WWE 205 Live walks down memory lane!
Join THE Brian Kendrick as he looks back on his WWE career and the matches that made him THE Cruiserweight great he is today.
- 4/1/1990 – WrestleMania VI, The Ultimate Challenge: Hulk Hogan VS Ultimate Warrior; Warrior wins and is both WWF World Heavyweight and WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion.
- 8/31/2016 – WWE Cruiserweight Classic Quarterfinals: THE Brian Kendrick VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the semifinals.
PLAY BY PLAY
Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show.
There is a lot going on in the Cruiserweight Division to be sure, such as the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. While we’re in the midst of finding out who is the next person to ascend to the throne,” the WWE looks back on some of the pioneers of this division. And you can’t talk about this division without bringing up THE Brian Kendrick. Tonight, Kendrick will share the great wrestling matches that influenced his career, as well as his favorite matches he’s had in his career. And with that, Phillips throws it over to The Man with a Plan himself.
“Hello, this is THE Brian Kendrick, pioneer of 205 Live.” He was asked what match made him fall in love with professional wrestling, and that would be the main event of WrestleMania 6. He went over to a friend’s house, wanted to play some board games, but his friends were watching Mania on VHS. Ultimate Warrior VS Hulk Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship. That was the moment that made Kendrick go, “Gee wiz, that’s what I want to do with my life.” Enjoy and “Bon Appétit, bozos.”
4/1/1990 – WrestleMania VI, The Ultimate Challenge: Hulk Hogan VS Ultimate Warrior!
Champion versus champion! Legend versus icon! Winner takes all! Witness this iconic moment in wrestling history!
The now late, great Howard Finkel gives the introductions as the fans go wild for both fan favorites. Warrior does not take his eyes off Hogan, and Hogan returns that glare. Both belts are raised by referee Earl Hebner, and the bell rings on this historic moment!
Hogan and Warrior still stare down, and the fans are still going wild. Warrior shoves Hogan first! Hogan shoves Warrior back! The Skydome just gets rowdier as both men tie up, and then Warrior pushes Hogan away! They tie up again, and fans duel as they’re in a deadlock. But then Hogan pushes Warriors back! Warrior does not back down, he calls for a test of strength! Hogan asks the fans what they think, and they want to see it! Hogan steps up to the challenge, and we have a knuckle lock. Then we have the second, and both men go shoulder to shoulder! Hogan rams into Warrior but Warrior doesn’t back down. It’s another deadlock even as Hogan rams Warrior again. Warrior starts powering Hogan back and fans are thunderous!
Hogan drops to his knees and fans can’t believe it! Warrior powers up more and more, but Hogan fights his way up. Hogan rises to his feet and now he’s powering Warrior back! Warrior falls to his knees and the Skydome is just losing their minds! Hogan keeps on Warrior but Warrior is starting to fight his way back up! Warrior gets up but Hogan powers him down and drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Warrior is right up, runs and rams Hogan! Hogan doesn’t budge, so now they start running the ropes. Hogan drops, Warrior goes up and over, but runs into a scoop slam! But Warrior is right back up! They run the ropes again, and then Warrior drops down. Hogan hops, and runs into a scoop slam from Warrior! Hogan is slower to getting up, and Warrior clotheslines Hogan out!
Fans erupt again as Warrior paces. Hogan hobbles up with a bad leg and the ref keeps Warrior back. The ring count starts but Hogan falls! So Warrior goes out to stomp away! Warrior returns to the ring while the ref checks on Hogan. Hogan says his knee’s done, but he refuses to let this end here. Warrior goes out and pushes the ref aside to put Hogan back in. Warrior wants this to end in the ring one way or another. He goes after Hogan’s bad leg with kicks but Hogan rakes eyes! So Warrior rakes eyes! Hogan rakes eyes, Warrior rakes eyes, and then both men start to choke each other! The ref backs them off but Warrior throws a sucker punch! Warrior argues with the ref but Hogan comes back with haymakers! Hogan punches and punches and whips Warrior corner to corner for a big corner clothesline!
Hogan manages to climb up and rains down punches in the corner. The fans count along, all the way to 8 before the ref brings Hogan away. Hogan brings Warrior up for a scoop slam and elbow drop! And another, then the cover, TWO! Warrior lives but Hogan won’t let up. Hogan facelocks and grinds Warrior down. Hogan then shifts to a cradle, TWO! Warrior can’t get away before Hogan gets a chinlock. Hogan punches Warrior in the head but the ref reprimands him for closed fists. Warrior stands and Hogan knees him into a corner. Warrior fights back but Hogan chops and punches away! Hogan brings Warrior around to whip and clothesline! Cover, TWO! Hogan argues the count, but he drags Warrior up for another scoop. Hogan hits a backbreaker then covers, TWO! Again Hogan argues but Hebner defends his count.
