8/22 Moore’s WWE 205 Live Review: Neville vs. Akira Tozawa for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Enzo Amore makes his WWE 205 Live debut, Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick duel, Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese


By John Moore

WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired August 22, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York at Barclays Center

This week’s 205 Live intro highlight package focused on the Neville vs. Tozawa match from Summerslam. Clips of Tozawa winning the Cruiserweight Championship was spliced in. Neville won the SummerSlam encounter utilizing his Red Arrow finisher. Epic trailer music played in the background…

After the 205 opening theme, Vic Joseph and Corey Graves checked in on commentary. Joseph called this show “the most exciting hour in television”. The commentators hyped up Neville vs. Tozawa for the Cruiserweight Championship. Titus O’Neil was featured on Tozawa’s end of the graphic. Joseph talked about how the Cruiserweight Championship was defended three times in eight days…

Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik made their entrances first. Drew Gulak came out with a mic where he gave Tony Nese a formal introduction. Tony Nese went for cheap heat by calling the fans in Brooklyn out of shape…

1. Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik vs. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese. Nese and Alexander locked up early in the match. Nese did what he usually does early and call a time out to show up his biceps. Alexander and Nese had a chain wrestling sequence. Cedric won the sequence. The two had an agility sequence topped off with Alexander hitting a headscissors and single leg dropkick. Drew Gulak tagged in and took down cedric with a side headlock.

Joseph talked about Gulak wanting a better 205 Live. Graves exclaimed that there was nothing wrong with that and Graves wishes for a better 205 Live (don’t we all!). Cedric took down Gulak with a strong right arm. Metalik tagged in and Cedric and Metalik did some tandem moves. Metalik showed off a cool flip. Metalik landed a nice springboard armdrag. Metalik hit a tightrope dropkick. Gulak turned the tide for a bit. Metalik managed to dispose of both Nese and Gulak with dodges. Metalik used the same dodging motion to go into a Asai Moonsault on the opponents.

Nese took down Metalik with a flying axe handle. Nese put Metalik in the tree of woe. as Nese showboated, Cedric took Metalik out of the tree. Nese managed to knock out both Metalik and Cedric with running forearms. Metalik blocked a superplex. After pushing down Nese, Metalik hit Nese with a high flying crossbody. Cedric and Gulak tagged in. Cedric hit a back elbow, back kick, and springboard clothesline on Drew Gulak. Gulak blocked Cedric with his boot and took down Cedric with a running lariat.

Metalik got the tag and hit a launch dropkick on Drew Gulak. Metalik hit Gulak with a tightrope splash. Nese broke up the pin. Nese started to count his abs as he yelled “oh God!” because Cedric’s foot flew at his face. Alexander tagged in. Cedric and Metalik hit stereo Tope Con Hilos on their opponents. Joseph said this makes 205 Live “the most exciting hour in television”. Gulak tried to steal the win with an inside cradle. Alexander hit the Lumbar Check to lead to the pinfall win.

Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik defeated Drew Gulak and Anthony Nese via pinfall in 7:50.

Joseph talked about how Cedric’s team won two weeks in a row over the same opponents. The show cut to Akira Tozawa and Titus O’Neil backstage. O’Neil hyped up Tozawa while also saying that it would have been better if Tozawa took his time before invoking his rematch to recover. Tozawa told Titus to look at him and not worry because he’s ready. Tozawa said he was taking the title back tonight. Titus loved Tozawa’s confidence. Titus said he was Luke Cage and Tozawa was Iron Fist and they were like The Defenders together. Tozawa and Titus then did “Worldwide!” chants as well as “two claps and a Ric Flair… woooooooo!”…

John’s Thoughts: Hmmm… Tozawa might make a better Iron Fist than Finn Jones. I kid, I kid, Jones was better in the Defenders. That said, I’m up and down on the Titus Worldwide bit. They have good chemistry together and Tozawa is probably the best of WWE’s native Japanese wrestlers at speaking English. Titus is just a bit overbearing at points. As for the prior match, I like the outcome of Cedric’s team picking up steam with two straight wins. Kudos to the announcers for trying to tell that story somewhat. That said, nothing really matters on this show especially regarding Gulak and Nese who just either lose or cut lame promos.

