By: Andrew Hatcher, rajah.com reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Welcome back to Drew’s reviews everyone! This is final week of build up to Neville vs Aries II, so things are pretty heavy on that. There’s also more attempts by Drew Gulak to “make a better 205 Live”, as well as a pretty good tag team match involving two of the rivalries we’ve seen from week to week. But, as always before we get to that, here’s this.
The Raw Rebound
Neville and TJ Perkins vs Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher
Before the bell rang, Aries and Gallagher went to work on their opponents. The heels gained the upper-hand for a split second, but the face team tossed the heels to the outside after dueling reversals. *commercial* Back from the break, the match has officially started, as Perkins goes for a cover on Gallagher. Neville tagged in, and went to work on Gallagher with a headlock. Perkins tagged back into the match, and began working on Gallagher. Gallagher then hit a drop toe hold on Neville, followed by a monkey flip on Perkins that sent him into Neville. Gallagher struggled a bit, but made his way to the opposite side of the ring to tag in Aries. Aries hit an ear clap on Perkins, and then another on Neville. Aries set up for a neck breaker in the ropes on TJP, but Neville attempted to run in and stop him. Aries tossed Neville over the ropes, and Aries followed up with the previously attempted neck breaker on Perkins. Aries hit the missile dive onto both guys on the outside, and rolled Perkins back in the ring. Aries locked in the Last Chancery, but Neville came in to break it up. Gallagher joined in, and all the guys started exchanging blows. The slugfest ended after a big head butt from Gallagher to Neville that sent both guys to the outside. With only TJP and Austin Aries left in the ring, “A Double” nailed Perkins with a Discuss Five Arm for the 1-2-3.
Analysis: Man, given the four talents in the ring, I can’t believe I’m going to have to say this match didn’t really do it for me. They didn’t really have much time, which kind of goes without saying because this is Raw. Also, I have to question the booking here. I realize you want Aries to look strong, and have him pick up the win. I also realize that there is one thing we can all be happy about here, and it’s the fact that the champion didn’t get pinned. However, TJ Perkins did, and I don’t get that. Instead of having him get pinned, couldn’t they have just had him get disqualified intentionally, and make him look like more of a savage heel in the process? You know, like a guy who doesn’t care about wins and losses, he just wants to have Neville’s back. But hey, maybe I’m just over thinking things.
And now… 205 Live!
205 live starts off with a replay of last night’s match on raw that saw Aries and Gallagher pick up a win over Neville and TJ Perkins. They also intertwined a few replays of the last few weeks of the story between Neville and TJP, and Austin Aries. The show opening pyro display went off, and Tom Phillips along with Corey Graves welcomed us to 205 Live. They talked about the upcoming WWE Cruiserweight Championship match at Payback this Sunday between “The King Of The Cruiserweights” Neville and “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” Austin Aries. They also talked about tonight’s main event that will see Neville take on “The Extraordinary Gentleman” Jack Gallagher. “The Outlandish” Rich Swann made his way out to the ring, and he’s in the first match of the night.
Rich Swann and Akira Tozawa vs Noam Dar and The Brian Kendrick
Before the match, a replay aired from last week when The Brian Kendrick attempted to get involved with Tozawa’s match against Tony Nese, costing Nese the match in the process. The heels went on the attack before the bell rang. The face team simultaneously reversed the attack, and tossed the heels out of the ring. They then hit dueling dives on their opponents, and Rich Swann took a victory lap. Back in the ring, the bell rings, and Rich Swann goes to work on Dar. Kendrick tagged in, and Swann went to work on him. Swann attempted a pin, but Kendrick kicked out quickly. Swann set up for a move off of the top rope, but Dar caught him on the way up, and kicked him in the head. Kendrick then came in for a pin attempt, but Swann kicked out at 2. Kendrick and Dar started to work over Swann in the corner, tagging in and out of the match. “The Scottish Supernova” slowed things down a bit with a long arm bar on Swann, before Kendrick tagged in again. Kendrick continued to punish Swann, and hit a big snap suplex for a near fall. Kendrick locked in a long hold of his own on Swann. Swann attempted to fight out, and succeeded. He tried to tag Tozawa, but Kendrick cut him off mid dive. Kendrick followed that up by knocking Tozawa off of the ring apron, and hard Irish whipped Swann into the heel corner. Swann knocked Dar off of the apron in the process, and attempted another tag. Kendrick caught Swann with a drop toe hold this time, and tagged in Dar. Swann finally gained a slight advantage on Dar, and tagged in Tozawa. Tozawa came in on fire, and went to work on Dar. Tozawa went to the top rope, but Dar moved out of the way of the attempt. Tozawa was then caught by Kendrick on the apron, as Tozawa tried to run the ropes. Dar tried to hit Tozawa while Kendrick held him, but Dar missed, and hit Kendrick. Tozawa then hit the Shining Wizard on Dar for the 1-2-3.
