The Big Takeaway --
Neville, taking an anti-American stance, defeated Rich Swann to cement himself as the number one contender for the Cruiserweight title.
Jack Gallagher defeated Ariya Daivari in a duel, Mustafa Ali scored a big win his hometown of Chicago, and Noam Dar is intent on winning the heart of Alicia Fox against Cedric Alexander's best wishes.
Show Recap --
The show began with recap of the events from last week, where Brian Kendrick and Neville stood tall over Rich Swann and TJ Perkins. Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries welcome us to the show.
They recap last week’s events between Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander, as the latter comes out for the first match.
Tony Nese defeated Cedric Alexander
Nese got the upper hand by shoving Alexander off the top rope and onto the apron. Alexander derails Nese with a kick, then hits a top rope clothesline for a near fall. Alicia Fox and Drew Gulak quarreled outside the ring, leading Gulak to fall to the floor and pretend like he got hit with Fox’s heel. The ref sent Fox to the back, distracting Alexander. Nese walloped Alexander with the shotei palm strike and pinned him.
Fox looked upset backstage over Alexander’s loss. That led to the appearance of Noam Dar. He knows Christmas was Sunday, but he got her a present: mistletoe. He, of course, wanted a kiss. Alicia Fox responded by slapping him. He wanted another, and she obliged.
They throw it to a backstage interview with Renee Young sitting down with Neville. He said him not being on 205 Live initially was because of discrimination. Not from the WWE, but from the people of the United States of America. He feels that when Americans feel threatened, they lash out, so he will use that cruelty to rise to the top. Young asks if that's why he calls himself the King of the Cruiserweights. Neville scoffs, saying doesn’t call himself that, he is that.
Neville goes on to talk about Rich Swann, about how he was his young boy in Japan and cooked and cleaned for him. He’s above everyone in this division as he’s used to wrestling 300 pound men. Young asks him to repeat something (because you know, the accent), and Neville becomes upset, saying the interview is over.
Mustafa Ali defeated John Yurnett
John Yurnett is more well known as Mr. 450, who normally wrestles in Puerto Rico and has done tours in Japan. Ali got a big reception for being from Chicago. Yurnett favored his knee, telling the referee he wants to continue. I think he injured himself here legit, which is a shame. Ali takes him down and hits an imploding 450 splash off the top rope for the win.
Dasha Fuentes interviews Mustafa Ali, who says Chicago made him. For so many years, he had to put up with assumptions based on his name and look. He thought he had to prove them all wrong, but truth is they proved him wrong. This isn’t a perfect world, but he’ll let the victories pile up and speak for themselves.
They aired a package on Ariya Daivari, talking about his older brother’s run in the WWE (he says he’s already surpassed him). He talks about his rivalry with Jack Gallagher, saying his loss was a fluke and was something that would never happen again.
Jack Gallagher defeated Ariya Daivari in a duel
There is a table out full of weapons as Daivari and Gallagher come out for their duel. Daivari chooses a lead pipe; Gallagher chooses an umbrella. Daivari likes these odds and wants to start, but Gallagher wants to explain the rules: they take five steps back to back, then they’ll turn around and duel.
Gallagher starts the duel, but Daivari wants to jump him immediately. Gallagher catches this and quickly takes him out with the umbrella. Daivari uses the table to attack Gallagher, but Gallagher makes a comeback and drives Daivari out of the ring with a running dropkick.
The announcer declares Gallagher the winner via forfeit, leaving Daivari mad.
Tajiri makes his 205 Live debut next week.
Neville defeated WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann in a non-title match
There were hot exchange early. It's pretty clear that in terms of sheer athleticism, there’s few above these two. Neville throws Swann into the LED apron screen. Neville takes out Swann with the fosbury flop. Neville focuses on Swann’s back, hitting a standing shooting star press.
Swann comes back with a hurricanrana, taking Neville to the outside. Swann takes out Neville with a corkscrew senton to the floor. Neville throws Swann out of the ring and hits the ropes but Swann derails him with a superkick and a falcon arrow. Neville takes him out again and goes for the Red Arrow but Swann rolls out of the way and superkicks Neville again for a close near fall.
Swann goes to the top rope but Neville meets him there with a forearm. Swann sends him back down, but Swann takes too long and Neville makes a comeback, hitting a big time superplex and pins Swann.
Swann gets back up to his feet after the match, but Neville assaults him, hitting a release German suplex. Refs break it up as Neville shouts “Bring me my crown!” to end the show.
Final Thoughts --
It seems like this show is finally finding its own groove after several weeks of “just there” shows. Matches moved quicker and were better paced, with the main event being pretty darn good save for the anti-climactic finish.
We have several angles going on here that are starting to catch a bit of steam, so it should be interesting to see how they develop leading to the Royal Rumble, where it seems clear a Neville/Rich Swann title match is in the pipeline.