Air Date: 29/11/16
The Cruiserweight division has been a bit of a let down on the main roster so far; all of the ideas that made the CWC great, personality pieces, good long matches, and a more sports like feel, have been completely dropped in favour of quick and dirty six man tag matches and an uninteresting title feud that has turned TJ Perkins from one of the hottest names in wrestling to an absolute joke.
The Cruiserweight division is now on its own show, 205 Live, alongside their appearances on RAW. Hopefully 205 Live will help them get back on track and push their individual personalities instead of continuing the trend of them being a group that no one cares about or knows anything about.
The show opens with Mauro Ranallo welcoming us, with Corey Graves and Austin Aries on commentary. The fact that Aries is here makes me think he will join the division, which is exciting as he is a guy that can really help build a division like this. We are then introduced to everyone on this new show, including Rich Swann, TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher, HoHo Lun, The Bollywood Boyz, Noam Dar, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, Akira Tozawa, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik, and Brian Kendrick. After that we get a nice video package for the Bollywood Boyz, which is exactly what I wanted. In like three minutes we get their entire story, they are two brothers that love wrestling, love Bollywood films, and have a strong connection to their aging grandfather, that’s great.
Bollywood Boyz (Gurv and Harv Sihra) vs. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese
Starting with the Bollywood Boyz is a weird choice, they are not a great tag team and while the gimmick is fun they don’t have the personality to really get it over. These two men had a perfectly fine, but nothing worth talking about tag match. Starting this show off with an uninspired and heatless match like this was a really bad idea, it really needed someone like Mustafa Ali or Gran Metalik flipping around to set the pace. Gurv Sihra pins Drew Gulak with a double superkick ** ¼
We get a nice little post-match interview with Gulak and Nese complaining about their loss and then an awesome personality piece for Noam Dar. Stuff like this is great.
After that Brian Kendrick is interviewed backstage about his title match tonight. He cuts a very good promo on Rich Swann, and is then interrupted by TJ Perkins who says he still wants his rematch and so he hopes Kendrick wins. Fun little segment.
We then get a vignette for Gran Metalik, who apparently isn’t going to debut for a little while for some bizarre reason.
Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher
This was a total showcase of Jack’s grappling style, although Daivari got some nice offence in including an elbow that would make Chris Hero happy. Gallagher got pretty over here, but the crowd still doesn’t really care about anything going on. Gallagher pins Daivari with the corner dropkick ** ¾
Another personality piece here, this time for Lince Dorado. This was the least interesting of the personality pieces so far, although I think that’s more because Dorado isn’t the most charismatic man in the world.
Before the main event we get an incredible vignette for Rich Swann, who has by far the most interesting story in the entire division. I’ve said this before, but Swann has the potential to be an absolutely huge star if he is pushed properly, he has the charisma and wrestling ability that not many in this division do.
Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Rich Swann (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
This was a very good match with Swann’s energy and never say die attitude really helping to engage a crowd that up until this point didn’t seem to care at all about anything that happened on this show. Kendrick continued his desperation game, including a nice call back to his match with Ibushi with a neckbreaker onto the ring pole, but Swann just refused to stay down and powered through it all. I still think there were more places to go with Kendrick as champion, but Swann is someone that really personifies what you think of as a cruiserweight and could be an awesome face for the division. Rich Swann pins Brian Kendrick with three roundhouse kicks ****
This wasn’t a great way to start this new show, but we got a really great main event match and we are starting to get to know the key talent a little which is something this division has really been missing. The show feels more like the CWC and I am excited to see how it shapes up in the future.