205 Live – June 20, 2017: The Tight Ship

205 Live
Date: June 20, 2017
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Corey Graves

We’re continuing down the road towards Neville vs. Akira Tozawa for the former’s Cruiserweight Title, though for some reason this includes a big detour into Titus O’Neil Land. I’m assuming this is WWE’s way of attaching the shows to the main roster, but there are some more interesting options than O’Neil. Let’s get to it.

Rich Swann is talking with Tozawa in the back with Swann being ready to face Neville in tonight’s main event. Titus comes in and wishes Swann good luck. With Rich gone, Titus has a contract ready for Tozawa to sign. Tozawa won’t do it yet so Titus offers a 5% on Tozawa’s first merchandise. Say…..the Tozawa Towel? That’s still not enough so Titus promises to have the perfect deal ready for Raw. Titus leaves and Tozawa just shakes his head.

Opening sequence.

Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese

Fallout from Nese telling the injured Austin Aries to get out of his ring last week. Gallagher wastes no time with doing the headstand in the corner to slow Nese down. They fight over a top wristlock until Gallagher eats (ok not really) a clothesline to the back of his head. We hit the Tree of Woe with Nese dropping to his back to kick Jack in the chest for a unique bit of offense.

Jack fights up and grabs a butterfly suplex for two as Aries (with his trusty banana) are watching in the back. The headbutt connects but does more damage to Jack than Nese, as is typically the case. You might want to switch things up there Jack. Nese goes shoulder first into the post and let’s pause for some goldbricking. Tony grabs the rollup into (read as near) the turnbuckle, followed by the running knee for the pin at 5:02.

Rating: C. Totally acceptable match here with Jack wrestling him even until getting caught up by the cheating, which tends to be an issue for someone of his virtue. That’s a great way of showcasing the good vs evil idea here and it makes Gallagher’s character fit even better. If nothing else it would be a great way to spark a heel turn down the line.

Noam Dar is on his phone with Alicia Fox again, talking about wanting to move on. Cedric Alexander comes in because OF COURSE this is still going. Alexander does his weekly chat about wanting for this to be over but Dar says he threw Alexander’s bag in the river. Cedric holds up his bag and has no idea what’s going on.

Cue Ariya Daivari to say his $15,000 bag is missing. Just play the wah wah waaaaah music already. If nothing else it would be better than Cedric spending weeks saying he wants this thing to be over despite beating Dar EVERY SINGLE TIME. In other words, here’s the story and we’re going with it far past the point it should have ended.

We recap Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali as Drew channels his former characters in CZW and Evolve (yes I know what Evolve is). There’s an interesting idea here but again, Gulak needs some followers if this is going to go anywhere.

Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali

What is this, their third showdown? If nothing else Gulak’s music is growing on me a bit. On the way to the ring, Drew shouts into his bullhorn about wanting ground based offense and top wristlocks instead of inverted 450s. Ali dropkicks him through the ropes and hits a running corkscrew plancha for good measure. Something close to a moonsault press gives Ali two but he gets shoved over the top and down to the apron on his wrist.

We hit something like a keylock (clearly the setup for the top wristlock, which is what you call foreshadowing….or maybe me overthinking it) for a bit, followed by an abdominal stretch. The wrist is wrapped around the top rope, only to have Ali come back with a dropkick. The slingshot rolling neckbreaker looks to set up a middle rope dropkick but Gulak tries to counter into a rollup. Ali reverses into one of his own though and grabs the pin at 4:38.

Rating: C-. This wasn’t as good as their previous match but the idea of Ali winning is something that could keep this going. That being said I’m not sure why this feud needs to continue without a few big developments. You can only get so far with them trading wins and bringing in another person or two would do them a lot of good.

Gallagher runs into Aries in the back with the latter suggesting they form an alliance of cutting corners. Jack doesn’t like the idea but agrees to an accord (Aries: “I thought you had a Lincoln.”) because they’re international brothers of the mustache.

We look at Neville attacking Rich Swann last week on Raw.

TJP comes up to Swann and accuses him of….I think colluding with Neville but Swann points out how ridiculous that is. It seems to turn into a TJP pep talk, though it’s quite the odd segment.

WWE2K18 ad featuring Seth Rollins.

Tozawa is now sitting ringside courtesy of the Titus Brand.

Neville vs. Rich Swann

Non-title. Swann goes right for him and dropkicks the champ out to the floor. They roll around on the mat for a bit before another dropkick sends Neville outside again. Well to be fair Swann has done the same things since his debut so having him do the same thing twice in a match makes sense. Neville gets thrown outside for the third time and Swann hits a good looking running flip dive.

Back in and something like Rolling Thunder hits raised knees so Neville sends the banged up ribs into the barricade. They run in front of Tozawa to remind you that he’s here (despite not really needing to be) before Swann goes into the barricade again. Swann’s ribs bounce off the announcers’ table, only to just collapse back inside.

Rich pops back up enough for a superkick to drop Neville (making Swann roughly 18 times more effective than the Young Bucks). A kick to the head gets two on Neville and Swann knocks him away while whispering to avoid the Phoenix splash. Neville does as he’s told and the Rings of Saturn make Swann tap at 10:41.

Rating: B. Now that’s a good story with Swann fighting through the injury and giving it everything he had, only to come up short in the end because he tried one too many big spots and got caught. You don’t get that kind of thing around here too often and it’s no surprise that Neville was the one to pull it off. Neville is just on another level than these guys right now and it’s pretty ridiculous to suggest that he doesn’t belong in the heavyweight ranks.

Neville stares Tozawa down to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This is the kind of 205 Live that I love watching: one with a tight ship that addresses every story going on with the show and sets up something for the future. It’s like they took a lesson from NXT and actually focused on advancing things along a set path instead of just saying “here’s the end goal, nothing matters as long as we get there”. Throw in a good main event and I’m rather content with the night.

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1 comment

  1. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    I do sorta hope that Neville clears out Tozwa and maybe Kalisto who jumps down to crusierweight in order for somebody( my money is on Cedric Alexander) finally beating him so that he can ascend to Heavyweight. I like the precedent it would set.