February 7 2017
Tonight they have an interesting set up with five men in an elimination match to get a shot at Neville’s Cruiserweight strap at the Fastlane PPV this coming weekend. Hosts are Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and Austin Aries. Aries has a scoop; Nese is injured and he’s going to be replaced by a mystery fifth man. I love a mystery. Daivari vs. Ali is a qualifier match for the main event.
Ariya Daivari vs. Mustafa Ali
How many matches is Daivari getting on TV? It’s getting ridiculous at this point. He’s a middling talent and I have no idea why he’s getting so much TV time. He’s not a bad wrestler, he’s just not as talented as most of the other guys they signed*. Ali, for example, who rarely gets televised matches despite his high flying antics. Having criticised Daivari, he actually does some his best work, taking advantage of Ali’s love of sick bumps. Imploding 450 finishes for Ali. He’s a bit good off the ropes and the flip bump he took off a lariat was very strong.
Final Rating: **1/2
*Daivari wrestled on TV, including NXT, thirteen times in 2016. Ali, in the same time period, wrestled only four times on TV. 13-4.
Lince Dorado vs. The Brian Kendrick
Kendrick calls himself the “gatekeeper” of 205 Live, snuffing out the dreams of “upstarts”. Kendrick seems more interested in Akira Tozawa than this match so Dorado can catch him out with big flipz in the early going. His Asai moonsault is very good. There are a few communication issues, as you get when US wrestling collides with lucha sometimes.
They do some interesting stuff with Dorado’s flying and mat counters before the Bully Choke, aka the Captain’s Hook, puts Dorado away. The Gatekeeper keeps the midcarders in the midcard once again. Hopefully there are plans for Dorado. Maybe a big old lucha feud with Gran Metalik when he finally arrives.
Final Rating: ***
Post Match: Kendrick calls out Tozawa but instead Tajiri comes out here, looking for revenge for Kendrick injuring him. Murderous poison green mist kills Kendrick.
Video Control takes us backstage where Neville cuts another very strong promo. He’s been outstanding on the microphone since his heel turn. It’s shocking to me. Especially considering his relatively poor mic skills back in the day. It shows that WWE is good place to learn such things.
#1 Contender’s Elimination Match
Jack Gallagher vs. Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafi Ali vs. TJ Perkins
This is exactly the kind of match that 205 Live needs. A crazy fucking spot fest with five guys doing flipz and shit. I have no idea why they didn’t start out with something like this, instead of trying to get the Bollywood Boyz over. The whole thing takes place at a breakneck pace with spots galore. It’s perfect. Jack manages to outdo the rest by adding character to the spots, like hitting a dive with his umbrella, in order to slow his descent.
Lumber Check puts Dar out first. He had no shot of winning anyway as he’s the sole heel and there is a heel champion. Logic dictates a babyface winner.
Cedric stands out once the match settles into a rhythm beyond the opening crazy spots. He’d be a logical choice to get a title shot although it would undermine his underdog persona somewhat. Noam Dar crotching Cedric sets up a secondary feud between those two, which is already underway with Alicia Fox involved. TJP puts Cedric out with the Detonation Kick.
Ali misses his Imploding 450 and Perkins taps him out with an armbar.
That brings it down to Perkins vs. Gallagher. TJP takes on the heel role in this pairing, going after Jack’s leg and trying to get a submission. Jack does good work in selling the leg and the excitement builds as he finds ways to escape holds and hits desperation moves. Big dropkick in the corner wins it for Jack. This started fiery hot, struggled a little through the eliminations but picked up again at the end. Probably the best match I’ve seen on 205 Live so far. More of this, please.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Probably the best episode of 205 Live to date. They’ve done some painstaking character work to make sure these matches get the correct responses from the live audiences. I persist they should have started out strong with spot fests and then built back up to more of them and then done big singles matches but what do I know. The main event is a must-see.