205 Live – January 30, 2018: Hail the Big Potato

205 Live
Date: January 30, 2018
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness

It’s a big week around here as we have the first ever General Manager being announced. In addition to that though, we also have the next step in the Cruiserweight Title situation as the title was vacated due to Enzo Amore being released from the company. That sounds like a tournament and that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s Daniel Bryan to open things up with the big announcement. He’s not alone though as he’s flanked by TNA’s Rockstar Spud. Bryan mentions the Cruiserweight Classic before talking about the new General Manager. Under his leadership, this show will be giving us the kind of action that the fans want.

Spud is officially named Drake Maverick (with Vic mentioning the Rockstar Spud name) and Bryan leaves him to make his initial speech. Drake has dedicated his entire career to get here and he’s proud to be here in WWE. As for the title, there will be a sixteen man elimination tournament to crown a new champion with the finals taking place at Wrestlemania. That tournament starts TONIGHT with Gran Metalik vs. Cedric Alexander and Tyler Bate (making his 205 Live debut) vs. TJP.

I like the pick. Maverick had some good intensity and sold the promo very well. We solve both problems in one move and hopefully have some structure to the show going forward. It also helps that he can wrestle down the line if need be and it’s not like it would be a stretch to have him against the other cruiserweights. This works well all things considered.

Cruiserweight Title Tournament First Round: Cedric Alexander vs. Gran Metalik

Before the match, Cedric says he’s ready to win. In the back, Maverick tells Metalik to show him something. Cedric grabs the arm to start but Metalik flips away. A headscissors goes nowhere with Alexander waving a finger no. Instead he sends Metalik over the ropes, only to charge into a kick to the head. Metalik adds a top rope dropkick but Alexander is right back up with a top rope clothesline and a flip dive to the floor.

Back in and we hit the chinlock on Metalik for a bit before Alexander charges into a superkick. Metalik sends him outside for a running flip dive, drawing a rare 205 chant. They trade some shots to the head until Metalik gets two off a standing C4. Metalik catches him on top though and mostly hits a springboard hurricanrana for two of his own. The Lumbar Check is reversed into a DDT (sweet counter) for two but the moonsault hits boots. Cedric grabs the Lumbar Check for the pin at 9:25.

Rating: B. I’d be surprised if Alexander didn’t either win the tournament or lose in the finals as he was at worst a heavy favorite to take the title from Amore. He’s been around for a long time now and has one of the most successful finishers around the division. Now go somewhere with him. Metalik continues to be a solid hand as well, which should do him a lot of good.

Video on Tyler Bate, most of which I believe has aired on NXT before.

Jack Gallagher thinks he should be in the tournament finals.

Drew Gulak presents Maverick with some flowers in the hopes that he’ll support law and order.

Mustafa Ali lost a big match last week but he heard the fans cheering him on. He’s ready to get back to it though and earn the Cruiserweight Title.

TJP insists on being referred to as the first ever Cruiserweight Champion and reminds us that he won the Cruiserweight Classic. Maverick comes in and says that was a long time ago. He’d like to know which TJP is going to show up tonight. Will it be TJP the champion or the TJP who whines when he doesn’t get his way?

Akira Tozawa wanted to be GM but he’ll settle for winning the title again at Wrestlemania.

Cruiserweight Title Tournament First Round: TJP vs. Tyler Bate

As you might expect, the fans are behind Bate. They fight over the arm to start until spins into a headscissors for two with a dab thrown in for good measure. Bate reverses into a headscissors and even a nip up can’t get TJP out of trouble. We actually get some dueling chants, albeit with the LET’S GO TYLER side easily dominating. Bate tries to roll him into another hold but gets caught something like a surfboard. He reverses into one of his own though and even stands up to rock TJP back and forth for a painful looking visual.

With the hold not getting him anywhere, Bate sends him outside for a suicide dive, which doesn’t get the biggest reaction in the world. Back in and some choking in the corner gets TJP out of trouble, followed by a belly to back suplex for two. We hit a double underhook crank on Bate so he powers TJP into the corner for the break. As usual, there’s no substitute for straight power.

