato rocks Suwama, locks in the German Suplex, and hits the German Suplex Hold.
Kohei gets on the board and avenges his loss! Depending on how the tournament shakes out, Kohei might get another shot at the title in the future.
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
The veteran Otani is putting Yuma through the paces early. He’s side stepping Dropkicks and just kicking Yuma to prove a point. Yuma tries to fire back, and then Otani continues to push off certain moves and be funny.
Yuma does manage to take advantage of his youth, but when he goes for the disrespect by attempting the Bootwash, Otani fires, lays out the younger wrestler and hits the Wash. Yuma goes to the outside, and when he turns back to the ring, Otani charges and hits a running Bootwash straight to Yuma’s face.
As Otani takes the role of the cagey veteran punishing the Young Boy, Yuma tries to find ways to come back, but things Otani stays a little ahead of the younger wrestler. Yuma gets a close moment where he locks in End Game, but Otani fights to the ropes. Otani then backs the younger wrestler down, hits Dragon Suplex, then goes for another, but Yuma blocks. Otani counters the block with a lariat, then another Dragon Suplex but Yuma kicks out at 1! Refusing to stay down, Otani goes into his bag of tricks and hits Yuma twice with Hashimoto style Overhand Chops, to finally keep the younger man down.
Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino
So there is some fun history between these two when Ashino brought Enfantes Terrible over to AJPW and took JIN down a peg. But then recently, Jake stole the Enfantes members from Ashino and betrayed JIN. Ashino is looking to avenge the turnabout, but Jake is trying to craft his Carnival masterpiece.
Jake definitely has the swagger of an anime villain. He widens his arms like he’s conducting a symphony and moves slowly yet deliberately. Ashino starts quick, hitting a Drop Toe Hold and going to the ground game, but Jake stabilizes. Ashino again brings Jake down after successive German Suplexes and goes for the Ankle Lock! Jake has trouble navigating it for a while, but eventually finds the ropes.
Retreating to the corner, Jake sees the referee, Ashino charges, Jake uses the referee shield and starts taking advantage. A few direct blows to the head, Giant Killing to the back of the head, followed by D4C. Jake drags the referee back, picks up the win and leaves cackling. He’s limping heavily, selling the viciousness of the Ankle Lock even in a short match, but yeah, not what I expected.
The match was used to help build Jake’s new persona and possibly give Ashino a steeper mountain to climb. But the length and abrupt end was definitely not expected. Interesting, but also a little off putting.
Zeus vs Kento Miyahara
Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.
The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.
Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!
Overall Score: 7.25/10
Now this wasn’t a bad start to things! Sure the Ashino/Jake Lee match did not go the way I expected, it definitely told enough of a story to prove it’s going somewhere. Shinjiro Otani gets a solid start to things, Shuji Ishikawa won a match he was supposed to and Zeus/Kento ended up being a solid day 1 main event.
Kento has started on the back foot before. I guess we get to see if he wins out until the Final Day, or if he has a larger struggle. Let’s check out the Day 1 Standings!
- Zeus: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Suwama: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Koji Doi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
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