9/26 Moore’s WWE 205 Live Review: Enzo Amore addresses his beatdown from Raw, Neville vs. Ariya Daivari, Akira Tozawa vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak’s PowerPoint continuation


By John Moore

WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired Live September 26, 2017 from Glendale, Arizona at the Gila River Arena

The intro teaser was completely focused on Enzo Amore’s championship celebration from the prior night’s Raw. Also shown was Enzo making a request to Kurt Angle, which was granted, where if Neville or the cruiserweights attack him they forfeit their future Cruiserweight Championship match opportunities as long as Enzo is champ…

Enzo Amore made his entrance to start off the show after the intro theme. Vic Joseph was on play-by-play as he was joined by Bryon Saxton as his color commentator. Enzo did his usual “Certified G” entrance routine and the camera panned to the children in the crowd that were participating in his entrance routine. Enzo Amore was limping on a crutch…

John’s Thoughts: I know Road Dogg used to do this exact thing as a heel during the Attitude Era, but I feel that having him play to the kids still is undercutting him as a heel. Enzo did a good job in Oakland and Ontario of turning the crowd against via mic work so he doesn’t need the babyface contingency plan. Moral-grey-area characters leads to brand confusion and identity crises. Look at what TJP’s entire WWE main roster career has been for an example of how this doesn’t work.

There was a light “we want Neville” chant from the crowd as Enzo took a while to enter the ring for a promo. Enzo apologized for taking a long time. He said he has to keep it real since it’s the only thing he knows how to do. Enzo said he was really really hurt last night on Raw. Enzo said he’s smiling because he hides his sadness so well, almost as well as Cedric Alexander hides his charisma.

Enzo said he’s never called in sick a day in his life. Enzo said beating after beating, he takes the stage and is the same guy backstage as he is on the stage. He said he’s a star, a champion, and the guy that put 205 Live on the map. This drew boos. Enzo said he’s the reason people are staying up late on Tuesday nights and the reason why the title means something, because it’s around the waist of Enzo Amore. Zo said he feels a bit bad for Neville. He said that he’s sad that Neville has to wake up and look in the mirror. Zo said that’s because he’s ugly, that was the punchline.

Enzo said Neville may be partially responsible for making Enzo look messed up, but there’s more to the story. Enzo then pointed to the Titantron where they showed the post-Raw attack on Enzo where Braun Strowman and the WWE 205 Live roster beat up on Enzo Amore. The crowd chanted “You deserve it!” to Zo. Enzo turned the tables and said of course he deserves the title which is a beautiful thing. Enzo said he flew his mother in last night to watch the show. Enzo said his mother sat in the front row and cried her eyes out because she had to sit there and watch a monster and a cruiserweight division black and blue her beautiful son’s blue eyes. Enzo said he was crawling around trying to keep his intestines intact as his mother watched.

Enzo said his mother was forced to hear the crowd chant “one more time”. Enzo said the haters that were echoing that statement were probably the same haters who saw Neville as a knight in shining armor to save the cruiserweight division. Zo said Neville ain’t no Jamie Lannister, but winter is coming. Enzo said he’s putting the title on ice. Enzo reminded everyone about the no-contact clause. Enzo said since every cruiserweight put his hand on Enzo, Enzo can retire as champion. Enzo said Neville broke the clause first. Enzo said Neville is a Frodo-Gollum hybrid and a Keebler Elf Schmuck. Enzo said Neville’s precious will never be in his hands again. Neville said just like Keebler cookie dough there is one word that can describe Neville, S-w-a-f-t. Enzo then left to his music…

Vic and Byron recapped the promo. Byron questioned whether there will be no more cruiserweight title matches on the show due to the division attacking Enzo. Bryan then hyped up Ariya Daivari vs. Neville for later on in this show. Just like last week, Drew Gulak was campaigning with his lawn sign backstage…

John’s Thoughts: While a few of the jokes he used were repeats, Enzo was solid on the mic. The only flaw is that he still plays to the crowd at points. Even though 205 Live is the epicenter of nihilistic thought in WWE, hopelessness, the small glimmer of hope lies in how it looks like there was an iota of thought put into the Enzo vs. Neville feud. This, to be honest, was the best-case scenario to play to Enzo’s strengths while also masking his negatives.

