Akira Tozawa def. Tony Nese
As I've said before, Tozawa is definitely among the more charismatic Cruiserweights in the division at the moments and his matches benefit from that as a result. He and Nese had a nice little match, but Nese's wins and losses have been so inconsistent that it's hard to take him seriously. I liked how Tozawa once again got one over on The Brian Kendrick when Kendrick's interference backfired and led to Tozawa scoring the win. Does Nese attacking Kendrick afterward indicate he's headed for a face turn soon?
Rich Swann Exposed Alicia Fox
The Tozawa vs. Kendrick feud has lasted just as long as the Swann vs. Noam Dar feud, but Tozawa vs. Kendrick has been infinitely more entertaining for me. I don't know, love triangles rarely work out in wrestling and this one hasn't been compelling from the start. They've told a consistent story with Swann essentially ruining the relationship Dar had with Alicia Fox, but I'm not sure he emerges from this coming off like a good guy. I think it's time we wrap this program up and call it a day.
Ariya Daivari def. Mustafa Ali
It looks like Daivari's gimmick is being tweaked a bit so he'll be more of a rich dude going forward. I appreciate the effort to try to make him more of a threat, but he's been positioned as an enhancement talent for so long that fans will likely forever view him that way. Yes, he did win a match here with help from Drew Gulak, but the 50/50 booking isn't doing anyone in this division any favors.
Austin Aries def. TJ Perkins
This was a better bout than their Raw encounter because Perkins has since been clearly defined as a heel, a role he seems to be quite comfortable in. The story they told was solid and it's a shame the crowd wasn't hotter than they were because this was really good. Perkins didn't lose much in defeat because he and Neville laid out Aries afterward, thus effectively putting heat on the heels.
Aries vs. Neville has been the driving force behind 205 Live for the past month and that continues to be the case heading into Payback, especially with Perkins' recent involvement. Tozawa vs. Kendrick has been enjoyable by and large, but here's hoping Swann vs. Dar has reached its end. Meanwhile, Ali vs. Gulak has been progressing pretty well, so I'm glad the show is starting to become more storyline-based and not just featuring meaningless matches.
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