Every wrestler on 205 Live has some sort of storyline.
There's the title feud between champion Neville and Akira Tozawa, which was handled with an in-ring interview segment a week and a half before their SummerSlam title match. We saw another page (not a full chapter) in the Brian Kendrick-Jack Gallagher feud, the beginnings of a Tony Nese-Cedric Alexander "feud of the elite athletes" and even the reintroduction of Noam Dar.
But Tuesday night's edition of 205 Live was highlighted with a match between T.J. Perkins and Rich Swann, as their "friendly rivalry" story began turning more serious. Swann's athleticism is unrivaled in the division, but what he can do with his abilities -- actually turning his athletic talent into in-ring sequences and innovative moves, with Perkins as a perfect dance partner -- made this match even more amazing.
The bout started with a fun sequence: The pair narrowly avoided one another's moves, executing reversal after reversal until they both caught a leg and got a rope break. It slowed a bit from there, with occasional highlights such as Swann's springboard twisting somersault to the outside, but Perkins' role in this match was to keep the pace down and focus on using submission holds. His technical ability is elite and unparalleled throughout the division.
The crowd was won back over by the combination of Swann's aerial moveset and the obvious chemistry between the two wrestlers. Swann did a backflip to get out of an armlock, and then both missed high-flying moves to bring the match to a reset point.
Perkins attempted his finishing knee bar, but Swann escaped and caught TJP with a thrust kick, followed immediately by a cartwheel handspring moonsault for a near fall.
The finish featured a great series. Perkins got Swann up in an electric chair, and dropped him, back of the head first, onto the top turnbuckle. Then it was Perkins who delivered the detonation kick into the finish.
It was a fun main event, and we got a taste of what these two could do together. A Toronto crowd that was checked out mid-match and chanting for Corey Graves was won over by what they witnessed in the ring.
Perkins celebrated his victory by getting in Swann's face. He followed his rival up the ramp, giving him not-so-subtle reminders that he'd won the contest that had ended 30 seconds ago. In the back, Perkins asked Swann what was wrong with him, claiming he was just having fun out there and that he knew who he was.
Swann responded, "I'm starting to know who you really are" -- a sign that these two still have unfinished business. The pair likely won't get a spot on a loaded SummerSlam card, but if they can build off what they've done tonight, a deciding third match in the series should be a treat.
Hits and Misses
Tozawa got a win on Monday Night Raw, but the title feud was limited to an in-ring interview on 205 Live. Neville was his normal exceptional self on the microphone, claiming Graves was disrespecting him by interviewing Tozawa instead of him. Unfortunately, we got the continuation of what has been a theme throughout Neville's title reign. He's booked as a dominant champion, but he comes out on the losing side of every pre-match impromptu in-ring fight.
Noam Dar re-emerged after the conclusion of his Alicia Fox-Cedric Alexander storyline, taking on Mark Thomas. Dar talked about watching Thomas growing up. It wasn't a lie -- take a look at his Cagematch.net profile. If you don't want to click on the link, his last WWE match was against Savio Vega! He wrestled Mr. Perfect and Diesel for the Intercontinental title. He was a jobber to the tag team stars, falling to the Smoking Gunns, Men on a Mission, the Nasty Boys and Rhythm and Blues. He also lost as a teammate of Shane Douglas against the Orient Express.
Jack Gallagher is performing in an especially ungentlemanly fashion lately.
Tony Nese gets a push, and is doing a better job of teaching kids to count to eight than Sesame Street.
Superlatives of the Night
Move: I'd love, just once, to be able to do something like a cartwheel into a moonsault like Rich Swann.
Line: "Now Corey, Corey, Corey. I know what you're trying to do. You're trying to hype the match. But what you must understand is I am the hype. I am 205 Live." - Neville objecting to Graves interviewing Tozawa.
Match: Swann and Perkins both impressed and left me wanting more of their in-ring chemistry.