WWE 205 Live – January 3rd, 2017


Sorry this is late, I was up watching Wrestle Kingdom 11 last night. Priorities, man.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

WWE 205 Live – 1/3/17

Video package catches us up from last week, as Neville laid waste to Rich Swann. Swann does have some great glass-eyed expressions. “Bring me my crown!”

We are LIVE from the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida! Your hosts are Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, & Austin Aries. Tonight, Neville will take on TJ Perkins in our main event! Rich Swann is not medically cleared to compete tonight, so TJ is stepping up.

But let’s get things started with the music of Tajiri! Man, you have no idea how long I’ve waited to say those words again. The Japanese Buzzsaw makes his entrance as we see that his opponent, Sean Maluta, is already ringside, ready to put up the best fight he can! (He’s gonna job!)

Tajiri vs Sean Maluta

Handshake is accepted. They circle and we get a lockup, Tajiri takes him down with an armbar and works him on the mat. Back up now and Maluta fires a knee to the midsection and takes control with a standing side headlock. Tajiri shoots him off, Maluta runs him over with a shoulder and they run the ropes, then trade hiptoss attempts. Tajiri wins that one and takes him over, following with a kick and some rights, but he comes off the ropes and Sean drops him with a double thrust. Headbutt by Maluta, then another. 3rd one is blocked and Tajiri fires a kick, but Maluta regains control and takes him to the corner. Cross-corner whip, but a blind charge by Sean eats a boot from Tajiri, and a second one gets Maluta caught in the Tarantula. Tajiri with a kick to the ribs, then a kick to the head; Maluta tries to reverse an Irish Whip, but Tajiri bounces back off the ropes with a handspring back elbow. Back kick from Tajiri, and the Buzzsaw kick to the head of Maluta ends things. (Tajiri over Sean Maluta, pinfall, 3:07)

WORTH WATCHING? – Yay, Tajiri is back! NO, you can skip this match. Just a squash to remind everyone that Tajiri kicks really hard, there wasn’t much here to recommend. Except for, you know, Tajiri being back. But still, you can skip this puppy.

Post-match, Tajiri stands in the ring to celebrate…..but that’s the music of Brian Kendrick! The former champ makes his way out on the ramp, and that man has himself a microphone: “Tajiri! Tajiri, let me be the first to welcome you back, pal!” Welcome to 205 Live, and you haven’t lost a step! In fact, you may be better than you ever were! With guys like him and Kendrick around, there’s no height that 205 Live can’t reach Of course, they’ll have to take out the trash first, but hey, it’s so good to see you! Kendrick sticks out his hand for the shake, but Tajiri decides to greet him the best way that Tajiri knows – by misting him in the face! Brian rolls round in agony as Tajiri grins. MAN, it’s good to have him back.

Backstage, Adrian Neville is WALKING! But an interviewer decides to interrupt his leisurely stroll. She asks about his preparations to face the former Cruiserweight champ tonight, but Neville tells her that if he had been in the tournament, TJ wouldn’t be a former champ, because he never would have won it in the first place! Then he goes on about being discriminated against in this country, and I can’t emphasize enough that this storyline doesn’t need this crap in the slightest to be compelling, but whatever. Anyway, he doesn’t care about what anyone outside of England thinks of him, and that makes him dangerous. So tonight, TJ Perkins, your 15 minutes are up! Neville continues to be the best thing about this show in every way.

Back to the announcers, who throw us to a video on Tony Nese. I remember being relatively impressed by Nese in the CWC, as he looked pretty good. His goal? Take everyone who ever said no to him, and shove it down their throats.

And there’s the music of Jack Gallagher! The Extraordinary Gentleman makes his way to the ring as we get a recap of last week’s Gentleman’s duel between Jack and Daivari. They are going to Santino Gallagher so hard if they aren’t really careful with stuff like this. That having been said, there were a couple of good comments last week, such as this one:

Daniel Swinney: I was fully prepared to roll my eyes through the Gallagher segment shenanigans, but I actually thought he came out looking like a badass in his own weird way. Like, “wow this guy knows a lot of ways to attack. And stays stylish!”

