Day Four of Five Days of Wrestling: January 2017 winds to a close with WWE 205 Live 01/31/17. We didn’t get much to go on this week beyond Neville cutting a promo before the main event of SmackDown claiming he’s going to show us why he’s dominant. Beyond that, I imagine some mention will be made of Jack Gallagher’s appearance in the Royal Rumble match. Raw didn’t give us much beyond Nese getting a win over Ali and Neville and Swann having a face off. Let’s get to the recap.
WWE 205 Live 01/31/17 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. We open with a video package featuring the Cruiseweight championship match at the Rumble. Standard 205 Live video credits, pyro, and we’re live from the same place SmackDown was at tonight. Mauro welcomes us to the show, Graves put over Neville, and then announces that Swann isn’t medically cleared for tonight. Gallagher is now stepping in for Swann to team with Cedric Alexander against Noam Dar and Neville. Mauro also reminds us that Akira Tozawa is making his 205 Live debut tonight.
Tony Nese is out next, sans Gulak in a suit again, and poses – because Nese must pose. During his entrance we see footage of the tear that Nese has been on lately. Lince Dorado is out next.
Match #1: Tony Nese vs. Lince Dorado
Nese’s tear continues. They let Dorado get in a bit offense, including a springboard stunner, because this isn’t a Cruiserweight match on Raw, after all. But this one is essentially all Nese. He hits his running knee in the corner again which I suppose is his finisher. I’m not sure why they’re building up a heel like this when they have a freshly minted monster heel champ, but here we are.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Less squashy than a squash usually is and I like Nese even though his push is baffling with a heel on top right now.
Post-match, Nese must pose. As Dorado goes to leave, Nese stops posing and attacks Dorado and throws him back in the ring. Nese German suplexes Dorado into the corner and sets up for another knee in the corner when Perkins is out. Perkins gives Nese a Detonation Kick and Nese flees the ring.
Next, we see Swann and Neville on Raw last night. Meanwhile, Tom Phillips is backstage with Swann and asks for an injury update. Swann is on crutches in a boot and says he hurt his ankle kicking the crown off of Neville’s head. Swann says he didn’t realize he was hurt until after he got to the back because of adrenaline. Swann declares that once he’s healed, he’ll have his rematch with Neville. Swann starts to put over tonight’s main event when Neville storms in past Phillips and asks Swann when he’ll learn his lesson. Swann says that Neville will never keep him down. Neville begs to differ and shoves Swann to the floor.
Next, a Gran Metalik hype video airs. He’s yet another Superstar that will likely debut on WWE TV before Emmalina.
Back from break, Brian Kendrick is out to join commentary. Akira Tozawa makes his 205 Live debut next. Hey look, it’s Bayley’s fiance!
Match #2: Akira Tozawa vs. Aaron Solow
Tozawa puts away Solow in quick fashion with a snap German suplex bridge combo. The big story here though is Kendrick on commentary talking about how Tozawa needs some real competition. I guess with Tajiri out of action we’re moving into a Kendrick / Tozawa program which should be just as awesome.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Glad to have Tozawa on 205 Live and we got a cameo from Bayley’s fiance.
Post-match, Aries interviews Tozawa in the ring. Aries condescends to Tozawa, who then cuts a promo in Japanese, to which Aries claims he couldn’t have said it better himself. Also, Aries has a banana in his blazer pocket because of course he does. Kendrick has set in essential silence with a freaked out look on his face ever since Tozawa hit the snap German.
Meanwhile, Neville is pacing in the locker room when Alicia Fox and Noam Dar appear. Dar congratulates Neville on everything he did to Swann and finds an excuse to say “Foooooooox” to pop Vince. Neville says he doesn’t need Swann injured to guarantee victory, he is the guarantee. Neville says he doesn’t want to be Dar’s partner, he doesn’t need his help, and tells Dar not to screw this up. Dar says Neville is the team captain and whatever he says goes. Neville adds that he doesn’t care about Dar’s love life so he can leave his “baggage at home”. Fox freaks out about this and Dar tries to calm her down.
Back from break, Neville is out for the main event. Now that he has the title he no longer mean mugs children on the ramp. Maybe he’ll do that again once he loses the belt. Dar is out next, sans Fox. Cedric Alexander enters first for the faces. Jack Gallagher is out last.
Match #3: Neville & Noam Dar vs. Cedric Alexander & Jack Gallagher
I really liked the story they told here. Neville’s warning comes back to haunt Dar as he screws around and tags himself in a bunch against Neville’s wishes. This leads to Gallagher destroying Dar with a crazy headbutt and Neville having to make the save. Neville takes out Alexander and then tells Dar to finish it. Dar, out of it from the headbutt, just sort of crawls around so Neville asks for the tag… and then leaves Dar high and dry. Neville heads to the back while Gallagher makes a tag to Alexander. Dar attempts to roll out of the ring, but Gallagher tosses him back in and Dar eats a Lumbar Check for the loss.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Wow, they managed to make heel Neville an even more despicable character than he already was. Well done!
We go off the air watching Alexander and Gallagher celebrate in the ring.
Not a bad 205 Live. Project “push Nese” continues, Tozawa debuted, and a strong tag match that further established Neville as a monster heel. Good stuff once again.