I really need to stop forgetting to post this show.
Date: January 24, 2017
Location: Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Austin Aries, Corey Graves
It’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble and 205 Live actually has a contribution to the card. This Sunday it’s Neville challenging Rich Swann for the Cruiserweight Title and tonight we’ll get to see Neville vs. Cedric Alexander in what has the potential to be a rather entertaining match. Let’s get to it.
We open with a clip of last night’s brawl between Neville and Swann.
Neville says last night was his fault because he made the mistake of underestimating Swann. Maybe he showed him a bit too much mercy but he won’t make that mistake again. He’s looking forward to beating Cedric up to prove that this is his show.
The announcers preview tonight’s main event.
TJ Perkins vs. Tony Nese
Nese takes him down to the mat with a waistlock to start but a hurricanrana gives TJ two. An Octopus Hold doesn’t get TJ very far so Nese elbows him in the jaw and grabs a chinlock. Back up and TJ’s guillotine is easily muscled over into a suplex as Nese keeps showing off a good balance of power and speed. A middle rope springboard moonsault gets two on Perkins and it’s time to crank on both of his arms.
Nese gets two more off a gutbuster as this match is showing more psychology than you would expect in a cruiserweight match. Graves even gets to point out that Nese is catching a breather while holding TJ in a bodyscissors. It’s like the guy knows what he’s talking about or something. Perkins comes back with a kick to the face and a middle rope hurricanrana before the Detonation Kick sends Tony outside. Back in and Tony hits a hard clothesline, only to get cradled for the pin at 8:45.
Rating: B-. Good stuff here and it’s amazing how much better Nese is when he doesn’t have Gulak there sucking all of the charisma out of the matches. Perkins could still be a player around the title division but I don’t know how much Nese is going to be able to do if Neville gets the title on Sunday.
Nese suplexes TJ into the corner post match to knock Perkins silly, followed by a running knee to the head. That sounds rematchish.
Akira Tozawa debuts next week.
Perkins is being helped out.
Sheamus talks about winning the 2012 Royal Rumble.
Brian Kendrick vs. Tripp Bradshaw
Before the match, Kendrick promises to crush Bradshaw’s dreams because the world is a cold and harsh place. Aries wants to know if Bradshaw is any relation to Justin Hawk (JBL’s first WWE gimmick) as Brian pounds him into the corner to start. Tripp’s neck is snapped across the top rope and a big boot makes things even worse. The Captain’s Hook is enough to make Bradshaw tap at 2:04.
Swann tells Alexander to wait for Neville to make a mistake but make sure to save a piece for the Rumble.
Cedric Alexander vs. Neville
Feeling out process to start with Neville grabbing a hiptoss and telling Cedric to get out of his ring. The fans get behind Neville as he slips out of a wristlock and cranks on an armbar. Back up and Cedric dropkicks him out to the floor for a breather. The fans chant for CM Punk out of general annoyance.
A HARD kick to the face puts Neville back outside as this is more offense than anyone has been able to score on him. Cedric takes his sweet time though and gets whipped hard into the barricade. Neville turns the pace way down and starts slowly hammering away, followed by a snap suplex and running forearm for two.
We hit the chinlock for a bit until Cedric fights back up and dropkicks Neville to the floor again. There’s a BIG flip dive which Mauro describes as ostentatious. Aries: “It must be great. It has my name in it!” Back in and the springboard clothesline is only good for two. Neville tries to speed things up again but runs into a Spanish Fly (flipping downward spiral).
The Lumbar Check is broken up though and it’s a deadlift German suplex for an even closer two on Cedric. Neville puts him on top for the superplex but gets reversed into a sunset bomb….which Neville flips out of because he can. The look on Cedric’s face is perfect so he comes back with an enziguri. Cue Noam Dar for a distraction and the Rings of Saturn makes Alexander tap at 13:25.
Rating: B+. Now that worked. The idea of Neville being better than anyone else around the show is a great story but what makes it even better is to have someone get this close and almost have Neville beaten to lose the match at the very last minute. I liked the match a lot better than I was expecting to and it’s one of the better 205 Live matches to date.
Post match Dar goes after Cedric but Neville wants to beat on Alexander alone. Rich Swann comes in for the save and it’s a big pull apart brawl (after several attempts) to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. Awesome show here as they packed all this stuff into less than fifty minutes. I don’t know if it’s just following the NXT formula to the letter or what else they’re doing right but dang this was one heck of a show. They’re getting the idea down to near perfection and adding in some more talent like Tozawa is only going to make things better.
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