And this one:

Other Tall Guy: He came across as the clever babyface, rather than the stupid or gullible one (like roughly 97% of WWE babyfaces), and that made all the difference.

I love what they’re doing with him. He and Neville are pretty much the only distinct characters in the bunch, which might be why the crowd is getting behind them.

Either give us a (good) reason to care about all these guys or turn the show into a spotfest.

Both good points, so I’ll keep an open mind – it’s a really, really thin line to walk, but the fact that some people are digging on it means that they’re doing something right; I just hope they keep it on the good side of that line.

And there’s the music of Tony Nese! He’s out with Drew Gulak, looking resplendent in a suit. This should be fun.

Tony Nese (w/ Drew Gulak) vs Jack Gallagher

Handshake is accepted. Nese grabs a wristlock and wrings the arm to start. Jack spins out and reverses the wristlock, then takes him over to the mat. He gets Tony’s shoulders down for one, Nese breaks and takes Jack over with a headscissors, Jack spins onto his head and leaps out. He avoids a Nese charge and stacks him up off a trip for one, then goes to a headlock. Nese shoots him off, Gallagher with a shoulder attempt, but Tony stands him up, so Jack goes back to the headlock. Nese lifts him up, but Jack hangs on, so Tony runs him to the corner, then cheapshots him with a right hand. Beatdown in the corner by Tony, cross-corner whip but Jack does a handstand off the second turnbuckle. He holds Nese off on charges by putting his boots up, then leaps over a charge, Nese turns around and double-legs him down, Gallagher takes him over by twisting the legs. Dropkick by Jack…..but Daivari runs in with a chop block to Jack, and that’ll be a DQ. BOOOO! (Jack Gallagher over Tony Nese, DQ, 3:11)

WORTH WATCHING? – I was actually enjoying this until the ending, as I really like Tony. His strikes are excellent and he works with a nice intensity in the ring, which Gallagher was matching. But with the ending and the fact that the match didn’t really go anywhere before the DQ, I’m just giving this one a NO, you should skip. I could really go for these guys working a decent match, but this wasn’t it. Too bad.

Post-match, Daivari continues the beatdown, mounting and firing punches to the head of Jack. He takes Gallagher to the buckle, then hangs Jack to the Tree of Woe and stomping away. Dropkick to Jack! Daivari screams at Gallagher in the corner, then has some words for the crowd as the refs are out to break it up.

Hey, let’s go to the back and see what Cedric Alexander is up to! Well, he’s with Alicia Fox, and he tells her that he understands that she didn’t mean to cause problems for him on Raw or 205, but she has to see that he’s losing a lot now, which Alicia blames herself for. Cedric tells her that it’s not her fault, but he needs her to be more careful. He lays one on her, and that’s good for her to agree.

Ad for NXT: Australia! This week on the WWE Network!

Hey, there’s the music of Noam Dar! I am rather enjoying Mr. Dar these days, as I’m starting to see some charisma from him out there – he’s actually killing it as a straight-up sleazebag. And there’s the music of his opponent, Mustafa Ali! Cool; he did a shot for one of my local feds and couldn’t have been a nicer dude.

