WWE 205 Live – March 22nd, 2017

Howdy!

Tonight on 205 Live, Austin Aries has something to say to Adrian Neville ahead of their title match at Wrestlemania! Also, Neville takes on Mustafa Ali!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

WWE 205 Live – 3/21/17

Recap of last week’s #1 Contender’s 5-way. Which was a really good match, by the way.

Let’s hear from Neville before we get started; why did he request this match against Mustafa Ali tonight? (I’m assuming the answer is NOT ‘to make the Blog of Doom recapper happy) “When Mustafa Ali interrupted me last week, he made the fatal error of disrespecting the King!” He need to remind everyone of how things work around here, and he’s going to make an example of Ali to show all these cruiserweights their place! Tonight will serve as a reminder of such idiocy! At Wrestlemania, Austin Aries is going to be forced to bend a knee and pay homage to Neville, the king of the cruiserweights!

We are LIVE from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut! Your hosts are Corey Graves & Tom Phillips. Mauro Ranallo is once again absent, because he’s sick. Right. He also hasn’t tweeted in over a week now despite normally tweeting or re-tweeting several times a day, his last one saying that he wasn’t going to be at Smackdown last week. Mauro has a well-known and open battle with Bipolar disorder, so if that’s what’s going on, all the best wishes I can give are being sent out, because I’ve known a few people who have gone through that, and it is a BITCH.

But we’re getting started tonight with the music of TJ Perkins! TJ makes his way to the ring to await his opponent, and that will be one Tony Nese! The Premier Athlete comes out and heads to the ring, as we’re reminded that these two had a little issue last week in the main event, so this is here to settle things tonight.

Tony Nese vs TJ Perkins

Nese offers the handshake but pulls his hand away as TJ goes to shake it. Ooooh. Circle and lockup, TJ with a side headlock, Tony just picks him up and throws him off. Nese gives us a pose and we go again, they trade waistlocks and Nese throws him down the mat and holds on. Back up, Tony tosses Perkins down again, back up and TJ armdrags out and grabs a standing side headlock. Nese shoots TJ off, TJ comes back with a dropkick and an armdrag. Nese sends TJ to the corner, Perkins goes up and over a charging Tony, off the ropes and Perkins snaps off a ‘rana to send Nese to the floor. Twisting splash over the top rope by Perkins to the floor, TJ tosses Tony back in, Perkins off the ropes, Octopus submission applied by TJ! Perkins takes that down into a pin, Nese back up, TJ with a crucifix, Nese rolls through into a fireman’s carry and then a gutbuster for two. Stomp by Tony and he covers for two. Cross-corner whip and TJ goes upside-down in the corner for a one count this time, and now we get a bodyscissors from Tony. TJ breaks out, but Nese levels him with a lariat! 1, 2, no!

Tony with a cravat now, then a chinlock. Perkins gets back up, Nese whips him to the corner, spinning back kick by Nese, kneelift by Nese, another kick and a legsweep by Nese puts TJ down for two. Nese sends TJ off the ropes, back body drop attempt is countered with a kick to the face from TJ, who gets double boots up on a Nese charge against the ropes. Tony charges again in the corner, Perkins goes up and over and hits a reverse neckbreaker, and both guys are down. Both guys up, kicks by TJ knock Nese to the mat, seated dropkick by Perkins. TJ charges Tony in the corner, running back elbow hits, Perkins with a springboard crossbody off the second rope. Legscissors into a bulldog gets two for TJ as Nese rolls to the floor. TJ goes to get him, but gets his neck snapped against the rope, springboard moonsault hits for Nese! 1, 2, NO! Nese goes for the snap German into the buckle, TJ elbows out, TJ avoids a suplex, jumping back kick knocks Tony to the mat! TJ looks to go up now, Nese crotches him on the top! Nese pulls down the kneepad and goes for the running knee in the corner, TJ catches him in a Fireman’s Carry looking for the Detonation Kick, Nese wiggles free but Perkins spins into the cross-armbreaker!

