By John Moore
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WWE 205 Live
Aired live from Newark, New Jersey at Prudential Center
Before the 205-intro theme, a highlight package aired from the prior night’s Raw where Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak to become the number one contender to the Cruiserweight Championship. The 205 Live theme aired…
Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Nigel talked about “The most anticipated debut in 205 Live History” and the “Don from Nihon” in the debut of Hideo Itami on 205 Live. For some reason, they’re doing a Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak match again, just with nothing on the line this time…
Kalisto made his entrance and he did his lucha thing. Filling in for Sin Cara is the other mouthless luchador, Gran Metalik. If you’ve been watching this show for the past month or so, who do you think these guys are facing? Those guys cut a promo against the luchadores mocking them…
1. Kalisto and Gran Metalik vs. The Brian Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher. Kalisto and Kendrick started the match off with trading hammerlocks. Kalisto and Kendrick had a striking battle next with Kendrick dominating in the corner. Kalisto countered with some kicks to gain the upper hand. Kalisto hit Kendrick with a huracanrana to allow Metalik to tag in to follow up. Metalik hit an impressive tightrope crossbody on Kendrick. Kendrick tagged in Gallagher for some tandem offense. Metalik took down both men with a dropkick. Kalisto and Metalik did stereo flip dives to the outside. Kalisto then tried to do his lucha thing but only a minimal amount of people participated. It was kinda embarrassing for Kalisto there.
Metalik gave Kendrick a thrust kick to keep him outside. Gallagher crotched Metalik on the top rope and put him in the Tree of Woe. Gallagher hit Metalik a hesitation dropkick. Gallagher dragged Metalik in the center of the ring to work on the left ankle of Metalik. Kendrick tagged in and locked Metalik in a sitting Boston Crab. Kendrick converted to a kneebar. Gallagher tagged in and knocked off Kalisto from the apron. Gallagher and Kendrick maintained a slow and methodical onslaught. Metalik managed to slingblade Kendrick.
Metalik fought his way to Kalisto for the hot tag. Kalisto took down both opponents with kicks. Kalisto hit both men with a double armdrag. Kalisto hit Gallagher with a Frankendriver. Kalisto did his dumb ass lucha thing which allowed Gallagher to see the SDS coming and block it. Kalisto did a corkscrew crossbody on Gallagher, while yelling “Lucha!!!” (ok… that one was actually fun…). Kalisto hit the Salida Del Sol on Gallagher. Kendrick broke up the pin and put the boots to Kalisto. Referee Rudy Charles called off the match since Kendrick stayed in the ring as an illegal man.
Kalisto and Gran Metalik defeated The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher via DQ in 8:57.
Gallagher gave Kalisto a headbutt and tossed him into the LED ringpost. Kendrick and Gallagher sandwiched Metalik’s leg between the ringpost and ring steps. In a not meant for camera moment, the camera cut to Kalisto and a fan threw a water bottle at his face. Ouch.
John’s Thoughts: As much as I point out how lame and dorky the Kalisto character is, that’s no excuse for an audience member to throw stuff at a performer. That wasn’t cool. Aside from that, this was more of the same from Kendrick and Gallagher. It’s fine, but ultimately it all seems hopeless because there’s no way in hell they are going to put heat on the heels of this show. Kendrick doesn’t lose, but his character seems uninspired at the moment, and who can blame him because this is an uninspired show. Gallagher should be strong, but he keeps losing. Metalik is a lucha libre main eventer, but an enhancement guy on this show. And Kalisto does his dumb lucha things. All of these guys are proven to be better, but they simply are in this black hole known as 205 Hell.
Next was the latest “Zo Train” locker room segment. Enzo yelled at Daivari and Gulak for letting Cedric Alexander become number one contender. Gulak tried to put all the blame on himself and Daivari agreed that Drew should be blamed. Gulak fired himself up and said he was going to beat Cedric Alexander. Enzo was impressed and asked Daivari to show the same passion… [C]
After the break, Vic Joseph bragged about WWE’s 20 million YouTube subscribers. Hideo Itami made his entrance. Former WWE-ECW jobber Colin Delaney was already in the ring to do his job…
2. Hideo Itami vs. Colin Delaney. Delaney started off with a side headlock. Itami missed a roundhouse but followed through with a thrust kick to Delaney’s gut. Itami hit a hanging calf kick to Delaney. Itami caught Delaney with a boot and neck drape DDT. Itami caught Delaney with a flying clothesline. Itami hit Delaney with precision strikes and a back fist. Itami yelled “respect me!” throughout the match. Itami hit Delaney with a corner hesitation dropkick. Itami did the throat slash and hit Delaney with the Go To Sleep for the victory.
Hideo Itami defeated Colin Delaney via pinfall in 1:51.
