Tonight, Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa finally go toe to toe in the middle of the ring! Also, this Sunday, Austin Aries challenges Adrian Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight title, so we’re sure to hear something about that!
Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?
WWE 205 Live – 3/28/17
Hey, that’s the face of the champ himself! Neville glowers as we’re told that he requested time to address the WWE Universe about what Austin Aries and the New Day said on Raw last night; take it away, Adrian! “Austin Aries and New Day for that matter made a crucial error last night.” They disrespected the Cruiserweight championship! Well, Aries won’t be laughing when Neville annihilates him on Sunday! And the reaction from the WWE Universe proves that he will always be underappreciated in the WWE; it’s obvious that everyone wants his reign to come to an end on Sunday (not me), but they should think about where 205 Live would be without him (Oh man, don’t make me even CONSIDER that, Neville). Well, tonight, we’re getting 205 Live without Neville! And with that he stalks off.
We are LIVE from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia! Your hosts are Tom Phillips and Corey Graves.
And here we go with the music of Rich Swann! He makes his way to the ring for some dancin’. And there’s the music of his opponent, one Ariya Daivari! Noam Dar was due to be the opponent but apparently suffered a real-life injury on Raw and is being replaced here.
Rich Swann vs Ariya Daivari
Handshake is accepted. Circle and lockup, waistlock by Daivari and he throws Swann to the mat. Lockup again, Daivari with a wristlock, Rich reverses into a hammerlock. Ariya to a standing side headlock, Rich shoots him off, Daivari runs through him with a shoulder. They run the ropes and Swann hits a dropkick, Daivari to the outside. Rich slides out as Ariya avoids him, and Daivari picks Swann up and drops him on the announce table. He sends Swann to the post and lays in with rights. That was a great post shot. He tosses Swann back in, cover gets two. Hammerlock clothesline by Daivari gets two. Elbows by Daivari into the shoulder of Swann, then a chinlock. Rich fights up, Daivari sends him to the buckles chest first, then tosses Rich to the other side. 1, 2, no! Daivari goes up to the top, frog splash misses! No water in the pool!
I miss Mauro.
Rights from Rich, standing kick to the head from Swann, Daivari fires back with a jumping knee, Ariya off the ropes, spinning back kick by Swann catches him! Swann loads him up, spinning Fisherman’s Driver! 1, 2, NO! Daivari sends Swann towards the ref, Rich holds up to avoids hitting him, Daivari from behind with a Cobra Clutch, then a jumping neckbreaker! Daivari goes up, frog splash hits! 1, 2, NO! Daivari is frustrated, but brings Swann over to the corner and tries to pull him up to the top rope, Swann frees himself with a kick. Swann with the jumping ‘rana off the top rope! Rich goes up now, Phoenix Splash hits! 1, 2, 3! (Rich Swann over Ariya Daivari, pinfall, 7:32)
WORTH WATCHING? – As usual, Rich Swann sells like a million bucks, but that wasn’t quite enough for me here. It had a solid enough story, as Daivari took over when Swann missed the sliding dropkick and took advantage after dropping him on the table, but I just don’t particularly like watching Daivari work in the ring. He’s not bad, he’s just boring. I’m going with a NO on this one, but it wasn’t actively terrible, it just wasn’t something I’ll remember an hour after this recap is done. That doesn’t scream ‘watch me right now!’, you know?
Post-match, Swann celebrates by doing some dancing for us. Meanwhile, the commentators talk about Dar and Swann and Alicia Fox. Sure.
