The fourth episode of 205 Live is here! This week’s episode takes place at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
The opening video package highlights the triple threat Cruiserweight Title match at Roadblock this past Sunday. Swann retained by defeating Perkins and Kendrick. After the match, Neville hit the ring and attacked Swann. When Perkins tried to help Swann, Neville took out Perkins too.
We also see highlights from Neville’s “I’ve officially turned heel” promo from this week’s Raw. I really liked his promo. I didn’t think he was capable of doing well on the mic as I wasn’t impressed with the little time Neville got to speak when he was a babyface, but he impressed me Monday. Neville said he’s “going to obliterate the division.”
Evaluation: Having Neville in the cruiserweight division is great for the division and for 205 Live. The division needed a little more star power and established stars so the WWE Universe would care a little more and not be sitting on their hands during the cruiserweight matches. The opening video package chronicling Neville’s turn felt significant. After three months, the cruiserweights finally have a storyline that feels important.
For the record, I like 205 Live’s theme song. 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 Rich Swann and TJ Perkins vs. Neville and Brian Kendrick.
Evaluation: It was easy to see that coming from what happened on this week’s Raw. Neville took out Swann and Perkins again while Kendrick said he respects and has a lot in common with Neville.
As Ariya Daivari makes his way to the ring, we get a video about his rivalry with Jack Gallagher. Lince Dorado makes his way to the ring next. He had an exciting match with Mustafa Ali last week.
Let’s see if “The Golden Lynx” of lucha libre can have another impressive outing. By the way, I didn’t know what that nickname meant. I looked it up and the Google definition of lynx is “a wild cat with yellowish-brown fur (sometimes spotted), a short tail, and tufted ears, found chiefly in the northern latitudes of North America and Eurasia.” So, there ya go.
“The Persian Lion” Ariya Daivari vs. “The Golden Lynx” Lince Dorado
– Although this match was not too long, it was interesting to see the contrast of styles between Dorado and Daivari. Dorado is more of the high flyer and typical luchador while Daivari is more of a ground and pound guy who really only goes to the top rope for his finishing move, the frog splash.
– Dorado showed a lot of great athleticism and agility here. He kicked off the match by doing a bunch of hand spring flips to avoid Daivari.
– Dorado controlled a lot of this match and looked like the star. He showed off a lot of big moves like the handspring stunner (ala Jay Lethal), diving crossbody off the top turnbuckle, a leap over the top rope out onto the floor and a springboard hurricanrana.
– There was an Austin Aries chant during this match. That’s not a good sign for this match as it tells me the crowd’s not into it. Aries chants have been happening during at least one 205 Live match per week.
– The match finished with Daivari standing slouched in the corner. Dorado runs at him, but Daivari gets his feet up, hitting Dorado with boots to the face. It didn’t look like Daivari connected too well with it though. This is followed by a frog splash from Daivari and he pins Dorado for the win after about six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: “The Persian Lion” Ariya Daivari
Evaluation: That’s it? Dorado was in control for the majority of the match and looked more impressive. The match was okay, I just don’t think the boots followed by the frog splash should have been enough to put away Dorado.
Daivari is interviewed in the ring after his win. He says the WWE Universe turns a blind eye to Gallagher because he’s entertaining even though he’s a jerk to his opponents. I guess that’s a valid statement as Gallagher does do a few moves during his matches that embarrass his opponents, such as the Full Windsor Knot. He calls Gallagher a scoundrel.
What to take away from this: Daivari’s still angry with Gallagher and this rivalry’s not over.
Neville is shown in the locker room when Kendrick approaches him. Kendrick tells Neville that he’s excited to have him here on 205 Live, that he’s happy Neville is his partner tonight and thinks they’ll do great things together.
Neville angrily cuts Kendrick off and tells him that he respects Kendrick’s accomplishments and that they’ve built the foundation of the cruiserweight division by competing against guys who were 300 pounds in front of an audience that didn’t respect them. Neville finishes by saying that although Kendrick is his partner tonight, he’s not his friend “and on 205 Live, there’s only room for one king of the cruiserweights.”
Evaluation: I love Neville’s new attitude. He looks so angry when he talks and I buy it. He’s got a believable mean face. Guys like The Usos and Jinder Mahal try to pull off the tough guy face, but it doesn’t look intimidating. Neville looks intimidating.
