By John Moore
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live October 18, 2017 from Seattle, Washington at KeyArena
Just like last week’s 205 Live, the intro teaser opened with a recap of Enzo Amore’s segments from the prior night’s Raw. The segment involved a verbal sparring between Kalisto and Enzo which lead to Kalisto and Mustafa Ali being beaten up by the 205 Live jobber brigade…
John’s Thoughts: I feel bad for putting Gulak, Daivari, and Noam Dar in the “jobber” classification, but they are just jobbers by association and that’s because the one person who hasn’t changed, Tony Nese, brings them all down with him. Tony Nese is like the converse of “The Neville Level”.
The 205 Live theme aired. For those trying to look in between the lines, Neville is still heavily featured in the intro theme song. Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Joseph talked about tension in the locker room. Nigel used that thought to segue to hype for Kalisto and Mustafa Ali vs. Enzo Amore and Ariya Daivari. Joseph hyped Rich Swann vs. Jack Gallagher with Cedric Alexander and Brian Kendrick at their respective partners corners…
205 Live opened up with an Enzo Amore segment per usual. Enzo did his usual Certified G routine. Enzo got a more mixed reaction than usual (which is good given how he usually gets overwhelming cheers that undermine his babyface opponents). Enzo talked about it smelling like team spirit. Enzo said Nese, Dar, Gulak, and “Daivari Dinero” with the QB Enzo who’s a Damn G. Enzo said the G stands for Gucci and not grunge. Enzo said he makes everyone money. He said he makes star bucks and he’s not talking about cappuccinos. Enzo said just like coffee, he roasted the coffee bean Kalisto on Raw. Enzo said Kalisto was also a jumping bean who jumps on a trampoline. Enzo said the only jumping Kalisto is going to be doing later is from channel to channel on a hospital bed.
Enzo said he’ll likely end up in a children’s hospital looking like a weirdo while also sucking jello through a straw. Flipping the channel to watch Raw. Enzo said Kalisto can watch the Zo show on the WWE network in the hospital with wifi. Enzo said he was getting his boo back, the Cruiserweight Championship. Enzo talked about WWE giving him nothing other than give him a microphone to take advantage of. Enzo then went at the fans.
Enzo said the WWE Universe can’t act like they did him a favor. Enzo then said he had more talent than the fans. He then picked on a few fans individually by saying they have no talent. Enzo said you can’t teach this. Enzo said you can love this, hate this, but one thing you can’t do is get above this. Enzo said he’s walking on the edge with cement shoes. Enzo said Kalisto is a person who plays it safe. Enzo also said Kalisto wasn’t original. Kalisto’s Lucha Dragon theme cut Enzo off as Kalisto stormed the ring and fought with Enzo. Enzo escaped an SDS and retreated up the ramp. The commentators recapped the segment…
A Cedric Alexander against Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher recap video aired. I think this is the same one we’ve seen the past few weeks… [C]
John’s Thoughts: Might that have been one of Enzo’s best promos on the main roster? Maybe so, maybe not, but it’s at least his best heel promo to date because he went for heat, something that he usually doesn’t do. One thing Enzo does really well is captivate the crowd, but once he had them captured here he went at them enough to draw boos which was masterful. I was afraid when Kalisto’s theme played but WWE played it right by having him come out for the brawl as opposed to a promo where Enzo would just chew him to pieces. Enzo talked about Kalisto a bit and how he was not original and he does have a point there. This is not Kalisto’s fault because for some reason WWE made the decision to regress to his Lucha Dragon character, the one that’s also associated with the character that Mistico screwed up for Hunico. Why did they pivot away from Kalisto’s cool new entrance theme and unique mask that looked like a cross between Kane and AAA’s Drago?
Vic Joseph said “Jack Gallagher’s darker side has been unleashed by The Brian Kendrick”. The heels came out first followed by the babyfaces.
John’s Thoughts: Small note on Swann’s attire. He looks less annoying without the Geordi La Forge mono-visor so good look for him here.
