1st Match: Ariya Daivari vs. Mustafa Ali
Okay, there were a couple jabs at Donald Trump in Smackdown Live (AJ Styles: “Do we live in a fantasy world where the facts don’t matter?” and Natalya: “I don’t lie, I don’t lie. You just can’t handle the truth.”), and now the opening match seems to be one that Donald Trump would question how either competitor got past his travel ban. This match is a qualifier, with the winner entering tonight’s Fatal 5-Way for the #1 Contendership to Neville’s WWE Cruiserweight title. Apparently Tony Nese has been injured and has had to withdraw from the match.
Solid match-up between two vastly understated performers so far on 205 Live. Both men have had good match-ups and showings, although Mustafa has been more of a set up for other guys going on to bigger things. Daivari came out the losing end against Gallagher, but still came off as a tough competitor.
Two contrasting styles – Daivari’s physicality against Mustafa’s aerialism – worked tremendously together. After a near 10 minute match-up back and forth, Ali won with his stunning 450 splash.
Your Winner: Mustafa Ali, by pinfall, following a 450-Splash. Mustafa Ali advances to the main event to determine the #1 Contender to the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
205 Jive: Both guys are developing nicely as characters, although their still not entirely there yet. Mustafa has some serious air skills and Daivari is a great heel in the making.
2nd Match: The Brian Kendrick vs. Lince Dorado
Lince Dorado comes down first, before Kendrick comes out, mic in hand to announce that he is the guy that WWE brings in to crush the dreams of the clowns, like that Japanese Legend Tajiri. He says that one exception is his new protege, Akira Tozawa.
Poor Dorado. Solid worker, but he’s kind of the Barry Horowitz of the Cruiserweight Division right now. Hard to argue with the talent ahead of him right now though. But he’s still got room and time to shine.
Kendrick works him over early, but when he leaves the ring, Dorado lands a perfect Asai Moonsault onto Kendrick on the floor.
Both men get into the ring and Kendrick takes back over, tossing Dorado from corner to corner. The Golden Lynx reverses his fortunes and gets in some offence, followed up with a handspring Stunner and a two count.
Dorado heads back to the top turnbuckle, but Kendrick cuts him off and tries to tear at Dorado’s mask. Lince fights him off and attempts a Shooting Star Press but Kendrick puts up the knees and Dorado is winded.
Kendrick quickly locks in the Captain’s Hook, and Dorado has no choice but to tap out.
Your Winner: The Brian Kendrick, by submission, with the Captain’s Hook.
205 Jive: Lince Dorado looked good in his limited offence – that Asai Moonsault was beautiful. He and Kendrick had great chemistry and Kendrick fought hard for his victory. Lince loses again, but at least he look formidable.
Back in the ring, Austin Aries is in to interview Kendrick. Aries asks why he changed his mind on Tozawa after last week. Kendrick says that they’re buddies now and calls Akira out to the ring.
Instead, Tajiri’s music hits and Kendrick stares up the ramp in horror. He turns around and Tajiri is behind him, who spits the green mist in Kendrick’s eyes and then slithers away.
205 Jive: Nice to see Tajiri return so quickly, as Tajiri vs. Kendrick could be a great feud. Two solid veterans who can add some name recognition for some of the casuals. Akira Tozawa is sure to be inserted somehow. He never responded to being labeled as Kendrick’s protege, so Kendrick is most likely goading him. Tajiri and Tozawa were recently tag team partners at NXT’s recent Japan special.
Main Event: Fatal 5-Way for the #1 Contendership for the WWE Cruiserweight Title: Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar vs. Jack Gallagher vs. TJ Perkins vs. Mustafa Ali
All five men make their entrances separately, starting with Jack Gallagher and ending with TJ Perkins. Mustafa is still showing the affects of his opening match, favouring his neck. As much as I’m a huge fan of Tony Nese, swapping him out for Mustafa opens the match up to much more aerial options.
