The twelfth episode of 205 Live is here! This week’s episode comes from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The opening video package highlights last week’s 205 Live Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match main event. The five competitors were TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander, Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher and Mustafa Ali. Gallagher won and earned an opportunity to face Neville at Raw’s Fastlane pay-per-view for the Cruiserweight Championship.
We get a nice opening pyro display as the commentary team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” Austin Aries welcome us to the show. They let us know that tonight’s main event will be TJ Perkins vs. Neville. We’ll also be seeing the 205 Live debut of Cruiserweight Classic runner-up, Gran Metalik.
Noam Dar makes his way to the ring with his girlfriend, Alicia Fox – or as Dar would say, Alicia Foooooooooxxxx. His opponent will be former Cruiserweight Champion, Rich Swann! This should be good!
Before the match starts, Swann takes a microphone and says that tonight is a very special night for two reasons. 1) because Swann is back on 205 Live (he missed two weeks due to injury) and 2) because it’s Valentine’s Day. Swann said tonight he’s going to dedicate this match to, Alicia Foooooooooxxxx. Swann: “But, baby girl, you can’t handle this.”
Noam Dar vs. Rich Swann
Dar grounds Swann to kick off the match, working on Swann’s left arm. Swann fights out of it and both men trade a series of reversals until Swann gets the upper hand. Dar retreats outside the ring to catch his breath. Dar gets back in the ring and is greeted by a drop toehold, snapmare and vicious kick from Swann for a two count.
Swann goes to the top turnbuckle, but Dar hits him with a roundhouse kick that knocks Swann off the turnbuckle. Dar does a little dancing to mock Swann. A butterfly suplex from Dar gets a two count. Dar goes back to working on Swann’s left arm. Swann escapes Dar’s lock and hits him with a big roundhouse kick of his own.
Swann fights back and dumps Dar outside the ring. Swann leaves the ring as well, but can’t get to Dar since Dar is hugging Fox, essentially using her as a shield. Using Fox as a shield, Dar gets to roll into the ring safely. Swann follows Dar, but Dar goes for a pin attempt on Swann and grabs the top rope for leverage, but Swann just kicks out at two.
Dar hits Swann with a big lariat from behind, but Swann kicks out again at two. Dar heads to the top turnbuckle, but Swann hits Dar with a hurricanrana followed by a Phoenix Splash for the win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rich Swann
Evaluation: Solid match from these two. Swann was working from behind for most of the match and had his comeback towards the end. One thing I’ve noticed with cruiserweight matches so far is that sometimes they’ll end rather abruptly. Dar will be in control most of the match, but all it takes is a quick hurricanrana and Phoenix Splash at the end and it’s over. Anyway, good for Swann in getting the win. WWE probably thought it was a good idea getting him the win since he’s been out of action the last two weeks due to injury and they want to keep him strong. Right now, Dar is a middle of the road guy in the roster. Since Neville’s the Cruiserweight Champ and a heel, I don’t think Dar will be competing for the title anytime soon, unless it’s in a big multi-person match.
TJ Perkins and Neville showed up on the big screen in the arena while Corey Graves interviewed them from his seat at the announcer’s table. Perkins and Neville were in separate rooms, so the image was a split screen.
Graves asked Neville if he stands by his statement from Raw, that Perkins is a bigger threat to his championship than the current number one contender, Jack Gallagher. Neville pretty much avoided the question saying that if he was in the Cruiserweight Classic, he would have won instead of Perkins. Perkins said he put the division on the map, but Neville said that once Neville showed up, Perkins took a back seat. Perkins insulted Neville, saying that he went from being the most dominant NXT Champion in history to a forgotten guy on Raw. This ticks off Neville who finishes the exchange saying, “mark my words, by the end of tonight, you’re going to regret saying that.”
Evaluation: Great back and forth from Neville and Perkins. It felt authentic and a lot of true statements were said. The insult from Perkins at the end was great because it was true. Perkins called Neville out on being a nobody on Raw. I’d like it if 205 Live did more of these kinds of segments going forward. It really helps in getting people invested and excited for the match.
Side note: Perkins was wearing a pretty cool t-shirt that had his name on it and an 8-bit video game figure of him. I went to WWE Shop to check it out and noticed he didn’t have his own page for merchandise. Then I noticed none of the cruiserweights have their own merchandise pages, aside for Neville, but it’s still Neville’s old babyface shirts. C’mon WWE Shop!
A video aired hyping Cruiserweight Classic runner-up, Gran Metalik. He makes his 205 Live debut right now!
Gran Metalik makes his way to the ring to a good reaction from the crowd. His opponent that will be losing tonight is Drew Gulak.
Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak
As soon as the bell rings, Gulak hits Metalik with a running dropkick and keeps him down with kicks to the body. Gulak throws Metalik into the ropes, but Metalik springboards off them and lands on his feet with a backflip. Metalik runs to the ropes and tries spring boarding off the second rope, but slips and gets caught in it. Gulak notices this and throws Metalik down to the mat, brings him to the corner and continues the attack.
