3/7 Zim’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Austin Aries delivers a message to Neville, Brian Kendrick responds to Akira Tozawa’s challenge

By Zack Zimmerman

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Indianapolis, Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

A video package recapped the interaction between Neville and Austin Aries from the previous night on Raw, which ended with Aries laying Neville out… The opening video played…

Inside the arena, pyro hit before Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves checked in from the ringside commentary table. They noted that Austin Aries was conspicuous by his absence from the booth following the events of Raw last night. A graphic promoted Rich Swann and Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari and Noam Dar for later in the show…

Austin Aries made his entrance in street clothes to kick things off. He said that he had secured his biggest interview to date: Austin Aries. He asked himself why he decided to leave the announce booth and punch Neville in the face. He answered himself and commended Aries’s journalistic abilities and said that he did it because he could. He said that he sat at the commentary booth recovering from a broken eye hole, and when it was time to return he decided to step up and punch the biggest baddest guy in the face. He said that Neville is indeed the upper tier of 205 Live, “until I got here,” he declared. Aries asked himself what his future holds, and said that his future holds a lot of 205 Live.

Neville’s pyro fired off and he came out onto the stage. “Unbelievable,” he said. He accused Aries of going off the deep end; hiding behind the announce table only to emerge and think he’s on Neville’s level. Aries said he’s not at Neville’s “A-level,” he’s at his own “A-double level.” Neville suggested Aries rethink this career move and get back to making jokes at the commentary table where he belongs. Aries said he doesn’t need to be at the table to tell jokes, in-fact, he has a joke about a cruiserweight champion who got jaw-jacked.

Neville claimed that Aries hasn’t earned the right to step into a ring with him. Neville said that he won’t have to lift a finger to get rid of Aries, as the whole locker room has it out for him because he’s jumping to the front of the line. Aries spoke to the locker room and said his ass writes checks and he cashes them every single time. He offered for anyone with a problem to step up and do something about it…

The commentators transitioned away, breaking news about a heated confrontation between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon which would be followed up on Talking Smack, right after 205 Live…

Backstage, Rich Swann was apparently teaching Jack Gallagher to dance when Noam Dar approached. Dar was suspicious and wondering who sent the flowers to Alicia Fox, before being reminded that he took credit for getting them for her himself. It was just an excuse for him to say her name in his exaggerated way, before he walked off and Swann went back to teaching Gallagher his dance.

Zim Says: Good exchange between Neville and Aries. I’m looking forward to this program. This is how I had kind of mentally mapped out Aries’s return, so I’ll be interested to see how it plays out and whether or not it sticks along the lines I had in mind or takes a turn i na different direction.

Back in the arena, Noam Dar made his entrance accompanied by Alicia Fox. A replay showed Fox being delivered flowers during Dar’s match last week, and Rich Swann looking on from backstage with a big smile. The rest of the entrances for the previously advertised tag match took place.

1. Rich Swann and Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari and Noam Dar (w/ Alicia Fox). Swann got the better of Daivari early. He went for a vertical leap Frankensteiner while Daivari was on the top rope, but he completely no-sold it, as a second later Dar held onto his leg from ringside having badly missed his spot. Nonetheless, thats where the heels took over and began to work the heat. There was a hope spot around the three-minute mark, but Daivari caught Swann leaping for his corner and planted him with a spinebuster.

At the five-minute mark, Gallagher took the hot tag and did some of his signature stuff including the corner headstand kick. Dar distracted Gallagher, allowing Daivari to blindside him, but the heels’ advantage did not last long. Swann and Gallagher hit a superkick and headbutt respectively, before Gallagher connected on his corner dropkick to Daivari and Swann hit the Phoenix Splash on Dar for the win.

Rich Swann and Jack Gallagher over Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari in about 6:00. 

Replays aired. Swann and Gallagher celebrated their win while Fox tended to Dar in the ring. As he was recovering, a deliveryman came out with a heart-shaped box. Dar berated him for being late, and then told Fox that all the chocolate in the world isn’t as sweet as her. She shook the box like she couldn’t figure out what was inside…

The commentators, Graves and Ranallo, noted that someone had taken issue with Austin Aries and challenged him tonight, so Aries will be facing Tony Nese in his in-ring return tonight…

Backstage, Tom Phillips was standing by with Brian Kendrick. Phillips asked for an answer from Kendrick regarding Akira Tozawa’s challenge from Raw the night before. Kendrick said he was tempted to say no because he thought Tozawa asked disrespectfully, but if Tozawa wants a fight with Brian Kendrick, that’s what he’ll get… [C]

Zim Says: I’m so ready to do live coverage of a match on 205 Live that actually matters. Still waiting.

