WWE 205 for January 24, 2017
Watch: WWE Network
Hunington Center – Toledo, Ohio
Last week’s 205 Live saw the culmination of Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher–with the Extraordinary Gentleman prevailing thanks to aplenty umbrellas. This week’s iteration promises Neville vs. Cedric Alexander, a dream match for some, in the main event. Other spoiled rumblings insist a jobber is to be named after a JBL blunder, and Tozawa may actually be…coming soon? Let’s find out.
Neville was interviewed backstage before any type of intro. After his failed attempt at getting an upper-hand on the champ, on Raw, Neville knew it was his fault. Swann hasn’t learned his place yet, Neville will not make the same mistake twice, and he will no longer show Swann any mercy. Cedric will kneel, paying respect to The King of the Cruiserweights. Yee-haw.
TJ Perkins def. Tony Nese
Welcome everyone to EVOLVE 205. A reminder that Tony Nese’s titantron graphic oozes 1980’s Saturday Night’s Main Event graphics. Before we get to the match, there were two distinctly great commentary moments. Mauro accidentally said “cleaning cock” where as Graves called Nese a “one man special teams unit”, which is a neat analogy. The match got a good amount of time, and who knew that these two would deliver (sarcasm). Nese had a lot of control, basing for Perkins during comebacks, but putting on his best performance on the show yet from an in ring perspective. Nese’s offense consists of King’s Road recklessness, unique restholds, and unmatched athleticism (both as fact and gimmick), and it kind of rules. The only downfall to the contest was that the finish popped the balloon. After tons of escalation and spotlight placed on both, TJP rolled up Nese for the “shock” upset. It didn’t translate well, and the match would have benefited a lot more from a rock solid clean victory from someone. Other than that, it’s worth a watch, especially since expectations were low, with it more than delivering. Post-match, Nese abruptly hit a German into the corner and the shotgun knee in the corner on Perkins. I wouldn’t mind this becoming a little feud, also giving us Gulak vs. Perkins.
Akira Tozawa arrives next week. This week saw Sami Zayn narrating video clips, explaining how Tozawa is one of the finest Japanese wrestlers to come out of their country in years. I’m curious if the injury of Tajiri had anything to do with Tozawa getting the call now.
Brian Kendrick cut a promo on Tripp Bradshaw (yes, a rib name on JBL because of his trip on wires last week), telling Tripp the world doesn’t care; because it’s a cold, harsh place. The quest to bury jobbers continues for The Brian Kendrick. He’s going to snuff out Tajiri’s dreams too (if) he returns from his “supposed” injury. Tripp got the minor friends and family “we know him!” pop.
Brian Kendrick def. Tripp Bradshaw
The crowd was chanting something heavily but I’m deaf and dumb, so I can’t tell you what it was. “You’ve always gotta be on the lookout for the Tripp Bradshaw clothesline.” If someone tries to tell you in Bruce Pritchard style “there’s no possible way this could be a rib”, you point them to that quote. The match went a little long for an unknown squash, but it further established Kendrick as someone who isn’t quite done yet. Bradshaw got in a few good looking punches, only to be leg lariated to hell, and eventually tapped out with the Captain’s Hook. Tripp looked good. Kendrick looked great. Not quite sure where they’re going with him, but the jobber killer thing has worked thus far. It just can’t go too long.
Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann had a chat backstage. Swann told Cedric to believe in himself. Neville’s going to try and play mind games, but he ain’t unbeatable. It was pretty generic advice. Swann just wants Cedric to save him some.
Neville def. Cedric Alexander
Frustration was channeled from the get-go in the main event. From taunt offs between the two, to the 30 second timeline of the crowd chanting “CM Punk”, only for Cedric to slip up on the ropes, only for all of this to make him kick Neville just a little harder in the face. If you still haven’t gotten with the program, the crowd doesn’t care. They chanted Goldberg after Cedric hit his beautiful springboard clothesline, and then proceeded to pop for a standing Spanish fly. Cedric kicked his legs like a baby in the cover which is another thing to add to the list of things that make him an incredible performer. A love letter is deserved to be written for the last stretch of the match. Cedric sold the deadlift German’s amazingly, and Neville flipped out of a German suplex. Cedric’s face told the best story it possibly could. He didn’t realize Neville could go to THOSE freaky strength lengths. He was checkmated with athleticism. Dar ran down, only for Cedric to dive on him then (accidentally, but it adds so much to the story) slip on the ropes and fall right into Neville’s stretch. One of those times when a botch plays right into a match and story so perfectly. The match had good escalation; they didn’t kill themselves to save Neville for the Rumble, as Cedric put in a lot of work with his selling, facial expressions, plus stealing the show in any way possible. The two foiled well together and I hope we get a Cruiserweight title match between them in the future. Next up, Cedric/Ali, please. Another good match to close out the show this week. Pretty obvious we’ll see a Cedric/Swann vs. Neville/Dar tag in the future.
In a very WWE go-home angle, way to end the show, Neville and Swann had to be broken up after Swann pounced on Neville. They held enough intensity and animosity that it worked, but it’s just a shoulder shrug because all go-homes have to either be that or something else that’s a trope. End scene is grouchy Neville wanting to be freed, not held back.
WWE 205 LIVE (JANUARY 24, 2017)
Good - 7/10
The January 24 edition of 205 Live was a good show. It flew by with two good (bordering great) matches, Brian Kendrick squashing a good-looking talent named after a JBL botch, plus commentary botching even more than JBL did wrestling with wires. Commentary knocked some things sideways with slip-ups on Mauro's end and miscues, but I ain't gonna give them hell. It was a fine enough. Corey and Aries are by far the best part of the audio waves every week. They're coming into their own as a heel-heel unit, arguing yet sucking up and agreeing at times. Try and watch this episode if you haven't. It's not must watch, but it's a rewarding, relaxing 45 minutes to spend your day on.