12/27 Powell’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Duel between Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari, WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann vs. Neville in a non-title match

By Jason Powell

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena

A video package recapped Neville’s recent actions, including his win over TJ Perkins on Raw… The 205 Live opening aired… The broadcast team of Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries spoke at ringside…

1. Cedric Alexander (w/Alicia Fox) vs. Tony Nese (w/Drew Gulak). Gulak wore a suit and stood in Nese’s corner. Late in the match, Fox and Gulak bickered at ringside. Gulak took off his jacket and threw it down. Fox yelled at him and he responded by lying down on the mat. The ref ejected Fox. Alexander was distracted by the bickering and walked into a shot from Nese, who pinned him…

Tony Nese defeated Cedric Alexander in 6:05.

Fox was shown backstage after the match. Noam Dar approached her and said he got her a present. He held up mistletoe between them. Fox slapped Dar smiled and asked for another. He held it up again and she slapped him a second time. Fox stormed off and Dar said, “Merry Christmas to me”…

Powell’s POV: Dar is officially a creeper character. I thought he was just trying to steal Cedric’s crazy girlfriend, but he apparently gets off on being slapped by women.

Renee Young conducted a sit-down interview with Neville, who once again sounded off on American fans. He said he doesn’t call himself the King of the Cruiserweights, but he is just that. He said he’s used to competing against 300-pound wrestlers. Young didn’t understand him saying it’s a doddle, so he ended the interview…

2. Mustafa Ali vs. John Yurnet. Ali was introduced as being from Chicago, which received a nice pop. The broadcast team questioned whether Yurnet suffered a groin injury because of the way he was moving awkwardly. Ali put him away quickly with an inverted 450 splash…

Mustafa Ali defeated John Yurnet in 2:05.

After the match, Ali was all smiles as Dasha Fuentes interviewed him in the ring. He said Chicago made him. Ali said people made assumptions about him due to his name and appearance. He said he had to prove the WWE Universe wrong, but the fans proved him wrong. He said it’s not a perfect world, but with each win he piles up he’s going to let that speak for itself…

Powell’s POV: I’m happy they gave up on Ali being a heel who thought the fans disliked him because of his name and appearance. They seemed to be inconsistent with it, and now they have settled in on him being a babyface.

An Ariya Daivari video package aired and focussed on his feud with Jack Gallagher…

3. Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari in a Gentlemen’s Duel. Footage aired from Raw for the set up of the duel. Daivari was in ring gear. Gallagher came out in his non-wrestling attire. There was a table set up with a frying pan, rope, an umbrella, a pipe, a wrench, a candlestick holder, two vases, and a teapot.

Gallagher told Daivari to choose his weapon. Daivari grabbed the pipe. Gallagher took the umbrella. Daivari was ready to fight, but Gallagher said there were rules. He said they had to stand in the ring back-to-back and then take five paces, turn, and engage in combat. Daivari agreed.

Gallgaher took two steps. Daivari tried to hit him, but Gallagher ducked it and then worked him over comically with the umbrella. Daivari came back by slamming the edge of the table into Gallagher’s gut. Daivari put the boots to Gallagher. The fans chanted “asshole.” Daivari picked up the wrench, but Gallagher recovered and caugth him with a headbutt and then a dropkick in the corner. Daivari rolled to ringside. Gallagher was declared the winner by forfeit…

Jack Gallagher beat Ariya Daivari in a duel.

The broadcast team agreed that it was the greatest duel in WWE history, then set up a video package for Tajiri, who returns next week… The broadcast team hyped Talking Smack…

Powell’s POV: The duel wasn’t as silly as expected. They had me with the umbrella attack, but it overstayed its welcome. Gallagher is still money and I love that the crowd cared enough to chant at Daivari. Chicago rocks. So many fans stuck around that they’ve been able to show wide shots of the arena.

Ring introductions for the main event took place. Neville didn’t get much of a reaction. There were some cheers for Rich Swann…

4. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann vs. Neville in a non-title match. Swann came out firing. Neville regrouped and repeated the spot from Raw by running Swann’s tailbone into the edge of the ring. Some fans chanted for Austin Aries as Neville applied a chinlock.

Neville performed a standing shooting star press. One of the commentators pointed out that it was the first flashy move he’d performed in the match. There was a light USA chant. Ugh. Swann came back with a huracanrana that flipped Neville off the top rope. Neville rolled to ringside.

Swann caught neville with a kick and then performed a Phoenix Splash off the middle rope and onto Neville on the floor. Swann caught Neville with a spinning kick and then performed a powerbomb for a two count. Swann clutched at his back to sell the area Neville targeted. Neville came back with a kick that sent Swann to the floor.

Neville ran the ropes, but Swann returned to the ring and caught him with a kick and hit what Ranallo called the Fantastic Voyage. Ranallo said it was a bad trip when Neville kicked out. Funny. A short time later, Swann avoided a corkscrew moonsault from the second rope and then connected with a kick that resulted in a two count. Swann fought off Neville on the ropes and set up on the top rope, but Neville recovered and crotched him. Neville kicked Swann and then performed a superplex for the win…

Neville defeated Rich Swann in a non-title match in 14:00.

After the match, Neville kicked Swann three times and then performed a German suplex. Neville threw another kick to the head, sat him up again, and performed the kick again as three referees tried to talk him down. Neville wiped his feet by Swann and then barked, “Bring me my crown” before leaving the ring…

Powell’s POV: A strong main event. You had to assume Neville would win the non-title match to set up a future title match, but some of Swann’s near falls were really good and believable. I love that the match actually ended with a superplex. Swann has been all about fun thus far, and the nasty Neville character should give him a chance to show another side of his persona. Overall, a good episode thanks largely to the main event and even the silly anticipation of the Gallagher and Daivari duel. I’ll be back on Wednesday with an audio review.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net staffer John Moore returning for an in-depth discussion on NXT, AEW, Impact Wrestling, MLW, and the NWA, and more...


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