The sixth episode of 205 Live is here! Tonight’s episode comes from the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
On a personal note, I’ll be away next week so unfortunately, I won’t have a 205 Live review up for the January 10 edition. I’ll be back as usual though for January 17’s episode. BUT today’s not next week, so let’s get to it!
The opening video package highlights last week’s main event match between Neville and Rich Swann. It was a non-title match in which Neville defeated Swann clean. This means he’ll be next in line for a Cruiserweight Championship opportunity.
We get pyro to kick off the show as the commentary team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” Austin Aries welcomes us to tonight’s episode. Graves reminds us that tonight’s main event will be TJ Perkins vs. Neville.
Tajiri gets a good pop from the crowd as he makes his way to the ring for his 205 Live debut! He was a part of the Cruiserweight Classic last summer and had a good showing. Although Tajiri’s 46 years old, he proved that he is still very capable in the ring and has a lot to offer. In the immortal words of Mark Henry, Tajiri has A LOT LEFT IN THE TANK! He’ll be taking on fellow Cruiserweight Classic competitor, Sean Maluta.
Tajiri vs. Sean Maluta
Collar and elbow tie up between the two which Tajiri turns into an arm bar. Maluta reverses it into a side headlock, then takes down Tajiri with a shoulder tackle. Maluta hits Tajiri with a couple of double hand thrusts and headbutts. Tajiri reverses a corner attack from Maluta and turns it into his signature submission style move, The Tarantula. It’s an illegal move though, so Tajiri breaks the hold once the referee counted to four. With Maluta hurting, Tajiri hits him with a couple of buzzsaw kicks followed by a handspring back elbow. Tajiri finishes off Maluta with a big kick to the head for the victory after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Tajiri
Evaluation: It was a short match, but for the time given, Maluta was in control for most of it until Tajiri fought back at the end with his signature moves to get the win. This was really just a match to tell the audience that Tajiri is officially back. I’ve always liked Tajiri and am happy he’s a part of the cruiserweight division. He’s at that stage in his career where I don’t think he’ll be winning the Cruiserweight Title. He’ll be putting over younger talent instead, but if we get to see some great matches in the process, I’m all for it.
After the match, (The) Brian Kendrick interrupts Tajiri’s celebration. Kendrick said that it’s good to see an old friend and fellow pioneer of the cruiserweight division back. He sucks up to Tajiri some more saying that with guys like them around, there’s no telling the limits 205 Live will reach and that once they “get rid of the trash,” the sky’s the limit. Kendrick extends his hand to Tajiri and Tajiri spits his signature green mist in Kendrick’s face. Kendrick’s on the floor, selling being sprayed with green mist like he just got shot.
Evaluation: Nice pop from the crowd once Tajiri sprayed Kendrick with the green mist. I’m looking forward to this feud between two veterans that most wrestling fans recognize. Maybe this can help garner more interest for the cruiserweight division and 205 Live.
Neville is interviewed backstage. He says that TJ Perkins would have never been Cruiserweight Champion if he was in the division from the start. He talks about being discriminated against ever since he stepped into this country and that he’s had his own struggle and hardships too, but nobody cares. He notes that he’s never been taken seriously in this country, but when the system is broken you make your own system. Neville says that tonight, Perkin’s 15 minutes of fame is over and how “there can only be one king of the cruiserweights.”
Evaluation: I like heel Neville right now, but that king of the cruiserweight line is already getting old. You don’t need to mention it yourself all the time, that’s what the announcers are for. I like how he mentioned that if he was a part of the CWC and the division from the start, Perkin’s would have never been champion. It’s something I thought about when WWE was first doing the CWC and announced that the tournament would include the best cruiserweights from around the world. Wouldn’t one of their own Superstars, in Neville, qualify?
A video aired hyping Tony Nese. This guy is so underrated. He’s great in the ring and was showcased nicely in the CWC, but has so much more to offer. I’ve seen him wrestle live and he’s terrific. His personality is a little meh right now, but he reminds me of Rollins before he got good on the mic. He just needs to learn how to cut a promo better, and if so, he could be one of the top guys in this division.
