Welcome to the twenty-second episode of 205 Live! This week’s episode comes from the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
The opening video package highlights last night’s cruiserweight tag match on Raw. It saw the team of Aries and Gallagher defeat Neville and Perkins due to Neville deciding not to help Perkins when he needed it.
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 Neville vs. Jack Gallagher.
Rich Swann & Akira Tozawa vs. Noam Dar & The Brian Kendrick
Before the bell rings, Kendrick throws his jacket on Tozawa’s head and both Kendrick and Dar attack Swann and Tozawa. However, Swann and Tozawa eventually get the upper hand, sending Kendrick and Dar to ringside and proceeding to suicide dive onto them.
All four men get back in the ring as the bell rings to officially kick off the match. Swann begins the match against Kendrick and is on the offensive until he heads to the top turnbuckle and Dar sweeps his legs out from underneath him. Kendrick tags in Dar who works on Swann’s left arm, before quickly tagging Kendrick back in. Kendrick hits Swann with a snap suplex for a count of two. Swann keeps trying to make the tag to Tozawa, but Kendrick does a good job of preventing Swann from doing so. Eventually Swann takes out Kendrick with an enziguri kick and makes the hot tag to Tozawa who takes out both Kendrick and Dar.
Tozawa suplexes Dar and is clearly in control, but Kendrick catches Tozawa on the apron and holds him by his arms, leaving him exposed for Dar to attack him. Dar runs at Tozawa, but Tozawa ducks and Dar ends up hitting Kendrick by mistake. Tozawa follows this up by nailing Dar with a shining wizard for the win after about 5 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa
Post-match, Tozawa gets on the mic and said Kendrick did a poor job of picking his partner. Lesson #4 is to always choose wisely.
Evaluation: I guess this was an okay match for the time given, but it was way too short. Hot tags should not be happening 4 minutes into a match. It also didn’t seem like a lot happened in it aside from the last minute of the match where Dar accidentally hits Kendrick, and Tozawa hits the shining wizard for the win. The match could pretty much be summed up in that one sentence. I’ve wrote this a bunch of times before, but I’m ready for this Kendrick/Tozawa feud to end already. This rivalry is feeling too repetitive.
Dasha Fuentes is backstage ready to interview Neville. Fuentes asks Neville how he’s prepared for his main event tonight against Jack Gallagher. Neville said that he’s already proven that Gallagher doesn’t belong in the same ring as him. He said that he hopes Aries pays attention to what happens tonight, because it’ll be a preview of their Cruiserweight Title match at Payback this Sunday, April 30. He ends the interview by saying all will bend the knee, to the King of the Cruiserweights.
Mustafa Ali and Tony Nese make their way to the ring for a one-on-one match with each other. Drew Gulak’s music hits before the bell rings. Gulak comes down the ramp with a mega phone and a sign that says “no fly zone.” Gulak introduced himself to the fans and said that he believes in a better 205 Live. He asked the audience to chant along with him, “I’m not lying! No high flying!” Nobody chanted with Gulak.
Gulak heads over to the announce table and will be a guest commentator for this match.
Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese
Nese kicks off the match flexing his muscles a lot. Ali gives it right back to Nese, flexing as well. Ali hits Nese with a big spinning heel kick and goes for the cover, but Nese kicks out at two. Nese wastes no time fighting back though as he hits Ali with two big clotheslines and goes for the cover as well, but Ali kicks out. Nese holds Ali up in the air for a while before throwing him abdomen first into the top rope. The match works at a slow pace as Nese stays in control and flexes some more.
Ali begins to fight back with counters and lands a big move with a flying crossbody off the top turnbuckle. Ali follows this up with his signature rolling neckbreaker, which forces Nese to retreat outside the ring. Ali continues the attack by somersaulting over the ring post and onto Nese at ringside. Ali rolls Nese in the ring and heads to the top turnbuckle to hit his finishing move, the inverted 450 Splash, but Gulak pulls Nese out of the ring, saving Nese. Since Gulak laid his hands on Nese, Nese defeated Ali via disqualification after about eight minutes.
