WWE Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live Winners, Grades and Reaction for Feb. 20

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2018

WWE Mixed Match Challenge and 205 Live Winners, Grades and Reaction for Feb. 20

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    Apollo and Nia Jax teamed up to battle Charlotte and Bobby Roode in the Mixed Match Challenge.
    Apollo and Nia Jax teamed up to battle Charlotte and Bobby Roode in the Mixed Match Challenge.Credit: WWE.com

    WWE 205 Live has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent weeks thanks to the Cruiserweight Championship tournament happening right now.

    The quality of the wrestling has been better and Superstars appear to be having more fun in the ring. When wrestlers are having a good time, it usually translates to the crowd enjoying the show even more.

    Building the division around top-notch wrestling is what should have been done from the beginning, but management tried to make character development the top priority. Thankfully, someone in a position of power realized the problem and overhauled the product.

    As far as the Mixed Match Challenge is concerned, it's still chugging along without much hype from the company or its fans.

    We get occasional segments on Raw and SmackDown with Superstars talking about their upcoming match on the Facebook Watch show, but it has never felt like WWE has treated this show as anything more than a novelty.

    It's possible this will change as we progress through the tournament, but it's more likely it will end and never be mentioned on television again. Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's MMC and 205 Live.

    *205 Live results will be added during the show.

Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair vs. Apollo and Nia Jax

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    This week's Mixed Match Challenge featured two current champions battling two people who have yet to hold a title in WWE, when Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair teamed up to take on Apollo and Nia Jax.

    Flair and Roode are a perfect combination for this tournament due to the similarity in their wardrobe and attitude. Jax and Apollo, on the other hand, feel more like a team WWE threw together at the last minute.

    Both teams engaged in some hijinks early on, but the laughter stopped as soon as Apollo and Roode started taking the match seriously.

    Titus O'Neil and Dana Brooke tried to cheer on Jax as she took on Charlotte, but The Irresistible Force didn't want them at ringside to begin with, especially after Brooke tripped Charlotte in an attempt to help. 

    This match felt a bit more competitive than some of the previous bouts in this tournament, and it led to a more enjoyable show overall. 

    In a predictable finish, Roode picked up the win for his team with a Glorious DDT to Apollo while Charlotte hit Jax with a moonsault to keep her from helping her partner.


    Grade: B


    Notes and Highlights

    • Charlotte changed her robe from SmackDown to match the red one Roode wore. Their nickname of "The Robe Warriors" was kind of funny.
    • Jax being constantly annoyed at the Titus Worldwide stable made for some comedic moments in their promos. 
    • Charlotte referencing her past alliance with Brooke was a nice bit of continuity. 

Ariya Daivari vs. Buddy Murphy

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    Another Superstar from NXT made his main roster debut on 205 Live this week, when Buddy Murphy took on Ariya Daivari in another first-round match.

    Murphy showed off some impressive agility against Daivari with a hurricanrana, which is something he didn't focus on too much during his time in NXT. 

    Daivari showed more aggression in this match than we have seen from him in a long time. He is a decent heel, but this is the first time he has looked as vicious as he should.

    You could tell a lot of fans in the arena weren't familiar with Murphy due to not watching NXT, but he did have some vocal fans in the crowd who helped cheer him on.

    He adapted well to the cruiserweight style of wrestling and picked up an impressive win to advance to the next round of the Cruiserweight Championship tournament.


    Grade: B-


    Notes and Highlights

    • Murphy apparently dropped 20 pounds to compete in this tournament. Considering he was already in great shape, it's impressive he was able to do it so quickly.
    • Murphy is engaged to Alexa Bliss, so we now have another couple on the main roster. 
    • Murphy has been part of NXT since 2013, making him one of the longest standing members of the developmental roster before his call-up.

Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado vs. 2 Jobbers

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    205 Live has solely focused on the ongoing tournament in recent weeks, so it was nice to see a tag team match break up the action a bit, even if it did feature two enhancement talents.

    Surprisingly, the jobbers managed to get in a bit of offense throughout the match, but they were quickly overcome by Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik's speed and agility.

    The bout was over in about three minutes thanks to a Shooting Star Press from Dorado. He always hits the move perfectly and this was no exception.

    The only problem with matches like this is they never last long enough to make the crowd think the unknown opponents have even the smallest chance of winning.


    Grade: C-


    Notes and Highlights

    • Kalisto was at ringside to support Metalik and Dorado, so it looks like their stable is now official. They just don't have a team name yet.
    • Between this bout and the one from SmackDown featuring Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, WWE employed four enhancement talents for Tuesday's shows. You don't see that much these days.
    • WWE aired a few promos recorded on mobile phones from various competitors who have made it to the second round of the tournament.

Jack Gallagher vs. Mustafa Ali

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    Jack Gallagher and Mustafa Ali met in the main event for the final first-round match of the Cruiserweight Championship tournament.

    This was a surprising matchup for the first round: Both Superstars are established in the division and it would have been nice to see both of them make it to the next round. 

    Each competitor played to his strengths, but they managed to mesh together despite having completely different styles to create a fun contest.

    Ali took a bad tumble over the top rope and landed hard on the apron in what can only be described as an ugly botch. He seemed alright when the ref checked on him.

    After Gallagher failed to make him submit with three armbars, Ali ended up taking a second nasty bump from the top turnbuckle into the barricade.

    Gallagher did everything he could to finish off his opponent, but Ali kept kicking out at two. After an incredible tornado DDT, Ali picked up an impressive win with the 054.

    It's hard to remember the last time either of these men looked as good as they did in this match. If you don't watch 205 Live every week, take the time to check this one out.


    Grade: A


    Notes and Highlights

    • Gallagher was told to get some new ring attire last week. He went with the simple look and wore a pair of green tights with a subtle design instead of his usual suit. A lot of people were probably hoping he would go back to the Fruit Stripe Gum look he had when he debuted.
    • Gentleman Jack pulled out a few tricks we haven't seen him use since his babyface days such as a headstand on the top turnbuckle.
    • WWE reminding us Ali is a former Chicago cop is a good way to tell us how tough he is. Let's just hope nobody starts making him wear a police uniform to the ring.
    • Seriously, how did Ali keep going after those two painful falls? He might be a real superhero.