By John Moore
WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live on August 8, 2017 from Toronto, Ontario at Air Canada Centre
Before the intro, a highlight package aired of the TJP and Rich Swann feud. It showed clips of the matches that Swann and TJP had along with a few of their promo encounters…
After the opening theme, Corey Graves and Vic Joseph checked in on commentary. Corey Graves had an interesting white and pink suit that reminded me of Sojiro Sakura (This show sucks, therefore I can make references to much more consumable forms of media like Persona 5!). Graves hyped up Akira Tozawa’s SummerSlam match against Neville. Graves said he was holding an interview with Tozawa in this episode. Joseph hyped up TJP vs. Rich Swann…
1. Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander. Joseph said Nese and Alexander were two of the bigger cruiserweights in the division. Nese started the match like he usually does, by flexing his bicep. Alexander flipped his way out of a wristlock. Nese blocked a hiptoss. Alexander took down Nese with a headscissor and dropkick. Cedric flexed his bicep and yelled “oh yeah!”. Nese was tossed easily outside. Cedric adjusted his launch and hit a moonsault from the apron to the outside on Nese.
Nese crotched Cedric on the top rope. Nese popped up Cedric with a punt kick and caught him in fireman carry into a gutbuster. Nese got a nearfall. Nese put Cedric in the tree of woe and hit Cedric with his bicycle ab workout. Alexander tried to steal the win with a cradle but Nese recovered and locked in a body scissors on Alexander. Cedric elbowed his way out. Cedric grounded Nese with an enziguri. Alexander used a kick to set Nese up for his springboard clothesline. Nese countered Cedric into a pumphandle Michinoku Driver by sliding under Cedric’s legs. Nese taunted Cedric a bit which allowed Cedric to get a few shots in. Nese caught Cedric off the handstand. Both men traded pin attempts with Nese picking up the win once he got a hand full of tights.
Tony Nese defeated Cedric Alexander via pinfall in 7:23.
Graves commented over the closing seconds. Nese grabbed a mic. Nese said everyone just witnessed a great athlete and a premiere athlete. Nese said Alexander takes care of his body much better than these schlubs (the fans). Nese said as long as Nese is around, Cedric will always be second best…
Backstage Dasha Fuentes interviewed “The” Brian Kendrick. Dasha cut to highlights from last week’s match between Kendrick and Jack Gallagher which resulted in Gallagher getting himself disqualified by beating down Kendrick past the referee stoppage. Kendrick laughed it off. Kendrick said the footage proves his point that Gallagher doesn’t have what it takes. Kendrick said Gallagher got himself disqualified like a coward and a clown. Kendrick mocked the people on social media for saying that Gallagher showed a vicious side. Kendrick said he won and he’s moving on. Jack Gallagher cut Kendrick’s interview short by beating down Kendrick with some gut punches and more. Gallagher wore black fighter gloves. Kendrick escaped as soon as he got a chance. TJP was shown getting ready for his match against Swann…
John’s Thoughts: Nese’s wins do more to hurt his opponents’ credibility as opposed to building his own. His “premier athlete” gimmick is really one note and he’s not even that great at playing the role. At least when Chris Masters would play the character, he could draw heat whereas Nese just draws crickets. His matches are very formula too, but that’s more a flaw of 205. Moving along, even though the Kendrick clown promos are starting to jump the shark, the transformation of Jack Gallagher to a simple striking badass is going well. Gallagher is really showing his range from comedy to serious.
Noam Dar made his entrance with some jobber already in the ring. Dar said he recognized the guy. He said the jobber was Mark Thomas who he watched as a kid. Dar bragged about being a 24-year-old WWE superstar. Dar said the guy’s boots were older than Dar. Dar wished “Mark” all the best…
2. Noam Dar vs. Mark Thomas. A “let’s go jobber” chant started. Thomas gave Dar some strong fists. Dar did a baseball slide to the outside. Thomas was tripped by Dar who did a monster pose. Dar gave Thomas an axehandle to the back of the head. Dar gave Thomas some stiff shots right back. Thomas tried to mount some offense but Dar came right back with a European Uppercut. Dar then hit Thomas (barely) with his running enziguri for the win.
Noam Dar defeated Mark Thomas via pinfall in 1:49.
John’s Thoughts: That was a surprisingly stiff match stuffed into under two minutes and a nice change of pace from the usual “WWE Style” of 205. Dar should choose a different finisher because he ends up missing by a mile sometimes. I like the follow up to Dar’s turn against Alicia Fox. Dar is back to being the confident dirty douchebag character as opposed to lovesick Noam Dar. If Tony Nese had Noam Dar’s personality, Nese would be a true upper mid-card heel in WWE as opposed to forgettable.
Akira Tozawa came to the ring for his sit-down interview with Corey Graves. The crowd showered the ring wiht “Ha!” chants. Graves talked about Tozawa putting Ariya Daivari and his shoulder injury behind him. Neville’s entrance theme interrupted Graves. Neville referenced how he knew Graves for a long time (they were the first NXT Tag Team Champions). Neville asked Graves not to ruin his show. Neville questioned why Graves was interviewing the challenge when it’s Neville’s show. Neville said he knows that Graves is trying to hype the match but Graves has to know that Neville is “the hype” and 205 Live.
Tozawa took off his jacket and cleared the ring as Neville ranted to Graves. Tozawa said he has a question for Neville. Neville said he was saving the WWE Universe from Tozawa’s pathetic attempt at English. Tozawa asked Neville how Neville is going to feel when he beats Neville for the title at SummerSlam. Neville laughed it off and tried to cheap shot Tozawa but Tozawa gave Neville an enziguri. Tozawa went for his high diving Senton but Neville escaped. Tozawa gave Neville a shoulder block to keep him out of the ring. Tozawa held up Neville’s title belt… [C]
John’s Thoughts: That was good progression for the Neville vs. Tozawa match. Neville has shown that he’s a great heel promo and Tozawa’s English isn’t half bad. What really stood out is the crowds have been automatically doing the “ha!” chants without Tozawa leading them so Tozawa’s getting over by himself. This was good progression and what would make this better is if we get a hot go-home encounter for SummerSlam.
Swann and TJP made their entrance for their upcoming match. Joseph pointed out that both men have similar rough backgrounds.
3. TJP vs. Rich Swann. Swann held on to a headlock despite TJP’ attempts to escape. TJP made the escape and hit Swann with a shoulder block. Swann and TJP had a little stalemate sequence which ended with TJP shoving off Swann. TJP gave Swann an uppercut in the corner. Swann came back with a snapmare and low kick to the back of TJP. Swann clotheslined TJP over the top rope. Swan hit TJP with a springboard Phoenix Splash to the outside. TJP escaped a double underhook in the ring. Swann grounded TJP right back with a hammerlock. TJP gave Swann a flapjack.
TJP hit Swann with a front to back suplex. TJP then grounded Swann with an Irish Whip against the turnbuckle. TJP got a nearfall after a slingshot senton bomb. TJP then locked Swann into the bow and arrow. Swann escaped into a pin counter. TJP nailed Swann with a springboard elbow. TJP slowed things down with a triangle to the shoulder of Swann. Swan and TJP missed dives and hurt themselves in the fall. Both men recovered at the same time. Swann hit consecutive lariats on TJP. Swann hit TJP with a guillotine legdrop. Swann hit TJP with a palm-strike and frankensteiner.
After countering, each other, TJP locked in the kneebar. Swann slipped out and hit TJP with a back hook kick. Swann hit TJP with a standing moonsault to get a nearfall. Swann took his time to get to the top rope and missed the Phoenix Splash. Swann rolled through the double underhook. TJP dodged the hook kick. More counters ensued. TJP grounded Swann by slamming his head from Electric Chair position. TJP hit Swann with the Detonation Kick to pick up the win.
TJ P defeated Rich Swann via pinfall in 10:30.
TJP ran to the corner to celebrate his win. The crowd was silent. TJP did a dab which Graves said he doesn’t agree with. TJP did a dab in the face of Swann. TJP continued to rub the win in Swann’s face while walking up the ramp. Graves and Joseph commented over the highlights from the match…
The camera cut to backstage where TJP continued to gloat. Swann pointed out TJP’ lame behavior post-match. TJP said he thought Swann could handle this. TJP said Swann knows who TJP is. Swann said he’s starting to know who TJP really is…
John’s Thoughts: This was a good main event match where both men seemingly held back from what they really can do. The holding back was fine given how this was a chapter of the feud and not the conclusion. I liked the post match antics by TJP even though I’m not 100 percent sold on this douchebag character quite yet. This was a good episode of 205 by 205 standards. Aside from the opening match, everything else served a purpose of forwarding feuds. Here’s hoping for a good SummerSlam go-home show angle next week.