205 live has it’s Royal Rumble match set up and ready to go but there are still a few weeks until we see Neville and Swann go at it again before that we have another two episodes of 205 live. Usually this is a reason to be excited, it means we have some time to build the tension and develop the story but unfortunately I have been hearing some whispers around, 205 live doesn’t get the same love from the rest of the universe as it does from myself. The theory is that 205 live isn’t performing well no doubt due to the poor use of the division on Raw and if that is the case it might not last much longer and as fun as Swann vs Neville might be it might not be enough to save the struggling show. I hope to god 205 Live gets the attention it needs and deserves from both WWE and the fans because with all the talent on offer it would be a shame to see all the hard work go to waste. But enough about the future of the show, we have two episodes of 205 Live to recap and with an “I forfeit” match and more Noam Dar on the cards there is potential for 205 to really hit its stride.
As I mentioned, the main event this week was missing its main stays this week, Neville and Swann were not given their usual spot as they made way for the conclusion of the Jack Gallagher vs Ariya Daivari feud in their “I forfeit” match hyped up at the beginning of the show by a nice video package. But before these two men collide later on we are treated to an opening bout between Drew Gulak and Cedric Alexander. Before the match even starts we have Alicia Fox strut down to the ring to blow up at Cedric Alexander. Noam Dar eventually shows up but the whole segment seems like a mess and the feud seems to be falling apart with Dar taking a backseat to the relationship drama. I said that I hope the feud could continue but I’m sure what they are trying to do with it at this point. After the drama and a scuffle outside the ring an injured Alexander proceeds to have is match against Gulak ultimately coming up short.
Although pushed from the main event spot this week Neville and Swann still had their time in the spot light taking the second segment of the show to hype their upcoming match at the Royal Rumble. Selling it as a truly personal feud this video package did everything you could hope, it made Rich Swann look betrayed and it made Neville look like a truly bitter man ready to anything it takes.
The second match of the night sees Mustafa Ali take on the Premier Athlete Tony Nese in a nothing match in which both men hit their regular spots and Tony Nese Picks up the win, not really much to say about that. It was merely a match to fill time before the main event of the evening, the conclusion of the rivalry between Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari.
From the off Gallagher looked a lot more focussed and aggressive than he had in previous weeks and although he maintains his gentlemanly demeanour during his entrance he was carrying himself very differently and it was a good start to the match. This aggression gave Gallagher an early lead in the match before Daivari resorted to employed Gallagher’s umbrella used in the Gentlemen’s duel. This attack gave Daivari the upper hand and he started to brutalize Gallagher with some power moves onto the apron and against the ropes. For much of the match Daivari had control but Gallagher refused to give in and eventually regained his composure hitting his finishing dropkick before grabbing another umbrella and offering Daivari a chance to give in an opportunity Daivari seized the opportunity to lock in a camel clutch which was reversed by Gallagher into a hammerlock using the umbrella to eventually pick up the win. I say eventually as at points I found it a chore to watch this match which I feel bad for because I really want 205 live to succeed.
The go home episode before the Rumble fared a little better however with the show starting with a Raw recap showing a brawl between Neville and Swann leading into an interview with Neville before the titles roll. The match started strong in a big way with TJ Perkins opening the show with Tony Nese. Nese started strong keeping things slow and stopping TJ from picking up the pace, however that doesn’t last long as the men started running the ropes and hitting some heavy strikes. Nese slows things down repeatedly every time Perkins tries to pick up the pace. The Premier Athlete started to live up to the name in the match as he had an entertaining opener with the former champion. Nese ran through Perkins for much of the match hitting some real power moves before Perkins managed to escape Nese’s patented body scissors. This escape opened up an opportunity for TJP to pick up the pace in a big way, landing a lot of hits in not a lot of time. Nese eventually put a stop to this pace but to no avail as Perkins stole the win with a roll up. This was a great start to the show as an angry Nese then laid into Perkins resulting in him having to be carried to the back, this attack possibly setting up a new angle now that Gallagher and Daivari is over.
Our second match sees Brian Kendrick run through some local talent to stake his claim on 205 live. It was short but sweet and keeps Kendrick looking good until Tajiri returns from injury. There isn’t much more to say about it in all honesty, Kendrick is great.
Something else that was great was the main event that saw Neville continue his winning streak in a match that saw two angles collide in Cedric Alexander vs Neville. This match was great as we got to see Cedric go to work without being bogged down by Alicia fox after the mess that was the last episode. As good as the angle was for Dar to showcase his character it was no good for Alexander who looked stupid repeatedly because of it. So from the off Cedric was working better than he had in weeks doing some great catch wrestling with Neville. Neville controlled much of the match keeping Cedric grounded but that being said Alexander certainly got to demonstrate his athleticism in a big way flipping out of moves left right and centre. He eventually managed to hit some offense landing a huge kick to the face and later on hitting a handspring roundhouse. Nevertheless Cedric was brutalised throughout this match and refused to give in really endearing himself to crowd. Slowly but surely he took charge in the match and started going to air with a dive over the ropes and a diving elbow scoring him a near fall that had the crowd thoroughly behind him making things even more tense when Neville managed to kick out after a Spanish fly. The match that started heavily in Neville’s favour soon became a more even affair and had both men taking serious blows. Cedric Alexander came within milliseconds so often in this match that at one point I almost bought that he could win.
Of course being that both men are currently involved in angles some tom foolery had to ensue meaning Dar tried to interfere which put Cedric off just enough for Neville to capitalize and take the win. From here chaos ensued with Neville beating on Cedric prompting Swann to come to the rescue. The two then brawled before being torn apart by security leaving tension at a fever pitch for Sunday. I hope to got that the match at the royal rumble was better than the one at roadblock.