With Enzo Amore released from his contract following a sexual assault allegation, the roster of 205 Live are out to impress, as they all set their eyes on the now vacant WWE Cruiserweight Championship…
Kalisto, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado
TJP, Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari
(Winners via pinfall: Kalisto, Metalik & Dorado)
(Winner via pinfall: Hideo Itami)
(Winner via pinfall: Cedric Alexander)
With the quick suspension, and then firing, of Enzo Amore, there was a lot of interest in the latest episode of 205 Live. How would the dismissal be addressed, and what would be done with the WWE Cruiserweight Championship now that the reigning champion was no longer with the company?
Opening the show with a Daniel Bryan backstage promo felt like a cheat, given he was advertised as appearing on the show, which suggested he would be in the ring. Despite that, his promo was effective, and gave a quick and swift end to the Enzo Amore era of the show. His revelation that 205 Live would have its own General Manager appointed the following week became the real focus of the episode, and certainly got people talking about who the mystery person could be.
You can always rely on this show to provide some of WWE‘s best wrestling matches each week. The company regularly presents matches on its weekly television shows that play it safe, or don’t have the minutes, or perhaps even suffer from both. Not 205 Live though, as its one of those shows lucky enough to be mostly a wrestling show.
The six-man tag match that opened the show was given a long time, although I wish some minutes had been shaved off it and added to the Gallagher and Itami match. That’s not to say this multi-man match wasn’t good, because it was, but in many ways it felt like not a whole lot was happening. It featured very good performances from everyone involved, and a nice little scuffle between the heels afterwards, but I would have loved to see Gallagher and Itami have longer to really turn up the aggression in their match. Itami is still finding his feet on the main roster, but is already a fine addition to the roster. You have to assume Itami is going to have a championship run at some point in 2018.
Speaking of the championship, don’t be surprised if the next holder is one of the two men who main evented this show. Cedric Alexander was not destined to win the gold at the Royal Rumble, I don’t think, but it’s definitely in his future and I can see them pulling the trigger on him sooner now that the championship is vacant. Ali certainly has the workrate to carry it too, so I could see him being the man to carry it into Wrestlemania 34 too.
Their match here was solid, and was actually on the cusp of being a great main event by the time it came to an end. As the urgency and aggression of the match began to grow, so did everyones enjoyment of it, and there were some very audible “this is awesome” chants. I was surprised to see Alexander win, as I suspected they might give the pin to Ali to make someone other than Alexander a credible title holder. The show has suffered a lot from losing main event talent time and time again, but these two men displayed in this episode that they are more than ready to start carrying the show. An extra five minutes, and the Alexander/Ali match would have been in with a shout of being the best WWE match of 2018 thus far.
So, the new era for 205 Live truly begins next Tuesday when the shows first ever General Manager is named, but this was a fun hour of wrestling to kill the time until then. Quite how the change will impact the format of the show is unknown at this point, but I do hope they keep their focus on the in-ring action, as that’s what helps 205 Live feel different to the various other hours of WWE programming that are produced each week.
Match of the Night
Mustafa Ali vs. Cedric Alexander