11/28 Moore’s WWE 205 Live Review: Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese, Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher vs. Kalisto

By John Moore

WWE 205 Live
Aired live from Lexington, Kentucky at Rupp Arena

A recap from Raw aired in which Kurt Angle set up the qualifying matches to find a contender for Enzo’s Cruiserweight Championship. They then showed Rich Swann winning the subsequent match which made Swann qualify for the future number one contender’s match. The 205 theme aired…

Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Joseph and McGuinness hyped the upcoming matches for this episode. Vic Joseph noted that this was the one year anniversary of 205 Live.

John’s Thoughts: Oh joy… (sarcasm)

Nigel said 205 Live is about to get more exciting in 2018. Enzo Amore’s theme played as he accompanied Noam Dar to the ring. Enzo did his entrance routine but they overdubbed Joseph’s voice to mute Enzo so Joseph can recap last week’s closing beatdown segment. Enzo talked about how the Zo train choo chooed straight to the top of 205 Live last week.

Enzo said he’s a G for Generosity and he was offering his Zo train members a shot at his title. Enzo said his Zo Train members were acting like they were playing Mario Kart on Raw last night when they slipped on a banana peel and Dar was Toad. Enzo hyped Tony Nese and Gabba Gulak representing the Zo Train well later on and he hopes that Dar stops slipping on banana peels like Mario Kart. Rich Swann made his entrance. They sowed a Mike Rome interviewing Swann after Raw. Rome talked about Swann being the champion a year ago. Rome asked Swann what was different now. Swann said he’s not champion. He asked Rome if he can smell and taste it. Swann then hyped himself up to become a two-time champion. Joseph hyped Mustafa Ali vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese…

1. Rich Swann vs. Noam Dar. Little Naitch Charles Robinson was the referee. Dar rolled to ringside to taunt the referees with Enzo. Enzo stalled as Robinson started a ten count. Nigel said Enzo was making the match about him. Joseph pointed out that Noam Dar was the one pinned last night. Joseph also said Noam Dar is the youngest wrestler in WWE at the moment. Dar rolled back outside to convene with Enzo. Swann followed and hit Dar with a cannonball senton. Swann danced in front of Enzo and mocked the Enzo dance. Swann chopped down Dar with low kicks.

Swann hit Dar with a rolling thunder splash. Enzo distracted Swann on the apron to allow Dar to trip Swann off the second rope. Dar locked in a combination chickenwing armbar, similar to a Rings of Saturn. Swann fought out and had a rally on Dar. Dar dodged a guillotine legdrop and gave Swann a lariat to the back of the head. Dar sold a leg injury and Enzo yelled at Dar by saying that he doesn’t care about Dar’s leg. Dar kicked out of a rollup. Dar dodged a roundhouse but Swann continued with a back kick. Swann hit the Phoenix Splash for the victory.

Rich Swann defeated Noam Dar via pinfall in 4:42.

Enzo had a look of disappointment after the match. They showed match highlights. Enzo yelled at Dar for losing all of the time. Enzo said there are only winners on the Zo train and Dar has to get a win…

John’s Thoughts: I liked the beginning of the show and Raw establishing “The Zo Train” as something important and they hype for next week’s Raw match with implications makes the show feel more important. As positive as I am for that job, my optimism is still as guarded as I am with TNA/GFW/Impact’s X Division because I’m so used to seeing a step moving forward only to see two steps back soon after. A problem with all these babyfaces going over for so long is the non-main event heels have zero heat. Dar is a wasted talent because he did show a lot of personality in the feud with Cedric Alexander and had a huge payoff when he dumped Alicia Fox. Now he’s the replacement for Drew Gulak, who ascended to a better spot. Do you see why I’m not excited to see Hideo Itami or (possibly?) Rockstar Spud on this brand?

Dasha Fuentes interviewed Kalisto backstage who hopped in the scene like a rabbit (is he Allie/Cherry Bomb now?). Dasha asked Kalisto about his mindset. Kalisto said he lost to Enzo and it was torture. He said he was going to fight. He said it starts tonight. He hopped away…[C]

After a Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce NXT ad, Jack Gallagher made his entrance accompanied by The Brian Kendrick. Kalisto came out and did his lucha things…

2. Gentleman Jack Gallagher (w/ The Brian Kendrick) vs. Kalisto. Gallagher pressured Kalisto to the ropes to break a waistlock. Gallagher initiated his joint manipulation. Kalisto flipped away from the move to do some joint manipulation of his own. They both traded submissions with Gallagher gaining the upperhand. Kalisto flipped away with an armdrag. Kalisto fought back with punches. Gallagher ripped Kalisto off the second rope. Gallagher mounted ground and pound offense on Kalisto. Nigel noted that Gallagher is a master of all forms of “sports entertainment”.

John’s Thoughts: Come on, Nigel. I get a kick out of how Nigel is truly trying not to step on the wrong toes by avoiding the word “wrestling”. It’s just comical when even Michael Cole will mention the word “wrestling” when talking about the actual martial art.

Gallagher dominated with methodical offense. Kalisto escaped Gallagher’s straightjacket surfboard. Kalisto sidestepped a Gallagher dropkick. Kalisto hit Gallagher with a Listo Kick. Kalisto hit Gallagher with a Frankendriver. Kalisto (unsuccessfully) tried to start a Lucha chant. Kalisto hit the SDS on Gallagher. The Brian Kendrick ran in and kicked Kalisto for the DQ

Kalisto defeated Jack Gallagher via DQ in 6:24.