Drew Gulak came out to his new, now militant sounding, entrance theme. Gulak joined the commentary table. Akira Tozawa made his entrance next. Vic Joseph reminded the viewers that Tozawa is a part of Titus Worldwide. Gulak disliked Tozawa playing for chants. Tony Nese made unnecessarily long entrance walk to the ring (since he cuts a hard-to-hear promo into the camera). Vic Joseph used the long entrance time to hype up Rocket League…

1. Akira Tozawa vs. Tony Nese. Joseph questioned why Gulak only targets Tozawa’s showboating but not Nese’s. Gulak said Nese isn’t showboating, he counts his abs in his daily life. Nese then called a time out in the middle of the match to flex his biceps (reminds me a bit of Garza Jr’s in-match timeouts). Tozawa used Nese’s showboating moment to start a “ha” chant. Nese took down Tozawa and put the boots to Tozawa.

Tozawa let out a few war chants as he gave Nese a kick and running senton. Tozawa went to the top rope but was crotched. Drew Gulak was pleased. Nese kicked Tozawa into a fireman carry. Nese then hit Tozawa with a gutbuster. Nese followed up a pin attempt with a leg drop. Tozawa went to the ropes to break up a chinlock. Nese put Tozawa in the tree of woe. Nese hit some clinch knees on Tozawa. Nese then hit Tozawa with some bicycle ab workout kicks.

Nese kept Tozawa grounded with a body scissors. Nese hit Tozawa with a delayed vertical front suplex into the top rope. Nese then locked Tozawa in a torture rack. Tozawa escaped and hit Nese with a few chops. Tozawa hit Nese with a huracanrana and Saito Suplex. Nese rolled outside to avoid the diving senton. Tozawa quick ran at Nese with a suicide dive. The crowd rallied up Tozawa with Ha chants. Nese and Tozawa traded right arms. Nese and Tozawa then had a quick CQC exchange. Tozawa hit Nese with a spinning roundhouse which Set up Nese for the diving senton. Tozawa picked up the win.

Akira Tozawa defeated Tony Nese via pinfall in 7:59.

Gulak had his poopy face at ringside as Tozawa celebrated in the center of the ring. Several replays were shown of Tozawa’s high diving senton. Tozawa taunted Gulak with some “ha” chants. Gulak blared the horn from his megaphone. This drew a bit of heat. Gulak apologized initially but then blared the horn again. Gulak entered the ring and said he’s not sorry because Tozawa is in violation of Gulak’s preposition for a better 205 Live. Gulak wanted to continue on with his “PowerPoint Presentation!!!”. Gulak’s slide 7 of 277 said “no celebrating” which contained a generic wrestler clipart.

Drew Gulak said he dreams of a “Drew-Topia” where talented ground based athletes can compete in peace, shake hands after very match, and not have to deal with mindless celebrating. Drew said Tozawa’s “ha” chants turn the people into mindless sheep. Gulak said they might as well be chanting “ba” like a sheep. Tozawa hit Gulak with a jumping spinning roundhouse. Byron said Drew just went “ah”…

Enzo was talking with the title and limping backstage. Ariya Daivari approached Enzo. Enzo asked if Daivari was going to jump him again. Daivari said he sympathizes with Enzo based on what he said earlier. Daivari said he was sorry. Enzo said the apology was not accepted. Daivari said he was just a victim of mob mentality and peer pressure. Daivari said Zo was an original and was amazing for beating Neville. Enzo said to not to look at him like a piece of toast and butter him up. Daivari said Neville orchestrated the entire beatdown on Raw. Daivari continued to butter Enzo up now that Enzo was agreeing with him. Enzo said Daivari has to prove that he’s going to keep it 100. Daivari invited Enzo to watch his match with Neville and Enzo accepted to be in his corner. Enzo gave Daivari a handshake as Daivari told Enzo “how you doing”. Enzo said to never say that again… [C]

John’s Thoughts: The match was better than most Nese matches in that he didn’t work “WWE Superstars” prolonged chinlock sequences. The match was fun in the last few minutes. The only problem is Nese is that the guy is established as a j-brone. Daivari his distanced himself far away enough to be credible. Gulak has done a good job reinventing himself, but is dragged down by associating with Nese still. As good as Gulak has been at drawing heat, this feud needs to move on since like most 205 feuds, it’s dragging along.

TJ Perkins made his entrance wearing a spiked version of his Manik hoodie. Replays were shown of TJP’s attack on Rich Swann from last week where Perkins ripped off a dreadlock of Swann as a trophy. Perkins still had the dreadlock with him in this episode. A picture-in-picture promo aired of Perkins. Perkins said in order for his and Swann’s friendship to continue, they would have to stop having matches. Perkins said he did the only reasonable thing and ended their relationship. Perkins thanked Swann for the friendly advice.