After the match, Tozawa got on the mic, and said choosing a good partner is important, and Kendrick chose wrong. Tozawa finished by saying lesson number 4 is “always choose wisely”, and hit few AH! AH!’s.
Analysis: Wow! I’ve never seen a match start off like that before…. All jokes aside, this tag team match was much better than the one we saw on Raw. While the one on Raw was a little more important as far as the Neville/Perkins and Aries story goes, the action was better in this one. This one also had a little more juice to it because of the fact that it involves two on going rivalries. I like how well Kendrick and Dar worked together. They really worked over Swann for most of the match, and at times I thought the heels would come away with the victory. In the end, after a few different attempts, Tozawa came in on fire to take control of things, and earn his team the victory. As for the lesson after, I’m beginning to wonder if these two are just going to endlessly exchange lessons for the rest of time. Seriously…
Neville appeared backstage for an interview, and said Jack Gallagher doesn’t belong in the same ring as him. He said he hopes Austin Aries is watching. He said except TJP, no one is on the Neville level, and he can’t be stopped. He finished by saying that everyone will be forced to kneel to the king of the cruiserweights.
Analysis: The “I hope Austin Aries is watching” line is WWE foreshadowing. I would bet the house on Aries “watching” by making an appearance during tonight’s main event.
Mustafa Ali vs Tony Nese
Before the bell rang, Drew Gulak made his way out to the arena area, and declared it a “no fly zone”. Gulak finished with a chant, saying “I’m not lying, no high flying”. He will be on commentary for the match. The two tied up in the center of the ring to start the match, and “The Premier Athlete” Nese stopped for a bit to flex. They tied up again, as Gulak was shown on commentary. Back in the ring, Nese dropped Ali with a big shoulder tackle, and struck another pose. The two guys exchanged a few attempted moves, and the sequence ended with Ali doing a corkscrew cartwheel, and a backfilp over Nese, followed by a flex of his own. Ali then started to go to work on Nese, and hit a big kick to the jaw for a near fall. Nese rolled to the outside, and Ali went on the chase. Ali chased Nese back into the ring, and tried to tie Nese up in the ropes. Nese fought out, and ran the ropes, and landed a massive clothesline that turned Ali inside out for a near fall. Nese continued to work on Ali in the corner of the ring, and Ali tried to fight out. Ali went for a suplex, but Nese stopped him. After reversing, Nese set up for a suplex. Nese decided against it, and held Ali in the air, before hanging Ali up in the ropes. Nese locked in a long submission hold on the neck of Ali. Nese would then hard Irish whip Ali into the corner, and slam him off of the rebound. Nese continued to work on Ali while he was down from the combo of moves. Nese attempted another irish whip, but Ali reversed it with a bulldog variation. After that, both of the guys were down on the mat. They made their way back up, and started to exchange blows. Ali hit a big drop kick to create separation, and hit a crossbody off of the middle ropes for a 2 count. Nese then drove Ali into the corner. Nese ran into the corner to follow it up, but Ali reversed. Ali would go on to hit the roll through neck breaker, and Nese rolled to the outside again. This time, Ali jumped over the top rope onto him, and rolled Nese back into the ring. Ali hit a big tornado ddt that planted Nese in position for the Reverse 450 Splash. ALi set up for it, and Gulak came into the ring to drag Nese out of the way. The referee had no choice but to stop the match, and called for the bell. Gulak celebrated on the outside, as Ali watched from the top rope. Ali jumped, and front flipped onto Gulak, then got into the ring as Gulak ran up the ramp.