Hogan wraps Warrior up in a chinlock again and leans on him. Warrior is fading but the fans keep rallying. Warrior starts to fight back and reaches back for Hogan’s head. Hogan rams his knees into Warrior’s back over and over then brings him up. Hogan back suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Warrior still lives, but Hogan has the chinlock again. Hogan grinds Warrior down but fans rally even harder. Warrior gets his second wind and starts to rise! Warrior stands and throws big elbows to Hogan’s stomach! Hogan lets go, Warrior runs, but double clotheslines take both men out! A standing count begins and fans give it their all to will their favorite to their feet. The count passes 5 but both men barely stir. Warrior sits up at 8! Warrior feeds off the energy, and then Hogan revives!
Both men are up, and Warrior uses the ropes to build that power! Hogan clubs Warrior but Warrior only gets stronger! Warrior is immune to the clubbing forearms! Warrior counter punches and headbutts and haymakers! BIG LARIAT! Hogan gets up, another lariat! Warrior is feeling it now, and he just keeps going! Warrior drags Hogan around for a CHOP! He whips Hogan corner to corner, then back the other way! Hogan flops to the mat, and he holds onto Warrior’s leg to stand up. Warrior snap suplexes Hogan down and covers, TWO! Hogan still lives but Warrior isn’t done with him. Warrior brings Hogan up into a bearhug! Warrior squeezes tight but Hogan grabs at the ref. The ref gets Hogan to let go of him but off comes the shirt pocket.
Hogan starts to fade as Warrior continues to squeeze. Hogan pulls hair but the ref makes him stop. Warrior keeps squeezing but Hogan tries to get his arms in the gaps. Hogan pushes a forearm against Warrior’s face but Warrior won’t let go. Fans keep cheering and dueling, Warrior keeps squeezing tighter, and Hogan starts fading! Hogan reaches weakly, Warrior thrashes him about, and Hogan is going limp! The ref checks on Hogan, the arm drops once. The arm drops twice! But Hogan revives with the third check! Hogan has his second wind now as he punches Warrior over and over, and over and over and over! Warrior lets go but he runs, only for Hogan to drop! Warrior runs into the referee! Hogan sees what happened but Warrior climbs up top! Warrior leaps to hit ax handles!
Hogan wobbles but Warrior goes up top again. Warrior leaps for more ax handles! Hogan drops to a knee but Warrior keeps going! Warrior runs and runs and runs, but Hogan dodges and slams Warrior down at the same time! Hogan covers, but there’s no one to count! Hogan is disappointed, but he gets caught with a back suplex! Warrior covers but again there’s no one to count! Both men would’ve won by now if the ref was there. The ref revives now and counts this cover, but very slowly! Hogan’s out at TWO! And then Hogan throat chops and rolls Warrior! The ref is slow to the count, Warrior’s out at TWO! Hogan is furious but he takes it out on Warrior with haymakers. He whips Warrior and elbows him out of the ring! Hogan goes out, the two men brawl, but Hogan brings Warrior to the post.
Warrior blocks the post bump but so does Hogan. They headbutt, and then Warrior throws Hogan into the post! Hogan gets in the ring but Warrior follows. Warrior pumps up and runs, to LARIAT! Warrior pumps up again as Hogan stands. He gets Hogan up in the military press! And the DROP! ULTIMATE SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Hogan survives, and even has a third wind! Warrior clubs Hogan but now Hogan is hulking up! The Skydome is electric as Hogan goes around the ring! “YOU!” The finger point, and the counter punches! Hogan whips and BOOTS Warrior down, then drops the leg! But Warrior evades! AND SPLASHES DOWN! Cover, WARRIOR WINS!
Winner: The Ultimate Warrior, by pinfall (DUAL WWF World and Intercontinental Champion)
Warrior retains his Intercontinental Championship, and is the NEW World Heavyweight Champion! Hogan can’t believe it, because he was just a split second too late in his kick-out! But the Hulkster, emotional as he is, takes his WWF World Championship and brings it to the ring. He personally hands it to Warrior, and raises his hand in victory! The two icons hug it out! Then Hogan takes his leave so that Warrior can have his celebration with fans cheering and fireworks exploding.
A truly historic moment between two WWE legends. But that’s just one moment that influenced THE Brian Kendrick. What other moments will Kendrick reveal to be influential?
WWE 205 Live returns to THE Brian Kendrick.
Kendrick was also asked what match of his own is he the proudest of. A tricky question because Kendrick has been in the ring with a lot of WWE legends, has had a lot of success, and has had a lot of moments he’s enjoyed. Kendrick’s rather proud of his WWE Tag Team Championship run he had alongside Paul London. He’s also proud of his WWE Cruiserweight Championship reign to start 205 Live. But one match that is really special, because it put things in perspective for his career, was back in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, when he faced THE Kota Ibushi.
Before that match, Kendrick succeeded against Raul Mendoza and Tony Nese in the tournament. One loss would’ve meant he was done in his fourth time around in the WWE, and that’s what happened. Kendrick looked himself in the mirror and said, “This might be it for me.” But obviously, he fought his way back and here he is. But Ibushi gave him the perspective he needed. Enjoy.
8/31/2016 – WWE Cruiserweight Classic Quarterfinals: THE Brian Kendrick VS Kota Ibushi!
Kendrick already gave away the ending, but relive this great match on the road to the newly revived Cruiserweight Championship!
The referee makes sure both men understand the rules and they shake hands. The bell rings and fans are dueling already. Kendrick and Ibushi circle, Kendrick dodges the tie up and shoves Ibushi. Then Kendrick bails out and dares Ibushi to follow. Ibushi dares Kendrick to get back in but this cases a stalemate. The ref counts and Kendrick concedes to returning. Kendrick blows a kiss then runs away, but Ibushi catches him! Ibushi fires off on Kendrick then clubs him down. Fans cheer as Ibushi brings Kendrick up. Kendrick waistlocks, Ibushi standing switches but Kendrick elbows out hard. Kendrick runs but into a ROUNDHOUSE! Down goes Kendrick and he bails back out. Fans fire up with Ibushi and he builds speed to the corner. Ibushi jumps for the GOLDEN TRIANGLE! Direct hit at the ramp!
Full Sail is loving Ibushi as he gets back up. Ibushi drags Kendrick up and in but Kendrick gets out the far side. Fans cheer the savvy but Ibushi heads over. Ibushi brings Kendrick up but Kendrick rams him into railing! Kendrick laces Ibushi’s foot in the gap! The count climbs but Ibushi gets free. Ibushi returns with plenty of time, and springboard missile dropkicks Kendrick down! Cover, TWO! Kendrick survives but Ibushi keeps his cool. Fans rally up as Ibushi brings Kendrick up for big haymakers and kicks. Ibushi kicks Kendrick right in the chest! And then again! And again! Kendrick falls and grimaces as he goes to the corner. Ibushi runs in but Kendrick puts him on the apron. Ibushi rocks Kendrick and Kendrick ends up on the apron.
Both men climb from opposite ends of the corner, and Kendrick strips the crossbar! Kendrick gives Ibushi a neckbreaker TO THE CROSSBAR! Ibushi falls and Kendrick wants the ring out count. Ibushi is up and shoulders back into Kendrick. But Kendrick kicks the rope to jam Ibushi! Cover, TWO! Kendrick cravats Ibushi to go after the repaired neck. Fans rally as Ibushi endures, and Ibushi fights his way up. Ibushi scoops but Kendrick snapmares through! Kendrick uses the cravat to crank Ibushi. Ibushi flails and kicks as he endures. Ibushi knees Kendrick in the back as fans rally again. Kendrick lets go and Ibushi grits his teeth. Ibushi runs into a takedown but handsprings out! Kendrick elbows and runs, but into a BIG dropkick!
Fans rally and duel as Kendrick gets to a corner. Ibushi is in the opposite end, and then he runs corner to corner. Kendrick boots back, but runs into a spinning powerslam! Ibushi is right to the corner for a MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Kendrick survives but both he and Ibushi are slow to stand. Ibushi fires off a strike fest on Kendrick! Kendrick avoids the Penalty Kick, and gets knees up against Ibushi’s standing moonsault! Inside cradle, TWO! Kendrick SUPERKICKS! Both men are down again and Full Sail rallies up! Ibushi stirs while Kendrick rolls to ropes. Kendrick grimaces as he gets to his feet. He drags Ibushi up but Ibushi throws a forearm. Kendrick gives it back, but Ibushi gives another. Kendrick forearms and wobbles Ibushi, but Ibushi still hits back.
