SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S 205 LIVE REPORT
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
Announcers: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
-They opened with clips of Enzo Amore interrupting Neville on 205 Live and declaring he had made it “the realist show in the room.” Then clips aired of Enzo winning several matches on 205 Live since. Finally, highlights of a Fatal Five-Way Elimination match two weeks ago on 205 Live, which Enzo won by sneaking up on Cedric Alexander and winning with a yank of his tights. Then they showed a clip of Enzo the night before on Raw saying he’s going to beat Neville at No Mercy to become the new Cruiserweight Champion, only to get pummeled by Braun Strowman, followed by Neville landing a Red Arrow on the fallen beaten Enzo.
-They went to the announcers who hyped the Cruiserweight Title situation headed into No Mercy. Nigel said they’d be face-to-face later tonight on the show.
-They aired Jack Gallagher’s heel turn last week when he came out to apparently help Cedric Alexander against Brian Kendrick, but instead attack Cedric and shake hands with Kendrick.
(1) CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. BRIAN KENDRICK
Kendrick got in the majority of the offense in the opening minutes, which WWE formula patterns would suggest he was bound to end up losing. He methodically took Cedrick and then put him in an upper body chinlock. Cedric made a comeback with a kick and then springboard dove at Kendrick with a clothesline for a two count. Kendrick came back with a kick to the face after avoiding a handspring. Cedric avoided Sliced Bread #2 and then leveraged Kendrick over with a bridge for a three count.
WINNER: Cedric in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Cedric is still the potential central star of this division that just hasn’t been framed in that way to date.)
-Afterward Kendrick chased after Cedric and they exchanged words. Gallagher than attacked Cedric from behind. Kendrick and Gallagher beat down on Cedric including a running headbutt to his chest.
-Joseph hyped Rich Swann vs. Lince Dorado.
-They showed Drew Gulak backstage holding a “No Chants” sign. Nigel said he’d join them on commentary next. [c]
-Backstage the camera was following Kendrick and Gallagher. Dasha Fuentes walked up to them and asked Gallagher to explain himself. He said he doesn’t have to explain himself. He said he had a four inch cut in his scalp on his wedding day. He said he liked it because he learned a lesson that in life you can be nice or be a winner. He said Cedric is learning that, and with the help of Mr. Kendrick, the rest of the Cruiserweight Division will soon learn the same thing. He said he can go through life with a scar, but but not as a joke.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really strong promo from Gallagher. Short and to the point, but showed he can be serious, and his words made it clear he’s tired of being seen as a joke and will do what it takes to avoid that designation.)
-They showed a clip of the Fashion Police interrupting Drew Gulak last week during his Powerpoint Presentation on a better 205 Live. Fandango arrested him for shoving them and dragged Drew away in handcuffs.
-Drew joined the announcers at ringside. He stood on the announce table and introduced himself. He said he’d be use this table as a platform to say something. He said he’s a man with big ideas and he does not back down. He lashed out at the Fashion Police. He said what he experienced at Fashion Jail was unspeakable. He said his attorney would be in touch with them. He revealed that he is his own attorney. He then turned to complaining about Akira Tozawa. He said he is a man who believes the WWE Universe revolves around his incessant chanting. The crowd began barking. They went to a close-up of a fan in the front row telling others he didn’t know who this guy is. He said believes he will be vindicated as a 205 Live Hall of Fame. He said it’s time to finish his Powerpoint Presentation, for a “Plan for a Better 205 Live.”
He showed the next slide, which said, “No cell phones.” He said if the millennials would put down their cell phones for once and pay more attention to him, you might actually learn something. Tozawa interrupted him.
(Keller’s Analysis: I like this Gulak guy.)
(2) AKIRA TOZAWA vs. NOAM DAR
Gulak remained on commentary. He complained about Titus O’Neal and called him a buffoon. He called Dar wise beyond his years and learned. Tozawa dove at Dar at ringside and quickly threw him into the ring and went for a quick pin. Gulak was upset with the dive. “What did that dive get him? Nothing!” he said. Nigel said, regarding Tozawa, “As Gordon Solie would say, he’s not quick, he’s sudden.” Tozawa won after a top rope senton splash. Gulak stared sternly and then scowled as Tozawa as he barked after his win.
WINNER: Tozawa in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Gulak’s commentary was a blast. I think Tozawa’s barking is demeaning and cartoonish, but the crowd seems into it, and Gulak protesting it certainly triggers fans to drive him nuts, like Bobby Heenan insisting fans not chant “Weasel” at him.)
-Highlights aired of Swann pinioned TJP last week after a Phoenix Splash. TJP afterward reluctantly accepted a handshake request from Rich. Joseph said it was a sign of respect.
-Backstage TJP approached Rich in the locker room and he said he wanted to congratulate him the right way. He said he’s been caught up in things, and he wanted to congratulate him the right way. He said the chemistry between them is incredible. He said they are manufacturing magic, like a modern day Ali and Frasier. He said they should keep it going. Swann said their friendship might not survive if they keep fighting each other. TJP said he could have handled things a lot better, but he wanted one more match to see how it goes. Swann said he’ll always remember their matches so far, but they should keep it at that. TJP was disappointed, but they shook hands. [c]
-Swann made his ring entrance. Nigel said it was arrogant of Swann not to give his friend one more match. Then Lince’s music played. He didn’t come out. The camera found him grabbing his head in pain backstage. Swann marched to the back wondering what happened. When he got to the stage, TJP surprising him with a superkick. TJP stood on his face and asked if he thinks he’s better than him. He yanked off a dredlock. Nigel quoted Heenan: “A friend in need is a pest.” TJP strutted around with Swann’s hair and smiled, but then turned to a sinister expression and went back to Swann to administer more punishment. He lifted and dropped him over the barrier next to the stage.
(Keller’s Analysis: You could see this angle coming from a mile away, and the announcers had to play dumb, but it still worked. If you weren’t sure that Swann was “wondering what’s going on with Lince” when he was shown on the big screen, his exaggerated arm posture he held on his whole walk from the ring to the stage made it really REALLY clear. With Swann, there’s no subtlety with his emoting.)[c]
-Neville made his ring entrance. He said they are just five days away from No Mercy, “one of the biggest pay-per-view extravaganzas of the year.” He said this Sunday, live on WWE Network, the lucky fans get to see mammoth clashes. He mentioned Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar and John Cena vs. Roman Reigns. “But better than all of that will be a comedic performance as Enzo Amore challenges the conquering King of the Cruiserweights in what can only be described as the most ridiculous decision of his pathetic little life.” Some applause. He said he will take pleasure in exposing Enzo for what he really is. “A stain on the moral fabric of society, but more importantly somebody who is grossly unqualified to step into my world.”
Out came Enzo who did his usual mic work. Neville said he got obliterated by the Monster on Raw, so he should be at home resting and recuperating, yet here he is dancing like a chicken. He imitated him and got some applause. He mocked his “hilarious catch phrases.”
Enzo said he’d normally ask him how he is doing, but he already knows the answer: You’re jealous. He said he’s made 205 Live the realist show in the room. Neville laughed at the concept of being jealous of Enzo. He said he is the most formidable cruiserweight on the face of Earth, so how could be jealous of him when he is better than him in every conceivable way. Enzo said he isn’t the “in-ring performer or wrestler” that Neville is. Enzo said hate isn’t anything but love disguised by jealousy. He said Neville should be jealous of him, because he is twice the Superstar he will ever be no matter what the win/loss record says. He said he is putting the Superstar in WWE Superstar. He said he’s taking media showers, is doing commercials, and selling merchandise. He said Neville isn’t hanging out with Drake on the weekend on The Weekend or getting invited to Miz TV.
Enzo said it’s been brought to light that he and the locker room don’t get along, but when they play his song, the people sing his song. He said “he’s never off, he’s always one, he’s ichban, numero frickin’ uno.” He said Neville can hate him or love him, but either way he knows who he is. He said he’s certified G and a bona fide stud and it eats him up. He said Neville has been a big fish in a small pond, and he can see the envy in his eyes. He saw it from the first time he stepped onto 205 Live. “You knew a shark had invaded your water.”
Neville said, “You had to go run your mouth, didn’t you?” He said he wanted to make this quick, but now he is going to make an example out of him. Cheers from the fans. “Treat me like a game and I’ll show you how it’s played.” He asked Enzo if he honestly thinks he cares about merchandise sales or celebrity relationships. He asked if he cares about being a superstar. He said come Sunday, “none of that matters, because you can’t fight.” He said he is brutal, so what exactly is he going to do when he brutalizes him to the point that he knows there is no hope? He asked if he’ll kick him in the crown jewels or maybe coax him into grabbing a mic and getting himself disqualified like he did to The Miz. He said those tactics aren’t going to win him a championship. He said the best he can hope for at No Mercy is survival.
Enzo said, “You know what, you’re right?” Enzo said those tactics won’t win him a championship, but this isn’t Sunday and it isn’t No Mercy. He kicked Neville in the nuts. The crowd booed. Nigel asked what he was doing. Enzo asked, “How are ya’ doing?” He raised his arms, his music played, and he left.
(Keller’s Analysis: Boy did that segment turn Enzo heel in the eyes of the fans still at the arena. And who can’t blame them as Neville was totally the babyface here in everything he said. I’m not sure if WWE writers expected a crowd pop for the low kick or not, but I hope not. Neville was tremendous here. This is in the running for the most interesting segment of the week along with Aleister Black and Velveteen Dream on NXT TV the next night, but it’s in the running for reasons that seem totally counterproductive for business and against the perception of fans for each character going into the segment. I suppose I hope the ulterior motive was to humiliate Enzo and try to teach him a lesson, but it came at the expense of fans, and really Neville who is trying to be a heel, but here came across as sympathetic. So unless they’re turning Neville babyface and are about to cut Enzo, what was the point of this? And when Enzo beats Neville, who has he beaten? Someone whom he says can’t wrestle and who admitted himself he can’t wrestle.)