Nese fights it and stacks Perkins up, Nese goes for a deadlift powerbomb, Perkins goes over the top and sunset flips Nese for two. TJ catches Nese in a Tiger position and drops him into the double knees for two. Nese drapes himself across the second rope, TJ with the in and out dropkick on the apron! TJ looks to spring in, Nese avoids it, TJ catches the Fireman’s Carry and looks for the kick again, Tony breaks that with elbows and hits the German into the buckles, as the middle turnbuckle is off and TJ gets his bell rung. Nese off the ropes, running knee hits! We’re done here. (Tony Nese over TJ Perkins, pinfall, 10:34)

WORTH WATCHING? – This was a decent little match. One of the problems that I had with it was that it felt like they were slowing down out there in spots where they really wanted to tear it up instead, but that’s a minor quibble. Overall, I liked it as a decent opener, and if they want to keep it up with the 10 minute+ decent matches with good workers, I’ll give them a YES all day long, keep it coming. I liked this one just fine, with good pacing even though that chinlock in the middle might have been a wee bit long for my taste in this type of match. Perkins is a really talented wrestler, but he’s miscast as a plucky face, while Nese is really good at the role they’ve put him in out there as a heel. TJ gets a bit of protection in the loss, as he hit the exposed buckle on the suplex, which is part of why he took the pin. Thumbs up.

Post-match, Nese poses in celebration as Perkins is in some pain in the corner.

Backstage, Drew Gulak is talking to one of the crew when the interviewer comes up to him. After his loss last week, Gulak said that 205 Live has a problem and that it needs to change. Would he care to elaborate? “Dasha, I was frustrated with my loss last week, but that’s okay.” He was frustrated with his loss last week, yes, but his words might have been misconstrued! However, the people of the WWE Universe are directly to blame for that loss! Because we have these athletes that are basically glorified stuntmen, so when the audience cheers them on, they’re creating a dangerous environment here on 205 Live!

Based on the audiences lately, I’d say that the audience cheering isn’t creating ANY type of environment on 205 Live, ’cause they aren’t doing that much cheering. Drew continues, saying that we don’t need to worry; there is hope, because Drew Gulak has the solution! Thanks for your time!

I don’t think that Gulak’s future in the WWE is as a promo guy. Just saying.

Back to the announcers, who talk about how hilarious Tyler Breeze was as Breezy Bella tonight. Sure. Tonight, on Talking Smack, Daniel and Renee are joined by the Intercontinental champ Dean Ambrose and the new tag champs, the Usos!

Lesnar/Goldberg promo for ‘Mania.

We’re back and there’s the music of Akira Tozawa! He makes his way out to the ring as we see that his opponent is already in the ring. Last night on Raw, Brian Kendrick called out Akira, who wasn’t even in the country, as Kendrick had apparently stolen Akira’s passport. Hey, who says that felonies are only for Smackdown?

His opponent is not named, but I can tell you that it appears to be Alex Reynolds, who appeared earlier this year on Ring of Honor TV and acquitted himself relatively well there. Let’s see what happens here!

Akira Tozawa vs Alex Reynolds

Handshake is accepted. Reynolds charges, Tozawa ducks a clothesline and hits the German for the pin. (Akira Tozawa over Alex Reynolds, pinfall, 0:04)

WORTH WATCHING – NOPE.

Post-match, we watch the match two more times on replays as Akira has a mic now. “Where’s The Brian Kendrick?” Come out and fight, Brian! Crowd chants without prompting from Akira, which is cool. Tozawa tells Kendrick to stop hiding and fight him now! No Brian, though, so Akira says that if he won’t come out, Akira will go get him! Tozawa leaps from the ring and looks to head to the back, but he gets wiped out by a security guard! The guard tosses him to the barricade! And now, we see that said security guard is the one and only Brian Kendrick! IT’S A SNEAK ATTACK! IT’S A PEARL HARBOR JO- wait a sec, no, that’s a little over the line. Kendrick beats on Akira and hits Sliced Bread #2 on the floor to Tozawa. “Tozawa! Under my guidance, you could have been special!” But now look at you! Lesson 8, pal – appearances can be deceiving! Will Akira EVER get over in this feud? Who knows? Play Kendrick’s music!