Ibushi gets the edge, but Kendrick gives the shots back. Kendrick ducks a kick to BOOT, then cravat, to SLICED BREAD! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Kendrick can’t believe it! Kendrick drags Ibushi back up and to a corner, for a hanging sleeper hold! The ref counts but Ibushi elbows Kendrick off the hold. And then PELES! Kendrick flops down but keeps himself on the apron! Ibushi climbs the corner as fans rally and duel again. Ibushi drags Kendrick up, waistlocks, and dead lifts! SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!! Full Sail is losing their minds over that one! Ibushi flounders to the cover, TWO!! Kendrick survives because this means everything to him! Fans still duel and rally for both men as Ibushi rises again.
Ibushi drags Kendrick up, reels him in, but Kendrick clamps onto a leg. Kendrick denies the powerbomb lift but Kendrick gives a KICK! Ibushi drags Kendrick back up and back in, to powerbomb lift. Kendrick slips out to get the chinlock. Ibushi resists but Kendrick still throws him over. Ibushi again lands on his feet, but Kendrick quickly catches him and throws him again, to the CAPTAIN’S HOOK! Ibushi’s neck endures the Bully Choke as Kendrick cranks harder! Fans rally and duel as Ibushi fights up to his feet. Ibushi elbows and clubs free, but Kendrick runs in. Ibushi dodges him, but then Kendrick yanks him into ropes! Kendrick torture racks Ibushi, for BURNING HAMMER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi survives a move that went right after his neck!
Kendrick has a wild look in his eyes as he looms over Ibushi. Kendrick knees and clubs away on the neck, but Ibushi fires up. Ibushi ROUNDHOUSES Kendrick, then runs, but into a wheelbarrow! Ibushi blocks it, for a BASTARD DRIVER! Cover, TWO!?! Kendrick survives being folded up and Full Sail is just loving it all! “This is Awesome!” but far from over! Ibushi drags Kendrick to a drop zone and heads to the corner. Ibushi climbs up, for the PHOENIX SPLASH, but it FLOPS! CAPTAIN’S HOOK!! Kendrick cranks as hard as he can, but Ibushi rolls it to a cover! TWO!! ROUNDHOUSE!! Ibushi drags Kendrick in, for the GOLDEN STAR BOMB!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)
That Last Ride was definitely the last piece Ibushi needed to win against such a savvy and vicious veteran!
As Kendrick said, this match would put everything in perspective for him. He stuck it out and eventually became WWE Cruiserweight Champion in his own time. As for Kota Ibushi, he would have another incredible match against Gran Metalik, but the King of the Ropes would win and move on to the championship finals. Will Kendrick be able to get back to the WWE/NXT Cruiserweight Championship down the line?
WWE 205 Live returns to Tom Phillips.
“There is a reason why Brian Kendrick is one of the most respected veterans in all of sports entertainment.” And there was a reason why Kendrick was champion for 205 Live’s debut. On behalf of the WWE Universe, Phillips thanks Kendrick for sharing just a couple of his favorite moments in wrestling. And on behalf of the WWE, Phillips thanks us for joining in on reliving those moments, and hopes we’ll be back again next week for more.
A pretty good 205 Live that parallels Thursday’s NXT UK episode. Kendrick was a great choice to start 205 Live on a set of “Matches That Made Me Me” episodes, because of a wealth of matches just in his career. I remember watching those days when a young Kendrick and Paul London were the unnamed yet very exciting tag team on SmackDown with the WWE Tag Team Championships. A shame they couldn’t put a highlight reel together to sprinkle into Kendrick’s video introducing his match with Kota Ibushi. That was a great match, but so were all the matches in the Cruiserweight Classic that led us back to a WWE Cruiserweight Division and title. A shame WWE let Ibushi slip through their fingers, but perhaps best in the long run for Ibushi himself, and NJPW for having him.
The retro pick from Kendrick was a good one. Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, and even Howard Finkel, all in one moment. Crazy how 30 years ago, Warrior and Hogan were so incredibly over, like few wrestlers ever are anymore. And now, in 2020, there are reasons for fans to actively avoid talking about Warrior and Hogan. But I won’t talk about that, I’ll focus on the match. This was actually another match I’d never seen before. For one, I was only a baby in 1990. By today’s standards, it was nothing special, but it was definitely a shining example of the 80’s era and even early 90’s, just before the Attitude Era started. The fans were definitely eating it up, and it meant a lot in the moment for Warrior to go over Hogan. And surely, Kendrick wasn’t the only kid watching inspired to pursue a life in pro-wrestling.
My Score: 8.2/10