12/6 Powell’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship

205liveBy Jason Powell

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Live from Houston, Texas at Toyota Center

The show opened with a video package that once again included Rich Swann talking about the death of his parents and how wrestling changed his life. It also included footage of him defeating Brian Kendrick to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship from last week and dedicating the win to his late mother… The 205 Live opening aired…

The broadcast team was Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries. Graves said Aries did such a good job last week that he invited him back again. Aries played on rumors by telling Ranallo that he won’t do too good of a job because he knows his contract situation is up in the air…

1. Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander. Before the match, Alicia Fox gave Cedric backstage kiss on the cheek for good luck. Graves said his sources told him that Alicia and Cedric are dating. Aries asked Graves if his sources are sure about that rumor. Mauro said it should be okay if those sources are not from Facebook.

Alexander threw a nice dropkick that sent Dar to the floor. Dar recovered and clotheslined Alexander with the top rope. Dar targeted the left arm of Alexander. Alexander came back with a nice spinning elbow to the face. He also caught Dar with a good kick in the corner and then performed a springboard cross body block for a two count.

Dar came back with a kick of his own for a two count, then caught Alexander in an armbar. Dar released the hold briefly to threw punches at the arm. Alexander countered out of the hold and into a pin for two. Alexander accidentally ran into the ring post and then Dar caught him with a kick to the head before pinning him…

Noam Dar pinned Cedric Alexander in 10:35.

In the ring, Dasha Fuentes (maybe?) interviewed Dar, who boasted that he is 23 year sold and just signed a big money contract with WWE. Dar dedicated the win to Alicia Fox. Alexander was shown and didn’t look pleased…

Powell’s POV: A good match with the usual flat crowd response. Dot Net reader Johnny Rosada is in the building and sent a photo showing that a big portion of the crowd left the show after the Smackdown taping. The fans who stuck around basically reacted to the bigger moves. On a positive note, it’s nice to see Dar cast as a heel given that three of the four heel regular heels have been cast as glorified enhancement wrestlers.

A Mustafa Ali video package aired. He said he doesn’t say a word and the crowd still boos him when they hear his name. He said he will change all of that. Ali said he knows he is the best. He said he can strong style, work a lucha style, or work technical. Ali said he feels no pressure because he knows who he is and what he’s capable of. He said his goal is to outdo every person in the division and dubbed himself King Ali…

Backstage, TJ Perkins wished Rich Swann luck. He said Swann has been getting lucky a lot lately, including last night when he caught him with the kick. Swann said it’s better to be lucky than good. Perkins said Swann is good and good enough to beat Brian Kendrick. “We’ll just leave it at that, okay?”…

Powell’s POV: Ali came off very well in the video package, and the backstage exchange between Swann and Perkins was solid.

2. Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari. Gallagher had his left knee wrapped to sell Daivari’s attack on Raw. Daivari had a big smile on his face as he offered his hand, which Gallagher accepted. Daivari dominated the beginning of the match and targeted the bad knee. Daivari removed the wrap and slammed the bad knee into the post.

Gallagher came back with forearms and an uppercut briefly, but Daivari clipped his knee again. Gallagher caught Daviari with a headbutt and covered him for a two count. Daivari came back with a rolling elbow and then kicked the bad knee. Daivari performed a frogsplash and scored the pin…

Ariya Daivari defeated Jack Gallagher in 6:25.

Powell’s POV: Daivari working the knee was a logical approach, but it didn’t do any favors when it came to keeping the crowd engaged. I dig Gallagher, but I’m not bothered by him losing. It’s nice to see them turn this into an actual feud rather than just having an injured Gallagher beat Daivari again.

A Lince Dorado video package aired and concluded with a graphic that said he will be coming soon to 205 Live…

TJ Perkins made his entrance and joined the broadcast team on commentary for the main event… The Wyatt Family, Heath Slater, Rhyno, and Carmella were hyped for Talking Smack…

Backstage, Tom Phillips appeared out of nowhere as Brian Kendrick was walking. Philips asked about Rich Swann having his number. Kendrick said all the obligations of being champion with all the media appearances prevented him from training. Kendrick said he’s focussed. Kendrick said Swann is a good human being for dedicating his win to his late mother. However, Kendrick said he would dedicate his win to himself… Ring entrances for the main event took place…

3. Rich Swann vs. Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The wrestlers shook hands before the match to continue the Code of Honor silliness. Aries brought up Perkins stating that Swann was lucky last week. Perkins said they shouldn’t disrespect Swann. “I wasn’t disrespecting him, I was disrespecting you,” Aries told him. Nice.

Kendrick hit Sliced Bread No. 2 off the barricade at ringside. Back inside the ring, Kendrick applied Captain’s Hook. Swann reached the ropes to break it. Aries and Perkins continued to bicker. Perkins boasted that he won the Cruiserweight Classic and Aries wasn’t in the tournament. The crowd chanted “Austin Aries” and Aries asked Perkins if he heard them.

Meanwhile, Swann came back and hit a corkscrew dive off the second rope and onto Kendrick on the floor. Swann performed a tiger bomb in the ring for a two count. Swann sold neck pain from Kendrick hitting Sliced Bread earlier. Kendrick ducked a kick, but Swann caught him with a slap and then slammed him for a two count. Graves said Mauro didn’t even know the name of the move. One of them said it was some kind of a modified Michinoku Driver. “Isn’t that the greatest word in the English language, modified?” Ranallo said. Funny.

A group of fans chanted “this is awesome” while most sat and watched. Swann fired punches at Kendrick, who came back with a wicked suplex for a two count at 8:35. Kendrick went for Captain’s Hook, but Swann blocked it and got back to his feet. Kendrick ended up flipping him over and into the hold. Swann nearly reached the ropes, but Kendrick rolled him over and maintained the hold. Swann rolled into a pin for two, but Kendrick kicked out and reapplied the hold.. Swann finally reached the ropes to break it. Good sequence.

At 11:10, Kendrick caught Swann with a great kick to the head on the apron, but Swann shoved Kendrick into the ring post. Kendrick returned fire by slamming Swann’s face into the post. At ringside, Swann shoved Kendrick, who crashed into Perkins. TJ stood up and had a staredown with Kendrick, who returned to the ring and ate a kick from Swann, who pinned him…

Rich Swann defeated Brian Kendrick in 12:55 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

After the match, Swann headed up the ramp. Kendrick went to ringside and went after Perkins and got the best of him. Swann went back to ringside and fought Kendrick. Perkins tried to superkick Kendrick, who ducked, causing Swann to take the blow. Kendrick immediately ran Perkins into the barricade, then referees stepped in. Kendrick smiled and celebrated and blew kisses to the crowd while Swann and Perkins sold on the floor…

Powell’s POV: This was another good title match from Swann and Kendrick. It wasn’t as hot as last week with the champion role reversed, but it was still very good. Listening to Aries pick on Perkins helped. Aries comes off more likable than Perkins because TJ is such a generic babyface. The post match angle was really good and sets the stage for an interesting Triple Threat. Overall, a solid show that clicked mostly because of the main event. I’ll have more to say about the show in my member exclusive audio review.



The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...


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