205 live 4 and 5
It’s the last day of 2016 and with Christmas and work it’s been tough to get these reviews out and for that I apologize. What’s made this job even tougher is all the news and developments in the world of wrestling at the moment. We have WOS returning, a WWE UK tournament in January, and last but not least we have a new star in the cruiserweight division. Roadblock made huge waves for the cruiserweights when Neville, the British favourite turned heel and announced his arrival to the cruiserweight division. If that doesn’t get you excited for 205 live nothing will. Starting episode 4 we get to see a recap of the beautiful moment that the cruiserweight division got some serious credibility. Not to take away from the other guys but having an established superstar currently on the roster make a move to the division makes the 205 guys seem more important and no doubt it will do wonders for Neville who has been in a sort of limbo as of late. It was the perfect way to start the episode and had everybody asking questions about the main event feud.
At the top of the show we have an announcement of our main event of the evening pitting Brian Kendrick and the self-appointed King of the Cruiserweights Neville against TJ Perkins and the Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann in a tag team Match. And with that the show is underway as the commentary team waste no time introducing Ariya Daivari for the first match of the night.
During the entrances to the Daivari match we got a little recap of the Daivari and Jack Gallagher storyline before Lince Dorado made his way to the ring. The match itself wasn’t the strongest I had seen out of either man, it was oddly paced and it seemed like they were trying to fit too much in to the ring rather than tell a story. Personally I found it to be a weak start to the night with Daivari winning after a Frogsplash. Post-match we got a brief promo from Daivari to ensure us that the rivalry between he and Jack was still on as he called into question the gentlemanly nature of the extraordinary gentleman.
After a match that seemed like an afterthought we get a backstage segment with Kendrick and Neville. Kendrick playing his regular slimy heel that he does so well trying to appeal to Nevilles ego but Neville, doing some fo his best character work tells Kendrick “I’m your partner not your friend”, which is perfect considering Neville’s chip on his shoulder type character at the moment. It was a great little segment that helped build towards the main event.
From there we got another match featuring the dreaded romance angle between Noam Dar and Alicia Fox (oh, and Cedric Alexander I guess). I made it known in my last review how much I hate this angle and how it would be awful for both men but it seems like Dar is really going into this with everything he’s got, and with way he says Alicia “Faaaaaaawks” cracks me up every time. Anyway the match we get is Cedric Alexander vs Drew Gulak with Alicia Fox at ringside. The match stats well with both men getting in a little offense and commentary selling it as if having Alicia at ringside spurs Alexander on to do better almost as if he is showing off for her. It was a nice match but it was a real shame the crowd wasn’t vocal it made things seem a little lesser, and that’s going to be an issue that persists if 205 live continues to get taped after Smackdown has aired. That being said i really have to give it to Fox for trying to illicit a reaction with her clapping and slamming of the mat throughout the match basically doing anything to try and get the crowd involved. Thought it would seem the only things required was a crazy suplex spot from Gulak and Alexander when Cedric Suplexed Gulak over the rope and Gulak pulled Cedric down with him. It was great spot that really opened my eyes and had everybody paying attention. From here some tomfoolery results in Alicia fox hurting her ankle and Noam Dar coming to rescue her as Cedric finishes his match. It was a good match with some nice story progress, not that I’m exactly a fan of the story and as much as I have complained about Dar, his character work is good and I’ll be damned if he isn’t trying his best to make the story work.
Then it’s time for the main event. The entire reason people are tuning in this week. Neville’s 205 Live debut. Corey graves spoke for everyone at home when he said “I have never been this excited about Neville.” At that sets the tone for the match, people are excited and the crowd is finally invested in something. As the match starts Neville just completely owns Rich Swann, beating him from pilar to post. Swann failed to get in any offense as Neville hit power move after power move. Perkins managed to tag in and gets in some offense turning the tide a little before Kendrick puts him out. Swann tags in despite not being in good shape, and sells a great never give up attitude people want to see from a Babyface champion. Unfortunately for Swann though Neville comes straight in after a tag from Kendrick and drops Swann with a deadlift German Suplex. It was a great back and forth from here with some solid wrestling and everyone looking strong. Neville was a beast and Swann would not give in. Something I say a lot is that when tag team wrestling is good it’s great and I think this is yet another example. I really entertaining match with a ton of stuff going on, not so much that I can’t follow but enough to get a slightly chaotic feel. It’s a great way to push the story forward and after an incredible Red Arrow the match is over as is 205 for another week.
