205 Live – May 25, 2017: The Right Way To Do A Street Fight

205 Live
Date: May 23, 2017
Location: Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves

We’re getting closer to Extreme Rules and that means we’re setting up another Austin Aries vs. Neville match. That would be the third match on pay per view between the two, which suggests to me that they really need to build up some fresh stars. Maybe that can be Cedric Alexander, who returns tonight. On top of that we also have a street fight between Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa to finally blow off their feud. Let’s get to it.

Brian Kendrick talks about how great Tozawa is and now he’s come here. Kendrick took it upon himself to take Tozawa under his wing but Tozawa disrespected him. That meant it was time to learn a lesson, and another lesson, and another lesson. Then Tozawa thought he could teach Kendrick something because he hasn’t learned anything yet. Now things between them need to end and Brian can think of no better way than in a street fight. Good talk from Kendrick here as he kept it simple and laid everything out there while conveying emotion at the same time.

Opening sequence.

The announcers preview the street fight.

Rich Swann vs. Ariya Daivari

I wrote Daivari’s name down as soon as Swann’s music hit because…..well who else would you have as a heel jobber on this show? I mean, they’re also fighting over Swann causing Daivari to ruin his $1,500 shirt last week but I only remember that thanks to the nifty video package. After some yelling from Daivari, Swann sends him outside for a baseball slide.

They both head outside this time with Swann being sent into the LED ring skirt. Back in and we hit an armbar, followed by a Codebreaker to the same arm. It’s off to a cobra clutch for a good while until Swann fights up with the good arm. The big spinning kick to the head gives Swann two, followed by the Phoenix Splash for the pin at 6:31.

Rating: C-. Not much to see here as it was just a step above a squash. Swann is in a weird place as he’s one of the better stars on the roster and could pretty easily hang with Aries and Neville but for some reason he hasn’t been near the title, at least not for the long term, in months. Then again it wouldn’t be hard to throw him in there pretty easily, which is always a good thing.

Post match Noam Dar comes out to shove Swann off the top for a big crash to the floor.

We look back at the history between Aries and Neville.

Neville and Aries (eating a banana of course) join us via satellite for an interview. Graves asks is Neville sees this as the biggest challenge of his career and Neville is instantly annoyed at such a suggestion. Aries doesn’t like Neville saying that he’s beaten him twice and brings up the cheating. Neville calls that slander but Aries says it’s just truth. Not that it mattes as Aries has a bunch of submissions ready, capped off by the Last Chancery to take the title that belongs to him. Neville says bring it. Really good segment here and it’s nice to have something that doesn’t break down into a physical brawl.

Cedric Alexander vs. Johnny Boone

Not to be confused with the former WCW referee. A big elbow to the face sends Boone outside and he looks a bit shaken. Boone comes back in and eats the springboard clothesline, followed by the Lumbar Check for the pin at 1:33. That’s how you bring a star back.

We look back at Drew Gulak and Tony Nese attacking Mustafa Ali last week.

Gulak gives us something like a campaign commercial, talking about how horrible it is when cruiserweights ruin the division’s good name for the sake of drawing applause. Join him in his campaign for a better 205 Live.

Brian Kendrick vs. Akira Tozawa

Street fight and Kendrick starts with his jacket still on. Brian tries for an early weapon but gets taken down by a suicide dive instead. A hiptoss onto the announcers’ table is good for two back inside and Kendrick is in a lot of trouble early on. The right hand sends Kendrick to the apron but he low bridges Tozawa to the floor for a big crash.

A table is pulled out but they slug it out instead of setting it up. Tozawa’s dive is broken up with a thrown jacket and Kendrick suplexes him on the floor for good measure. It’s time to get creative as Kendrick wraps duct tape around Tozawa’s mouth before putting on the Captain’s Hook. Thankfully Tozawa only uses the ropes to climb to his feet and the hold isn’t broken.

Sliced Bread is broken up as Brian is sent outside, leading to a fight on the stage. Kendrick gets the better of it and tapes Tozawa to the post for a whipping with the belt. Now it’s table time, prompting Phillips to say Kendrick made a name for himself in the Attitude Era. Given that he debuted in 1999 and didn’t really get anywhere aside from various indies until 2002, I don’t think that’s quite right.

Anyway Tozawa frees himself somehow and whips Kendrick IN THE FACE with the belt. That doesn’t do him much good though as he jumps into the Captain’s Hook. The escape sends them both outside again with Tozawa firing off kicks and snapping off a Saito suplex for a painful sounding thud. Kendrick goes face first into the steps so Tozawa can put him on the table for a HUGE top rope senton backsplash. Brian is completely done so Tozawa throws him inside for the pin at 14:32.

Rating: B+. So often in these matches, it feels like they’re just wrestlers doing spots that you would see in a fight. This time, it felt like we were watching a fight between two people who used wrestling moves, which is a major upgrade. I had a lot of fun with this and Tozawa hitting the huge spot at the end to finish the match and feud looked definitive instead of something to set up another match down the line. This should set up Tozawa to fight for the title and I have no idea why that wouldn’t be the case.

Kendrick is helped out as Tozawa celebrates to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. The main event is easily enough to carry the show and having Tozawa finish the feud against Kendrick makes things even better. Things are looking up around here but Aries vs. Neville needs to wrap up so we can move to a fresh direction in the title scene. I like the show almost every week but they need to do something to draw in some viewers and make fans care, because this show apparently is a bomb in the Network viewership. Granted that’s not surprising but that doesn’t make things any better.

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