205 Live Thoughts- Graves & Phillips Calling An Aries Match- This Isn't NXT!
-Graves and Phillips on the call with Mauro out due to snow and travel issues. NXT re-union, and both seem genuinely excited to be working together again. Really cool to see. BTW, Phillips and JBL made a great duo calling SD. Bin Otunga, chuck Mauro in Saxton's spot on Raw and WWE commentary would be great again.
-Neville opens the show with his usual rant about being King of the Cruiserweights, and is interrupted by Mustafa Ali. A bit of foreshadowing for a future match? Neville vs. Ali would be a ton of fun.
-Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak. Naturally, Ali gets all his signature shit in and gets the win, including the 054 which landed perfectly. A frustrated Gulak takes the mic post-match and declares that he's not the problem, 205 Live needs to change. Interesting. I'm yet to be impressed by Gulak, even in the CWC when he had more offense and credibility, but I'll give this a chance.
-Swann and Gallagher team up to rematch Dar and Daivari. Gallagher busts a move with Swann pre-match, and damn, white boy's got moves! Standard tag fare really, and Dar picks up the win while feeling the pressure to be a winner for Alicia. A secret admirer sends a teddy bear out, and Dar takes credit for it. Ehhh. I'm ready to get to the point of that whole thing now.
-The Fatal Five Way elimination match is our main event! Aries gets the best reaction coming out, but in the match, Akira Tozawa gets the tired post-SD crowd fired up with the "Ha!" chants and teasing big dives. Sick spot where Nese drives Aries through the barricade with the running knee. Awesome. He gets eliminated moments later by TJP though. Kendrick eliminates Tozawa with Sliced Bread after a distraction from Nese. Creative take on the Tower of Doom spot with Kendrick hitting Sliced Bread from the top on Perkins as Aries rejoined the match from the bottom with the powerbomb. Was a bit ambitious and they struggled to hit it cleanly, but it still worked. Stacking double pin eliminates TJP, who acts like a total heel and attacks Kendrick after losing. Douche. Aries with the mid-direction rolling elbow to secure his Mania spot. I hope they get the main card, not because Aries and Neville deserve it, but because the division needs to be seen as important, and I think those two can put on a Mania main card worthy performance.
As has become customary for the cruisers, jolly good show. I can't say enough good things about how everyone has steadily raised their game over the last couple of months. The return of Neville was the shot in the arm the division needed, and now Austin Aries can bring things from the A Level to the A-Double Level. But seriously, 205 Live has gone from a show and division I was worried would be cancelled, to destination programming on the WWE Network. It's staring to edge out NXT, which has lacked consistency in recent months (to be fair, their roster was completely gutted).
I'll be back later in the day after watching NXT to give my thoughts on that. Curious/optimistic about the Roode vs. Ohno NXT Title match.
Until next time, take care,