Bate charges into the corner though and TJP jumps up for a half crab with the two of them in the ropes. That’s a new one. Nigel gets in a great stat as he mentions Bate being born the year TJP had his first match. Back up and Bate hits a running big boot to the face to knock TJP’s head off. A delayed German suplex gets two and TJP looks rocked. Some kicks to the leg stagger Bate but he tosses TJP with another suplex.

A standing shooting star gets two but TJP goes back to the knee to take Bate down again. Bate misses his rebound clothesline and it’s off to the kneebar. As usual though (as in what happens nearly EVERY SINGLE TIME), the first attempt is broken up without much effort. A hard clothesline drops TJP for two but Bate is feeling the knee injury. He’s still able to do the airplane spin (which I actually thought was playing at double speed) and TJP is all dizzified.

The Tyler Driver 97 doesn’t work though and it’s back to the kneebar. This one is reversed into a rollup, followed by that hard left hand to TJP’s jaw. Spiral Tap misses though and it’s the third kneebar to have Bate in real trouble. Somehow he makes the ropes AGAIN so let’s try the Tyler Driver again. This time TJP grabs the ropes and reverses into a rollup with a handful of trunks to win at 14:33.

Rating: B. They were starting to roll here with the leg injury being perfectly fine. I still can’t emphasize enough how impressive Bate is for someone his age. His power stuff is awesome and the athleticism is impressive, especially for someone with as plain of a look as he has. Give him some more experience and time to learn and he could be a very solid player. TJP winning is a bit of a surprise but maybe they’re dropping the whole whining thing and just letting him do what worked before.

Next week in first round matches: Kalisto vs. Lince Dorado and Hideo Itami vs. the debuting Roderick Strong.

Overall Rating: A-. What more can you ask for? No Enzo, the top issue is addressed, we have two very good matches and an energetic debut, plus two more tournament matches being announced in advance. It’s almost like they’re trying around here all of a sudden and that’s not something you get on this show very often. Excellent show here and one of the best 205 Live has ever done.

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7 comments

  1. Killjoy says:

    I loved the concessionary style promo Mustafa Ali did. If WWE wants to do something “cutting edge” and “different”, there you go. Save the stupid graphics and selfies for amateur Youtubers.

    [Reply]

  2. Stormy says:

    I felt this was the absolute best idea for the Cruiserweights. They just booked their entire television show from now until WrestleMania with the tournament. With 16 people in it we get a couple debuts or 1-offs like Bate and Roddy, and with the show only being half an hour keeps the interest. I know absolutely nothing of Rockstar Spud but he was good in this role.

    I think 30 minutes is a perfect time for them. Once Mixed Match Challenge is over I’d love to see them keep this at 30 minutes instead of going back to 60. If they want 3 hours of programming Tuesday night either do another show (Womens? MMC2?) or bring back a post-show show like talking smack or something else.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Actually only the first episode following Mixed Match Challenge ws 30. This and lasts week’s were both about 48.

    [Reply]

    Stormy Reply:

    Really? Then that’s even more impressive as the episode seemingly flew by and watching it live I could have sworn it was around 30. I can’t recall the last time a 205 live went that fast. Hell I don’t think it ever did.

    [Reply]

  3. IC says:

    Solid review as usual.
    This Drake Maverick thing (much better name than Spud) seems a little fishy.
    Why does the GM also have to be under 205?
    Can he still go in the ring or no?
    If so, it feels like he will transition from GM to active member and join the tournament.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Much appreciated.

    Why fishy?

    I don’t think he has to be under 205. He just happens to be. Yeah he can still go as he’s only 35. There’s a good chance he’ll get in the ring eventually.

    [Reply]

  4. wwefan says:

    Actually Tyler Bate makes his 205 Live debut on Nov 7, 2017 where he loses to Enzo Amore.

    1) Akira Tozawa
    2) Ariya Daivari
    3) Cedric Alexander
    4) Drew Gulak
    5) Gentleman Jack Gallagher
    6) Gran Metalik
    7) Hideo Itami
    8) Kalisto
    9) Lince Dorado
    10) Mustafa Ali
    11) TJP
    12) Tony Nese
    13) Tyler Bate
    14) Roderick Strong

    Neville walks out, Noam Dar and The Brian Kendrick are injured, Rich Swann is suspended. Which other 2 persons gonna use to make up the number in 16 men tournament.

    [Reply]

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