On the sheet for WWE 205 Live 01/17/17 is the “I Forfeit” match between Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari that was set up on last week’s show. Other than that, Raw didn’t give us much to go on as far as fodder for 205 Live tonight beyond Cedric Alexander not being interested in reconciling with Alicia Fox. Also of note, Tajiri was apparently injured at the NXT tapings a few weeks back, which explains his absence and will likely mean Brian Kendrick moves on to something else. Okay, I have a full day of moving starting in the morning (ugh!) so let’s get to the recap.
WWE 205 Live 01/17/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a video package that hypes up the “I Forfeit” match. Standard 205 Live video credits, pyro, and we’re live from where SmackDown was tonight. The announce team of Graves, Ranallo, and Aries set the table for the upcoming title match at the Royal Rumble and for tonight’s show.
Drew Gulak is out first and he’s not wearing a suit… he’s dressed for a match! Cedric Alexander is out next and Alicia Fox trails behind. Cedric clearly has no idea she’s back there and sells surprise when he turns around at the end of the aisle and she’s there. I bet this goes well. Cedric tells her “bye Felicia”, while some guy in the front row tells her to “go back to Noam Dar”. Cedric waves “bye” and Alicia starts to lose it as she regulary does. Alicia carries on so much it actually prevents the match from starting. Noam Dar finally comes out to try to usher Alicia to the back. Alicia screams that she “destroys” boys like Cedric and calls him a “rookie” in her “book”. She turns to Dar and tells him to “do something about him (Cedric)” and man, can we just get to the match already?
Alicia declares herself to be “hot chocolate… fudge!” and Noam runs up to the apron, almost gets hit by Alexander, and bails. Wow, this is really happening. Gulak takes advantage of the distraction and starts to attack Alexander. Noam hits the ring and teams up with Gulak. We’re not getting this match, are we? Cedric survives the beat down, clears the ring, and then takes out both guys with a suicide dive. A bunch of refs come out to prevent Alexander from hitting Dar and Gulak uses this distraction to chop block Alexander. Chaos continues to ensue, Dar and Fox head to the back, and the announce team acts like this match is still going to happen even though Alexander is on the ground selling his knee.
Eventually both Cedric and Drew end up in the ring. Gulak yells out “winner winner chicken dinner” and demands his hand get raised in victory, but Cedric wants to have the match… so here we go… finally.
Match #1: Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak
So, Cedric has to sell his knee injury for this entire contest so that goes about how you’d expect. Nearly every offensive move Cedric does adds to the leg injury. Gulak helps things along with spots like a Dragon Screw and a second chop block. Cedric has a chance to try to hit the Lumbar Check but can’t do it because of his knee. Gulak is able to regain the advantage and hit a bridging suplex to get the pinfall win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – After all of the nonsense before the match, it was satisfying to see Gulak systematically work the knee. Of course, points off for all of the pre-match theatrics.
Post-match, Noam and Alicia are backstage watching this go down on a monitor. Noam says he did that to Cedric for Alicia, so naturally she slaps him and leaves the room.
Next, we see a hype video for the Rich Swann vs. Neville match at the Royal Rumble.
Back from break, Mustafa Ali is out for a match. We’re then sent backstage so Dasha can interview “The Premier Athlete”, Tony Nese. “The Premier Athlete” puts himself over and says he doesn’t have to alter his preparations for any match because he’s ultimately better than everyone else. Nese heads to the ring after he finishes his promo.
Match #2: Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese
Wow, watching Mustafa Ali’s rolling neckbreaker will never get old. It’s such a slick-looking move. The story here is Ali’s acrobatic style vs. Nese’s power moves. Nese hits a gut buster about halfway through the match which serves to wound Ali just enough that he can’t capitalize with any of his standard offense. Nese turns the tide by German suplexing Ali into the corner (!) and then hits a kneepad-less running knee to get the pinfall victory.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – A really strong match. Ali is quickly becoming a favorite of mine on this show and Nese continues to flirt with being in the title scene. Good stuff.
Post-match, Nese must pose.
Next, the announcers promote tonight’s Talking Smack episode. We then segue into mentioning the injury suffered by Tajiri. After that the announcers talk about Akira Tozawa and we get another video package (this time with Apollo Crews) hyping up Tozawa’s imminent 205 Live debut. Again, the end of the video calls him “Tozawa”, but the Graves calls him “Akira Tozawa”. So, I’m guessing this is another “Adrian Neville becomes Neville” situation?
Back from break, it’s time for the “I Forfeit” match and Greg Hamilton briefly explains the rules. Jack Gallagher (w/ William the Umbrella) heads to the ring first. Daivari is out next. Time for some 205 Live history!
Match #3: Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari (I Forfeit Match)
First things first, R.I.P. William (2016 – 2017) as Daivari almost immediately gets ahold of the umbrella, breaks it over his knee, and tosses it into the aisle. Well, sort of. Because later in the match, Gallagher manages to produce another umbrella from under the ring, and yet another from the timekeeper’s area. I’m beginning to think there are as many “William”s as there are “La Luchadora”s. Anyway, this one ticks most of the standard “I quit” match boxes. People say the word “no” a lot, there are several painful looking spots that don’t lead to someone forfeiting, the heel cuts at least one mid-match promo on the face using the ref’s mic, and multiple weapons are used. This one breaks down after a table spot and Gallagher produces the third umbrella. With Daivari down, Gallagher gives him the chance to forfeit to avoid receiving a “thrashing”. Daivari responds by playing like he will yield and then hitting Gallagher in the throat. Daivari slaps on the Cobra Clutch, but Gallagher is able to use the umbrella to break it up. Gallagher in turn slaps on some sort of lock, using the umbrella, and gets Daivari to say “I forfeit”.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – About as entertaining as one of these types of matches can be. I enjoyed the multiple umbrellas story thread and this entire feud has been a guilty pleasure of mine so “Thumbs Up” it is.
We go off the air with Jack Gallagher celebrating in the aisle.
Really, the only weak part of WWE 205 Live 01/17/17 was the Alica Fox / Noam Dar / Cedric Alexander stuff which is getting a bit overblown as time goes on. The Nese / Ali match was easily the match of the night and the “I forfeit” match was at least entertaining if nothing else.