On 30th May, WWE aired the 27th episode of 205 Live from Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia live on the WWE Network. The show featured Noam Dar facing Rich Swann, as well as appearances from Austin Aries, Cruiserweight Champion Neville, TJP, Drew Gulak and Mustafa Ali. But was it any good? Let's take a look.
- ICYMI - Cruiserweight Champion Neville and Austin Aries' split screen interview from #26, with clips of their feud and Aries' tapping out Neville on RAW #1253.
- Commentary team Corey Graves and Tom Phillips ran down the evening's card, focusing on Drew Gulak taking on Mustafa Ali and Austin Aries talking about getting Neville to submit on RAW.
Dar def. Swann
After the match on this week's RAW set up the idea of Sasha Banks being able to counter Alicia Fox at ringside, this bout a day after wasn't particularly needed. The bout was given more time, but ultimately was just an elongated version of the match from the previous night, with Dar controlling the arm, before a high tempo comeback from Swann and some interference from Fox being countered by Banks at ringside. Obviously we had a reverse of the result with Dar ducking a clothesline in the corner and hitting a running enziguiri for the victory, but there was nothing new that warranted a rematch. The promos before hand were okay, with Dar seemingly enjoying himself as he called Fox his "fluffy button" and described Swann and Banks as "friends with no benefits", but the women arguing about hair (followed by their cat fight at ringside heading into the finish) wasn't my cup of tea.
- Cedric Alexander defeated Corey Hollis after the Lumbar Check in a short bout. Alexander continues to grow after returning from injury last week, hopefully we'll see him move into another storyline soon.
- A video package looking at Akira Tozawa, after his Street Fight victory over The Brian Kendrick last week.
Gulak def. Ali
This match started hot with Mustafa Ali hitting a tope conhilo as Drew Gulak was delivering his "No Fly Zone" schtick walking to the ring. The spot was well timed and well directed with Ali coming flying through the right hand side of the screen with Gulak in the center. The match had it's moments but never felt like it completely hit it's stride. Gulak dominated after pushing Mustafa off the top rope and to the floor, with Ali beginning to sell his knee straight after. Ali sells well and Gulak's bruising style when in control is nice, but there seemed to be a little something missing from this portion of the match, perhaps having Gulak focus in on the injury would've given it a bit more impact. Ali's comeback is one of my favourite things about 205 Live, so I was disappointed to only see the rolling neckbreaker, before Gulak reversed a crossbody and got the pin. The dive to start things and Ali's bump off the top were the highlights, but as an overall package I'm not sure this bout came together quite as well as it should have.
Neville Put an End to Aries' Gloating
In the final push for their Extreme Rules submission match, Austin Aries and Neville got the best reactions of the episode and concluded with an intense angle. The segment was driven by an Aries promo talking about Neville tapping out on RAW #1253, in which The Greatest Man That Ever Lived showed the footage on the screen a total of three times. Whilst Aries promo verged into heel territory at times as he kept repeating the same rhetoric, the response when Neville came out showed that the monologue had worked as the crowd quickly showered the Cruiserweight Champion with "You tapped out" chants. The segment concluding with TJP jumping Aries and eventually allowing Neville to lock in the Rings of Saturn and not let go raised the stakes of the feud and felt like the logical progression after Aries' got a little carried away in his rejoicing.
ATPW Scale Rating - 4.19/10
Not a great outing for the purple ropes boys in their go-home for Extreme Rules. The Austin Aries/Neville/TJP angle that closed the show was the strongest element of the episode, however, the wrestling action didn't match it as the two longer matches (Rich Swann v Noam Dar, Drew Gulak v Mustafa Ali) both didn't seem to fully hit their stride. There was nothing technically wrong with either, but there also wasn't anything that grabbed me beyond Ali's tope at the start of his match.