Full disclosure: I was spoiler free for this show, but I didn’t get around to watching it until Thursday morning. While doing so I enjoyed some nice pancakes for breakfast. I managed to eat them without jumping around, making funny noises, or spilling anything, and while using a fork and a knife, and all while not making a big deal to the others in the vicinity about said pancakes. Like a f*cking adult. This is why New Day is annoying. (Yeah, XIV’s post got me angry at Smackdown just as a general concept, without even having watched the damn show this week.)
DASHA INTERVIEWS DREW GULAK ABOUT HIS STRATEGY FOR TONIGHT- he says that he would like to be able to show her a Powerpoint, “but I haven’t opened my copy of Microsoft Office in month because I’ve been so focused” on winning this tournament. Has there ever been a better symbolic- almost meta, even- way of Hunter saying “Vince’s priorities are wrong” than this?
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Drew Gulak vs. Andrews- 7.5/10
Gulak worked Andrews’ midsection while Andrews tried to win with his flippy, high-flying stuff. The announcers pushed the idea that Gulak “snapped” a bit after the match, leaving the hold locked in for longer than he should have in a fit of… not quite rage, but something between rage and obsession.
DRAKE MAVERICK, HIDEO ITAMI, & TOZAWA BACKSTAGE- he gives them a big pep-talk and explains to them that he’s putting them together as a tag team because he thinks they’ll bring the best out of each other. They shook hands. Then Tozawa threatened to fire Maverick. While we’re getting rid of dumb gimmicks, can we get rid of this one, too?
MUSTAFA ALI PROMO- this was shot in a local parking lot, which made he feel much different from everything else we get from WWE, shot in nice clean arenas. The promo itself was fine, but the chance of scenery made it stand out.
HIDEO ITAMI & AKIRA TOZAWA vs. NEMETH ALEXANDER & SCOTT JAMES- no rating, good squash
Cagematch.net tells me that this is the first time that “Nemeth” Alexander has used this first name… so this has to be a rib on Dolph, right?
RODERICK STRONG TRAINING VIDEO- short and sweet.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER PROMO- GREAT!
WWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy- 8/10
This week it’s Murphy whose arm got worked over. I think this is the first time I’ve seen Ali be the guy on offense most of the time. In fact, the babyface being the one on offense most of the time made this feel very different from most other matches you’ll see. This match also managed to make me actually care about Murphy, which is something that had seemed impossible since the moment his presence on my NXT TV screen no longer meant that Alexa Bliss! was likely to show up momentarily.
Yet another excellent tournament-focused episode of 205 Live.
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