The second episode of 205 Live is here! Last week’s debut episode saw Rich Swann defeating Brian Kendrick to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. To read my review of the premiere episode, you can click right here. Tonight’s main event will see Kendrick get his championship rematch against Swann.
This week, 205 Live’s at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Hopefully more audience members from Smackdown Live stick around this time, as many people left for last week’s premiere.
The show opens with a video package highlighting last week’s main event Cruiserweight Title match.
We kick off with a nice pyro display. That was cool. We didn’t get that last week. Maybe that’s a way for WWE to try and keep people who attended Smackdown from leaving. If they’re about to head out and hear a loud pyro display going off, maybe they’ll hang around.
The 205 Live commentary team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” Austin Aries welcome us to the show. Since Aries is back again, it looks like he’ll be a part of the team permanently until he’s ready to compete again. They remind us of tonight’s Cruiserweight Title rematch between Swann and Kendrick.
The youngest member of the Cruiserweight Division makes his way to the ring as “The Scottish Supernova” is ready for action. Cedric Alexander is seen walking backstage with Alicia Fox. She wishes him good luck tonight and kisses him on the cheek. Graves said that he has it under good authority that Alexander and Fox are dating now.
Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander
– The match went ten minutes with Noam Dar picking up the win. If you give these two ten minutes for a match, it’s going to be good. The bout started off a bit slow, but picked up towards the end. Dar worked on Alexander’s left arm a lot and really dominated most of the match. Dar won the match after dodging Alexander and sending him, left arm first, into the ring post. Dar followed this up with a running kick for the victory. It was a strong showing from Dar as he displayed a lot of aggression in picking up a big win against a fan favorite like Alexander.
– Ranallo suggested that the reason for Alexander’s surprisingly weak showing may be due to the fact that he’s “blinded by love.”
– Aries was gold on commentary throughout this match. He said how Dar sounds like he has a mouth full of marbles, that Alexander’s old girlfriends resembled the Rossetti sisters, and even threw out a Zach Gowen reference. In addition to making me laugh, he does provide some very thoughtful commentary. For instance, Alexander’s left arm was being worked on the whole match. There was a moment where Alexander got a nearfall on Dar. Aries mentioned how you have to wonder if Alexander’s left arm wasn’t hurt, maybe he could’ve hooked Dar’s legs when pinning him and got the win. I love when commentators mention little things like that. It helps keep the focus on what’s happening inside the ring.
Winner: Noam Dar
Dar’s in the ring as an interviewer asks him how it feels to be successful over Alexander tonight. Dar says he’s 23 years old and just signed a big money contract with WWE. He’s coming across cocky and the crowd is booing him. Dar says he wants to dedicate his victory to a very special person that he knows is watching in the back, Cedric’s girlfriend, Alicia Fox. Nice heel promo from Dar. I like that he’s going to be a heel. The division needs more strongly booked bad guys.
A video package for Mustafa Ali is shown. Ali says how the WWE Universe makes negative assumptions about him. Ali said that the minute he walks out to the ring the crowd starts booing, just from hearing his name. He’s suggesting that people don’t like him because he’s Pakistani. Ali says he can do it all: strong style, lucha libre and technical. Ali says you’re looking at the king… King Ali.
If this video package is any indication, I like the route he’s taking with his character. Suggesting people are racist is clearly a good way to get people to boo you. Calling himself King Ali scares me a bit. I never liked “king” gimmicks. I hope this doesn’t culminate in Ali wearing a crown and a cape.
While Swann is in the locker room, getting ready for his match with Kendrick later, TJ Perkins stops by to wish him good luck. They joked a bit about Swann beating Perkins on this week’s Raw. Perkins said he should’ve beat Swann, I guess suggesting that Swann got lucky. Perkins said Swann’s good enough to beat Kendrick, “but… we’ll leave it at that.”
Swann beat Perkins on this week’s Raw clean in about six minutes, so I’m not sure why we’re getting these kinds of heelish comments from Perkins. I’d still love to see these two feud in the future. It could be a nice babyface vs. babyface rivalry. You don’t see it often on Raw, Smackdown or NXT, so that could be a nice way to give 205 Live a different feel.