Jack Gallagher makes his way to the ring. We see the same video that was shown on Raw highlighting the Gentlemen’s Duel between him and Daivari from last week’s 205 Live. I thought it was a funny segment, but this is the kind of stuff WWE loves, so I can see them shoving this sort of stuff down our throat. I don’t want Gallagher walking around with an umbrella that he’s named. He’s more intellectual than that. He did so on Raw and that segment hyping 205 Live on Smackdown, but he doesn’t have it with him today, so that’s a good sign.
Gallagher will be facing Nese who is accompanied to the ring by Drew Gulak.
Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese with Drew Gulak
We see some fun twirling maneuvers from Gallagher to escape the wrist lock Nese had on him. Nese takes Gallagher into the corner and attacks him with punches and kicks. Nese throws Gallagher into another corner, but Gallagher does his handstand in the corner thing that prevents his opponent from running at him. While Nese rolls out of the ring to catch his breath, Ariya Daivari attacks Gallagher from behind.
Winner by disqualification: Jack Gallagher
After the match, Daivari puts Gallagher in the tree of woe and continues to kick him. He yells in Gallagher’s face that he embarrassed him until referees come to the ring to break this up.
Evaluation: I’m sick of three to six-minute matches on 205 Live. It seems like every week, unless you’re the main event (which means unless you’re Swann, Perkins, Kendrick or Neville), you won’t get any time to tear the house down with a great match.
Backstage, Cedric’s seen talking to his girlfriend Alicia Fox about how he’s losing a lot. Fox said it’s all her fault. Cedric said it’s not her fault because he’s the one in the ring, but he said that he just needs Fox to be a little more careful. Fox agrees. They both kiss and look happy.
Noam Dar makes his way to the ring and it looks like he’ll be facing my man Mustafa Ali! I hope Ali gets the win here. He comes out looking confident; not necessarily as a face or a heel. This is why I love his character. I’m so intrigued by him. Ali just keeps being himself, but his attitude towards the crowd changes every week depending on how they react to him. The Jacksonville crowd didn’t really boo or anything because most crowds suck for the cruiserweights.
Noam Dar vs. Mustafa Ali
Dar and Ali trade counters to kick off the match. Ali hits Dar with a hurricanrana and a spinning heel kick. Ali goes to cover Dar, but Dar kicks out at two. Dar gets back in control and works on Ali’s left arm, isolating and attacking it. Both Dar and Ali seem to be at about the same level on 205 Live, so I genuinely don’t have an idea as to who’s going to win this one. Maybe Fox ends up screwing Dar out of the win.
Both men trade pinfall attempts and Ali follows this up by hitting Dar with a big tornado DDT. Ali nails Dar with a roundhouse kick followed by a neckbreaker. Ali goes for the pin, but Dar kicks out at two. Ali looks for another tornado DDT, but Dar counters it into a Fujiwara arm bar submission. Ali slowly tries getting to the ropes, and as Dar brings Ali back to the center, Ali rolls up Dar for a pin, but Dar just kicks out at two.
Dar runs at Ali who is staggered in the corner, but Ali gets his foot up, landing a big boot on Dar. Ali heads to the top rope, hits Dar with an inverted 450 splash and covers Dar for the win after seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali
Evaluation: Big win for Ali. I thought for sure he was going to tap out to Dar’s Fujiwara arm bar, but he didn’t. Toward the end of the match, I started to feel like Dar was going to be put over as he’s in the bigger storyline right now with Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox, but Ali got the W. As I mentioned above, both Dar and Ali are at about the same level in 205 Live, so this clean win from Ali is big in moving up the ranks of the division and in showing the confidence WWE is starting to have in him. Good match from both men, they made the most out of the time they were given.
After the match, Dar said that 2017 is still going to be a big year for him and that all he needs is lady luck by his side. He said that Cedric Alexander may not be man enough for Alicia Faaaaahhhhhhx (as he says it), but that she’s always welcome in his corner.
A video aired hyping Akira Tozawa. The video showed highlights of Tozawa wrestling while Cesaro talked about how good he is. Tozawa is apparently “coming soon.” He can’t get here soon enough!