Back in the arena, Akira Tozawa made his entrance. His supposed opponent, Brian Kendrick, was out next. Kendrick took a microphone before gearing into the ring and said that he was a man of his word. Kendrick said that he promised a fight with Bryan Kendrick, so that’s what Tozawa gets. He called out “A Bryan Kendrick,” rather than “The Brian Kendrick.” Out came independent wrestling veteran Arik Cannon in the role of “just a guy.”

2. Akira Tozawa vs. Bryan Kendrick. Tozawa leveled him with a boot right out of the gate and wore him out with punches. He used a penalty kick and then hit his vertical senton. Tozawa was distracted by Kendrick at ringside, however, allowing the other Kendrick to take control momentarily. Tozawa came back with a running headscissors and put his opponent away with the snap German suplex.

Akira Tozawa beat Bryan Kendrick in about 1:20.

Tozawa invited “The” Brian Kendrick into the ring afterwards, but Kendrick hopped the barricade and left through the production area. Replays aired and Tozawa sold his frustration with Kendrick in the ring… [C]

Backstage, one of the interviewers asked Neville for his thoughts moments ahead of Austin Aries making his in-ring return against Tony Nese. Neville looked at her with disgust and reiterated that Aries will come to regret this career decision. Neville said that Aries is going to suffer the consequences of his jokes on commentary, and he’ll learn that Nese is no joke. Neville declared himself king and said that regardless of who ends up in the ring with him next week, they’ll have their hands full…

Back in the arena, Austin Aries made his entrance. He was wearing a ridiculous floofy silver ring jacket. His opponent was out next.

3. Austin Aries vs. Tony Nese. Nese overpowered Aries in the opening minute and took a moment to gloat about it. In the second minute, Aries out-wrestled Nese and hung onto a deep headlock. Aries used his trademark headstand escape from a leg scissors hold into a dropkick and then took a moment to gloat in the corner himself.

Nese tried to send Aries up-and-over onto the apron, but Aries overshot and came down awkwardly on the floor while hitting his knee on the apron.They recovered reasonably, with Aries in control. He hung Nese up with a neckbreaker in the ropes and went to the top rope, but Nese crotched him and hit a big fireman’s carry into a single-knee gutbuster for two.

Nese grounded Aries and yelled that the doesn’t belong there. Things went out to ringside where Nese connected with the superkick out of the cartwheel. Again, he yelled at Aries that he doesn’t belong at the front of the line. Aries began to fire back before performing a cartwheel of his own into a hard clothesline. Aries then rallied off some offense, including his pendulum elbow drop for a two-count.

Nese slipped out of a fireman’s carry and planted Aries with a schoolboy bomb for a near-fall. Aries managed to fight out of a rear waistlock and took Nese out at ringside with the heat seeking missile. Back in the ring, Aries hit the ropes and came back with a high-impact rolling elbow for the win.

Austin Aries pinned Tony Nese in about 10:00.

A series of replays aired and the commentators put Austin Aries over, but questioned whether or not he could hang at Neville’s level. They wrapped things up before signing off on 205 Live and kicking things over to Talking Smack…

Zim Says: Nice back-and-forth match from these two, but I don’t think that was the way to re-debut Aries in the ring. Does a 10-minute hard fought win over someone at Nese’s level constitute a top title contender? Hmm. I’m still on board for the program, I just think they could’ve put more steam behind Aries in his first week in the ring.

The show made an effort to advance the Aries/Neville and Tozawa/Kendrick feuds to mixed results. I don’t like the way Alicia Fox is being used on screen and I don’t particularly care about the undercard guys she’s involved with. As a whole, these shows still don’t feel must-see or even buzz-worthy. The programs that they’re putting focus on are picking up and getting to the point where they should begin to produce high-level, meaningful matches, but until they do I’ll still be here impatiently waiting. Check back tomorrow for an All-Access audio recap of this show, available to everyone reading this. Until then, take care.

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

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