WWE’s 205 Live debuts tonight after Smackdown, starting at 10pm Eastern on the WWE Network. The debut show will be anchored with Brian Kendrick defending the Cruiserweight Title against Rich Swann, but there are a lot of rumors circulating to other stars making their debut as well.
We will have coverage of the show as it happens starting at 10pm Eastern. Be sure to tune in and join us for the debut!
The show begins with a video package highlighting some of the finest moments from the Cruiserweight Classic, before welcoming us to 205 Live. The words “Don’t Blink” are the last ones we see before the new music intro kicks in.
Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries (!) kick us off from South Carolina. Aries says he’s going to sit in on commentary until he’s ready to step in and take the Cruiserweight Title.
The announcer introduces the wrestlers on the roster, one by one, very similar to the Cruiserweight Classic: Rich Swann, TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher, Ho Ho Lun, Gurv Sihra, Harv Sihra, Noam Dar, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, Akira Tozawa, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik, and Brian Kendrick. It’s already a deeper roster than what Raw has shown.
Corey Graves kicks to a video package highlighting the Bollywood Boys, Gurv and Harv Sihra. Much of the video is rehashed from the CWC, but it’s still well done, and helps the two establish their characters. They talk about growing up together, and said that they watched three things as kids – hockey, WWE, and Bollywood.
The Bollywood Boys (Gurv & Harv Sihra) vs. Drew Gulak & Tony Nese
We get a handshake to start it out. Austin Aries doesn’t understand it, but Maruo says it’s all about sportsmanship. Aries runs down the brothers, asking which one is Herp or Derp. Radpid tags against Nese, despite Nese and Gulak taking the early advantage.
Gulak tags in. He hits a nasty dropkick to Harv, and bodyslams him into the ropes. Cover for two, tag to Nese. Nese keeps Sihra grounded, tags to Gulak. Gulak works the legs, tags to Nese, who locks in a headlock. Harv hits a neckbreaker to get a hot tag to Gurv. Gurv and Gulak now, Gurv hitting fierce chops. Gulak cuts him off with a knee, and Gulak tags Nese. He sets Nese into Gulak, and hits a clothesline, forcing Gulak to DDT Nese. Clever spot. Nese sets Gurv up top, but gets pushed down. Gurv with a cross-body for two.
Gulak is sent to the outside, and Harv hits a springboard cross-body. Gurv runs the ropes, but Nese cuts him off with a shoulder for two. Nese tags to Gulak, but Gulak is shoved into Nese. DDT to Nese, tag to Harv, and they set Gulak up for a pair of superkicks for the win.
Winners: The Bollywood Boys
I’m not sure I would’ve gone with that match to start things off with what I assume is an already tired Smackdown crowd. That said, the Bollywood Boys looked good in their debut, but their dance is pretty dumb.
Outside the ring, an interviewer asks Gulak and Nese what happened. Gulak says Bollywood isn’t even a real place. Nese says the mat is lumpy and the ropes are greasy, and the two of them shouldn’t be expected to work in those conditions. I love the excuses.
A video package airs for Noam Dar. He talks about being the youngest, but being in the business for nearly a decade. He says the only thing he shares with the others is he’s under 205 lbs. He says he’s a supernova.
Backstage, Brian Kendrick warms up for his match. Tom Phillips, looking strangely small, asks him about his chances tonight. Kendrick asks him if he’s a gambling man. He suggests Phillips bet everything on him, the same way Mick Foley bet the entire division on him. He says Rich Swann is so new his number isn’t even on the wheel, and he’ll crash and burn. Kendrick will capitalize on his mistakes. Phillips says Swann isn’t the only one that should be on his radar – TJ Perkins should too. Perkins walks in and says he’s still owed a rematch. He’s going to hunt down Kendrick. He’s glad to hear Kendrick is feeling confident, and he stares at the title before wishing him good luck.
A video package airs for Gran Metalik, who is bound to be a major force in 205 Live.
Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher
Daivari locks in a wrist lock, that Gallagher reverses uniquely. He locks in an arm lock and poses. He stretches out Daivari further, adjusts his hair, and “relaxes” into the stretch further. The crowd approves.
Daivari locks in a headlock, Gallagher does a handstand out of it. He does a head stand in the turnbuckle, and holds his foot out to Daivari’s with each charge. Gallagher ties up Daivari in a knot, in the middle of the ring, and walks away. Daivari unable to get out of the hold. He lines up Daivari and kicks him swiftly in the rear. Daivari tosses him out of the ring, follows up with a knee on the apron, and goes for the cover, getting two.
Daivari hits a spinning elbow, and Gallagher, hits a head butt in return. He connects with a running corner to corner dropkick and gets the win.
Winner: Jack Gallagher
Gallagher got over with a crowd that had no idea who he was, just as he did in the CWC. His offense is unique and fun, but he has that switch that turns it up when he needs to, and it just works.
A video airs for Lince Dorado. They put over his training, and his finisher – the Shooting Star Press.
Brian Kendrick walks out to the ring with a new pirate flag, this one with a caricature of him holding the Cruiserweight title. We then go to a video about Rich Swann, and how he grew up, losing both his mother and father at a young age. He says wrestling saved his life. He talks about traveling all over the world to hone his skills, and he feels he is one of – if not the best – cruiserweight in the company. The video shows Swann winning the triple threat match for a title shot.
Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Rich Swann for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Championship intros here. The two shake hands and break clean. Kendrick goes for an arm lock early on. Swann rolls out of it. Kendrick reverses it. Back and forth here. Swann flips through a leap frog and hits a dropkick for the cover. Kendrick kicks out.
Kendrick hits a running elbow in the corner. Swann chops his way out, but Kendrick counters. Swann hits a powerbomb, but is unable to make the cover. Kendrick hits a series of elbows, then goes for Sliced Bread #2, but Swann counters with a wheelbarrow rollup. Kendrick bails out of the ring.
Swann hits a basement dropkick and heads outside. He eyes up Kendrick, jumps onto the barricade, and leaps off onto Kendrick. Back in the ring, a cover for two. Swann hits a series of punches, and Kendrick counters with a suplex for two. He goes for the Captain’s Hook, Swann able to break the hold on the ropes. Swann counters a dragon suplex and hits a belly to back suplex of his own. Kendrick sends Swann to the apron, and Swann lands on his feet, nailing Kendrick with a right. Both men start climbing the turnbuckle, and Kendrick sneaks off the cover to the turnbuckle post. He hits a neckbreaker on Swann across the post. Unfortunately, the announcers seem to have missed this important detail.
Swann makes it back into the ring at 9. Kendrick immediately hits a suplex for two. Kendrick hits a dragon suplex for two, rolls it into a Captain’s Hook. Swann blocks the hold. Kendrick changes it into a straight jacket. Swann gets to his feet and reverses another Captain’s Hook attempt. He hits a Michinoku Driver for two.
Swann catches Kendrick with a roundhouse kick to the face. He drags him to the corner and goes for the jumping 450, but Kendrick gets the knees up. He rolls him up for two, goes straight to the Captain’s Hook. Swann gets the ropes, and Kendrick doesn’t break it. Swann tosses him to the apron, and slaps him across the face with a right fist. He goes to the second turnbuckle and brings Kendrick up. Kendrick bites Swann’s hand and hits a modified Sliced Bread for a two-count.
The fans start chanting “This is awesome” as Swann hits a trio of spinning kicks. He goes for the cover after the third kick, and gets the pin!
Winner: Rich Swann to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion
Swann slumps against the ropes, holding the belt in his hand, his eyes tearing up. He raises the title up high. The interviewer congratulates him in the ring. A “You deserve it” chant breaks out. Swann says “This is us right here, baby!” He says there’s one woman he’d like to thank – his mother. He points to the sky and says he knows she’s looking down. She might not be there, but she’s there with us in spirit. He holds the belt up high as his theme plays.
Tom Philips talks to Brian Kendrick on the ramp. Kendrick says he wasn’t wrestling just Swann – Perkins was playing mind games too. He says he didn’t lose and “this won’t last long, mark my words.”
A very good main event, and a great ending to the show. Swann got over with the crowd in a major way, and they were definitely into the action. Kendrick continues to be an MVP in the division, using subtle cheating to gain an advantage. I look forward to seeing what’s next for Kendrick, but more importantly, I’m excited to see where things go from here with Swann. With the Cruiserweight Division essentially being reset here, there’s a lot of opportunity. It’s just a matter of seeing where everyone fits.
Overall, the show had a fun start. Obviously, WWE is going for long-term here, not a fixed length like the CWC, so they will need to introduce stars bit by bit and allow them to establish their characters. I think the slow trickle of matches and the video packages are a great way to do that.
The opening match? Not bad, but not great. Jack Gallagher got himself over in the best possible way, and the main event turned things up a notch as well. Overall, thumbs up from me, but don’t take my word for it: vote in our Reader Poll and let us know what you think!
Thanks for tuning in folks!