11/21 Moore’s WWE 205 Live Review: Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak in a street fight, Hideo Itami vignette, Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese, Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander vs. Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari


By John Moore

WWE 205 Live on the WWE Network
Aired live from Houston, Texas at Toyota Center

There was a turkey shown from “earlier today” (oh hell naw… please don’t let it be one of THOSE episodes.). Enzo had his “Zo Train” members Ariya Daivari, Noam Dar, and Tony Nese with him (a.k.a. 205 Live’s enhancement brigade). Enzo told them that by associating with him he got them all booked in matches on this episode. Enzo said the match is against the “four schmucks” who interrupted them on Raw. Enzo then dangled a prize in front of them by saying that if he’s impressed he’ll give one of them a recommendation for a shot at his Cruiserweight Championship.

Enzo asked where “Gaba Gulak” was. Dar said Gulak was out on his computer typing up his Powerpoint Presentation. Suddenly, the Gobbledy Gooker gobbled his way into the camera shot much to the dismay of most of the heels. Dar laughed thought. The Gooker took off his head to reveal Drew Gulak who said “how are you doing” in his dork voice. Gulak said to look at him since he’s the “Gobbledy Gulak-er”. Enzo didn’t like it. Gulak said he took Enzo’s advice to loosen up. The 205 theme played…

John’s Thoughts: That segment sucked (mostly, I’ll get into that), just like the rest of this show. Most of this roster is marginalized and bogged down with tepid creative. Even Enzo is dragged down by the comedy crap that even Neville didn’t have to endure as the one person that mattered on this roster. Dammit 205. That said I got a nice chuckle by the end of that segment with Drew Gulak. He’s the one guy on this show (other than Neville) who’s made chicken salad out of a chicken shiz situation. He’s evolved, cut hooking promos, and is actually unique in his comedy with the political guy and dorky white guy routine. That “Gobbledy Gulaker” line was gold for some reason.

Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Nigel looked like he would rather be anywhere else (and I don’t blame him one bit, especially after having such a great commentary night on Takeover). Nigel talked about Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese for later in this show. Joseph advertised Daivari and Dar vs. Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann. Drew Gulak made his entrance holding his hand drawn lawn sign. Gulak wore a sleeveless shirt and denim jeans. The crowd gave Gulak a respectable “Powerpoint” chant. Gulak yelled “no chanting!!!” at them. Gulak introduced himself and called himself a proud member of the Zo train. Gulak said since Enzo’s from the streets then Gulak is from the streets via proxy. Gulak talked about putting an end to Tozawa’s “ah!” chants. Gulak said he will also prove his loyalty to Enzo Amore by cutting his sleeves and getting his hands dirty. Gulak then built up and hyped the continuation of his “POWERPOINT PRESENTATION!!!”. The crowd was awaiting the PowerPoint. Akira Tozawa’s entrance interrupted the promo…

1. Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa in a street fight. Tozawa started the match off with his “ah” chants. Gulak walked around the ring and told everyone to stop chanting. Gulak dominated Tozawa with methodical strikes. Gulak went for a sunset flip but Tozawa came back with a penalty kick and running senton. Tozawa attacked Gulak with calculated strikes. Gulak came back with a shove. Tozawa came back with a huracanrana and he dropkicked Gulak out of the ring. Tozawa went for one of his nice suicide dives but was caught midair leading to a Gulak suplex on the entrance ramp. Gulak gave Tozawa a running forearm to the throat to play off the injury angle from a month or so ago.

Gulak jabbed the pointy part of his lawn sign into the chest of Tozawa. Tozawa brought steel chairs into the ring. Gulak put Tozawa on the chair and slapped him down. The crowd wanted tables at this point. Gulak held up his “no chants” sign. Gulak then put his sign into the corner. Tozawa blocked body slam. Gulak used a knee on Tozawa. Tozawa came right back with a Saito Suplex onto the lawn sign. Joseph talked about how Tozawa wrestled a street fight on this show against Brian Kendrick. Tozawa appeased the crowd by bringing a table into play.

Gulak recovered and tried to work over Tozawa a bit. Gulak set up the table in the ring which allowed Tozawa to roll ringside to recover. Tozawa cleared off the table and hit Gulak with a running cannonball senton into the timekeeper area. Tozawa brought out kendo sticks and a trash can. Tozawa put the can over Gulak and started hitting the can with the kendo stick. Gulak stumbled onto the table. Tozawa set up and hit his finisher the High Leaping Senton through the table. Tozawa picked up the pinfall win.

Akira Tozawa defeated Drew Gulak via pinfall in 11:12.

The replayed showed the closing seconds of the match. They then showed a slow motion wide shot to show the height Tozawa received on his leaping senton. Nigel tried to make a joke by saying that since Gulak was dressed as a turkey he suffered a “poultry experience”. Vic Joseph responded by saying that this “is the most exciting hour in television” (lol). Nigel talked about how 205 received. Nigel’s tone changed in saying one of the greatest and feared strikers to ever emerge from Japan was coming to 205 Live. A Hideo Itami vignette aired. The video said he was “coming soon”…

John’s Thoughts: That was a fun street fight. WWE’s main roster does continue to make gimmick matches meaningless by presenting them in tawdry fashion. This was better than Tozawa vs. Kendrick though since it was crowd pleasing and wasn’t unintentionally funny with all of the usage of the purple tape as a weapon in the Kendrick match. Moving along to Hideo, you can tell when Nigel is phoning it in, like when he calls a majority of this show or a ROH main event. But you could tell in his tone that he has a lot of respect for the legend from Pro Wrestling Noah due to them actually having history when KENTA came to ROH. I do feel bad for the guy though. He was starting to pick up steam as a heel on NXT and now he’s sent to WWE 205 Hell. I hope that the booking changes before he gets here. Seriously, I’d be more excited to see KENTA go to Impact Wrestling so we can get him back Noah to have a match against Eddie Edwards for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.

Enzo and his enhancement brigade were shown again at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Tony Nese was eating a turkey leg talking about how he doesn’t respect Hideo Itami. Nese said Hideo should be smart and join the Zo Train. Enzo yelled at Nese to stay on the Zo Train by doing a better job than Gabba Gulak. Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, and Rich Swann walked in making a handful of nerdy insults. Enzo yelled at Tony Nese again and told him to do whatever it takes to win. Nese agreed and ate more of his Turkey Leg. A NXT commercial aired hyping up Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano for the WWE UK Championship…[C]

John’s Thoughts: I hate to call these guys dorks and nerds because I know these guys are way better than that. Daivari’s a great technical wrestler. Nese is an awesome power-high flyer hybrid. Enzo’s a top-tier talker. Dar is a good wrestler and underrated character actor. Cedric has natural babyface charisma. Ali has “Neville-Level” upside. Swann’s a great underdog. Yet… They all marginalized in these throwaway skits and matches. Why should I be excited to see some of my favorite wrestlers in the world like Hideo or (as theorized) Rockstar Spud on this show. Send them to NXT where they put on world class PPVs.

Mustafa Ali was first out. Tony Nese came out next and made his long-ass and badly mic’d entrance. Seriously, the guy has to try to yell his promo yet they won’t send in a boom mic so you can hear what he’s saying. “Little Naitch” Charles Robinson was the referee for the match…

2. Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese. Nese called a time out to show off his bicep. The two had a chain wrestling sequence. Ali did a flip and mocked Nese’s bicep pose. Ali tried for a crucifix pin but Nese escape and rallied against Ali. Nese was outside and Ali hit Nese with an impressive top rope cannonball senton. Nigel pointed out how impressive it was for Ali to land on his feet from a cannonball where most people roll on their backs. Nese caused Ali to fall face first on the barricade via a trip. Nese popped Ali into fireman carry and slammed his head on the announce table.

Nese toyed with Ali in the center of the ring until he locked in a headlock. Ali staggered Nese with a kick and mounted a rally of offense. Ali blocked a whip by stopping on a dime with a baseball slide. Ali then hit Nese with a rolling X-Factor. Nese came back with a forearm. Ali came back with a rolling elbow. Nese did a matrix kip up. and the two traded counters. Ali hit Nese with a spike tornado DDT. Nigel noted the extra whiplash torque that Ali put in the DDT. Nese rolled under the rope to block the inverted 450. Nese hit Ali with a running corner knee to pick up the surprise victory.

Tony Nese defeated Mustafa Ali via pinfall in 7:07.

John’s Thoughts: That was a good match by this show’s standards. It was different in a sense that they tried to work in a handful of creative spots as opposed to the usual wheel spinning in Tony Nese matches. I like a heel picking up a win but I don’t like that they’ve done nothing to redefine Tony Nese who has been established as “The Premier [enhancement talent]” of the show. At least Daivari and Gulak have reinvented themselves somewhat. I’m not confident in them doing anything meaningful with this win because I totally expect Ali to get his win back in the next week or two. Based on the way that they’ve buried Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher which had so much potential as a heel stable, why should I be excited of WWE doing something with Nese’s momentum?

Enzo was trying to inspire Daivari and Noam Dar. Enzo pointed out that Gulak was in “time out” Gulak was forced to sit down wearing the WWE Turkey Suit (Oh lord… That reminds me. I’m going to review the TNA Turkey Episode of Impact Wrestling this Friday morning). Drew asked for a bathroom break. Enzo told Gulak no and he has to think about what he done… [C]

Back from the break, Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari came out to Enzo Amore’s entrance music. Enzo Amore walked out with them and did his usual entrance routine. Enzo got a somewhat large “how you doin'” chant…

3. Ariya Daivari and Noam Dar (w/ Enzo Amore) vs. Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann. Alexander and Daivari started off with the opening chain wrestling sequence. Daivari dominated. Swan turned the tide with his signature moves. Swann tagged in and hit a rolling thunder splash. Dar dominated Swann. Alexander made a blind tag to surprise Dar with a springboard clothesline. Dar escaped the Lumbar Check. Dar then kicked Alexander in the gut to start some of his methodical offense while keeping Alexander away from his partner.

Alexander had a path for the tag but Dar pushed off Alexander from the apron. Alexander managed to eventually get the tag. Swann hit Daivari with a standing frankensteiner. Swann was crotched off the top rope by Enzo while the referee was distracted. Daivari hit the Magic Carpet [-less] Ride on Swann. Swann kicked out at two. Enzo yelled at Daivari for not getting the job done. Swann went for some pinfall attempts but Enzo ran to distract the referee. Alexander took down Enzo and Daivari. Dar saved Enzo with a dropkick to Alexander. Enzo hugged Dar for saving him. This sidetrack caused Dar to walk right into Swann’s signature back hook kick. Swann then hit the Phoenix Splash for the win.

Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander defeated Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari via pinfall in 8:07.

Enzo quickly ran in the ring to put the boots to Swann. Daivari ran in and joined in on the action. Daivari and Dar gave the heels a numbers advantage. Ali and Tozawa tried to run out for the save but Gulak and Nese ran interference and tossed around the faces like ragdolls. “The Zo Train” pounded on Cedric and Rich. Daivari hit his finisher the Hammerlock Lariat on Alexander. Dar hit a running enziguri on Swann. Enzo hit a top rope splash on Alexander and Swann. The heels did the Enzo dance in unison. Enzo grabbed a mic and told Alexander and Swann “how you doin'”…

John’s Thoughts: Nothing truly special about that closing segment and nothing you wouldn’t expect. I like that battle lines are being drawn between heels and babyfaces, that’s a plus. What’s a huge negative is they are clustering heels into one cluster and the babyfaces into a babyface cluster. The one thing WWE had over TNA/Impact Wrestling’s X Division was how they would spotlight individual personalities in singles matches but this developing feud is starting to show TNA-esque signs of homogenizing the two clusters and thus removing the individuality of the wrestlers. Enzo is being presented as an alpha but they are having him do too much shtick with no substance. This show needs someone to hit the big red reset button, the same reset button they hit with NXT when NXT was floundering into this year. Someone bring in “The Creator” Triple H to save the day. We know that guy gets it. Gripes aside, I am a bit glad we didn’t get some sort of Turkey and Mashed Potatoes hardcore match similar to the Pumpkin and Candy Corn episode from a few weeks ago. I’ll have more thoughts in my member’s exclusive audio review later today.


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