Noam Dar vs Mustafa Ali

Handshake is accepted. Lockup goes to the corner and Dar SCREAMS for the ref to get a break. Hee! Ali with a hammerlock, and he holds on through a Dar reversal attempt. Noam snapmares him over and goes for a chinlock, but Ali counters that right back to the hammerlock. Dar back him to the corner and takes the cheap shot with a back elbow; but wait, I thought he wanted a clean break when it happened to him earlier? What a cad this young man is! Dar misses a clothesline and Ali snaps off a ‘rana to take him over. Ali goes for a kick, Dar catches it, Ali turns it into a spinning heel kick for two. Dar heads to the floor to think it over, Ali gives chase and nails him with a forearm, tossing him back in. Ali goes back in through the middle rope, allowing Dar to nail him with a dropkick and slam him face first to the mat by the arm. Dar fires away at the arm, then snaps it across the shoulder. More arm punishment in the corner, then a snapmare takes Ali to the mat and Noam gets an armbar with the knee across the face. Mustafa fights up, but Noam keeps the hold in place, Ali tries to free himself with punches and Noam turns it into a keylock. Ali finally takes him over with an armdrag, Dar goes right back after the arm, Ali rolls through and tackles Dar with a cradle for two. Double thrust to Ali by Dar, Ali comes off the rope with a sunset flip but Noam sits on him for two. Dar goes after Ali in the corner, but Ali flips over him and heads across, then comes off the second rope to hit a charging Dar with a tornado DDT! Both guys are down, but make their way back to their feet, and it’s Ali with double thrusts to drop Dar. Cross-corner whip is reversed by Dar, but Ali goes the apron when Noam charges, Dar hits the buckles, Ali with a kick to the face from the apron! Mustafa somersaults through the ropes, neckbreaker! 1, 2, no! Ali charges Dar in the corner, Noam moves, Ali comes off the second rope, Dar catches him with a Fujiwara armbar! Ali reaches for the ropes, almost there, Dar breaks the hold and goes back to pounding on the arm, Ali catches him with a crucifix! 1, 2, NO! Noam charges Ali in the corner and gets DROPPED with a boot from Mustafa! Ali goes up, Inverted 450! 1, 2, 3! (Mustafa Ali over Noam Dar, pinfall, 7:28)

WORTH WATCHING? – Our first winner of the night! Only barely, but still, this was a fun match which kept Ali’s finisher super-strong, as he hit it and we were done, despite him having less than stellar offense along the way. I have to say, I’m starting to see some potential from Dar in the ring, as his arm work was great, and his smarmy heel character is actually firing on all cylinders right now. Overall, YES, this one was absolutely fine; Dar isn’t great right now, but he certainly has more upside than I initially gave him credit for.

Post-match, Ali clutches the arm as the ref raises his hand. Dar looks winded, but he’s got some words for us. 2017 is going to be a great year for him! And all he needs is Lady Luck on his side. And hey, Cedric Alexander may not be man enough for Alicia Fox, but she’s always welcome in Dar’s corner! And from there, the commentators throw us to a video package on Akira Tozawa!

Words from Cesaro on Tozawa, who talks about wrestling him before under the highlights of Akira. Tozawa is coming soon!

Ad for the UK championship tournament airs.

Main event time! Here comes Neville! The man America hates (allegedly) makes his way to the ring as we’re about to hear words from TJ Perkins in the back. TJ: “Look, I’ll give Neville credit; inside the ring, he’s been nothing but dominant since coming to 205 Live!” But it’s a completely different story outside the ring, as all he does is complain; about being boring, sounding funny, or looking ugly! But it’s all in his head, except for the ugly part. In short Neville has become a bully, and sometimes, the best way to deal with a bully is to step up and kick them in the face!

Man, I just can’t get over how uncomfortable Perkins looks reciting lines. I’ve seen some of his promos from Evolve, and it’s night and day. Of course, he also has a delivery and tone that suits him being a heel more than a face, so maybe that’s it.

Either way, fire up the controllers, because here comes the former Cruiserweight champ! He makes his way to the ring as Neville looks like he wants to eat TJ for lunch.

TJ Perkins vs Adrian Neville

Perkins walks away from the handshake, so you know he means business here. Circle and a lockup that goes to the corner as the crowd is split, alternating chants for Neville and for Perkins. Hey, at least they’re chanting! Adrian gives him a clean break out of the corner, and they lockup again, again to the ropes; this time, no clean break as Neville grabs a wristlock, only to be reversed by TJ as Neville gets slammed to the mat. TJ back to the wristlock, Neville reverses, TJ goes down to the mat and grabs Neville with his legs, taking him down with a headscissors takeover. Neville back up, TJ takes him right back down. Third attempt as Adrian gets back up, but Neville does a handstand out of it this time. Kick by Neville and he goes to a headlock, TJ shoots him off, Neville drops him with a shoulderblock. They run the ropes and Neville gets caught by Perkins with a back kick, then a wheelbarrow into a bulldog, and TJ finishes with a ‘rana off the ropes to send Neville to the floor.

