By John Moore
WWE 205 Live on WWE Network
Aired live from Cincinnati, Ohio at U.S. Bank Arena
Per usual, 205 Live started off with a recap video package from the prior night’s Raw. Rich Swann’s title opportunity being “revoked” was mentioned. The 205 Live intro theme played. As a notable change, they’ve scrubbed away Rich Swann from the intro theme and replaced his highlights with some goofy replacements including Gran Metalik shooting a solar flare from his fingers, Akira Tozawa getting Sonic the Hedgehog’s fire shield, and fire coming out of the mouth of Noam Dar…
Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary as Joseph said his contractually obligated line of calling this show “the most exciting hour in television”. Joseph also said his usual WWE cliché line of saying “what a 24 hours it has been” in regards to Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak. Nigel said we were getting the much-awaited return of Kalisto after being gone one week (wut?). Daivari had a match coming up next and he came out to Drew Gulak’s theme. Drew Gulak joined Daivari in the ring. Gulak talked about how he’s been trying to cultivate a better 205 Live. Gulak talked about beating Cedric Alexander next week and being able to face his mentor Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight Champion.
Drew Gulak said “Daivari Dinero” is not in the holiday spirit due to Cedric being a Grinch and taking away his second shot at the title. Gulak yelled at the crowd to stop chanting which drew boos. Gulak said Noam Dar has suffered a knee injury and will require surgery. Drew then did his usual build up to his “POWERPOINT PRESENTATION!!!” which would relate to knee rehab. Cedric Alexander interrupted this week’s PowerPoint…
1. Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari (w/Drew Gulak). Drew Gulak was roaming at ringside, yelling on his megaphone. Daivari shoved Alexander in the chest and yelled at him in Farsi. Alexander imitated his signature offense while Gulak yelled on his megaphone to get into the head of Alexander. There was actually a dueling chant of “let’s go Cedric” and “Power Point”. Gulak went on the apron to prevent Cedric from going high risk. Daivari took advantage and threw Alexander into the turnbuckle to put the boots to him.
Daivari distracted the ref which allowed Gulak to give Alexander a lariat at ringside. Daivari initiated a resthold which Cedric escaped. Daivari came back with a bulldog to put Alexander back in the chinlock. Alexander hit Daivari with a jawbreaker and uppercut. Alexander then punted Daivari off the turnbuckle. Alexander hit his signature springboard clothesline on Daivari. Daiveri blocked the lumbar check into a rollup. Alexander came back with a back elbow. Daivari caught a flying Alexander and hit him with a delayed spinebuster.
Drew Gulak complained to Daivari to not do a high-risk move. Daivari hit the Magic Carpet [-less] ride on Alexander. Nigel pointed out that Gulak was right in his advice as the frogsplash hurts the ribs and Daivari has injured ribs. Alexander dodged the hammerlock lariat. Alexander hit a handspring roundhouse followed up by the Lumbar Check for the win.
Cedric Alexander defeated Ariya Daivari via pinfall in 8:07.
Gulak glared at Alexander from ringside as Alexander celebrated on the turnbuckle. Joseph hyped up Gulak vs. Alexander for next week…[C]
John’s Thoughts: Standard fare for a WWE time filler match to carry on toward an advertised match. It still just hurts everyone that these heels mean nothing. Drew Gulak is the lone developed heel and I fear that he might be on a trajectory to being a lovable Heath Slater type babyface with his PowerPoint and No Fly Zone thing.
During the commercial, a NXT on USA ad aired. Joseph recapped the Enzo Amore and Nia Jax segment from Raw. Drew Gulak was talking to Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari backstage. Gulak told Daivari that it wasn’t smart to do a frogsplash with an injured rib. Enzo berated Drew Gulak for calling a team meeting. Enzo yelled at Daivari for losing. Gulak tried to apologize to Enzo for trying to be cruiserweight champion. Enzo Amore shut down Gulak and said that Gulak can’t even hold his microphone. Tony Nese cut in and told Enzo not to talk to Drew like that. Enzo mocked “Team Power Point”. Enzo reminded them that they are on the “Zo Train”. Enzo talked about how he built 205 Live back from the ground up. Enzo talked to his Zo Train and said that they all have to make the best out of themselves. Enzo then said he was going to lead by example by having a match against Tony Nese with the Zo Train at ringside…
John’s Thoughts: 205 Live was repetitive with Neville as Champ, but with Enzo this show has been downright boring. It’s not Enzo’s fault neither. Enzo just doesn’t have the all-around chops that Neville or Aries had let alone the creative writing behind him. Right now, Enzo comes off as Social Outcasts Heath Slater leading the Social Outcasts…
Brian Kendrick argued in the ring about losing the cruiserweight championship a year ago. Kendrick said his dream of being a champion in WWE was taken away from him. Kendrick talked about how Kalisto was just gifted opportunities and just squanders them. Jack Gallagher told Kalisto that he should have stayed away and he called the crowd lazy. Kaliso made his entrance to his Lucha Dragon theme. Kalisto did his lucha things in the ring…
2. Jack Gallagher (w/The Brian Kendrick) vs. Kalisto. Gallagher started off the match with a side headlock takedown and joint manipulation. Kalisto escaped with a monkey flip. Kalisto took down Gallagher with a huracanrana. Kalisto sent Gallagher outside, did his lucha thing, and went for a tope. Kalisto instead had to kick Gallagher off the apron. Kalisto accidentally kicked Kendrick. Gallagher threw Calisto’s leg into the ring post.
