By John Moore
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live from San Antonio, Texas at AT&T Center
Even when Titus O’Neil isn’t there, a land line phone with him supposedly on the other side got to command the center of the screen. Akira Tozawa was shown talking to a business phone with Titus O’Neil speaking on speakerphone. Titus tried to hype up Tozawa for defeating Neville in the tag match the night prior. Titus told Tozawa not to feel bad for the way he had to defeat Neville. Titus went for the cheap pop by yelling that Tozawa was live from San Antonio. Titus asked Tozawa if he thinks Neville feels bad about the way he beat Tozawa at the Balls of Fire PPV which means Tozawa shouldn’t feel bad because he went on to beat Neville with a Senton the next night. Titus said he now has all the ammunition to talk to officials and get Tozawa his rematch.
Ariya Daivari walked in to interrupt Titus’s meeting with Tozawa. Daivari hung up on Titus. Daivari told Tozawa that he managed to get a match booked between he and Tozawa. Daivari said, unlike Japan, wrestling has been a martial art in Iran for thousands of years. Daivari accused Tozawa for having lack of integrity from low-blows and begging for rematches. Daivari asked Tozawa if he had honor. Tozawa told Daivari not to question his honor! (awwwww shoot!). Daivari said he will dedicate his win tonight to Iranian amateur wrestler Hassan Yazdani (I had to look this up on Wikipedia, he’s a 22 year old Olympian). Daivari said they were in the first match of the night…
John’s Thoughts: Well… I’m glad “Sports Entertainment” wasn’t a martial art in Iran for thousands of years because that would be just plain weird.
After the 205 Live opening video, Vic Joseph and Corey Graves checked in on commentary. Vic Joseph still creeps me out with how much he’s trying to look like Graves. Joseph hyped the Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander “I Quit” match in the feud that just would never end. Tozawa made his entrance for the opening match. The commentators commented on clips from GboF where Neville put Tozawa’s balls on fire via his tactics. They then cut to Tozawa returning the favor to Neville. Graves pointed out that Neville hasn’t been pinned…
John’s Thoughts: Since WWE isn’t counting live events, it seems as if Neville hasn’t been pinned since he started 205 Live, which was back in November 2016. As they were pointing out during the Aries feud, he still hasn’t been pinned or submitted in a singles match since making the leap to 205 Live. I may be wrong, but I’m just crossing my skimmed data with WWE’s stated data.
1. Akira Tozawa vs. Ariya Daivari. Daivari got an early lead in the match with some strikes. Tozawa came back with an armdrag and dropkick. Tozawa led the crowd in “ha!” chants. Daivari powered out of an arm stretch and put the boots to Tozawa in the corner. Daivari drove his knee into the back of Tozawa several times after a snapmare. Tozawa powered himself up with the “Ha!” chants of the crowd. Tozawa grounded Daivari with a huracanrana followed up by a PK. Tozawa missed a spinning jumping roundhouse but locked in an planted Daivari with a gutwrench suplex. Tozawa went for his jumping senton finisher but Neville tripped him outside prompting the DQ.
Akira Tozawa defeated Ariya Daivari via DQ in 2:19.
Neville immediately tossed Tozawa into the barricade and put the boots to him. Neville took a running start to ram Tozawa into another barricade next to the timekeeper area. Neville took Tozawa into the ring as he posed like a gargoyle on the top rope. Neville front kicked Tozawa to keep him grounded. Neville slithered into position and locked Tozawa in the Rings of Saturn. The ref managed to break Neville off as Tozawa laid lifeless on the ground. Neville’s theme played as he stood tall over his current rival…
John’s Thoughts: Not much gained for Tozawa or Daivari as the match ending seemed more to be a set up for the post-match attack by Neville. Neville attack was paint by numbers as far as positioning was concerned but Neville does deserve some credit for looking very vicious doing the attack.
