The fifteenth episode of 205 Live is here! This week’s episode come from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
It’s been a great last two days for the cruiserweight division. Sunday night’s Fastlane pay-per-view saw Neville successfully defend his Cruiserweight Title against Jack Gallagher in what I felt stole the show as the match of the night. The next night on Raw, Neville again successfully defended his Cruiserweight Title, this time against Rich Swann, in a terrific match that was again the best match of the night and on a typical Raw, where we weren’t setting up for WrestleMania and had appearances by Goldberg, Lesnar and Undertaker, would have probably stole the show as well. Lastly, the icing on the cake of a great two days for the cruiserweight division saw Austin Aries attack “The King of the Cruiserweights”, symbolizing his official return to action and hinting at a possible WrestleMania match between himself and Neville for the Cruiserweight Title.
I’m not expecting the same level of greatness from the cruiserweights on this week’s 205 Live, because I feel like WWE saves the big cruiserweight matches or moments for pay-per-views or episodes of Raw, but here’s to hoping they keep it up!
The opening video package highlights the big moment from this week’s Raw where Aries attacked Neville after being talked down to and provoked by him.
We get a nice opening pyro display as the commentary team of Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves. Aries, who has been the third member of the 205 Live announce team since the show started, is not seated with Ranallo and Graves as he’s no longer a part of the announce team.
Aries/Neville Opening Segment
Aries makes his entrance to kick off the show and receives a big ovation from the crowd. Aries is dressed nicely, as he would be if he was announcing. Aries says that for tonight, he’s secured he’s greatest interview to date… himself. Aries asks himself why he attacked Neville on Raw. Aries said that he attacked Neville because in order to get respect, make an impact and make a statement, you find the toughest man in the room and punch him in the face. Aries said Neville’s been the elite of the cruiserweight division… until Aries showed up. Aries closes his promo by saying: “Austin Aries expert journalist is no more. Austin Aries in-ring expert is here on 205 Live.”
Neville’s music hits as he enters the stage with a microphone in hand. Neville said he thought last night was a lapse in judgement on Aries’ behalf, but that he thinks Aries has completely jumped off the deep end. Neville says Aries is absurd to think he’s at the same level as “The King of the Cruiserweights.” Aries shoots back by saying he doesn’t think he’s at Neville’s level, he knows he’s above it.
Neville tells Aries to consider his career move carefully and says to he should stick with making jokes behind the announce table, where he belongs. Aries challenges to come down to the ring, but Neville said Aries doesn’t belong to be in the same ring as him. Neville said Aries made a lot of enemies among the wrestlers in the locker room due to all the jokes he’s made about everyone behind the announce table. Neville tells Aries he won’t fight him, but if Aries wants a fight, he can guarantee that there’s a locker room full of wrestlers who would be happy to oblige.
Neville leaves and Aries addresses the locker room. Aries says he’s been writing checks his whole life and his ass cashes each and every one of them, so if anyone in the back has a problem with Aries “comeback tour,” he’s more than happy to meet each and every one of them in the ring.
Evaluation: Excellent opening segment between Aries and Neville. That was the most interesting segment I’ve seen so far on 205 Live and the most engaged I’ve ever been with two people talking smack on 205 Live. Neville has really shown that he’s got plenty of charisma and mic skills ever since he’s turned heel. Both Neville and Aries brought the intensity in their promos. I’ve always felt that Aries is actually a better heel than he is a babyface, but he did great job in getting the crowd behind him. I also really like this idea that Aries has made a ton of enemies in the locker room since he’s been making fun of almost every one since he’s been a commentator for 205 Live and the cruiserweight matches on Raw and PPVs. It makes total sense. I can’t wait to see where this rivalry goes from here.
Rich Swann is shown in the locker room trying to teach Jack Gallagher his signature dance moves that he uses when he heads to the ring. However, they’re interrupted by “The Scottish Supernova” Noam Dar. Gallagher asks Dar how “the Mrs.” is, referencing his girlfriend Alicia Fox. Dar asks Swann and Gallagher if they know who sent Fox the flowers she received on last week’s episode. Swann said he thought Dar got them for her. Tripping on his words, Dar said of course he got those flowers for her and maybe one day Swann and Gallagher will find a woman as lovely as Alicia Foooooooxxxxx.
Dar makes his way to the ring with Fox by his side. The story here is that someone sent Fox flowers during last week’s episode. It wasn’t Dar, but Fox thinks it was. Dar’s taking credit for it, but secretly trying to find out who gave Fox the flowers. Riveting television!! That’s sarcasm, Sheldon.
Noam Dar & Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher & Rich Swann
Daivari and Swann start the match. Swann nails Daivari with a dropkick and takes out Dar on the apron. Swann puts Daivari on the top turnbuckle and tries to hit him with a Frankensteiner, but Dar holds down Daivari’s legs, preventing Daivari from falling forward. Daivari and Dar tag in and out as they gain control and slowly pick away at Swann. “We want Jack” chants from the crowd. Swann tries a couple times to make the tag to Gallagher, but Daivari prevents Swann from doing so with a big spinebuster.
Daivari continues to dissect Swann with clubs to the back, kicks to the gut and a couple rest holds. Swann fights out of a rear chin lock and nails Daivari with an enziguri kick before making the hot tag to Gallagher. Gallagher hits Daivari with back to back dropkicks and a big kick to the face. Gallagher goes for the cover but Dar breaks it up. Daivari tags in Dar and both men try to double team Gallagher, but Swann makes a blind tag and helps Gallagher take out Daivari and Dar. Gallagher hits Daivari with his signature running kick in the corner while Swann hits Dar with his finishing move, the Phoenix Splash for win after six minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jack Gallagher & Rich Swann
Evaluation: This was an okay tag match to help keep strong the babyfaces who lost Cruiserweight Title matches the last two days. Dar losses more matches than he wins and Daivari is around the lower mid-card level, so I would have been really surprised if Dar and Daivari won.
Post-match, Gallagher and Swann exit the ring as a delivery man starts heading down the ramp. While Fox’s back is turned, Dar looks aggravated at the site of the delivery man. This time the delivery man has a box of chocolates with him. Dar cuts him off before he can get to the ring and takes the box of chocolates out of his hand. Dar gives the chocolates to Fox himself and hugs her.
Evaluation: OMG!! My heart is afloat!! But broken at the same time!! Who’s giving Fox the chocolates? It’s clearly not Dar! Are you as on the edge of your seat as I am?!?!
Tom Phillips is shown backstage with his guest at that time, The Brian Kendrick. On Raw last night, Tozawa told Kendrick that he wanted to fight. Philips asks Kendrick what his answer is. Kendrick said that Tozawa is not learning and he needs to teach Tozawa another lesson. Kendrick: “If he wants to fight Brian Kendrick, that’s just what he’s gonna get.”
Akira Tozawa makes his way to the ring for a match. Kendrick enters next and grabs a microphone at ringside. Kendrick said Tozawa wanted a match with Brian Kendrick and that’s exactly what he’s going to get. Kendrick introduced the wrestler he’ll be facing tonight, Bryan Kendrick… with a Y instead of an I.
Note: This goes back to a question I raised in my column from last month where I look at some of 205 Live’s problems. Who’s 205 Live’s General Manager? Is Kendrick allowed to just make a match like that?
Akira Tozawa vs. Bryan Kendrick
The bell rings and Tozawa takes down Bryan with a Y immediately. Tozawa nails Bryan with a running big boot, kick to the chest and a senton. Tozawa hits Bryan with a spinning back kick and a snap German Suplex for the win after about a minute and a half.
Winner by pinfall: Akira Tozawa
Evaluation: It was a squash match, so not much to say here. The story of Kendrick avoiding Tozawa and teaching him “lessons” continues. Hopefully Tozawa and Kendrick get an opportunity to main event 205 Live at some point, maybe with a stipulation involved, because I think they can have a great match if given the time.
Dasha Fuentes is standing by with Neville for an interview. Fuentes asks Neville what he expects from Aries’ 205 Live debut match against Tony Nese, which is coming up next. Neville said that we’ve been subjected to Aries’ wise cracks for too long. Neville tells Fuentes that Aries needs to learn that everyone wants a shot at the Cruiserweight Title. Neville said that in the end, only one man can stand across the ring from him at WrestleMania. Neville closed by saying that without spoiling the surprise, whoever wants that opportunity is going to have their work cut out for them next week.
Evaluation: Looks like we may get a tournament or elimination match of some sort to see who earns the right to face Neville at WrestleMania. If we take Neville by his word, it seems like his match at WrestleMania will be one-on-one, instead of a multi-person match. If that’s the case, I definitely think all signs are pointing to him vs. Aries for the Cruiserweight Title. I could see the rest of the more popular cruiserweights being used on the WrestleMania Kickoff Show in a big tag match, OR as I would prefer, some sort of big elimination match to determine the next number one contender for the Cruiserweight Title.
It’s main event time.
Austin Aries vs. Tony Nese
Aries and Nese trade a series of counters to kick off the match. Aries gets out of Nese’s head scissors submission by headstanding his way out of it and nailing Nese with a dropkick. Aries taunts Nese in the corner. Nese pokes at Aries’ chest telling him he doesn’t belong here, so Aries slaps Nese in the face. Aries charges at Nese, but Nese ducks and throws Aries over the top rope and to ringside. Aries is favoring his right knee, as it looks like he caught it on the ring apron.
As Nese tries to lift Aries back into the ring, Aries pokes Nese in the eyes and hits him with a springboard senton. Aries heads up to the second turnbuckle and leaps at Nese, driving his elbow into Nese’s back. Aries goes for the cover, but Nese kicks out at two. Aries hits Nese with a neckbreaker off the middle rope and ascends to the top turnbuckle. Nese kicks Aries off the ropes and hits him with a gutbuster.
Nese locks in a body scissors on Aries, which is one of Nese’s favorite rest holds. It seems like he does it every match. Nese tosses Aries out of the ring, follows him out of the ring and hits him with a big superkick. Nese rolls Aries back in the ring and goes for the cover, but Aries kicks out at two. Nese starts taunting Aries and telling him “to go back where he belongs” behind the announce desk. This fires up Aries who lands a couple of punches and clotheslines on Nese. Aries hits Nese with a gutbuster and a pendulum elbow.
Nese counters Aries and nails him with a one arm deadlift into a sit down powerbomb. Nese looks for a German Suplex into the turnbuckle, but Aries counters, knocking Nese out of the ring. Aries follows this up with a suicide dive. Aries brings Nese back in the ring and hits Nese with the “roaring elbow” which is what he hit Neville with on Raw. Aries covers Nese for the one-two-three after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Austin Aries
Evaluation: Solid match from these two and a good showing from Aries for his first match back from injury. Aries was clearly going to get the win here since it looks like it’ll be him vs. Neville at WrestleMania.
205 Live goes off the air with Aries celebrating his win.
Overall, this was an okay episode of 205 Live. Aries was the star of the show as his opening segment with Neville was terrific in addition to having a good showing in his 205 Live debut match.
It looks like next week we’ll be seeing some sort of number one contender match to see who faces Neville for the Cruiserweight Title at WrestleMania. Neville stated that only one man gets to face him at WrestleMania, but WWE could still go the route of a multi-person match. Since usually every year there’s a multi-person ladder match, maybe this years could be for the Cruiserweight Title.
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.