Episode 5 of 205 Live needed to make sure it capitalized on the main event of last week to push the feud further and it needed to give some exposure to the lower card feuds to make show the show was fleshed out and three dimensional. Right out of the gate it seemed that Swann vs Neville was getting personal and was going to be a great main event feud.
A feud that isn’t so great however is the one to start the show as Cedric Alexander and Alicia fox made their way down to the ring. As Tony Nese made his way to the ring with Drew Gulak in tow, however I couldn’t help but find myself thinking of what Dar might do this week. The final episode of 205 live in 2016 seemed to be improving on the last episode in a big way as the opening match was well worked with both guys getting in some offense and putting on a decent match. Of course some shenanigans ensue when Alicia Fox is ejected from ringside due to Gulak feigning an injury and that distracted Alexander for long enough for Nese to pick up the win. It would seem I would get my wish too, as when the match had finished who showed up to comfort Alicia fox but Noam Dar. The angle is terrible but Dar is really going for it with his segments and is really coming across as a creep. Hopefully it’ll pay off in a big way down the line because as entertaining as Dar is being at the moment this can only last so long before it becomes irritating.
Something that isn’t irritating though is the new Neville, who we got to see in a pre-recorded interview with Renee young letting him show off some more of his chip on his shoulder character with a little foreign heel thrown in for good measure. Saying he was discriminated against for not being placed in the cruiserweight classic is a great reason for him to be behaving the way his and it is a believable motivation for him to be the way he is now. It gives him some ammo for feuds down the line with other CWC competitors and it works great against Rich Swann, a tournament standout in my opinion. I’m sure this story line has some legs and will do a lot to shine a spotlight on 205 live.
Next up we get to see another CWC standout in Mustafa Ali (now being billed from Chicago) wrestling in his home town against new face John Yurnet, better known as Mr 450. The first thing this match made me notice was how the crowd came alive for Ali. This crowd was so much better than the weeks before and it was glaringly obvious as the show felt bigger, felt like an event. Unfortunately this match never really got to get going as Mr 450 seemingly suffered a legitimate injury very early on in proceedings. I have to commend him for continuing the match but it obviously didn’t get going the way they had wanted to, I only hope Yurnet is alright as he is currently raising money for medical bills due to the injury. Mustafa Ali ultimately won the match with an imploding 450 splash. Ali seemed so happy to win in his hometown and it also seemed like the start of a face turn for Ali.
From here we are told that the Daivari/Gallagher feud will continue with “duel”, something that confused me as well as may other fans I’m sure. From the video package it looked almost as if the duel may be the culmination of the feud. This was soon proven not to be the case as we got a comedy segment in which Daivari is beaten by Gallagher with an umbrella. The video package had me expecting a grand showdown between these two, a match with some real potential. However, we simply got another Jack Gallagher comedy segment. Hopefully Daivari getting the upper hand and turning the tables on Jack before the corner dropkick from Jack is the sign that things are going to get serious because if they don’t I can see myself getting really tired of this feud.
Thankfully we didn’t have too long to dwell on things as the main event started soon enough with Neville and Swann set to take one another on in the ring. Straight away we got a different Swann than we were used to seeing as he was straight in with some striking avoiding his usual dancing a fun gestures. With Neville working a slower and more powerful deliberate style it shows how his character has changed it’s more dominant and angry than he has ever been. Throughout the match Rich Swann sells Neville’s attacks as some of the brutal he had ever taken and it really makes both men look like they are just having a fight. They had a great back and forth and Swann busted out some incredible counters and got some great near falls, while Neville just kept powering through. Eventually Neville hit a beautiful superplex and took the win and the number one contenders position.
A post math beat down from Neville brings an incredible end to 205 live in 2016 that only looks to get better in the new year. I very much look forward to this feud and where it may go.
Once again I wish the very best for Mr 450. If you would like to help with his medical expenses please click the link below: