The nineteenth episode of 205 Live is here! This week’s episode comes from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
The opening video package highlights WrestleMania 33’s Cruiserweight Championship match between Neville and Austin Aries. It opened the Kickoff Show and was a good match. Neville won and retained his Cruiserweight Championship by raking at Aries’ previously injured eye, and injury that kept Aries on the shelf for a few months. Aries sold Neville’s eye rake very well.
We get a nice opening pyro display as the commentary team of Tom Phillips and Corey Graves welcome us to the show. They let us know that tonight’s main event will be a Fatal 4-Way number one contender match between Austin Aries, TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher and Mustafa Ali.
Tozawa makes his way to the ring for a rematch from last week’s 205 Live main event match against Brian Kendrick. “The Man with a Plan” defeated Tozawa last week by exposing a turnbuckle and using it to his advantage. Kendrick enters next and has a microphone in hand. He tells Tozawa that he can’t believe Tozawa wanted a rematch and that he was going to teach him another lesson. Kendrick: “So, lesson number ten…” The crowd starts doing “ten” chants to which Kendrick says everyone looks like a bunch of goofballs. Lesson number ten is that it’s not about athleticism, it’s about psychological supremacy.
Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick
Kendrick exits the ring immediately to kick off the match. He takes his time getting back in the ring, so Tozawa exits as well and chases Kendrick back inside the ring. Tozawa lands some punches and a big boot, followed by a senton drop. Both men trade chops to the chest until Kendrick dodges a punch to the face and rolls up Tozawa for a nearfall. Kendrick then thumbs Tozawa in the eye to get a nearfall of his own. Kendrick locks Tozawa in a modified Camel Clutch, but war cry chants from the fans help Tozawa fight out of it. Tozawa lays out Kendrick with a dropkick and a big forearm. Tozawa throws Kendrick back and forth into the corners of the ring, hitting Kendrick with big moves before throwing him into the next corner. Tozawa forces Kendrick outside of the ring and hits him with a suicide dive before bringing Kendrick back inside.
Kendrick briefly fakes an eye injury and starts yelling at the referee that Tozawa poked him in the eye. Tozawa jumps off the top turnbuckle at Kendrick, but Kendrick dodges and Tozawa lies on the mat grabbing his right leg and yelling. The referee comes to check on him. Tozawa was just playing possum and faking an injury as the second Kendrick turned around, Tozawa rolled him up for the one-two-three. The match went about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Akira Tozawa
Post-match, Tozawa picks up a microphone and says “psychological supremacy? I just taught YOU lesson number one!”
Evaluation: Their match last week was much better, but still a solid match from these two. I thought their rivalry ended last week, but I guess it’s still going on. The story now is that Tozawa is taking something away from what Kendrick is teaching him, and he’s using it against him. This could either be the end of their rivalry or maybe it culminates in a Tozawa/Kendrick partnership.
Former Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann makes his way to the ring and he’ll be taking on NXT’s Oney Lorcan. I’m not sure if this is just a special occasion or if Lorcan is a new permanent addition to the cruiserweight division. If he’s a part of 205 Live on a regular basis, that could be good for the show. Although there’s not much to Lorcan’s character, he is pretty good in the ring and can add more depth to the division. Lorcan’s also a name that viewers who watch 205 Live likely recognize due to his time in NXT, so that adds more name recognition to the brand, I guess. I just have a tough time saying Lorcan adds “star power” lol.
Rich Swann vs. Oney Lorcan
As soon as the bell rings Lorcan charges at Swann with a big uppercut. He charges at Swann with a couple more running attacks in the corner and then lays out Swann with a devastating clothesline. Lorcan goes for the pin, but Lorcan kicks out at two. As soon as Swann kicks out, Lorcan gets on top of Swann and hammers away at his face with punches.
Swann tries fighting back, but Lorcan knocks Swann down with a big knee to the gut. Lorcan locks in a body scissors on Swann for a little until Swann escapes. Lorcan runs at Swann but Swann kicks Lorcan in the head. Swann goes to the top turnbuckle and is followed by Lorcan who attempts to throw Swann off the turnbuckle, but Swann lands on his feet. Swann tries to hit Lorcan with a powerbomb, but Lorcan hits Swann with a running Alabama Slam into the turnbuckle! Ow! That looked vicious. Lorcan goes for the cover, but Swann kicks out at two.
Swann starts to get control with punches to the face, clotheslines and a stomp to the back of Lorcan’s neck. Swann puts Lorcan in the corner and hurricanrana’s him off the top turnbuckle before hitting his finishing move, the Phoenix Splash, for the win after seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rich Swann
Evaluation: Good match and a very good debut from Lorcan. Lorcan’s wrestling style is very aggressive and feels different from what we’ve been seeing on 205 Live up to this point. If Lorcan becomes a permanent addition to the division, I think he can do quite well.
Post-match, Swann gets a microphone and tells the audience that he’s the one who’s been getting Alicia Fox gifts every week, not Noam Dar.
Evaluation: Well, that’s not really a major reveal. It’s been hinted at in the past that Swann was the one getting Fox the gifts and now we know that’s true. I just have not been liking any storyline involving Alicia Fox, insert boyfriend and insert third name who’s trying to make Fox their girlfriend. First it was Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar, know it’s Dar and Swann. The love triangle angle has been played out. The wresters involved in these stories are talented and deserve better. Let’s move on.
Mustafa Ali is shown walking backstage when he’s stopped by Drew Gulak. Gulak congratulates Ali on his impressive showing on this week’s Raw, even though he came up short against Neville. Gulak suggests what would have happened if Ali wrestled Neville a little more conservatively instead of using high risk moves. Ali said that he’s not buying whatever Gulak is selling. Gulak tells Ali that, like it or not, change is coming to 205 Live and that he just wanted to offer Ali a chance to be on the right side of history.
