WWE 205 LIVE
OCTOBER 24, 2017 LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness
– The show opened with a video package that recapped Enzo Amore winning the WWE Cruiserweight Championship last Sunday at TLC. The package drove home the story that Amore blatantly cheated to win the title.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This video package beat everyone over the head with the fact that Enzo cheated to win the title at TLC. We all know he did, but this was a more than blatant reminder. This is clearly laying the ground work for some kind of shenanigan finish in the main event championship match later on in the show.
– After the show opener, Joseph and McGuiness welcomed everyone into the program and promoted the main event cruiserweight title rematch between Enzo Amore and Kalisto. They then threw the broadcast to the ring for the first match of the night.
(1) RICH SWANN & CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. NOAM DAR & TONY NESE
Swann hit the ring first to a nice pop. His reactions have consistently been pretty quiet so this pop was a nice surprise. Alexander came out next and the show cut away to replays from TLC that showed Cedric pinning The Brian Kendrick to win their tag team match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Alexander needs some personality and character. The crowd wants to cheer for him. He just needs to give them a little more to attach to in order to get himself over to that next level. It’s there, but needs to come out more frequently.
Noam Dar and Tony Nese came out next and you could hear a pin drop in the arena. Since those guys were heels I suppose that was okay, but some heat would have been nice to add some drama to the match.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Dar and Nese both had zero connection with the audience. The crowd seemed disappointed that they had to see Swann and Cedric face that team. This is a common theme on this show outside of the main event title picture. There just isn’t enough good heels to face all the somewhat over babyfaces. Because of that, the matches lack enough drama and interest for the crowd to get behind.
Alexander and Nese started the match. Before the two locked up, Nese got down onto one knee and flexed for the crowd. It was a nice heelish move, but the crowd didn’t react at all. Alexander took offense and went on the attack immediately after. He hit Nese with a hurricanrana, dropkick, and some nice chops to the chest. After the chops, Swann was tagged in and hit Nese with a flying splash. He covered Nese for a two count. Swann kept up the offense with a stiff kick to the back on Nese followed by a headlock. Nese then got back to his feet and was able to push himself to his corner to make a tag to his partner, Noam Dar. After the tag, Dar controlled the match before Swann hit some speed moves and danced. This made Dar angry who ran and hit the ropes. Nese then made a blind tag and attacked Swann from behind who didn’t see the tag take place. Nese owned the match from there. He hit Swann with suplexes and a nice series of kicks to Swann’s chest and back. After the kicks he went for a pinfall but only received a two count. After the attempt, Nese tagged in Dar who kept up the offense. Swann sold this beat down nicely and Nigel noted how much he needed to make a tag. From there, Dar and Nese worked the knee to slow Swann down. Swann kept selling this well which helped build the drama for an eventual hot tag. Dar and Nese took turns with bicycle ab kicks which the crowd seemed to get a kick out of. As Nese was instructing Dar on how to do them, Swann rolled Dar up for a pin attempt but only received a two count. Immediately after the attempt, Dar jumped back on Swann’s knee and tagged Nese in again. When Nese got in, he kept his offense up with a very hard forearm to the jaw.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Swann did a really nice job selling the knee injury and his lack of quickness because of it. Without this sell job, the match would have totally fallen flat.
Swann then got a desperate spinning heel kick to connect but was unable to make a tag after it because Dar was tagged back in and stopped him. After a spinning heel kick to Dar, Swann made it to his corner for the hot tag to Alexander. Cedric was on fire when he entered. He hit dropkicks, and spinning cross kicks, as well as a neuralizer. As soon as Alexander got the momentum of the match back, he lost it because he was distracted by The Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher who came out to the ramp. Dar, who was the legal man, was able to roll him up for a pin attempt, but only received a two count. Outside the ring, Tony Nese illegally got in the way of Alexander who was the legal man. Swann saw this and hit a flying 450 splash onto Nese on the outside of the ring. Alexander than hit Dar with his backbreaker finisher for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Alexander & Swann at 8:56
Heydorn’s Analysis: Nice match with a good and exciting ending. The last minute was very fast paced like a cruiserweight match should be. Swann really showed how skilled of a worker he is with his selling throughout the match. He alone added more drama to the bout than Nese and Dar combined.