Hey, speaking of Alicia, let’s make sure that we don’t go a week without seeing her, amirite? She’s standing by in the back to be interviewed. Remember, above all other things, until the earth is consumed by the sun, there is one truth that will stand the test of time, and that is that ALICIA FOX IS THE STAR OF THIS SHOW. Alicia, what’s going on with Noam Dar? “You know, that strong handsome man, my boyfriend Noam, he wanted to compete tonight, but he’s just not cleared yet!” But he’ll be cleared soon and be back dominating the ring and….she doesn’t get further, because Rich Swann is joining her now with a “Hey, baby girl”. He just wanted to come by and say that he was looking forward to their match tonight, but when she sees him, she should tell him to get well soon. They’re interrupted by a delivery man who has another package for Alicia. It’s perfume! She celebrates by spraying it all over herself as Swann walks away, then checking around before spraying some of it into her mouth. You know, to check the taste. And also, she’s cuckoo-pants.
Sunday, it’s the ultimate thrill ride, Wrestlemania! Roman Reigns takes on the Undertaker because only one can rule this yard. Yeah!
Talking Smack tonight has AJ Styles, Naomi, & Baron Corbin!
We’re in the back with Mustafa Ali! He’s stretching as he’s approached by Drew Gulak! Drew has been looking for him; he was thinking about Ali’s match with Neville on 205 Live last week, and even though he didn’t get the win, he believes that Ali’s in-ring ability can put 205 Live on the map! The question is, is it the right map? Ali knows what Gulak is going to say, that his high-risk moves are dangerous, but the reaction that Ali has been getting has made it all worth it! Gulak thinks that’s great, but what do we want 205 Live to become? People just taking unnecessary risks for people’s entertainment, where people take risks just to entertain the masses, or a place with integrity, somewhere that…..and Ali’s music has begun to play as we see that Ali has left Gulak talking to himself. Much, much better than last time on Drew’s behalf, I thought.
And Ali has made his way to the ring! His opponent is from the municipality of ‘Already in the Ring, USA’, and his name is Brandon Scott! He’s probably losing!
Mustafa Ali vs Brandon Scott
Handshake is accepted, albeit a bit rudely by Scott. Circle and Ali with a rolling leg takedown, then a side headlock. Scott shoots him off, Ali drops him with a shoulder. Off the ropes again, Ali with a couple of backflips over Brandon, then an amdrag, then another armdrag. Ali with what might generously be called a ‘rana, then he catches Scott on a kick and hits a spinning heel kick. He pounds Scott in the ropes as Gulak is watching backstage, and Ali gets sent to the ropes throat-first by Scott, who fires kicks right after. Short-arm clothesline by Brandon gets two, and Scott mounts and fires away. Brandon goes up, fistdrop misses! Chop by Ali, Scott hits a knee to shove him off, Brandon charges Ali in the corner and Mustafa goes up and over the top. Springboard crossbody by Ali! Clothesline by Ali! Elbow by Ali! Pop-up dropkick by Ali! He misses a charge in the corner as Scott moves, now Brandon charges and Ali goes to the apron to avoid it, kick to the face by Ali! Ali somersaults in, neckbreaker! He sets Scott up, Inverted 450 hits! We’re done here. (Mustafa Ali over Brandon Scott, pinfall, 3:18)
WORTH WATCHING? – This was pretty much an Ali squash most of the way, as Scott had pretty much zero hope here. Despite me being a mark for Ali, NO, you don’t need to watch this one, it’s completely skippable. Short and to the point, this was much more about driving Ali and Gulak’s thing forward, as that looks to become a story here.
Post-match, we see that Ali has a bloody mouth in victory as he celebrates.
Back to the announcers, who remind us that for the first time in a decade, the CW title will be defended at Wrestlemania! Yeah! On the preshow! Woohoo! Let’s take a moment to look at this blood feud that started 3 weeks ago!
Video package, pretty decent one, for Aries/Neville. Match should be great if they give it time, which…..I mean, it’s on the preshow. They better give them some time to work with, seriously.
This Saturday, it’s Roode/Nakamura! NXT Takeover: Orlando!
We’re back for our main event, as we hear the music of Akira Tozawa! He makes his way to the ring as we’re reminded that Kendrick has basically been making Akira look like a moron for weeks now. “I’m a man with a plan!” That can only mean that we’re about to see “The” Brian Kendrick, and there he is! Looks like we’re finally getting this match!
