WWE 205 Live Review 01/31/17 by Mark McAllen

The tenth episode of 205 Live is here! Tonight’s episode comes from the American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The opening video package recaps the Cruiserweight Championship Match between Rich Swann and Neville from Royal Rumble. Neville defeated Swann to become the new Cruiserweight Champion.

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.

Tonight’s main event was supposed to be Neville and Noam Dar vs. Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander. However, Graves lets us know that Rich Swann is not medically cleared to compete tonight. Therefore, “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher will be taking his place.

Note: I have not heard anything about Swann suffering an injury, so it could be a work. Maybe Swann needed a day off for a different reason.

We’re also reminded that Akira Tozawa will be making his 205 Live debut tonight.

Tony Nese makes his way to the ring. He beat TJ Perkins during last week’s 205 Live and defeated Mustafa Ali on this week’s Raw. Lince Dorado will be his opponent. Dorado’s good, but I feel like he’s becoming the Sin Cara of 205 Live. He’s just really here to put others over.

Tony Nese vs. Lince Dorado

Nese backs Dorado into the corner, then slams him to the mat. They stare each other down before Dorado gets the upper hand with a drop toehold, hurricanrana and diving crossbody. Dorado springboards off the ropes and connects with a unique looking head scissors takedown.

Dorado heads to the top rope, but before Dorado gets to do anything, Nese slaps him and nails Dorado with a firemen’s carry into a gutbuster. Nese goes for the cover, but only gets a two count. Nese slows down the pace a bit with a body scissors submission hold.

Dorado fights out of it, hits Nese with a series of lariats and a handspring stunner for a two count. Dorado hits Nese with a springboard moonsault, which again, only gets a two count. Dorado looks stunned.

Nese find his way to the top rope, but Dorado gets to the top rope as well. It looks like Dorado’s about to hit Nese with a big move, but Nese tries ripping off Dorado’s mask then pushes him off the turnbuckle. Nese sits Dorado in the corner and hits him with a big running knee, the same running knee that helped him knock out TJ Perkins during last week’s 205 Live. Nese covers and gets the one-two-three after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tony Nese

Evaluation: Good match from these guys. I really like Dorado. When given the opportunity, he can really shine. He had a great showing against Nese with a lot of exciting moves that helped him almost win. He’s got a lot of potential if WWE ever decides to give him a push. Nice showing from Nese too. That running knee of his looks painful.

Post-match, Nese exits the ring and attacks Dorado. He throws Dorado back in the ring and German Suplexes him into the corner. Nese sits Dorado in the corner again to hit his running knee attack once more, but TJ Perkins comes out to make the save. Perkins hits Nese with his signature Detonation Kick, forcing Nese to retreat to the ramp while Perkins taunts him from inside the ring.

Evaluation: I really like how there’s a rivalry’s brewing between Nese and Perkins. It feels fresh and we can be in for a great series of matches.

Tom Philips interviews Rich Swann who is backstage on crutches and wearing a boot on his left foot. Swann said he hurt his ankle on Raw when he kicked Neville in the head. Swann said once he gets his boot off, he’s going to get his re-match against Neville and become the Cruiserweight Champion again. Neville shows up and tells Swann to stay down next time and then pushes him to the ground.

Note: If we’re taking Swann for his word and see the crutches and boot on his foot, it doesn’t make sense as he kicked Neville in the head with his right foot. If he’s actually injured, I’m assuming it may have happened when he suicide dived onto Neville during Raw. He landed kind of weird on his left leg, so maybe that’s it.

A video is shown hyping up Gran Metalik! Finally!!! It only said that he’s “coming soon,” but it’s better than not getting any Metalik videos and not knowing what the hell’s going on with him.

(The) Brian Kendrick makes his entrance and is on his way to the commentary table.

Out comes Akira Tozawa for his 205 Live debut! I’m excited that he’s finally shown up, since it’s been about two and a half months since the show started. He was terrific in the CWC and will be a great addition to the cruiserweight division. He’ll be facing Aaron Solow, who will clearly be doing the job.

Fun fact: Aaron Solow is engaged to Bayley. They’ve been dating for a while, before she was in WWE.

Akira Tozawa vs. Aaron Solow

Tozawa takes down Solow quickly and keeps him down with a headlock. We immediately hear Tozawa yelling and grunting loudly, which is part of his shtick. The crowd usually yells back.

Tozawa hits Solow with a big kick to the chest followed by a senton splash. He goes for a cover, but Solow kicks out at two. More grunting as he slaps Solow in the chest repeatedly. The crowd’s catching on quickly as they’re grunting back at Tozawa.

