WWE 205 Live – April 18th, 2017

Howdy!

Tonight, TJ Perkins takes on Austin Aries in our main event on 205 Live!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

WWE 205 Live – 4/18/17

Last week on Raw, TJ Perkins and Neville had a meeting of the minds, and TJ seemed to take his words to heart! It’s the Cruiserweight version of the 2-Man Power Trip – that’ll get this show outta the mud!

We are LIVE from the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, Kentucky! Your hosts are Tom Phillips and Corey Graves.

And we’re beginning with the music of Akira Tozawa! He makes his way out as we see last week, where Akira used another of his lessons from Kendrick in ringing the bell during a match, allowing Mustafa Ali to pick up the win from Mr. Kendrick. And there’s the music of the opponent, one Tony Nese! He looked like he was getting a push on this show a long time ago. Let’s see how this one goes.

Akira Tozawa vs Tony Nese

Handshake is accepted. Nese with a standing side headlock into a hammerlock, he shoves Akira off and gives us some posin’! Lockup again, they go to the ropes and Tony gives a clean break, lockup and we get a similar result, except that Nese gives him a bit of a pieface on the break. Kick to the gut from Tony and he tosses Akira, but Tozawa slides right back in and clobbers him with a right hand. Irish whip and Nese hooks the ropes and goes to the floor to take a breather, Akira chases him back in. More strikes from Akira and he whips Nese, Tony over the top with a sunset flip, Tozawa rolls through and nails Nese with a Penalty Kick. Standing senton gets two, and Nese heads back to the floor. Akira looks for the tope, but Nese slides back in and nails him with a back elbow to take control. That gets two, and Nese follows that with some Greco-Roman stomping and a choke with his foot. He covers for one, then goes to a neck vise, as we’ve been joined at ringside by Brian Kendrick, who is cheering on Nese. Tony gets Akira up for the delayed vertical suplex, then drops him on the top rope. 1, 2, no! Human Torture Rack by Nese now, Akira fights out, Nese goes for the delayed vertical again, Akira frees himself with knees to the head. Tony with a shot and he comes off the ropes, ‘rana by Tozawa sends him scurrying back to the apron, and a forearm sends him to the floor. Akira runs the ropes and hits the tope onto Nese, he tosses Tony back in and goes up, Nese charges, Akira over the top. Nese charges now, but Tozawa meets him halfway with a killer knee that turns Nese inside out. 1, 2, NO! Akira goes for a belly-to-back suplex, Nese holds on in the headlock, Akira gets it but Neese goes over the top and lands on his feet. Knee to the back from Nese sends Akira into the ropes, hanging on the middle, crossface forearms by Nese to Tozawa. The ref backs Nese off and Kendrick looks to take a shot, but gets caught when the ref turns around, and that distracts everyone long enough for Akira to roll Nese up with a sunset flip for the pin. (Akira Tozawa over Tony Nese, pinfall, 5:48)

WORTH WATCHING? – This could have been a much better match, but what we got wasn’t bad, as I like both guys. It really just served as a backdrop to the Kendrick/Tozawa stuff, though, and the ending was weak sauce. I’m going with a NO on this one, mostly due to the aforementioned ending and the short nature of the work. These guys are capable of having a really good bout, but we gotta serve the story, I guess.

Post-match, Kendrick gets in the ring and apologizes to Nese, but Tony isn’t having that and clobbers Brian from behind. Tozawa gets a mic and tells Brian that this is lesson #3; you need to have eyes in the back of your head! Akira is gonna get this thing over through sheer force of charisma at this point.

At Payback, it’s Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman!

“Can you handle this?” Hey, that’s Rich Swann! He’s got himself quite the sparkly jacket tonight as he dances his way to the ring. Last Tuesday, Swann and Dar had a conversation about the gifts that one Alicia Fox had been getting, and Ms Fox got herself a baby powder bath after Swann set up Dar. You know what this whole feud isn’t? WRESTLING.

“Alicia Foooxxxx! You’ve had about a week to think of things over, so why don’t you come out here and tell everyone-” Hey, that music cut off Mr. Swann! The music happens to be from one Noam Dar, who comes out and can’t believe that Rich is out here again! Last week was the most humiliating night of Dar’s life – Swann is stinking, little rat! And Noam is here to slap him about!

Wait a second, there’s more music! And it’s the music of Alicia Fox! Remember, ALICIA FOX IS THE STAR OF THIS SHOW! She makes her way to the ring as the commentators hope we get some answers. Well, at least someone does.