Analysis: Man, its never a good thing when the heel announcer isn’t thrilled to see a heel join him on commentary. Suddenly I’m reminded of things like “The Titus Brand” or a guy like Elias Samson. Basically, what I’m saying is, you never want to hear the heel commentator talk bad about the heel, because look how its turned out for those guys. As for the match itself, they tried to put something together, but this segment was all about Gulak trying to “change” 205 Live. Good luck with that. Maybe instead of trying to take away their moves, he should try to give us more than the same 6-7 people, and same 2 or 3 storylines every week. Now that would be something!
Gentleman Jack Gallagher vs Neville
This is a non title match up. Before the match got underway, the announcers talked about the upcoming match at Payback for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship between Neville and Austin Aries. The bell rang, and the two stared each other down a bit. They tied up, and went into the corner. Gallagher started to fight out, and took Neville down into a submission hold. Neville fought out, and drove Gallagher into the corner. After a brief struggle, Gallagher reversed, and hit a running bulldog from the middle ropes. Gallagher then drove Neville to the outside, and Neville grabbed the umbrella. He then tossed the umbrella up the ramp. This angered Gallagher, and he followed up with a running dive through the ropes onto Neville. Back in the ring, Neville ran across the ring, and went in between the ropes to stop the attack by Gallagher. The crafty “King” tricked Gallagher, and gained control of the match. Neville hit a big powerslam, and went to the top rope. Neville hit a dropkick for a near fall, and continued to work on Gallagher. The two went into the corner, and Neville drove his foot into the face of the gentleman. Neville remained in control with a long headlock, and Gallagher tried to fight out. Neville quickly hit a snap suplex, and attempted a pin. Neville began mocking the crowd, allowing Gallagher the chance to catch a break. Gallagher tried to get into control of things, but Neville reversed, and continued to pound Gallagher. Neville hit a drop kick to the back of the neck of Gallagher, and attempted a pin for a near fall. Neville once again locked in a headlock, and Gallagher tried to fight out again. Gallagher succeed, and went for a quick pin attempt. Gallagher hit an upper cut, and started to fire up. Gallagher hit some more big European uppercuts, followed by a drop kick for a near fall. Neville started to get angry, and went back on the attack. Neville literally kicked Gallagher while he was down, and mocked him. Neville began to run the ropes, and ran straight into a drop kick from out of nowhere by Gallagher. Neville sprang right back up, and Gallagher hit a huge head butt for the 1-2-NO!! Gallagher locked in a submission hold, and Neville reversed into a pin attempt. Gallagher reversed that, and the two went into the corner. Gallagher and Neville went to the top rope, but Neville hit a palm strike to the face of Gallagher. Gallagher went into the opposite corner, and Neville followed him. Neville kicked Gallagher’s already damaged face into the turnbuckle, and followed up by locking in the Rings Of Saturn. Gallagher tapped out, and Neville wins by submission.
Analysis: I really like how the match picked up slowly but surely, leading to an amazing finish. There was never any doubt about who would win the match, but Gallagher almost got away with one on that big head butt! Gallagher looked impressive in defeat, but the “King Of The Crusierweights” got the job done.
After the match, Neville began to return to the back, as the show appeared to be going off air. Gallagher was shown being helped up by some of the ringside staff, and Neville ran back down to the ring side area to attack Gallagher. Neville then drug Gallagher up the ramp, and started to lock in the rings of Saturn. This brought out Aries, who hit the discuss five arm on Neville. Aries then locked in the Last Chancery, and the referees broke it up. The show ended with Austin Aries standing tall in the ring.
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