WWE 205 Live 05/02/17 features Rich Swann and Noam Dar facing off. I’m hoping this is the final blowoff to the Swann / Dar / Alicia Fox love triangle. Other than that, Mustafa Ali faces Drew Gulak – so expect a megaphone and a “No Fly Zone” sign. Let’s get to the recap.
WWE 205 Live 05/02/17 Recap
Cold open on EMTs helping Chris Jericho to the back as it looks like SmackDown Live went long again. The SmackDown announce team shows us footage of what just happened to Jericho at the hands of Kevin Owens. We’re then sent to a 205 Live hype package focusing on Neville’s DQ victory at Payback and TJP taking down Aries post-match at Raw last night.
Standard 205 Live credits, pyro, and we’re live from where SmackDown was tonight. Corey Graves and Tom Phillips inform us that WWE.com and Talking Smack will have more information on Jericho’s condition.
Later tonight? Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak.
Even later tonight? Noam Dar vs. Rich Swann.
But first – TJP is out. Notably, his entrance video appears to have the full “character selection” screen back – so either they were trying something new out last night OR it was just a production glitch. Lince Dorado is out next.
Match #1: TJP vs. Lince Dorado
Well, Dorado gets in way more offense than he usually does, but this clearly exists to continue to get TJP over as a heel. TJP starts going after Dorado’s mask so he’s now pulling off the “Heel 101” tactics you go to when facing a luchador. TJP goes for the mask one more time after Dorado nearly converts after a sunset flip. From there, TJP uses the distraction to pull Dorado into the kneebar. Lince taps.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – It was great seeing Dorado finally get more than two minutes to work, but wow, he must have the worst win / loss record of anyone on the 205 Live roster.
Post-match, TJP dabs. Wow, I now get what my Twitter timeline was up in arms about during Raw. TJP is said many times. I guess “Perkins” is now on the List of McMahon along with “strap”, “belt”, “title shot”, and “pro wrestling”. Also, TJP.
Back from break, we get a sit down interview with Brian Kendrick. Corey Graves asks why the Kendrick and Tozawa beef is so heated. Kendrick says that he and Tozawa have history dating back to Kendrick’s time in Japan. Kendrick believes that Tozawa is letting success go his head and that he’s buying too much into the fan reactions. Kendrick says he’s done playing around and gets blasted with a kick from Tozawa that comes out of nowhere. Tozawa sits in the chair previously occupied by Kendrick and delivers Lesson #5: Always end an interview with impact. Tozawa then starts “Ah!”-ing at Graves to end the segment.
Back from break, Mustafa Ali (w/ footage of his match last week with Nese) heads out. Drew Gulak (w/ megaphone & “No Fly Zone!” sign) follows. Gulak cuts a promo by way of megaphone on his way to the ring and declares Fresno to be a “No Fly Zone”. Before the match begins, Gulak (in a suit), cuts an “earlier today” promo on the “high-flying show offs” of the Cruiserweight division.
Match #2: Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak
Gulak sets out to prove that “high-flying doesn’t work” and is rather effective. Ali goes on a run and attempts to put Gulak away early with the Inverted 450, but Gulak is able to grab Ali’s foot to prevent the air assault. Not giving up just yet, Ali strikes back and goes for a Frog Splash – but Gulak gets his knees up in time to counter. Drew then rolls up Ali and gets the victory. I’m loving this feud so far and Gulak seemingly proving himself right in this match worked quite well.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – I love Ali and Gulak’s “No High Flying!” gimmick has won me over.
Post-match, Dasha interviews Gulak. Drew claims that his victory over Ali is vindication for his anti-aerial attack campaign. Gulak says that high-flying doesn’t work and fans cheering for their favorites to use high-risk moves only serves to lead to those superstars’ demise. Ali listened to the fans and he crashed and burned tonight. What Gulak does works – and that is why he is the future of 205 Live. I love that they’re taking the “spot monkey” criticisms of the division from people on the internet and wrapping them up into the Gulak character. One thing WWE has done well for years now is parody the Hell out of their vocal critics by way of over the top characters and angles.
Back from break, Tom and Corey send us to a video package explaining the Noam Dar / Rich Swann / Alicia Fox love triangle – just in case we haven’t been watching for the past several months.
Swann enters first for the main event. Dar enters last.
Match #3: Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar
Just when I thought this program was over…
So, smart money said that Swann would win here to put their feud to bed. I based that assumption off of the previous few encounters and because Dar always seems to lose. But – not so fast. Dar and Swann have one of the best matches I’ve seen so far from Dar on 205 Live. He actually goes beat for beat with Swann and ends up targeting Swann’s arm to build to an armbar sequence. To Swann’s credit, he sells the arm well, even using the injury to delay a cover after a Phoenix Splash which otherwise would have put Dar away. Noam ends up countering a second Phoenix Splash and strikes away at Swann until Rich appears to be out on his feet. From there, Dar hits his running kick finisher and picks up a main event victory.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – As tired as I am of this program – this was a strong match and possibly the best Dar has looked on TV since the CWC.
Post-match, Alicia Fox’s music hits and she’s out. She enters the ring smiling and the crowd chants “No!” at her. She responds by doing the Daniel Bryan “Yes!” thing. Fox and Dar embrace and Fox actually picks Dar up like a small child and carries him around the ring as we go off the air.
So much for the end of the Dar / Fox program I suppose…