WWE 205 Live hits the WWE Network at 10pm Eastern, immediately after Smackdown goes off the air. We will have live coverage of the show as it happens, including the already announced Austin Aries vs. TJ Perkins.
Be sure to tune in starting at 10pm, and follow along on Twitter @RingRap!
The show opens with a recap of TJ Perkins’ decent to the dark side. We see Neville court Perkins, and Perkins turning on Austin Aries. Tom Phillips and Corey Graves welcome us to the show. They hype up Perkins vs. Aries later tonight.
Akira Tozawa comes out for his match, and we see a recap of Tozawa’s efforts to fluster Brian Kendrick week after week.
Akira Tozawa vs. Tony Nese
The Match: The two shake hands as the match begins. Nese pushes Tozawa away and flexes. Nese makes a clean break against the ropes, then shoves Tozawa back into the ropes, pushing his head away. He throws Tozawa out of the ring, and Tozawa fires back immediately. Nese bails out of the ring.
Tozawa hits a sunset flip into a kick and a senton for two. Nese cuts him off from making a run through the ropes. Nese torques the neck, as Brian Kendrick strolls to ringside, cheering Tony Nese on. Nese sets up a hanging suplex, and holds Tozawa up with one arm before tossing him into the top rope for two.
Nese locks in a torture rack. He kicks the ribs of Tozawa and goes for another suplex, but Tozawa knees out of it. He hits a standing hurricarana, and a forearm sending Nese to the floor. He runs the ropes and hits a diving headbutt outside.
Tozawa stares down Kendrick as he rolls Nese in. He hits Nese with a running knee for two. Nese sends Tozawa into the ropes face-first. He hits strikes across the face. The referee pulls him away, and Kendrick goes to kick Tozawa in the face, but the referee sees it. Meanwhile, Tozawa rolls Nese up and gets the pin.
The Winner: Akira Tozawa
Nese stares a hole through Kendrick. Kendrick climbs into the ring slowly, trying to explain himself. He points at Tozawa, but Nese isn’t having it. He attacks Kendrick from behind. Tozawa grabs the mic and says it’s lesson #3 – he needs eyes in the back of his head.
A good match that didn’t need the Kendrick shenanigans. I’m ready to move on from Tozawa/Kendrick now, please.
Rich Swann makes his entrance as we see a recap of Noam Dar’s latest “gift” to Alicia Fox – a box filled with baby powder. Swann says Alicia Fox’s name like Dar does. He says she’s had a week to think things over, but before he can continue, Noam Dar interrupts. Dar says last week was the most humiliating night of his life. He asks what kind of man interferes in another man’s relationship. He calls Swann a little rat.
Fox interrupts. She says when she first saw him, she saw the future face of 205 Live. She calls him young, talented and charismatic, and then she got to know him, and she realized there are so many other things he contributes to the relationship – he’s immature, his cologne stinks, he thinks he can cook (but not in every room…….?) She admits she’s been using him. She says the way he says her name is the most annoying thing. She tells him to leave, and that they’re through.
Dar looks crushed as the fans sing “Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.” He leaves the ring looking like a little puppy. Fox turns to Swann. She officially, properly, thanks him for the gifts. Swann says they all came from the heart – the flowers, teddy bears, lingerie. He feels she deserves them all.
Fox decides to give Swann what he deserves, and she puckers up for a kiss. Swann stops her, and asks if she remembers Cedric Alexander. He says he’s recovering from injury right now, but he remembers him. “And he’s one of my close friends, and you broke his heart. You left Cedric for some Euro-trash pervert.” He says there’s a word for people like her – but his mom taught him better than that and he won’t say it. He says the world knows what type of person she was, and that’s his ultimate gift to her.
Corey Graves rips into Swann on commentary for wrecking her relationship. Fox says single is better anyway. The fans “What?” chant at her, and she plays into it as part of a mental breakdown. She insults the crowd and we go to break.
Mustafa Ali vs. Ariya Daivari
We see a clip of Daivari pulling into the arena in a very fancy sports car. He’s a total jerk to the valet. He’s decked out in gold chains and a fancy shirt. Ok then.
The Match: Ali immediately goes for a wristlock. Daivari breaks it on the ropes. Ali goes for a leg takedown. Daivari recovers in the ropes, brushing his boots off. Ali picks up some steam, hitting a fancy backflip for showboating purposes followed by a few roll-up attempts. Ali sends Daivari to the floor and follows him by diving over the top rope.
