The cruiserweight division is beginning to be taken seriously, with WWE having used cruiserweights on several recent episodes of Raw and SmackDown.
Mustafa Ali's appearance on Tuesday seems to indicate the division is no longer exclusive to the Raw brand, so we may start seeing more Superstars cross over to the other shows in the coming weeks.
However, 205 Live continues to be the main place to see these performers do their thing, and this week's show gave us two great matches heading into TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on Sunday.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Wednesday's show.
Buddy Murphy vs. Gran Metalik
With Ali getting the rub from a SmackDown appearance this week, it was nice to see WWE give one of the most underrated cruiserweights a singles match against the champion, Buddy Murphy.
Gran Metalik hasn't been used nearly as well as his Lucha House Party teammates since the brand launched a couple of years ago. It's confusing because he always shines when given the chance.
This started with a standard exchange of takedowns and counters to show off the technical ability of both Superstars. It was a quick sequence that garnered some applause from the crowd.
As the match progressed, Murphy began showing his brutality with strikes, while Metalik focused on the high-flying offense that earned him the nickname "King of the Ropes."
One of the things they did well was striking a good balance between quick flurries of offense and the slower moments between them. It helped them pace everything so it didn't feel like they were needlessly moving from spot to spot.
After we saw several near-falls from both competitors, The Juggernaut scored the win with Murphy's Law. Do yourself a favor and take the time to watch this match if you didn't see it live.
Notes and Highlights
- One of the things 205 Live has over Raw and SmackDown is the lack of commercials. The matches have a better flow without being interrupted by ads for beer, movies and hemorrhoid cream.
- It would be awesome if WWE had Alexa Bliss start managing Murphy on the main roster if the plan is to keep her out of action for a little while. Being a real couple always helps the Superstar-manager relationship seem more genuine.
- Metalik's hurricanrana from the barricade looked great.
- Murphy catching Metalik in a vertical suplex position was one of the most impressive things you will see this week. It required great power and balance from both men.
- Murphy hitting a Meteora from the top rope was a pleasant surprise. He keeps adding new moves to his arsenal on what feels like a weekly basis. It keeps his matches from being repetitive.
- Metalik and Murphy are underrated strikers. Every hit they took looked and sounded painful.
Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese
Tony Nese and Cedric Alexander have been in the ring with each other as much as any two cruiserweights on the roster, but their skill and chemistry have kept this combination from ever feeling stale.
Nese prides himself on his impressive physique, but Alexander made sure to remind him early on that he is also one of the most muscular Superstars in the division when he flexed in his opponent's face.
They each had plenty of opportunities to showcase their favorite moves since this week's show only featured two matches instead of the usual three.
Had Murphy and Metalik not been so good earlier, this match would have been the best of the week. The Premier Athlete even pulled out a few tricks we don't see him use too often, such as a moonsault from the ring out to the floor.
However, Alexander is the one with the title shot on Sunday, so it was obvious he was going to win before the bell rang. Nese gave a great performance, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Lumbar Check.
Murphy ran to the ring after the match, and the TLC opponents engaged in a brawl to end the show. Alexander came out on top, which probably means Murphy will retain on Sunday.
Notes and Highlights
- The Brian Kendrick gave a good explanation for his recent babyface turn during a meeting with general manager Drake Maverick. It's one of the few times it felt like someone put a lot of effort into explaining their evil actions. Akira Tozawa humorously tried to fire Maverick for losing the Raw tag titles on Monday.
- Ariya Daivari was giving an interview when Hideo Itami walked up and congratulated him on his win last week. He might be the first person to earn Itami's respect since the Japanese legend turned heel.
- Nese's music is better-suited for a babyface. So is his style of wrestling. He just needs to turn face already.
- Alexander's dropkick is right up there with Randy Orton's as one of the best in WWE.
- Nese seemed a little more energetic in this match than usual. His strikes were stiffer, and his offense was quicker.