2/14 Powell’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. TJ Perkins

By Jason Powell

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Anaheim, California at Honda Center

A recap of last week’s five-way elimination match opened the show… The 205 Live opening video aired… The broadcast team was Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries, who had his trusty banana in his jacket pocket. Graves hyped the main event of Neville vs. TJ Perkins. He also hyped the debut of Gran Metalik…

1. Noam Dar (w/Alicia Fox) vs. Rich Swann. Swann did his dance moves while Dar shot him a look of disdain. Swann took the mic and said it’s a special night for two reasons. First, he’s back on 205 Live, second it’s Valentine’s Day. Swann dedicated his match to Fox, who smiled, while Dar looked bothered. “But, baby girl, you can’t handle this,” Swann said. There was no handshake.

Swann flipped over a rolling Dar and then dropkicked him to ringside. Fox checked on Dar while Swann danced for her briefly. Dar came back and did a corny dance of his own, which Fox appreciated. Dar blew a kiss to Fox, who acted like she caught it and then said, “I got it, I got it” while jumping up and down.

Dar went for a backslide. Dar escaped and Swann caught him with a kick to the head once he stood up. Later, Dar went for a pin while holding the ropes, but Swann kicked out. Swann ducked a clothesline, but Dar turned and clotheslined the back of his head with his other arm. Cool spot. Swann caught Dar on the ropes and performed a huracanrana. Swann followed up with Phoenix splash from the middle rope for the win…

Rich Swann pinned Noam Dar in 8:00.

Powell’s POV: A fun match. I suspect Swann going after Fox was just mind games for the night, but it’s hard to say. It does seem odd that they held a five-way elimination match to replace the injured Swann as the No. 1 contender at Fastlane, yet Swann returned one week later.

The broadcast team introduced TJ Perkins and Neville, who were in separate areas backstage. Neville said Perkins may have won the Cruiserweight Classic to become the first champion, but it’s only because he wasn’t in the tournament. Perkins said Neville didn’t make it because his ankles are made of glass. Perkins said he put the division on the map. Neville said Perkins isn’t on his level and he will always come in second to the king of the cruiserweights. Perkins told Neville that he will never be as good as he thinks he is. Perkins asked Neville if he was even on Raw prior to the cruiserweight division and acted like he couldn’t remember. Neville said that he will regret saying that by the end of the night…

Powell’s POV: A solid exchange. Neville’s threat at the end was a nice hook in terms of seeing whether he follows through on it somehow.

A video package aired on the TJ Perkins vs. Gran Metalik match in the finals of the CWC. He said Perkins is a worth opponent, but he felt bad because he genuinely believed he had him. Metalik spoke in Spanish about the match and said he he is in 205 Live to show he is the best. He said he brings a lot of different moves and will continue to show his quality to astound viewers. He said the opportunity he has is “beautiful and wonderful” and he has to take advantage of it…

2. Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak. They shook hands and then Gulak dropkicked him once the bell sounded. Metalik went for a springboard move, but he slipped on the second rope. The broadcast team chalked it up to high risk moves being, well, high risk. Metalik was more impressive as the match went on and got the crowd behind him. Metalik went for a move off the top rope, but Gulak caught him with a kick.

Gulak performed a Gory Special. The broadcast team offered their condolences to the Guerrero family due to the death of Chavo Guerrero Sr. A short time later, Metalik ran up the first two ropes and then dove onto Gulak at ringside. Back inside the ring, Metalik performed the Metalik Driver for the win…

Gran Metalik defeated Drew Gulak in 5:30.

Powell’s POV: Metalik performed some fun high spots and more than made up for the early slip to the point that I doubt anyone in the crowd was thinking about it once the match ended. Gulak showed more personality than usual.

Backstage, Akira Tozawa was about to leave the locker room with his luggage when Brian Kendrick showed up. Tozawa rolled his eyes. Kendrick said Tozawa is probably a little intimidated about having the chance to be mentored by a living legend. Kendrick explained what a protege is. “No,” Tozawa replied. Kendrick said it’s obvious that Tozawa didn’t understand what he was offering him due to the language barrier. “I understand,” Tozawa replied. “I don’t like you.” Tozawa left the room and the live crowd was cheering…

Graves hyped AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, and Apollo Crews for 205 Live…

3. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. TJ Perkins in a non-title match. Graves said Perkins has been talking smack and questioned whether it would serve him well.  There was no handshake. At 7:45, Perkins avoided a Neville move from the top and then performed a neckbreaker. Neville rolled to ringside. Perkins caught him with kick off the middle rope. Back in the ring, Perkins performed a springboard DDT for a two count. The crowd chanted Austin Aries briefly.

Perkins applied a cross arm breaker. Neville rolled on top of him. The referee counted to two and stopped even though Perkins didn’t seem to move (or have his shoulders down in the first place). Neville powered up Perkins and powerbombed him.

AT 11:40, Perkins went for a huracanrana off the top, but Neville caught him. Neville went for his finishing hold, but Perkins rolled him into a pin for a two count. Neville ended up applying the Rings of Saturn on the second try and got the submission win…

Neville defeated TJ Perkins in a non-title match in 12:30.

After the match, Jack Gallagher came out and ran to the ring. Neville kicked him and then tossed his umbrella William III up the aisle. Gallagher fired back with punches and knocked Neville out of the ring with a headbutt. Gallagher picked up the title belt and put it over his shoulder while Neville backed up the ramp. Gallagher dropped the title and motioned for Neville to return, but the show went off the air…

Powell’s POV: A good match with terrible atmosphere. It wasn’t complete silence, but this match deserved better. It was also much easier than usual to spot the empty seats. I can’t even make a case for this show being better if it had been taped prior to Smackdown, as even when they were doing that with Main Event, they taped those matches after Smackdown on the West Coast due to the time difference. That said, the atmosphere was so bad that I’m not sure it would have been much worse if they had actually taped this show in an empty arena at 4:00 p.m.

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