Gallagher worked on Calisto’s legs in the ring. Gallagher put Kalisto in the Tree of Woe while locking in an ankle lock. Kalisto kicked out of an ankle lock. Gallagher came back with a leg whip and then locked in a modified ankle lock. Gallagher mocked Calisto’s lucha thing. Nigel compared Gallagher to Professor Moriarty (but Moriarty has way more heat on him due to him winning a few mental bouts with Sherlock. ugh). Gallagher locked Kalisto in a modified Brock Lock. Kalisto escaped a hit a Listo Kick on Gallagher. Kalisto got a nearfall off a Asai Moonsault. Kalisto hit Gallagher with a Frankendriver. Gallagher put a thumb to the eye of Kalisto. Kalisto did a rana to the pin for the win.
Kalisto defeated Jack Gallagher via pinfall in 8:53.
Kendrick gave Kalisto a chop block after the match. Randomly Gran Metalik ran in for the save. Metalik hit a few of his cool looking moves. Kalisto hit the SDS on Kendrick to send the heels up the ramp…
John’s Thoughts: Can’t a heel other than Brian Kendrick beat a babyface? The heels on this show can’t even win with cheating. They just all suck. Even though Kendrick wins matches they still have no storylines behind him. Even then, I just feel they are having him win match just to lose to the latest incoming Japanese wrestler (they built up Kendrick minimally two times before to lose to Tozawa and Tajiri). Kalisto should be buried and reset because the Lucha Dragon thing is not catching on. The kids seem more into Sin Cara and Gran Metalik at this point which says something. I’ve been hoping for Kalisto to try out more of the stoic Drago-like persona which was catching on when he beat Braun Strowman.
Enzo Amore was walking backstage. Drew Gulak tried to reason with Enzo and tell him to call off the match with a fellow Zo Train member. Gulak asked Enzo why he want’s to fight Tony. Enzo said this is not a fight. He said he wants to show Nese some holds like Dean Malenko would. Enzo said it was going to be a learning experience for everyone… [C]
Vic Joseph hyped up NXT’s USA debut and Tribute to the Troops. The announcers cut to a Hideo Itami vignette…
John’s Thoughts: Random thought. They already have Akira Tozawa as their Japanese buzzsaw babyface. Can’t they bring in Hideo Itami as a heel and their cruiserweight version of Samoa Joe. As I mentioned earlier, all of the heels on this show are presented as loser j-brones.
Tony Nese made his entrance. Thankfully he didn’t do his two-minute-long inaudible entrance ritual. Nese was acting purposefully mopey. Enzo Amore made his entrance next with Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari. He wore a leopard skin robe. Enzo was trying to do act like Floyd Mayweather. Enzo did his “Certified G” routine and the crowd cheered him. Enzo hyped up the live 205 Live events. Enzo then did the SAWFT thing.
3. Enzo Amore (w/Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari) vs. Tony Nese. Enzo stalled by talking a lot. A few kids in the crowd told Nese to beat up Enzo. Enzo slapped Nese, which caused Nese to fume. Daivari ran in for the disqualification.
Tony Nese defeated Enzo Amore via DQ in 2:44.
John’s Thoughts: Seriously. A two-plus minute match with only a slap?!? I came up with a new term. I can’t believe it. “Only on 205!”. Why must I be cursed with a small pocket of TNA outside of TNA? This show is something that would happen only in TNA, except it’s on the WWE Network.
Enzo and Daivari put the boots to Nese. There were some boos but the heat was minimal. Seriously. Why should anyone care about the loser-ass Tony Nese character. Enzo was about to hit Nese with Gail Kim’s Eat Defeat. Enzo berated Drew Gulak to prove his worth and attack Nese. Enzo said his “Zero Dimes” line out of context. The four guys in the ring tried to act up this B-Movie betrayal scene. Gulak was reluctant but gave into attacking Nese. Gulak teased a swerve. The crowd chanted that this segment was “Boring”. They are right. 205 Live is boring. The crowd then chanted “this is boring”. They also chanted “delete” in a deprecating way. Enzo hit Nese with Gail Kim’s Eat Defeat to close out the show…
John’s Thoughts: There’s the solution to end this hellhole of nihilistic pain. Just bring Br[Woken] Matt Hardy to this show along with Vanguard 1 so they can just “DELETE” this show from all of space and time. Thumbs up to the crowd for being brutally honest and letting out that this show is boring and should be deleted. Impact Wrestling may be bad more often than not these days, but at least it seems like someone tried in terms of writing this show. This show comes off as a neglected toy. That closing scene could have worked in the right context, but they pulled it out of nowhere. It just comes off as a cliché scene from a B-Movie from a cheap video tape rental store. And again, the one heel that means something in Gulak seems to be turning babyface soon. Even then, all the heels still suck. I’ll be back with my 205 Audio Review for the members and I’m not going to be too happy in that review.