Swann wants to know, “what’s it gonna be, Foxy?” Dar wants to know what Rich is talking about, and Alicia tells him that when she first saw him, she saw the future face of 205 Live! He’s young, talented, charismatic, and then she got to know him – and there’s so many other things that he contributes to this relationship! The crowd has come ALIVE just so they can “What?” the hell out of this segment. Heat machines, these guys! Continue, Alicia, please. Dar is immature, his cologne stinks, and he thinks he can cook…..but not in every room. Let’s be honest here, she’s been using him and never really cared about him! Yes, she’s a jerk, but the most annoying thing? When he says Aliiiicaaa Fooooxxxx! If she has to hear that one more time, she’s gonna snap! So Dar should just get outta here, because they’re through! Please go, Noam; this is embarrassing!

Oh, Alicia. You don’t know the half of it.

Anyway, the crowd sings Dar the goodbye song, and Alicia now turns to Rich and tells him that now that that’s over, she can officially and properly thank him for all the gifts! Oh man, we’re about to have our SECOND live sex celebration, aren’t we? Rich tells her that they all came from the heart; he lists off the gifts, and tells Alicia that she deserved them. Alicia says that’s great, but now it’s time to give Rich what he deserves! She leans in, but Rich puts his finger up (no, not ‘up’ anywhere, you perverts) and stops her. Swann wants to give her what she deserves – does she remember Cedric Alexander? Well, he may be recovering from injury right now, but Swann remembers him; he’s one of Rich’s closest friends! And Alicia broke his heart!

Wait a second – didn’t Cedric dump HER? They can’t even remember who dumped who in this crappy storyline?

Swann continues, saying that she left Cedric for some Eurotrash pervert, and there’s a word for people like her; but his mom brought him up better, and he’s not gonna say it. Because now the whole world knows exactly what kind of person Alicia is, and that was his gift to her! Swann drops the mic and dances down the ramp! Yeah! BROS BEFORE HOES! Alicia throws a tantrum in the ring, saying that being single is better anyway! She can do what she wants, she can dance where she wants, and the crowd better stop whatting her before she snaps! She made Louisville! She’s the queen of Kentucky!

I have no words. Well, no more words.

Advertisement for the WWE Network on the WWE Network! I am looking forward to season 2 of Edge and Christian.

Tonight on Talking Smack, Shane and Renee will have Charlotte, Jinder Mahal, Epico, and Primo!

Hey, it’s the music of Mustafa Ali! He’s out and we then hear the music of Ariya Daivari. Joy! He’s got some sunglasses and gold chains, and oh Christ they’ve remade his character. Eh, the old one wasn’t doing that great, I suppose. We get some footage of him rolling into the arena in a nifty yellow convertible, followed by some good old abuse of the valet! What a cad!

Mustafa Ali vs Ariya Daivari

Handshake is accepted. Lockup and it’s Ali with a wristlock, Daivari goes to the ropes to break. Nice rolling single-leg takedown by Ali, Ariya kicks him away. Headlock by Daivari, Ali shoots him off, Daivari knocks him down with a shoulder. Stomp misses from Ariya, but a kick to the gut and it’s back to the headlock from Daivari. Mustafa shoots him off and ducks a clothesline, then knocks Daivari to the mat with a shoulder. Ali cartwheels over Daivari, then does a flip before rolling up Ariya for one. Double-leg into a bridge gets one for Ali. Backslide from Daivari, Ali rolls through it and small packages Ariya for one. Low boot from Daivari and a right hand, Irish whip by Ariya, Ali counters a backdrop attempt with a kick and a dropkick. Daivari rolls out, Ali runs the ropes, tope con hilo from Ali! I miss Mauro. Back in now, Daivari goes back to the apron, Ali tries to come over the top with a ‘rana, Daivari blocks that and hits a forearm, belly-to-back suplex from Daivari and Ali hits the apron! That was cool.

