WWE’s new Cruiserweight show, 205 Live is airing tonight on the WWE Network, immediately after Smackdown goes off the air at 10:00 pm Eastern. Last week, Rich Swann defeated Brian Kendrick last week to win the Cruiserweight Title. Tonight, Kendrick gets his rematch.
Plus, Ariya Daivari will take on Jack Gallagher in a rematch. Join us live starting at 10:00pm for coverage as it happens!
A video package airs highlight Rich Swann’s victory last week, defeating Brian Kendrick for the Cruiserweight Title in the debut of 205 Live.
Fireworks go off in the arena, and it’s Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries on commentary. They confirm the rematch between Kendrick and Swann for the Cruiserweight Title.
Noam Dar heads to the ring first, and Cedric Alexander next, but not before getting a kiss on the cheek from Alicia Fox.
Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander
Both men shake hands and the bell rings. They lock up, clean break on the ropes. Dar catches Alexander with a side headlock out of a leapfrog. Dar works the arm, keeping Alexander grounded. Alexander hits a reverse head scissors and a dropkick, then runs the ropes, but Dar ducks the apron to avoid Alexander. Alexander hits a low dropkick instead.
Dar hangs Alexander up on the top rope, and hits a nasty arm drag. He keeps the focus on the arm, stretching Alexander out and grinding the shoulder. Dar hits a nice uppercut for a near fall. Alexander tries to create some distance between the two of them. Alexander hits a sunset flip, but Dar reverses it and attacks the arm once more. Alexander hits a forearm and catches Dar with an elbow. He fires up with his good arm and catches Dar with an elbow to the face. Spear and enzuigiri in the corner, and Alexander hits a springboard cross body for two.
I lost my feed for a moment, but it came back with Dar hitting Alexander on a springboard attempt. He kicked out the arm, and then locks in an armbar in the middle of the ring. Dar lays in some nasty punches to the arm. Alexander breaks free and hits a kick in the corner. Dar sends Alexander into the ring post and hits a running roundhouse for three.
Winner: Noam Dar
A different type of match than most fans will be used to when it comes to the cruiserweights, but it was this sort of style mixing with the high flying that made the CWC special. Dar is definitely playing up the heel role here, but the entire match he had Alexander’s number. There’s a good story to tell here, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
After the match, Dar is interviewed in the ring. He says he’s 23 and just signed a big money contract with WWE. He dedicates the victory to a very special person who’s watching in the back – “Cedric Alexander’s girlfriend Alicia Fox.”
A video package airs for Mustafa Ali, who says they hear his name and people make assumptions. They announce his name and immediately he gets booed. He’s here to change the perception, saying he can do strong style, lucha, technical, you name it.
Rich Swann is taping up backstage. TJ Perkins wishes him luck, and says he’s been getting lucky lately. Perkins says he’s good, and good enough to beat Brian Kendrick, but not… well he implies he’s not good enough to beat him. Perkins walks away.
Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher
Daivari smirks and offers to shake his hand, and immediately goes for Gallagher’s taped left knee. He wrenches the knee, but Gallagher spins out of it, taking Daivari to the mat. Gallagher sets Daivari up for a surfboard, but stomps the knees instead. Daivari catapults him into the corner, and Gallagher does the headstand in the turnbuckles. Daivari takes out the knee again and hits a series of elbows.
Daivari takes the action outside, wrapping Gallagher’s knee around the ring post over and over. Daivari hits a chop block in the ring and a cover for two. He continues to wrench the knee. Gallagher escapes and hits a series of near falls. He connects with a headbutt and it’s only worth two. Gallagher goes for a wrist lock, Daivari counters with an elbow and a kick to the leg. He hits a frogsplash for the win.
Winner: Ariya Daivari
A much different match than we’ve seen from Gallagher in the past, and for the better, as Daivari needs some wins to stay credible. So far, tonight is the night of the heels. Will that continue in the main event?
A hype video airs for Lince Dorado, highlighting his aerial prowess.
TJ Perkins heads to ringside to join in on commentary. He says there’s something to being the first of a generation, but there’s something to be the former too. He says in the future his time will come again.
Tom Phillips approaches Brian Kendrick backstage. He asks him if Rich Swann has his number. Kendrick says last week his head was in a million different places. He says he wasn’t focused and makes up excuses. He says tonight he’s focused. He says it was sweet that Swann dedicated the win to his deceased mom, but tonight when he wins, he’s dedicating the win to him.
Rich Swann (c) vs. Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Austin Aries calls out Perkins on commentary, blatantly disrespecting him. Perkins brushes it off. Kendrick locks Swann in an armlock. Perkins says there’s nothing wrong with having friends, and he and Swann are friends, but admits that his history with Kendrick had an effect on their match. Meanwhile, Swann hits a dropkick for two. Kendrick bails out of the ring.
Swann follows him out and Kendrick gets control. He hits Sliced Bread off the barricade to the floor. Back in the ring, two-count. Kendrick hits a series of crossface strikes. He kicks Swann in the face, hits a full nelson suplex and rolls it into a Captain’s Hook. Swann gets to the ropes.
Swann kicks Kendrick through the ropes as the fans start chanting for Austin Aries. Swann hits a corkscrew something off the second rope to the floor. Almost a Phoenix Splash but not quite. Back in the ring, Swann hits a tiger bomb for two. He drags Kendring into the corner and sets up his standing 450 splash, but Kendrick catches him and rolls him up for two. Swann hits a spinning driver for two. Swann misses his first kick, connects with a second. Kendrick plants a front kick to the face, Swann counters with a roundhouse of his own.
Kendrick and Swann trade punches. Kendrick drops Swann on the back of his neck for two, and right into a Captain’s Hook, but Swann doesn’t let it lock in. Kendrick gives it a second attempt and he locks it in in the middle of the ring. Swann makes it to the ropes, but Kendrick pulls him back into the middle before he can get his hand on the rope. Swann rolls it into a pin attempt, but right back into the hold. Swann makes it to the ropes this time.
Kendrick pulls Swann over the ropes and chokes him through the ref count. The two brawl on the apron, Kendrick hitting a kick, but Swann sending him into the ring post. Kendrick sends him face-first into the ring post, and Swann is laid out on the floor. Kendrick rolls into the ring, and rolls back out, trying to drag Swann back to his feet. Swann pushes Kendrick and Kendrick goes flying into Perkins. The two lock eyes, and Kendrick rolls back into the ring, getting caught with a spinning heel kick to the face for the win.
Winner: Rich Swann to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Title
After the match, Kendrick attacks Perkins, and the two brawl. Rich Swann walks back down the ramp and lays into Kendrick with rights. Perkins goes for a superkick on Kendrick, and catches Swann instead. Kendrick tosses Perkins into the barricade and referees break it up before it can escalate further. Kendrick gloats, the only one left standing, as he walks away.
A good match overall. The Cruiserweights as a whole are struggling to get over with the crowd. It will take time to establish personalities, which they’re doing little by little, and I think currently these three are the most over with the crowd. The crowd popped for the post-match angle and all the high spots, but little else.
And that’s going to be an issue overall. Two hours of Smackdown leading into this show present a set of challenges that these men will have to overcome. That said, this week was a better week in terms of show quality, and I think it is more of an indication of the type of show we will have going forward. We have a new established heel out of Noam Dar, we have a credible victory for Daivari, and there’s still more to come.
The main title picture however is looking to be turning into a triple threat – Perkins, Kendrick, Swann. That’s fine to do as you build up some more names, but after a month or so we will need to go in a different direction, and hopefully guys like Dar and Gallagher can be ready by that point.
Not forgetting, we still have two very amazing, very different luchadors to debut.
So, week two? Overall, I think it was better. I’m curious to know what Bill Wentz thought, and I’m sure we’ll discuss it on Ring Rap Audio tomorrow night. Thanks for reading folks! See you soon!