WWE 205 Live begins immediately after Smackdown goes off the air, at 10pm Eastern. We will have complete coverage of the event, as it happens, starting at 10. Be sure to tune in, and follow along here and on Twitter @RingRap!
The show opens with a recap of Titus O’Neil’s attempts on recruiting Akira Tozawa to the Titus Worldwide. We see Neville threatening to take him out, and last night, when Titus managed to secure a title shot at Great Balls of Fire – Neville vs. Akira Tozawa.
Corey Graves and Vic Joseph welcome us to the show. Graves puts over the Smackdown main event, and then hypes up Neville’s address to the WWE Universe tonight. Plus, Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari. But first, Jack Gallagher is backstage with Dasha Fuentes.
Fuentes asks him how he’ll recover after his loss last week to Tony Nese. Tonight he faces Brian Kendrick, and he says he won’t make the same mistakes he made last week. “To him I say: Come and have a go, chap!”
Gallagher makes his entrance, and walks out. Then his music hits again, and Brian Kendrick walks out in a Gallagher costume. He says Gallagher is a joke, a one-trick pony, pip-pip-cheerio. He calls him an embarrassment, and he doesn’t even realize he is. He calls England an embarrassment as well. He calls him a pint-sized imitation of William Regal, and he’s not laughing.
Jack Gallagher vs. Brian Kendrick
The Action: Kendrick leaves the outfit on, wig and all. He goes for a knee and strikes to the back immediately. Kendrick drops Gallagher with a shoulder then twirls his fake mustache. Gallagher gets a headlock and does a handstand in the corner. Kendrick simply waits it out. Gallagher comes at him and rolls Kendrick through. He locks in an armbar. Kendrick nails him with a boot. He whips Gallagher into the turnbuckle. Gallagher fires back with knees and a dropkick, but Kendrick cuts him off with a back body drop and an elbow to the face. Kendrick grabs an umbrella and nails Gallagher with it, right in the gut. The referee DQ’s him.
The Winner: Jack Gallagher via DQ
Kendrick continues the assault and the umbrella breaks, so he grabs a second one and attacks further. Kendrick’s music hits as he walks away.
It was stupid seeing Kendrick in costume, but I’m all for this as a feud, which it certainly seems like it’s going to be.
Dasha is backstage with Drew Gulak. She asks him about his upcoming rematch against Mustafa Ali, but cues up a video recap from last week. He’s upset that she played a clip of Ali getting a win. He says Ali got lucky, and it perfectly points out why his No Fly Zone works. He may have lost the match, but it was worth it to send the message of… (with Megaphone) Safe and sound! Feet on the ground!
Mustafa Ali walks into the interview and asks her if Gulak hates the high flying moves because it really will make the division better, or if it’s just something “Drew can’t do.” He gives a cheesy thumbs up and walks off.
Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak
The Action: The bell rings and both men start trash talking. Ali tries to grapple with Gulak, but that’s Gulak’s strength. Ali hits an arm drag, and Gulak slaps the taste out of his face. He corners Ali, and Ali slaps him right back. He follows up with a pair of chops. Gulak stops some high flying with a boot. He slams Ali into the ropes and gets a two-count. Gulak nails a clothesline. He follows it up with a headlock. Ali fights free.
The two trade positions. Gulak hits a suplex into the turnbuckle for two. He continues to wear down Ali. Ali hits a tornado DDT. He builds momentum. Roundhouse from the apron and a rolling neckbreaker for two. Ali sets Gulak up on the top rope. Gulak fights him off. He’s on the second turnbuckle, and he shakily heads to the top rope, saying “I can do it!” He misses a splash off the top rope, and Ali rolls him up for the win.
Winner: Mustafa Ali
Fundamentally this feud is built on the notion that the cruiserweights must be aerial to be cruiserweights, which is just absurd. I enjoy these two together – they have good chemistry – but one of the things that made the Cruserweight Classic special was the diversity of the wrestlers. By having Gulak even consider doing a high-flying move (and failing) it sends the message that only capable high flyers belong.
The announcers show a tweet from Neville calling out Tozawa.
Backstage, Noam Dar apologizes to Ariya Daivari for throwing his bag away. Dar blames the entire thing on Alexander. Dar offers to pay him back. Daivari says to him, it’s peasant money – he wouldn’t even pick it up if he dropped it. Dar is relieved, says that Alicia Fox wants to Facetime non-stop and his phone bill is through the roof. Naturally, the phone rings and it’s Fox. He answers and tries to talk to her, but Daivari takes the phone and hangs up. “Let me be clear – I don’t want your money, but you still owe me.” He throws the phone against the wall and walks off.
Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari
The Action: Back and forth early on, but Alexander’s athleticism takes effect quickly. He hits an impressive dropkick. Springboard clothesline leads to a two-count. Daivari catches Alexander with a boot to the face. Alexander counters with an elbow, but Daivari sends Alexander into the turnbuckle upside down.
Outside the ring, Daivari hits a running knee off the apron. He rolls Alexander into the ring for a two-count. He cinches a headlock. Alexander goes for a springboard enzuigiri, but Daivari scouts it and locks in a sleeper. Alexander makes it to the bottom rope. Alexander hits an elbow, then follows up with a springboard enzuigiri for two. Cedric goes back to the apron for a springboard, until Noam Dar runs down for a distraction. Alexander goes for the move again, rolls through, and rolls Daivari up for two. He nails Dar on the apron, and Daivari takes advantage of the moment, hitting a hammerlock lariat for the win.
The Winner: Ariya Daivari
Well, I guess the Alexander/Dar feud STILL isn’t over yet. I’m happy Daivari got a win here though. He’s been portrayed as a loser up to this point.
In the ring, Dar is attacking Alexander with a series of punches. The fans boo him and he begs it on, before attacking Alexander once more. Dar grabs a mic and addresses Fox, who is at home recovering from a neck injury. He makes it clear that the Cedric Alexander chapter is over. He’s defended her honor, and now they can focus on love. “Yo Alicia, we did it!” Dar walks off.
Oh please, be done with it.
After a short break, Neville walks out to the ring. He grabs a mic and says in two weeks at Great Balls of Fire, Neville will defend his Cruiserweight Championship against the next so-called challenger. He says this time the individual is someone that has been misguided, mislead, and doesn’t fully appreciate the gravity of the situation they find themselves in. He refers to Akira Tozawa.
Neville says he sees through Titus O’Neil’s smoke and mirrors, and he sees another lamb being led to slaughter. He knows Tozawa likes to give lessons, but Neville gives warnings – in two weeks, don’t show up, or Tozawa will be slapped in the face with the realization that he doesn’t belong in the ring with Neville. He’s not at the Neville Level – “You are going to get hurt.”
Tozawa’s music hits, and he comes out in a suit. Neville yells at him, calling him the flavor of the month. Tozawa grunts once and the fans pick it up. He does it again. Neville wants to know what that even means. “I said do you understand English, you idiot?” Neville loses it and Tozawa just yells “Ah!” over and over and over. Neville takes a swing at him, and Tozawa ducks, hits a back kick and a roundhouse. Neville bails out of the ring and retreats up the ramp. Tozawa grabs the mic and chants “Ah! Ah!” again as Neville leaves.
Not a terrible episode. The matches were good, but it feels like the division as a whole is spinning wheels. It’s almost like WWE can’t work on more than two new feuds at a time, no matter the costs. I like the Tozawa vs. Neville matchup, but I don’t feel like Tozawa is the guy to take the title off of Neville. So, to me, there’s little reason to get excited about the feud.
Bill and I will talk about this and much more tomorrow on Ring Rap Audio. Be sure to send us your Favorite Things in Wrestling and we’ll hash it all out on the show!