WWE 205 Live
January 10, 2017
Watch: WWE Network
Raising Cane’s Center – Baton Rouge, LA
Here’ s what’s on-tap for this week’s edition of 205 Live:
– Following his victory over Sean Maluta on last week’s edition of 205 Live, Tajiri spit his signature green mist in the eyes of Brian Kendrick. How will Kendrick respond to Tajiri’s seemingly unprovoked assault on “The Man with a Plan?”
– The current Cruiserweight champion Rich Swann has been on a roll as of late, but the self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” looks to bring his reign to an end. With Swann taking on Tony Nese in the main event, Neville is sure to be lurking.
– Jack Gallagher issued an invite to Ariya Daivari on Monday Night RAW, requesting that they set aside their differences and meet in a parlay.
Noam Dar def. Cedric Alexander
Prior to the match, an extended video package recapping the events of Monday Night RAW aired. On his way to the ring, Dar cut a promo assuring Fox that she wasn’t “too much woman,” for him. I’ve made my stance on this car-crash storyline clear, but this may have been the best Dar has looked since his debut. Throughout the match, he ruthlessly and violently worked over Alexander’s left arm. A cold, calculated, and more vicious Dar showed up tonight, and all Alexander had to combat his attack was agility. Whenever Cedric mounted a comeback, he did so by using kicks and strikes to his advantage; accentuating Dar’s work on the arm. Dar showed great focus, drive and passion that he’s been severely lacking up to this point. When you combine that with the athleticism and explosiveness of Alexander, it’s not difficult to see why this match-up made for an enjoyable opener. I would have preferred the limb work to play into the finish, but I enjoyed this much more than I anticipated. One complaint I have is the finish, which saw Fox pull Dar out of the way when Alexander went for a moonsault, allowing Noam to pick up the victory. Love triangle storylines are rarely done well, and this seemed to be done purely for the shock value considering Fox slapped Dar after the match.
— 205Live (@WWE205Live) January 11, 2017
An Akira Tozawa video package aired.
Brian Kendrick def. Sean Maluta
Kendrick cut a quick pre-match promo vowing to make quick work of Maluta. Although the match was largely a showcase for Kendrick, Maluta got in a surprising amount of offense. Maybe too much offense, in fact. When that happens, there’s bound to be a series of unconvincing near-falls and that was the case here. I enjoyed Kendrick as the resourceful veteran willing to do anything to win, but Maluta dragged the match down even though a lot of his offense was impressive. A serviceable contest, but painfully dull for much of its duration.
In the locker room area, Cedric Alexander was shown with Alicia Fox. Fox informed Alexander that she wanted to be with him and not Dar, but that didn’t prevent Cedric from breaking up with her. Then, in an over the top, dramatic frenzy, Fox screamed: “CEDRIC! COME BACK, CEDRIC!” Calling this scene poorly-acted would be an understatement. Fox, with her head tilted in anger, screaming at the top of her lungs was more concerned with delivering volume than emotion.
Ariya Daivari and Jack Gallagher met in a parlay. Daivari expressed his displeasure with Gallagher, noting that gentlemanly individuals get stomped by people like him. Gallagher states that while they’re here to come to a resolution, he never claimed it would be peaceful. Gallagher then challenged Daivari to an “I forfeit” match. The contract signing spiraled into an out-of-control brawl, ending in Gallagher standing tall. While I’m not a fan of the “contract signing ends in a quarrel” trope, one positive is that this feud appears to be approaching a definitive ending.
Rich Swann def. Tony Nese
With two top-shelf level athletes in Nese and Swan, this was sure to have its fair share of acrobatic sequences, and they didn’t disappoint. Nese was working with a sense of urgency, getting the most out of every pinfall attempt. Nese did a nice job of working over Swann’s midsection throughout the match, which was a nice change of pace from his typical headlocks during control segments. Swann worked equally as hard and he and Nese came together to produce a strong main event. I felt that both competitors shined here, and Swann picking up the win was necessary to allow him to pick up momentum.
After the match, Neville came out and challenged Swann to a Cruiserweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble.I felt that this was a very good promo from Neville, as he came across as passionate and gave viewers the sense that he genuinely believes his own hype. Neville and Swann have been two beacons of light in an otherwise bleak era of 205 Live, and I think these two competitors are going to mesh well in two weeks’ time.
— 205Live (@WWE205Live) January 11, 2017
WWE 205 LIVE FOR JANUARY 10, 2017
Average - 5.8/10
This week's edition of 205 Live continues the theme of enjoyable matches supplemented by subpar storytelling. With big names such as Akira Tozawa and Gran Metalik debuting soon, I'm hoping 205 Live can find its footing in the near future. Until then, the feud between Neville and Rich Swann continues to provide a glimmer of hope for an otherwise stagnant cruiserweight division.