Date: February 14, 2017
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Austin Aries, Corey Graves, Mauro Ranallo
With Fastlane starting to get close, we have a Cruiserweight Title match set for the pay per view. It’s going to be a battle of England with champion Neville defending against Gentleman Jack Gallagher, who probably won’t be much of a threat to the title but at least the match should be fun. Let’s get to it.
We recap last week’s Fatal Five Way where Gallagher became the new #1 contender.
The announcers preview tonight’s show.
Noam Dar vs. Rich Swann
Before the match, Swann says it’s an important night because he’s back on the show and because it’s Valentine’s Day. Since it’s a special night, he’s dedicating this one to Alicia Fooooooox, but she can’t handle this. Dar takes him down by the arm to start until Rich uses his flips to speed things up. A dropkick puts Noam on the floor for some treatment from Fox so Rich does some dancing.
The treatment seems to work just fine as Dar kicks away to take over, earning some loud cheering from Fox. One heck of a kick to the jaw drops Dar but he ducks an enziguri into an ankle lock. Swann has been watching his Kurt Angle Collection on the WWE Network though and flips Dar outside for the escape. Dar gets in a Northern Lariat (with Mauro referring to it as such), only to get caught in a hurricanrana. The Phoenix Splash gives Swann the pin at 7:55.
Rating: C. These two have developed incredibly well in a short time and that’s due to very different reasons. Swann’s athleticism and in ring work have gotten so much better in a hurry and the dancing has taken a backseat, which is the best thing that could have happened to him. On the other hand, Dar is a great example of someone being enhanced by having a great looking valet. They’re a good pairing and that’s what Dar needed.
We get a sitdown interview between Neville and TJ Perkins. Neville gives the closest thing to praise that he’s going to offer by talking about TJ’s win in the Cruiserweight Classic. TJ says he put the cruiserweight division on the mat but Neville wants to know what happened to Perkins when Neville showed up. Perkins wants to know what happened to Neville between NXT and WWE because he seemed to disappear. That’s too much for Neville and threats are made for later.
Video on Gran Metalik losing in the finals of the Cruiserweight Classic. He lost to the better man and is back to prove his worth.
Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak
Gulak shakes hands but hits a dropkick at the bell and watches Metalik botch some kind of a springboard. A Sami Zayn chop to the chest into a wristdrag off the top sends Gulak outside and thankfully there’s no botched dive to follow it up. Instead Drew slows it down with an armbar before Metalik mostly misses a double springboard…..something. Drew grabs a Gory Special and spins Metalik into a neckbreaker. Since there’s no lucha libre word for selling, Metalik pops back up and enziguris him to the floor for a springboard dive. Back in and the Metalik Driver ends Gulak at 5:26.
Rating: D+. The botches were strong with this one and it really hurt Metalik’s debut. Sometimes people try to go a little too fast for their own good and that seems to be what happened here. Of course there’s more than enough time for Metalik to fix things up as Kofi Kingston had one of the worst debuts I’ve ever seen and turned out just fine.
Brian Kendrick comes in to see Akira Tozawa and offers to be his mentor again. Kendrick talks to him like an idiot because Tozawa can’t speak English….until he says he knows what Brian is saying and doesn’t like him.
TJ Perkins vs. Neville
Non-title. Feeling out process to start with TJ taking over off a twist of the arm. Neville can’t get anywhere with the arm work so he kicks TJ in the face to escape. Perkins gets two off a springboard crossbody but gets sent outside so Neville can do some high quality sneering. A rather loud missile dropkick puts TJ down for two and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Neville gets caught in a jumping neckbreaker, followed by a springboard DDT of all things for two.
The fans chant for Austin Aries as TJ starts in on the arm, only to have his armbar countered into a sitout powerbomb for an emphatic break. Back up and they forearm the heck out of each other until Neville has to escape the Detonation Kick. TJ escapes the superplex and one ups himself by countering the Rings of Saturn into a rollup. Neville will have none of that though and kicks him in the arm to set up the Rings of Saturn for the submission at 12:31.
Rating: B-. This was actually a bit disappointing from what you would expect these two to put together. Perkins is still one of the best performers in the division and Neville is on fire right now. For some reason though the match was just kind of there, which isn’t the performance you would expect out of these guys.
Post match Jack Gallagher comes out for the brawl and, after Neville sends William III to the floor, Gallagher headbutts him down and poses with the title to end the show. Kind of a non-gentlemanly action there, no?
Overall Rating: C-. Not the best show this week as I actually couldn’t remember most of the card aside from the main event just a little while after watching it. The Metalik match was sloppy and the opener was totally forgettable. Gallagher vs. Neville comes off like a filler feud, albeit an entertaining one. That’s not enough for a full show though and it showed badly here.
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