Back in, and Ariya covers for two. He fires a forearm to the back of Ali, then stomps away. Right hands on the mat, chop in the corner by Ariya and he whips Ali cross-corner. Blind charge eats an elbow from Mustafa, Ali goes up and goes for the tornado DDT, Daivari spins him around and turns it into a spinebuster! 1, 2, NO! Belly-to-back suplex attempt, Ali lands on his feet and catches Daivari with a spinning heel kick. Clothesline from Ali! Forearm from Ali! Irish whip is reversed by Ariya, Ali snaps off a ‘rana. Cross-corner whip is reversed by Daivari, but Ali goes to the apron and Ariya’s blind charge eats turnbuckle. Kick to the head by Ali sets up the somersault neckbreaker for two. Ali with a blind charge in the corner and he eats boot, Ariya goes up, right hand from Ali and he follows him up there, Ariya shoves him off but Ali does a backflip and lands on his feet. He catches Daivari coming down with a kick to the midsection, and he’s looking to end it now with the reverse 450…..but down the ramp, it’s Drew Gulak with a bullhorn and a sign that says “No-fly zone!” He starts to chant “I’m not lying! No high-flying!” as Ali stares, and that allows Daivari to yank him off the top and to the mat face-first, and the hammerlock into the short-arm lariat finishes as Daivari picks up the upset. (Ariya Daivari over Mustafa Ali, pinfall, 6:49)

WORTH WATCHING? – I’m not exactly high on Daivari to say the least, but he was more than passable here, and the match itself was decent. YES, this one was okay. The ending was more to set up Gulak/Ali, but the match preceding it didn’t suck, and Ariya needed the duke for his new character anyway. No sense in beating Ali clean, as he’s got a shot at being something. I was fine with this.

Post-match, we see the replays as Daivari yells some stuff at Ali while Mustafa clutches his back angrily.

Now we’re in the back as Gulak is marching merrily along with his sign, when he’s stopped for an interview. Would he care to explain his actions from a few moments ago? “Dasha, I see a bright future in 205 Live.” Tonight, we witnessed the first steps in that future! He holds no ill will towards Mustafa Ali, but his reckless high-flying style has no place in that future! He speaks for the WWE Universe and he won’t stop until he has created a better 205 Live! Thank you!

Okay, this whole thing is cheesy and stupid and I kind of LOVE IT. Gulak has been killing it in this role.

Wednesday, NXT! Tye Dillinger vs Eric Young inside a steel cage!

We’re back to the music of TJ Perkins! The former Cruiserweight champ makes his way out and gives us a dab, and he’s already growing on me as a douchebag. I love it. And now, the music tells us that we’re about to see the Greatest Man who ever Lived, as Austin Aries makes his way out. This should be a dandy.

Austin Aries vs TJ Perkins

TJ spits in his hand and offers the shake, so Aries slaps it away. We’re going with no handshake on this one, then? TJ rolls out to the floor immediately to avoid Aries. Austin sits cross-legged in the ring to invite Perkins back in, tries to sucker him in, TJ kicks him low and sends him to the corner and unloads with rights. Cross-corner whip and Aries goes over the top and catches TJ with an armdrag. TJ counters with a headscissors, Austin stands on his head and flips out of it with a dropkick. 2 for that, and Aries slaps on an armbar. He snaps the arm over his shoulder, but Perkins does a slick sequence to take Austin over with a headscissors, and he does the dab to boos. Aries rolls around and stacks him up for two, then kicks out of the headscissors down to a front facelock on the mat to try to float over for the Last Chancery, but TJ rolls to the ropes and the floor to stop that.

Aries waits on the top rope for TJ, Perkins back in and he charges, Aries alley-oops him to the apron, Perkins responds with a neck snap on the top rope. TJ comes in with the slingshot senton, Aries moves and sends TJ to the ropes, and Perkins catches himself there between the top and middle. Austin charges, TJ moves, Aries to the apron and now he tries the slingshot senton, and it hits, sending TJ rolling back to the floor. Austin runs the ropes, tope by Aries! Huge chop on the floor by Austin, he rolls TJ back in and goes up, Perkins crotches him on the top. Mounted rights by TJ, then a snapmare and a seated dropkick to the back of Aries. That gets one. Uppercut and a slam by Perkins, and he rakes the eyes of Aries with his boot. Perkins looks so much more comfortable as a heel, it’s like he’s a new wrestler in a lot of ways. ARROGANT COVER~! with the DAB~! gets a one-count. Somewhere, I picture Chris Jericho nodding his head like the Emperor in Star Wars. “Good. Good.”

Aries fires lefts and a Bionic elbow, but misses a shot and Perkins comes off the second rope with a crossbody for two. TJ ties up the legs of Aries in a figure-four position by stepping on a boot of Austin, then ties up the arms in a butterfly. Aries fights back up, so TJ clobbers him with an uppercut, then after Aries avoids a clothesline, he hits him with a spinning back kick. Kick by TJ misses, then a standing twisting senton misses as well. Austin is back now, and he comes off the ropes with an elbow, then another one to knock TJ down. Shot from Aries, then a gutbuster, followed by an STO and the Pendulum elbow. Side slam by Aries gets two. Austin sends TJ to the corner, running uppercut in the corner, snapmare, then a reverse neckbreaker against the second rope. Aries goes up, 450 attempt, TJ moves and Aries lands on his feet, but he tweaked the knee, and TJ goes for the kneebar right away.

