WWE 205 LIVE! (5/23/17)
-Rich Swann VS Ariya Daivari; Swann wins.
-Cedric Alexander VS Johnny Boom; Alexander wins.
-Street Fight: THE Brian Kendrick VS Akira Tozawa; wins.
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THE Brian Kendrick speaks to the viewers. He tells us the “Tale of Akira Tozawa”. The Stamina Monster has made a name for himself in Japan and around the world yet still had a lot to learn about succeeding in the WWE. Kendrick wanted to be his mentor, yet Tozawa rudely refused. He disrespected Kendrick. Kendrick then taught Tozawa “lesson after lesson after lesson!” Yet what did Tozawa do? He started thinking he could teach Kendrick lessons! So the only conclusion to this was to end this in the ring. Tozawa got one up on Kendrick, but Kendrick was not going to leave it there. He decided there would be one last extreme lesson. Tonight ends the lessons, tonight is a Street Fight!
Rich Swann VS Ariya Daivari!
The Outlandish One outsmarted #DarFox last week, but that meant the Persian Lion would become the casualty of a powder prank. Daivari does not appreciate Swann ruining his super expensive shirt and shoves Swann hard. Swann doesn’t appreciate the shove so he dropkicks Daivari down! Swann throws hands on Daivari then whips, Daivari slips out of the ring. Swann gives him no rest, baseball slide dropkick sends Daivari rolling. Swann gets Daivari back in the ring, Daivari wants a timeout. Daivari tries to pull Swann into buckles, Swann stops himself and we speed up. Swann front flips then dropkicks Daivari, Daivari gets out of the ring again. Swann slingshots over but Daivari sees it coming, Swann lands on his feet only for Daivari to put on a hammerlock and throw Swann into the LED board. Swann clutches his arm, Daivari puts Swann back in the ring. Daivari drags Swann up and wrenches that arm, then rams a shoulder into the shoulder. Daivari wrenches, snapmares and drops a knee on that bad arm, then bends it back with another hammerlock. Swann fires up thanks to the fans and fights out of the hold. Another haymaker from Swann but Daivari knocks Swann down with a jumping knee. Daivari covers, TWO, so Daivari badmouths the fans in Toledo. He uses ropes to snap and tweak Swann’s arm, whips Swann into a corner, but Swann boots out. Swann misses a punch, Daivari hits an arm-breaker, TWO. Daivari puts on a seated cobra clutch, working over the arm and neck. Swann gets to his feet, swings out but gets a neckbreaker, TWO. Daivari is getting frustrated but won’t leave that arm alone. Back to the seated cobra clutch, Swann gets to his feet again and gives a jawbreaker. Swann gets separation, back elbows Daivari, drop toehold sends Daivari into the ropes. Swann swings more haymakers and starts to rally. Back kick, front flip leg drop! Swann is fired up as he stalks Daivari. Swann Song heel kick connects!
Swann covers, TWO! Most don’t kick out of that kick, but the Persian Lion isn’t just a high roller. Swann drags Daivari over, Phoenix Splash!
Swann wins! The Outlandish One proves he has more grit than the glitzy Daivari, can he use that to move towards the title?
But then, the Scottish Supernova shows up outta nowhere and shoves Swann down to the ground!
#DarFox is NOT done with the Outlandish One, and have stepped up the retaliation. Will Swann come to regret meddling with their “love”?
The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived has come close two times before, none closer than when The King of the Cruiserweights had to cheat to keep his title. If third time is the charm, then Aries doesn’t want to take any chances, he wants to use Last Chancery to win in a Submission Match for the Cruiserweight Championship. To discuss the weight of this match, we have exclusive tele-conference with Neville and Aries.
