Hello everyone, it’s Lee Hazell, and I’m here to give you the 5 foot 2 take on 205 Live.
We have a new Cruiserweight champion on the network and what kind of impression is this newly crowned king looking to make on his division? A subtle one it looks like. It’s only when you take a step back and look at the programme as a whole (including the Raw segment on Monday) that you realise how much Neville has progressed as a heel just by winning the championship.
Monday’s segment had the ‘coronation’ Neville as the new cruiserweight champion. A segment that was ‘interrupted’ (if you want to know what all the quotation marks are for, it’s because they represent the twisted vision of a champion whose perspective is no longer viewable from Earth) by Rich Swann, who wanted to genuinely show respect to the man who pushed him to the limit at the Royal Rumble pay per view.
Neville responded by saying that Swann should get on one knee and kiss his king’s foot. Swann, unable to bring himself to perform such an act of subservience turns away and peaceably leaves. Neville, seeing this as an act of disrespect, decides to attack Swann while his back is turned. Swann anticipates the move and damn near kicks Neville’s head off. Unfortunately for Swann, this kick was so hard, when he gets to the back and takes off his boot, he realises he broke his foot on Neville’s head.
This is revealed in a backstage segment on 205 Live. Swann swears that as soon as his ankle is better he will return to once again, and kick the crown off of Neville’s head. Neville takes exception to this and shoves his wounded adversary to the ground.
The first match of the night is Tony Nese vs. Lince Dorado. Tony Nese is finally on a hot streak, but he has no feud. He has plenty of momentum but no direction to point it in. That changed after the match when TJ Perkins came down to the match to stop his post-match beat down on Dorado. He has his prey now, which is good because he needs someone to victimise. Perkins, however, looks to slip further down the rankings as I just can’t see him winning this rivalry.
205 Live needs that kind of dominant heel to look like a threat, the guy for whom simply being booked in a match with is a punishment. He can’t be that if he loses to Perkins. Nese walks through Dorado, himself getting lost in the shuffle of the roster, and Nese looks brutal in competition and unforgiving in defeat. He is one to watch for the future now WWE are using him properly.
Akira Tozawa vs. Aaron Solo is next. Now, I understand just having Tozawa squash Solo makes for a boring match, and I, myself, hate squashes anyway, so I can appreciate that. But having enhancement talent get in so much offence against Tozawa undermines the points that the video packages have made about him, that he is an unstoppable, suplexing force of nature. If this was how his debut match was going to go, he should have been fed someone substantial like Drew Gulak or Ariya Daivari. That snap German Suplex though, whaddamanuver!
The final match is a tag match, Jack Gallagher and Cedric Alexander vs. Neville and Noam Dar. Preceding it, we’re treated to a backstage segment where Neville simply tells Dar to do as he’s told, oh, and to leave his baggage in the back. His baggage being Alicia Fox. Fair enough. Maybe I can enjoy a fight between Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar without having to turn the volume down.
Neville keeps up pace with Jack and Cedric, but as soon as Dar puts himself in with an unwelcome tag, the balance tips in favour of the faces, and Neville is none too happy with his partner. Neville tags back in against Gallagher and dominates the match. Neville really has his heel ring style down pat. He manhandles Gallagher, taking advantage of Gallagher’s greater resilience, being able to take more punishment than most of those on the roster because of his MMA background. This allows Neville to go almost strong style on his ass. But once again, Dar wants to get in on the glory and hands the advantage back to team face.
Neville, disgusted that his hard-fought ground has been conceded twice by this Sid James wannabe steps off the apron and calmly walks to the back letting Dar know that he had his chance and has been deemed unworthy. Alexander picks up the win from the crestfallen Dar, which as biased as I am, is fair as Gallagher doesn’t need it as much as Cedric does. Gallagher, by the way, is in danger of turning into a joke, or so some people say. I think as long as he keeps head-butting people like he hates his forehead, his credibility will remain intact.
Now, you might be expecting Neville to make more of an impact on this show and really assert his dominance as champion. So you might be disappointed with his performance here as he doesn’t even stick around to see the end of his match. But like I said at the top, if you take a step back and look at all of his contributions as a whole you see the picture they’re trying to paint with the new champ.
Neville is someone looking to impose his influence over the roster and inspire subservience from his subjects. However, he also has impossibly high standards for them. Lastly, the loyalty he wished to inspire isn’t so that he can use his followers as human shields, like too many cowardly heels. No, that isn’t him at all. He is a strong dominant heel, and the thing you hate the most about him is that he is that good. His dominant, heel ring style now, rife with submissions and hard hitting moves, punctuated by gurning, gloating expressions is convincing and endlessly entertaining. Now if only the live audience would look up from their fucking phones.
Tune in next week to see the continuation of the 5 foot 2 guy’s weekly take on 205 Live.