10 best WWE 205 Live matches
Since its debut on Nov. 29, 2016, WWE 205 Live has been the premier showcase for the most exciting competition in WWE. Now, in honor of “The Most Exciting Hour on Television” hitting a milestone 100 episodes, WWE.com presents the top 10 matches in WWE 205 Live history. The best part? After you check out our list, you can stream all of these matches on the award-winning WWE Network.
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Gentleman Jack Gallagher vs. Noam Dar vs. TJP – Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match to determine No.1 Contender to Cruiserweight Title: Feb. 7, 2017
Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann was set for a rematch against the reigning champion Neville when an injury forced him to relinquish his opportunity. With Neville in need of a challenger,Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, Gentleman Jack Gallagher, Noam Dar and TJP stepped up for a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match for the right to slug it out with the champion at WWE Fastlane.
Any alliances were quickly tossed aside as the five Superstars collided for the ultimate opportunity. While chaos ensued early in the contest, Gallagher eventually took control and performed one of the most memorable aerial maneuvers in WWE 205 Live history. With his four opponents on the outside, the British Superstar grabbed his trusty umbrella and launched himself off the top rope to the floor.
Taking out his competition in such a manner gave Gallagher an advantage that he fought to maintain throughout the remainder of the match. The biggest obstacle for Gallagher was former champion TJP, who wore Gallagher down with his incredible technical abilities. A series of stinging British headbutts put Gallagher back in the fight, and with TJP dazed, the Gentleman delivered a running dropkick for the win.
Akira Tozawa vs. The Brian Kendrick – Street Fight: May 23, 2017
One of the bitterest rivalries of 2017 was between The Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa. Feeling slighted by Tozawa’s refusal to become his protégé, The Man with a Plan engaged in a series of lessons for the Japanese Superstar. The tension only intensified as Tozawa turned the tables with lessons of his own, leading to WWE 205 Live’s first-ever Street Fight.
The contest got underway before Kendrick could even take off his jacket, and it never let up. The veteran Kendrick relied on his vast experience to counter the onslaught of The Stamina Monster, then went ruthless, duct-taping his opponent’s mouth shut before bounding him to the ring post and brutally attacking him with a belt.
However, Tozawa proved his mettle and answered his opponent’s patented Captain’s Hook with a DDT on the steel steps. Delivering the final lesson of their longstanding conflict, Tozawa ascended the ropes and dove to the outside, driving his opponent through a table with a jaw-dropping senton to vanquish The Man With a Plan.
Mustafa Ali vs. TJP vs. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese vs. Kalisto – Gauntlet Match: April 24, 2018
When it came time to decide who would face Cedric Alexander for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble event, WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick didn’t disappoint, announcing a Gauntlet Match to determine who would earn the opportunity.
The match started with Mustafa Ali facing former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP. Their unique styles clashed as Ali relied on his agility, and TJP used his technical prowess to weaken The Heart of WWE 205 Live. Despite The Cruisergreat’s efforts, Ali fought through multiple submissions holds to eliminate TJP.
Ali then faced his longtime rival Drew Gulak, who capitalized on the damage TJP had already caused. Relying on his resilience, The Heart of WWE 205 Live nearly scored another victory, but Gulak countered an 054 and sent Ali crashing into the steel steps, allowing The Philadelphia Stretcher to apply the Gulock for the win.
Gulak’s second opponent was his former best friend Tony Nese. Channeling his rage at his one-time tag team partner, The Premier Athlete unleashed a brutal assault that forced Gulak on defense throughout their contest. However, when Gulak managed to apply the Gulock, Nese’s hopes for a title opportunity were dashed.
The final battle of the whirlwind Gauntlet Match pitted Gulak against former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kalisto. After two grueling contests, Gulak took his time to recharge before Kalisto grew impatient and unloaded on his opponent. The Philadelphia Stretcher fought back, but a failed Gulock would result in a Salida del Sol, giving Kalisto the final victory and a championship opportunity.
Rich Swann vs. TJP: July 4, 2017
The first-ever Independence Day edition of WWE 205 Live saw two former WWE Cruiserweight Champions and close friends, Rich Swann and TJP, engage in a friendly competition with Swann trying to help The Duke of Dab reclaim the focus that helped him win the Cruiserweight Classic.
What followed was a pure contest between two Superstars with acute ring awareness, speed and an intimate knowledge of what their opponent brings to the squared circle. Swann and TJP exhausted themselves through a combination of submissions, near-falls and acrobatics that left the WWE Universe delivering numerous, rousing ovations. Swann emerged victorious, and the two former champions embraced after completing a match that truly showcased what the Cruiserweight division is all about.
Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Buddy Murphy vs. TJP: March 27, 2018
Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali were set to meet at WrestleMania in the finals of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, but that didn’t stop WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick from keeping the championship field ripe with potential challengers. With less than a week before a new champion would be crowned, Kalisto, Akira Tozawa, Buddy Murphy and TJP squared off in a Fatal 4-Way Match, all looking to make their case.