After some SummerSlam still shots, Jack Gallagher made his way to the ring for his Gentleman’s duel against “The” Brian Kendrick. Gallagher wore dress shirt and pants with his sleeves rolled up and hands taped. Joseph talked over highlights from Kendrick v.s Mustafa Ali from the previous week where Gallagher beat down Kendrick at the end of the segment. Gallagher talked about how “The” Brian Kendrick pushes his buttons and hot their issue led to the Duel. Gallagher said Kendrick is not a gentleman and Gallagher hasn’t been a gentleman recently. Gallagher talked about being pushed to this point with Kendrick treating him like a joke and saying that Gallagher will not make it to the top. Gallagher said he may have been too much of a gentleman and sometimes people just need to be knocked out.

“The” Brian Kendrick appeared on the Titantron instead of in the ring. Kendrick called Jack pathetic. Kendrick said Jack was surrounding himself with toys which proves his point of saying that Jack Gallagher was a clown. Kendrick said he’s a fighter and he doesn’t duel. Kendrick told Jack not to be disappointed since he found Jack a suitable opponent. The video wall had clown faces as a random clown made his entrance. I’m assuming he’s an indie (or current NXT) wrestler. Jack Gallagher rolled his eyes at the display. The clown squirted water in Jack’s face and Jack no-sold it. The clown then slapped Jack’s face with a glove.

The crowd chanted “stupid idiot”. Jack Gallagher gave the clown a headbutt and put the boots to the clown. Gallagher teased using weapons like the umbrella but instead cleared the table to send the clown through it. Kendrick saved the clown and beat down Jack with an umbrella. Kendrick power bombed Gallagher through the table. Kendrick said they both got to beat up a clown tonight. Kendrick said Gallagher thinks he belongs. Kendrick the proposed an opportunity for next week. Brian Kendrick vs. Jack Gallagher in a no-DQ match…

John’s Thoughts: One of the better heat generating segments in this feud but I don’t see either man gaining much coming out of this feud. This feud is also just going to lead up to a basic loss in a stipulation match by Kendrick that the viewer can see a mile away. That has been Kendrick’s feuds in 205. 205 also doesn’t build to PPV matches aside from whatever Neville is doing so everything else on the show is marginalized. Gallagher would be better served in a NXT program while I actually think Brian Kendrick would be a great anchor in the Raw mid-card if given a bodyguard type heavy. Everyone would be better served not on this show period.

Vic Joseph cut to clips from the prior week’s Rich Swann and Ariya Daivari interactions where TJP interrupted the end of their match which distracted Swann enough to pick up the win with a hammerlock lariat. TJP was backstage playing WWE 2K on the PS4. Perkins turned off the PS4 with his crutch. Perkins said he injured his knee when he beat Swann the week before. Perkins said he was serious, didn’t know they would play his music, and didn’t know that Swann would get distracted enough to lose. Perkins claimed that Swann got salty due to losing. Perkins said this competition has gone too far. Perkins said Swann should focus on Ariya Daivari and get his win back by staying focused. Swann told Perkins to focus on recovery so he can beat Perkins. Neville was shown with a cold stare walking to the ring from the backstage area for the main event match…

John’s Thoughts: Perkins was better here than he’s been in past weeks but still tepid in his character. Swann and Perkins seem to be in a dull set of soap opera skits. The fault here isn’t fully on 205 Live, it’s Perkins (or at least the way he’s scripted). Swann hasn’t been great in whatever role he’s trying to play too! This feud needs to end soon so Swann can go on to play a fun underdog while Perkins can get a character overhaul.

2. Neville vs. Akira Tozawa (w/ Titus O’Neil) for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Greg Hamilton handled the formal in ring introductions. Neville backed Tozawa into the ropes while also mocking Tozawa. Tozawa mocked Neville with a chop and laugh. The crowd started up a “ha” chant. Neville got a side headlock takedown and told the crowd to shut up. I think the crowd chanted “you are a wanker” which Neville sold . Tozawa tried to mount a rally but Neville stood strong. Tozawa caught Neville’s back thrust kick to keep up the standoff. Tozawa gave Neville a running PK to the chest.

Neville sidestepped a possible Tope from Tozawa. Neville used the ropes to choke Tozawa. Neville worked on the shoulder of Tozawa which Graves pointed out was setting up for the Rings of Saturn. Neville gave Tozawa hammerlock pulses with his knee. Neville maintained the upper hand with hammerlocks and headlocks. Tozawa struggled to get to his feet. Graves and Joseph talked about how it might be best for Titus to throw in the towel. Neville ended another Tozawa rally with a running front dropkick. Neville hit Tozawa with a moonsault to the outside. Tozawa sold heavy pain in the arm/shoulder. Tozawa beat the ten count. Neville went back to his systematic attack by tossing Tozawa shoulder-first into the barricade.

