4/25 Zim’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Neville vs. Jack Gallagher, final hype for WWE Payback

By Zack Zimmerman

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Des Moines, Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena

A video recapped TJ Perkins turning heel to become the minion of  Cruiserweight Champion Neville, and subsequently losing a tag team match when Neville walked out… The opening video played…

Inside the arena, pyro went off and the commentary team of Tom Phillips and Corey Graves hyped the main event between Neville and Jack Gallagher. Rich Swann made his entrance to kick things off. Akira Tozawa was out next to join him for a tag match. Noam Dar and The Brian Kendrick were their opposition.

1. Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs. Noam Dar and Brian Kendrick. Before the bell, Kendrick threw his jacket in Tozawa’s face and the heels jumped the babyfaces. This was short-lived however, as Swann and Tozawa knocked them to ringside and wiped them out with dives. Once things settled, the match was underway.

Swann used a neat front-flip leg drop the the back of Kendrick’s head while he was doubled over. He looked to follow up from the middle rope, but Dar pulled out his leg with the referee distracted and Kendrick took control. The match went into full Brian Kendrick mode until Swann landed a kick and made the tag.

Tozawa came in hot with shots on both opponents. He caught Dar with a penalty kick and followed up with a leaping senton for two. A short time later, Tozawa planted Dar with a snap back suplex. Tozawa went to the top rope, but Brian Kendrick tried to get involved. It backfired and Tozawa landed a Shining Wizard on Dar for the win.

Akira Tozawa and Rich Swann over Noan Dar and Brian Kendrick in about 5:20.

Replays aired. Afterwards, Tozawa’s fourth lesson for Kendrick is to always pick your partner wisely…

Backstage, Cruiserweight Champion Neville was standing by for an interview. He said that Jack Gallagher doesn’t belong in the same ring as him. He said that nobody except for maybe TJ Perkins is on his level, and everyone is going to be forced to bend a knee to the king… [C]

Zim Says: Brian Kendrick is like the epitome of everything 205 doesn’t need to be, and the show suffers as a result. Tozawa brought some really nice fire here and Swann sold well, but it was very much just a match.

Back in the arena, Mustafa Ali made his entrance. A recap from last week showed Drew Gulak costing Ali his match. Instead of logically making a match between he and Gulak, however, Tony Nese was out next as Ali’s opponent. Drew Gulak’s music hit as the match was about to begin, and he made his way out with his “No Fly Zone” sign and megaphone. He tried to get the crowd to chant along with him, but nobody cared.

2. Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese. On commentary, Gulak had the unenviable task of trying to make his case for wanting 205 Live to tone down the already non-existent high-flying. The commentators worked with him to try and tell the story but it was a real struggle.

Ali got the better of Nese early, until shortly after the two minute mark where Nese leveled him with an elbow and went to work. Things got a little sloppy before Nese caught Ali and hoisted him into vertical suplex position for a while before dropping Ali abdomen-first across the top rope.

Around the five-minute mark, Ali used a nice wheelbarrow bulldog to stop Nese’s momentum. He followed up with a double-jump crossbody out of the corner for a near-fall. Gulak was upset about it being an unreasonable risk, but he wasn’t very convincing.

Ali kept up the impressive offense with his front rolling neckbreaker and a big dive to the outside, but as he went to the top rope, Gulak left commentary and pulled Nese out of the ring. The referee called for the bell, and they explained that because he touched Nese first, Nese wins by DQ. Go figure.

Tony Nese apparently won via DQ in about 7:25.

Afterwards, Ali came off the top turnbuckle with a huge flipping dive to wipe out Gulak on the floor. The two brawled briefly before Gulak scrambled back up the ramp and Ali fired up in the ring…

Jack Gallagher and Austin Aries were shown talking in the locker room in anticipation of the main event… [C]

Zim Says: They freed up the TV time from that stupid Alicia Fox storyline to replace it with this stupid Drew Gulak storyline. Hey, if it leads to more high flying on 205 Live, I’m all about it. If it’s just a stupid thing to build to an Ali/Gulak match that nobody cares about… ugh.

Back in the arena, entrances for the main event took place. Jack Gallagher was out first, followed by Neville. A graphic advertised Neville’s upcoming defense of the Cruiserweight Championship against Austin Aries at Payback.

3. Jack Gallagher vs. Neville in a non-title match. Gallagher used his corner headstand spot in the opening minute. He knocked Neville to ringside with a dropkick, but Neville grabbed Gallagher’s umbrella while he was out there and threw it to the stage at the top of the ramp. Gallagher showed no hesitation wiping Neville out with a suicide dive in retaliation.

Neville planted Gallagher with a slam to put a halt to all momentum, and then he followed up with a high-impact missile dropkick for a two-count. Neville settled into a hold and stayed in control, taking plenty of time to yell at the crowd. Neville used a dropkick to the back of Gallagher’s head for another two-count.

Gallagher got a hope spot shy of the seven-minute mark, and he capitalized with an overhead suplex. Gallagher fired up with uppercuts before he landed another dropkick on the champ for a two-count. Neville kneed him in the gut and dropped him face-first to the mat, but Gallagher fired a straight headbutt out of nowhere which crumpled Neville for a near-fall.

Gallagher reversed a suplex and then tossed Neville with a double-underhook suplex of his own. He looked to follow up, but Neville knocked him off the top rope and then teed off with some sick looking kicks to the head. He landed shot after shot and Gallagher was in no shape to continue, but Neville sank in the Rings of Saturn and Gallagher submitted.

Neville forced Jack Gallagher to submit in about 10:50.

Replays aired. The show looked like it was going to wrap up with Neville on his way out and Gallagher being helped up, but then Neville ran back down to put a further beating on Gallagher. He looked to put his submission hold back on when Austin Aries ran out for the save. Aries leveled Neville with the rolling elbow and then applied the Last Chancery on the stage. The show closed with Aries in the ring and Neville brooding on the stage.

Zim Says: Solid main event and nice closing angle. Nothing too memorable but they kept a pretty decent pace, had some really fun spots without being high-risk, and the physicality was there. The post-match bit was logical, short, and effective. I don’t have a lot of general praise for the show, as I’ll expand on for members in audio tomorrow, but by 205 standards the last 15 minutes of the show get a thumbs up. Thanks for reading along. Members, talk to you tomorrow. Freeloaders, have a good week!

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

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