A video aired hyping Tajiri’s 205 Live debut. It said Tajiri is “coming soon.” The word “soon” is quite vague; just ask Emma, Gran Metalik and Akira Tozawa.
Cedric Alexander makes his entrance accompanied by his girlfriend, Alicia Fox. Alexander defeated Noam Dar on this week’s Raw. After the match, Dar said that Alexander still has what he wants, Alicia Fox. “And Foxy baby, all I want for Christmas is you.”
Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak
– There were “let’s go Cedric” chants to kick off the match. That’s rare for the cruiserweights on 205 Live and telling of how Alexander connects with the audience.
– There was a spot in the match where Alexander lifted Gulak up for a suplex near the ropes and suplexed Gulak out of the ring. When this happened, Alexander fell over the ropes with Gulak. You don’t see that spot too often.
– Once both men got to their feet at ringside, Gulak shoved Alexander into Alicia Fox. Alexander looked down at Fox in shock. Fox is selling an ankle injury at ringside while Gulak tosses Alexander back into the ring. Noam Dar then comes down to ringside and carries Fox backstage for help.
– While Alexander sees this, Gulak tries to catch Alexander off guard and roll him up for a pin, but Alexander kicks out. Alexander hits his finishing move, the Lumbar Check and picks up the win after about six minutes. Right when Alexander wins, he exits the ring and runs backstage to check on Fox and Dar.
Winner by pinfall: Cedric Alexander
Evaluation: I was never a big fan of love triangle storylines, and this is no exception. Hopefully this leads to Alexander and Dar having a 15 to 20 minute match where they get the opportunity to tear the house down.
Gulak is interviewed as he’s walking up the ramp and exiting. Gulak blames Alicia Fox for his loss. He says this is a man’s world and women don’t belong on 205 Live. Maybe his new gimmick could be a sexist?
A video airs about Jack Gallagher. It showed some funny parts of his wrestling style and personality. He’s not on this week’s episode, so this was pretty much just a way to keep him in the conscious of the fans as he’s one of the few cruiserweights that draw a reaction from the crowd.
Alicia Fox is shown backstage icing her ankle and Dar is by her side. Alexander rushes into the room to check on her. Fox said she’s lucky Noam came. Dar told Fox that if she ever needs help again, he’ll be there.
It’s main event time as Neville makes his way to the ring first. He’s in all black gear since he’s a bad guy now. It’s also worth noting that Swann got the biggest pop of the night once his music hit.
Neville & Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann & TJ Perkins
– It looks like Neville tells Kendrick to get out of the ring because he wants to start the match. There were some “let’s go Neville” chants.
– Neville showed a lot of aggression in his wrestling style. His style is much more stiff now. If this heel turn means a more aggressive wrestling style from Neville, then I’m all for it. When he was a babyface, he had a tendency to be a little too jumpy/acrobatic.
– Neville was referred to as “The King of the Cruiserweights” what felt like a hundred times. That will definitely be his new nickname, so say goodbye to “The Man that Gravity Forgot.”
– Neville didn’t tag in Kendrick that much. If Kendrick was in the match he likely tagged himself in. Neville has the attitude that he can do it himself. This match had a lot of great spots and went about 14 minutes. It ended with Neville hitting Perkins with the Red Arrow for the victory.
Winners by pinfall: Neville & Brian Kendrick
Kendrick cares about getting his hand raised by the referee while Neville doesn’t. Neville threw his hand off the refs once the ref grabbed it. 205 Live goes off the air with Kendrick looking happy, Neville looking angry, and Swann and Perkins in pain at ringside.
Overall, this was an okay episode of 205 Live with a good main event match.
If you watch one match from tonight it should definitely be the tag team main event.
Still no Gran Metalik and Akira Tozawa. Why not?
I think Neville works terrifically as a heel. He’s different than a bully/comedy heel like Kevin Owens. Neville’s more of a traditional heel in that he’s not out there to get cheers or be the cool guy. This works for some, but not others, however, I think Neville nails it. He’s a great addition to this division and to 205 Live.
Picture used above is courtesy of WWE.com.