Neville brought Tozawa back in the ring to hit Tozawa with a high risk move. Tozawa tripped Neville off of the top rope which Graves called desperation. Tozawa mounted a “ha” chant as he gave Neville a running boot followed by a suicide dive. Tozawa gave Neville a boot off the apron and a running cannonball to the outside. Neville tried to start a chain wrestling sequence. Tozawa hit Neville with a side suplex. Neville crotched Tozawa to stop Tozawa’s high senton. Neville hit his finishing Suplex but Tozawa rolled just enough to get Neville’s shoulders on the mat to cause Neville to make the kickout.

Tozawa hit Neville with a desperation lariat. Neville made it to his feet first to hit Tozawa with The X-Factor and running dropkick for a nearfall. Neville toyed with Tozawa with ground kicks. Tozawa gave Neville a knockout haymaker. Neville recovered enough to hit a forearm. After dodging kicks from Tozawa, Neville went for the Rings but Tozawa blocked it. Neville and Tozawa traded nearfalls. Tozawa hit a jumping roundhouse to Neville’s head. Neville rolled away from Tozawa’s high senton. Neville locked in the Rings of Saturn to pick up the submission win.

Neville defeated Akira Tozawa via submission in 16:13 to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Graves and Joseph went over the highlights from the match. Neville had a mic in the middle of the ring. He told people congratulations to the people who wanted a Tozawa title reign. Neville called Tozawa’s six-day title reign pathetic and a footnote in history. Neville called himself the king of the cruiserweights.

Much to Corey Graves’ chagrin, Enzo Amore made his entrance. Enzo fired up the crowd huge by doing his entrance routine. The crowd did their “that’s Amore” chant. Enzo said 205 Live just became the realist show in the room. Enzo dropped the mic. Neville didn’t look impressed. The crowd gave Enzo a huge “how you doin” chant. Neville walked out. Enzo said Neville calls himself the king but he knows one word that describes Neville and he was going to spell it out for him. The crowd picked up the chant and yelled “S-A-W-F-T Sawwwwwwft”. 205 Live closed with Enzo waddling and dancing in the ring…

John’s Thoughts: Well. If Enzo truly is in the doghouse, there is no physical representation of a doghouse in WWE quite like WWE 205 Live. Haha, I kid, I kid, partially. More on that segment in a bit. As for the match. It was solid and long by 205 standards. Tozawa has transitioned well to working WWE’s main roster mid-card style. This match felt like it could’ve gone to another level. Maybe you call it the “Neville Level” but it didn’t quite hit that next gear. Neville got a decisive win and it looks like we’re moving on. Heels need to win clean sometimes and hopefully they find something meaningful for Tozawa to do next. I sure hope that doesn’t involve Noam Dar in a ha ha comedy feud. Maybe send Tozawa to NXT, that would be a promotion, right?

Moving on to Enzo, this move was probably rushed along by the Big Cass injury. I’m not for pointing out a serious injury as a positive, but Enzo really lucked out somewhat because he came out as the de facto winner of that feud if Cass is out for any prolonged period of time. Neville is a main event in ring technician while Enzo is extremely green. I’m not looking forward to what they can do in-ring but law of averages say that Neville might be able to carry Enzo to a passible match. The problem here is Enzo has been presented as the human personification of a crash test dummy, so he seems out of place in any main event picture even in the hell hole known as 205 live.

That’s said, If you’ve attended any WWE Live Event, even on Smackdown and NXT shows that he wasn’t a part of, you would have seen that Enzo and Cass merchandise sell a whole lot to the 18-35 year old male and female crowd. Not only that, the entrance routine is extremely over. That crowd in Brooklyn may have been the loudest 205 crowd of all time to be completely honest. Maybe it’s because Enzo’s a local guy, but he and Cass were a big deal at one point and it was WWE that dropped the ball. I’m intrigued in the next couple of weeks to see how this Enzo experiment goes. It could be a dud due to Enzo not having in-ring credibility, but it can also surprise us as a huge success since Enzo is extremely popular and can be supa hot fire on the microphone stick. I’ll have more thoughts in a little bit with my All Access 205 Live Audio Review.


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