Date: March 14, 2017
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves
Tonight is all about the title again as we’re going to have a fatal fiveway for the #1 contendership to Neville’s Cruiserweight Title with the match coming at Wrestlemania XXXIII. While the winner isn’t exactly a secret at this point, I do appreciate having a match for the title shot instead of just announcing the match. Let’s get to it.
We get a quick word from all five participants in the fiveway on how much they want to win.
Tom Phillips and Corey Graves are on commentary as Mauro Ranallo has travel issues due to a blizzard.
Here’s Neville to discuss the division. Neville says one year and one day ago, he broke his ankle in this very building, keeping him away from his first Wrestlemania moment. No one cared about him though and now he’s the King of the Cruiserweights. Tonight we’ll be having the biggest match in the history of 205 Live as five people try to earn the chance to be fed to them. On the grandest stage of them all, he’ll showcase himself as the true King of the Cruiserweights.
Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak
An early rollup gives Ali two before he springboards up onto the top rope for a hurricanrana to send Gulak to the floor. A guillotine is broken up with a rather hard slam and Gulak starts with his variety of stompings. Ali gets in a few chops though and that rolling neckbreaker gets two. In a clever move, Gulak rolls forward and underneath a leapfrog but stops beneath him to pull Ali into a sunset flip for a near fall of his own. Not that it matters though as a tornado DDT sets up Ali’s inverted 450 for the pin at 4:53.
Rating: C. The more I see of Ali the more I like him and it’s a good sign that WWE seems interested in pushing him, at least to a certain degree. It’s amazing what happens when you actually go with a fresh character instead of doing the same thing that has been done so many times over the years. Ali could be a player, especially with that sweet of a finisher.
Post match Gulak is ticked off at his loss and says this place needs to change.
Noam Dar has been granted a rematch when he teams with Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher/Rich Swann. Ariya doesn’t want to hear the pep talk so Dar starts talking about Alicia Fox. Daivari doesn’t want to hear about her either and leaves.
Jack Gallagher/Rich Swann b. Noam Dar/Ariya Daivari
Gallagher actually does Swann’s dance and it’s shockingly awesome. Dar gets headlocked to the mat to start and the headstand in the corner stops any charging he could do. Some heel double teaming takes Jack down though and Daivari drops a top rope elbow for two. We hit the chinlock with Dar’s knee in Jack’s spine which of course sets up the comeback and the hot tag to Swann. Rich cleans house but Dar makes a blind tag and knees Swann’s head off for the pin at 4:07.
Rating: C. Not bad here and giving Dar a win is a good idea. The Fox storyline stopped being interesting a long time ago and Daivari never was interesting in the first place so they were kind of fighting an uphill battle on this one. One of the big problems on 205 Live is focusing on one or two stories and having a bunch of random matches otherwise. That’s what happened here and it’s hard to overcome.
Post match Dar says his gift for Fox is this victory but here’s a deliveryman with a large bear. Of course Dar takes credit for that too despite being surprised.
Tony Nese vs. Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Akira Tozawa vs. TJ Perkins
Elimination rules and the winner gets Neville at Wrestlemania. The fans are behind Aries because they’re smart enough to know the obvious winner. Kendrick heads outside and Aries chills on the top rope (makes sense from the veterans) before Aries’ running corner dropkick gets two on Nese. That leaves us with Perkins vs. Austin for a bit and that means it’s time to dab.
Kendrick comes back in but falls for Tozawa’s head fake and gets one heck of a right hand to the face. Aries dives through the ropes to take Nese out before Kendrick proposes an alliance with Austin. It doesn’t matter for long though as Aries heads outside, leaving Perkins to work over Kendrick. Nese comes in for the save as they’re certainly keeping this fast paced.
Tony grabs the bodyscissors, which seems to be a questionable call in an elimination match. Tozawa comes back in and gets the snap German suplex for two on Nese with Kendrick wanting the pin for himself. Even Graves thinks that was a bad strategy and Tozawa takes Kendrick down with a dive. This of course turns into the parade of dives but Kendrick shoves Aries off the top for a huge crash.
Nese adds a BIG running knee to break the barricade wall and perhaps Aries’ head in the process. You don’t expect that kind of a spot in a cruiserweight match. Back in and Perkins grabs a cross armbreaker to make Nese tap at 9:11. Nese doesn’t leave yet and uses the good arm for a hard clothesline on Perkins. Tozawa gets rid of Nese but gets taken down by Kendrick’s Sliced Bread #2 for the elimination at 9:58.
Perkins breaks out of another Sliced Bread and loads up a reverse superplex, only to have Aries turn it into a Tower of Doom to drop all three of the remaining participants. Everyone slowly gets back up and Kendrick is knocked to the floor. Aries gets two off a rollup but Brian breaks up the Detonation Kick, setting up a double pin on Perkins at 12:56. Kendrick flips over into the Captain’s Hook on Aries but Perkins makes a quick save. Sliced Bread #2 gets two and now the Captain’s Hook goes on. Aries climbs the ropes to get out again and the roaring elbow sends Aries to Wrestlemania at 14:25.
Rating: B-. Good match but the first half seemed to meander a bit. The important thing here though is having Aries go through the entire division instead of just being handed the title match based on his reputation. Aries vs. Neville has the potential to steal the show at Wrestlemania and that’s something the show has been lacking so far.
Overall Rating: C+. This show was all about setting up one thing and they accomplished that goal. With two episodes to go before Wrestlemania, they really needed to get to the title match already and that was set up tonight. The other stories were nothing special but those weren’t the point of this show. I liked the main event well enough and I want to see the title match so well done.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the History of the WWE’s Big Four Pay Per Views, now in PAPERBACK. Check out the information here:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: