First Match: TJ Perkins vs. Tony Nese
Second straight week that “The Premier Athlete” Tony Nese has come to the ring without his previous partner, Drew Gulak, so it appears their tandem has been dissolved. Both are fantastic singles wrestlers, so it’s nice to see that all the indie guys aren’t going to end up as tag teams.
Perkins did a cool counter where he stopped himself in the ring ropes after Nese thought he’d thrown him out the ring. Perkins comes back in and locks in a beautiful Octopus submission on Nese. Nese powers out and lands a big elbow on Perkins’ jaw, but only gets a two count.
Nese lands his springboard moonsault but Perkins continues to kick out, so Nese continues to work on the shoulders of Perkins. Perkins fights back but Nese continues to overpower him, landing a nasty gutbuster then turning to a leglock around Perkins’ abdomen.
Nese is dominating the whole match, but Perkins picks up a quick pinfall that catches Nese for the 3-count. Nese goes savage on Perkins, with his German Suplex into the turnbuckle, followed by a knee to the face.
Winner: TJ Perkins, by pinfall, with a Rolling Crucifix
205 Jive: Tony Nese got one helluva showcase against the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion tonight. He looked dominant and got to show off a lot of moves, his power and his athleticism. Sure he took the loss with a rolling crucifix roll-up from Perkins, but that was purely to protect Perkins a little bit. But the focus was all Nese. The replays showed the beatdown post match from Nese instead of Perkins’ win, so that shows you what WWE wants you to remember. Big things are coming from Tony Nese.
Second Match: THE Brian Kendrick vs. Tripp Bradshaw
Kendrick comes out berating his opponent, a local wrestler from Toledo named Tripp Bradshaw. Clearly someone in creative is ribbing JBL after he tripped into the ring last week on Smackdown Live during the Ziggler-Lawler segment.
Kendrick takes it Bradshaw early, rubbing his face in the corner and mocking him. Tripp attempts to fight back, but Kendrick just plays with him. Tripp eventually gets caught in the Captain’s Hook and taps, but Kendrick is in no hurry to make him tap.
Winner: THE Brian Kendrick, by submission, with the Captain’s Hook
205 Jive: A squash match for Kendrick, as creative is probably working on a replacement for Kendrick’s feud after the untimely injury to a returning Tajiri. Kendrick can still go, as seen in last year’s CWC, so hopefully they find someone soon. Maybe Tajiri’s NXT Tag Team partner Akira Tozawa?
Main Event: Neville vs. Cedric Alexander
Still lots of time left, so perhaps they’re planning on giving them 20 minutes or so for the main event. Either way, a solid match-up.
The two feel each other early, but Neville spends a lot of time early avoiding Alexander outside the ring. He finally lures Alexander outside and slams him into barricade after barricade. He throws him back in at the 8 count, then climbs to the top turnbuckle.
He lands a missile dropkick on a rising Alexander, but Cedric kicks out at two on the pin attempt. Neville continues his assault, kicking Alexander on the ground.
Neville works on grounding Alexander slowly, with a snap suplex, then a savage forearm in the corner, taking his time with Cedric.
Cedric counters with a thundering back elbow that stuns Neville, then follows it up with a handstand springboard kick that sends Neville out the ring. Cedric takes the cue and launches a HUGE dive over the ropes onto Neville. He then throws Neville back in the ring.
Alexander lands a flying elbow on Neville as well, but Neville kicks out just before the three. Cedric goes in for a waist lock, but Neville counters and throws Neville into the ropes. Cedric counters a lariat attempt into an AMAZING standing Spanish Fly flip slam. Wow. Much like Nese, Alexander is getting a showcase tonight.
Both warriors are beaten and Neville starts to regain the advantage. He takes Cedric up to the top turnbuckle for a Superplex, but Cedric attacks Neville’s body, attempting a turnbuckle powerbomb that Neville does a stunning flip counter out of, landing on his feet.
Alexander gets a blow on Neville, but as he’s getting ready to finish off Neville, Noam Dar runs down and distracts Alexander.
When he returns to Neville, he trips off the top rope and is caught in a scissored armbar submission by Neville. Alexander has no choice but to tap.
Winner: Neville, by submission, with a Scissored Armbar
Post match, Dar comes in to taunt Alexander, but Neville runs him out. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann’s music hits and he hits the ring and it takes all the officials on duty to pull the two apart.
205 Jive: Wow. The middle segment not withstanding, the opening and closing matches were fantastic. In both instances, the victors were secondary to the showcases that the opponents got. Tony Nese looked like a bonafide SUPERSTAR in the opening match, and Cedric Alexander finally got the chance to fly a bit more, looking fantastic against Neville. Neville was fairly reserved, but he seems to be working more technical and power as a heel, which makes sense. The high flyer moves can often turn heels face simply because of spectacle. Another great episode that realised if it couldn’t do much to build for the Rumble (apart from Swann’s interference) that they could showcase two more guys who deserve it.