Now This is War, Now This is War – 205 Live/NXT Recap – May 2-3, 2017

It’s quickly become my favorite hour of wrestling each week, 205 Live from Fresno State kicks off with the King’s Jester:

  • TJP vs Lince Dorado – I sort of hate to see this, particularly on 205 Live, but somebody has to eat the losses, and it would appear that Lince Dorado is currently the guy that’s doing that for some of these guys with running storyline.  Again, this show is a stockpile of fantastic athletes doing amazing things in the ring, they just can’t all have creative storylines at the same time, there’s only an hour to give them after all.  I do like the aggressive side of TJP, but I’ve never been supportive of using attempts to take a luchador’s mask off for any reason, especially just for the sake of furthering a heel.  TJP locks in the kneebar and gets the submission victory.
  • The Brian Kendrick sits down for a prerecorded interview with Corey Graves where TBK explains why he’s taken everything so personally with Tozawa.  He’s saddened because of the friendship they had developed in Japan, and he sees the talent but he worries that Tozawa is blinded by the WWE Universe and he’s too worried about his grunting for the audience and not enough about winning matches.  Tozawa tackles TBK from the side, taking over the interview to deliver Lesson #5: “always end an interview with impact.”
  • Mustafa Ali vs Drew Gulak – Ali is in this match, so you know it’s bad ass.  Put the belt on this guy soon, please.  I think the Cruiserweight division would benefit from a cruiserweight tag team title.  It would add stakes to more matches.  I’d appreciate that very much.  Gulak, for all his anti-high flying posturing, is a phenomenally talented mat wrestler.  Ali went for a frog splash and ate Gulak’s knees, Gulak capitalizes with a roll-up.  Gulak wins via pinfall.  I’d really rather see him win with his mat tactics if he’s going to get the win.
  • Rich Swann vs Noam Dar – Some part of this seemed like it may be more than kayfabe.  These two genuinely don’t seem like they like each other.  Swann took a wicked bump off the ropes through to the apron and then the floor.  Dar really just seemed to be beating the hell out of Swann when he was on offense.  These guys work great together.  Interesting note, Drew Gulak was actually one of the guys that trained Rich Swann when he was in the Combat Zone Wrestling promotion.  Great match, a fantastic example of why I love 205 Live so much.  It played out like a PPV match, with several false finishes by each guy.  Dar even kicked out at 2 after a Phoenix Splash.  Dar hits the leaping kick maneuver and picks up the pinfall.  Keep an eye on it, I’m not entirely sure if the arm injury that Swann was selling throughout was fake.  Following the victory, Alicia Fox made her way to the ring.  She acted as if nothing had happened, like when the exact same thing happened with Cedric Alexander.  Dar went for it.  Can’t even necessarily say that I blame him.

Live from the Arena at Full Sail University, tonight’s NXT features a Battle Royal match to determine the Number One Contender for the Women’s Championship, who will go on to face Asuka at TakeOver: Chicago.  I’m pretty sure TO:C will be Asuka’s streak tying or breaking victory, as she’s creeping up on Big Bill Goldberg.

  • Killian Dain of Sanity w/Eric Young vs Danny Birch – Dain will likely get the Braun Strowman build during his time with the Wyatt Family as he’s the big man of Sanity.  Dain is pretty impressive in singles opportunities, even landing that same running double leg dropkick that Finn Balor uses.  Killian Dain wins via pinfall, fairly easily.  
  • A really weird promotional video for Patrick Clark.  Like, I don’t understand why he got that.  He’s apparently now the Velveteen Dream.  You can’t see or hear it, but know I’m laughing so hard it hurts.
  • Heavy Machinery vs Tiny Jobber Talent – You know exactly how this went, and what’s worse is that I really don’t see the point at all.  As small as the two jobbers were, it didn’t even do the usual job of making Heavy Machinery look tough.  They do challenge AoP after their win, but did they really earn that opportunity at all with a jobber mauling?  Also, is “it’s about time we ate” not entirely too close to “wake up, it’s feeding time”?
  • Hideo Itami vs Kona Reeves – Could you imagine where Itami would be with WWE right now if he weren’t made of glass?  First impression, I didn’t like Reeves, but after watching him develop, his heel character is already on point, hardcore, and it’s even better when you go to one of the house shows and he really gets to lay into the crowd.  It’s awesome.  Also, he wears Moana’s grandmother on the ass of his trunks.  I mean, that’s a baller move.  GTS and the pinfall as Itami picks up the win, and now he’s one step closer to a shot at The Glorious Bobby Roode.
  • Who Is Roderick Strong Part 2: gets into Roddy’s current personal life, including relationship with MMA fighter Mia and being a father.  Lot less depressing than last week’s.
  • Next week, Roderick Strong vs Hideo Itami will determine the Number One Contender for the NXT Championship.  Given the video packages introducing the crowd to Roderick, I venture a wager that he comes out with a title shot at TakeOver.
  • Women’s #1 Contender Battle Royal – 15 Women (Lacey Evans, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Nikki Cross, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riot, Daria Berenato, Ember Moon and an array of female competitors I can’t say that I recognize) begin the Battle Royal.  See, the biggest thing you run into when you do women’s battle royal matches is that they are all so short that they really do have a difficult time working competitors over the top rope.  Most of them are only taller than the ropes by a head.  It was fun watching Billie Kay and Peyton Royce work together though, shouting for each other’s help when one of them was being lifted towards the top rope.  The crowd at Full Sail very much did not like Aaliyah either.  It came down to Ember, Ruby and Nikki Cross.  I’m pretty convinced Nikki Cross is Sister Abigail.  That’s how the match would end, as the referee called for the end of a no disqualification match via disqualification when Asuka came to the ring and destroyed all three of them simultaneously.  I’m pretty sure Ember has a should injury, as Asuka literally threw her through the ropes and across the 5 or so feet into the barricade.  That looked rough.  The NXT Women’s Championship will be defended in a fatal four way match at TakeOver.  I think it’s time to put the strap on Nikki Cross.