Akira Tozawa vs “The” Brian Kendrick
No handshake. Tozawa starts us off by hitting Brian with a kick to the face that sends him to the floor. Akira looks to fly, tope hits Kendrick on the floor! He tosses Brian back in and goes up, BEE-YOO-TI-FUL top rope senton hits Brian! 1, 2, NO! Now see, if I were booking, that would have gotten the pin, because Akira should have a rocket strapped to his ass and shouldn’t be bothered with Kendrick once he finally gets him in the ring. Alas, we’re gonna go a different way in this match. Kicks and chops in the corner, Akira with a snapmare and he goes for the Penalty Kick, Kendrick avoids that, Tozawa fakes a chop as Brian covers up, then drops him with a straight right hand. 1, 2, NO! Kendrick ends up on the apron and yanks Tozawa against the ropes to gain some space. Brian goes for the Captain’s Hook, Tozawa manages to get out of that and tries for the snap German suplex, Kendrick breaks that up with elbows and ends up rolling to the floor, Akira off the ropes, another tope hits! Akira tosses him from barricade to barricade, but goes back to the well one too many times and Kendrick hits a drop toehold that sends Akira face first to the ramp in a nasty-sounding spot.
Kendrick rolls back in and looks for the countout, Akira back in at the count of 9. Kendrick stomps away and goes for Sliced Bread #2, Tozawa blocks it so Kendrick just kicks him in the face. Akira to the apron, and Kendrick suplexes him back in for two. Stomp and Brian tries for the Captain’s Hook again, Akira blocks that so Kendrick puts Akira in a full-nelson on the mat, then converts that into a partial chickenwing before Tozawa can make the ropes. Belly-to-back suplex by Kendrick for two. Kendrick sits on Tozawa’s back and crossfaces him, then goes into a seated Cobra Clutch. What is it with that move tonight? Crowd tries to rally Tozawa because he’s awesome and has somehow managed to get over despite looking like a complete chump. He’s up with elbows and rights, but Kendrick stops him with a back elbow. Kendrick tries for a suplex, Akira floats over, Kendrick hits him with a back elbow there, Kendrick off the ropes, Akira with a ‘rana! Running kick to the head from Tozawa gets two. Cross-corner whip and Tozawa follows him with a pump kick, off the ropes now and Tozawa misses a kick, Kendrick with a facelock, Sliced Bread #2 hits for Kendrick! 1, 2, NO! Captain’s Hook now as Tozawa’s facial expressions are just awesome as he pulls himself to the ropes. Kendrick with elbows to the back and he puts Akira on the top rope, Brian goes up for a Super Sliced Bread #2, Tozawa breaks that up and goes for a top rope German as the top buckle pad falls off. Kendrick frees himself with elbows that send Akira to the mat. Tozawa back up with a jumping enzuigiri to Brian! Akira is fired up and he charges, but Kendrick sidesteps him and Tozawa hits the exposed buckle. Sigh. And indeed, Kendrick rolls him up for the pin. Because of course he does. (“The” Brian Kendrick over Akira Tozawa, pinfall, 10:01)
WORTH WATCHING? – What’s the point? Seriously. I mean, I’m sure that somebody thinks this is all a great idea, that Akira will win in the end and it’ll all be fine, but what is our natural endpoint here? They’re not going to blow this off on a PPV or anything, so here’s the situation – Kendrick is now 2-0 against Tozawa, and has basically had the upper hand in every single aspect of this feud with absolutely zero comeuppance from Tozawa. The match itself was fine, with some nice moves, so YES, I can recommend it, but why on the name of the greenest fucking earth would you continually take a guy like Akira, a guy who has managed to get over on a show where the crowd sits on their hands for most guys, and make him a loser? Because that’s what he is; he’s lost to Brian twice now, and has been beaten up by him or made to look like a loser at every point in this feud. He should have gone in there and crushed Kendrick in less than 5 minutes before moving on to the next guy to pay Brian back for all the lessons. If this were building to a big PPV showdown somewhere, it would make sense. But it isn’t and it doesn’t.