After the match, Kendrick and Gallagher got on the mic to address Cedric and Swann. They said that they were out there to bury the hatchet. Kendrick said that Cedric has potential because he showed them cruelty. He said that potential could never be realized as long as he was carrying Rich Swann night in and night out. Gallagher said that he was once in Cedric’s position. He said that he no longer cares what anybody thinks and all that matters is the cruelty that he now can use to his advantage. He said removing friends is tough and that next week Gallagher and Kendrick are coming for Swann. Kendrick said that Cedric should take a week and decide where his loyalties lie. He said that if he doesn’t make a decision, Kendrick will make one for him.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Kendrick and Gallagher were both good on the mic here. What they said was consistent within their story together. I’m interested in what happens next. If Cedric does side with Kendrick, it could inject him with some personality that he needs so badly. Gallagher and Kendrick have consistently been the best heels on the roster next to Enzo Amore. This type of promo is why. They conveyed their message, drew heat, and setup something to watch for on next week’s show.
– Drew Gulak was shown walking backstage to the ring as the show went to a commercial
– After the commercial, Drew Gulak came to the ring with his “no chants poster”. As he made his entrance, a recap video was shown of Gulak assaulting Akira Tozawa two weeks ago. After the video package, Gulak got on the mic for a promo. He said he believed in a better 205 Live and that powerful voices are silenced by fear. He said he was appalled that his powerpoint presentation was cancelled at TLC. He said that he believes in his Drewtopia platform so much that he had to destroy Tozawa and his vocal chords to maintain the integrity of it. He then said that he will be staging a Drew Gulak protest and there would be no more matches on the show. He said it was going to be a long night and that he was going to start his 277 slide powerpoint presentation from the beginning. Nigel of course loved this but the crowd booed quite a bit.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The crowd booed Gulak as he began to go through his plan again. He got some nice heat here and continues to do so as the “anti-cruiserweight” every week. I like that persona and believe it has a lot left to give the show. The Drewtopia platform is something that really clicked and draws a reaction every time its uttered. Gulak has something with that and should exploit it to continue getting heat.
– As Gulak went into slide number one again (no jumping off the top rope), the crowd really started to put heat on him. From there, Gran Metalik interrupted and their match began.
(2) DREW GULAK vs. GRAN METALIK
Gulak was the first to control the match and did so out of the gate with a headlock. Metalik did counter into a headlock of his own before Gulak escaped. The two locked up again and Metalik won a mini test of strength and then twisted Gulak’s arm until he hit the mat. Gulak escaped and locked in another headlock of his own before tossing Metalik into the ropes. Metalik flipped and hit Gulak with a hurricanrana.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It’s very smart that Gulak’s matches are built around and reference his opponents disobeying his rules for Drewtopia.
Nigel and Joseph made sure to drive home the point that Metalik was breaking all of Gulak’s moves. As they did, Metalik hit Gulak with a walking top rope moonsault. He tossed Gulak back in the ring and climbed again for a big move. Gulak was able to knock Metalik off the top rope and laid a vicious beating on him while yelling “no flips”. After the stiff shots, Gulak locked in a reverse chin bar that torqued Metalik’s back. He went for a cover, but only received a two count. Metalik sold the submission well but eventually countered out of it with a flying snap mare. As Gulak attempted to get his momentum back, Metalik hit a second rope dropkick. Metalik then went to the top rope again and connected with a splash on Gulak. Metalik covered for a two count. Gulak sold injured ribs after the splash, but was able to counter Metalik’s next offensive move. They traded suplex attempts before Gulak rolled Metalik into a cover that was countered for a two count. Metalik pushed Gulak to the turnbuckle and lifted him to the top. He then attempted a top rope hurricanrana and connected for a two count. As Metalik went for more offense, Gulak countered with his tiger sleeper submission and Metalik tapped out quickly.
WINNER: Gulak via submission at 6:56.
-After the match Gulak attempted to assault Metalik’s knee while yelling “no more top rope”. Right before the attack, Tozawa hit the ring and cleared it of Gulak while doing his war chant.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Overall, the match was fine and served its purposed in getting Gulak’s gimmick over. Tozawa absolutely needed to show more fire when he made the save for Metalik. Tozawa was assaulted by Gulak just two weeks ago and walked to the ring like he was competing in a Raw dark match. If he hit the ring with a sense of urgency, it would have fit their story more and made the crowd pop louder. I’d really like to see what Gulak could do with an ultra over babyface to play off of. At this time, Tozawa just isn’t that guy.
– Gulak and Tozawa yelled back and forth at each other as McGuinness and Joseph promoted the main event championship match that was coming up next.
– Backstage, Kalisto was interviewed about his rematch tonight. He said he was confident and excited about his match and that he can win the title again. He said winning the title was a dream come true and Enzo turned it into a nightmare at TLC. He said he will wake up from that nightmare and win back the championship tonight.