Winner by disqualification: Tony Nese
Post-match, Ali goes to the top turnbuckle and hits Gulak with a big flying somersault attack. Gulak retreats up the ramp as Ali taunts him from inside the ring.
Evaluation: This match was nothing special. Right when this match seemed like it was going to start to pick up, Gulak pulls Nese out of the ring and gets Ali disqualified. That was a weird finish to a match that was pretty slow for the most part. I initially liked that WWE was letting Gulak talk more, but I don’t know if I see this character working anymore. It had potential, but it seems like it’s taking comedy route rather than the serious route which just makes Gulak come across as silly.
It’s main event time! Gallagher and Neville has a great match this year at Fastlane. Let’s see if they can repeat that level of performance.
Jack Gallagher vs. Neville
Gallagher stays in control for the beginning of the match with headlocks, pin attempts and a dropkick that sends Neville to ringside. While at ringside, Neville takes Gallagher’s umbrella and throws it up the ramp. Gallagher, upset by this, suicide dives out onto Neville then throws him back into the ring. Gallagher runs at Neville, but Neville counters and gains control. Neville goes to the top turnbuckle and hits Gallagher with a big launching dropkick. Neville lays the beat down on Gallagher in the corner with kicks to the gut and face.
The pace has been rather slow thus far and Neville keeps it slow by keeping Gallagher in a side headlock until he snap suplexes him. Neville drives Gallagher into the corner then steps on Gallagher’s face and taunts him. Neville locks in the side headlock again; there’s been too many rest holds in this match. Gallagher counters and tries rolling up Neville for the win, but Neville kicks out. Gallagher uppercuts Neville a few times and hits another dropkick. Gallagher covers Neville again but Neville kicks out at two.
Neville puts Gallagher’s momentum to a halt as he slams Gallagher face first into the mat and taunts him some more. Neville runs at Gallagher and Gallagher dropkicks Neville, however Neville just kip ups right away as if it didn’t faze him in the least. Neville gets in Gallagher’s face yelling “not today” but leaves himself open for a big headbutt from Gallagher. Gallagher hits Neville with a butterfly suplex and sits Neville at the top of the turnbuckle. Gallagher looks like he’s going for the superplex, but Neville rakes at Gallagher’s eyes and follows this up with a big kick to the back of Gallagher’s neck. Neville puts Gallagher in the Rings of Saturn submission forcing Gallagher to tap after about ten minutes.
Winner by submission: Neville
Evaluation: The match seemed like it never really got going. They worked at a slow pace for about 85% of it and even the ending sequence fell flat. The match just sort of ended abruptly and that was it. It was also a little short for the typical 205 Live main event which usually gets about 15 minutes, give or take. This was no where near the level of their match at Fastlane this year.
Post-match, Neville exits the ring and heads up the ramp to leave, but then runs back and meets Gallagher at the bottom of the ramp with a big boot to the face. Neville tries locking in the Rings of Saturn submission again, but Austin Aries comes out to make the save, hitting Neville with the Discus Fivearm and then locking in the Last Chancery.
205 Live goes off the air with Aries in the ring taunting the Cruiserweight Champion.
This has to have been the worst episode of 205 Live yet. The first two matches were below average and the main event, which is usually anywhere from good to great was just meh. The cruiserweights all seem like they are just going through the motions way too much. It’s becoming boring to watch. The matches aren’t feeling memorable and nothing seems to matter aside from the Cruiserweight Title storyline.
There needs to be a change in 205 Live. I think the cruiserweights need to get over by just letting them put on the same kind of matches they did in the Cruiserweight Classic. In terms of match quality and style, comparing the Cruiserweight Classic to 205 Live is like comparing night and day. I’m interested to hear your comments as to what you think could help the cruiserweight division.
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.