Gulak throws Metalik into another corner, but Metalik counters Gulak’s attack with a hurricanrana that forces Gulak outside the ring. It looks like Metalik’s about to dive over the ropes, but he ends it in a somersault, tricking Gulak. Gulak gets in the ring and grounds Metalik, working on Metalik’s left arm. Metalik fights out of it and hits Gulak with a wheelbarrow arm drag. Metalik double springboards off the ropes to try and hit Gulak with a flying crossbody, but Gulak kicks Metalik in the chest and baseball slides Metalik out of the ring.
Gulak brings Metalik back in the ring and goes for the pin, but Metalik kicks out at two. Cool move from Gulak where he put Metalik in a Gory Special, then spun Metalik around and threw him down to the mat. Metalik fights back with forearms and a springboard crossbody. Metalik then knocks Gulak to ringside and pushes off the second rope to leap over the top rope and onto Gulak. Metalik brings Gulak back into the ring and hits him with the Metalik Driver for the win after six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Gran Metalik
Evaluation: It wasn’t the greatest first impression from Gran Metalik, but still pretty good. We saw a couple of Metalik’s signature spots in the Metalik Diver and the second rope dive. I feel like there were a couple of instances where Metalik went for springboard moves, and although they connected, it looked a bit awkward. I don’t know whether or not that spot with Metalik slipping at the beginning was supposed to happen or not, but if it was a mistake, props to Gulak for not missing a beat and making it seem like it was part of the match.
Akira Tozawa is seen backstage when he’s approached by (The) Brian Kendrick. Kendrick said Tozawa’s probably a little nervous at the opportunity of being mentored by, as Kendrick says “a living legend” in himself. Kendrick asks Tozawa if he’d be his protégé. Tozawa says no. Kendrick said Tozawa obviously doesn’t know what the word no means because of the language barrier. Kendrick asks Tozawa if he understands what is being offered to him. Tozawa says: “I understand. I don’t like you.” Tozawa leaves while Kendrick looks angry.
It’s main event time as TJ Perkins makes his way to the ring. I’m glad he’s not wearing those video game style glasses. Those looked pretty bad. The camera got a good shot of Perkins flinching when Neville’s pyro went off. That was funny.
TJ Perkins vs. Neville
Perkins gets in control to start the match, quickly countering everything Neville throws at him. This goes on for a couple minutes until Neville catches Perkins with a big forearm smash. Perkins quickly gets to the top turnbuckle though and hits Neville with a flying hurricanrana and a springboard crossbody for the two count. Neville threw Perkins into the ropes, but Perkins spun his way back into the ring and unleashed a series of quick punches and kicks on Neville. Perkins is looking really good right now.
Neville flapjacks Perkins over the top rope which sends Perkins to ringside. Neville throws Perkins back in the ring, goes to the top turnbuckle and hits Perkins with a missile dropkick, which ends up getting a two count. Neville continues the attack by taking the action to the outside and flapjacks Perkins on the barricade. Neville rolls Perkins back into the ring and goes for the pin, but Perkins kicks out at two.
Neville controls the pace until Perkins catches Neville with a neckbreaker and a springboard into the DDT. Perkins goes for the pin, but Neville kicks out at two. Perkins locks in a cross arm breaker on Neville, but Neville rolls over and impressively lifts Perkins up, hitting him with a powerbomb. Both men trade forearm shots until Perkins hits Neville with a roundhouse kick. Perkins goes to the top turnbuckle, but Neville goes to the top with him and looks for a superplex, but Perkins pushes Neville off the turnbuckle. Perkins jumps to hit a hurricanrana, but Neville catches him. However, Perkins turns it into a pin attempt, but Neville kicks out at two.
Neville quickly locks in a double arm bar submission in the center of the ring and Perkins has no choice but to tap out after 13 minutes.
Winner by submission: Neville
Evaluation: Another very good 205 Live main event match, as usual. Perkins and Neville are two of the absolute best in the division, and they showed why tonight. I still feel like both men are capable of so much more and can deliver us a classic. I just feel like, at times, you can tell the difference in wrestling style from the Cruiserweight Classic to 205 Live. I know both these guys have a lot more in their arsenal, but maybe they’re saving it for a bigger date.
Post-match, Jack Gallagher’s music hits. Gallagher rushes the ring and attacks Neville with European uppercuts and his signature headbutt, sending Neville to retreat outside the ring. 205 Live goes off the air with Gallagher taunting Neville from the middle of the ring with Neville’s Cruiserweight Championship.
Overall, this was a good episode of 205 Live. We’ve been pretty lucky these last few weeks as we’ve had a string of good shows.
Although 205 Live doesn’t seem like an important show to watch (and it is true, if you miss it you’re not missing anything major) it is an easy show to watch considering the wrestling is always solid to great and it moves quickly since it’s only an hour long.
That’s it for this week. I’m going to keep my final thoughts a little shorter this time as everything I had to say about the rest of the episode is really in my notes and evaluations throughout the review. As always, thanks for reading and if you enjoyed this review, share it with someone else you think would enjoy it!