Post-match, Kendrick rolls out to the floor and has a mic – he tells Akira that he just showed Tozawa lesson #9, and that is that anything and everything can be used as a weapon. Sure.
This Sunday at Wrestlemania, it’s Lesnar/Goldberg! For the last time! We swear!
WWE Studios presents the Marine 5! Now on digital! Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel are the villains; feel the awesome!
We’re back as we run down Wrestlemania weekend. Good lord, that’s a lot of wrestling, kids. And there’s the music of the King! Neville makes his way to the ring with his title in tow as he’s got a few things to say. “So here we are, 5 days out, from Wrestlemania.” Neville finds himself at a crossroads, a time for reflection, to look back at his life and career, everything that has put him where he stands today. He hasn’t had it easy; he’s faced many trials and tribulations, he’s been belittled and disrespected all through his career. Just last year, 3 weeks out from his first ever Wrestlemania, he broke his ankle, and he had to sit back and watch the world revolve like nothing had happened. So, he came to 205 Live and carried the division on his back – without him, there wouldn’t even be a Cruiserweight title match at Wrestlemania! But each and every one of you, you villify him! You’d rather cheer for a commentary clown like…..and the crowd starts chanting for Aries.
That’s right, Austin Aries – the individual who sits at a table and makes cheap jokes at others’ expense. If that’s the guy you want, well, that’s on you. If that’s who you think can dethrone the King of the Cruiserweights, well, be careful what you ask for. He wants to show you 205 Live without Neville; roll the footage! The screen remain blank, because without Neville, 205 Live is NOTHING! Tell ’em, Neville! What’s more, Wrestlemania isn’t about Aries, or 205 Live, or any of you people – it’s about Neville! It’s about him getting his long overdue moment in the sun! He keeps going…..but here’s the music of Austin Aries, who has a mic of his own. “You see this? This right here, Neville, this is the difference between you and me.” Neville wants to come out here week after week and point the finger at the WWE Universe, you want to discredit everything, it’s all just to feed your ego.
Not him, sayeth Aries. He’ll give credit where it’s due – he knows that there would still be a 205 Live without Austin Aries, he just makes it twice as great. And Neville is an amazing competitor, that he’s worthy of being the champ; but he will say that as amazing as Neville is, Austin is that much better. And as for his joking around, well, he likes to add humor to things, because without that, he’d walk around life as angry and as miserable as Neville does. He gets on the apron now and tells Neville that they’re not so different in many ways. Their whole life, they’ve had to prove people wrong, that everything they have right now, they had to fight for it. And because of that, they both have big egos and chips on their shoulders. And that brings us to the place where they’re most alike; no matter where they are on the card, in their own minds, they are the main attraction, and at Wrestlemania, they’re going to tear down the house! So he can talk about Aries being a joke, a clown, but Aries knows that Neville knows exactly who he is and what he can do in the ring, and Austin will take the WWE Cruiserweight tit-
WHAM! Neville drops him with a shot to the head, then slams him headfirst into the mat. He goes to leave, but decides he’s not done with Aries yet and goes back in, Aries waffles him with a shot to the ear with a mic! Aries puts on the Last Chancery now, Neville escapes to the floor and stares on as Austin Aries rules the ring. And our staredown takes us out for the week as we’re done with 205 Live.
FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Meh. The main event interview segment was done pretty well, as the story probably could have used another week or two to really marinate, but both guys are tremendous and will hopefully be awesome on Sunday. As for the rest, I’ve made clear my feelings on Tozawa/Kendrick many times in the past. More time for Mustafa Ali is clearly a good thing, and the opening match was mediocre but not terrible or anything. This was squarely in the middle when it comes to 205 Live when it comes to being watchable. If you skip, you’re really not missing that much, to be completely honest.
As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,
@MrSoze on Twitter