Every Superstar from the first episode of 205 Live: where are they now?

Rich Swann with the Cruiserweight Championship on the first-ever episode of 205 Live and with the Impact World Championship in 2020.
Rich Swann with the Cruiserweight Championship on the first-ever episode of 205 Live and with the Impact World Championship in 2020.

Fans of high-flying wrestling tend to thoroughly enjoy 205 Live. Although it doesn't have an enormous fanbase like the WWE's other brands, it still has a passionate group of people who tune in to the WWE Network after WWE SmackDown to see this show.

The concept of 205 Live was largely result of the Cruiserweight Classic's grand success. The inaugural episode of WWE 205 Live shortly after the tournament ended, as its first episode aired on November 29, 2016.

Despite having lofty expectations at the beginning of the show, WWE hasn't put 205 Live in the limelight since its debut. But the purple brand has enjoyed some good momentum since it joined up with NXT and rebranded its Cruiserweight Championship as the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.

Let's take a look back at the first 205 Live episode and see where the Superstars who were on this show are today.

#1 The commentary team for the inaugural episode of 205 Live

The commentary team on this night was Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves, and Austin Aries. Aries joined the commentary table of 205 Live because he was injured at the time.

Where are they now?

Mauro Ranallo continued to give his voice on 205 Live and SmackDown until he moved to NXT in June 2017. He had signed a new contract with WWE at that point. Ranallo remained on the brand for the next three years before leaving the company. He now commentates for Bellator, an MMA organization.

Last year, Corey Graves joined the WWE SmackDown commentary team alongside Michael Cole. He also hosts the WWE After The Bell podcast.

Austin Aries returned in the ring and faced Neville at WWE WrestleMania 33 in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the Cruiserweight Championship. He was then released by the company in July 2017 due to his bad reputation among the backstage community.

After his release from WWE, Aries became the "Belt Collector", as he captured six championships at the same time, including the IMPACT World Championship. He hasn't been seen in the squared circle for around one year now. The last match he had was against Teddy Hart at MLW Saturday Night SuperFight.

#2 Introduction of all the cruiserweights of 205 Live

The show commenced with the introduction of the Superstars of 205 Live, who were standing on the rampway.

The introduced Superstars of 205 Live were Rich Swann, TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher, Ho Ho Lun, The Bollywood Boyz, Noam Dar, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, Akira Tozawa, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik, and Brian Kendrick.

Where are they now?

In this slide, we will only discuss in short regarding the current status of the Superstars who didn't have a match on the inaugural episode of 205 Live.

TJ Perkins is now signed with IMPACT Wrestling. He recently defeated Rohit Raju at Final Resolution 2020 to become the X-Division Champion as Manik, a masked character.

Ho Ho Lun presently works in Hong Kong Pro Wrestling Federation, which is a promotion founded by Lun. He also performs on different companies in the Asian independent circuit and is the current Manila Wrestling Federation Champion.

"The Scottish Supernova" Noam Dar has been showcasing his skills on NXT UK. He recently competed in Heritage Cup, but he was eliminated in the second round.

Cedric Alexander is now part of The Hurt Business, which is one of the most dominant factions on the WWE roster. Alexander and Shelton Benjamin are challenging the New Day for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship at WWE TLC.

Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik have been chasing the WWE 24/7 Championship and competing on WWE Main Event.

Akira Tozawa is currently portraying a Ninja gimmick as a comedy act. He is also the major threat for R-Truth's 24/7 Championship.

Mustafa Ali left 205 Live and had a decent run on SmackDown, where he shared the ring with stars like Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan.

Ali is now the leader of RETRIBUTION, and his main motive is to destroy WWE and rebuild it in his vision.

#3 The Bollywood Boyz vs. Tony Nese & Drew Gulak: Inaugural episode of 205 Live

The first episode of 205 Live kicked off with The Bollywood Boyz (under the name Gurv and Harv Shira) taking on Tony Nese and Drew Gulak. The match went 8 minutes, with The Bollywood Boyz picking up the win with a double superkick.

Where are they now?

The Bollywood Boyz debuted on the main roster in April 2017 as The Singh Brothers, and they helped Jinder Mahal become the #1 contender for Randy Orton's WWE Championship. They worked with Mahal for almost two years and assisted Mahal in multiple matches.

On the October 9, 2020 episode of 205 Live, the duo returned to the purple brand as The Bollywood Boyz. They recently had a match against 205 Live originals, Nese and Gulak, and they lost his bout.

The Bollywood Boyz on WWE NXT
The Bollywood Boyz on WWE NXT

Winning the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania 35 was the biggest moment of Tony Nese's career. After he lost that title to Drew Gulak, his career hasn't taken any significant direction. Nese has been on the losing end of some squash matches on RAW and SmackDown. He currently performs on NXT and 205 Live.

Drew Gulak had some memorable feuds with the likes of Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa under the gimmick of "No-Fly Zone" during his tenure on 205 Live. He reigned as the Cruiserweight Champion by defeating Tony Nese.

Gulak was later drafted to WWE SmackDown, and he has moved to RAW, where he has won the WWE 24/7 Championship. He remains a contender for R-Truth's title.

#4 Jack Gallagher vs. Ariya Daivari: Inaugural episode of 205 Live

Jack Gallagher and Ariya Daivari wrestled the first-ever singles match in 205 Live history. The match went six minutes with "The Extraordinary Gentleman" Jack Gallagher getting the victory.

Where are they now?

Gallagher stayed on 205 Live during his entire tenure in WWE, turning face and heel in the process. He was released by WWE on June 19, 2020, after he was accused of sexual assault. The assault was made public as part of the Speaking Out movement.

According to the victim, Gallagher sexually harassed her at a New Year's Eve party in 2014. Gallagher later apologized for the assault and claimed the incident doesn't reflect his general attitude towards women. He also asserted he was drunk at that time but made it clear that drinking isn't an excuse for his behavior. He isn't signed with any promotion currently.

Ariya Daivari has been on 205 Live since its premiere, but he hasn't won the Cruiserweight Championship.

Recently, he had an unsuccessful series of matches against Curt Stallion on 205 Live.

#5 Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Rich Swann for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Inaugural episode of 205 Live

Without a shadow of a doubt, this was the best match of the night. The encounter between the two cruiserweights made the crowd that was quiet all night come alive. Rich Swann ended the inaugural episode of 205 Live with the title over his shoulder. Swann got emotional as he dedicated his victory to his late mother.

Where are they now?

Since this loss to Swann, Brian Kendrick hasn't been able to win the Cruiserweight Championship. The veteran never moved to the main roster, though he's a well-known star.

On the October 30, 2020, episode of 205 Live, he paired up with Mansoor to defeat Ever-Rise. But he hasn't appeared on 205 Live in the weeks that have followed. He is reportedly working as a producer backstage.

Brian Kendrick on WWE 205 Live
Brian Kendrick on WWE 205 Live

On the other hand, Swann lost the title to Neville (now known as PAC) in January 2017. In December 2017, WWE indefinitely suspended Swann after he got arrested for domestic violence. Eventually, Swann and WWE parted ways in February 2018.

Rich Swann joined IMPACT Wrestling in June 2018, and he is currently the World Champion of the promotion. He defeated Eric Young at Bound for Glory 2020 to win the title.

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Edited by Colin Tessier
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