By John Moore
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live October 3, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at the Pepsi Center
The intro teaser was a highlight package from the prior night’s Raw main event segment where Enzo Amore tore down the collective Cruiserweight Division verbally. The segment ended with Kurt Angle introducing Kalisto as the newest signee to the Raw Cruiserweight Division (which is actually more of a pivot since Kalisto was already “signed” to Raw). The segment ended with Kalisto standing tall over a prone Enzo…
John’s Thoughts: Now for my thoughts on last night’s Raw hour three segment. Enzo was great on the microphone and I liked the injection of Kalisto into the 205 roster. I didn’t like WWE pulling a TNA Circa 2016 where they treat the cruiserweight division (heels and babyfaces) as a homogenous entity that stands together backstage against evil heels.
The 205 Live intro theme had a few new edits in the video. Kalisto and “Evil” Jack Gallagher were added to the intro. After the 205 Live opening theme, Vic Joseph checked in on commentary and called 205 Live “The Most Exciting Hour in Television” (which screams “inferiority complex” given how Joseph is forced to utter the line every episode). Nigel McGuinness was back on commentary after Byron Saxton filled in last week. Joseph and Nigel recapped the ending of Smackdown while also hyping up Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon at Hell in a Cell. Joseph hyped up Kalisto vs. Ariya Daivari. Nigel hyped up Cedric Alexander vs. Jack Gallagher…
John’s Thoughts: Not a huge fan of Daivari vs. Kalisto as Daivari managed to get himself a notch over “Tony Nese Level”. As far as him vs. Kalisto, it looks like he’s inhabiting the spot that Drew Gulak inhabited. Daivari has no chance and he shouldn’t win. As for Gallagher vs. Alexander? That sounds like it can be fun.
Kalisto came out to his old Lucha Dragon’s theme (awww… I was a fan of his new EDM theme!). Kalisto also wears a similar chest protector as Drago these days. Kalisto cut a promo in Spanish. He then talked in English by saying that Kurt Angle gave him an opportunity of a lifetime to go on 205 Live (LOL! Especially since Neville’s been cutting promos about this being the bottom of the barrel). Kalisto said “Of course! Let’s Go!” (Translated by my high school level Spanish). Kalisto said the cruiserweights are the hardest working guys he’s met. Kalisto was interrupted by Enzo Amore’s entrance theme. Enzo strutted onto the LED ramp.
Kalisto did his usual Certified G entrance routine. Enzo got a mixed (tilting on positive) reaction with the crowd chanting “how you doin'”. Enzo said he thinks Kalisto is the luckiest luchador in show business. Enzo said Kalisto may be a lucha leprechaun but he should be counting his lucky ducks rather than step foot on the Zo show dressed up as a schmuck. Enzo said he would be embarrassed to donate Kalisto’s outfit to the Salvation Army but since he is a good guy he would donate it but still be embarrassed. Enzo said Kalisto is the hottest new Cruiserweight signing but WWE can’t sell his lucha masks in the arena even if they gave them away. Enzo said the only way you can find those masks are on WWEshop.com. Enzo said everything is going to change since they’ll be Kalisto masks everywhere from now on since Kalisto is on the Zo show.
Enzo said he’s the reason 205 Live is trending. Since he’s the Cruiserweight Champ. Enzo said there are a couple of haters with the success. Kalisto cut Enzo off by saying he talks too much. Kalisto said he was going to remind everyone how Enzo won the Cruiserweight Championship. Kalisto pointed to the titantron which showed Enzo kicking Neville in the balls to win the belt. After the recap, Enzo pantomimed kicking a good field goal. Enzo said he’s forgotten more than Kalisto will ever know. Enzo said winning is winning. He called Kalisto a centimeter. Enzo said he’ll give Kalisto credit since Kalisto stood toe to toe with Braun Strowman but ultimately ended up in a trash can.
Enzo said he can’t figure out why Kurt Angle is littering that trash on the Zo Show. Enzo said Kalisto had his moment as US Champion but since he lost the belt he’s only been a Lucha Letdown. Enzo said Kalisto and the Cruiserweight Division are haters. Enzo said the die-hard fans of 205 who love wrestling call Enzo a disgrace to the division. Enzo said those same haters roll up on him like paparazzi for an autograph in the airports. Enzo said he signs his autographs since he still has love, it’s amore. Enzo said he was going to give everyone what they want, competition, by giving Kalisto his first match on the show.
Enzo said he was going to talk about the person who is going to give Kalisto a L[oss]. Enzo said Kalisto’s opponent is the Persian version of the singer Drake. Enzo said this man has grace despite what he said about the guy last night on Raw. Enzo said this guy is the biggest Persian thing to hit the screen since the Kardashians. Enzo introduced Ariya Daivari.