The contest featured three former Cruiserweight Champions, but the spotlight may have been on Buddy Murphy, who was still establishing himself as one of the division’s top competitors. The match served as something of a showcase for The Juggernaut, who at the time was also called “WWE’s Best Kept Secret.” Murphy held his own with the three former champions and was able to adapt and match his in-ring repertoire accordingly.
One of the wildest moments in the match occurred when TJP applied a bow and arrow submission on Kalisto, which allowed Murphy to attempt to pin TJP, only for Tozawa to break it up with a Senton. Murphy took out Kalisto and Tozawa before reversing TJP’s Detonation Kick and executing Murphy’s Law to cement himself as one of the purple brand’s top prospects.
Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong: March 13, 2018
Cedric Alexander was undoubtedly a favorite to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, having earned an opportunity just before the title was vacated earlier in 2018. After defeating Gran Metalik and TJP, The Soul of WWE 205 Live faced an unexpected dark horse in the semifinals – NXT Superstar Roderick Strong.
Strong had already taken down Hideo Itami and former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kalisto. With WrestleMania in sight, he looked to score a major upset by derailing Alexander’s plans. With the chance to compete on The Grandest Stage of Them All on the line, Strong and Alexander battled back and forth, neither competitor ever enjoying a significant advantage despite both scoring with their finishing maneuvers.
Finally, Alexander emerged victorious after countering Strong’s patented End of Heartache and rolling him up for the pinfall. The Soul of WWE 205 Live would go on to win the vacant WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Mustafa Ali at WrestleMania.
Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy — WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: May 29, 2018
Facing the champion in Alexander’s home state of North Carolina, Murphy threw everything he had at Alexander as chants of “this is awesome” poured in from the WWE Universe. Yet, despite Murphy’s best efforts, Alexander delivered a perfectly-timed Neutralizer and immediately follow up with the Lumbar Check for the win.
When Murphy entered the Cruiserweight division, odds were certainly against him to emerge as an elite competitor on the purple brand. However, in this clash with The Soul of WWE 205 Live, he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he certainly was a top tier contender.
Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak – 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: July 18, 2017
WWE 205 Live has not seen a rivalry as bitter and intense as the one between Drew Gulak and Mustafa Ali. The Heart of 205 Live’s high-flying ability literally flew in the face of Gulak’s plan for a better WWE 205 Live, which advocated for competition that was more technically sound. Having previously met four times with two victories each, a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match was the perfect way to truly determine whose in-ring philosophy was supreme.
Ali scored the first fall early, using his incredible agility to secure the win. This enraged Gulak, who unleashed a flurry of powerful strikes, keeping The Heart of WWE 205 Live grounded. The Philadelphia Stretcher’s angry attacks proved useful, and despite Ali nearly securing two falls in a row, Gulak locked in the Gulock to level the playing field.
With momentum in his favor, The Philadelphia Stretcher continued to mount pressure, attacking Ali with precision strikes and holds. However, the ever-resilient Ali fought back, and the two competitors brought the WWE Universe to their feet.
Exhausted and desperate for the win, Gulak broke his own rule and ascended the ropes for a high-risk move. Ali quickly took his opponent down with a hurricanrana before executing the 054 for the victory.
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali: Jan. 23, 2018
The bond between Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali has always been strong, and the two Superstars — known as The Soul of WWE 205 Live and The Heart of WWE 205 Live, respectively — epitomize what the Cruiserweight division is all about. However, their strong friendship has not stopped them from throwing down and duking it out against each other in singles competition.
Despite Alexander having a championship opportunity at Royal Rumble 2018, the title was vacated just five days before the event. As the Cruiserweight division waited for a new General Manager and with the fate of the title hung in the balance, Alexander and Ali set out to put on a show for the WWE Universe.
The close friends pushed each other to their physical and mental limits and challenged each other to venture beyond those boundaries. Alexander emerged victorious, but he made sure to help his friend up to his feet and raise his hand after the match. The bout perfectly captured the true nature of the Cruiserweight division and set the tone for the future of 205 Live.
Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy – No Disqualification Match: July 3, 2018
Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali first clashed in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. Of course, Ali emerged victorious and competed at WrestleMania, but their rivalry had only just begun. Murphy beat Ali in May to prove he was ready to challenge Cedric Alexander for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The two were scheduled to meet in a rubber match in June, but Hideo Itami interrupted the contest for his own gain. Still, Ali and Murphy were far from finished.
Fast-forward to July 3; The Juggernaut and The Heart of WWE 205 Live were ready to throw down in in a No Disqualification Match. What resulted was a nearly 30-minute contest that rocketed #205Live to the top of Twitter’s worldwide trends.
If Buddy Murphy using the steel steps to launch himself over the turnbuckle onto Ali outside the ring or Ali hitting the Spanish Fly from the fan barricade onto the announce table doesn’t make you jump out of your seat, Ali superplexing The Juggernaut off the steel steps should do the trick. Those three moments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the thrills delivered in this contest that pushed both Superstars to the brink. Ali emerged victorious, but it took a jaw-dropping tornado DDT off the steel steps in the center of the ring to do it.
Seriously, watch this match.