WWE 205 Live (July 4, 2017)

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Titus O’Neil is backstage walking down a hallway and talking to Akira Tozawa (who is apparently in Japan training for his upcoming match with Neville) on the phone. He stops to talk to Ariya Daivari and asks him if his shirt is swelvet (a combination of silk and velvet), before continuing down the hall.

He stops to tell Mustafa Ali that he could be Muhammad Ali with a few more wins and then screams, “FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY STING LIKE A BEE!” at Mustafa Ali and scares him which causes Titus to declare, “Don’t worry son, I’m not gonna hit you.”

He tells Tozawa that he’s got to go since he’s heading out to kick off 205 Live in Phoenix right. He does Tozawa’s “HA!” chant and then heads out all fired up and doing his “HOOAH! HOOAH!” thing before the theme song plays.

To The Commentary Team…

Corey Graves and Vic Joseph are on commentary tonight. They tell us that tonight we’ll see Jack Gallagher taking on Tony Nese and TJP going up against Rich Swann.

Opening Talky Segment…

Titus O’Neil comes out to a pretty big pop. The ring has a red carpet, a podium with a Titus Worldwide logo on it, and pictures of Tozawa and Neville set up in it. Titus promises fireworks this Sunday at Great Balls of Fire when Tozawa challenges Neville for the Cruiserweight Championship. He says that Neville’s pretty good, but at Great Balls of Fire he will be no match for the POWA OF TOZAWA!

This causes Neville to come out. He says that Titus is a charismatic leader but he doesn’t really care about his clients. He the shows footage of Apollo Crews getting killed by Braun Strowman and Titus getting involved and getting laid out too.

The crowd begins to chant “You’re not Strowman!” at Neville which is fucking fantastic. Neville pauses and lets them chant for a bit before saying, “Nice,” and continuing on his rant against Titus. He says Titus only cares about the all mighty dollar, and if he truly cares about Tozawa’s well-being he’ll forfeit the match at Great Balls of Faiyah! He then invites Titus to watch his match against Lince Dorado to see what’s in store for Tozawa if he chooses to go through with the match on Sunday.

Match 1: Neville vs. Lince Dorado

Titus joins Vic and Corey on commentary for the match. He immediately gives Vic his shades and his hat so he can look cool. He later asks Vic who he is and admonishes him for not introducing himself.

In the ring Neville overpowers Dorado and takes him to the mat. Dorado fights back and hits a sunset flip. There’s some back and forth stuff as the two men work a bunch of counters.

Dorado hits a monkey flip and Neville attempts to shove him down to the floor, but Dorado hooks his legs and ends up sending Neville crashing to the floor. He hits a rana off the apron and then goes to charge Neville, but Neville avoids him causing Dorado to crash into the steps.

Neville slams Dorado off the commentary table and then he and Titus talk shit to one another. Neville sends Dorado back into the ring and hits a powerbomb before locking in the Rings of Saturn and causing Dorado to tap out.

After the match Neville stares down Titus who tells him to enjoy his last match as champion.

Winner: Neville

This was a decent little TV match. Neville continues to be the best heel in all the WWE and he picked up a dominating win here going into Great Balls of Fire. Titus O’Neil has also somehow become solid gold on the mic and having him on commentary for this match added to the overall enjoyment of it. [**½]

Meanwhile Backstage…

TJ Perkins is taping up his wrists for his match later tonight when Rich Swann shows up and asks Perkins why he wanted a match against him tonight. TJP says that he doesn’t have any beef with Swann, he’s just been listening to what Swann’s been telling him the last few weeks and wants to show Swann the guy who won the Cruiserweight Classic…the guy who beat Rich Swann in the Cruiserweight Classic. They shake hands and decide to see who the better man in their match tonight.

Highlights for Children!

We get highlights of The Brian Kendrick being a dick to Jack Gallagher last week on 205 Live and highlights of Tony Nese being a dick to Jack Gallagher two weeks ago. Jack Gallagher has had a rough go of it as of late.

Match 2: Jack Gallagher vs. Tony Nese

Nese tries to overpower Gallagher early on and takes him to mat, scoring some near falls. Gallagher gets back to his feet and hits a crucifix for a two count. Gallagher and Nese roll round the ring in a series of pins and reversals that leaves both men dizzy.

Gallagher gets Nese in a side headlock, but Nese throws him gut first into the ropes and the goes for another cover. ONE! TWO! NO! Nese follows up with some ground and pound before ruining Gallagher’s shit with a clothesline. Nese gets Gallagher in the tree of woe and then does crunches as he kicks Gallagher. He then hits a leg drop that’s good for two.

Gallagher fights back, hitting some knee strikes and a dropkick. He then takes Nese down and gets him in an arm bar but Nese is too jacked to get it locked on properly. Nese powers up and picks up Gallagher with one arm, but Gallagher pulls off a sunset flip that gets him another near fall.