John’s Thoughts: Kalisto had one of the best promo segments of his career, but that’s not saying much given that his only memorable promo was him saying that he was going to “Make a good Lucha Thing, goddammit woooo!”. He was decent tonight though and as long as he doesn’t start talking about his love for Eddie Guerrero, John Cena, and Ric Flair, he’ll be fine. I’m liking how Enzo is elevating the 205 Division so far with his strong promos, but hopefully they mix things up soon so Enzo won’t fall into the trap as everyone else is on this show, which is mundane repetition.
1. Kalisto vs. Ariya Daivari. Daivari hit a few tough shots but Kalisto dodged under his strikes and delivered some nice kicks. Kalisto hit Daivari with a headscissors bulldog. Kalisto did his lucha thing leading into an innovative double knee springboard Senton. Enzo Amore retreated backstage to watch the match on a monitor (at an awkward 90-degree angle like everyone in WWE for some reason). Daivari used the ropes to get the ref to cause some separation. Daivari rubber banded the top rope into Kalisto’s face, followed up by a lariat. Daivari mocked Kalisto’s Lucha thing.
John’s Thoughts: I like how I can now call Kalisto’s dorky pointing chant, his “Lucha Thing”. That WWE Draft promo is classic! Sorry to pick on the guy…
Daivari went for a power slam but Kalisto slipped out. Daivari caught Kalisto with a boot to the face. Daivari drove his knee into the back of Kalisto to initiate a chinlock. Kalisto made it to a vertical base and hit a jawbreaker. Kalisto hit a corkscrew headbutt on Daivari. Kalisto then hit his signature basement Frankendriver. Daivari blocked the Selida Del Sol. Daivari hit the Magic Carpet[-less] Ride. Daivari yelled at Kalisto in Iranian. Daivari picked up Kalisto and Kalisto floated into an SDS out of nowhere for the victory.
Kalisto defeated Ariya Daivari via pinfall in 4:44.
They showed some fans doing Kalisto’s Lucha thing (including a fan wearing a Pentagon mask. Nice coincidence given how Konnan choose Kalisto to be Octagon). Enzo was shown mocking Kalisto’s entrance music. The replays showed Daivari’s frogsplash in slow motion and Kalisto’s Selida Del Sol…
John’s Thoughts: Even though they wrestled in WWE’s main roster style, Daivari and Kalisto had a good match in under five minutes. Daivari may be the designated jobber, but at least his offense is less repetitive than Nese’s. Kalisto looked good. I wonder why they are they going with his Lucha Dragon theme and old Lucha Dragon mask? I thought the newer theme and attire was edgier and worked for him.
Vic Joseph cut to a video package recapping the feud involving Cedric Alexander against the Jack Gallagher/Brian Kendrick alliance. Drew Gulak was shown walking backstage with his “No Chants” lawn sign… [C]
Drew Gulak made his entrance wearing his ring gear. Gulak talked to a kid in the front row about not chanting. Gulak said there has been a lot of talk about the changing landscape of 205 Live. Gulak said before that became en vogue, Gulak has been changing 205 Live. Gulak talked about reaching for the stars to create his Drew-Topia. Gulak then brought up Tozawa trying to silence him and his 269 slides that he has left in his powerpoint. He hyped up the word “PowerPoint”. Slide eight of the powerpoint was “no flipping”. Mustafa Ali’s entrance theme interrupted Gulak’s powerpoint. Ali was followed by Akira Tozawa who got an entrance. Tozawa set up a steel chair to sit in up the ramp as he led the crowd in a “ha” chant.
2. Drew Gulak vs. Mustafa Ali. Drew yelled “no chants” at Tozawa. Ali and Tozawa had an initial stalemate with the test of strength. Gulak managed to get Ali on the ground. Ali got up and hit an armdrag. Gulak took down Ali with a single leg takedown. Gulak was sent outside. Tozawa mocked Gulak with his chant. Gualk went to get his sign to stop the crowd which drew boos. Gulak pressured Ali in the corner. Ali showed off with a flip in the middle of the ring. Ali planted Gulak with a hip toss. Ali hit a clunky frankendriver on Gulak.
Ali hit Gulak with a dropkick while his head was resting on the bottom rope. Ali turned a high cross body block into a pin attempt. Gulak blocked a tornado DDT into a suplex transitioned into a hanging knee strike. Gulak then locked in a cravate on Ali. Gulak locked in a straightjacket surfboard stretch on Ali. Gulak’s attention was caught by Tozawa and the fans chanting. Ali came back with some strong chops. Ali hit Gulak with a popup dropkick. Gulak sent Ali into the middle turnbuckle followed up by a suplex into the buckle.
Tozawa distracted Gulak again with the ha chants. Ali caught Gulak with a front kick. This sent up Gulak for the inverted 450 to give Ali the win.
Mustafa Ali defeated Drew Gulak via pinfall in 6:42.
They showed a slow-motion replay of Ali’s inverted 450. Tozawa entered the ring as Joseph reminded the viewers that he’s a part of “Titus Worldwide”. Tozawa stood over Gulak doing his Ha chants…
John’s Thoughts: I’ve nitpicked about Ali’s win over Gulak in their feud mostly due to Gulak having his heat taken away in favor of Ali staying as a generic babyface when they had a chance to put layers on the guy. This was a good finish though. I was afraid they were going to have Gulak win since he’s the one getting the push now but they found a way to have Gulak lose while also protecting him with Tozawa’s constant distraction. The only thing I would have changed here was maybe extricating one or two of Tozawa’s ha interruptions because it seemed like two too many, which made Gulak look like a dope for falling for it so many times in succession.
After hyping TJP vs. Rich Swann for next week they cut to Dasha Fuentes interviewing the Brian Kendrick. Kendrick said he feels sympathy for Alexander since Gallagher is coming up with ways to torture Alexander. Kendrick then talked about feeling bad for Enzo. Kendrick did the same thing as Daivari by saying that he respects Enzo now. Kendrick said he knows how Enzo feels by having an entire locker room be jealous of them. Kendrick said he can’t stand by Alexander though because of his generation. Kendrick said his generation is soft. Cedric Alexander interrupted Kendrick’s interview and then targeted the leg of Kendrick. Cedric then walked away… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Enzo pointed it out in his opening promo with Daivari and Kendrick alluded to it in this one. There are two different creative teams writing the cruiserweights. One that sees them as a homogeneous collective and the other as individuals. There’s a screw they have to tighten up.
Jack Gallagher made his entrance wearing a three-piece suit sans the jacket. Gallagher had his umbrella with him. Cedric Alexander made his entrance and was stoic as opposed to upbeat.
3. Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander. Alexander overpowered Gallagher. Alexander gave Gallagher some European Uppercuts. Gallagher tried to shove Cedric away but Cedric came back with a dropkick. Gallagher pushed Cedric away and shook up Cedric with his head on the bottom rope. Gallagher then dominated. Gallagher set up Cedric with a standing lariat. Alexander tried to fight out with punches but Gallagher put Cedric on the ground and followed up with a snug stomp to the head. Gallagher hit some shoot roundhouse kicks on Cedric in the corner.
Gallagher locked in a reverse ankle lock on Cedric. Gallagher then stomped both of Alexander’s knees into the mat. Alexander fought out with some forearms but Gallagher caught a running Cedric with a dropkick. Alexander went for a few more shoot roundhouses. Cedric no-sold the last few and hit Gallagher with a back elbow. Cedric transitioned a suicide dive into mounted punches. Gallagher tried to gain some respite on the outside but Alexander kept up the pace with a running forearm into the jaw of Gallagher. Cedric threw Gallagher’s back into the barricade which Nigel said was to help set up for the Lumbar Check.
Gallagher hid under the ring and deceived Cedric by coming out another end and giving Cedric a double axe-handle to the back. Gallagher had a sadistic look on his face as he took his umbrella into the ring. Cedric stepped on the umbrella and took it for himself. Gallagher begged for mercy in the corner as Alexander decided to whack Gallagher in the back for the DQ.
Jack Gallagher defeated Cedric Alexander via DQ in 6:26.
Alexander kicked Gallagher to the outside. Alexander then tossed Gallagher all over the place and into the timekeeper’s area. Gallagher came back with some forearms. Cedric came back by tossing Jack over the announce table. Gallagher shoulder tackled Cedric into the barricade. The referees broke things apart. Cedric ignored the separation and he hit a springboard leg lariat on Gallagher. Gallagher rolled to ringside. Brian Kendrick limped to ringside to check on Gallagher. Kendrick and Gallagher stared down each other as Cedric’s theme played…
John’s Thoughts: That was a pleasant match. It wasn’t a barnburner and it didn’t need to be. I could have done without Gallagher begging for mercy right before the DQ but everything else was solid storytelling. The story being told here was Cedric Alexander showing an added layer of aggression which makes sense given how Gallagher has terrorized him for weeks. Here’s one thing that WWE has to do to make this soft reboot of 205 Live mean something. WWE has to make this storyline both payoff and develop on PPV in front of a larger audience. Not the Pre-Show! Not paying off on 205 Live! On PPV or even feature some cruiserweignt angles NOT involving Neville or Enzo on Raw!
Overall, this was a decent episode of 205 Live. I’m still apprehensive about giving this show a recommendation due to how long this show has been dull. I don’t want to instill false hope into people hoping that this show has changed, at least until it can show some consistency. Due to how consistently dull this show has been, it’s hard not to give a nihilistic response to this show. Let’s see what they do? This show was solid and had good short matches. Maybe they can bring up some non-indy-darling performance center guys to freshen up the roster and maybe bring in someone from the outside such as Flip Gordon or a Sammy Guevara if they are contractually free. Hell, Impact isn’t using Dezmond Xavier. Find a way to bring him in. I’ll have more thoughts in my 205 All Access Audio Review later today.