Tonight, Rich Swann defends the Cruiserweight title in a rematch against the former champion, “The” Brian Kendrick!
Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?
205 Live – 12/6/16
We open with a recap of Rich Swann’s title win from last week.
We are LIVE from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas! Your hosts are Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries. Ugh, Corey already called him the ‘outlandish’ Rich Swann, so it looks like that’s sticking. Wonderful.
And there’s the music of Noam Dar! The youngest member of the entire Cruiserweight division makes his way to the ring, while we see backstage that Alicia Fox is hitting on Cedric Alexander, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. He makes his way to the ring now, and it looks like we’re going to kick things off with a one on one matchup!
Cedric Alexander vs Noam Dar
Handshake is accepted. Lockup goes to the ropes for a break, second lockup and Dar grabs a standing side headlock. Cedric shoots Dar off, but after they run the ropes Dar grounds him with a headlock takeover. Dar works the arm with wringers, then a standing armbar. Cedric tries to escape with an Irish whip, but Dar hangs on like a dog with a bone. Cedric finally manages to armdrag out of it, they run the ropes, ‘rana from Cedric into a dropkick sends Noam to the outside to think it over. Cedric looks to dive so Dar ducks, but Alexander was faking him out and dropkicks him through the ropes. Dar catches Cedric with a necksnap on the top rope as they’re getting back in to take over now, then more arm punishment as he drops Cedric to the mat by the arm, then kicks away at it. Noam puts on armbar and grinds his fist into Cedric’s shoulder, really punishing the arm of Cedric. Alexander tries to fight back with chops, but Dar sweeps the leg to put him back down. 1,2, no! Dar goes right back to the arm and grinds the fist into the elbow this time, a couple of shots to the ribs and a lightning-fast European uppercut later, and Noam covers for two. More punishment in the corner from Dar, as he grinds his boot into the arm of Cedric. Alexander tries another comeback, but Dar cuts that off again with shots to the arm. Dar uses the ropes to stretch the arm out even more, Cedric tries again to fight him off, but a sunset flip attempt by Cedric is countered by Dar slamming Cedric’s arm against the mat. Back to the arm on the mat now, then a snap across the shoulder from Noam, but Cedric finally elbows Dar in the face to create some space. Cedric comes back with the good arm, firing shots and a back elbow. Enzuigiri in the corner from Alexander, and he springs in with a crossbody to Dar for two, as he can’t use the arm to hook a leg. Cedric tries to shake the arm out, but he can’t suplex Noam and a small package gets two for Dar. Spinkick and Cedric goes for a handspring, but Dar was ready and kicks him in the arm off the ropes, then applies a Fujiwara armbar. Cedric teases tapping, but instead cradles Dar for two. Dar with a blind charge that hits the boots of Cedric, split-legged moonsault attempt by Cedric, Dar rolls out of the way, Cedric lands on his feet. Alexander charges in the corner, but Noam sidesteps him and sends him to the post, injured arm first, and a running kick to the face is enough to finish here, surprisingly. (Noam Dar over Cedric Alexander, pinfall, 10:12)
WORTH WATCHING? – Right up my alley all the way to the finish, YES, this one was good stuff until the seemingly out of nowhere ending. Dar showed off another dimension here, as he basically tried to rip Cedric’s arm off and take it home as a trophy. I wish that arm work had somehow paid off in the end, but the work up until then was superb. I’d take a few minutes of my life to watch this one.
Post-match, Dar gets some mic time, and he says that he’s only 23 years old, he’s signed a big money contract with WWE, and if he’s honest, he wants to dedicate this victory to a very special lady…..Alicia Fox! Ooh, dick move right there.
Video package on the newly signed Mustafa Ali, who is a really nice dude; he did a shot with one my locals before he finished up on the indies, and he couldn’t have been cooler to talk to for a brief minute. Plus, he’s got the chops in the ring to back it up.
In the back, TJ Perkins wishes Swann luck in the main event – in fact, Swann has been getting lucky a lot lately. I mean, did you see how lucky that kick on Raw was? Swann says that maybe its better to be lucky than good, and TJP laughs, saying that he knows that Swann can beat Brian, but he can’t beat TJP. Seeds of a heel turn have been planted.
Commercial for Roadblock.
We’re back with the music of Ariya Daivari! Let’s take you back to last night on Raw, where Daivari lost a hard-fought match against Jack Gallagher, and attacked Jack afterwards with a chopblock to the knee amongst other dastardly deeds! Daivari looks pretty proud of himself, and the music of Jack Gallagher starts up! Careful with this dude, WWE; overexposure could sour people on the gimmick.
Jack Gallagher vs Ariya Daivari
Handshake is accepted. Jack’s knee is all taped up, so Daivari goes right after it. He controls the foot of Jack, but Gallagher trips Daivari up by kicking his legs apart and applies an anklelock of his own. Surfboard attempt by Jack is blocked, so Gallagher shrugs and jumps up, driving the knees of Daivari into the mat. Daivari trips him up and tries a catapult, but Gallagher stands on his head after he’s propelled at the buckles, then kicks Ariya away on a charge. Daivari hides in the ropes, then trips Gallagher across them when Jack approaches. Daivari back to the leg now, dropping elbows on it and covering for two. Daiviari jumps on the leg against the ropes, then covers again. 1,2, no! Again, and again Jack is out at two. Daiviari slams the leg against the mat, then wraps it around the ringpost and rips off the bandage on Jack’s knee. 1,2, no! Gallagher makes a comeback with rights, but gets chopblocked into a 2 count. Ariya keeps trying for a pin, Jack keeps kicking out at two, so Daivari goes to a leglock on the mat. Gallagher manages to kick Ariya back to a standing position before taking Ariya over with his legs. Small package by Gallagher gets two. Rolling crucifix by Gallagher gets two. HUGE headbutt from Jack to Ariya. 1,2, NO! Gallagher tries for a wristlock submission, but Daivari goes to the eyes and hits a roaring elbow, then follows that up with a running stomp to the back of Jack’s knee. Daivari goes up, frog splash! 1,2,3. (Ariya Daivari over Jack Gallagher, pinfall, 6:14)
WORTH WATCHING? – For a little mini-feud in the 205 division, this has been fine, but I’m going with a NO on this one, as there was no reason to send these guys out there another time after the first two. I love to watch Gallagher in the ring, but the match wasn’t any great shakes to be perfectly honest, and we once again have a match where none of the psychology of the body part work factors into the finish of the match.
