The 205 Live Report Card (11/28/18): Fundamental Fun

Well, the wrestling world is now 48 hours removed from RAW horror but fear no longer, because everyone’s favorite wrestling show is here!!!! You know, the one that everyone pretends to watch?!! The one that runs for 45 minutes and features immense amounts of wildly dangerous action?!! Yep, that one. In all seriousness, I’ve never liked sharing and considering that, I’m rather excited for this week’s episode. The tag team main event promises excitement and most importantly, BUDDY MURPHY IS RASSLIN ON TV ALL HAIL.

Let’s rock and roll pal.

DISCLAIMER: this show is in many ways, designed for my distaste. Take all critiques with a grain of salt as frankly, they are almost all misplaced and many even come with a disgusting bias. On the bright side, if I enjoy this programme, it bodes very well for your own enjoyment. In that sense, it’s ideal.

Drake Maverick welcomed us and run through this week’s show. His teeth looked white.

Mike Kanellis vs. Noam Dar

Opening bout time now, and I don’t believe this match received any build but frankly, I won’t comment on that just in case it did. Either way, some silliness got us started here as Maria Kanellis joined the announce table. In-ring, Noam quickly took control, waiving at Maria until she distracted him enough for Mike to take over. He went right to work also, jumping Noam from behind and hitting a suplex on the floor too. At this point, he slowed things down and grabbed a hold as the focus shifted to Maria’s commentary.

Seeking my approval, she buried the Lucha lads but in the meantime, Dar made a comeback, flurrying big before Kanellis halted him with a spinebuster. The aforementioned masked men arrived at this juncture, with Lince and Metalik distracting the referee enough to allow a Kalisto interference. That left Dar in prime position to hit his finish for the win. Ah yes, classic babyface behavior from the lads!!!

As for the match itself, it was pretty short but even still, felt somewhat out of place. I don’t mean that as an indictment of the talent either, with it instead just being a matter of layout and setup. This came across like your standard SmackDown or RAW feud developer and while that doesn't mean it was bad, it did feel rather underwhelming for a 205 opener. I reiterate though, I genuinely don’t mean that as a criticism of the talent involved.

Grade: C-

Elsewhere, Brian Kendrick was hitting the mitts under Akira Tozawa’s tutelage, and this ruled because Akira is very funny.

Following this, we got a presidential speech from The Submission Commission as Drew expanded his vocabulary, referenced Leonardo DiCaprio and after all that, even managed to threaten Mr Kendrick too. They rassle next week which means that yes, Brian showed up and got in gear purely to hit mitts….all hail.

Hideo Itami vs. Levy Cruise

The Respect Hunting Wildman is here next, returning to take on poor Levy Cruise. Itami nailed a boot to the brain immediately, letting out a cry for respect and continuing the attack before hitting a big knee from the top too. The end came next, with Itami flurrying a little more before hitting his finish for the win. The attack continued post-match also, with Itami landing ground and pound until ARIYA DAIVARI returned to sheer shock and amazement from Nigel and Vic.

Daivari was fired up here but there’d be no heroics after all, with him instead continuing the attack on Cruise before showing respect to Itami and shaking his hand too.

TAG TITLES BABY!

Grade: ASR (All Squashes Rule)

Off backstage to Drake Maverick’s office next, as TJP asks why he’s not the number one contender before referencing Drake’s urinal problems. Maverick pointed out that TJP lost last week but The Kanellis crew soon arrived, reforming their alliance with TJP and bravely asking for a tornado tag match with the lucha men. This was booked for next week.

Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese & Buddy Murphy

Off to the main event now and before we get to the silly rasslin stuff, I must compliment Tony and Bud for their color coordination. Well done lads. Nonetheless, Cedric and Nese got us started, with Alexander taking immediate control in a tremendous exchange early. Some tandem offense soon followed, with Ali coming in and being quickly forced into the corner, allowing Murphy to jump in and eat some some offense for his troubles. Alexander’s entry encouraged Murphy to bring Nese back in too, with Cedric running wild on Tony until a blind tag allowed Buddy to cut him off.

At this point, the heat briefly commenced, with the heels controlling Alexander until he caused a misfire and brought in Ali for the hot tag. Mustafa ran wild, hitting all of his signature offense including a sit out powerbomb for 2. Buddy soon bullied his way back on top though, booting Ali to the floor with an assist from Nese. This was just one example of some delightful heel fundamentals from the lads, with Buddy reminding the world of his prior heights alongside consensus GOAT Wesley Blake. Either way, the heat was really here now, with Ali being isolated as the aforementioned heel greatness continued.

Ali had some hope spots along the way but was cut off continually, including a last second Buddy save to keep his team in control. Nonetheless, the tag came soon enough, with Ali dropping Buddy and forcing dueling tags as Cedric made a comeback on Nese. As you’d expect, this was nothing but crisp rasslin and that continued with Nese’s response, cutting Alexander off violently before another misfire allowed the babyfaces to turn the tide. This didn't go as planned though, with an attempt at the spectacular sending Buddy and Ali flying to the floor in quite terrifying fashion.

This forced Cedric to think on his feet, hitting a big dive on Nese and allowing everyone to move on. Back inside the ropes, Ali ate a knee from Buddy but after Cedric came in, he hit a tornado DDT, perfectly setting Buddy up for the Lumbar Check win. While the craziness late scared me quite a bit, this was actually just a rock solid, fundamental heavy tag match. Considering that, this was perfectly suited to my tastes and I for one very much enjoyed it. Honestly, the only thing limiting this was time, as the work was unsurprisingly impressive throughout.

Grade: B+

Final Thoughts

Prior to the main event, I got almost nothing out of this show. In fact, I’d say it’s about as unremarkable an opening as you’ll see on any 205 in recent memory but thankfully, the main event was genuinely good and that alone made this a worthwhile 43 minutes. However, it remains on the lower end of 205 Live episodes unfortunately, but I await the inevitable Alexander/Murphy rematch nonetheless. Roll on next week pal.

Grade: B-

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