Welcome to the twenty-eighth episode of 205 Live! This week’s episode comes from the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York.
The opening video package highlights Neville and TJP’s working relationship as well as what transpired on this week’s Raw between them. Some time ago Neville promised TJP a Cruiserweight Title match if he was to help Neville out with Austin Aries. Since Neville defeated Aries at Extreme Rules this past Sunday, TJP approached Neville about having a title match. Neville said he spoke with Raw GM Kurt Angle about it and said Angle won’t approve of the match. After TJP told Neville that they should speak with Angle together right now, Neville attacked TJP and told him that he’ll get his title opportunity tomorrow (tonight) on 205 Live.
We get a nice opening pyro display as the commentary team of Tom Phillips and Corey Graves welcome us to the show. They remind us of tonight’s main event being Neville vs. TJP for the Cruiserweight Championship.
Noam Dar makes his way to the ring and calls Cedric Alexander jealous because Alicia Fox left him. Dar said Fox is currently at home recovering from a neck injury, but she wants Dar to tell Cedric that he should move on. Cedric eventually interrupts Dar and now the two will have a match.
Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander
The match starts off a bit slow with both men trading offensive moves until Dar eventually gets the upper hand and begins to work on the left arm of Cedric. Every Dar match on 205 Live usually consists of him working on one of his opponents arms for most of the match, so I was pretty much just waiting for it to begin. However, Dar doesn’t get to work on Cedric’s arm for too long as he nails Dar with a big back elbow shot and a handspring enziguri kick. Cedric hits his signature springboard clothesline and goes for the cover, but Dar kicks out at two.
Dar catches Cedric off guard and tries getting a pinfall on him with a quick rollup, but Cedric kicks out at two. Cedric then does the same to Dar, locking in an inside cradle, but Dar kicks out. Cedric runs at Dar in the corner, but Dar gets his foot up and hits Cedric in the face. Dar runs at a dazed Cedric Alexander, but Cedric takes a page out of Randy Orton’s book and hits his finishing move, the Lumbar Check, on Dar OUTTA NOWHERE. The match went about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cedric Alexander
Post-match, Cedric tells Dar that he’s done, “I’ve moved on and you should too.”
Evaluation: It wasn’t a long match, but it was pretty solid. I liked how Cedric was able to hit the Lumbar Check so quickly to finish the match. That can add a new element to his matches (similar to Randy Orton) in that it tells the audience that the match can end abruptly if Cedric’s able to connect with his finisher. I liked Cedric telling Dar at the end of the match that their beef is over. That was a rivalry Cedric had before he was injured and it wasn’t great. I like how it was addressed and how they’re hopefully moving on from that story.
A video package of TJP is shown. He’s then shown backstage being interviewed by Dasha Fuentes. TJP says that tonight’s only about him and that this brand was created to showcase his talent. TJP says that Neville made the biggest mistake of his life because now he has a TJP problem.
Mustafa Ali vs. Louis Valle
Valle is here to be jobbing to Ali. Let’s see if he puts forth a good effort or if this is just a squash match.
Valle gets in some offense initially. He wins the test of strength, locks in some rest holds, connects with a clothesline and even gets a cover on Ali, but that’s where it ends for Valle. Ali fights back with forearm shots, a kick to the face and his signature rolling neckbreaker. Ali goes to the top turnbuckle to hit his finishing move, the inverted 450 Splash, but he’s distracted by Drew Gulak. Gulak makes comes out with his “No Fly Zone” sign and a megaphone, yelling his usual stuff about high flying. Valle tries to roll up Ali for the win, but Ali counters and rolls up Valle for the one-two-three after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali
Post-match, Gulak congratulates Ali on winning the match by staying grounded. Gulak says he’s so proud of Ali. Gulak said if Ali follows him and stays grounded, he will find success and reach his full potential. Gulak tries to convince Ali to join his campaign for a better 205 Live. Ali cuts off Gulak by diving over the top rope onto him.
Evaluation: The match was short and won by Ali as expected. It was nothing special. I liked how Gulak came out and praised Ali for winning without using the inverted 450 Splash though. It seems like this rivalry between both men will continue until they have their blow off match. This match and post-match segment has me thinking that a grounded, traditionalist, anti-high-flying faction led by Gulak would be interesting to see in the future.
A video package is shown highlighting Rich Swann. He’s one of the most over cruiserweights in the division. I’m guessing he won’t be wrestling tonight, so this video package is just a way to keep him in the minds of the fans.
Swann is shown backstage talking to Akira Tozawa until Titus O’Neil interrupts. Titus said that the Titus Brand is looking to go international and that Tozawa’s best friend, Apollo Crews, recommended Tozawa. Titus told Tozawa that he doesn’t have to give him an answer right now, but to give him a call.
Neville is interviewed about his upcoming match with TJP and says that TJP was nothing more than a tool, that he’s no different from the rest of the pretenders, and that he’s simply not on the Neville level.
It’s main event time.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Neville (c) vs. TJP
Tom Phillips mentions that Neville hasn’t been pinned or submitted in a one-on-one match since October. That’s an interesting stat. The match starts at a slow pace with both men taking turns on offense. The action spills outside and Neville starts to get the upper hand as he tosses TJP into the barricade a couple times and drops him onto the announce table. As TJP gets himself back in the ring before the count of ten, Neville looks confused as to why TJP wouldn’t just give up.
Neville goes to the top turnbuckle and hits TJP with a missile dropkick. He goes to the top rope for another move, but TJP prevents him from doing so, knocking Neville to ringside then diving over the top rope onto him. Once both men enter the ring, TJP hits his signature Wrecking Ball dropkick followed by a gut buster. TJP goes for the pin, but Neville kicks out at two.
TJP goes for his finishing move, the Detonation Kick, but Neville counters and lays TJP out with a big kick to the face. Neville goes for the cover, but TJP kicks out. Neville starts yelling at TJP, “why do you do this to me? Why are you making me do this?” This sparks something in TJP who starts fighting back with kicks to Neville’s left knee. Neville stops TJP and goes for the Phoenix Splash, but TJP rolls out of the way and locks in the kneebar. Neville struggle for a while before countering it into a pin attempt and then into the Rings of Saturn submission. The Rings of Saturn proves to be too much for TJP as he taps out after about fourteen minutes.
Winner by submission: Neville
Evaluation: Good match as expected from these two. I really liked the last few minutes. It had me thinking that WWE might shock us with a TJP victory. Neville’s performing on a very high level right now both in the ring and on the mic, his character is working, everything’s just clicking. Good showing from TJP too. I’ve really liked his heel turn. I wonder where they go with him from here and who’s next to challenge for the Cruiserweight Championship.
205 Live goes off the air with Neville celebrating his victory in the ring.
This was your typical episode of 205 Live: okay opening match, squash/enhancement match and a good main event. Some of 205 Live is working such as Neville and TJP, but for whatever reason the fans still just don’t care which makes the show feel like an afterthought/filler. I think the style of wrestling needs to change in the cruiserweight division if WWE ever wants 205 Live to takeoff and be a success. They need to go back to the Cruiserweight Classic style of wrestling and let the wrestling be what’s getting over the wrestlers. I know it’s different on the main roster, but the cruiserweight division needs to differentiate itself and what its currently doing clearly isn’t working.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on how the show could improve as well as who you think the next challenger for Neville’s Cruiserweight Title should be.
As is always the case, I put a lot of my thoughts on the show in my evaluations throughout the review, so I’ll leave it at that.
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Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.