What does Neville say to those who feel this may be his greatest challenge ever? Challenge? Who determines what is challenging to the King? Everyone knows that the moment Neville showed up on 205 Live, he has “obliterated” everyone, and Aries twice. None of the delusional “pretenders”– Pretenders? Neville wants to talk pretenders and delusions, how about what Neville said: beating Aries twice. No no, Aries won the last one, if by disqualification. And Neville can’t think of why Aries’ time is coming? No he can’t. Aries should calm down. Neville is most surprised that Aries is even getting this chance. Aries has gotten multiple opportunities but has failed. Aries earned these opportunities. Wrestlemania: Last Chancery, but Neville raked the eye because he was desperate. Payback: Last Chancery AGAIN, but Neville yanked the refereed because he was desperate. That’s slander! No, it’s the truth. This isn’t the first time someone tried to put roadblocks in front of Aries. This isn’t the first time someone used allies to go after Aries for them. None of this is new, and we ALL know that Neville’s been just surviving. Neville is worried he can’t do it a third time. Aries, bad leg and anger, will inflict pain through an arsenal of submissions, and he’ll finish with the Last Chancery, and Neville WILL tap out to lose that championship. Neville thinks that’s a “cute little fairy tale”. Does Aries use that to comfort himself when he looks at his damaged knee? Aries is in no condition to face Neville. Both men are confident in how dangerous they are in the ring, but Neville warns Aries that he “won’t be held responsible” for what happens at Extreme Rules. Which man will make the other submit in this third and most extreme encounter?
Cedric Alexander VS Johnny Boom!
The Carolina Kid was out with injury but now he’s back! And he isn’t going to let Boom here get in the way of a great return. Cedric wants Boom to hear the people cheering for Cedric, catches Boom’s kick and gives him a stiff back elbow. Boom is on the outside, Cedric gives him a chance to come back in. Boom takes a moment to think about it, Cedric comes out to give him a loud haymaker. Then he hits a springboard clothesline, and finishes with the Lumbar Check!
Cedric wins, and means business! Can he get back on track and find a path to the Cruiserweight Championship?
The following is a message by Drew Gulak.
The Philly Fure Drew Gulak believes in a better 205 Live. He represents the traditions of the greatest men in professional wrestling: Cruiserweights. When he thinks of Cruiserweights, he thinks of great technical prowess and a spirit of competition. What he doesn’t think of are show-offs, show boats and reckless pandering. Mustafa Ali is a prime example of what Gulak stands against. Support his “No Fly Zone” campaign to create a better 205 Live.
Will Gulak’s grassroots campaign gain ground and ground all Cruiserweights?
THE Brian Kendrick VS Akira Tozawa!
As the final “lesson” between the Man with a Plan and the Stamina Monster of Japan, rules are being thrown out the window as the two are allowed just about anything in this no disqualification style match! The two glare at each other at the bell, Kendrick slowly slips out of the ring to quickly search for weapons! Tozawa knows this, builds speed, and TOZAWA TORPEDO!
Kendrick is blasted into the announce table and the battle cry begins to echo. Kendrick springs up and throws Tozawa into the table now. But then Kendrick gets hip tossed right back over! Kendrick is down, Tozawa is fired up, Tozawa drags Kendrick up and into the ring. Cover, TWO, so Tozawa snapmares and Penalty Kicks before the screaming back senton. TWO, Tozawa grabs a foot and pulls Kendrick up. Tozawa gives him back chops, Kendrick gives a shoulder, chop feint to that stiff jab! The battle cry continues, Tozawa takes aim, but Kendrick dumps him out to the floor. Both men down on the outside, Kendrick and Tozawa both go looking for things. They both pull out the table! Kendrick and Tozawa both see this, Kendrick slaps the table down and the two start brawling with wild right hands. Tozawa backs Kendrick down then gets him in the ring, Kendrick pounces on reentry with a knee. Tozawa responds with a headscissors, Kendrick ends up on the apron. Tozawa knocks him down with a forearm and gets the battle cry going again. He speeds up, but gets Kendrick’s jacket thrown in his face!
Tozawa is upside-down as he’s clubbed, hanging suplex to the floor! The referee checks on Tozawa but he’s good to continue. Kendrick drags Tozawa up, puts Tozawa back in the ring, then goes to fetch the purple duct tape! Tozawa fights him off, but Kendrick boots Tozawa down and begins to tape Tozawa’s mouth closed! Captain’s Hook!
Taped mouth means less air to breathe, but Tozawa endures to reach for ropes. No ropebreaks in a Street Fight, so Tozawa can only use them to climb to his feet. However, this just sets up for Sliced Bread #2! To which Tozawa shoves Kendrick off and flying to the floor!
Tozawa undoes the tape, breathes easy for a moment, then rolls out to fetch Kendrick. Tozawa stalks Kendrick and boots him to the ramp. Then he clubs and clobbers Kendrick up to the stage. Tozawa whips Kendrick at the stage wall but Kendrick stops himself to then side step and send Tozawa into the swaying LEDs! Tozawa down and dazed, Kendrick picks him up and gives him knees to the ribs as he directs things back to the ring. Tozawa is thrown into the steel steps, and then Kendrick retrieves the duct tape. Kendrick ties Tozawa’s hands with the tape around the post! Tozawa is trapped as Kendrick starts whipping him with his belt! Kendrick says this is what Tozawa wanted, and what he deserves. Kendrick finally gets that table, as all the fans wanted, and sets it up nearby. Tozawa has gotten free of the tape and uses Kendrick’s own belt to whip him back! Tozawa chases Kendrick into the ring, whips away again and again, and then goes top rope. Tozawa takes aim, super stomps, but misses! Kendrick gets the Captain’s Hook again! Tozawa endures and powers to his feet. He and Kendrick tumble out of the ring, the hold breaking but Tozawa is dazed again. Kendrick gets up, drags Tozawa over and bounces him off the announce table. Then he brings Tozawa to the steps. Tozawa breaks free, wants to use the steps himself but Kendrick won’t let him. Kendrick brings Tozawa up onto the steps, double underhook, but Tozawa resists. Kendrick switches to a standard suplex but Tozawa continues to resist. Tozawa gordbusters Kendrick down, but collapses from exhaustion. The two struggle to get up, Tozawa kicks, slips under and gives Kendrick the saido suplex!
Tozawa wills himself to his feet and the fans get the battle cry going again. Tozawa stalks Kendrick as they approach that table. Captain’s Hook denied, DDT into the side of steps! Tozawa gets up again, and with wild eyes he sees the table and a vulnerable Kendrick. Tozawa drags Kendrick over and places him on the table. Tozawa then climbs up, all the way up to the top rope. Another round of battle cries as Tozawa takes aim, and… SUPER Back Senton through the table!!
Tozawa and Kendrick have wrecked through the wood, the fans chant “E C Dub!” and “Holy Shit!” Tozawa manages to get Kendrick up and into the ring, gets the cover, and Tozawa wins! It took so much out of him, but the Stamina Monster is the one who taught Kendrick one final lesson: Don’t have a Street Fight with Tozawa!
Tonight’s 205 Live had a better crowd this time, many fans stayed thanks in part to Shinsuke Nakamura closing SmackDown and the anticipation of the Street Fight. The anticipation was well rewarded, but we did have to wait through a bit of filler first. Match wise, Swann VS Daivari was squash match material, as the materialistic Daivari is slowly becoming the Cruiserweight Division’s jobber. The important thing from that segment, however, was Dar quickly escalating his vengeance on Swann by shoving him down off the corner post, which could’ve realistically gone very badly. After that was the video conference face-off between champion and contender, Neville and Aries. This segment had a good argument from Aries, i.e. Neville wouldn’t be champion without some underhanded tactics, but the overall flow of this promo vs promo segment felt bland given how fired up these two can normally be. Perhaps it was the fact they weren’t in the same area together, they couldn’t get a good read of each other. This might be the only hiccup in their three-PPV long feud, but it didn’t really help tonight’s 205 Live.
Cedric Alexander’s return got a great reception, though, fans still love him and didn’t even mind that he made quick work of one Johnny Boom. There was no mention of his link back to Dar tonight, but perhaps Swann will be “injured” from that tumble and Cedric can take up the fight against #DarFox now that his proxy has done his job. And Gulak continues to do his “job”, his campaign video segment got him some points with me for his commitment to the gimmick. At this rate, the next major move would be for him and Mustafa Ali to have a debate with Tom Philips and Corey Graves to act as the moderators, then have one more match to determine who is right for 205 Live.
Finally, the fans got their Street Fight! Not the best Street Fight a WWE program has ever put on, but it did set the bar for what a Cruiserweight Street Fight is like. Both Tozawa and Kendrick did what they do best, and Corey Graves was spot on in pointing out how their actions reference some of the lessons taught over the last few months. In the end, the biggest thing for this match and the division was Tozawa throwing caution to the wind for that insane back senton table spot. Tozawa was perfect in looking dazed, both from that and the stage spot just before, and he has the fans on his side. Depending on how that Cruiserweight Championship Submission Match goes, I would think Tozawa could make a quality opponent for both Neville and Aries.
My Score: 7.5/10