WWE 205 Live airs tonight on the WWE Network at 10pm Eastern, immediately after Smackdown goes off the air. We will have live coverage of the show as it happens.
The main question going into the show: Who is next for Neville? The Cruiserweight Champion has shut down every attempt to capture the title by Austin Aries, and last week, he defeated TJP in a tense match. Who is next to step up to the plate and challenge the champion?
Join us here and on Twitter @RingRap starting at 10pm!
Backstage, Akira Tozawa is getting ready for tonight when Titus O’Neil busts in. He says he got Tozawa in tonight’s main event against TJP. He says Neville knows what he knows – that Tozawa can be the next Kobe Bryant of Japan. Tozawa speaks and starts to say that Apollo Crews told him something about the Titus Brand, but Titus interrupts him, telling him when he signs it’ll be “raining yen.” Titus repeats cha-ching once more and walks away.
We go to the arena and Corey Graves welcomes us to the show, along side a new broadcast partner, Vic Joseph. (I want my Tom Phillips, dammit!) Joseph says he’s excited to be there “week in and week out on Tuesday nights.” Joseph announces Austin Aries’ return to TV, plus Tozawa vs. TJP in the main event.
Cedric Alexander makes his entrance while the announcer’s recap the happenings on Raw, including Alexander’s destruction of Noam Dar.
Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari
The Action: The two lock up. Daivari works a wristlock. Alexander uses agility to reverse it. Daivari hits a shoulder block, which Alexander easily recovers from. The two stare down as Alexander beckons him to bring it.
Alexander flips out of the corner and hits a headscissor takedown followed by a dropkick for two. He goes for a springboard, but Daivari pushes the legs out from under him, knocking him loopy on the top turnbuckle. Daivari gets a two count.
Daivari locks in a headlock. Alexander fights to his feet. Daivari hits a leaping neck breaker for two. Daivari sends him into the turnbuckle hard. After a lengthy beatdown, Alexander starts to fire back with chops. He hits a handstand springboard enzuigiri for two. He connects with a springboard clothesline. Out of nowhere, Alicia Fox shows up on the screen in Facetime as Noam Dar heads to the ring. Alexander kicks Dar before he can get into the ring. Daivari goes for a roll-up, but Alexander kicks out and hits the Lumbar Check for the win.
The Winner: Cedric Alexander
Alicia Fox continues to yell at Dar, even though he’s KO’d. The yelling continues during Alexander’s victory celebration. Alexander picks up the phone and talks to her, saying he can’t hear her. He hangs up on Fox. Dar throws a fit at ringside before walking away.
Why is this still a thing? Alexander says he’s done with this feud. That’s good enough for me. Make it reality please.
Austin Aries walks to the ring to address his future. The announcers recap Aries’ loss to Neville at Extreme Rules
The fans chant for Aries, and he acknowledges it, but pokes fun for the chant being out of sync. He says it’s a privilege and an honor to be in a WWE ring. He thought this moment might be a little different. He says he was sure he’d stand there tonight as the new Cruiserweight Champion. He says he won’t boo hoo about it, he’s going to stand there as a man and say he didn’t get the job done.
Aries says it happens to all of us, but you get up and you keep going. Aries says people have a lot of questions. They want to know if he’s injured. Aries acknowledges those rumors, saying he’s got some “leg stuff” and some “neck stuff” going on. He says he’s not medically cleared until some test results come back.
And then, Tony Nese interrupts. He wants to help him with his future – he says in the near future Aries should get out of the ring, climb over the guard rail, and grab a seat while a Premiere Athlete takes the ring. He says Aries should save his dignity by fading into the past. “The future is right in front of you.” Aries says Tony is talking tough, but in the past, he made him tap out. He tells him he’s got a great physique, but then asks him what exercise he did to finally grow a set (of balls). Nese says Aries has a lot of jokes, but in his future he doesn’t have time for him or his jokes. Aries starts to unbutton his shirt, but Jack Gallagher’s music hits.
Gallagher strolls out in a suit. He says this town is known for having fun. There’s always jokes, and he teases a couple of jokes. Gallagher says if we’re to believe Nese is the future of 205 Live, to replace Austin Aries, then it makes him the biggest joke of all. “You sir are no Austin Aries.”
