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#MustWatchMonday (1/9/17): Neville vs. Rich Swann, 205 Live



(Ed's note: This is Ro Moran still taking over for Brandon Sy.)

We're a little over a month into 205 Live and for all its narrative shortcomings (like where are the other wrestlers? And why are we getting the same matches over and over in the undercard?) one thing's for sure: the wrestlers who do get airtime make the most of it.

The WWE's taken the opportunity to revitalize some careers using the Cruiserweight division and 205 Live, and one of the best things going for it so far is Heel Neville. Constantly joked as the Man Creative Forgot, King of the Cruiserweights Neville is definitely someone Creative isn't forgetting about.

Heel Neville had his coming out in a match on 205 Live a couple of weeks ago—the first true longform match he's had as a changed man, Neville's proven that he's really improved in his time in the WWE. Formerly an indy-tastic highlight reel that flew around the ring just because he can, Adrian Neville understands that if he wants people to believe he's not the same guy as before, he knew he had to change things up and go slower. More mean and vicious.





Neville utilizes his muscular size to pull off more power moves, especially with the smaller fare of the Cruiserweight division. He still does his high-flying moves, but he does them with such disdain that you know he's no longer happy being the acrobatic marvel he is, except he knows they're effective so he still has to keep doing them. The fact that he finishes now with a Superplex—a move that seemed common to you, but made more impactful by the way he did it is proof that he understands how to wrestle purposefully as a bad guy.

Not to mention that the match itself was programmed to be as dramatic as it was, and that's a good thing. While 205 Live is a showcase of the cruiserweights' more athletic talents, the matches were always fast-paced and they never felt as heavy and rich as the Cruiserweight Classic matchups. It's definitely in the way these main events were booked, and it wasn't until Swann and Neville wrestled each other that a 205 Live main event felt like a Cruiserweight Classic match from the second round. (Not even the inaugural main event, where Swann defeated Brian Kendrick for the title, had that much gravitas.) It's a showcase worth catching, but it seems like the gravitas is mostly due to Neville; if that's the case, then Neville truly has improved.

We hope that the Cruiserweights can one day interact literally above their weight class. When that day comes, Neville has a real chance now more than ever to become a breakthrough star in other divisions. Let's hope Creative starts giving the others that same chance, too, but we should also hope that the wrestlers start stepping up their game the same way the King has.

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