The two brawl on the apron. Daivari gets the better of the exchange and drops Ali back-first onto the apron. He gets a two-count. Daivari picks up the pace and hits a spinebuster for two. Ali hits a spinning heel kick out of desperation. He fires up with a series of strikes and hits a hurricarana. Roundhouse off the ropes followed by a rolling neck breaker for two. The two brawl on the top rope. Daivari pushes Ali off, but Ali fires back with a dropkick. He heads up top for the reverse 450, and winds up distracted by Drew Gulak, who’s carrying a megaphone and a sign that says “No Fly Zone.” He chants “I’m not lying, no high flying!” It’s enough to give Daivari a distraction for the win.
The Winner: Ariya Daivari
The crowd was dead for this match, which didn’t help things. Daivari’s new gimmick is forced and lame, and Gulak seems wasted in this role as well.
Backstage, Dasha Fuentes asks him about his actions. He says he sees a bright future in 205 Live, and tonight started that future. He says the high-flying brand of Mustafa Ali has no place in the future of 205 Live. He’ll stop at nothing to make it better.
TJ Perkins vs. Austin Aries
The Match: Perkins spits in his hand for the handshake. Aries slaps the hand from behind.
Perkins immediately bails out of the ring. Aries sits in the middle of the ring and waits for him. Perkins suckers Aries in and kicks him, but Aries counters with an armdrag. Dropkick for two, and Aries locks in an armbar. Perkins fires back and locks in a head scissors, dab and all. Aries breaks free and kicks the back, and goes for his submission finisher, but Perkins bails out.
Back in the ring, Perkins hands Aries up on the top rope. He taunts Aries, hanging in the ropes, and Aries goes after him, but hits a senton. Outside the ring, Aries dives into TJP. He lays into him with a chop to the chest. He goes up top, Perkins cuts the ropes, dropping Aries crotch first.
Perkins with a low dropkick to the back for two. He steps on Aries’ face, and goes for another dab. Aries gets pissed, laying in some elbows. Perkins counters with a cross-body for two. He ties up the legs and gets a butterfly lock on the upper body. He misses a standing corkscrew.
Aries hits a gutbuster, STO, and a pendulum elbow. Side slam for two. Aries hits a neckbreaker through the ropes. He heads up top and goes for a 450 splash. Perkins rolls and Aries misses, and he sells a tweaked knee. Perkins immediately locks in a knee bar. Aries breaks it on the ropes.
Aries struggles to his feet as Perkins zeroes in on the leg. The two trade blows. Aries goes for the Discus Five-Arm, but misses. Perkins goes for something and botches it, but Aries sells the knee. Perkins goes for a Detonation Kick. Aries counters with a belly to back overhead suplex. Aries hits a running forearm, then goes back up top again. He hits the 450 Splash, and Perkins gets his foot on the bottom rope. Aries pulls him and goes into the Last Chancery. Perkins breaks the hold on the ropes and tumbles to the floor.
Outside the ring, Aries struggles to bring Perkins to his feet. He rolls TJP into the ring and climbs up himself. Perkins dropkicks him on the apron. Aries hits an ear clap and nails Perkins with the Fivearm for the win.
The Winner: Austin Aries
After the match, Neville’s music hits, and he makes a beeline to the ring, immediately attacking Aries’ leg. Aries ducks a roundhouse and hits the Last Chancery. Perkins breaks it up, stomping on Aries in the corner. Neville pushes him aside and goes into his own stomps. Neville gives the orders and Perkins connects with a Detonation Kick, leaving Aries battered and bruised as referees come down to break up the attack. Neville cinches on the Rings of Saturn, and Perkins sits in front of him, taunting him. The two leave Aries lying as the show comes to an end.
By leaps and bounds the best match of the night, and the only one that got the crowd excited. These two were operating at a different level than the rest of the card tonight, hands down, with Neville’s post-match attack being the cherry on top. Perkins has a new-found charisma that was lacking prior to the heel turn, and he’s settled into the role quite nicely. If we could just get his music on the same page as his character, we’ll be all set.
While the main event was fine, the rest of the show struggled. It felt listless and lifeless in a lot of ways. WWE has a chronic problem with characters – if they don’t know how to identify with you as you are, they shoehorn you with a terrible gimmick and hope for the best. That’s exactly what they’ve done to Daivari and Gulak, and to some degree Swann. Now that Dar is no longer with Fox, I worry they’ll do the same to him. At least he has a high level of charisma to navigate around that.
As far as Kendrick and Tozawa go, I feel like this feud has been going on for four months now. Let’s close it up.
Overall, a skippable show.
Thanks for watching with me tonight folks!