In the back, Rich Swann and Jack Gallagher are comparing some rather fancy looking duds when they’re interrupted by Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari, and they have a box! Dar: “Hello, hello, hello. Did any of you guys happen to know anything about this?” And he pulls a negligee out of the box! Swann says that hey, what Dar does in the privacy of his own home is on him; yeah, take that, Noam! You like to wear women’s underwear! YOU’RE A NANCY BOY! Daivari says that’s a bold statement from someone who still thinks the Thriller dance is cool. Oh, Daivari. The Thriller dance will ALWAYS be cool, man. Gallagher tries to single-handedly save the segment by asking “Mr. Swann” if this is an example of the ‘haters’ they were talking about, and his delivery almost causes me to spit out some water. Apparently, Dar intercepted this gift for his beloved Alicia Fox, because lord knows, we can’t go a week without talking about Alicia or seeing Alicia; after all, ALICIA FOX IS THE STAR OF THIS SHOW. But there won’t be any more gifts for Alicia, Dar says; another gift would be one step too far. And their relationship is strong, much stronger than silly gifts! Rich wants to know how this pertains to himself and Gallagher, and Dar tells Swann that he knows what’s going on here, and he’s trying to sort his out in a peaceful manner. But since Swann is clearly being impossible, they’re going to solve this next week on 205 Live, like men! Swann says that Dar is on, and that he can’t handle this! Just to prove it, Dar and Daivari take their leave as Gallagher goes back to explaining bow ties and pocket squares to Rich.

Who wants to bet that it’s actually been Jack sending the gifts to Alicia?

NXT promo. You know, the Sanity stuff hasn’t been half-bad, really. 6-Man tag tomorrow night!

Jetsons/WWE movie promo.

Tonight, Cena and Nikki will ALSO be on Talking Smack. It’s a loaded show, everyone!

And there’s the music of Austin Aries! The Greatest Man who ever lived makes his way to the ring, handing off his banana peel to a young kid in the audience. Yeah! He gave his trash to a kid as a souvenir! WHAT A BABYFACE. Get that man a mic as the crowd chants his name! “Well, thank you very much!” Seeing as how last night’s interview with Neville went so poorly on Raw, Austin has decided to try again tonight, and to ensure that tonight goes well, he decided to eliminate the part of the interview that didn’t work, and that would be Neville. So Aries has decided that tonight, he’ll ask and answer his own questions. #1 – Austin Aries, why do you think that Neville calls himself the King of the cruiserweights? Some people would say that Neville is trying to overcome his lack of self-esteem and ‘other deficiencies’ – he’s talking ’bout his JUNK! #2 – Austin Aries, what makes you think you’re on Neville’s level? He isn’t on Neville’s level – he’s on a whole level above Neville, the AA level! #3 – in your time as an expert journalist, what is the most embarrassing thing you’ve uncovered about Neville?

But before we can get to that, we hear the music of Adrian Neville! The King of the cruiserweights stalks to the ring and tells Aries that he’s got a story for Austin; it’s about a loud-mouthed punk who refused to shut up and talked his way into an early grave! Well, Aries says, that story sounds improbable and depressing. He calls Neville a ‘Debbie Downer’ and somehow actually makes that work, causing the crowd to chant it at Neville. Neville tells him to quit while he’s ahead, as he’s about to show Mustafa Ali what happens when you disrespect the King! Aries tells him that he’s far too tense, he should try Yoga or something. Aries tells Neville that he’s going to be doing color commentary for his match, so good luck!

Ad for Raw. Will Seth Rollins sign the contract to face HHH at Wrestlemania?

Neville is stalking in the ring as we come back now. And there’s the music of Mustafa Ali! This could be pretty great. Let’s go.