Jack Gallagher defeated Ariya Daivari on this week’s Raw. After the bout, both men went for a handshake, but Daivari attacked Gallagher’s knee. We’re going to see a Raw rematch between these two once more. This will be their third match since Gallgher also beat Daivari on last week’s 205 Live. Gallagher is selling the knee injury on his way to the ring as he has his left knee wrapped.
I like Aries mentioning that Gallagher usually gets in the ring by jumping over the top rope, but how he didn’t do that today likely because of his knee. Again, it’s the little things Aries notes that I love. Aries also said he’s wearing sunglasses so he’s not blinded by Gallagher’s pale skin tone.
Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher – Part III
– The match went six minutes with Ariya Daivari getting the win. This was a good six-minute match, much better than their first two matches for the simple fact that Daivari got in plenty of offense this time around. Their first two matches were pretty much squash matches with Gallagher winning.
– Daivari looked good tonight. He did a nice job working on Gallagher’s left knee. He also had a couple good moments with a stiff elbow smash to Gallagher’s face and a frogsplash off the top rope for the win. Ranallo calls Daivari “The Persian Lion,” so Aries dubbed Daivari’s finishing move, the lionsplash.
– Aries questioned Gallagher not wearing knee pads if he wanted to protect his knee for this match. That makes a whole lot of sense! Did I mention yet that I love Aries’ commentary?
Winner: Ariya Daivari
A video package hyping up Lince Dorado is shown. It says Dorado will be “coming soon.”
TJ Perkins makes his entrance. He’s dressed in a shirt and tie, so he’ll be joining the commentary team at ringside.
Kendrick is seen walking backstage when Tom Philips approaches Kendrick and asks him if Swann has his number. Kendrick said last week Swann won, but it was because Kendrick’s head was in a million different places. Kendrick said that it was nice Swann decided to dedicate his win last week to his Mom. However, Kendrick says that when he wins tonight, he’s dedicating the win to himself. At commentary, Aries agrees, saying he’d dedicate his win to himself too. Aries also notes that it’s tough to beat someone four times in a row, which is what Swann’s looking to do next.
Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
– The match went 13 minutes and saw Swann retain his Cruiserweight Title. Another very good match from these two. A lot of great moments here. Kendrick hit Swann with Sliced Bread #2 at ringside; he ran up the barricade to hit it. Swann also nailed Kendrick at ringside by jumping off the second rope and hitting him with a move made famous by Jeff Hardy, Whisper in the Wind. Lots of great counters here too.
– I’d definitely recommend checking this match out. It ended with Kendrick knocking out Swann at ringside and trying to get him back in the ring before the count of ten. Once Kendrick got Swann to his feet, Swann shoved Kendrick into TJ Perkins. Perkins and Kendrick had a brief stare down. Once Kendrick rolled himself back into the ring he was hit with a spinning heel kick from Swann and that was it, so Kendrick could go with the excuse that he was distracted/caught off guard by Perkins.
Winner: Rich Swann
Kendrick looks furious, he leaps over the announce table and attacks Perkins. Swann comes back down the ramp to save his friend. Kendrick and Swann start going at it. Perkins goes to superkick Kendrick, but Kendrick ducks and Perkins hits Swann instead.
205 Live goes off the air with Swann and Perkins being attended to by ringside physicians, while Kendrick stares down at the Cruiserweight Title.
Overall, this was a good episode of 205 Live; better than last week’s premiere.
Raw’s next pay-per-view is Roadblock: End of the Line on Sunday, December 18. It looks like we’ll be seeing Swann vs. Kendrick vs. Perkins for the Cruiserweight Title at that show.
Aries was one of the stars of tonight’s episode. His commentary reminds me a bit of CM Punk’s commentary at times. Listening to Aries every week is definitely one of 205 Live’s major selling points.
During Dar vs. Alexander, Graves mentioned that one of these days Aries will be stepping into the cruiserweight division. Aries acknowledged this as fact, which reaffirms what he said last week, that once he’s ready to compete again he’ll be going after the Cruiserweight Title.
I love how 205 Live hasn’t interrupted matches with commercial breaks. You see this every week on NXT, which has always been frustrating to me since these shows are being aired on the WWE Network, and the commercials are just shilling their own stuff. It’s nice to see that 205 Live doesn’t suffer from this problem.