Solow briefly gets some punches in before Tozawa connects with a leaping hurricanrana which was followed by a suicide dive outside the ring and onto Solow. Tozawa throws Solow back in the ring and hits Solow with a snap German Suplex for the win after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Akira Tozawa

Evaluation: Quick and simple match to put over Tozawa and give the audience a sample of what he can do. His signature snap German Suplex is one of the fastest snap suplexes I’ve ever seen. Since Kendrick was at commentary for the match, it looks like he’ll be in a feud with Tozawa. Kendrick was initially going to feud with Tajiri before Tajiri got injured. Still not too sure yet as to when Tajiri should be returning.

Post-match, Austin Aries is in the ring with a microphone. Aries asks Tozawa if he speaks English and if there’s anything he’d like to tell the crowd. Tozawa says something in Japanese and that’s it. Not sure what the point of that segment was other than to let us know that Tozawa doesn’t speak English.

Neville is shown in the locker room as Noam Dar and Alicia Fox show up. Dar congratulates Neville and says that tonight they’re guaranteed a victory against Gallagher and Alexander. Neville said that he never asked Dar to be his partner and that he doesn’t need Dar’s help. He tells Dar to keep his mouth shut, nose clean and to not screw this up. Lastly, Neville tells Dar, “One more thing. I don’t care about your love life, so you can leave your baggage at home.”

Evaluation: Ohhhh snap. Heel Neville is great.

It’s main event time…

Neville and Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander and Jack Gallagher

Neville looks like he’s bullying Dar, saying he’s starting the match instead of Dar. Gallagher starts for his team. Neville takes down Gallagher with a headlock, but Gallagher uniquely escapes it with a handstand. Neville locks in an arm bar to keep the pace slow, but Gallagher escapes it with twists and turns.

Dar tags himself in and immediately looks sorry for doing so. Dar throws Gallagher into the corner, but Gallagher does a handstand in the corner, then gets Dar in a side headlock. Gallagher tags Alexander in who works on Dar’s left arm. Alexander hits Dar with a head scissors takedown and dropkick. He goes for the cover but Dar kicks out at two.

Alexander tags Gallagher back in, who puts Dar in an interesting looking arm submission that turns into a pin attempt. Dar kicks out at two. Neville cheap shots Gallagher when the referee wasn’t looking. Dar tags in Neville and continues the attack with a big dropkick to the back of Gallagher’s head. Snap suplex followed by a forearm smash from Neville. The King of the Cruiserweights goes to the top rope and hits Gallagher with a missile dropkick that only gets a two count. Dar has his hand out for a tag, but Neville won’t tag him in.

Dar tags himself in which ticks off Neville. Dar smashes Gallagher’s arm over his shoulder, then holds onto Gallagher’s arm as he suplexes Gallagher over him. While Dar taunts Alexander, Gallagher catches him off guard with a rollup, but Dar kicks out at two. Right when Dar stands back up Gallagher hits him with a huge headbutt. Since it hurt Gallagher as much as it did Dar, Gallagher falls forward onto Dar for the pin. but Neville breaks up the pin right as the ref’s hand was coming down for three.

Neville yells at Dar to tag him in, when Dar makes it to the corner Neville jumps off the ring apron and leaves Dar hanging. He tells Dar that he had his chance and leaves. Alexander hits Dar with a springboard lariat and a handspring roundhouse kick. Dar tries to leave, but Gallagher throws Dar back in the ring. Alexander hits his finishing move, the lumbar check for the win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Cedric Alexander and Jack Gallagher

Evaluation: That was a fun tag match with some nice spots that also helped flesh out Neville more as a character. He’s the kind of guy that doesn’t care who you are (babyface or heel), if you don’t do as he says, he’ll take you out/turn his back on you.

205 Live goes off the air with Alexander and Gallagher getting their hands raised and celebrating in the ring.

Final Thoughts

Overall, that was a good episode of 205 Live. I enjoyed the whole show, from top to bottom, which I don’t often say.

The opening match between Nese and Dorado was good. It put over Nese as a dominant heel, showcased Dorado’s skills and furthered the rivalry between Nese and Perkins.

Although the Tozawa match was a squash match, I’m happy he finally debuted and it looks like we’re definitely getting a feud between him and Brian Kendrick. I can’t wait to see more of Tozawa on 205 Live and Raw.

The main event was good as it always is. 205 Live’s main event every week is the match that always gives the cruiserweights the most time to wrestle, so naturally they’ll have a good match and impress.

I’ve noticed that Austin Aries now seems to be doing the post-match interviews for the cruiserweight matches instead of people like Dasha Fuentes, Charlie Caruso or Tom Philips. I think this is because when Aries is ready to compete again, he’ll be interviewing someone, and in the middle of the interview or after it, he’ll attack his interviewee.


That’s it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and if you liked this review feel free to share it with your friends.