The 205 Live Report Card (1/15/19): Old Time, Old Crowd

Oh hello there, it’s 2:52am. The Philadelphia 76ers have just won by 40 points and as my empty Pepsi Max can rattled in the bin, I was finally ready for bed. As I glanced over my frankly disgusting social media feed though, some news of note reached my eye. 205…actually live? What is this silliness and when did I choose to ignore this information?

Nonetheless, here I am. Pepsi Max stocks replenished and WWF Network ready, 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.

Lio Rush vs. Lince Dorado

Opening match time pal and speaking of such, I must take a moment to congratulate my hero and yours: Bobby Lashley. Very proud of that beautiful man, all hail. Lio Rush is happy too, talking about his dislike for partying while reminding us of how this conflict famously begun. To the match now but first, Lio is understandably outraged at the presence of Lince’s pals and apparently, Kalisto is too, happily leading Metalik backstage. Fair enough.

In the meantime, Rush jumped Dorado but the masked man soon fired back, flurrying with strikes and hitting a suplex for 2. A little wackiness then followed as Rush rudely slapped Lince, somehow enraging him enough to go for a quick roll-up. Wow, steady on pal. Dorado’s momentum was soon halted either way, going back-first into the ring-post before being quite comically flipped to the floor. A springboard moonsault followed from Rush too, next returning things to the ring and eventually, grabbing a hold.

Before long, Dorado created some separation, firing back before a Rush kick stopped him in his tracks. Nonetheless, Lince indeed came back regardless, flurrying big and landing a dive to the outside. Dorado stayed on top too, hitting a trio of moonsaults as well as the Golden Rewind for 2. Rush eventually evaded the oncoming Dorado though, taking advantage right away and hitting Final Hour for the win.

Well, the post-SmackDown crowd sure is back and boy was that clear here, with total silence throughout. This match was fine regardless but for whatever reason, missed the snap of Rush’s usual outings, and also lacked any real rhythm in my view. Still enjoyable due to their offense alone but as an actual match, somewhat forgettable.

Grade: C+

Post-match, Rush jumped Lince on the ramp and continued his attack, only scurrying away once Kalisto and Metalik made the save. Smart.

Off to an interview with Noam Dar next as he discussed last week’s win over Tony Nese. ‘The Premier Athlete’ cut him off though, calling Dar “lucky” and unsuccessfully attempting to talk himself into a rubber match.

Speaking of luck, Drake Maverick is greeted by the arrival of TJP. However, Maverick explains that a new superstar (all hail) has already accepted Buddy’s open challenge. In response, TJP soon walked off.

Before we head to our main event, it’s time for some short promos. These came from Kalisto (he takes lucha libre very seriously), Tozawa and Kendrick (dirty trick teachings…AAHHH) and Hideo Itami with Ariya Daivari (Hideo wants to eat gold).

They were talking about the Royal Rumble…I think? Either way, these men will rassle in a triple threat match next week. Pretty weird but I dig it pal.

Buddy Murphy vs. Humberto Carrillo

Main event time now but first, we get a brief in-ring promo as Buddy told the people to shut their mouths and politely introduced himself. He also previewed the Rumble, Murphy has steadily improved as a promo. Regardless, he then transitioned to his open challenge which was answered by…Humberto Carrillo!!!!!

Just going to be honest with you guys, no clue who this man is. All hail?

Either way, Buddy initially dominated things, overpowering Carrillo after out-grappling him early. Carrillo’s speed soon earned him some respect though, throwing the champ off with some acrobatics before being wiped out on the ramp. Now back in-ring, Buddy began to work Carrillo over, grabbing a hold and unleashing some strikes too. Carrillo fired back again in response but his inexperience continued to cost him, as Murphy evaded his big dive and continued the assault on the outside. The fight then headed to the apron, with Carrillo back body dropping Murphy hard on the apron.

That was greeted by ‘This is Boring’ chants. SAD.

Nonetheless, Carrillo continued to flurry, unleashing some flashy offense and hitting a high crossbody for 2. Now desperate, Murphy began to grab Carrillo’s foot but his plans were unsuccessful, eating a dropkick to the back of the head for another 2. A superplex looked set to follow but Buddy countered, next nailing a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall of his own. Back and forth suplex attempts then resulted in Buddy falling due to a supposed leg injury but it was of course all a ploy, using his break to bait Carrillo in before looking for Murphy’s Law.

Carrillo countered though, catching a quick roll-up and then launching Buddy to the floor, hitting a big dive before jumping into a huge knee as Buddy closed the show via Murphy’s Law.

Well, where to start with this. Upon re-watch (yep, it left me that confused), I concluded that this was far from a bad match. However, its production proved an immense hindrance in my view. 205 has enough issues as is when it comes to crowd response and in that sense, this showed a lack of understanding. Regardless of Carrillo’s talent, it was naive to run an open challenge angle only to reveal a virtual unknown. That immediately limited interest and the match layout only worsened that issue.

Buddy Murphy is marvelous but he’s not popular enough with the general WWE crowd for this set-up to work. Prime Ric Flair probably would’ve got it over huge but Buddy? No, he’s best when being awesome at wrestling. They told a story that no one cared about and in doing so, limited Murphy’s offense while barely spotlighting Carrillo’s along the way. The final stretch had some fire but for the most part, this just failed to capture me. Carrillo looks to be an asset and Buddy is wonderful but this match? A swing and a miss in my personal opinion.

It just felt out of place in the 205 environment and that’s not at all a critique that I enjoy giving.

Grade: B-

Final Thoughts

While the potential unknown element of being live is neat, this week felt like a step back for the already struggling 205 Live brand. The crowd was deader than ever before and the show itself felt flat compared to its usual high standards. Hopefully my outlook will improve next week but for now, I have to concede that this is probably the weakest 205 episode that I’ve personally covered.

Nonetheless, still hoping that eventually, we’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel. Rooting for these guys, they deserve some luck.

Grade: B-

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