Lince Dorado made his entrance for a match against TJP. Before Dorado could make it to the ring, Rich Swann beat him to the ring to beat up on TJP. Perkins tried to get the early hand on Swann but Swann powered through and dominated Perkins. Swann went for his signature back hook kick but Perkins rolled to the outside and away through the crowd…

John’s Thoughts: While Gulak’s feud has to move forward, this feud has to end. Swann shouldn’t be a dominant babyface and Perkins isn’t a great cocky heel. Swann would be better served as a goofy underdog while I truly believe that Perkins can play a relatable babyface if he’s willing to take on that role (so as long as he doesn’t try to play three characters at the same time which includes the lame Nick Young tribute).

Byron and Vic then transitioned to talking about the “unholy alliance” between Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher. Joseph hyped Cedric Alexander vs. Jack Gallagher for next week’s 205 live. Gallagher and Kendrick then cut a promo from a darkened backstage area in front of a chain link fence. Kendrick proposed the question as to why two people who were attacking each other were suddenly in an alliance. Kendrick said instead of telling you he can show you just like they showed Cedric Alexander last week. Gallagher said they were there to show the poor unfortunate people that actions speak louder than words. Gallagher said the loudest action is cruelty which is a gift humanity has given itself, like the coming of summer after cold snowy months. Gallagher said seasons must changes and leaves must fall like the week so Cedric has to enjoy his sunny days because next week is the autumn of his life. Gallagher said it was time for a cruel winter in 205 Live…

John’s Thoughts: Okay, there’s something intriguing for once on this show. That was one hell of a backstage promo. As I’ve proposed a few months ago, Kendrick works better as a heel when he is given a heater, a la Big Ezekiel Jackson. His feud with Gallagher built up Gallagher as a brute which reminds me of the Dudley Character from Street Fighter III: Third Strike. I also like that Gallagher hasn’t lost his voice and can continue to cut strong promos.

Neville made his entrance for a promo. Neville received a slightly positive reaction. Neville said he’s heard what everyone is saying, that yesterday Neville dissented into madness. Neville said he has to explain, last night he knew exactly what he was doing and it was the best night of his life. Neville said he’s aware that he relinquished his cruiserweight rematch by breaking the no-contact contract established by Kurt Angle. Neville said he doesn’t care. Neville said if given the opportunity he will do it again, and again, and again. Neville said his advice to “muscles marinara” is to keep one eye open because Enzo will never know where this creature is lurking. Neville said he will prevent 205 Live from degenerating from such a talentless little rat. Enzo Amore then made his entrance to hang out at Daivari’s corner. Enzo danced around on his crutch…

2. Neville vs. Ariya Daivari (w/ Enzo Amore). Neville went quickly to attack Enzo at ringside but Daivari intercepted Neville before Neville could get hands on Enzo. Daivari slammed Neville against the barricades. Daivari hit a few backbreakers on Neville. Enzo taunted Neville from ringside. Daivari said some things in Iranian and Enzo agreed “hell yeah!” to whatever Daivari said. Daivari tossed around Neville as Enzo mocked Neville with the cruiserweight belt. Daivari put Neville in the tree of woe. After a few boots, Daivari hit a reverse hanging DDT.

Neville gave Daivari a punch. Daivari came back with a high knee and forearm. Daivari put Neville in position and missed the Magic Carpet[-less] ride. Neville then hit Daivari with his kick combination which ends in a basement yakuza kick. Neville put the boots to Daivari in the corner. Neville was distracted by Enzo which allowed Daivari to hit him with a baseball slide. Neville slipped out of the hammerlock lariat and then locked in the Rings of Saturn on Daivari to pick up the win.

Neville defeated Daivari via submission in 5:47.

Enzo quickly entered the ring and whacked Neville in the back with his crutch. Enzo continued to beat down Neville with the bent metal despite the referees who tried to stop him. The referees managed to pull Enzo off as he was punching Neville. Enzo gloated to the fans up the ramp as his theme played to close out the show…

John’s Thoughts: Not much of a match. The story was more about Neville and Enzo and for what they did, they did a solid job. I like Neville not doing a hard babyface shift, but within the boundaries of his darker persona he needs to find a way to endear himself to the audience more than just beating up Enzo (which is helping). This feud, they might be able to stretch it out a bit, so as long as they don’t fall into a holding pattern like most 205 feuds. Each segment has to serve a purpose.

Overall, I’ll give this show a positive recommendation. There wasn’t anything huge from an in-ring perspective but everything on the show served a purpose of moving something forward. I’m looking forward most to seeing Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick tear down the division as dominant heels. The key to that one is to have Gallagher beat Cedric Alexander next week. Newly turned Gallagher needs the win and Cedric gains even more sympathy from the loss. If Cedric wins I’ll continue to lose hope with this show because of WWE’s incessant parity booking methods. I’ll have more thoughts on this show in my All-Access Audio Review later today.


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