The Story So Far: 205 Live (9/19/18)

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Photo: WWE

The Story So Far: 205 Live is a weekly column that catches you up on the previous weeks of 205 Live and its storytelling, so if you miss a week (or what to just jump into the show for the first time), you have a summary of where the storylines are at and where they’re headed.

Buddy Murphy has been one of the highlights of 205 Live this year. Since he came up in February from NXT, he has put on some of the best matches on the brand. His most recent wins came against Kalisto and Gran Metalik, both good bouts, as he and Tony Nese have been in an unnecessarily elongated feud with Lucha House Party (which still has no blow off in sight). He’s been kept strong, with Nese eating up the pins when their side loses. This was all done to position him as a real contender when he challenges Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship in Murphy’s hometown of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia for Super Show-Down on October 6th. Yes, Murphy was picked merely because he’s Australian, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t also deserve it. He’s been very consistent in the ring, although his promos could use some work. It’s been somewhat of an odd build for their title match, because Alexander has been preoccupied with Drew Gulak, whom Alexander defeated on the SummerSlam Kick-Off Show. Gulak, however, has been pestering Alexander since, and after submitting Akira Tozawa in a tag match, 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick finally granted Gulak a rematch, set for this week. While some have suggested that Alexander will lose to Gulak this week, so that Murphy, who will obviously be the babyface in Melbourne, will have a heel to play off of. But Alexander’s title reign has been kept strong all summer, and there hasn’t been nearly enough build for either a loss to Gulak this week, or a loss to Murphy in Melbourne to make sense.

However, this is the WWE. Plans change all the time. Something that they were planning for months could have changed yesterday, and in this company the build isn’t always the best indicator of what’s to come. This brand’s saving grace is that generally the lack of continuity on the main roster is kept at bay for 205 Live because Triple H is seemingly left to his own devices, and he has booked a solidly consistent show for almost the entirety of his regime. But with Australia being a market apparently targeted for growth, Vince McMahon could step in and cause a Murphy win despite the build. While I don’t think we will see a title change in the coming weeks, there is a better chance of Murphy winning it in Australia than Gulak this week. Ultimately, the long vision still looks to be Mustafa Ali. He lost to Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show earlier this year, and they’re telling a year-long story of redemption for Ali. So for the time being, Alexander will remain champion, to help build that blow off next April. I do not think he’ll be champion the entire year, I believe that he’ll drop it at some point and regain it a few weeks later, but right now Lio Rush is a safer bet for that transitional reign than Gulak or Murphy. Ali is recently returned from his kayfabe injury, and is chasing around Hideo Itami, to whom he lost due to his injury a few weeks ago. Look for a rematch between them in the coming weeks, with an Ali win. Likewise, Lio Rush is embroiled in a feud with the Scottish Supernova Noam Dar, and this week the two have their first of what is sure to be a string of matches. Rush is still undefeated in 205 Live, so it’s unclear if he’ll drop his first loss in this feud or if he’ll sweep Dar, but either way Rush is sure to win the feud, to continue to develop him into a top heel, if not THE top heel, of the brand.

This week will open with the aforementioned Rush versus Dar match, and will no doubt be concluded by Alexander versus Gulak for the Cruiserweight Championship. Typically, each episode of 205 Live has three matches: a match to further a non-title feud, a jobber match, and a match to promote the title picture, in that order. This week, they may cut the jobber match to give the championship match more time, which Alexander and Gulak are both good enough to use that time wisely in building a terrific match. Jack Gallagher has been Gulak’s right hand man for months now, so expect him to get involved somehow, but in the end, Cedric Alexander will retain and will begin to look ahead to Melbourne.

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