WWE’s 205 Live airs tonight immediately after WWE Smackdown goes off the air. Currently announced for the show – Cedric Alexander takes on Neville. Neville has been laser-focused on Rich Swann’s Cruiserweight Title heading towards the Royal Rumble. Will Cedric Alexander be able to knock the self-proclaimed King of the Cruiserweights off his throne?
We will have live coverage of the show as it airs starting at 10pm Eastern. Be sure to join us here and on Twitter @RingRap!
A video package recaps the latest happenings of the feud between Rich Swann and Neville. Tom Phillips is backstage to interview Neville. He asks about Swann getting the better of him at Raw last night. Neville says Rich Swann is resilient, but he lacks common sense. He says last night was his fault, that he showed too much mercy. He won’t make that match again. Phillips asks about his match tonight against Cedric Alexander. Neville says he doesn’t want any doubt that 205 Live belongs to him, and tonight he’ll make Alexander kneel to the King of the Cruiserweights.
Our announcers set the stage for the show – Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries, who has a banana next to him. It’s a bit of an internet joke.
TJ Perkins vs. Tony Nese
The Winner: TJ Perkins
The Action: Nese tries to keep Perkins grounded early on. Perkins hits a hurricarana for a 1-count. Perkins hangs in the ropes to taunt Nese, and locks in an Octopus submission in the middle of the ring.
Nese picks up some steam after nailing Perkins with an elbow. He launches Perkins into the corner, then strikes a pose to boos. Perkins catches a boot to the face and goes for a tornado DDT, but Nese catches him and reverses it into a suplex for two.
Perkins starts to recover but Nese takes out the legs near the apron. He hits a springboard moonsault for two. Perkins powers out of a stretch. He goes up top, but Nese takes out the legs. Nese kicks Perkins and turns it into a gut buster for two. Perkins fights out of another hold and hits a leaping back kick. Perkins hits a leaping hurricarana, follows it up with a Detonation Kick. Nese returns to the ring to cut Perkins off with a clothesline. Perkins counters with a rolling crucifix pin for the win.
Nese attacks Perkins after the match, and hits him with a German Suplex into the turnbuckle, following it up with a running knee to the face. He poses in front of the announcers, saying he won the match. The announcers replay the action as referees tend to Perkins.
A very enjoyable match to start the show. The post-match attack was short but vicious. I’m looking forward to seeing more from these two.
We get another video package about Akira Tozawa. Sami Zayn – sporting a very nasty looking black eye – talks about Tozawa’s strengths. Tozawa debuts next week.
Back to ringside, Perkins is assisted backstage by the referee and a ringside doctor. Austin Aries defends Nese’s actions.
Brian Kendrick vs. Tripp Bradshaw
The Winner: Brian Kendrick
The Action: Before the match, Kendrick cuts a promo on Bradshaw, the hometown hero. He says Bradshaw isn’t taking his spot, and that the world doesn’t care about his fantasy. Kendrick says Sean Maluta learned the hard way when he snuffed out his dreams, and when Tajiri comes back from his supposed injury, he’ll snuff out his dreams too. Kendrick says in front of all of Bradshaw’s loved ones, his dreams will get snuffed out by The Brian Kendrick.
The bell rings, and Kendrick controls him early on. Bradshaw gets a hope spot, but Kendrick cuts him off. He locks in the Captain’s Hook shortly thereafter.
Backstage, Cedric Alexander is warming up. Rich Swann wishes him luck. Alexander asks for advice, and Swann tells him to believe in himself, saying Neville will try to get in his head, and that Neville thinks he’s a king. One thing he’s not – unbeatable. Swann asks Alexander to “save him some” so he can get some revenge at the Royal Rumble.
Neville vs. Cedric Alexander
The Winner: Neville
The Action: Neville declines the handshake to open the match. Neville hits a hip toss early on. Alexander reverses a wrist lock, Neville does the same. More reversals lead to Neville working over the arm. Alexander counters Neville with a number of flips. Head scissors leads to a dropkick, and Neville bails out of the ring. Nice exchange.
Neville takes his time to get back into the ring. Alexander catches him with a dropkick off the apron, and follows it up with a punt to the face. Alexander takes a little time to follow up. Neville recovers and drives Alexander into the barricade, then across the ring to the other barricade.
Neville keeps control in the ring, grounding Alexander. He hits a snap suplex and a running forearm in the corner for two. He wears Alexander down with a headlock. Alexander nails Neville with a nasty elbow to the head. Gorgeous springboard enzuigiri to the head, and Alexander pumps up. He hits a beautiful dive out of the ring to the Neville at ringside, and quickly gets Neville back in the ring. Alexander goes for a springboard clothesline, connecting for two.
Neville hits a set of knees. He flips off the apron and runs into a standing Spanish Fly from Alexander for two. Alexander hits a series of elbows to the face. Neville counters with a flurry of kicks, but Alexander cuts him short. Neville flips out of the Lumbar Check, and hits a release German suplex. He follows it up with a deadlift German into a bridge for two. Neville sets Alexander up in the corner, and readies for the superplex. Alexander tries to fight out and sits back down. He goes for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Neville flips out and lands on his feet. Alexander counters with an enzuigiri off the apron. Alexander waits for another springboard clothesline, but Noam Dar runs out for a distraction. Alexander leaps off the apron to attack Dar. He goes back to the apron and goes for the springboard again, but slips on the ropes and falls right into Neville’s Rings of Saturn for the win.
After the match, Dar enters the ring and taunts Alexander, but Neville is not amused. He tosses Dar out of the ring, and then attacks Alexander further. Thankfully, Rich Swann runs out to make the save.
Swann goes immediately on the attack, but Neville sends him into the turnbuckle head first. Dar re-enters the ring and he and Alexander start brawling up the ramp. Meanwhile in the ring, Swann and Neville are restrained by referees and security, who can’t keep the two apart from each other.
An absolutely tremendous match for 205 Live. These guys had good chemistry together, and Alexander is being positioned as a top contender for the title, when ready. But there was a lot of great drama in this match from both men, and Alexander, for the first time, really showed the same fire and passion that fans fell in love with during the CWC.
A much better episode than we’ve gotten lately. If we can get more episodes like this, fans will start to watch more frequently, I feel. TJ Perkins was in the zone against Tony Nese, and also showed that fire that lead him to a victory in the CWC.
I’m excited to see Tozawa make his debut. He is something truly special and I think will help inject a level of energy that the division is missing.
Tomorrow night, Bill and I sit down for Ring Rap Audio to discuss our Favorite Thing in Wrestling, The Royal Rumble, and more. Be sure to tune in, and thank you for watching with me tonight!