12/20 Powell’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Neville and Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann and TJ Perkins

By Jason Powell

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Detroit, Michigan at Joe Louis Arena

A video package recapped the setup for the Neville and Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann and TJ Perkins main event… The 205 Live opening video aired… The broadcast team was Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries. Austin wore a Santa hat that read “Ho, Ho, Ho.” He said it was a gift from The Godfather…

1. Ariya Daivari vs. Lince Dorado. Daivari shook Dorado’s hand and threw it aside before the bell. Daivari cut off Dorado’s offense with a nice clothesline for a two count. There was an Austin Aries chant during the match. Late in the match, Daivari caught a charing Dorado with boots to the chest and then followed up with a frogsplash for the win. After the match, Daivari cut a promo stating that Jack Gallagher is a scoundrel…

Ariya Daivari defeated Lince Dorado in 5:40.

Powell’s POV: Aries correctly pointed out that Daiviari finish was the “Magic Carpet-Less Ride.” For those not familiar with his independent work, Daiviari performs the same spot with a small rug. I’m happy he’s not using the gimmick as a heel, but it will be interesting to see if he uses it when/if he turns babyface. Meanwhile, Dorado seems to be cast as a competitive enhancement wrestler at this point.

Backstage, Brian Kendrick spoke about how happy he was to have Neville as his partner. Neville told him to stop. Neville said he respects his accomplishments and they laid the foundation for the division. Neville said he is Kendrick’s partner, not his friend. Neville said there is only room for one King of the Cruiserweights…

Powell’s POV: A much better promo from Neville than we heard on Raw in terms of not just yelling from start to finish. He still got a little overly intense when he punched certain words, but this was a step in the right direction.

A video teased Tajiri as coming soon… [C] An ad for NXT hyped the four-way elimination match to determine the No. 1 contender to the NXT Championship…

2. Cedric Alexander (w/Alicia Fox) vs. Drew Gulak. They replayed Noam Dar’s promo from Raw in which he said all he wants for Christmas is Fox. The wrestlers probably shook hands, but they cut to a shot of Fox clapping at ringside. Aries said he has a beautiful girlfriend and she isn’t at ringside for him, then questioned why Fox is in Alexander’s corner. Graves said she may motivate him.

Alexander blocked a suplex attempt, then suplexed Gulak over the top rope and both men tumbled to the floor. It was a safe move that got a nice reaction from the crowd. Gulak shoved Alexander into Fox, who came up holding her ankle. Noam Dar walked out to check on Fox and then helped her, and eventually picked her up and carried her up the ramp. Alexander was rolled up and kicked out, then hit the Lumbar Check for the win. Alexander ran backstage immediately after the match…

Cedric Alexander beat Drew Gulak in 6:00.

After the match, Dasha Fuentes interviewed Gulak, who complained about Fox being at ringside, saying “this is a man’s world” before storming off…

Powell’s POV: I’m surprised to see Fox appear in person on a Tuesday night since she also works Raw. It won’t be a bad schedule if she doesn’t work all the house shows, but it will be rough if she works all the Raw brand shows and appears on Tuesday nights. The match was fine, but you have to feel for Gulak in that he just keeps losing matches, including this one where Cedric had an excuse if they wanted him to lose.

Graves set up a Jack Gallagher video package…

Backstage, a trainer iced Fox’s ankle while Alexander and Dar both stood by. Alexander thanked Dar for helping out, but he said he had it from here. Dar said he would be there if Fox ever needed help, then flashed a sinister smile at Alexander… [C]

Powell’s POV: Dar is playing his part really well by babyfacing Fox while showing his true colors to Alexander. It’s Woody, Kelly, and Henri from “Cheers” with a WWE twist.

Ring entrances for the main event took place…

3. Neville and Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann. Graves said Neville has been like a 205 Terminator since Sunday. Graves noted that Aries will wrestle in 205 Live at some point and spoke with him about Neville, who dominated Swann early on.

Later, Kendrick went for his finisher on Perkins, who crotched him on the ropes instead and then hit a nice kick while Kendrick was tied up in the tree of woe. Aries said Swann was so beaten up from his time in the ring with Neville that it was as if Swann was working a handicap match. Swann tagged in and was still selling as Kendrick worked him over.

Swann came back with punches and clotheslines and a kick. Kendrick caught him off with a really nice Flatliner. Neville tagged in and threw a wicked German suplex into a bridge for a two count. Swann came back and ran Neville into the ropes. Neville did a backflip off the ropes and was immediately hit with a kick by Swann, who got a two count.

Neville came back with a clothesline. Aries said he doesn’t agree with Swann’s “entertainment tactics and his dancing” yet he raved about his heart. Kendrick tagged in and Perkins caught him with a double chicken wing into a knee press for two. Perkins performed a detonation kick and then applied the kneebar, which Neville broke up with a kick.

Late in the match, Neville took out Perkins with a kick on the floor. Kendrick slammed Swann’s face into the middle turnbuckle and performed Sliced Bread No. 2 before applying Captain’s Hook. Perkins fought off Neville to break it up. Neville tossed Perkins to the floor and then took a tag from Kendrick. Neville looked down at Swann and kicked him before jawing at him. Neville ran into a punch from Swann, but then came back with a spinning kick. Perkins tagged in and springboarded into a kick. Kendrick took out Swann on the floor, then Neville went up top and performed the Red Arrow on Perkins for the win…

Neville and Brian Kendrick defeated Rich Swann and TJ Perkins in 13:40.

Powell’s POV: A strong main event. Neville continues to be really fun as a heel. His facial expressions are very good and he didn’t seem to perform as many acrobatics as he did as a babyface. However, I was disappointed that he performed the Red Arrow for his finisher because it’s such a crowd pleasing move. Even so, he’s already the most captivating performer in the division. Overall, this was a good edition of 205 Live. You could see fans leaving the building when they showed the first crowd shot, but those who stuck around were more vocal than usual. Thanks for watching along with me.

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