2/21 Zim’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick, Noam Dar vs. Mustafa Ali, Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese

By Zack Zimmerman

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Ontario, California at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena

A recap aired of last week’s contract signing segment between Cruiserweight Champion Neville and his Fastlane challenger Jack Gallagher… The opening video played… Inside the arena, Mauro Ranallo, Austin Aries, and Corey Graves checked in from the commentary table. They promoted Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese for later in the show.

Brian Kendrick made his entrance. A replay showed Kendrick attacking Akira Tozawa last week when Tozawa refused his handshake. Tozawa was out next for a singles match.

1. Brian Kendrick vs. Akira Tozawa. Tozawa came out hot with a big kick and a jumping senton bomb. He aggressively attacked Kendrick and yelled “I don’t need you.” He fired off rapid machine gun chops in the corner and then rocked Kendrick with a quick jab. Things went out to ringside where Kendrick got the better of Tozawa by driving his head into the ringpost.

He looked for the Captain’s Hook back in the ring, but he was unable to put Tozawa away. Tozawa fought back and flew into Kendrick with a high-impact tope suicida. Kendrick tried to go under the ring and Tozawa went in pursuit, but as he did Kendrick managed to tangle Tozawa’s boot up in the ropes that secure the ring canvas. Kendrick slipped back into the ring and the referee finished up his ten-count, awarding the match to Kendrick.

Brian Kendrick beat Akira Tozawa by countout in about 5:15.

Replays aired and Kendrick walked out exuding smug self-satisfaction. Meanwhile Tozawa was still hung up in the ropes with a referee still trying to help get him out. After more than a few seconds, they managed to free Tozawa.

By this time, Kendrick had made it through the Gorilla position and was approached by Tom Phillips for an interview. He noted that he was a former four-time champion and claimed to be a living legend. He said that he taught Tozawa a lesson tonight and that’s to win by any means necessary, and he said he’s not done teaching Tozawa lessons…

Elsewhere backstage, Noam Dar was standing by for an interview. He was sporting a rough looking bruised eye. They rolled footage of Rich Swann returning last week, and dedicating his match against Dar to Alicia Fox before beating him. Dar said that he and Fox remain as close as can be. He questioned what kind of man would speak to another man’s woman like that. He noted that Fox ditched her loser ex but would never do that to him. He said he’s dedicating his match tonight to her… [C]

Zim Says: Kind of a goofy finish for the match, but it was more creative than a typical rake of the eyes or something like that and this is just the start of the program so I’ll hold off to see how things play out going forward.

Back in the arena, Noam Dar made his entrance. Mustafa Ali was out next.

2. Noam Dar vs. Mustafa Ali. Ali got the better of Dar with an armlock early, but Dar rolled to ringside to take a powder. Ali did a nice handspring into a dropkick once Dar re-entered, causing him to roll right back out. Ali continued on and used a big flip dive over the ropes and the referee onto Dar at ringside moments later. Back in the ring, Ali used a diving crossbody, but Dar managed to trip Ali up and he fell face-first onto the ring apron. Dar took control from there.

Dar worked Ali’s arm and Austin Aries tried to explain how that would hinder Ali’s ability to hit the reverse 450. Ali managed to roll through a sunset flip and caught Dar with a dropkick to a doube-down. Where there should’ve been a crowd rally, there were crickets from the exhausted, post-SmackDown crowd. Ali hit a front roll into a neckbreaker for a two-count. Ali followed up with a big springing tornado DDT but was unable to follow up immediately.

The two found themselves battling on the turnbuckle, where Dar kicked out one of Ali’s legs and he went face-first into the top of the ringpost. Dar followed up promptly in the ring with a running kick for the win…

Noam Dar pinned Mustafa Ali in about 7:30.

Austin Aries threw to a video package of none other than himself. It showed some in-ring highlights from his time in NXT and had a few soundbites laid over the top. There was no graphic, but Mauro Ranallo noted that he looked forward to calling Austin’s matches when he gets back in the ring…

Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese was advertised for up next… [C]

Zim Says: Fine match but it felt essentially like filler. Ali worked hard, Dar has some charisma but he still hasn’t really done anything in the ring nor in storyline that stands out to me as being particularly strong.

A WWE.com clip showed an interviewer catching up with Neville after he was bested at the contract signing on Raw. He said that Gallagher made the biggest mistake of his career by touching “The King.” He said that he looks forward to “making that little cockroach suffer…”

Backstage, Jack Gallagher was doing squats with his umbrella when he was approached by an interviewer. He said that his opponent tonight is one of the best tests he could have against someone with strength on the level of Neville’s. He encourages everyone to watch his fancy footwork and vowed the best his opponent, noting that the queen will be watching…

Back in the arena, Jack Gallagher made his entrance. A graphic advertised his upcomign title match against Neville at Fastlane. Tony Nese made his entrance next for the main event matchup.

3. Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese. Gallagher got the better of Nese with a hammerlock/armbar combination. Nese utilized the referee’s separation to catch Gallagher with a kick to the head at the two-minute mark. Gallagher showed some fight, but Nese dumped him to ringside and followed up with a cartwheel off the apron into a superkick.

Nese continued to work over Gallagher before settling into a bodyscissors mid-ring. Gallagher Fought free eventually and rallied off some offense. After a brief back-and-forth, Gallagher nailed Nese with a headbutt that staggered himself but rocked Nese. Nese rolled to ringside, however, where he managed to hot-shot Gallagher across the ropes.

The two battled on the top rope, where Nese appeared to have been knocked into the tree of woe, but he pulled himself up and drove Gallagher into the mat with a German superplex. Nese was very slow to follow up, allowing Gallaher to actually get back to his feet and take the fight back to Nese on the top rope.

This time, Gallagher got the better with a huge back superplex off the top rope. Gallagher staggered to the corner and waited for Nese to pull himself up in the opposite corner. He charged and connected with his high-impact running dropkick and scored the pinfall.

Jack Gallagher defeated Tony Nese in about 10:00.

A series of replays aired, and the show closed with Gallagher celebrating his win in the ring…

Zim Says: Solid but unspectacular main event. That can really be said for this show as a whole. It wasn’t bad in any notable way, but it felt completely insignificant and missable. Not the hottest show for me to start my 205 Live run with. Here’s hoping things pick up in the weeks to come. I’ll try to come up with some more to say for tomorrow’s audio recap which will be All-Access and available to everyone reading this, so be sure to check back for that. Thanks for reading along.

Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.


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