Post-match, Gallagher clutches at his knee while Daivari looks satisfied.
Video package on Lince Dorado airs.
TJ Perkins makes his way to the ring, as he’ll be joining us on commentary for the next match.
Brian Kendrick is walking backstage, as Tom Phillips approaches. “Brian? There’s been some speculation that the outlandish Rich Swann has your number….” OH MY GOD STOP CALLING HIM THAT! YOU’RE GOING TO KILL HIM OUT OF THE GATE WITH THAT CRAP!!! While Kendrick has lost to Swann twice now, this week will be different – he wasn’t focused last week, but this week he’s going to earn back his title. While Swann dedicated his win to his deceased mother last week, this week, when Kendrick wins his title back, he’s going to dedicate his win….to himself.
And there’s the music of “The” Brian Kendrick! He makes his way to the ring, settling in before the dulcet tones of “Can you handle this?” play! Rich Swann dances out, Cruiserweight title in tow. Let’s do this!
Rich Swann (c) vs “The” Brian Kendrick – WWE Cruiserweight title match
Handshake is accepted as Aries taunts Perkins on commentary. Knucklelock turns into a wristlock by Kendrick, quickly reversed by Swann. Kendrick reverses it back, then brings him down to the mat with a hammerlock and cranks on it. Swann kips up to escape it and goes to a side headlock. Belly-to-back attempt by Kendrick is countered into a crossbody by Swann for one, they run the ropes, Kendrick sidesteps a dropkick attempt from Rich. Kendrick drops a knee, but Rich moves, then gets the dropkick and covers for two. Kendrick rolls out and slams Swann into the barricade when Rich gives chase to the outside. Kendrick loads Swann up, Sliced Bread #2 off the barricade to Swann! Brian tosses Rich back in and covers. 1,2, NO! Brian with a reverse chinlock, adding some forearms across the face; Swann fights out, but gets hit with a big boot and Kendrick follows that with a Dragon suplex into the Captain’s Hook! Rich fights for the ropes and makes it, Kendrick charges Rich in the corner, Swann goes for a spin kick that misses, but the sheer force of the air behind Swann’s powerful legs cause Brian to sell it anyway and tumble out of the ring. Crowd is so into this, they chant for Austin Aries, which of course causes him to become extra annoying. Rich goes up, twisting senton from the second rope hits! Back in the ring and Swann sets it up, Tiger Bomb from Rich! 1,2, NO! Swann drags Brian over and goes for the standing 450, but Kendrick reverses for two, Swann back up, spinning Michinoku Driver on Brian! 1,2, NO! Thrust kick from Rich and he goes for another Tiger Bomb, Kendrick reverses to a ‘rana! They exchange kicks and both guys are down. They stagger back to their feet and Swann fires rights, but Brian gets a Saito suplex for two.
Kendrick goes for the Captain’s Hook again, fish hooking Swann when Rich tries to block it. Swann manages to armdrag out of the attempt, but gets caught on a charge and Kendrick sinks the Hook in. Brian drags Swann back to the center and keeps the torque on, Swann finally makes the ropes after being in the move for awhile. Kendrick keeps going after him, putting the move on against the ropes for a 4-count at a time, and Swann finally hauls him out over the top to the floor. They battle it out on the apron now, with Kendrick getting a kick and going for Sliced Bread #2 again, but Swann sends him to the post instead. Rich goes after him, but Brian is ready and flatliners Rich into the post! Brian with a Dragon Sleeper on the outside for some reason, but Rich fights back and shoves Kendrick into TJ at the desk! Brian and TJ go nose to nose, and Kendrick decides he’d rather win the title than beat up TJ so he slides back into the ring….right into a spinning kick from Swann! 1,2,3! (Rich Swann over Brian Kendrick, pinfall, 12:35)
WORTH WATCHING? – I don’t know if this was better than last week’s match, but I’m pretty sure it was at minimum close in quality, and I enjoyed it. YES, despite some problems here and there, this was rock solid wrestling. Kendrick’s style doesn’t scream cruiserweight to a lot of people, but that grounded work provides a nice contrast to the high-flying of the division. I’m not totally sold on Swann using a kick as his finisher, considering how many other things he can do in the ring, but whatever; the match was good, so that’s all that matters.
Post-match, Swann goes to leave as the highlights play. Kendrick finally explodes and attacks TJ, diving across the announcer’s table to get to Perkins. Swann comes back and tries to stop Kendrick, but TJ goes for a superkick and misses Brian, hitting Swann instead. Kendrick goes back to beating up TJ and throws him into the barricade. The refs break it up as Kendrick stands tall, looking down at the Cruiserweight title before he leaves, and that’ll be the end of 205 Live for the week.
FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Good show, with a decent rematch in the main event and half the show spent on in-ring action, which is completely fine with me. The show still seems to be finding its legs, as some of the stuff was set up on Raw, while other stuff was directly related to last week’s episode, so they’ll get it together soon enough. But two good matches are more than enough to give this week a thumb’s up.
As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,
@MrSoze on Twitter