Nigel talked about how Hideo Itami invented the Go 2 Sleep. Itami yelled “I’m here! Respect me!”. Joseph talked about how Enzo felt disrespected by Zo Train members last week as they cut to the Enzo Amore vs. Tony Nese video package…
John’s Thoughts: Solid  debut for Hideo Itami and I like that he’s picking off where he left off in NXT as far as ring style was concerned. Since he’s returned from his latest injury he’s completely changed his in-ring style and in-ring mannerisms for the better. I would have preferred he be a heel, but for now the babyface thing could work. At least it will keep creative from treating him like Jack Gallagher, who is being buried for no reason. The crowd hasn’t given a damn all night, and I can’t blame them. This is 205-suck. Itami deserves better. I think he’d be Raw ready to put up there with Samoa Joe and the giants because of his striking style. If 205 Live is going to do something with Hideo, I hope they turn him into the cruiserweight version of Samoa Joe due to their similar ring style and demeanor.
Dasha Fuentes interviewed Enzo backstage. Dasha asked Enzo about the Zo Train attacking Tony Nese last week. Enzo said he was just delivering on his word in teaching the Zo Train a lesson. Cedric Alexander walked into the scene to cut Enzo off. Enzo mocked Alexander for winning via a “2nd chance” (via the Rich Swann thing). Cedric said there is only one word to describe Enzo as he left. Enzo said that one word is “champion”… [C]
During the commercial, there was a Raw Christmas commercial featuring “Free Agent” John Cena. Enzo Amore made his entrance and was joined by Drew Gulak. Enzo did his usual entrance routine. Pockets of fans tried to do Enzo chants as Drew Gulak shut them up. Gulak talked about how it was a time for action, not clip art. Gulak then talked about Enzo being his mentor and best friend. Gulak said the only Power Point happening tonight is when he overpowers Cedric Alexander. Gulak said no body messes with the Zo Train…
John’s Thoughts: Can Vince Meekmahan (yes, this show partially breaks me) send Neville a huge wad of cash so he can be the top heel of 205 Live again? This Zo train crap is horrid. Seriously. Last week we got a Tony Nese main event and this week the main event is Drew F’n Gulak; and I like “new” Drew Gulak but this still sucks.
3. Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander. Alexander taunted Gulak to attack him. Gulak countered Alexander with a stiff palm strike. Alexander came back with a forearm. Gulak dominated with a stiff forearm and muay thai knee. Gulak hit a snap suplex. Gulak locked in a kneebar on Alexander. Gulak hit Alexander with a palm strike again. Alexander countered and hit his signature offense on Drew. As Alexander was on offense the crowd chanted “Delete” again just like last week.
Broken Brother Moore’s Thoughts: These fans are WONDERFUL! Yeahhhhhsssss… This show is absolutely OB-SO-LETE and must be DELETED from all space and time. Either that or just have King Maxel Hardy become the next Cruiserweight champion.
Gulak continued his inspired in ring style and gave Cedric a flurry of stiff strikes. Gulak tossed around Alexander on the outside. Gulak started a resthold sequence in the ring. Gulak then locked in a stepover armbar. Alexander made it to his feet and gave Gulak lariats in the corner. Alexander gave Gulak a high knee and then started to rally on Gulak. Alexander hit what may have been a botched flip dive and became an ugly front roll kick. Cedric hit his signature springboard lariat for a nearfall. Both men traded pin attempts. Alexander did an impressive move to stop on a time by doing a standing shooting star to stop himself.
Alexander was turned inside out with a Gulak lariat. Alexander blocked a suplex and hit a springboard Paydirt on Gulak. Gulak recovered and locked in an anklelock on Alexander. Gulak turned it into a modified STF. Gulak converted into a modified surfboard. Alexander made it to the rope for a rope break. Alexander caught Gulak with an enziguri to gain breathing room. Gulak fought Alexander off the top rope. Joseph talked about the no-fly zone. Alexander pulled down a hesitant Gulak and hit the Lumbar Check for the win.
Cedric Alexander defeated Drew Gulak via pinfall in 11:50.
Alexander and Enzo started at teach other with Enzo backing down. Enzo then fired up and did his Enzo dance on the ring apron. Ariya Daivari tried to blindside Alexander but was hit by the Lumbar check to send the Zo Train guys retreating to close out the show…
John’s Thoughts: Color me surprised this week. I didn’t expect that match to be any good. It wasn’t bad. Even dating back to the indy scene, Gulak has always come off as a boring version of Zack Sabre. Here, he wrestled like Sabre and I liked the aggression with the stiff strikes. Gulak continues to be the one person who has grown from the beginning of this show til now (Neville came in hot and Noam Dar did show a lot of growth but was cooled off like everyone else on this show). Cedric Alexander continues to put in good work so on his end you know he can deliver. He can phone it in sometimes, but he had an inspired Gulak tonight. This match was better than Raw since the story was told in the ring whereas Raw was all about Enzo and Nia Jax.
I would actually recommend you skip the opening match (unless you want to see a water bottle thrown in the face of Kalisto) and watch the Hideo squash and the Alexander vs. Gulak match if you really need your fix for pro wrestling. You don’t have to watch this show since this show has zero stakes to it but at least the main event was quality and the growth of Gulak continues to be something to watch. The crowd throughout the night was either dead or restless. They should have reacted to the Hideo match but were dead not due to the talent but because of the damaged 205 brand. The crowd even went back to chanting “DELETE” like they did last week in the main event which WWE should hope doesn’t become a trend or else they should scrap this show. I’d scrap this show and bring back Talking Smack because that show actually did a lot to define characters to the viewing audience. I’ll be back later on today with my all access audio review of this show.