By Drew Ortman
Well the excitement and intrigue of being a premiere episode is over and we are on to episode two of WWE 205 Live. After much speculation heading into last week’s show, we were all greeted with a pleasant surprise as the action felt less like the cruiserweight division on RAW and more like the entertaining and exciting action of the Cruiserweight Classic. While this show is still in its infancy, we will already begin to find out if WWE can maintain the momentum of that first episode and if so, for how long? Episode one’s main event was a great match with RIch Swann defeating Brian Kendrick to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. This week’s main event was announced on RAW and it will be…drumroll….THE SAME MATCH! I’m sure these two will put on another good showing, but is a rematch already the way to go? Live from Houston, Texas, let’s get to the action! Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves and Austin Aries are on commentary.
Noam Dar def. Cedric Alexander *** 1/4
Ariya Daivari def Jack Gallagher ***
Rich Swann def. Brian Kendrick ***3/4
I don’t think I mentioned this last week, but I really like the look of this show along with the superb logo. While the overwhelming purple “EVOLVE” look of the CWC was decent, the purple and orange here gives 205 Live it’s own distinct look and character setting it apart from WWE’s other franchises.
Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander
The first Cruiserweight Division relationship storyline continues as Alicia Fox wished Alexander good luck backstage before his match. The commentary team had a field day with the storyline. When asked about Noam Dar, Austin Aries said he tried to talk to him backstage, but he couldn’t understand him like “his mouth was full of marbles”. While Graves is better, he and Aries are pretty much the same guy on commentary. Alexander wows the crowd early with his impressive athleticism that make him one of the division’s fan favorites. Dar eventually gained an advantage and worked over Alexander for a while acting as the heel in the match. Alexander came back with some high impact crowd pleasing moves and from there the match went back and forth quickly several times. Surprisingly in the end, Dar hits a big kick out of nowhere to get the pinfall and victory. Good to see they are giving guys some momentum early in the show. Let’s just hope they leave out the 50/50 booking. After the match, Noam Dar dedicated his win to “Cedric Alexander’s girlfriend, Alicia Fooooooooooox”.
Ariya Daivari vs. Jack Gallagher
This is one of two rematches from last weeks show. Jack Gallagher is so much fun to watch, but this match may be a bit different than a normal match for him. Daivari attacked Gallagher after their match last week injuring Gallagher’s knee. Gallagher is wearing tape on that leg and selling it a big before the match even starts. I love how 205 Live has simple and effective storylines to complement the action but doesn’t overshadow it just as pro wrestling should be. Gallagher is still using his entertaining catch wrestling technique early, but Daivari takes the upper hand quick working over the injured knee of Gallagher. Gallagher came back with an insane looking and sounding heatbutt, but it was only good for two. In the end, Gallagher’s injury was too much to overcome and after attacking the knee Davari picked up the victory with his frog splash called ‘The Persian Lion Splash”
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Rich Swann (c) vs. Brian Kendrick
A rematch from last week’s main event and Rich Swann’s first title defense. Before the match, Brian Kendrick was interviewed in the back. He said he say how Rich Swann dedicated his win to his deceased mother, but when he wins tonight, he is dedicating the win to himself. Kendrick is one of the better heels in all WWE at the moment. Former Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins is out on commentary for this match. There was one point in the match were Perkins was talking about him and Swann traveling and hanging together all the time. His statement cut off quickly almost as if someone told him in the headset to “shut the hell up”. Perkins definitely does not have a future in commentary. Kendrick has much of the upper hand on offense early. What I really like about Kendrick in the cruiserweight division aside from his heel personality is his match style. While much of the division’s matches are jam packed with high flying athleticism and pretzel tying mat wrestling, Kendrick brings a more classic, methodical style that is a fresh breath of air on the show. During the match, Perkins and Aries get in a small argument on commentary hopefully setting some early feud groundwork. Talking about the wings on Swann’s tights, Aries refers to it as his “Kotex style gear”. A hard hitting back and forth match that spilled to the outside more than once with Kendrick keeping Swann grounded most of the match. In the end, Kendrick gets shoved into Perkins on commentary which distracts him enough to get hit with a big kick by Swann on his way back into the ring giving Swann the victory and retaining on his first title defense. Really good title match making up for it being the same main event as last week. Perkins and Kendrick get into a brawl after the match to which Swann joins. Perkins mistakenly superkicks Swann and Kendrick is left standing in the end. I can see a Kendrick and Aries vs. Swann and Perkins in the future.
Another solid night of action for 205 Live keeping the show moving and entertaining the whole entire hour. You know they must be doing something right when the show is over and it feels like you just sat down. As I said before, they are using the perfect formula for this show; keep the storylines simple and only use them to add to the great action. I would say we are 2 for 2 on 205 Live good episodes, so let’s just hope they can stay on track and keep this cruiserweight success rolling.
Final Rating: B+