205 Live – April 25, 2017: If You Build It, He Will Lose

205 Live
Date: April 25, 2017
Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

We’re closing in on Payback and that means the upcoming title match is starting to run out of steam. One of the problems with 205 Live is you can only get so much mileage out of a single title match and it seems that we’ve reached that point. Austin Aries vs. Neville is entertaining but they’re running out of things for them to do. Let’s get to it.

We open with the traditionally long recap of the main feud, which includes TJ Perkins and Jack Gallagher getting involved with the title participants to add some fresh blood.

Opening sequence.

The announcers chat as the ring is set up because this show MUST air right after Smackdown and couldn’t possibly be on earlier, thereby letting the fans go home a bit earlier and not resulting in a horribly empty arena.

Rich Swann/Akira Tozawa vs. Noam Dar/Brian Kendrick

Take two feuds and put them into one match. The brawl is on before the bell with the good guys sending them outside for running dives. That’s one way to wake the crowd up after spending eight minutes getting to the opening bell on a match that only lasts about fifty minutes in the first place. Swann and Kendrick start things off with Dar kicking Rich’s legs out to take over.

That means it’s time for the required arm work with Dar cranking and stomping. Kendrick grabs a chinlock before doing a cool midair takedown to stop Swann’s dive to the corner. Swann finally kicks Brian in the face and brings in Tozawa to clean house. With Kendrick being knocked to the floor, Tozawa grabs a Saito suplex on Dar, followed by the Shining Wizard for the pin at 5:24.

Rating: C. They kept the energy up here with Tozawa continuing to look like one of the better performers on the roster. The problem is they’re only on lesson #4 and that means this feud could go on for six more weeks, despite the feud already being done for the most part. Swann vs. Dar needs a little bump as there’s only so much you’re going to get out of the Alicia Fox breakup, especially when she doesn’t seem to be involved anymore.

Tozawa says lesson #4 is always choose wisely, such as picking the right partner.

Neville is ready to destroy Aries on Sunday because everyone must bow to the king.

Tony Nese vs. Mustafa Ali

During the entrances we go back to last week where the Caucasian Drew Gulak held up a sign saying NO FLY ZONE during a match between two wrestlers of Middle Eastern descent. Leave it to WWE to either miss that subtlety all together or just be that stupid. Speaking of which, here’s Gulak to hold up his sign and join commentary.

Feeling out process to start with Nese running him over and stopping to pose. Ali comes right back with the same thing in a nice touch as we hear about all the unnecessary high risks for the sake of pleasing the audience. You can hear the politician character in Gulak and that’s an interesting way to go. I believe he did the same thing in CZW and it’s smart to go with something that worked once before.

We hit a neck crank on Ali as Gulak analyzes the potential damage it could do. You know, like an analyst is supposed to do but hasn’t done in about ten years. Mustafa comes back with a Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog and a moonsault press for two. Gulak is VERY displeased because that was so dangerous. The rolling neckbreaker sends Nese to the floor so Ali runs the apron and flips over the corner for another dive. That should set up the inverted 450 but Gulak pulls Nese to the floor for the DQ at 7:28.

Rating: C+. They’re getting somewhere with this Gulak character, which is what he’s been needing for months now. The guy isn’t interesting on his own so you give him a character and let the natural talents take over. Why is that something that WWE can’t get with the majority of their characters? I’m sure Vince likely having nothing to do with 205 Live isn’t connected whatsoever.

Ali dives on Gulak to get some revenge.

Jack Gallagher vs. Neville

Non-title. Gallagher works a headlock as we hear about Neville not losing a singles match since October. That’s a great example of someone who benefits from not dealing with the 50/50 booking, though it might have something to do with being on a show that only lasts an hour a week. Gallagher kicks the champ in the face to knock him outside but Neville grabs William III and throws it up the ramp. That earns him a rare dive from Jack but the champ comes back in with a missile dropkick.

We hit a headlock on the mat before Neville just stands on Jack’s head. That’s quite the simple way to be a heel, which is often the best possible option. Gallagher gets in a headbutt and a dropkick but Neville nips up. He shouts at Gallagher, earning himself one heck of a headbutt for two. Jack can’t get in a belly to back superplex though as Neville palm strikes him in the face. Some kicks to the back of the head send Jack into the buckle, followed by the Rings of Saturn for the tap at 10:49.

Rating: B. They’re letting Gallagher get closer to finally beating Neville but I can’t picture that happening until after the title change. Gallagher is still great between the bells but there’s only so much that he can do when you haven’t won a singles match outside of Main Event since February.

Neville puts Gallagher in another Rings of Saturn on the ramp, drawing out Aries for the save (including a discus Fivearm that COMPLETELY missed) to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This was one of the better shows they’ve done in a good while with three solid matches and story advancement throughout. I’m not sure what they can do with the upcoming stories as this is the only place to blow them off, though there’s no way they can do a special with the limited amount of stories and talent they have. Good show though and that’s something they haven’t had enough of recently.

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