The ninth episode of 205 Live is here! Tonight’s episode comes from the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
The opening video package recaps Rich Swann calling out Neville during last night’s episode of Raw. Swann suicide dived out of the ring and onto Neville. Swann tried taking the action inside the ring, but Neville retreated.
Tom Phillips interviews Neville backstage, asking him whether or not he’s concerned that Swann is gaining momentum leading up to their Cruiserweight Championship match at Royal Rumble this Sunday. Neville said last night was his fault, as he showed Swann too much mercy.
Phillips asks Neville about tonight’s main event match in which Neville will be taking on Cedric Alexander. Neville said Alexander will learn first-hand that 205 Live and the cruiserweight division belongs to “The King of the Cruiserweights.”
We get some opening pyro as the commentary team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” Austin Aries welcome us to the show. The Huntington Center looks packed. It’s nice to see that people didn’t just leave after Smackdown as is the case some weeks. The crowd’s likely hanging around for an advertised dark match main event from the Smackdown wrestlers, but it still looks good for 205 Live.
TJ Perkins vs. Tony Nese
Both men quickly trade counters to kick off the match. Perkins quickly puts Nese into his Octopus submission move. Perkins goes for a cover, but Nese kicks out right away. Nese gains control and keeps the action on the ground with submission holds.
Perkins gets to his feet and looks for a tornado DDT, but Nese counters into a suplex. Nese goes back to the ground with more submission locks. Nese nails Perkins with a springboard moonsault and follows it up with a pin attempt, but Perkins just kicks out at two.
More ground submission from Nese, but Perkins fights his way out of it. Perkins goes to the top rope, but Nese catches Perkins and hits him with a gutbuster. Back to the ground as Nese locks in a body scissors. Perkins fights out of it and catches Nese with a spinning back kick. Perkins hits his Detonation Kick to the face on Nese.
Perkins looks to capitalize, but Nese fires back with a big clothesline. As Nese looks to be setting up a big move, Perkins rolls him up for the pin and victory after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: TJ Perkins
Post-match, a furious Nese German Suplexes Perkins into the turnbuckle. While Perkins is seated in the corner, Nese hits him with a big running knee. Nese goes to the announce table, yelling at the commentators that he won the match.
Evaluation: The match never seemed like it got going. It was a lot of rest holds on the floor with Nese in control for most of the match. Even the ending seemed abrupt. This was really a whole lot of nothing for nine minutes. I’m guessing this starts a rivalry between Perkins and Nese, which I look forward to since it’s fresh and they’re both good in-ring workers.
A video package airs hyping Akira Tozawa. Sami Zayn is shown talking about how great Tozawa is. He’ll be making his 205 Live debut next week. FINALLY! Just waiting on Gran Metalik now.
Perkins is shown being helped to the back after Nese’s assault.
Brian Kendrick makes his entrance and he has a microphone in his hand. Kendrick talks to the hometown jobber wrestler that he’ll be facing next. He tells the wrestler, whose name is Tripp Bradshaw, that his dreams are going to get snuffed out by THE Brian Kendrick.
Brian Kendrick vs. Tripp Bradshaw
Kendrick takes down Tripp three times and taunts him after each takedown. Kendrick pushes at Tripp’s face until Tripp fights back, but to no avail as Kendrick quickly lays him out with a knee to the face. Kendrick flattens Tripp with a big boot followed by his Captain’s Hook submission move. Tripp taps out after about a minute and a half.
Winner by submission: Brian Kendrick
Evaluation: Squash match as expected. I don’t think it’s known yet as to how long Tajiri will be out of action for. It looked like Kendrick was about to enter a program with Tajiri before “The Japanese Buzzsaw” got hurt. Maybe Tajiri won’t be gone for too long, which in that case WWE can have Kendrick doing this sort of stuff where he beats up on jobbers for a few weeks until Tajiri returns.
Backstage, Swann wishes Alexander good luck in tonight’s main event where he’ll be facing Neville. Swann tells Alexander to “save him some” because he’s got some unfinished business with Neville that he’s going to take care of at Royal Rumble.
Neville vs. Cedric Alexander
A quick series of counters between both men kick off the match. Good athleticism shown. Alexander dropkicks Neville off the apron and follows it with a big kick to the face. Neville then drives Alexander into the barricade over and over again. Neville rolls Alexander back in the ring, heads to the top rope and nails him with a missile dropkick.
Neville stays in control with a big forearm in the corner followed by some ground and pound. Neville throws Alexander into the ropes, but Alexander counters with a handspring kick to the head forcing Neville to retreat to ringside. Alexander follows this up with a big dive over the top rope and onto Neville. Alexander brings Neville back in the ring and hits him with a springboard clothesline, which only gets a two count.
Once it looks like Neville is fighting back, Alexander hits him with a Standing Spanish Fly! Wow, that looked great. Alexander goes for the pin, but Neville kicks out at two. Both men trade forearms and kicks until Neville hits Alexander with back-to-back German Suplexes. Neville goes for the cover, but Alexander kicks out. Neville sits Alexander on the top turnbuckle and looks for the superplex which has become his new finishing move. Alexander throws Neville off of him, but Neville lands on his feet to Alexander’s surprise.
Alexander looked to be gearing up to hit Neville with a springboard attack to finish the match, but Alexander sees Noam Dar running to ringside. Alexander takes out Dar and goes for the springboard attack again, but slips on the top rope and falls on the mat. Neville takes advantage of this and locks in a scissor armbar submission, which Alexander taps out to after about 14 minutes.
Winner by submission: Neville
Evaluation: Although Dar tried interfering at the end, this was still a good match. The main events of 205 Live are usually always worth watching since the 205 Live main events always give the cruiserweights the most time to wrestle; even more so than PPV’s.
Post-match, Dar enters the ring to taunt Alexander, but Neville tosses Dar out of the ring and beats up on Alexander some more. Swann rushes the ring and attacks Neville. Dar and Alexander brawl with each other out of the ring while Swann and Neville brawl in the ring. Officials rush the ring to separate Swann and Neville as 205 Live goes off the air.
Tonight was your typical episode of 205 Live, and when I say that I mean the majority of the episode is lackluster while the main event delivers. As is the case 90% of the time, if you were to watch anything from tonight’s episode, I recommend (the main event) Neville vs. Cedric Alexander.
Akira Tozawa next week! I’m really looking forward to his 205 Live debut. He’s one of the best cruiserweights in the division and I’m expecting his presence to add a lot to the show. Now we’re just waiting on CWC runner-up Gran Metalik to make his 205 Live debut. I genuinely don’t know what WWE’s waiting for on that one. He was originally off TV for a while to finish up dates in Mexico, but that was months ago. It’s time for Metalik!
I’m a little disappointed that there have not been any cruiserweights announced for the Royal Rumble Match, but I understand why as it would maybe make it confusing as to whether or not the cruiserweights are allowed to compete above the 205-pound limit. Since 205 Live’s still in its building stage, I get it. However, in the future I’d like to see a few cruiserweights in the Royal Rumble Match as a way to officially switch those few cruiserweights to the main roster. For instance, I can clearly see Cedric Alexander being an Intercontinental or United States Champion one day.
When it comes to Sunday’s Cruiserweight Championship match between Swann and Neville, since Royal Rumble is a four-hour show, I’m hoping they get enough time to tear the house down (because they can). I think Neville defeats Swann to become the new Cruiserweight Champion. Neville is the hottest cruiserweight on the roster right now and his heel act is working tremendously. It would also be better for the title to be on Neville as there are more credible face challengers like Alexander, Tozawa, Gallagher and eventually Gran Metalik.
Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.