Hello everyone, it’s Lee Hazell, and I’m here to give you the 5 foot 2 take on 205 Live.
The program starts off by reminding us that the Rich Swann has been gaining some momentum against the challenger for the cruiserweight championship. Has the self-proclaimed ‘King of the Cruiserweights’ Neville underestimated his opponent? The big take away from the video package is that the cruiserweight bout at the Royal Rumble PPV won’t be the walkover for Neville that many predicted it would be.
The first bout is between the former Cruiserweight Champ TJ Perkins and Tony Nese. TJ is struggling for much of this one and despite the win, the focus is clearly on the heel Nese. The bout is surprisingly one-sided with Nese brutalising Perkins with his superior size and strength, while also displaying his astounding agility.
Perkins picks up the win with a rollup, but it is a clear upset. It really shows how far his character has fallen that his win against a perpetual jobber seems unearned. WWE were really ill-prepared to transfer the characters and stories that worked so well on a TV studio level to the big arenas.
I still don’t know why every word that comes out of Perkin’s mouth had to be videogame related. A wrestler’s character doesn’t have to be saturated in a gimmick for it to work, just seasoned with it. From the hype of the CWC to the disappointment of the CW division on Raw, nobody has suffered in the transition like the inaugural cruiserweight champion.
Nese upon realising that he’s let victory slip through his fingers, does his brutal combination of a German Suplex into the corner followed up by a knee strike. Knee pad down, of course. This is now a feature of his moveset, a combination finisher we don’t see too much of these days. The last we see of Perkins is him being helped to the back by medical aid. A kiss of death to any superstar’s momentum.
Brian Kendrick comes out next to do his now customary shtick of talking trash to his enhancement talent opponent, shitting all over their hopes, their dreams, their friends, their family, their hometown. Suicide rates must skyrocket everywhere Kendrick goes.
His opponent’s name, by the way? Tripp Bradshaw. A mere hour after John Bradshaw Layfield fell on his face coming to Jerry Lawler’s aid. That cannot have been a coincidence. Anyway, Kendrick is clearly letting his frustrations out on his opponent making quick work of him and even keeping the Captain’s Hook locked in for several seconds after Tripp taps out.
The main event is Neville vs Cedric Alexander. It starts out by continuing the story hinted at in the opening package and Neville’s promo. Neville can’t just walk into the Rumble thinking he’s a sure thing. Neville struggles to get the advantage over Alexander. He eventually overcomes though, and begins a lengthy period of dominance, followed by a rally from Alexander. It is a long match and feels exhausting to watch, but in an empathetic way, not an exasperating way. Both competitors are genuinely giving their all, taxing their bodies and their minds.
It’s a shame then, that the finish is confusing. Noam Dar interferes, but Cedric beats him to the punch. Then he goes for a springboard dropkick but slips. It provides the perfect moment for Neville to capitalise, but with Noam’s interference, it seems unnecessary, leading me to believe that the slip might have just been a botch. Also, the way the commentary team trip over themselves trying to explain the slip confirms my suspicions.
Dar comes in to chastise Alexander but Neville is having none of it. Alexander is his scalp. He will pick apart the bones and keep the bounty for himself. Swann comes down to save his friend, and maybe to just take some of Neville for himself. They end up having to be pulled apart by several officials and my interest in their match on Sunday is now at its peak. A good ending to a so-and-so show.
Tune in next week to see the continuation of the 5 foot 2 guy’s weekly take on 205 Live.