By John Moore
WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live October 25, 2017 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Bradley Center
The show started off with a highlight package from the Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore match at WWE TLC…
The 205 Live intro aired. They’ve finally edited out Neville from the intro theme. The most notable change to the intro is Mustafa Ali’s inverted 450 replacing the Red Arrow in the opening. Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Nigel hyped up Neville vs. Kalisto in Kalisto’s contractually obligated rematch…
1. Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar and Tony Nese. Nese and Alexander started off the match. Nese called a time out to brag about his abs. Cedric just had an eye roll moment. Cedric tripped Nese and let out a Percy Watson/Kool Aid man “Oh yeah!”. Cedric Alexander grounded Nese with a dropkick. Alexander tagged in Swann for tandem offense which included a rolling thunder splash. Nese managed to shove Swann to his corner to allow Dar to work on Swann.
Swann and Dar traded waistlocks. Swann beat Dar in an agility contest. Nese made the blind tag with took a while for Swann to discover. Nese blindsided and overpowered Swann with the advantage. Nese hit an impressive kick combination on Swann. Noam Dar tagged in and hit a European Uppercut on Swann. Nese and Dar played the isolation game in their corner. Nese put Swann in the tree of woe and did his ab bicycle kicks. Dar tried to do the same but Nese yelled that he wasn’t doing it right due to him not doing actual situps.
Swann tried for a small package but to no success. Dar continued to isolate Swann from his partner. Swann managed to hit his finisher back hook out of nowhere on Nese but Dar broke up the pin by pulling Swann out. Swann gained a window of opportunity with a desperation roundhouse. Cedric Alexander made the hot tag and did his signature offense on Dar. Alexander sidestepped Nese. Cedric was then distracted by Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick. The distraction allowed Dar to lock in a guillotine choke with body scissors.
Nese tried to keep Swann occupied to prevent the submission break. Swann caught Nese with a Tiger Feint Kick into a headscissors. Swann hit a kick on Dar and Phoenix senton on Nese. Cedric Alexander hit the Lumbar Check on Dar for the win.
Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann defeated Noam Dar and Tony Nese via pinfall in 9:00.
Jack Gallagher said he and Kendrick aren’t here for a fight, they’re here to extend the olive branch of peace. Kendrick talked about seeing something in Cedric and that was cruelty. Kendrick said he saw the cruelty when he beat them backstage and at TLC. Kendrick said Cedric will never live up to his potential unless he drops the dead weight known as Rich Swann. Gallagher compared himself to Alexander at one time. He said he did it for the people but to be honest the people don’t matter, Rich Swann doesn’t matter, and the opinions of sheep don’t. Gallagher talked about cruelty too. Gallagher said next week he and Kendrick are coming after Swann. Kendrick told Cedric to make the right decision in a week or else they will make it for them…
John’s Thoughts: Believe it or not, the match was actually not half bad. Again, the problem is the framing of the wrestlers, not the wrestlers themselves. Nese is framed as irrelevant no matter how good he is. Dar was actually given a huge angle but 205 Live’s crap booking squandered that. Eh, 205! On to the Kendrick and Gallagher promo. It was fine. Again, booking troubles. The problem here seems to be dissonance between the Raw and 205 booking crews to the point where it looks like two contrasting stories are being told. Kendrick and Gallagher cut a great promo but it needed the qualifier of them picking up a fluky win on Sunday. Instead, zero heat (for the heels).
As has been the tradition of this show after the opening match, Drew Gulak was shown heading to the arena with his campaign sign…[C]
Drew Gulak made his entrance as they recapped the angle where Drew Gulak injured Akira Tozawa’s “vocal chords”. Gulak complained about having his PowerPoint Presentation cut off the TLC Pre-Show by the “Powers that be”. Drew Gulak then cut the same promo he’s been cutting the last few weeks about Tozawa’s “ah” chant and his goal for “Drewtopia”. Drew threatened a sit-in protest to stop this show from having matches. He then built up his PowerPoint. He cut back to slide 1 which was “no jumping off the top rope”. Gran Metalik’s theme interrupted Gulak…
John’s Thoughts: Hmmmm… Maybe Triple H stripping La Sombra of his mask is Hunter secretly continuing to do his good work in saving pro wrestling by saving the career of Lucha Libre in WWE. Let’s see if part one of my theory comes to fruition after this match?
2. Drew Gulak vs. Gran Metalik. Gulak dominated the ground chain wrestling early on. Metalik locked in a triangle leg choke to cause Gulak to retreat. Metalik won the subsequent test of strength. Metalik took down Gulak. Metalik dominated while showing off his flipping. Gulak hit a springboard front dropkick on Gulak. Metalik hit an impressive tightrope moonsault on Gulak to ringside. Gulak tripped Metalik off the top rope.
Gulak stomped on Metalik while yelling “no top rope!”. Gulak locked in a half nelson into a backbreaker submission. Gulak initiated his methodical offense on Metalik. Metalik used a snapmare to escape the hammerlock. Metalik hit a reverse slingblade and dropkick on Gulak. Metalik hit Gulak with a tightrope splash leading to a nearfall. Gulak blocked the Michinoku Driver and clubbed Metalik in the back. Metalik went for a surprise pin attempt. Metalik slapped the chest of Gulak. Metalik hit a frankensteiner on Gulak. Gulak slipped into a dragon sleeper to pick up the submission win.
Drew Gulak defeated Gran Metalik via submission in 6:58.
Drew Gulak held on for a few seconds after the bell rang. Gulak brought his lawn sign in the ring. He then continued to attack Metalik. He tried to kick the sign into the leg of Metalik. Tozawa’s theme interrupted him. Tozawa cleared Gulak from the ring with kicks…
John’s Thoughts: Ok… My theory that swished around in my mind this past weekend is that WWE doesn’t really know how to utilize masked wrestlers. Look at how Sin Cara and Kalisto have been treated. And to be honest, I think they did better business with an unmasked Hunico. Metalik deserves better. Gulak and Tozawa continue to spin their wheels to nowhere.
Kayla Braxton interviewed Kalisto backstage. Kalisto said his mindset was he as confident and excited (he was also overtly happy). Kalisto said he already beat Enzo and can beat him again. Kalisto said becoming champ was a dream come true, but Enzo turned that dream into a nightmare. He said he was waking up from the nightmare and taking his championship back. He hopped away…
John’s Thoughts: Speaking of misused luchadors. Part of it is Kalisto, but part of it is WWE feeding him these happy-go-lucky scripts. Less can be more with him and he can play more of a stoic ninja as opposed to this guy who seems just happy to be here. Well, at least he didn’t mention Rey or Eddie but his character still annoys me like Chavo just a bit.
Before the next match Enzo Amore and Ariya Daivari danced to the ring. Daivari cut the promo since Enzo lost his voice over the weekend. Daivari said Enzo is the greatest thing to happen to 205 live. Daivari said Enzo is the savior of the cruiserweight division. Daivari talked about his bank account looking better. He then went for cheap heat by calling the fans poor. Daivari called everyone a hater. He talked in Iranian. Daivari then did the SWAFT routine. He told the fans it wasn’t sing along with “Daivari Dinero”. Kalisto made his Lucha Dragon entrance and was all smiles. He did his lucha thing for the fans…
John’s Thoughts: They’ve tried a lot of character things with Ariya and I think if they stick with this one it might work. He never had the promo range of his brother Shawn, but I do think he’s better in the ring. The missing link was character.
3. Enzo Amore (w/ Ariya Daivari) vs. Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Greg Hamilton handled the formal ring introductions and even did his “one fall” thing that only he does in main events. Kalisto quickly took the action to the outside. Enzo crawled around to avoid Kalisto. Kalisto stomped on Enzo’s hand and then went to pummel Enzo with punches. Enzo gained breathing room after backtossing Kalisto to the outside. Kalisto favored his ankle.
Enzo shoved Kalisto to the outside as Kalisto continued to favor his right leg. Kalisto hit a kick on Enzo. Enzo used a boot to plant Kalisto to the mat. Enzo worked on Kalisto on the apron. Enzo teased a superplex to the outside but was taken off the top rope. Enzo took Kalisto off with him. Enzo went for Eat Defeat but Kalisto countered into a cartwheel Death Valley Driver on the apron. Enzo crawled away from the ring to try to lose via countout. Kalisto managed to hit Enzo a few times to break the ten count. Enzo hit a drop toehold on Kalisto. Kalisto caught Enzo off the top rope. Kalisto hit a clunky tornado DDT on Enzo. Kalisto went for a top rope move but Enzo kicked the referee for the DQ.
Kalisto defeated Enzo Amore via DQ in 6:13.
After the match, Kalisto chased Enzo up the ramp and put the boots to him until the referee broke things up. As Kalisto was restrained in the ring, Enzo gloated on his dynamic microphone and said “and still, Cruiserweight Champion of the world, Enzo Amore! How you doin’!”…
John’s Thoughts: Not a great match, but that’s par for the course with Enzo’s limitations. He’s improved, I’ll give him that, but he regressed here since the match was just him running around and eventually getting the DQ. That psychology’s fine given the Enzo character, but he did have to perform some moves, and he didn’t look great. This is probably due to Kalisto and Enzo having a match recently. It probably would have been better if we didn’t get the “contractually obligated” rematch so soon.
Quick note on the commentators. This commentary team is no good. I think their best combination given their current commentators is Tom Phillips and Corey Graves. I can’t blame Graves or Phillips for not wanting to be on the show. If so, then good for them. Nigel and Vic probably don’t want to be here either. Nigel has been really good in his WWE commentary run, but this was the bad Nigel that we’ve gotten when he filled in on ROH and TNA commentary. Nigel also forces being a heel with the tone like he would rather be somewhere else. Joseph has improved, but he sounds like a voice clip from a WWE video game. At least he’s gotten better about not leaving dead air but he isn’t great at calling moves.
Overall, this felt like some filler Raw segments stretched across an entire hour. I’ll be back later today with my members’ exclusive audio review.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ODB discussing the fire that destroyed her food truck, the fundraising drive to help her buy a new truck, her appearance on the latest Impact Wrestling television show, Triple H telling her to go to TNA, and much more...