205 Live – December 27, 2016: I Think They’re On To Something

205 Live
Date: December 27, 2016
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Austin Aries, Corey Graves, Mauro Ranallo

We’re starting to get in a groove around here and that’s the best thing that can happen for a show that has only been around about a month. Tonight’s big match is a non-title showdown (which WWE has gone out of its way to make seem like a title match) between Rich Swann and Neville, the latter of whom is likely to become #1 contender should he win. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of Neville’s heel turn and subsequent path of rage.

Opening sequence.

Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese

Alicia Fox and Drew Gulak are the seconds. Nese powers him up to start but Alexander moonsaults into a headscissors, followed by a dropkick to the chicklets (as Mauro called them). A big throw puts Cedric on the floor and Tony’s missile dropkick gets two back inside. The showing off continues as Nese drops down and nips up to avoid a clothesline, leaving Alicia to play cheerleader.

We hit a chinlock for a bit before Cedric speeds things up with a Tajiri handspring elbow into a kick to the head. That means it’s time for Gulak and Fox to get into the required argument, capped off by Drew hitting the ground and claiming Alicia shoved him (she never touched him). The referee actually ejects her, allowing Nese to palm strike Cedric for the pin at 6:04.

Rating: C. Alexander is one of those guys who has grown on me so much since he’s been in WWE. The twenty pound weight loss has done him a lot of good, though some of that might have to do with getting away from Ring of Honor and the really stupid Veda Scott story. Nese is being built up in a nice way too, which is what we need around this show.

Noam Dar brings some mistletoe for Alicia, earning himself a slap to the face. Dar tries again and gets slapped a second time, though he doesn’t seem to mind.

Earlier today Renee Young sat down with Neville, who doesn’t like being left out of the Cruiserweight Classic. WWE and Americans in general are intimidated by his greatness. When he was in Japan, Swann was his young boy and Neville isn’t putting up with him here. Renee can’t understand what he says at the end and that’s enough of this interview.

Mustafa Ali vs. John Yurnet

Yurnet is better known as Mr. 450 and has been on NXT a few times. John seems to get injured early on with his right leg looking immobile in a hurry. He’s willing to keep going though and tries a sunset flip but the referee insists on checking it out. Ali hits a quick reverse DDT and finishes with an inverted 450 at 2:12. The finisher looked cool but it’s clear that Yurnet wasn’t wrestling at 100% here.

Post match Mustafa says he’s from Chicago and isn’t going to let all the prejudice against him define things. All he’s going to do is keep racking up wins and let those speak for themselves. Simple, yet effective.

Video on Ariya Daivari, who is certainly a scoundrel and thinks nothing of Jack Gallagher.

It’s time for the gentleman’s duel, which I don’t think counts as a match. Gallagher comes out in a suit while Daivari is wearing gear. There’s a table with some flowers and various weapons in the ring. Gallagher lists off some weapons, almost all of which can be found in a game of Clue, plus an umbrella and a teapot. Daivari picks the lead pipe but Gallagher will fight with an umbrella.

We’re not ready to go yet as Jack insists on standing back to back and taking five paces. Daivari tries to cheat but Gallagher knows it’s coming and proceeds to use the umbrella for a low blow and a leg trip. Gallagher shrugs off a beating and hits his running corner dropkick to send Daivari running. If Daivari had ANY personality, this would be really entertaining. As it is, it’s just something else to add to the highlight reel for when Gallagher becomes a star.

Tajiri is back next week.

Rich Swann vs. Neville

Non-title and Swann doesn’t even dance when he gets to the ring. Rich goes right after him to start and takes the fight to the floor for a right hand to Neville’s jaw. A dropkick frustrates Neville as we hear about Swann being Neville’s young boy in Japan. Neville gets fired up with a forearm to the face and sends Swann into the barricade a few times to really take over.

A hard ram sends Swann’s bad back into the LED apron and Neville follows by mostly missing a big flip dive. Back in and we hit a chinlock, followed by a standing shooting star to make the back even worse. A missile dropkick gets two and Neville is just toying with him. The USA chant only seems to get on Neville’s nerves until a hurricanrana sends him outside.

Swann follows him out with a Phoenix splash of all things and a tiger bomb gets two. One heck of a superkick knocks Neville out on his feet and Swann’s Fantastic Voyage gets a very close two. A loud kick to the head gets a third straight two but Swann gets crotched on top. One heck of a superplex knocks Swann silly for the pin at 13:55.

Rating: B. I liked this more than I thought I would and the ending was the right way to go. Swann’s back was messed up and his last run was all built on adrenaline, meaning it made sense for a big shot, especially one on the back, to be enough to cut him off for good. This also sets up the rematch with the title on the line and that’s going to be one heck of a fight, especially if it makes pay per view.

Post match Neville kicks him in the head and hammers away. He finally leaves and demands his crown to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This show is starting to find its groove and if I just have to sit through a fifteen minute match between people I care about week after week, so be it. If you can tweak the formula just enough and keep people like Lince Dorado off the show, everything is going to get a lot better in a hurry. The show isn’t quite there yet but it’s gone from a task to get through to something I’m enjoying and that’s a very good sign going forward.

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