Note: Gulak’s current storyline is that he’s a wrestling traditionalist who does not like wrestlers using high risk moves just to please the audience because he (a) thinks they’re too dangerous and (b) thinks it isn’t real wrestling.
United Kingdom Championship Tournament competitors Trent Seven, Mark Andrews, Wolfgang and Pete Dunne are all standing on the stage as the ring announcer introduces them one-by-one to the fans. WWE United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate’s music plays as he comes out and is introduced too. Phillips lets us know that the stars of the United Kingdom Tournament and 205 Live will be touring Norwich, England this May. Phillips also lets us know that a United Kingdom weekly show will be arriving to the WWE Network in the near future.
Neville came down to the ring and said there is no one on the “Neville level.” He said his monumental victory at WrestleMania was a crowning moment in his already storied career. Neville said he gauged Aries’ orbital socket at WrestleMania because Aries deserved it. Neville thanked everyone for never believing in him because he said it lit a fire under him and turned him into royalty. Neville also thanks Aries because he needed a clown to obliterate at WrestleMania. Lastly, Neville thanks the entire 205 Live roster because their persistent, futile attempts to capture his title has done nothing but bolster his reputation. Neville said he’s going to take a ringside seat for the Fatal 4-Way number one contender main event, or as he likes to call it “four more lambs to the slaughter.”
Evaluation: It cannot be said enough how great Neville is as a heel champion. I hope he holds on to the Cruiserweight Title for a long time.
It’s main event time.
Fatal 4-Way: Jack Gallagher vs. TJ Perkins vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Austin Aries (Winner becomes the number one contender to the Cruiserweight Championship)
All four men go at it as soon as the bell rings and they each take turns throwing each other out of the ring. Perkins leaps over the top rope and hits a flying cross body on Ali at ringside. Gallagher teases his umbrella top rope jump, but Aries prevents it from happening. Aries hits a cool looking bulldog/clothesline combination on Aries and Gallagher. Ali gets in the ring and takes down Perkins with a hurricanrana and a spinning heel kick.
Ali throws Gallagher into the corner and Gallagher does his signature spot where he does a handstand in the corner and kicks out his legs to prevent anyone from charging at him. Aries comes from behind in order to toss Gallagher from the corner. Perkins then locks a knee bar submission on Gallagher. Gallagher looks like he’s ready to tap before Aries breaks it up and locks Perkins in the last chancery submission. This is broken up by a dropkick from Ali. Ali hits Gallagher with a flying crossbody off the top turnbuckle for a two count.
Gallagher locks Perkins in a standing dragon sleeper. While Gallagher holds the lock onto Perkins, Aries does the same to Gallagher. Ali then rolls through the ropes and hits Aries with a neckbreaker, taking down all three men. That looked cool. Ali tries cover each one of the three men, but they all kick out. Another big move happens when Ali’s sitting on the top turnbuckle dazed while Perkins is stuck in between the bottom and middle turnbuckle. Aries and Gallagher step up on Perkins’s body and double superplex Ali. Aries covers Ali at the same time Gallagher covers Perkins, but Ali and Perkins both kick out.
Aries suicide dives out of the ring on to Perkins and Ali. While all three men are laid out at ringside, Gallagher gets his umbrella (William the Third), goes to the top rope and jumps on to Aries, Perkins and Ali. Gallagher rolls Perkins back in the ring and tries hitting his finishing running kick in the corner, but Perkins dodges and knocks Gallagher out of the ring. Ali then hits Perkins with a tornado DDT and goes for the cover, but Aries breaks up the pin. Aries tries superplexing Ali, but Gallagher interrupts this by landing a big running kick on Ali, knocking Ali out of the ring. Gallagher then hits Aries with a big headbutt and goes for the pin on Aries, but Perkins pulls Aries out of the ring.
Perkins and Gallagher exchange a punches and kicks until Perkins gets the upper hand and nails Gallagher with the Detonation Kick. Gallagher’s moment bounces him off the ropes and into Perkins who he hits with a big headbutt before falling to the mat. Aries then hits Perkins with the Discus Fivearm for the one-two-three after about twelve minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Austin Aries
Evaluation: That was a fun main event match that kept a fast pace and included a lot of big spots. The crowd was into it and Aries gets another shot at Neville’s Cruiserweight Title. I like that the Aries/Neville rivalry will continue as they are both terrific talents and have more to give in the feud. Plus, Neville’s victory at WrestleMania could be looked at as unfair since he attacked Aries’ orbital socket, so it adds intrigue to the fact that Aries will try to not let something like that happen again.
Post-match, Aries and Neville taunt each other as 205 Live goes off the air.
Overall, this was a good episode of 205 Live. I guess even the post-WrestleMania episode of 205 Live tried to be a little more special. It seems like Oney Lorcan could be a new member of the cruiserweight division, we got an appearance from the UK Tournament stars and were informed that a weekly UK show is definitely on its way to the WWE Network in the near future, and the main event was nonstop action and big spots.
The crowd tonight was hot and more into the show than previous weeks. As most people know, 205 Live goes on the air immediately following Smackdown. This week’s Smackdown audience still had the rowdy leftovers from WrestleMania weekend attending, hoping to see something special, which they did. (This week’s Smackdown featured good matches, surprise returns and NXT call-ups. You can read John Canton’s detailed review of that right here.) A good crowd always makes for a better show, so I’m happy it leaked over into 205 Live as well.
That’s it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and if you like this review feel free to share it with your friends.
Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.