First Match: Cedric Alexander (w/ Alicia Fox) vs. Noam Dar
It’s the arguably the second biggest storyline of the Cruiserweight division, behind the impending showdown of WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann and the returned “King of the Cruiserweights” Neville. Alicia Fox was a brilliant addition and it got a lot of the casual fans paying attention. These two guys are talented performers and athletic joys to watch and it’s nice to see them finally square off again after a few weeks off.
Dar is a natural heel and Alexander is genuinely likable, which makes this feel all that much better. The two trade blows and holds evenly, with Fox circling the ring.
Dar finally takes off with momentum following a vicious European uppercut, followed by a Straightjacket submission. After a few moments, Alexander reverses it, but Dar quickly gets out and again attacks Alexander’s arms. Dar works Cedric into the corner and lays some punches before returning him to the center of the ring for a 2-count pin attempt.
Dar gets another armbar submission on, as Alicia tries to get the crowd behind Alexander. Alexander gets a bit of a comeback, but is soon caught in Dar’s Fujiwara armbar. Luckily he gets his foot to the ropes and the hold is broken.
Dar climbs on the ring and slams Alexander’s arm into the ringpost repeatedly. He then jams Cedric’s arm between the ring post and the stairs and begins to run as if to kick it, when Alicia Fox cuts him off. Dar stops, only to be knocked down by a flying dropkick from Cedric.
Cedric throws Dar back in the ring and attempts the Lumbar Check, but Dar counters it. He doesn’t avoid the handspring sidekick, but Cedric only gets a two count.
Dar turns it round and gets Cedric to the top rope, but Alexander pushes him off. He goes for a moonsault, but Dar rolls out of the way. Or did he?
Apparently Alicia Fox pulled Dar out of the way! Dar smirks at her and as a winded Alexander pulls himself back to his feet, Dar lands a kick to the head and picks up the three count, as Alicia Fox looks dejected and Alexander looks defeated.
Dar comes over to thank Fox, but is met by a slap to the face. Dar walks aways smiling.
205 Jive: Better than their initial match-up, with some great selling from Alexander. Dar is getting more confident in his WWE skin every week and we’re seeing some of the potential that indie fans always knew he had. The tension is building nicely between the three and the payoff match will be an absolute gem if both men are given some time with the reigns let go a bit.
Second Match: Brian Kendrick vs. Sean Maluta
Kendrick comes down calling out Tajiri for spitting the Green Mist in his face. But tonight he’s going to take it out on Maluta. If Tajiri can beat him, so can Kendrick.
Kendrick gets the jump early, but Maluta fights back and gets in some offence, scaring Kendrick to ringside. Maluta lands a ring apron flip somersault on Kendrick. He picks Kendrick up and throws him back in the ring.
Kendrick lands a Superkick to stop his momentum and Maluta is caught in a Cobra Clutch. Kendrick wears him down and works him into the corner, but Maluta counters and goes for a pin attempt. Maluta starts Eddie Guerrero’s Three Amigos before ending the last one on a sitdown powerbomb, followed by a gourdbuster.
Kendrick fights back and locks in the Captain’s Hook for the win.
Backstage, Cedric Alexander breaks up with Alicia Fox over her obsession with Noam Dar and it standing in their way and his matches. After he leaves, Alicia goes into the “Crazy Like A. Fox” mode and trashes the backstage.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari Parlay
Gallagher calls out Daivari so they could talk. They both sit down at what looks like a contract signing.
Daivari assumes Gallagher wants to admit defeat, but Gallagher says he has other plans. He proposes an “I Forfeit Match” (UK equivalent of the “I Quit Match”). He reveals a contract and Daivari accepts, signs, then tosses Gallagher’s umbrella (which is named William) to the ground.
Gallagher jumps over the table (“I hope the Queen isn’t watching…”) and it becomes the usual contract signing tomfoolery.
205 Jive: Another angle that has delivered. I knew Gallagher was a stud, but I didn’t expect him to shine so quickly on the WWE roster. And Daivari continues to impress as well. The I Forfeit Match should be a technical treat.
Main Event: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann (c) vs. Tony Nese – NON-TITLE MATCH
“The Premier Athlete” Tony Nese stars off overpowering Swann with his strength. The two do some running the ropes moves that results in Swann dropkicking Nese out the ring.
Swann follows him out and they continue to fight. Swann rushes Nese who throws Swann ribcage first on the barricade. He rolls Swann back in and locks a leglock around Swann’s abdomen in the middle of the ring.
Hmmm. Surprisingly, Nese came out solo. His usual partner in crime, Drew Gulak, is nowhere to be seen. Nese continues pressuring Swann, with pin attempts and holds that targeted his ribs and abdomen. He then throws the Champion into the corner, that knocks the wind out of Swann.
A springboard moonsault from Nese fails to land and Swann gets his breath back. A series of lariats and Swann gets some energy back. They trade holds, moves and counters in a great back and forth series that showcased both men’s athleticism.
Swann lands a Tiger Bomb on Nese, but only gets a 2-count. A modest “Let’s go Swann” chant breaks out as he picks up momentum. He catches Nese with his spinning kicks and picks up the win.
Swann calls out Neville for taking him out a few weeks back. Neville comes out and challenges Rich Swann to a WWE Cruiserweight Championship match at Royal Rumble.
SmackBack: Swann and Nese are capable of a far better match, but this wasn’t about those two, despite Nese looking fantastic in the main event. Swann gets some momentum back and we get 205 Live’s inclusion on the Royal Rumble card. Fun show with three fun matches. Gallagher seemed to stumble a few times on his lines, but it was still a hot segment (despite the smaller crowd than normal it seemed for 205 Live – or at least the quietest).