Vic Joseph talked about Drew Gulak losing control over what he’s fighting for. Graves cut to the clip of Gulak attempting a Superfly Splash which was against his no-fly-zone campaign. Drew Gulak was shown doing a faux-press conference. Gulak said he had a lapse of judgement in going to the top rope. Gulak said he regrets that he “dove”. Gulak said he apologizes for resorting to Mustafa Ali’s low standards of conduct while also giving Ali two wins. Gulak said he promises to deliver a better 205 Live. Gulak asked for one more match against Mustafa Ali. Gulak said he challenges Ali to a 2 out of 3 falls match… [C]
Vic Joseph hyped up Talking Smack hosted by Renee Young and Shane McMahon. Joseph then tried to inquire about Kurt Angle’s secret. Graves brushed it off and transitioned quickly to a video package about TJP and Rich Swann…
2. Rich Swann vs. Mario Connors. Before referee Charles Robinson could ring the bell, TJ P[erkins]’s music interrupted. Perkins did a cocky walk to the commentary table. Swann opened the match with a wristlock which Connors countered with a wristlock of his own. Perkins was sitting on the table as opposed to joining the commentary team. Connors and Swann shared a stalemate sequence. Swann ended any momentum from Connors by giving him a jumping stomp to the chest. Connors kicked out of the pin attempt. Swann went for a cannonball but Connors dodged and nailed Swann with a single leg dropkick. Swann kicked out of a two count.
Connors mounted with punches. Swann separated himself and gave Connors some strong right hands. Connors came out with a tornado DDT out of nowhere to lead to a nearfall. Swann took down Connors with a strong lariat. Swann kept Connors on the ground with a Guillotine Legdrop to the back of his head. Connors was knocked out with a spinning roundhouse to the head. Connors kicked out again. Swann went to the top rope and hit the Phoenix Splash to pick up the victory.
Rich Swann defeated Mario Connors via pinfall in 3:48.
Perkins nodded his head in approval at ringside. Perkins then took the mic to cut a promo on Swann. He asked Swann if Swann was happy with his performance. Perkins said a win was a win but Perkins expected a bit more out of Swann for the man that beat Perkins last week. Perkins said he bet he could beat Connors in half the time. Perkins told Connors that his night was not over yet. Perkins said he was giving Connors a second chance. He then asked Connors for a one-on-one match right now. Connors accepted by nodding his head. Perkins asked for the match time on the titantron which was 3:49 (They rounded up from where I timed it lol). Perkins said connor may be tougher than he looks or Swann needs to step up his game because Perkins thinks he can beat Connors way quicker than Swann.
3. TJP vs. Mario Connors. Swann’s time was displayed on the bottom right corner. Perkins tripped Connors and teased the kneebar. Connors tried to steal the victory with a rollup. Perkins then planted Connors with a detonation kick to pick up the win.
TJP defeated Mario Connors via pinfall in 0:28.
Perkins gloated to the crowd that he defeated Connors in a short amount of time. Graves and Joseph agreed that this win was over a beat-up Connors from the match prior. Joseph dubbed this fed a rivalry between two longtime friends. They cut the camera to Cedric Alexander who was warming up with stretches and plyometrics backstage. This was shown to hype up the “I Quit” match for later on in this episode… [C]
John’s Thoughts: There’s still nothing much that’s intriguing from in-ring work on 205 Live, but I do like this feud more than others due to the strong showing that Swann and Perkins put in on last week’s episode. I’m not sure where it leads because Perkins has a character that’s all over the place and I would rather see Swann on NXT and Smackdown. As for Mario Connors, the guy looked impressive as the surprise enhancement guy. I would rather see this guy lose a few matches as opposed to Tony Nese losing every week.
Jack Gallagher’s theme played as “The” Brian Kendrick walked out in his “British” costume. He still looks like a bad version of a Justin Timberlake SNL character (just all of them combined, I can’t pick one). Kendrick mocked “British” stereotypes. He said he thinks people think Gallagher is funny. Kendrick said he also has to hear Vic and Corey call Gallagher “unconventional”. Kendrick said Gallagher is not unorthodox or nonconventional. Kendrick said Gallagher was a clown. Kendrick received the “what” treatment. Kendrick called Gallagher a third-rate William Regal.
Kendrick took off the wig and cut the promo that he did right after the CWC where he talked about sacrificing everything, friendships to family, to get back into WWE. Kendrick talked about working hard to earn respect. Kendrick said Gallagher has not put in one day of hard work. Kendrick said instead of cheering for a blue-collar man like Kendrick they would rather cheer for a clown. Gallagher cut off Kendrick also wearing a suit and holding his umbrella. Gallagher said he couldn’t listen anymore. Gallagher brought up all of Kendrick’s accusations of not working hard. Gallagher said he’s been fighting since the age of 16 and he understands that being in WWE is a privilege and not a right. Gallagher congratulated Kendrick of his second chance after a first run where he was a passive-aggressive “git”. Gallagher said Kendrick dresses up like other people to manipulated them.
Gallagher said he just likes to fight. Gallagher said he’ll fight for himself, the unconventional, and anyone in the WWE Universe that isn’t afraid to be a little bit different. Gallagher said Kendrick calls him a third-rate Regal but Gallagher said he’s a first-rate Jack Gallagher. Gallagher said he has earned the privilege to stand in the ring to walk and talk the way he wants to walk and talk because he backs it up in the ring. Gallagher said if Kendrick wants to question his dedication to his livelihood and the WWE Universe again, he’s going to knock Kendrick’s bloody head off. Gallagher took down Kendrick with a strong right hand. Kendrick also ate a headbutt from Gallagher. Kendrick managed to sneak in a umbrella shot to overpower Gallagher. Kendrick then went relentless in pummeling Gallagher until the refs came to break it up. Kendrick walked up the ramp as Gallagher recovered in the ring. They cut to a shot of Noam Dar and Alicia Fox in preparation for Dar’s I Quit match… [C]
John’s Thoughts: More of the same from Kendrick. We saw a bit of this promo a few weeks ago. The difference here were the additions of Kendrick bringing up his journey to WWE as a defense and Gallagher having a chance to respond. It’s a bit shocking that Gallagher hasn’t gotten a chance to speak because the guy’s a great promo. Gallagher’s strengths are that he is a great clown to use Kendrick’s wordage. His other strength is he can turn the switch to be a legit badass to catch people off guard due to his in-ring style and legit MMA background. This is another pretty good feud on 205 that struggles because it is positioned on the current C-Show of WWE a la Bad-Gameshow-NXT and WWE-ECW. 205 either needs a reset or dissolved into Smackdown. That’s where Impact/GFW’s current X-Division (I can’t believe they’ve passed WWE finally) is doing better. The X Division is finally doing singles matches and not overexposing their talent.
After hyping up next week’s Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak 2-out-of-3 falls match the commentators cut to a Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander video package…
4. Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar (w/ Alicia Fox) in an “I Quit” match. Cedric showed his agility to start off the match and dodge all of Dar’s initial strikes. Dar and Alexander traded strikes in the next sequence with Cedric getting the upper hand with a dropkick. Dar stumbled to ringside and even stumbled into Alicia Fox. Cedric maintained his pursuit and used the barricade to punish Dar. Cedric smothered Dar with punches before the ref could ask for the quit. Cedric went for a front suplex on the steps but Dar escaped and tripped Cedric off the steps. The ref asked Cedric if he was going to quit for some reason.