(3) ENZO AMORE vs. KALISTO – WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Enzo hit the ring first with Ariya Daivari at his side. He entered the ring and grabbed a mic as the announcers once again talked about how he cheated to win the title at TLC. Enzo then gave Daivari the mic and he proceeded to introduce Amore and delivered a message on his behalf. He said that Enzo was the greatest thing that ever happened to 205 Live. He said he was the savior of the Cruiserweight Division. He also said he and his bank account are happy to be associated with Enzo. He then ripped on the city of Milwaukee and their lack of championships before he addressed Kalisto by calling him the lucha loser and saying that he would never get his filthy hands on the WWE Cruiserweight Championship again. He did the SAWFT gimmick for Enzo but cut it off before the crowd could chime in.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Finally! It only took them three plus weeks, but they finally used the SAWFT catch phrase in the right way to get heat. By cutting off the crowd, Amore and Daivari are even more annoying which makes them easy to boo. Enzo needs to talk to keep his push and the show on the right track. That said, as long as it’s done sparingly, Amore having other guys ringing his endorsements and talking for him allows him to get heat in a different way. It’s working so far, but could be something that can backfire if done too much. WWE has to walk a fine line with this moving forward.
Kalisto hit the ring the next and did his lucha chant with the audience. The crowd seemed into Kalisto but not as much as Enzo. Enzo arrogantly glared at Kalisto from outside the ring as he did his entrance. They did the official announcements before the match and Enzo had some nice heat on him. Kalisto started things off hot by kicking Enzo out of the ring. He bailed to the outside to get Enzo and then tossed him back into the ring knowing that he couldn’t win the title outside the ropes. Kalisto kept up the offense with right hands in the corner. The announcers sold hard that Enzo would look at any opportunity to cheat. Kalisto went for a high flying move but Enzo countered and tossed him out of the ring. Enzo immediately worked the ref to get a count going but Kalisto answered at six. Right after, Enzo tossed Kalisto back out. Kalisto sold a leg injury but pulled himself back in the ring again and hit a Listo kick on Enzo. As Kalisto attempted more offense, Enzo countered once again with a kick to the head. Enzo seized this open opportunity and planned a calculated high risk move attempt from the top rope. It was clear Enzo was going for a superplex to the outside before Kalisto stopped it. Enzo then dropped Kalisto’s chest on the same top rope. Enzo kept up the attack with right hands to the side of the face of Kalisto. Both wrestlers were on the outside apron when Kalisto finally gained momentum with a windmill driver. Amore rolled out of the ring and Kalisto could not get an immediate pin. While on the outside, Enzo tried crawling away to get counted out. Kalisto worked hard to get Enzo back in the ring and finally did at nine. Enzo got tossed back in the ring and begged Kalisto to stop the attack. Kalisto charged in instead and Enzo moved which launched Kalisto into the turnbuckle. Enzo went for a DDG but Kalisto countered with another Listo kick. From there, Kalisto went back to the top rope and was about to hit Enzo with something big until Enzo kicked the ref into the ring ropes which caused Kalisto to fall off. The ref then disqualified Amore.
WINNER: Kalisto by DQ at 6:13 so Enzo Amore is still WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
– After the match, Enzo gloated as he stumbled to the back but was attacked by Kalisto. The announcers felt sympathy for Kalisto by saying this was his last shot at the title for now and that others are in waiting.
– The show went off the air with Enzo laying on the ramp and saying to the crowd “and still WWE Cruiserweight Champion of the world, Enzo Amore. How you doin.” Joseph said that Enzo is still cutting corners to get ahead in the division and Nigel said and you can’t teach that.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I wasn’t a fan of this match and neither was the audience. Because of all the preselling that had been done on the fact that Enzo was a cheater, it was too obvious that that was how the finish was going to go. The crowd wanted something clean. Clearly they are trying to establish Amore as a cheating champion. That’s fine, it just has to be done more subtly on commentary. Plus, it takes a really over babyface to get that psychology over and Kalisto isn’t at that level. I’m fine with Enzo being portrayed as a weak heel. The eventual payoff on that though, has to be bigger and more impactful than Kalisto. (Gargano, Mysterio, or even a newly debuting Ricochet would all fit the bill fine).
Final Thoughts: This was one of the weaker episodes of the last month. Enzo not being able to talk hurt the show. He’s able to make the show seem important and big when he cuts his promos and that was missing tonight. That said, it appears as if we are in line for another Kalisto/Enzo rematch. If they throw in a stipulation that Enzo can lose the title on a DQ, I’m interested. Other than that, I’m looking forward to seeing who will be next as a title challenger.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/17 WWE 205 Live Report: Enzo opens show with promo, Gallagher vs. Swann, Kalisto & Ali vs. Enzo & Daivari