The Purple Lounge: 205 Live (2/14/17)

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1st Match: Noam Dar (w/ Alicia Fox) vs. Rich Swann

Rich Swann makes his return after being sidelined for a couple weeks following a foot injury. It’s funny that after building Noam Dar early into one of the Cruiserweight Division’s bigger personalities that he’s become the Division’s jobber since winning over Alicia Fawwwwwwwx from Cedric Alexander. Hopefully he finds his proper rival and he can break out with his ring skills and not just his pronunciation of his valet’s name.

Dar takes the early advantage, coming in hot after Swann dedicates his match on Valentine’s Day to Alicia Fox (although Alicia “couldn’t handle” him). Alicia Fox cheers Dar on early, as Dar slowly works over Swann in the middle of the ring, occasionally stopping to blow kisses to Foxy. Out of nowhere, Swann lands a heavy kick to Dar’s head, taking the Scottish Supernova out, but both men are rattled.

Dar collects his senses and charges Swann, but Swann meets him at every turn, until Dar catches one of Swann’s kicks and turns it into an ankle lock. Swann twists his way free, by launching Dar out the ring. Alicia Fox blocks Swann from Dar who runs into the ring, drawing in Swann. He catches Swann in a sunset flip but Swann kicks out. Dar lands a short lariat to the back of Swann’s head, but only gets the two count.

Dar goes to the top rope, but Swann catches him a hurricanrana, then climbs up and lands a Phoenix Splash, picking up a return victory with the 1-2-3.

Your Winner…Rich Swann, by pinfall, following a Phoenix Splash

205 Jive: Noam Dar had a solid outing there, easily his best showing in weeks. He comes out that loss looking stronger than he has since his feud with Alexander began. A nice return from Swann, who ended strongly with a stunning Phoenix Splash. Both guys are at a bit of a crossroads right now as far as stories go, with Neville facing Jack Gallagher next for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at FastlaneA short feud with Dar wouldn’t be a bad transitional series until Swann refocuses on Neville and the title.

2nd Match: Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak

Nice to see Gran Metalik (formerly Mascara Dorado in NJPW and CMLL) back after sorting out his work visa issues. He was another of the standouts from last summer’s Cruiserweight Classic.

Drew Gulak starts off strong, trying to ground the Lucha Libre star with his technical approach. Metalik gets a few moves in before Gulak grounds Metalik once again with a series of locks and armbars. Metalik find responds with some more aerial moves, but Gulak cuts off one a twisting cross body attempt with a high drop kick. Gulak goes for the match’s first pin attempt, but only a soft two count.

Gulak lifts Metalik up in the Gory Special, then turns it into a spinning chinlock, but only gets a two count out of the ordeal. Metalik pulls himself into the corner, where Gulak charges but misses. Metalik fights back and tosses Gulak out of the ring. Metalik charges and launches his springboard topé on Gulak on the ring below.

He gets Gulak back into the ring and lands his Metalik Driver on Drew for the 1-2-3.

Your Winner…Gran Metalik, by pinfall, following the Metalik Driver

Backstage, Akira Tozawa is packing his gear, when Brian Kendrick comes in and asks Akira if he would like to be Brian’s protege, his student. Tozawa answers with a resounding “NOOO!”. Kendrick laughs it off and says that maybe there is some lost translation. Tozawa responds in English, “I understand. I just don’t like you.”

205 Jive: I must say that was a bit underwhelming. Drew Gulak was fantastic as always – he’s got a Steve Blackman meets Hardcore Holly approach of fluidity that makes anyone look good. But after practically stealing the show during the Cruiserweight Classic, Gran Metalik came off a little rusty. He looked a little heavier than his CWC run as well, so maybe he’s got some ring rust to shake off from the past few months. Hopefully he gets his groove back soon, as he’s a great talent when all pistons are firing.

Main Event: WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville vs. TJ Perkins – Non-Title

Another hard hitting affair between these two rivals of late, with Neville continuing to rely more on power moves and technical submission moves (like his new finisher). Perkins was well grounded for most of the match, and despite a decent amount of time, Neville wins by submission easily.

Gallagher’s music hits and he runs down the ring with William III (his umbrella) and scares off Neville. Gallagher briefly dons the Cruiserweight belt as Neville rages from the top of the ramp.

205 Jive: Not a terrible match, but we’ve seen it before. Neville continues to lose strong, but TJ Perkins seems to be an energy sucker in the larger arenas. Despite being the inaugural (new) Cruiserweight Champion, he feels like one of the least over guys in the Division. He’s almost the Cruiserweight Division’s version of Roman Reigns, although he’s yet to reach the “boos” level. 

Bit of step back for 205 Live tonight as all three matches seemed subpar based on their combatants. But there’s no question all those involved have the ability. Hopefully Dar and Swann find their next foes (although each other would be fun if given more time) and Gran Metalik returns to his CWC form. Lots of great talent in the CW Division right now, so there’s still no need to panic, despite what the internet naysayers say. The WWE is well aware of the disconnect and are working on some new ideas to try and enhance the product as a whole.

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