Neville makes his way to the ring with slightly altered entrance music. The voice in his song is sung at a bit of a slower, deeper tone. The beat is a bit slower too. The idea is to make the song less exciting and more menacing.
Backstage, Tom Philips interviews TJ Perkins who says that all Neville does is complain. Perkins says Neville is exactly what he accuses Americans of and that’s being a bully (I should mention that literally right before Perkins called Neville out for being a bully, he called Neville ugly). Perkins said tonight he’s standing up to that bully and kicking him right in the face.
Perkins makes his way to the ring. I don’t think I’ve ever said this but those glasses are ridiculous. Great wrestler, but ridiculous looking glasses. This match should be good.
Neville vs. TJ Perkins
Neither Perkins or Neville extend their hands to shake before the match, which has become a cruiserweight custom. There is dueling “let’s go Neville! TJP!” chants kick off the match. Both men trade a series of reversals early on. Neither man really getting the upper hand. Perkins starts to get control with a bulldog and flying head scissor takeover. Neville exits the ring to catch his breath.
Neville gets back in the ring and takes control with a couple slams to the mat and a flying dropkick of the top rope. Neville slows the action back down with rear chin lock. Neville goes for a Phoenix Splash off the second rope, but Perkins rolls out of the way. Perkins displays some lightning quick offense that concludes with a corkscrew splash over the top rope and out onto Neville at ringside.
Perkins takes the action back into the ring, going for a flying crossbody off the top rope. He goes for the cover, but Neville kicks out at two. Perkins then hits Neville with a springboard frankensteiner, again for only a two count. Neville and Perkins trade big kicks to the face until Neville nails Perkins with a big wheelbarrow suplex, which he bridges for a pin, but Perkins kicks out at two.
Big superplex from Neville off the top turnbuckle. He then pins Perkins for the one-two-three after about twelve minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Neville
Evaluation: It seems like the superplex off the top turnbuckle is Neville’s new finishing move, as this is the second week in a row where he’s won with that move. It makes sense as the 450 splash is more of a flashy move. He’ll still probably do it from time to time, he’s just changing up his move-set a bit to adjust with the heel turn, which is always a good thing to do when you change from good guy to bad guy, or vice versa. This was a good match as you’d expect from these two. Nothing too memorable, but worth watching for sure.
205 Live goes off the air with Neville shouting “bring me my crown!”
Overall, this was a good episode of 205 Live and definitely a step up from the last two weeks.
We got to see Tajiri make his 205 Live debut and started getting the wheels in motion for a rivalry between him and Kendrick which should be good. As I mentioned above, since they are two veterans who’s faces wrestling fans recognize, maybe this will help garner more interest in the division and 205 Live.
The Jack Gallagher/Ariya Daivari feud continues, but I can’t say I’ve been overly enthusiastic about it. I think Gallagher’s funny and I enjoy his style of wrestling, but I don’t care about Daivari and don’t think he’s a threat at all.
I’m loving Mustafa Ali right now. Just the fact that he’s s babyface middle eastern is something that is new and feels fresh. It’s pretty surprising that something like that would be new in 2017, but nonetheless, it is new and I find it entertaining. Due to this, his complex character and his wrestling style, I find Ali easy to root for.
The main event was good as usual. This is the first week of 205 Live where I’d say that two matches are worth checking out, and those two matches are Noam Dar vs. Mustafa Ali and Neville vs. TJ Perkins. If we can get more of tonight’s show on a weekly basis then we’d be moving in the right direction.
Still no Gran Metalik and Akira Tozawa. I actually wrote that sentence before the show started since it’s become a normal complaint in my final thoughts every week. At this point, I don’t think WWE will surprise us with Metalik or Tozawa on an episode of 205 Live. They’ll probably advertise it in advance like they did with Tajiri. However, it still stinks that we’re six weeks in and still haven’t seen two of the best cruiserweights the division has – Metalik being the runner-up of the Cruiserweight Classic!
As I mentioned at the start of the review, I’ll be away next week, so I unfortunately won’t have a 205 Live review up for the January 10 edition. I’ll be back as usual the following week for January 17’s episode.
Thanks for reading!