WWE’s 205 Live airs live this evening at 10pm Eastern, immediately following Smackdown. Last night on Raw, it was announced that TJ Perkins would be taking on Neville. Will Neville continue his path of destruction through the cruiserweight division? Or, will TJP stand up and get retribution for his friend, Rich Swann?
We will have live coverage of the show as it airs, both here and on Twitter @RingRap. Be sure to follow along in real time for the latest updates!
A video package hypes up Neville’s destruction of the Cruiserweight division thus far. We go to the arena to fireworks. Corey Graves says that Rich Swann is not medically cleared to compete tonight thanks to repeated attacks by Neville.
To the arena, Tajiri makes his return to WWE!
Tajiri vs. Sean Maluta
The Match: Both men shake hands. Maluta had an impressive showing at the Cruiserweight Classic, but is making his 205 Live debut here. He catches Tajiri with a shoulerblock. Tajiri counters, but Maluta hits a thrust to the chest. Tajiri locks in a Tarantula across the ropes, breaking it on 4. He hits Maluta with a kick to the ribs and then the head. Springboard back elbow, followed by a back kick and a kick to the head. It’s over.
The Reax: I don’t think anyone expected Maluta to pick up a win here, but that’s fine. Tajiri can be a big time player in the division, but he needs to reintroduce himself to the audience – particularly the newer fans.
Brian Kendrick’s music hits and he walks out to welcome him back, and welcome him to 205 Live. He says Tajiri hasn’t lost a step, and says he was better now than he was years ago. “It’s so good to see an old friend.” He says he’s a fellow pioneer to the Cruiserweight Division. Kendrick says there’s no telling where they can take 205 Live. He says they have to kick the garbage to the curb first, and then he extends a hand to shake. Tajiri takes his hand, and sprays Kendrick right in the eyes with the green mist. Kendrick sells it like he’s got acid on his face.
Dasha approaches Neville about his match against TJ Perkins. He says Perkins would never have been champion if Neville was included in the division from the inception. He’s sick of hearing about Perkins’ struggle, and says he’s never been taken serious in this country because of how he talks and how he looks. “When the system is broken, you make your own system.” He doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him, and that makes him dangerous. He says Perkins 15 minutes are over, and there can only be one King of the cruiserweights.
A video package airs for Tony Nese. He talks about not understanding why he should shake someone’s hand before a match. He talks about being good at everything.
Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese (w/ Drew Gulak)
Winner: Jack Gallagher via DQ
The Match: Nese goes for an early wrist lock. Gallagher rotates out of it. Gallagher does his headstand in the corner. Before things could go much further, Daivari runs in and attacks Gallagher. He locks Gallagher up in a Tree of Woe and hits a bunch of punches and a dropkick.
The Reax: The match felt off to begin with, and it was all about the attack. Daivari is getting some good heat and I like that he’s been able to get the better of Gallagher here and there.
Backstage, Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox have a moment, as Alexander asks her to be more careful. He says he’s responsible for his own wins and losses and what happens in the ring. She agrees to be cautious at ringside, and they kiss.
Noam Dar vs. Mustafa Ali
Winner: Mustafa Ali
The Match: Dar rolls out of a wrist lock early on, but Ali continues to keep the pressure. Ali hits a running hurricarana, and a spinning heel kick for two. Dar bails out of the ring, and Ali follows him out, hitting a forearm to the face. Dar catches Ali with a running dropkick as he comes back into the ring, and immediately goes for the arm.
Dar taunts Ali and stays on the arm. Ali goes for a roll-up for two, but Dar immediately goes on the offense. He counters a sunset flip. Ali hits a tornado DDT out of the corner out of desperation. Ali hits an enzuigri and a rolling diving neck breaker for two. Dar counters a cross-body out of the corner with a Fujiwara armbar. Dar drags him back into the middle, but Ali counters with a pin attempt for two. He catches Dar with a boot to the face out of the corner, and heads up top. He hits an impressive inverted 450 and gets the pin.
The Reax: Truthfully, I thought Ali would be fed to Dar here, who seems to have a strong story going with Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox. But, Ali, little by little, got the crowd to side with him, and hit a nice finisher to close it up. The only thing I feel Ali needs to do is show more of a sense of urgency in his matches. His moves are clean and crisp, but he doesn’t take it to the next level.
After the match, Dasha asks Dar about starting the year with a loss. Dar says 2017 will be a big year for him, and all he needs is lady luck by his side. He says Alexander may not appreciate Alicia Fox, but she’s always welcome in his corner.
A video package airs on Akira Tozawa. It features clips of Cesaro talking about how strong and fierce he is.
Neville vs. TJ Perkins
Neville comes to the ring first with a darker and more intense version of his theme song. I really like it. Backstage, Tom Phillips asks TJ Perkins about challenging Neville. He says Neville has become exactly what he accuses all Americans of being – a bully – and sometimes you have to kick a bully right in the face. Perkins then makes his entrance.
The Winner: Neville
The Match: No handshake here, with Perkins actually turning it down. A “Let’s go Neville/TJP” chant breaks out. Perkins hits a strong wrist lock reversal, and goes back to the wrist again. Both men trade reversals, with Perkins locking in the head scissors. Perkins goes for a third one, but Neville flips out of it. He hits a shoulder block, but eats a back kick and a bulldog from Perkins. Flying head scissors sends Neville to the outside.
Perkins pursues Neville outside the ring, and Neville uses the chance to turn the tide. He stomps on Perkins and heads up top, stalking Perkins for a dropkick. Perkins flips out of a back suplex attempt and hits a leaping kick to the head, but Neville counters with a back elbow. Neville misses a second rope Phoenix Splash. Perkins hits a neckbreaker and leaps out of the ring onto Neville. He tosses Neville back into the ring immediately, and hits a diving crossbody for two.
Neville connects with a right hand in the corner, and tries to bring Perkins up to the top rope, but Perkins breaks free. Perkins hits an impressive springboard Frankensteiner for a near fall. Perkins sets Neville up on his shoulders, but Neville fights free. He hits a spinning back kick. Perkins counters with a roundhouse and a triangle wrecking ball dropkick. Perkins goes for the kneebar, but Neville catches him and deadlifts him into an impressive German suplex into a bridge for two.
Perkins nails Neville in the head. He heads up top, but Neville takes him out in the corner. Neville climbs up top and goes for the superplex, but Perkins fights him off twice. Third time is the charm for Neville, who hits it successfully, getting the victory.
The Reax: This is, by far, the best Perkins has looked on 205 Live, and frankly since the Cruiserweight Classic came to an end. Neville continues to be a cornerstone of the division, and when (not if) he becomes Cruiserweight Champion, it’ll be fun to watch challenger after challenger step up to try to knock him down.
Another strong show for 205 Live, which seems to have hit it’s stride lately. The characters are becoming more and more defined, and the audiences are getting into it more and more each week. The main event, once again, held my interest and was worthy of headlining.
Thank you to everyone for tuning in and joining me. Be sure to vote in our reader poll and let us know what you think of 205 Live! See you next week!