WWE 205 Live – January 3, 2017
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last week on 205 Live, Neville continued to prove he's the true King of the Cruiserweights with a Non-Title victory over Rich Swann... Jack Gallagher got the better of Ariya Daivari in a Gentleman's Duel, which also acted as an homage to the Parker Brothers board game, Clue... Tony Nese picked up his first victory on 205 Live at the expense of Cedric Alexander, who continues to lose thanks to distractions that involve his "girlfriend" Alicia Fox... Mustafa Ali has already dropped the heelish part of his character in a squash victory over a guy who hurt himself throwing a kick 5-seconds into the match.
- Presented on the WWE Network from Jacksonville, FL. Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted. Tonight's Main Event will feature TJ Perkins taking on the King of the Cruiserweights. Yes, we're finally getting a Main Event that doesn't feature Rich Swann, who is not medically cleared to appear tonight.
Tajiri vs. Sean Maluta
I haven't done much research, but this might be the first time Tajiri is working in front of a true WWE crowd since 2004 (I say that because the CWC was taped at Full Sail, not as part of a Smackdown or Raw taping). Maluta also appeared in the CWC, as well as doing enhancement work at the time in NXT. One guess what his role will be for this match. Handshake before the bell. Lockup and Tajiri with a takedown into an arm-bar. Maluta with a knee to the midsection and side headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Crisscross and Tajiri with a snap mare. Maluta with a double thrust to the chest to slow Tajiri down. Whip to the corner, Maluta meets a boot charging in and gets caught in the Tarantula. Tajiri with kicks to the chest and side of the head. Whip and Tajiri with his signature handspring elbow and Buzzsaw Kick for the three-count at 2:48. Would you believe Tajiri was (at the time) 46 years old?
- Post-match, THE Brian Kendrick comes out to congratulate Tajiri on his successful debut/return to 205 Live/WWE. His level of sincerity is under question. He offers Tajiri a handshake and ends up getting Green Mist sprayed in his face, selling it like he's just had acid thrown in his eyes.
- Dasha Fuentes asks Neville about being challenged tonight by TJ Perkins. He says people like Perkins would never have been Champion had he been allowed to compete in the Cruiserweight Classic. He claims being discriminated against since he laid foot in this country. People get behind Perkins because of his struggles, but nobody cares about what he went through, and just look down on him for how he looks and talks.
- Hype video for Tony Nese, THE PREMIER ATHLETE. We've seen plenty of Nese so far, mostly doing jobs, but I guess he hasn't been given enough character development. At least they aren't claiming he's going to be coming soon. He's got speed and strength, and that's about it.
Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese (w/ Drew Gulak)
I feel like we've seen Gallagher featured every week in the short-lived history of 205 Live. We recap the Gallagher/Daivari Duel from last week before this match begins. Amazingly, they didn't pair Gallagher up with Aiden English to continue the Vaudevillains gimmick that died a horrible death on the main roster. Nese just said in his hype video he doesn't shake hands, but he shakes Gallagher's hand here. Lockup and they trade wrist-locks. Gallagher with a rolling wrist-lock into a cover for two. Gallagher grabs a head scissors, but Gallagher escapes with a kip up and stacks Nese up for a one-count. Nese forces a break in the corner and hits a cheap forearm to rock the Extraordinary Gentleman. Whip across the ring and Gallagher does his corner head-stand. He sends Nese to the floor with a dropkick, but here's Shawn Daivari to clip the knee, drawing a Disqualification at 2:14. Daivari pounds away on Gallagher in the corner, so this angle must continue.
- Cedric Alexander and Alicia Fox are backstage. Alexander wants her to be more careful because he's been losing a lot lately (no sh*t). They kiss to let us all know EVERYTHING IS FINE.