Neville takes his time and Perkins goes out after him, so Neville slides back in and stomps away on TJ when Perkins tries to follow. Stomps to the head by Neville, then a slam. Neville goes up, missile dropkick hits TJ! 1, 2, no! Neville slaps on a chinlock now, back to the feet and Neville chops him down for one. Back to the chinlock now, TJ elbows out, belly to back suplex attempt, TJ lands on his feet and hits Neville with a kick to the head. TJ charges, but eats a back elbow from Neville, Neville goes up, corkscrew splash off the second rope misses! TJ fires kicks at Neville, then a seated dropkick. Whip to the corner is reversed by Neville, but a charge is avoided by TJ, who goes over and drops Neville with a neckbreaker. Neville rolls to the floor, TJ with a corkscrew Pescado! He rolls Neville back in the ring and goes up, cross-body off the top! 1, 2, NO! TJ goes to the corner but Neville alley-oops him to the apron and clobbers him with a forearm, Neville tries to suplex Perkins back in, but TJ blocks it with right hands, TJ spring in with a top rope ‘rana! 1, 2, NO! TJ goes for a Benadryller, Neville slips out, TJ off the ropes, spinning back kick by Neville to the gut of TJ! Kick by Neville, roundhouse kick misses as Perkins ducks, TJ hits Neville with a roundhouse of his own! Neville falls against the ropes, springboard dropkick to Adrian by Perkins! TJ goes for the wheelbarrow into the kneebar, but Neville catches him and drops him with an overhead suplex for two. Big kick to the head of Neville buys TJ some time and Perkins goes up, but he takes too much time and Neville dives in to crotch TJ on the top. Neville goes up for the superplex, but TJ fights him off. Neville hits him with a kick to the head to stun TJ, and now Neville hooks him up, superplex (after a relatively decent delay) hits! 1, 2, 3!! (Adrian Neville over TJ Perkins, pinfall, 10:51)

WORTH WATCHING? – I’m sort of torn on this one, to be honest. On the one hand, Neville continues to mow down the division in impressive fashion, and he gave TJ a lot of offense before dropping the hammer on him. But on the other hand, I wasn’t all that impressed with the body of the match, in that it was kind of boring to me, especially compared to last week’s match with Swann. I don’t really know what story they were trying to convey with the moves themselves – obviously, the story of the characters is simple, but this one felt like move, then move, then move without a lot of flow in-between them. The ending sequence was decent, as is the fact that Neville is getting a superplex over as a finisher in today’s wrestling. I’ll give it a YES with reservations; it wasn’t terrible by any stretch, but I don’t know that I’d rush out to watch it again.

Post-match, we see a replay of the superplex, then a quick shot of Neville once again screaming “Bring me my crown!”, and we’re done for the week here.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: First half of the show is garbage, with very little to recommend. Whoever thinks that people are just eating up this Daivari/Gallagher stuff so much that the feud MUST continue needs serious help. I mean yes, the crowd likes Gallagher, but I don’t think it’s because of his feud with Daivari; I think its because the crowd like Jack. Good to see Tajiri again, but there wasn’t much to judge him by in that match. The second half was pretty decent, although I don’t know that it’s a great idea to have Neville beat all the top guys in the division right away; I would think you’d build to that, but I suppose they’re going with the idea that he won’t wait, which I can live with, since he’s a heel and all. Overall, an uneven week on 205 Live; here’s hoping that they start limiting the show to 3 matches max to ensure the best quality in the ring.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter