11/29 Powell’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship headlines the premiere show

205liveBy Jason Powell

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Live from Columbia, South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena

A 205 Live opening video aired and then the broadcast team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries introduced themselves. Aries said he was there to provide star power until he goes to the ring, takes the cruiserweight title, and makes it great… They hyped the Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann main event…

The 205 Live crew stood on the stage and were introduced by ring announcer Greg Hamilton. The wrestlers were Rich Swann, TJ Perkins, Jack Gallaher, Ho Ho Lun, The Bollywood Boyz, Noam Dar, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, Akira Tozawa, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik, and champion Brian Kendrick…

Powell’s POV: It’s great to see Aries is on 205 Live. He’s out with an eye injury, but he sure made it seem like he’ll be wrestling on the show once he’s healthy. I could have done without the group introduction. It brings back bad memories of all the TNA X Division wrestlers hanging out backstage together and ignoring the heel and babyface split.

A Bollywood Boyz video package aired. They got emotional while talking about their blind grandfather. They said they watched hockey, WWE, and Bollywood while growing up…

1. The Bollywood Boyz vs. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese. The live crowd didn’t know what to make of the Bollywood Boyz and their pre-match dance. The Code of Honor is in play. Neither Graves nor Aries seemed all that impressed with it. Mauro said it’s a sing of sportsmanship. Aries said his kind of sportsmanship is punching someone in the mouth. Harv Shira sold for the heels while Gurv tried to get the crowd to clap along with him from the ring apron. In the end, the Bollywood Boyz hit a double superkick on Gulak and got the clean pin…

The Bollywood Boyz beat Drew Gulak and Tony Nese in 7:00.

After the match, one the interviewers asked Gulak and Nese what happened. Gulak said Bollywood isn’t a real place. Nese said the ropes were greasy and they shouldn’t be expected to work in such conditions…

Powell’s POV: The Bollywood Boyz came off pretty cheesy with the live crowd being so unresponsive to their act. Is there a tag division or are they just teaming up with no goal on 205 Live? I already wish this show was being taped at Full Sail University or another small venue where the fans were there specifically to see the cruiserweights rather than the big arenas where fans show up for Raw or Smackdown and look like they’re being held captive during the cruiserweight matches.

A Noam Dar video package aired. He spoke about how he feeds of the crowd, and they showcased his kneebar finisher…

Backstage, Tom Phillips asked Brian Kendrick how he felt about his chances in the main event. He said if Phillips is a gambling man then he should bet it all on him just as Mick Foley did (at Survivor Series). Kendrick spoke about Swann’s high flying style. He said he would crash and burn at some point and he would be there to capitalize on his mistake. Phillips pointed out that TJ Perkins was standing behind him. Perkins said he’s going to hunt Kendrick down for the rematch he’s owed. “What I have to say to you is… good luck,” Perkins concluded…

A Gran Metalik video package aired… [C]

2. Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari. Graves said he doesn’t know if he’s ever been so excited to see a debut as he was for Gallagher. Aries said Gallagher has a Rollie Fingers mustache and Casper the ghost’s tan. Aries spoke about how he’s known Ariya and his brother for years. He said Ariya is a smash mouth wrestler, whereas Gallagher is more of a showman. Gallagher twisted Daivari in a hold and styled his own hair. Daivari ran Gallagher into the corner and he did a handstand on the middle rope, which drew a nice reaction from the crowd.

There was another comical spot with Gallagher tying up Daivary in a knot of his own arms and legs and then backing off and letting him struggle to free himself. Gallagher eventually kicked his ass, which broke it. Later, Daivari caught Gallagher with a rolling elbow, but Gallagher responded with a headbutt and then followed up with a dropkick in the corner. Graves raved over Gallagher, but Aries wasn’t impressed and said the dropkick in the corner “looked very familiar”…

Jack Gallagher defeated Ariya Daivari in 5:35.

Powell’s POV: Gallagher was really fun and won over a half interested crowd with his innovative moves and holds. We’re only a couple matches in, but I feel bad for Nese, Gulak, and Daivari in that the losing ways established on Raw have carried over to 205 Live. I hope these guys aren’t branded as enhancement wrestlers. And I continue to hope that WWE will establish strong heels in the cruiserweight division. Kendrick is the only heel who matters at this point. Aries is certainly in hell mode on commentary, but they need more than two.

The broadcast team set up a Lince Dorado video package. He spoke about his Puerto Rican heritage and bringing lucha libre to 205 Live… [C] Brian Kendrick made his entrance for the main event. A Rich Swann video package aired. He spoke about the death of his parents while he was young. He spoke about going down a dark route and how being in the ring saved his life. It also included footage of Swann beating Perkins to earn the title shot… Swann made his entrance…

3. Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Kendrick controlled the early offense, but Swann avoided Sliced Bread No. 2 and went for a kick. Kendrick dodged the kick and rolled to ringside. Swann caught him with a kick from the ring and then ran the barricade and flipped onto Kendrick on the floor. Swann rolled Kendrick back inside the ring and covered him for two.

Swann caught Kendrick with a wicked suplex at 6:15. Swann and Kendrick fought for position on the ropes. Kendrick got the better of it and performed a neckbreaker on the turnbuckle. Swann fell to ringside and barely beat the referee’s count. Kendrick suplexed him and covered him for a two count. Kendrick performed another wicked suplex and went for Captain’s Hook. Swann avoided it, so Kendrick countered into a straight jacket. Swann escaped and came back with a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Kendrick ran into a big kick from Swann, who followed up with a standing 450 splash attempt only to have Kendrick put his knees up.

Kendrick applied Captain’s Hook. Swann reached the ropes to break it. Swann went for a move on the ropes, but Kendrick bit him to break it. Kendrick performed “a whole loaf of bread” as described by Aries and got a two count. The fans came to life and chanted “this is awesome.” Swann caught Kendrick with three spinning heel kicks and covered Kendrick for the win…

Rich Swann defeated Brian Kendrick in 13:30 to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

After the match, Swann was interviewed in the ring about becoming the new champion. The fans chanted “you deserve it.” Swann held up the title and said, “WWE Universe, this is us right here, baby.” Swann thanked his late mother and said he knows she’s looking down on him. He said she might not be here, but she’s here in spirit. Swann held up the title and said, “This one’s for you, mom.” Swann danced and celebrated.

Kendrick was interviewed by Phillips and said the loss was being described as a shocking upset. Kendrick said heartbreaking doesn’t describe it. He said the show was created for him. He said he wasn’t just wrestling Swann, because Perkins played mind games. He pointed to Swann and said it wouldn’t last long…

Graves said he can’t wait to see the fallout from 205 Live on Monday’s Raw. They replayed the final kick that Swann threw and he continued celebrating in the ring to close the show while Ranallo hyped Talking Smack…

Powell’s POV: A very good match with a crowd pleasing finish to end the premiere edition. The rest of the show was mostly flat, but this match would have made up for it even if they didn’t go with the title change. I must admit that Graves hyping the fallout for Raw took the wind out of my sails a bit, but I am looking forward to seeing where things go with the title picture on the next 205 Live. By the way, the show was slotted for 45 minutes on WWE Network, but went to nearly the top of the hour. Thanks for watching along with me.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...


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