1. Jack Gallagher (w/Brian Kendrick) vs. Rich Swann (w/Cedric Alexander). Jack Gallagher wrestled in a suit. Swann started the match off with fast paced offense and agility. Swann grounded Gallagher with a huracanrana. Gallagher retreated to ringside and was threatened by Cedric Alexander. As the ref was distracted by Cedric and Jack, Kendrick pulled Swann away and got a cheap shot in. Gallagher locked in a chinlock. Nigel put over Gallagher’s undefeated MMA record and fight training. Gallagher hit Swann with calculated strikes.
Gallagher maintained momentum by catching a running Swann with a dropkick. Gallagher then locked in a modified chinlock. Gallagher stomped both feet across the feet of Swann. Gallagher hit Swann with some European Uppercuts. Swann came back with some Euros of his own. After hitting a striking stalemate Gallagher slammed Swann to the ground and stomped on both knee joints. Gallagher drove his knee into Swann’s knee for a kneebar. Swann fought off by booting Gallagher. Swann made a rally. Swann caught Gallagher with a kick to the gut and flip guillotine legdrop. Gallagher caught Swann with the Electric Chair. Swann fought out and hit a Tiger Bomb on Gallagher to get a nearfall.
Swann signaled for his finisher the back-hook kick. Gallagher ducked it and escaped to ringside. Swann went for a Tope but put the brakes on when Kendrick held the ring bell in Swann’s way. Gallagher slammed Cedric Alexander into the barricade to extricate him from the situation. Kendrick and Gallagher put the boots to Swann to cause the ref to call off the match.
Rich Swann defeated Jack Gallagher via DQ in about 7:25.
The bell didn’t ring since Kendrick jacked it. The heels threw Swann into the parallel barricade. Gallagher and Kendrick played a game of divide and conquer with Cedric and Swann. Swann blindsided Kendrick with a leg lariat. Alexander took down Gallagher with a handstand to a roundhouse. Swann went for the Phoenix Splash but Kendrick pulled Gallagher away to retreat.
John’s Thoughts: Well, that could have been worse, but WWE’s strange booking methods strike again. What I mean by that is for some reason they are refusing to put heat on Gallagher, who has the potential to be a strong heel. Nigel’s doing his job by putting over the badassery of Gallagher by bringing up his MMA background. The segment would have been fine if the heels could have stood tall in the beatdown but for some reason Rich and Cedric got a moment to counter back with the heels looking like cowards afterwards.
Vic Joseph hyped up Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann vs. Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick for TLC. They didn’t say pre-show (at least yet). As has become tradition the past few months. Drew Gulak was walking backstage to head out to the ring to do his PowerPoint Presentation… [C]
Drew Gulak planted his “No Chants” lawn sign in the ring. He said he’s Drew Gulak and he sees himself as everyone’s father. He talked about wanting to shelter people in his “Drew-Topia”. Drew mentioned the same anti-205 lines from the past few weeks. He then pointed to the titantron which showed his pre-match attack against Akira Tozawa. Gulak said that was tough love. He said he loves 205 Live more than anyone else. He said he doesn’t want to see people defy authority and didn’t want to see Tozawa’s ha chants. The crowd did a light ha chant. Gulak said it was time for some of his “children” to get some tough love. Gualk talked about walking slowly and carrying a big stick. He said he rendered Tozawa’s ha chant useless by hitting Tozawa in the vocal chord and making Tozawa impotent. Gulak then cut to his “POWERPOINT PRESENTATION!!!” slide number 9 of 277. The next slide was “No defying Authority”. Gulak said these are rules he’s showing.
Gulak said rules are not meant to be broken. The crowd went into a “this is boring” chant. Gulak fired back by saying that this was a powerpoint and not boring. Drew Gulak then said he was going to go over all 277 slides on Sunday. Gulak said then announced that he was going to hold a championship version of his plan for a better 205 Live. Joseph and Nigel then confirmed that we were getting the “Drew Gulak PowerPoint Presentation” in the WWE TLC Kickoff Show. Joseph and Nigel then went over the other two matches announced on the TLC show from the Cruiserweight Division. Nigel referenced that Kalisto was the former Samuray Del Sol…
John’s Thoughts: Good mic work from Gulak. I like how he’s finding ways to manipulate the crowd to do the chants that he wants. That said, someone in WWE is getting too much of a kick out of someone with access to Microsoft Office’s official twitter who talked about Drew’s PowerPoint. Oh, and will Gulak’s PowerPoint make me watch the Kickoff show? Nope!
Kalisto and Mustafa Ali came out first to the Lucha Dragon’s theme. Ali didn’t do the trampoline though. They did both did Kalisto’s lucha thing. A Kalisto inset promo aired. He talked about how it felt good to get his hands-on Enzo. He said first he’s going to beat Enzo and then he’s just going to “Beat…you…up…”.
John’s Thoughts: Oh, lord. That was bad and they didn’t even have to show that because they put the effort to shoehorn him into the television for that promo. Ugh. I have no clue why they are out to make him this Lucha Dragon dork? Believe it or not, I think Kalisto can work but they have to go with the Stoic Badass character that beat Braun Strowman, not this jumping j-brone (to use an Eli Drake quote) who loves letting you know about Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero more than Chavo Jr. does. You know something’s wrong when I have to bring up Chavo as a point of analysis.
Enzo was about to do his intro but handed the mic to Daivari who talked in Iranian. This drew the “What” treatment. Enzo responded to the what’s and said he speaks the same language as Daivari, money. He then did the SAWFT thing.
2. Kalisto and Mustafa Ali vs. Daivari and Enzo Amore. Enzo teased starting the match with Kalisto but used the ropes to hide before tagging in Daivari. Daivari demanded that Kalisto look at him. Daivari slapped Kalisto which invoked Kalisto’s rapid fire offense. Kalisto kicked Daivari in the gut to set up a tag for Ali. Ali and Kalisto hit some tandem offense on Daivari. Kalisto tagged back in and hit a slingshot senton on Daivari as they isolated Daivari in their corner. Enzo distracted Kalisto which allowed Daivari to hit Kalisto with an axe handle strike. Enzo flapjacked Kalisto on the barricade.
Daivari worked on Kalisto and isolated him in his corner. Enzo picked up the scraps and put the boots to Kalisto in the corner. Enzo got a nearfall on Kalisto after a flatliner. Enzo pantomimed a base hit with his fist to Kalisto’s face. Daivari and Enzo worked on Kalisto with the isolation game. Ali tried to start a Lucha chant to minimal success. Daivari maintained an advantage with a strong clothesline over Kalisto. Kalisto turned a vertical suplex into a DDT. Ali tried to start another lucha chant to no success (Is he trying to be Jake Crist? I kid, I kid.).Kalisto made the hot tag and took it to Enzo.
Ali hit a popup dropkick. Ali stopped on a time and hit Enzo with a roundhouse and rolling neckbreaker. Ali caught a flying Enzo with a dropkick. Daivari lifted Ali off the pin attempt. Ali sent Daivari to the outside and hit him with a corkscrew plancha. Enzo got a nearfall on Kalisto by rolling through a crossbody. Kalisto hit the Salida Del Sol on Enzo for the clean win.
Kalisto and Mustafa Ali defeated Enzo Amore and Ariya Daivari via pinfall in 9:22.
Kalisto didn’t celebrate for long as he attacked Enzo with a Suicide Dive. Ali took Daivari out of the equation. Enzo retreated up the ramp as Kalisto went back in the ring to do his lucha thing with the belt…
John’s Thoughts: That was a fine preview match for Kalisto vs. Enzo with the babyface getting the win over the heel to set up Enzo as the heel who has to cheat on Sunday to win. Not bad booking. Ali and Daivari were good complements too and it’s interesting to see them not have one of those guys take the fall, but it told the story well with Enzo. Ali is silky smooth in the ring. The only thing he’s missing is a character. I have no clue why he’s just a guy who is dressed like a hybrid Saiyan/Kamen Rider.
As for Sunday, I think they have to both put the belt back on Enzo and have him and Daivari just beat the living pulp out of Kalisto to initiate a change back to his darker more stoic persona. Again, I’m not sure what they see in this Lucha Dragon thing. Maybe they think it makes him seem like a manufactured Rey Mysterio. I don’t know. Kalisto is money. He’s good in the ring and I truly believe that he should end up playing more of the role of the silent protagonist.
As for a recommendation. Check out the opening segment. Enzo was on fire there. The rest of the show wasn’t bad, but it was inconsequential for the most part. Inconsequential is one of the singular words that describes this show to a T. I’ll be back in a bit with my members’ exclusive audio review of 205 Live later today.