Nese clips Gallagher’s knee and goes for a springboard moonsault but misses. He lands on his feet but staggers and goes down and grabs his knee. The ref asks Nese if he wants to give it up, but again it was an attempt to trick Gallagher, but Gallagher isn’t buying it this time. He headbutts Nese and then screams, “TOOOOOOOOOOOONY!” and hits a shotgun dropkick to pick up the win.

After the match some drum and fife music starts to play and The Brian Kendrick dressed in colonial garb shows up on the Titantron to regale us with the History of Not So Great Britain. He lists off a bunch of British military failures and compares them to Jack Gallagher’s own failures. Kendrick then vows to kick Jack Gallagher out of 205 Live just like his forefathers kicked the British out of America and this time the revolution will be televised.

Back in the ring Gallagher calls for Kendrick to come down to the ring, but he never shows and the segment ends.

Winner: Jack Gallagher

Another decent match since these two seem to work pretty well together. Gallagher is probably one of the more fun guys in the cruiserweight division and Nese’s muscleman gimmick makes him stand out from the rest of the flippy guys. It was good Gallagher picked up the win as he moves on to feud with The Brian Kendrick over being British I guess. [**⅝]

Highlights for Children!

We get highlights from last night’s match between Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander. Alicia Fox returns but Alexander picks up the win nonetheless. He yells about this feud being over for real this time guys! TOTALLY OVER!

Meanwhile Backstage…

Dar is getting examined by a trainer who tells him that he doesn’t need a neckbrace, just an icepack. Dar’s happy and says that it’s good news, but not as good as having Alicia Fox back.

Alicia Fox shows up and Noam is like, “Now that Cedric Alexander is totally taken care of and we never again have to be involved in a feud with him I can move on the chase for the Cruiserweight Championship!”

Alicia Fox is not having it though and says that they aren’t finished with Cedric Alexander until he quits 205 Live. Noam Dar makes the same face everyone watching this segment at home undoubtedly made. THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE!

Match 3: TJP vs. Rich Swann

Swann and Perkins are pretty evenly matched in the opening moments of the bout, going back and forth with neither man having a clear advantage. TJ Perkins scores a head scissors takedown that earns him a near fall before working Swann over with a headlock.

Swann takes control and after faking a dive dabs at TJP. TJP comes back in and takes control tossing Swann out to the floor. He goes out after him and looks like he’s going to attack him on the outside, but instead just rolls back into the ring and waits for Swann, because now TJ Perkins is has good sportsmanship again.

Swann beats the count, but gets grounded by Perkins who works over his arm. Perkins seems to be holding back a bit, not wanting to do anything heelish. Swann tries to fight back by shoving TJP which seems to annoy him.

Perkins slams Swann and hits a slingshot senton before getting Swann in the Muta Lock. Swann fights and makes it to the ropes and Perkins releases the hold right away. He pulls Swann back to the center of the ring, but Swann gets fired up and sends Perkins to the corner.

Swann sets Perkins up on the top rope and hits a rana. He follows up with Rolling Thunder. ONE! TWO! NO! Swann hits a spinning Michinoku Driver for another near fall. He then goes up top but gets cut off by Perkins who hits a springboard high cross.

Perkins briefly celebrates and pays for it by getting kicked in the head by Swann. Perkins goes for the detonation kick, but Swann escapes so Perkins gets him with a double chicken wing gut buster that earns him a near fall.

TJP tries to get Swann in the knee bar, but he can’t get it locked on. Swann fights and gets out of the hold. Swann hits a big right but then runs into a spin kick that causes both men to collapse to the mat. Graves does a good job of selling how familiar Swann and Perkins are with one another.

They slowly get back to their feet and trade blows. Swann once again escapes the detonation kick and the go into a series of near falls and reversals. They roll around on the mat for a bit before Swann finally gets TJP in a rollup FROM OUTTA NOWHERE he can’t escape from.

The match ends but Perkins goes for another hold, not realizing the match is over, which with the way the pin happened might have honestly been the case. TJ looks frustrated and disappointed, but accepts Swann’s handshake and then hugs Swann to end the show.

Winner: Rich Swann

This was a fun main event. Swann is great in the ring and for as much as I dislike his character, TJP is very good at professional wrestling. They were able to tell a good story in ring as well with TJP fighting with himself whether or not to be a dick to his buddy or to try and beat him fair and square. He ended up doing it the right way tonight and I’m curious if the good fun-loving TJ Perkins will be here to stay or if he’ll be the cruiserweight version of Big Show and switch back to being a heel next week. [***½]

Final Thoughts

This was a very fun episode of 205 Live. The matches were all fun, Neville continues to be the best heel in all of WWE, and Titus O’Neil continues to be surprisingly entertaining. If you had told me a month ago that Titus O’Neil would end up being one of the more consistently entertaining parts of WWE programming, I would have called you a liar, and yet here we are. Wrestling in 2017: It Makes No Goddamn Sense!

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