Dar worked on Cedric’s left arm. Dar had Cedric in a modified Rings of Saturn. Cedric didn’t quit while in the submission. Dar continued to attack the arms of Cedric. Dar tried to trap Cedric’s hand in the turnbuckle bars but Cedric escaped and tried to break Dar’s hand in between the turnbuckle spikes. Dar escaped by raking Cedric’s eyes before he could quit. Cedric tried to go for a back suplex on the apron but Dar put up a fight and flipped back in the ring. Cedric kicked Dar in the neck to send him tumbling to ringside. Cedric went for a moonsault but Dar got out of the way and hit a running kick to the left knee of Cedric. Dar trapped the left arm of Cedric while slamming Cedric’s left knee into the ramp.
Dar locked in a seated Tequila Sunrise on Cedric. Cedric didn’t quit. Cedric ended Dar’s attack with a back elbow. Cedric hit Dar with a flatliner on the ramp. Dar was knocked out and couldn’t quit. Alicia Fox tried to cheer on Noam Dar. Dar recovered and made it to the ring before Cedric could pursue. Dar escaped to the other ringside. Cedric hit Dar with a Tope Con Hilo. Dar tossed Cedric over the announce table to gain some recovery time. Dar took a chair into the ring. Cedric recovered and blindsided Dar with a flying clothesline. Cedric hit his signature springboard clothesline in the ring. Cedric stalked Dar and took off the elbow pads. Dar hit a low dropkick on Cedric and told the crowd to quiet down.
Dar set up the chair in the ring and went for a backtoss. Cedric came back with a handstand into the enziguri. Alexander trapped Dar’s hand in the chair. Cedric told Dar to quit. Dar didn’t and Cedric stepped on the chair every time Dar said “no”. Cedric said it was Dar’s last chance. Dar gave Cedric a defiant slap. Cedric told Dar to have it his way. Cedric then went psycho and put the boots to the chair while Dar’s arm was trapped. This caused Dar to quit.
Cedric Alexander defeated Noam Dar in an “I Quit” match in 11:02.
Dar rested on the ropes with relief in his eyes. Alicia Fox pulled Noam Dar to ringside to check on her boyfriend. Cedric Alexander walked up the ramp while staring a hole into Dar and Fox. Dar yelled he hit. He said he quit fighting Cedric. Dar said he also quit Alicia Fox. This drew “yes!” chants from a majority of the crowd. Dar called Fox stupid for thinking he was into her. Dar said he signed his WWE contract at 22 years old and one year later he’s the youngest superstar on Raw and 205 Live. He said he’s a Scottish Supernova and a world class athlete. Dar said he has a woman in every continent and every city. Dar said he could have any woman in this arena right now. Dar said he choose Fox because he wanted to “use [Fox]”. Dar said he does what he wants and he uses people to get what he wants. Dar said if he used Alicia Fox he would get all the attention. Dar said Alicia Fox was worth more trouble than she’s worth. Dar said now it is time for Fox to jog on because she means nothing to Dar “Alicia …”. Dar dropped the mic before saying “Fox” in his long exaggerated cadence. A light “you deserve it” chant started for Fox as 205 Live closed…
John’s Thoughts: That was a good stipulation match by 205 Live standards. It got interesting when Cedric started to get more sadistic than you would have thought the white meat babyface would. The ending of the match was made more interesting with Cedric just torturing Dar with a lot of unexpected malice and sadism in his eyes. I didn’t expect it and it worked. What detracts from this match is this feud jumped the shark several months ago. The feud even had some feud-ending matches with Fox just coming back the next week and saying “it’s not over yet”. Hopefully with the Dar breakup but I’ll still give it a 12% chance of continuing because that’s just what WWE does with this feud. It still reminds me of that never-ending Derrick Bateman vs. Johnny Curtis feud with Maxine as the love interest, mostly because Dar is playing the Dirty Curtis character. Thank goodness Cedric isn’t playing Bateman. If this was the end it was a good ending. They should have done this months ago. This feud has gone longer than Dean Ambrose vs. Miz believe it or not! Overall, a better than usual show by this show’s standards and I’ll have more thoughts in my 205 Live audio review.