After softening up Kalisto, Kendrick lifted Kalisto using his leather jacket. Gallagher gave Kalisto a headbutt to leave him lying. Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness cut to another Hideo Itami video package. He’s “coming soon”…

John’s Thoughts: I hate to complain about everything in this show, but there are few things to complement. Again, zero heat for the heels because they can’t win anything. Kendrick has a bit of credibility because he’s avoiding most of the losses but why job out Gallagher after building him up as a strong brute heel with legit MMA cred? Here’s where I hope they go, I’m almost sure they won’t go there, but they should. I hope Gallagher and Kendrick can get a few clean wins on someone for once, namely Kalisto. Turn Kalisto heel and make him take on more of that Drago-like persona that he had when he beat Braun Strowman? I’m not sure why Kalisto regressed back to the dorky Lucha Dragon who hops like a rabbit and does dorky lucha things?

Swann said thinking about Hideo Itami makes his body hurt. Cedric Alexander said Swann should worry about hurting from Cedric’s strikes after he wins next week on Raw. Ali told Cedric to not think too far ahead because LA is going to be chanting “Ali” next week. Ali then made peace with Cedric because they were going to face Zo Train members Drew Gulak and Tony Nese later on…[C]

Tony Nese made his unnecessarily long entrance where he cuts a promo that is hard to hear since they don’t put a mic on him. It’s the promo where he tries to make muscle group puns. Drew Gulak introduced himself afterward and said that Nese looks like a Greek statue. Drew Gulak said Enzo gave their team a new name “Power Point”. Drew explained it by saying that Nese is the “Power” while he makes the “points” (so it’s the name logic that went into the tag team name “Beer Money”). Gulak compared the Zo Train to the Justice League. Drew said Nese was Aquaman while he’s Batman. Drew said Enzo is superman. Gulak then built up his “POWERPOINT PRESENTATION!!!” as has been his catchphrase. Cedric Alexander interrupted this week’s powerpoint.

3. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali. The crowd gave Gulak a loud “Powerpoint” chant which Gulak yelled at them to stop chanting. Gulak and Alexander started off the match with chain wrestling that Alexander dominated. Gulak shoved Alexander in the gut to gain the upper hand and tag in Nese. Cedric made it to his corner to tag in Ali who dominated Nese. Ali and Alexander made quick tags for isolation. Nese used his power to land a few punches on Ali. Ali flipped away and grounded Nese with an armdrag. Ali wanted a tag but Alexander wasn’t in the corner due to yelling at Gulak.

Ali made the tag and yelled at Alexander for being distracted. Alexander initiated his signature offense on Gulak. Alexander went for his handstand headscissors but Nese tripped up Alexander to give his team the advantage. Nese put Alexander in the tree of woe and put knees to the gut of Alexander. Nese did his bicycle workout on Alexander. Gulak tagged in and continued the onslaught with a power bomb. Gulak locked Alexander in a modified STF. Gulak at a right forearm from Alexander. Ali left the corner to deal with Nese to leave Alexander hanging in a similar situation from earlier on in the match. Alexander escaped with a jawbreaker and tagged in Ali for the hot tag. Ali cleaned house.

Ali hit Nese with a rolling X Factor. Ali wanted a tag but Cedric was not at the corner again for some reason. Nese crotched Ali off the top rope. Alexander tagged in and put Nese in the electric chair. They hit the Doomsday Device on Nese. Gulak broke up the subsequent pin. Ali disposed of Gulak on the outside. Ali was the legal man. Nese shoved Ali into Alexander and rolled up Ali for the win.

Tony Nese and Drew Gulak defeated Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander via pinfall in 9:32.

Joseph and Nigel talked about the Zo train picked up a win. Nigel talked about how the story of the match was the constant miscommunication between Alexander and Ali. Nigel said he counted three times exactly. Enzo Amore walked to the top of the ramp to meet Nese and Gulak. Alexander and Ali bickered in the ring which set up to Nigel hyping up the fatal four way at the Staples Center…

John’s Thoughts: I have to give them credit here and hope they roll with this small glimmer of hope. This was one of the better storytelling matches shown on this show in a while and in a non-Enzo/Neville segment for once. While they were laying it on thick in the match composition with the miscommunication, the announcers sold it the right amount and it led to the proper result of putting heels over on this show which is a rare thing for anyone who isn’t Neville. Even Enzo loses a lot, but at least Enzo losing fits his character and he’s allowed to develop heat in alternate ways. I would have had Gulak pick up the win since Gulak is over and Nese is in serious need of a character transplant. Nese’s wins stick less because he had a dead loser version of Chris Masters thing going on. Gulak is the guy who overhauled his character for the better and is one of the few people in general that gets great crowd reactions; even though they’re babyface reactions similar to the ones that Cedric Alexander and Akira Tozawa would get.

It’s still hard to recommend this show because I’m simply not sure if anything built here will even carry on to succeeding weeks based on the past booking transgressions. I would like to be optimistic, but this show hasn’t given me any reason to be. This would have to be a similar situation to TNA last year to me where the first few weeks of 2016 had me extremely guarded because TNA had been 205 live bad for years instead of one year, but after about two months of great booking I dubbed TNA Impact the best wrestling show on television because they continued to roll throughout the year with strong booking. So it’s wait and see, but by this show’s standards there were more good things than bad. I’ll be by later on today with my members’ exclusive audio review of this episode.



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