Nese gets into Gallagher’s face. He takes a swing, but Gallagher ducks and hits him with the umbrella. Nese runs off packing. Aries shakes his hand and taps a banana to the umbrella in a “sign of respect.”
I’m not sure how long Aries will be out of action, but he’s leaving a major gap while he’s away. I hope that someone steps up to the plate, but with a scripted promo like Nese just delivered, we’ve got some searching to do.
TJP is backstage. Rich Swann approaches him, and tells him he looked good against Neville last week. He says they’re both looking for another opportunity, but TJP brushes him off. Swann says the fans were starting to believe in him, and so was he. He says Perkins lost the title, changes his name, takes shortcuts. If TJP wants to do it that way, that’s cool, but TJ Perkins would go out to the ring and take care of business the right way. “Get your head in the game.”
The announcers cue up a highlight reel for Mustafa Ali. He talks about taking risks, until Drew Gulak hijacks the video. He wants to know what being a high flyer really means. He says he’s taking unnecessary risks and only cares about himself. “Mustafa Ali is all style, no substance.” Gulak says he stands for the fans, for a better 205 Live.
Ali vs. Gulak will go down next week, as will Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese.
TJP vs. Akira Tozawa
The Action: Tozawa tries to amp up the audience early on. The two lock up, but break clean. Tozawa wrenches a headlock. He flips out of a back breaker (possible mistake here). The two reverse a series of moves and stand off. Tozawa hits a flurry and caps it with a senton for two.
Backstage, Titus O’Neil looks on. Perkins hits a dropkick, follows it up with a body slam and a senton off the apron of his own. Tozawa fights out of a chin lock. Perkins counters and hits a springboard corkscrew for two.
The fans start chanting “CM Punk” (why???). TJP hits a triad of suplexes for two. He locks in a submission attempt. Tozawa breaks free, but TJP turns it into a headlock instead. Tozawa flips out of a headlock and hits a nice hurricarana of his own. He knocks Perkins off the apron and flies through the ropes, hitting a headbutt battering ram. Back in the ring, Tozawa hits a running boot for two. He climbs up top, but TJP counters, knocking him off the top ropes. The two brawl on the turnbuckles. Tozawa hits a series of punches and pushes Perkins off. Perkins counters a kick with a double chickenwing gutbuster for two.
Tozawa hits a jab to the face, knocking TJP loopy. Perkins may have been playing coy. He locks in a kneebar in the middle of the ring. Tozawa reaches for the ropes. Perkins pulls him back, Tozawa reverses it into a roll-up for two. Perkins kicks Tozawa in the face, Tozawa recovers and nails Perkins with a fast side suplex. He goes up top and hits the cannonball senton for the win.
The Winner: Akira Tozawa
A pretty solid match. It didn’t really feel like anything was on the line, but these two worked well together and put on an entertaining match. Tozawa seems primed to be next for Neville. It’s a matchup I can get behind. Meanwhile, TJP is facing a crisis, unable to get it done.
Backstage, Titus O’Neil sings as Neville walks in, interrupting him. Titus says he was wondering when he was gonna show up. Titus starts singing again. Neville doesn’t care about his singing, but he does care about the drivel coming from his mouth. He says he’s setting up his client for pain and misery – Tozawa isn’t even close to the Neville Level.
Titus says Neville Level is clever, but the Titus Brand is about the future. He just watched Tozawa beat Neville’s protege, and that makes him the future of 205 Live.
A two-match show that sets up some future feuds. One major issue I have with 205 Live is they run feuds about two-three weeks too long. I don’t mind long feuds, but the Cedric Alexander/Noam Dar feud needs to end. It should’ve ended with Alexander’s injury, and they capped it off when he returned, but yet, somehow, it continues.
But Tozawa is being positioned for a title shot, while Aries is evidently taking some time to heal up. He’s leaving a huge gap. Can Tozawa fill it? I don’t know. But maybe with a little help from Titus O’Neil, he can.
Thanks for joining me tonight! See you next week!