Mustafa Ali vs Adrian Neville – Non-title match

No handshake, but Ali is NOT afraid. Because he says so a bunch of times. Circle and a lockup, Neville with the side headlock, Ali shoots him off, Neville runs him over with a shoulder. Neville gives Ali the chance to leave, but Mustafa stands his ground. Greco-Roman knucklelock time, and Neville gets a kick and takes Ali to the mat with a side headlock takeover. Back up and Ali shoots him off, and again Neville runs him over with a shoulder, but this time Ali kips right up. Single-leg takedown by Ali, Mustafa runs the ropes and goes for a wheelbarrow, but takes a slam off that as Neville drops him down. Shots in the corner by Neville now and he tosses Ali to the apron before having some words with Aries. That allows Ali to somersault in with an awkward clothesline that looked, well, awkward. Elbow and a headlock by Ali, Neville shoots him off, Ali comes off the ropes with a ‘rana, then a dropkick for one. Ali takes Neville to the corner and we get a clean break there, lockup and now Neville takes it to the corner, with not so much of a clean break as he comes with kicks and chokes away with his boot.

Back up now, Irish whip by Neville and he just tosses Ali into the air and Mustafa lands face first on the mat. That gets two. Knee to the head from Neville, and he chokes Ali against the bottom rope. Whip to the corner by Neville, who taunts the crowd after, then stomps and covers for one. Snapmare by Neville and a dropkick to the back of Ali’s head follows. Camel clutch by Neville now, as this match has really just been a Neville squash so far. Transition to a headlock for Neville, Ali elbows out and tosses Neville to the apron and hits him there with a spinning back kick that sends Neville to the floor. Ali jumps to the apron and springboards off the second buckle into a crossbody to Neville! Both guys are down but manage to make it back in the ring before the 10 count. Ali off the ropes, pop-up dropkick by Mustafa! Ali charges in the corner, Neville moves, Neville charges now, Ali avoids it by going to the apron and hits Neville with a kick to the head from there.

Ali somersaults in through the middle ropes, neckbreaker! 1, 2, no! He picks Neville up, big elbow by Neville sends Ali to the corner, Ali catches him coming in and goes up, Ali off the second rope with a tornado DDT attempt, caught by Neville! Neville crotches Ali on the top rope and goes up, Ali with a shot to the ribs, Ali leaps off the top in a springboard, TOP ROPE SPANISH FLY BY ALI! 1, 2, NO!!! Damn. Ali goes up for the Inverted 450, Neville moves out of the way, Ali springs over the top of him and swings into a tornado DDT! 1, 2, NO! Ali looks for the 450 again, but again Neville gets out of the way, this time to the apron. He hits Ali with a jumping kick from there to drop him on the top rope, Neville goes up, RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX OFF THE TOP TURNS ALI ALL THE WAY OVER!!! JESUS. Crowd is completely awake now, letting the wrestlers know that this is awesome. Slo-mo shows that Ali took a part of that bump on his FACE, which is just a big-time ouch. Neville looks to cover, but changes his mind and yanks Ali to the floor, tossing him into the ringpost! Neville drags the limp carcass of Mustafa over in front of Aries before tossing him back in the ring and applying the Rings of Saturn for the tapout. Whew. (Adrian Neville over Mustafa Ali, submission, 15:21)

WORTH WATCHING? – My goodness, this was a great main event. Started slow, but there was absolutely a point to it, as Neville didn’t take Ali seriously at all, and we built to a huge babyface comeback for Ali with big moves that Neville got to kick out of to ensure that he remains strong for Aries. Ali hit all the spectacular stuff in the middle and end of the match and looked like a star, albeit one that isn’t quite at Neville’s level, which is absolutely fine considering we’re only 2 weeks out of ‘Mania. Aries was great at ringside too, as he was expressive and even showed some slight concern with the beating that Neville was doling out to Ali. This was tremendous, with a good story that made complete sense for everyone involved. YES, you should check this out.

Post-match, Neville leaps from the ring to have words with Aries, who takes off his jacket as he’s ready to go. Back in the ring for Neville, as he puts his foot on Ali’s face before being handed his belt, and he climbs the top rope to continue jawing with Aries as we’re done for the week with 205 Live.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This was an excellent episode of the show, with a good opener and a great main event, along with more stories gaining traction; while I’m not a huge fan of the Tozawa/Kendrick stuff or the Dar/Everyone else stuff, at least they’re keeping it going towards what might be an endpoint. I liked the show a lot, especially with more than 25 minutes of actual wrestling. I can work with that, 205 Live.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter