SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE 205 LIVE
DECEMBER 20, 2016
DETROIT, MICH. AT JOE LOUIS ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
Report by Joey Galizia (@RamJam89), PWTorch Contributor
Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, Austin Aries
Joey G here. Let’s do this.
Show opens with highlights of the triple-threat title match at Roadblock: End of the line (God that PPV title). The package epically promotes Neville’s post match beat-down mixed in with his speech that happened on Raw. Swann and Adrian’s (that’s Neville for all you new-comers) relationship is particularly highlighted. Best line from the package: “I AM GOING TO OBLITERATE THE DIVISION.” Seriously don’t mess with Neville guys.
Mauro calls this the most exciting hour on television. Austin Aries is back and he’s wearing a Santa hat and it’s adorbs. Graves called Neville a king and hypes the “colossal” main event tag match: Perkins & Swann vs. Kendrick & Pissed off Gravity dude Neville.
Ariya Daivari comes out first for the first bout. His opponent.
THE GOLDEN LINX. AA says a lot of people can rock a cape, but Lince isn’t one of them.
Handshake and we start.
(1) Lince Dorado vs. Ariya Daivari
Hammerlock. Lince shows off his athleticism with handsprings before he takes Daivari down with an arm-ringer hip toss and then a hurricanrana. Dorado goes up for a high-risk maneuver but Ariya moves then hits a neck-breaker for two.
Daivari lands a stiff clothesline after countering a corner spot and then works Lince down with a rear chin-lock. Mauro puts over how smart Ariya is by grounding the crafty and quick luchador. He also mentions how many different styles we constantly see from the division. Back on their feet and Lince counters a splash and starts laying into Daivari with chops, kicks, and fists before knocking Ariya out to the floor with a hand-spring stunner. Lince then goes for a tope suicdo and hits it (although it looked like a dangerous botch)
Back in the ring Dorado lays out Ariya with a diving cross-body for a two count. Crowd is sort of dead and some start chanting for AA. Ariya takes control and wins the match with a frog-splash from the top rope.
WINNER: Daivari at 5:45.
Post match Daivari gets interviewed and starts shouting in another language before he yells at the crowd for cheering Jack Gallagher. (It should be noted that the announce team mentioned Jack several times to really push this feud.) He calls Gallagher a scoundrel. AA agrees and calls him a Dirty Rotten Scoundrel (which is an awesome movie).
Backstage we see The Brian Kendrick with Neville (who literally looks like he wants to murder everyone). Neville says that he and Brian built the very foundation of the division. He then says he is Brian’s partner, BUT NOT HIS FRIEND. “There can only be one king of the cruiserweights.”
Back to the announce team before a promo package for the Japanese Buzzsaw Tajiri. I believe this is the same package as last time with clips from CWC and his older WWE days.
Commercial break for NXT’s fatal-4 way match for the #1 contender.
Cedric Alexander’s music hits and he has the very beautiful Alicia Fox with him. They cut to a clip of Raw last night which reminds us that Alexander got a win back against Noam Dar, but Dar got in the last word by saying that all he wants for X-mas is Alicia. (SLICK LINE BRO)
The human torture device (thanks Corey) comes out and we get ready for match two.
(2) Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak
Right to it and Gulak takes Alexander down with a waist-lock. They trade some blows before Cedric takes control with uppercuts and kicks. Gulak cuts Cedric off with a running forearm but Cedric reciprocates. Drew then uses the ref to his advantage and tosses Alexander into the ropes.
Gulak throws Cedric in the corner but Alexander reverses his charge with a double-foot stomp. He then hits a few elbows and then a hand-spring enziguri. Cedric goes to the apron and hits a spring-board clothesline from across the ring. Alicia tries to get the crowd into the match but it isn’t working too well.
They both block suplex attempts AND THEN CEDRIC SUPLEXES THEM BOTH OVER THE TOP ROPE. WOAH. When they recover Gulak pushes Alexander into Alicia and she goes down holding her ankle. Cedric is worried but Drew takes advantage with some strikes. Noam comes out to help Alicia up and takes her backstage.
In the ring Drew almost steals the victory from a distracted Cedric with a roll-up but he escapes and hits his finisher for the win.
WINNER: Alexander at 5:57.
On the runway Dasha interviews Drew Gulak who yells at Alicia Fox for being out there and says women don’t belong at 205 live.
Promo package of the extraordinary gentlemen Jack Gallagher. They put over his mustache and his unique in-ring style. I rephrase, it’s a unique in-ring throwback to British wrestling. Either way it’s unique. (You get it) Jack says that he will perform to the best of his abilities and his abilities are the best in the world.
Backstage Alicia is getting ice on her ankle. Cedric rushes to her to make sure she’s okay. Fox says she’s really happy that Noam was there and Alexander dismisses him. Dar let’s Alicia know that if she ever needs help again he’ll be there. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THE DRAMA.
Royal Rumble commercial and an ad for Talking Smack. Both are only on the WWE Network in case you didn’t know that.
Music hits. 1…2….1,2,3,4. Sorry, that’s Neville’s song which means it’s time for our main event! Kendrick comes out next because he is the “man with a plan.”
AA tells us that he loves Brian, and looks forward to seeing how he and Neville work together as a team. Graves calls them both the trail-blazers of not just the Cruiserweights, but the WWE.
TJ is out first for team baby-face (barely any crowd reaction). Then Swann who comes out dancing. Neville has to be held back by the ref because he’s like a pit-bull ready to pounce.
(3) Neville & Brian Kendrick vs. T.J. Perkins & Rich Swann
Let’s go Neville chants are happening (I think the people are just happy that they see someone they know). He starts off with Rich and takes him down immediately with a shoulder block. He then hits a vicious drop-kick to the back of Swann’s head (who was in a seated position). Neville is in full control and works the champ down with kicks. Graves praises Neville for how easy he’s making it look. AA calls Neville the most dangerous man that isn’t named Austin Aries. Neville then hits a delayed-suplex (held for almost 10 seconds) and gets a 2 count. Ranallo says it reminds him of British Bulldog and Graves and AA jump all over him. “Respect Neville Mauro!” (God these two are really meshing together)
Swann has amounted no offense as Neville continuously works him over with rest-holds, kicks, and has to have the ref again stop him several times before getting a 5-count DQ.
Perkins sneakily tags in and lands a top rope cross-body into a ground and pound. Kendrick tags in without Neville’s permission and the two have a stare-off (Seriously I’ve never been more afraid of any man than I am of Neville). Perkins nails Brian with a spinning back kick and counters Kendricks slice-bread with a tree of woe. TJ hits a dropkick on Brian in that position for a two-count.
TJP goes for a back-drop but Brian counters with a leg-lariet. Swann tags himself back in even though he’s still hurt and Kendrick immediately takes advantage, working over Rich with heavy blows to the head and neck. Swann shows great gusto and gets some shots in, but Kendrick catches him with a flat-liner.
Neville comes in and hits a delayed german suplex for a 2 count (He held that one for almost 10 seconds as well). Back on their feet and Swann finally takes control with a beautiful super-kick for another two-count. AA really admires how much heart Rich has.
Kendrick and TJP tag in and Perkins lands a chicken-wing lung-blower and then a detonation kick. He transitions into the Knee-Bar but Neville breaks it up!
Swann tags in and takes Neville out with a crescent kick. Swann and TJ then hit a double-superkick on Kendrick but Brian gets his foot on the ropes before the three-count.
Neville takes out Perkins with a running boot. In the ring Kendrick surprises Swann with sliced bread and then locks in the bully choke. Swann doesn’t tap and TJ breaks up the submission. Neville sends Perkins to the outside and then tags in. He taunts Swann, asking him, “IS THIS THE CRUISERWEIGHT DIVISION?” (I’m trembling)
Perkins tags in and goes for a spring-board maneuver but Neville counters with an enziguri. Kendrick takes out Swann on the outside with a tope suicido as Neville pulls Perkins over and hits his most agile Red Arrow I’ve ever seen for the win.
Graves and AA continuously put over Neville as the “King of the Cruiserweights.” Mauro wishes us happy holidays and that’s the show.
WINNERS: Neville & Brian Kendrick at 14:20.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A decent show made better buy a great main event. While the crowd was cheering for the bad guy in this scenario (Neville), at least they were somewhat invested into the match. An okay opening bout between Lince and Ariya, although if they keep mentioning how agile these guys are they need to do more than just a suicide dive (BOTCHED) to convince us. I’m not saying I want all high-risk, but I am saying that nothing in the first two bouts will separate these guys from anyone else. Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander got more meat to their storyline while Daivari continues his pursuit of the “Extraordinary Gentlemen” Jack Gallagher. Austin Aries continues to build upon is HOF resume by being just a joy on the announce team. His chemistry with Graves is particularly meshing, but don’t count out Mauro who could be the best announcer in the industry right now (IMO). Highlight of the show was Neville, whose absence seems to have given him fuel and motivated him to make every current and future segment seem important. His in-ring action has always been crisp, motivated, and agile, but what was really exciting was watching his character work. If I were grading this show I would give it a B-. If I were giving individual grades I would give Neville an A+ (mainly out of fear for my life).
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 12/13 WWE “205 Live” Review: Lince Dorado vs. Mustafa Ali, Jack Gallagher vs. Drew Gullack, T.J. Perkins vs. Rich Swann