Neville Beats Austin Aries to Retain Cruiserweight Title at WWE WrestleMania 33

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2017

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Neville continued his dominant reign over WWE's cruiserweight division Sunday at WrestleMania 33, as he defeated Austin Aries to retain the Cruiserweight Championship. 

Aries looked to have the match in control before the reigning champion gouged him in his surgically repaired eye. With Aries vulnerable, Neville knocked him down long enough to hit the Red Arrow for the victory.

WWE saluted Neville for the win:

Philly.com's Vaughn Johnson was happy to see the former NXT champion playing a big role at WrestleMania:

Heading into WrestleMania, Neville had run roughshod over nearly every cruiserweight on the roster and fittingly dubbed himself the King of the Cruiserweights.

After several weeks away from television, Neville made his presence felt at Roadblock: End of the Line in December when he attacked both Rich Swann and T.J. Perkins.

Neville used that new attitude to his advantage to beat Swann for the title at Royal Rumble, and he appeared to be nearly unstoppable after ascending to the top of the division.

Aries had been serving as a guest cruiserweight announcer on Raw and 205 Live while healing an orbital injury, but his return to active, in-ring competition came when things got heated between him and Neville during an interview segment.

A-Double then won a Fatal 5-Way on 205 Live to become the No. 1 contender for the Cruiserweight Championship and cement his place on the WrestleMania card against Neville.

As seen in the following video courtesy of WWE's official Twitter account, Neville was unconcerned regarding the threat Aries posed at the Showcase of Immortals:

Aries sent verbal barbs back in Neville's direction, but he also did plenty of talking in the ring with several impressive performances and victories in the weeks prior to their match.

Even so, Neville had no doubt he would leave WrestleMania with the Cruiserweight Championship still in his possession, per 205 Live on Twitter:

While Neville's opponents prior to Aries were supremely talented, none of them have resumes that stack up to that of The Greatest Man That Ever Lived.

Although it took the 38-year-old veteran a long time to make it to WWE, he enjoyed a huge amount of success in other promotions.

Aries is a former Ring of Honor and TNA world champion, and he mixed it up with some of the best wrestlers in the world before joining WWE.

WrestleMania was undoubtedly the biggest stage of his career, though, and a huge opportunity to make his mark at wrestling's greatest spectacle.

Despite that, Aries fell short of capturing the gold, and it is beginning to look as though Neville is unbeatable as Cruiserweight champion.

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