The lights briefly go out for a second, but soon Noam Dar finds himself in the middle of four faces circling him. They quickly gang up and throw him out before they pair off with each other. TJ Perkins and Mustafa in one corner, with Gallagher and Cedric in the other. They swap partners a couple times, with some dropkicks and flips in between, before most of them find themselves outside the ring, leaving Perkins and Mustafa in the ring.
Out of nowhere, Alexander leaps over Mustafa Ali from the outside to a Sunset Flip pinfall attempt on Perkins, but TJ kicks out. Ali and Perkins roll out, and Dar comes in and attacks Cedric. Gallagher sneaks back in and tackles Noam after he gets Alexander out of the ring.
Gallagher is left standing in the ring, when Mustafa charges him. Gallagher launches Mustafa over the ropes, landing on the others on the floor. Gallagher opens up William III (his umbrella) and climbs the top rope, jumping on the entire squad below. Is that the world’s first Mary Poppins Bomb? (Surely, Marty Scurll has done it)
Gallagher brings Dar in and goes for the pin, but only two. Dar clips Gallagher in the shin with a kick and takes him down, and Dar starts to work Gallagher in the corner.
Alexander lands a Lumbar Check out of nowhere and gets the pin.
Noam Dar is eliminated first, pinned by Cedric Alexander
Mustafa Ali quickly goes after Alexander and the two engage in some great counters. He takes Ali down, but Perkins swoops in to take advantage. Alexander fights him off, landing his handspring kick, sending Perkins to the corner. He climbs the top rope, but Perkins jumps up and begins to punch him. A headbutt to TJ and Perkins lands on the mat.
Suddenly Dar, who has been eliminated, trips Alexander who lands squarely on his man jewels. The ref tosses Dar from ringside, but Perkins capitalizes and pins Alexander after a Detonation Kick.
Cedric Alexander is eliminated second, pinned by TJ Perkins
Gallagher gets Mustafa Ali up in an Electric Chair, while Perkins flies in with a cross body from the top rope and takes both men out. Perkins is wiped, but Gallagher and Ali continue to fight. Ali lands a neckbreaker on Gallagher and goes for his 450 splash again, but Gallagher rolls out of the ring.
Perkins grabs Mustafa and quickly slaps on the cross armbar submission, with Ali tapping out quickly.
Mustafa Ali is eliminated third, by submission to TJ Perkins
We’re left with TJ Perkins vs. Jack Gallagher, with Gentleman Jack landing a nasty headbutt in the middle of the ring as they two collide. Despite the headbutt, Perkins takes control. He locks Gallagher in a leglock submission, but Gallagher does some Plasticman wiggling and gets to the rope. He continues to show signs of serious pain in his left leg, from Dar’s earlier kick and then Perkins continue work on it.
As Perkins comes in for the kill, Gallagher headbutts him in the stomach, but Perkins continues to fight him off with a Detonation Kick.
A third headbutt that almost knocks out Gallagher, lands Jack on Perkins, but only a two count.
The two pull themselves up and Perkins pulls Jack up into a Fireman’s Carry for another Detonation Kick, but Gallagher wiggles out and lands a fourth headbutt!
Perkins staggers to the corner, where Gallagher follows up with a running dropkick, picking up the 1-2-3 on Perkins.
Your Winner: Jack Gallagher, by pinfall, to become the new #1 Contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
205 Jive: What a great main event. Everyone really got a chance to shine and show a lot of style diversity. At times, many like TJ Perkins and Cedric Alexander got to show some of the stuff that most haven’t seen since their indie days, and Gallagher worked a lot more of his UK style in here – these five worked incredibly well together. The Seattle crowd stuck around for this and “This Is Awesome” chants at the matches end was encouraging. Jack Gallagher now goes on to Fastlane, the next Raw PPV, to face Neville for the belt, while former #1 Contender Rich Swann recovers from his foot injury.
A real solid match, where Mustafa Ali really got a chance to shine, Kendrick and Tajiri’s feud continues (with an added mystery of Akira Tozawa) and all five men in the main event really brought an energy that 205 Live hadn’t really seen yet – again, perhaps in part due to the energy of the Seattle audience.
Main Photo: WWE.com