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, apparently. It’s only when you take a step back and look at the programme as a whole (including the Cruiserweight segment on Monday’s Raw) that you realise how much Neville has progressed as a heel just by winning the championship.
On Monday Night Raw, we had a ‘coronation’ for Neville as the new Cruiserweight champion. A segment that was interrupted 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 new 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 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, which Nese definitively wins with a running knee. 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 ring to stop Nese’s post-match beatdown on Dorado. Tony 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 them is a punishment. He can’t be that if he loses to Perkins.
Akira Tozawa vs. local talent, Aaron Solo, is next. Now, I understand just having Tozawa squash Solo makes for a boring match, but having enhancement talent get in so much offence against Tozawa undermines the points that the video packages preempting the match 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! A strong contender for best finisher in the division.
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 gets himself involved 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, again, dominates the match. Neville really has his heel ring style down pat. He manhandles Gallagher, going almost strong-style on his ass. But once again, Dar wants to get in on the glory and as soon as he gets in the ring, he 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 towards UK wrestlers as I am, is fair as Gallagher doesn’t need it as much as Cedric does. Alexander needs to get himself in a feud that has nothing to do with Alica Fox, one where he can actually feel like a main player.
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 in others, 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 as good as he thinks he is. Maybe even better. His dominant, heel ring style now, rife with submissions and vicious, malevolent hard-hitting moves, punctuated by gurning, gloating expressions is convincing, terrifying and endlessly entertaining. Now if only the live audience would look up from their fucking phones and give the new king the respect he deserves.
Tune in next week to see the continuation of the 5 foot 2 guy’s weekly take on 205 Live.