Mustafa Ali vs. Noam Dar
It took me nearly 2-months of TV to notice it says "No Role Models" on the back of Dar's trunks. I don't know why I cared enough to notice, but that's why I'm paid the big bucks. Ali is once again introduced from Pakistan, but he's smiling and slapping a few hands, so what the hell do I know? Handshake before the bell. Lockup into the corner and Dar screams for a clean break. Ali hangs onto a hammer-lock until Dar uses a handful of hair to escape with a snap mare. Ali goes back to the hammer-lock and gets backed into the corner, where Dar nails him across the side of the head with an elbow. Ali comes off the ropes with a head scissors and connects with a spinning heel kick for two. Dar bails, so Ali follows and drills him with a forearm. Back inside, Dar catches Ali in the ropes with a dropkick and whips him down the canvas with an arm wringer. Dar continues to work the arm, wrapping it in the ropes. He takes Ali over with a snap mare and hooks an arm-bar. Ali with strikes to the midsection, but Dar keeps the pressure on the arm. Ali rolls through and cradles Dar for two. Dar sits down on a sunset flip attempt for two. Ali flips over a charging Dar and comes out of the opposite corner with a Tornado DDT. Whip to the corner, Dar misses a charge and gets nailed with a roundhouse kick. Ali with a somersault through the ropes into a neck breaker for two. Dar counters a body press, trapping Ali in a Fujiwara arm-bar. Ali counters into a crucifix cradle for two. Dar meets a boot charging into the corner, and Ali finishes with the 054 at 6:30. So far, the best mid-show 5-6 minute match we've seen on 205 Live. ***
- Post-match, Dasha Fuentes asks how Dar will bounce back from a rough start to 2017 because all he needs is lady luck by his side. He says Cedric Alexander isn't man enough for Alicia FUUUUUUUUUX, but she's always welcome in his corner. Kill me.
- TOZAWA is Coming Soon. He's introduced before the video as Akira Tozawa, but the graphic only reads "Tozawa". 2018 knowledge says he ends up keeping the full name, for the three of you that care.
- Tom Phillips gets comments from TJ Perkins before the bell. He says all Neville does is complain, then kind of heels it up by calling him ugly. He calls Neville a bully, and just like with all bullies, you have to kick them in the face.
TJ Perkins vs. Neville
I'm not liking Perkins' odds, but you never know what the booking napkin will suggest. Neville's slowly transitioning into heel theme music. Perkins, like Swann last week, won't shake hands with Neville. Lockup into the corner and a clean break. Duel chants of Neville and TJP. Another lockup, and this time Neville isn't quite willing to back off. He goes for the arm, but Perkins quickly counters before returning to a neutral position. Both men do athletic sequences to counter wristlocks. Perkins with a spinning head scissors. Neville flips through another attempt and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Crisscross, Perkins with a boot to the midsection, followed by a wheel barrow bulldog and flying head scissors, sending Neville to the outside for a breather.
Perkins gives chase and gets stomped across the back of the head for it. Neville with a scoop slam and missile dropkick for two. Perkins fights out of a chin-lock, flips out of a back suplex, and hits a jumping heel kick. His comeback is short-lived, meeting an elbow in the corner. Neville makes the trip to the middle rope but misses a Phoenix Splash. Perkins with a flurry of strikes and a running basement dropkick. Whip to the corner and Perkins with a jumping neck breaker. Neville bails, so TJP follows with a corkscrew pescado. Back inside, Perkins comes off the top with a diving body press for a near fall. Neville catches Perkins on the jaw with a forearm but can't muscle him up for a suplex from the apron. Perkins with rights and a springboard Franken-Steiner for two. Neville slips out of a Detonation Kick attempt and hits him in the midsection with a spinning super-kick. Perkins comes back with his own roundhouse kick and a triangle wrecking ball dropkick. Neville blocks the attempt at the Knee-Bar and hits a wheel barrow suplex for two. Perkins takes too long climbing the ropes and gets straddled across the turnbuckle for it. Neville climbs up with him but gets shoved down. Neville goes up again, and this time Perkins fights him off with rights. Neville is nothing but resilient, hitting a roundhouse kick, and finishing Perkins with the Super-Plex at 11:34. Matches like this almost make up for the stuff like Alicia Fox. Again, TJ Perkins is so good in the ring, but he was saddled with such poor material it's no wonder they gave up on him, and of course, we know what ability Neville has and was rarely allowed to showcase. ****
Final Thoughts: Neville continues his quest in conquering the Cruiserweight Division, with another victory (but first on 205 Live) over TJ Perkins, after defeating Rich Swann last week in a Non-Title Match. It's only a matter of time before he gets his title match. It appears the angle with Gallagher and Daivari will continue, even though last week was the perfect way to end it. Tajiri and Kendrick are teasing something moving forward, otherwise it's a poor way to use Kendrick. Last and definitely least, the love triangle from heck.
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