It’s time for some cruiserweight action with 205 Live. I will be replacing Trask for the 205 Live reviews from here on out and what a great episode to start with. This show will be highlighted by the highly anticipated debut of Akira Tozawa, which has me pretty excited. Plus, we’ve found out via WWE.com that former champion Rich Swann was injured. Maybe we will get some more insight on that. All this and more on 205 Live. Let’s get into it.
We kick off the show with the announcement of Rich Swann being injured. He was supposed to compete in a Tag Team Match, but due to the injury he was replaced. Now, we will see Cedric Alexander and Jack Gallagher take on new champion; Neville and Noam Dar later on tonight. But first, we kick things off with singles action.
Tony Nese vs. Lince Dorado
This was a decent first match. It started off OK and we didn’t really see anything special, then it began to slowly go downhill. Dorado had a few mess ups here including one where he went for a head scissors takedown, which was botched and looked absolutely horrible. But, it was effective. Nese started to fight back and pretty much held Lince down for the rest of the match. Tony was all over Dorado with a series of hard strikes and cheap tactics, one being trying to remove the mask of Lince and when Lince tried to stop him, he was shoved off the top rope in a hard way. Nese finished Lince off with the running exposed knee strike in the corner. After Nese picked up the win, he felt he didn’t do enough damage to Lince. Tony attacked after the match and hit a nasty corner German suplex on Dorado, making his head bounce off the bottom turnbuckle. Nese went for another knee strike, but TJ Perkins ran out for the save and hit Tony Nese with the detonation kick and sent him packing. Solid first match but nothing special at all. The only really good part was the aftermath of the match with TJP.
We see highlights from Raw last night showcasing Neville & Rich Swann’s encounter followed by an interview with Rich Swann. He says that he doesn’t have a detailed report on the injury but he didn’t hurt his ankle. He’s shown on crutches and was wearing a boot. He said the injury happened when he kicked Neville’s crown off of his head. Rich talks about eventually coming back and taking the Cruiserweight Championship, but for now he’s looking forward to Jack Gallagher teaching Neville a lesson tonight. Neville interrupted and we get a little confrontation ending with Swann telling Neville he will never keep him down. Neville begs to differ and shoves Swann on the floor to end the segment. Pretty good stuff.
A video package plays, showing that Gran Metalik is coming soon.
The Brian Kendrick is on commentary for our next match.
Akira Tozawa vs. Aaron Solow
Pretty much from the start, I figured this would be a showcase match for Tozawa and that’s exactly what we got. Though Aaron got a bit of offense, it always ended with Akira mounting a comeback to show off one of his hard-hitting or high-flying moves. Throughout the match, Kendrick kept talking about how Tozawa was impressive, but he’s facing Aaron Solow. He isn’t challenging a top star. Tozawa continued to show off his skills and got the crowd behind him a good bit. Finally, he ended it off with his fast paced, nasty snap German suplex that left Solow’s body in half on the mat. After seeing the way Tozawa won, Kendrick seemed a bit speechless and almost frightened by this new star. Austin Aries interviewed Tozawa after the match and asked him if he understood the words coming out of his mouth. He questioned if he knew English and how it felt to get his first win. Tozawa came back with a fully Japanese reponse, so I have no clue what he said, but Aries agreed with him. Good debut for Akira Tozawa. He’s going to really stand out in this cruiserweight division.
Noam Dar approached Neville backstage and congratulated him on his victory at Royal Rumble. He talked about how they’re going to win tonight but Neville cut him off. He told him that he didn’t want him or need him as his partner and suggested that Dar stays out of his way. He also told him that he didn’t care about his love life and told Noam Dar to keep his baggage (Alicia Fox) at home. As Neville left, Dar tried to calm down Alicia so that she wouldn’t freak out.
Neville & Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander & Jack Gallagher.
By far the best match on the show and a match I really, really enjoyed. The story here was Neville being very dominant when he had his time in the ring, but once Dar was in, he was letting the face team get the upper hand. Dar kept desperately tagging in the Cruiserweight champion and then eventually tagging himself back in. Neville wasn’t too fond of this and kept screaming at Dar from the apron when he wasn’t doing so well or wasn’t doing what Neville ordered him to do. Cedric Alexander was only in this match once early on and it wasn’t a lot of time in the ring. Gallagher was pretty much the man to hold down their team in the squared circle but when he was paired up with Neville, he wasn’t doing so well. Neville wasn’t hit with much offense from Gallagher which was a nice touch and showed how heel Neville was more vicious and more in control than ever before. When Gallagher was in control, though, Neville immediately put a stop to it and wouldn’t let Jack get a tag. Cedric was anxious for a tag, but he just couldn’t get it. Then, Noam tagged in. Dar started to show a mean streak with this tag and tried to show off for Neville, but too much show-boating cost him control of this match. I will give it to him though, Dar is getting really good with his limb work. He had a bulls-eye on Gallagher’s arm that he wouldn’t stop targeting. But, with one bad miscalculation, Jack hit Dar perfectly with a headbutt which nearly had him out cold and Neville had to break the pin, followed by kicking Cedric off the apron. Neville went back to his corner and screamed for a tag, but a mildly loopy Dar took matters into his own hands. Noam went for a powerbomb but it was reversed and both men were down looking for tags. Noam was the first to his corner but Neville dropped off the apron and told Dar he didn’t deserve a tag. Due to Dar not listening, and pretty much getting in Neville’s way like he told him not to, the Cruiserweight champion didn’t want anything to do with this match and he left. Cedric got the hot tag and came in hitting Dar with a flurry of signature moves before finishing Noam Dar off with the lumbar check and picking up the win for his team.
WWE 205 Live
Good - 7/10
I very much enjoyed this weeks show. It started off not so good but after the first match, things started to look up. I can't say it was a bad show due to one match because everything else was great. Every backstage or post match segment was on point, Tozawa had a good debut & the main event blew everything else out of the water. I'm looking forward to reviewing 205 Live from here on out so hopefully they keep delivering good shows from here on out.