So it was only fitting that WrestleMania week in Orlando wrapped up with an edition of 205 Live, with the main event being a fatal four-way to determine the No. 1 contender for Neville's throne. The fighters did it all in front of the most raucous crowd of the year. WWE put its two Tuesday night shows in the same site as WrestleMania, extending a tradition that makes the post-Mania Raw one of the year's must-watch shows.
There were four competitors in the No. 1 contender's match, but it seemed like only two were serious contenders. TJ Perkins has taken several defeats to Neville and never seemed like a serious threat. "Gentleman" Jack Gallagher had a gallant run opposite Neville but was ultimately dispatched and had recently been serving as Rich Swann's sidekick in his feud with Noam Dar.
That left two: Aries, who was coming off a fantastic match with Neville at Mania, and Mustafa Ali, who has rocketed up the ranks of 205 Live after twice pushing Neville to the limit, including on the previous night's Raw. The dirty tactics used by Neville in picking up his victory against Aries left the door open for a rematch and continuation of the feud. In Ali's case, both performances ended in clean losses to Neville, but Ali's persistence made him seem like a legitimate contender.
Prior to the match, Neville addressed the crowd for a championship celebration, saying, "There is no one on the Neville Level. It feels good to be proven right."
The post-Mania crowd seemed to appreciate Neville's amazing work week-in and week-out, both on the mic and in the ring. When Neville asked for three cheers for The King, the crowd answered his "hip hip" with a "hooray."
Neville proceeded to thank the crowd for never believing him, and lighting a fire in him. He thanked Aries for making his victory more satisfying for being such a "detestable opponent." And he thanked the entirety of the 205 Live roster for, as he said, their persistent, futile attempts at his crown that have done nothing but bolster his reputation.
He stayed ringside for a great main event that highlighted each participant. Perkins got the early offense in, showcasing his athleticism and striking ability. He hit a couple creative double maneuvers and shined to open the bout.
The match was full of creative spots and gave the cruiserweight division a top-tier match for a third straight night. There was Aries reversing Perkins' knee-bar on Gallagher into a Last Chancery; Ali hitting his somersault neckbreaker on Aries with a double reverse DDT on Gallagher/Perkins (the crowd chanted for Ali after that one); and a double superplex executed by Aries and Gallagher while standing on Perkins' back. The match was beautifully booked and executed even better.
The final sequence began with Gallagher knocked Ali off the top rope to the outside with his corner dropkick. After Perkins broke up a pin attempt by dragging Aries outside the ring, he hit his Detonation Kick on Gallagher, but the Gentleman answered with a thunderous headbutt to the chest. As Gallagher fell outside, Aries hit his Discuss Fivearm on Perkins for the win.
With how good the WrestleMania match was, and given the fact that the build to the match was only three weeks, a continuation of the Neville-Aries feud is the best thing for the division. Now we get to see what happens with another three weeks to build to the rematch between the two.
Hits and Misses
Putting 205 Live in front of a post-Mania crowd that was hyped up to near-Mojo Rawley levels was great for the division.
Ali's tornado DDT might be the best in WWE right now. He twists around the opponent so smoothly and the impact is always sharp and sudden.
Raw and SmackDown both got some notable call-ups this week, but if 205 Live permanently adopts Oney Lorcan, it's a win even for a roster that's loaded with talent.
Swann, a former champ, didn't make the cut to be in the main event; he's hovering following an injury-related pause on his feud with Dar.
Also, Swann was behind the gifts to Alicia Fox? Was that supposed to be a dramatic reveal? Are we supposed to pretend like we didn't already know?