Notes In Observance – WWE 205 Live 1/3/17: The Neville System
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
The Neville System
– The opening video highlighted last week’s WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann-Neville main event. Since his rabid heel turn, Neville has aggressively pursued the Title and christened himself the “King Of The Cruiserweights.” We got a more serious Swann, but he was outdone by the angered Neville. Nice production job as we heard the Brit’s promo soundbites from his cocky sit-down interview. Neville downed the Champ with an impactful superplex and assumed to be in line for a future shot.
– The Tajiri-Sean Maluta match was a logical squash to put the Japanese veteran over. A three-time Cruiserweight Champion, Tajiri has loads of in-ring credibility, though the crowd didn’t feel it much. Jacksonville, Florida sucked, no offense. Liked commentary’s added touch to mention his Extreme Championship Wrestling classics with Super Crazy and that they even used Billy Kidman’s quotes to help build his case. Tajiri hit his usual spots, as well as the appreciated (yet illegal) tarantula submission. Maluta has competed before, but he was mere enhancement fodder, though he sold the stiff buzzsaw kicks to the ribs/head nicely. Eventually, a kick to the head put Maluta down for the three-count. Bold victory. The Brian Kednrick-Tajiri post-match angle was intriguing, yet predictable. Kendrick’s vibe gives off a “Don’t trust me” aura and it was easy to see that his attempts to be Tajiri’s friend would end up… misty. It’s weird though that Kendrick has acted friendly lately and gets rejected for it. He offered his hand and got the green mist, which he took directly in the eyes, which couldn’t be pleasant. Obviously, this builds towards a future match with the two. Since he has “demoted” down the Title picture, it’s a fair “veteran” angle to tell with the two.
– Neville’s backstage promo hyped his main event match with TJ Perkins, who stepped up to defend his friend presumably. Neville continued his “Oh, I’m British and nobody likes me or what I’ve been through” routine as he mixed it with threats to end Perkins’ “15 minutes of fame.” He also promised to create his own system (watch out, Simon Diamond) and no longer cared what those outside of England thought about him.
– The Tony Nese hype video was a fresh look at the “Premier Athlete,” as there were words behind his fancy muscle-packed pose and flashy power-based offense. He was well-spoken when he argued why the pre-match handshakes were unnecessary to him. His story was to prove everyone wrong and that he was rejected by WWE in the past served as fuel. Solid video. Nese was an early standout that began to fade, but this is a good sign that maybe he’ll be used more prevalently.
– The “Extraordinary Gentleman” Jack Gallagher-Nese match was a clever clash, given the hype video and Gallagher’s feud with Ariya Daivari spliced in to his character’s momentum. After all, the guy embarrassed Daivari with an umbrella of all weapons last week. We were annoyed how Nese shook hands with Gallagher as it contradicted the hype video we saw, but we’ll let it go. Yes, Drew Gulak was at ringside in a suit. That’s their thing, you know. Gallagher’s unique offense shined again, as he sprung to his feet when caught in a head scissors submission. Gallagher cleared Nese from the ring and hit a “Put your dukes up” pose at him when Daivari savagely attacked him from behind to end it in a disqualification. Perfect. Daivari hung Gallagher in the tree of woe and went crazy. Great way to advance their storyline and Daivari actually scored nice heat with the crowd. We even liked how Gallagher’s usually tamed hair was tousled apart from the attack.
– The Cedric Alexander-Alicia Fox backstage segment followed up on Fox’s previous “involvements” costing Alexander his matches, at least two. Alexander told her to be more careful, but didn’t blame her. They kissed onscreen for the first time. Guess that counts for something.
– The Noam Dar-Mustafa Ali match was interesting, given the dynamic of the “creeper” Dar going against Ali’s newly turned leaf. Dar becomes more smug by the week in his reckless open pursuit of Fox (or “foooooooox” that sounds distinctly like a different word in his thick Scottish accent) and he translated some of that to his in-ring style. Ali showed off his athleticism, but most fans early on looked bored. This was evident most on the hard-camera side where a female in an WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles shirt was almost asleep. Dar worked over Ali’s wrists/arms with an array of holds with added torque. Ali began to win fans over from the point he hit the tornado DDT. He followed up with a roundhouse kick/rolling backbreaker. Dar locked in the Fujiwara armbar and almost got pinned. Ali kicked Dar to the canvas and managed to hit his inverted 450 Splash to get the pin. Ali needed the win more because of his new babyface status anyway, so we were fine with this. Dar’s post-match promo told us all we needed to know, as he pronounced Fox’s name again and said she was always welcome in his corner. Oh Vince McMahon, you scoundrel.
– The Akira Tozawa hype video was straight-forward as Cesaro spoke about his striking ability and powerful kicks, things he could attest to in the ring. A good idea since it helped give the vibe he was well-known. Hyped to appear soon, Tozawa won over fans in the Cruiserweight Classic and it’ll be fun to see what he brings to this show.
– Perkins’ backstage promo hyped the main event at the last minute, as he targeted Neville’s personality outside of the ring as a bully that needed to get kicked in the face. He also told a bad “ugly” joke that screamed of desperation. As cocky as Perkins comes off in his style, his mic skills are monotone when unfocused. This was a bad babyface promo.
– The Neville-Perkins match was all about change, especially on Neville’s end. The heel had a reworked slower, deeper-voiced theme. The early going saw them test each other out, as aggression swirled with athleticism. Perkins landed a nice huracanrana transitioned from a head scissors submission. Neville had the upper hand after a missile dropkick, as he worked him over more. Perkins hit a cool twisting corkscrew plancha and followed with a crossbody. They exchanged fierce kicks before Perkins hit a triangle wrecking ball dropkick. Neville caught Perkins in a huracanrana attempt and switched it to a bridged German suplex. They built up to the end nicely, as Perkins clearly had the superplex scouted out, but Neville grounded him on the top rope and landed it effortlessly to get the pin. While we get that you don’t want to use the crowd-pleasing Red Arrow finisher, something about a superplex as a finisher seems empty for us. They should incorporate another signature move that sets it up. Just nit-picking, but this helps seal Neville’s Title shot case. Will it come at the Royal Rumble?
- Tajiri def. Sean Maluta via pinfall
- “The Extraordinary Gentleman” Jack Gallagher def. Tony Nese (w/Drew Gulak) via DQ
- Mustafa Ali def. Noam Dar via pinfall
- Neville def. TJ Perkins via pinfall
Posted on March 30, 2017, in WWE and tagged Akira Tozawa, Alicia Fox, Ariya Daivari, Austin Aries, Brian Kendrick, Cedric Alexander, Cesaro, Corey Graves, Dasha Fuentes, Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher, Mauro Ranallo, Mustafa Ali, Neville, Noam Dar, Sean Maluta, Tajiri, TJ Perkins, Tony Nese. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.