Last week, for the first time in 205 Live history, it was taped before SmackDown Live instead of after it. And it. Was. Awesome. Taping beforehand did wonders to the liveliness of the crowd. No, the crowd couldn’t exactly be considered “hot”, but compared to the worn-out, half-asleep crowds that the Cruiserweights have gotten every week since the brand’s conception, this was a major step in the right direction. Things may get dicey for west coast shows, where an hour before SDL is 4 PM so there’s no telling how many fans will be there then. But overall, every early indication is that this was the right choice.
Generally, 205 Live, alongside NXT, is one of the most consistent and logical shows in WWE. There’s narrative syllogisms, explanations, and loose ends that get tied up. However, there are exceptions, and the end of the Lucha House Party versus Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy feud is one of them. There was no clear blow off, just Dusty finishes and traded wins. Murphy has clearly moved on to his championship ambitions, and after last week, it’s obvious that the LHP are entangled with TJP. In a singles match against Lince Dorado of the LHP, TJP ripped off Dorado’s mask (a disqualification in Lucha Libre, but legal in WWE) and rolled him up for the win, as Dorado tried to cover his face. The Lucha House Party was obvious upset, viewing it as a huge slap in the face, and no doubt one of them will challenge TJP in the coming weeks.
This week, we’re getting the first installment of a Noam Dar versus Lio Rush feud. Dar, who returned in recent months from a knee injury, won his first feud after his return over TJP, seemingly to set him for Rush, who clearly has what it takes to be a top guy on 205 Live. Rush has yet to lose on the show, and is positioned very strongly. He has beaten jobbers, Akira Tozawa twice, and now will probably win this feud with someone that’s a little hotter. It’s difficult to say whether Rush’s undefeated streak will survive against Dar, but in the end, Rush will absolutely win the feud. After the series of matches with Dar, it puts Rush in an interesting spot. He’ll have racked up a bunch of wins; have either zero or one loss; and be great on the mic, all of which would make him the top heel on the show. I believe he’ll be put in a title angle with current champion Cedric Alexander, where he may actually take the belt of Alexander, who’s held the title since April, where he won it at the WrestleMania Kick-Off Show.
Alexander is currently embroiled in an angle with Buddy Murphy, who will be challenging for his WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Super Show-Down on October 6th, in Murphy’s hometown of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Murphy has been one of the most consistent performers on 205 Live all year, and has had some of its best matches, namely a No DQ match with Mustafa Ali, a match with Alexander, and a Tornado Tag Team match with Tony Nese against the Lucha House Party. In the biggest match of his career, in a rematch against a man with whom he’s had one of his best matches of the year, in his hometown, there’s no doubt that Murphy will do everything he can to have a fantastic match. Alexander is a super talent himself, and the two men will perform splendidly together. I expect Alexander to win, and to move on to Rush afterwards, but that is a very tentative prediction. Murphy winning the belt in his hometown in front of 50,000 fans would be a spectacle, and maybe in the end that scene will be too much for WWE to say no to. I am still convinced the long term plan is building towards Mustafa Ali beating Alexander at Wrestlemania to win the belt, so narratively Murphy winning doesn’t make sense with the other things they’re setting up, but this is WWE, so you can never be too certain on what they’ll do.
Ali is finally getting his first crack at revenge against Hideo Itami, who beat him a few weeks ago, due to Ali being hurt. Last week, Ali was finally cleared of his kayfabe injury, and will be coming out like a ball of fire here. Ali will win this one, and they’ll have a blow off match in the weeks to come, which Ali will win as well, to further setting him up as a contender for the title for months down the road. Usually, there are three matches per episode, so apart from the two announced matches mentioned above, I anticipate either a jobber match for Buddy Murphy, or TJP versus a member of the Lucha House Party, to further that angle. Either way, the episode is shaping up to be a good one, like usual, and will give us a few steps forward in several stories.