Big Takeaways: 205 Live returned to the WWE Network with a stellar main event that saw Jack Gallagher defeat fellow interim NXT Championship tournament competitor Tony Nese.
Tyler Breeze defeated Tehuti Miles
205 Live’s return to the WWE Network was not without a significant change. Said change was immediately noticeable, even prior to the completion of Tyler Breeze’s entrance, as the new announce team of Cory Graves and Byron Saxton could not go a minute before playing to the insolent jerk and naive pushover announce team cliche. This thankfully wasn’t terribly noticeable throughout the show.
Following the bell’s sounding, Tehuti Miles threw the towel he had brought with him to the ring in the face of Breeze. Miles unloaded strikes on Breeze in the corner forcing a referee separation that allowed Breeze a window of opportunity. Breeze connected with a knee from the corner which led into a short sequence that was punctuated with a spine buster.
Miles rolled behind ropes. Breeze attempted to continue his offense but was stopped by the referee due to Miles' continued state of rope clinching. Miles, not allowing the opening to pass him by, struck Breeze while the referee was attempting to create separation. Miles landed a dropkick to Breeze which sent Breeze to the floor. While alone in the ring, Miles posed on his side as he waited for Breeze’s reentry to the ring.
Breeze rolled in and was met with plenty of stomps that were followed by punches that were followed by a neck breaker. Breeze kicked from a pin attempt and Miles continued his attack. More stomps, a second neck breaker, and a second pin attempt left Breeze in an unfavorable position.
Breeze showed signs of life, but was repeatedly met with more offense from Miles. Miles continually slowed the pace of the match which ultimately led to a point that allowed Breeze to connect with a surprise supermodel kick. Breeze was unable to capitalize as Miles successfully regained the match advantage.
With Miles in the driver’s seat, Breeze looked to be in an unwinnable position but hesitation from Miles on what would have been a third neck breaker allowed Breeze to spin into the unprettier. Breeze hooked the leg and secured the victory.
This match told a simple story competently; Breeze was consistently outmatched but ultimately came out on top due to Mile’s cocksureness. Nothing felt at stake but as a one-page drama, it was fine.
Jack Gallagher defeated Tony Nese
Both Jack Gallagher and Tony Nese seemed to have something to prove heading into this match. Both men are in poor position in the ongoing round-robin tournament for the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
The initial feeling out featured chain wrestling that resulted in both men on the mat. Gallagher, in his new brutish form, ended the mat grappling with raining elbows. Nese was forced to withdraw, but even in retreat, he was met with strikes from an unwavering Gallagher. Nese rolled to the outside.
Gallagher then directed his attention not to his competitor that was laid out on the Performance Center floor, but to the announce team. Nese returned to the ring and was able to gain a favorable position in the match by blocking an attempted strike from Gallagher. Nese then led a succinct sequence that returned the match to the mat. Gallagher fought to his feet and was immediately returned to the mat in a headlock. On his second fight to a standing position, Gallagher incorporated strikes to the midsection which forced Nese to break the hold.
In his bid for sustained control, Nese sent Gallagher into the ropes with an Irish whip. Gallagher floated over the shoulder of Nese and attempted to score the win with a crucifix pin on the rebound. Nese kicked from the pin and proceeded to attack Gallagher as if it had never happened. Gallagher was sent to the outside after Nese Irish whipped him into the corner but quickly rolled back into the ring. Nese picked Gallagher up for a scoop slam before returning to a hold on the mat.
Gallagher turned into the guard of Nese and once again reigned fists on his grounded opponent. Instead of continuing his attack, Gallagher stood up and walked away which allowed Nese to grab his legs and secure the Boston crab. Gallagher rolled his body free from Nese’s hold. Both men, under their own volition, exited the ring. Following a pithy struggle, Gallagher proceeded to drive the head of Nese into the barricade.
Gallager rolled Nese into the ring once more, this time maintaining wrist control. Gallagher mockingly kicked Nese before being met with a forearm. A rattled Gallagher then attempted a kick with Nese’s wrist still in hand, but Nese ducked. Nese lifted Gallagher, but Gallagher broke free.
A struggle once again ensued. Nese, in seeming consummation, sent Gallagher to the mat once more with a rope to the throat followed by a picture-perfect moonsault. Gallagher answered the pin with a strong kick out. Gallagher once again rose to his feet but was firmly planted with a back-to-belly piledriver. Gallagher kicked out once more.
Gallagher, now in a state of complete daze, crawled to the corner. Nese lowered his kneepad and entered a sprint but before connecting with his strike, Gallagher rose again and met his running opponent with a headbutt to the sternum. Both men were on equal footing afresh. Both men traded failed roll-ups, missed strikes, and dropped lifts before Gallagher was sent into the ropes. Gallagher bounced against the ropes into a rolling elbow. Nese fell to the mat with Gallagher falling onto him for the pinfall victory.
Though I felt a slight clash of styles, this match was very good from start to finish. If these are the men performing poorly in this tournament, then this belt must be a true prize worth chasing. Gallagher continues to impress with his new rough-hewn persona and Nese refused to quit.
All in all, a solid return from 205 Live.