Aries stretches for the ropes, finally making it but TJ hangs on through the ref’s count. He breaks at 3; TJ, you’ve got ’til 5! Come on, man! Kicks to the back of the leg by TJ, Aries tries to fight back and we’ve got ourselves a slugfest. TJ wins that with a couple of kicks, but gets caught coming off the ropes with a forearm from Austin. Aries comes off the ropes for the Discus, apparently having forgotten the crippling knee injury he had a few moments ago, but TJ catches him and looks for the Tiger gutbuster, but ends up botching it slightly, dropping him straight down. He might have slipped. That gets two. TJ goes for the Detonation Kick, Aries frees himself with elbows and gets the kneecrusher into the belly-to-back suplex to buy some time. Aries shakes out the leg and that’s good enough, I guess, because he’s able to run across the ring and catch TJ in the corner with a forearm. Austin goes up, 450 hits! 1, 2, TJ gets his foot on the ropes! Aries repositions and covers again, this time for two. He hooks the Last Chancery, but the knee is gone again and TJ makes the ropes. Perkins rolls to the floor, Aries goes out after him and tries to muscle him back in, he finally does and pulls himself to the apron, but TJ hits him there with a dropkick. Perkins goes for the Detonation Kick again, but Aries slips out and claps TJ on the head, then comes off the ropes with the Discus elbow for the 1,2,3. (Austin Aries over TJ Perkins, pinfall, 11:42)

WORTH WATCHING? – This was really good, even with the off and on selling of the knee by Austin. However, I wouldn’t have beaten Perkins here – this felt tailor-made for a Neville run-in to cause the DQ, and I would have actually been a bigger fan of that finish, believe it or not, because I think that Perkins has legs as a heel. However, the match itself overall was really good, so YES, check it out. I do understand that they want to give Aries the win since he’s challenging, but it’s a textbook example of why 50/50 booking is dumb – TJ has a new heel character after last week, why beat him clean this early? There are plenty of tin cans on 205 Live for Austin to beat, no point in beating TJ right away.

Post-match, Austin poses on the buckles, but he’s interrupted by Neville’s music. Aries tells him to bring it on and he does, firing away at Austin, but Aries is able to gain the advantage and hook the Last Chancery! Will Neville tap? It’s not a match, but it would be something if he did…..but TJ is back in to break it up and stomp away at Aries, and the beatdown is on. TJ hits Aries with the Detonation Kick, then it’s Neville with the Rings of Saturn, and there’s no cavalry coming as the refs are the ones to finally manage to get Neville to break the hold. Neville and Perkins take their leave up the ramp, and that’ll do it for 205 Live this week.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The matches this week were all pretty well-worked, and I enjoyed the Gulak stuff more than I probably should have. The middle portion was pretty much death with the Swann/Dar/Fox stuff, but it’s been that way for awhile – hopefully we’re done with that angle for good now. Good show this week, worth a sit as the show has been getting a bit better lately.

And that’s my final Final Thought on 205 Live for the foreseeable future.

I’ve been in the process of opening my own business, and that has come to fruition over the last few weeks, which have been consumed with more work than I thought I would ever actually do; combined with my wife and daughter, free time is basically a luxury at this point. I took the week off last week because I pretty much had to, as I had no time to write this thing; I could have done a quick recap, but I like the longer, detailed ones more and my time isn’t going to be conducive to doing them for multiple shows. As most of you know; well, a few of you; well, Charlie Owens at least, I also recap Ring of Honor for this here blog, and while I wanted to keep going with both shows, it just isn’t going to work out for me on the time perspective. So I thought about it, and I’m just going to be honest; I prefer the ROH product to 205 Live. I love cruiserweight wrestling, I really do, but if I have to choose between the two, I choose Ring of Honor.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll still be recapping all things ROH for the blog, but this is the end for me on 205 Live. I’ll probably still watch the show, but this was my last rodeo as a recap.

For those of you that stopped to click on one of these 205 Live recaps, I can only say thank you, so very much, thank you. I like to write about wrestling, and this has been a ton of fun. I spent a bit of time on it, but knowing that there were at least a few of you all that read it made it worth it many times over.

And hey, if you still want your fill of my prose, check out my ROH recaps! See the rest of you in the nightly thread here and there.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter