5/9 Zim’s WWE 205 Live TV Review: Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick, Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak

By Zack Zimmerman

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Taped earlier today in London, England at O2 Arena

A video package recapped some stuff between TJP, Jack Gallagher, and Austin Aries… The opening video played…

Zim Says: For the record, this is my final live coverage of 205 Live so I couldn’t care less than I do right now. I cannot stand 205 Live, so stick around for a likely scathing, no-holds-barred edition of coverage and All-Access audio tomorrow, before I return to form with NXT coverage next week.

Inside the arena, pyro went off and the commentary team of Tom Phillips and Corey Graves checked in. Jack Gallagher’s music hit and the Gentleman made his way to the ring in a jacket and slacks; umbrella in hand. There was a red carpet and two Union Jacks set up in the ring.

The crowd chanted “Jackie Boy” before he began. He recalled being attacked after his match last week by TJP before being saved by Austin Aries. He asked Aries out to join him in the ring, and Aries obliged in street clothes with a banana in-hand. Once again, he threw his peel out into the crowd.

Once in the ring, Aries allowed the crowd to chant for him and then played to them with an accent. Gallagher thanked him for his good need the previous night, and he offered a toast to Aries. Aries said all of this wasn’t necessary, just a simple thanks would suffice. Aries noted that TJP and Neville had attacked him as well.

Gallagher noted (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) that Aries is known for such humility. He insisted on a toast to Aries nonetheless, and called for a ringside attendant to deliver two pints. Aries noted that he’s usually a wine guy, which drew boos from the crowd. Gallagher vowed wine next time, but again insisted on the pint as it’s a “British tradition”.

The two toasted and Gallagher began to sing “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” when Neville’s pyro went off and scared everyone in the arena to death. Neville walked out and said that he’s always viewed Gallagher as an insulting stereotype, but being back in England he now sees that everyone there is a parody of themselves. He questioned their dignity.

Aries piped up and questioned Neville’s dignity after getting himself intentionally DQ’ed in their cruiserweight title match. Neville said that Aries has had two opportunities, and yet Neville still stands as The King. Neville offered a toast of his own, this one to the last appearance of Aries on 205 Live.

Suddenly, Aries’s bad knee was clipped from behind by TJP. TJ dropped Gallagher and allowed Neville to hit the ring and join the assault. The heels got the better of the babyfaces until they spent too much time on Gallagher and Aries made a comeback. Aries tossed Neville over the announce table and leapt onto him, while Gallagher got TJ back into the ring.

Gallagher spit beer into TJ’s eyes and dropped him with a headbutt. Neville ran in, but he was quickly knocked out of the ring by a rolling elbow from Aries. With the heels in retreat, Gallagher retrieved the pints and joined Aries in the ring for a toast and good drink. The two celebrated in the ring to close the segment…

Backstage, Rich Swann was walking when he came up on Noam Dar and Alicia Fox standing in the corridor. Swann questioned how Dar could get back with her. Dar blamed Swann for interfering with their relationship and Fox said it’s not like she “reallllllllllly” kicked Noam to the curb like she claimed she did to Swann and Cedric Alexander.

Swann said that they deserve each other, and tried to walk away. Dar stopped him however, and informed him that they hadn’t forgotten and Swann would also be getting what he deserved… [C]

Zim Says: Ugh so this garbage storyline with mediocre Swann/Dar matches continues. Boo. Nice brawl to open the show, but my god if 205 Live wasn’t already ridiculously mis-produced as it was, a 10 minute opening talking segment would sure as hell be the key missing piece. Can’t wait to be done covering this waste of a 6 or 7th weekly hour.

Back in the arena, Tony Nese made his entrance. Mustafa Ali was out next.

1. Tony Nese vs. Mustafa Ali. The two went back and forth early with Ali establishing control after the minute-mark with an octopus hold. A short time later, Ali knocked Nese to ringside and wiped him out with a big flip dive over the ropes.

Ali tried to roll Nese back into the ring, but Nese rolled through to the other side and used the space to take control. He bounced Ali into the barricade and off the announce table before sending him back into the ring for a quick two-count.

Nese hoisted Ali up with a deadlift into suplex position, and then dropped him abdomen-first across the top rope. Nese remained in control, until Ali reversed a superbomb attempt into a big ‘rana off the ropes. Ali picked up momentum with a kick to the head and his front roll into a neckbreaker.

Nese looked for a break at ringside, but Ali followed right up with a running ‘rana from the ring apron. Back in the ring, Ali came off the top with a high crossbody for a two-count. The two continued to battle past the ten-minute mark. Ali connected with a big diving tornado DDT and then followed up with the imploding 450 for the win…

Mustafa Ali pinned Tony Nese in about 10:45.

Backstage, Ariya Daivari was chewing out some guy for not adequately shining his boots, and then refused payment. Deriver was walking along when he almost walked into Akira Tozawa. He blamed Tozawa for almost getting his “grease” on it. Tozawa started his “ah! ah! ah!” chant, and Daivari simply walked away… A Cedric Alexander return vignette aired…

Zim Says: Solid match from Ali and Nese. More along the lines of what I’d expect from a cruiserweight division. Still nothing too stand-out though.

Back in the arena, Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa made their respective entrances.

2. Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick. Tozawa came out firing with forearms and chops. He faked Kendrick out and landed a shot right on the jaw. Tozawa looked for a dive in the opening minutes, but Kendrick ducked away so Tozawa held up. He went out in pursuit, which allowed Kendrick to take control.

Kendrick hit Sliced Bread running up the ring apron and slamming Tozawa on the floor, but Tozawa made it in the ring just before the 10-count. Kendrick followed up with a butterfly suplex for a two-count. Kendrick slowed the pace with a grounded hold.

Tozawa fought out and connected on his dive through the ropes around the six-minute mark. Back in the ring, Tozawa hit the Shining Wizard for a two-count. Tozawa hit the ropes, but ran right into a jumping heel kick from Kendrick. Kendrick followed up with a dragon suplex for a two-count, then floated into the Captain’s Hook.

The hold wasn’t fully applied, which allowed Tozawa to slip out. After a brief back-and-forth, Tozawa hit a high-speed back suplex for a two-count of his own. Tozawa went to the top rope, but he came up empty and Kendrick sank in the Captain’s Hook again. Once again, Tozawa escaped. Kendrick looked for Sliced Bread, but Tozawa slipped behind and rolled him up for the surprise win.

Akira Tozawa pinned Brian Kendrick in about 9:30.

Immediately after the bell, Kendrick attacked Tozawa. He took the fight to ringside and sent Tozawa crashing into the ring steps with some weak looking leg sweeps. Kendrick pinned Tozawa between the top and bottom sets of stairs and beat him down. The show closed with Kendrick gloating and referees tending to Tozawa.

Zim Says: And so ends the most miserable live coverage experiences of my life. The match was fine, and the post match angle means this program unfortunately must continue.

I’m going bigger picture with this last blurb. I really can’t get over just how badly 205 lacks an identity of its own that would make it anything worth watching. The storylines are dumb, most of the wrestlers are wrestling a very boring style, and the presentation is like everything else on the main roster of WWE. It’s really unfortunate after seeing how unique and fun things like NXT, CWC, and the UKCT were. I’m sure I’ll have more to say in audio tomorrow, so be sure to check back as it will be available to everyone reading this. Thanks for reading and catch me back on NXT coverage next week!

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

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