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WWE 205 LIVE
NOVEMBER 7, 2017 ON WWE NETWORK
TAPED IN MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness
– The show started with a highlight video that promoted the fact that tonight is a crossover event between the WWE UK division and the cruiserweight division. A video package then played that recapped Pete Dunne’s debut victory from Raw last night against Enzo Amore.
– After the show opener, Joseph and McGuinness recapped the WWE title win on Smackdown Live by AJ Styles and hyped the show’s card. Nigel and Vic really plugged Styles vs. Lesnar at Survivor Series. From there, they promoted a new talk show with Enzo Amore called “The Zo Show” which would debut on tonight’s episode.
– Enzo Amore’s music hit and the WWE Cruiserweight Champion headed to the ring to kick things off.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Amore’s pop was not as big as it was last night on Raw. Maybe the crowd was tired coming off the Styles win, but they were clearly less enthused about seeing Amore this time around.
– Enzo grabbed a mic and said he couldn’t think of a better way to start the crossover show than with him and his new “Zo Show.” He said he was like all the late night hosts rolled into one and that the Zo Show would be a ratings draw. He said money can buy you happiness and then said he was happy, but immediately took back his statement.
The crowd chanted boring through this which Enzo rolled with pretty good by simply saying that he wasn’t boring, but that he was a “G.” This got some nice boos from the crowd. From there Enzo kept going and said he was happy until he got to the UK but then became unhappy because the UK is a dump. He said that the sky is always gray, the weather is bland, the women are bland, and that Manchester should really be called Blanchester. From there Enzo recapped the events of Monday Night Raw in his own words.
Enzo went on to detail how Kurt Angle screwed him over by having him fight Pete Dunne with Kalisto at ringside. He said he’s never lost to a man whose name he didn’t know, but that happened last night because of a conspiracy against him. The crowd chanted boring once again through this which he ignored unlike the first time. Enzo went on to say that this crossover show is a great opportunity for the UK division to join the Zo Train. He then called for the UK division to come down to the ring. Tyler Bate, Jordan Devlin, Tucker, James Drake, Joseph Connors, and Mark Andrews listened to Amore’s commands and came out to the ring to some very bland music.
With the UK guys in the ring Amore said he sees lots of potential in them on his team. Enzo proceeded to interview each one. He went to Devlin first who said that he is happy to join the Zo Train because he’s interested in money and fame. Amore talked with Tucker next and Tucker just did not join the Zo Train outright. James Drake was next and Enzo made fun of his name a bit before Drake joined the Zo Train with Devlin. Mark Andrews was next and received a decent little cheer from the Manchester audience.
Enzo put over his high flying skills and told him that he needed to meet a weight limit on 205 Live and didn’t want him on the team. Tyler Bate was last and got a huge response from the audience. Enzo said he liked Bate’s smile and asked him why he deserved to be on the Zo Train. Bate answered by saying that he just couldn’t bring himself to want to hear Enzo’s annoying voice telling him what to do and that he would absolutely not join Enzo. Amore didn’t like that and said that in life, life isn’t fair and that you have to do things you don’t like to do. Amore said there was a spot for him on his Zo Train as the butler. This prompted Bate to jack Amore directly in the mouth which the crowd loved.
– As Enzo was in pain outside the ring, Kalisto’s music hit and he made his way to the ring laughing at the cruiserweight champion.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tyler Bate really was the star of this segment. I thought his promo was one that endeared himself to the audience while being short and sweet. Aside from that, this segment dragged on for way too long. Enzo was good for the most part, it was just overdone.
– The show went to a commercial that promoted Survivor Series
– After the commercial, Nigel and Vic said that the main event of the evening would be Enzo Amore vs. Tyler Bate due to the events that unfolded in the opening segment.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was a nice main event match to have on the show. It was setup properly and made sense on all fronts. Already, this show is better than last weeks.
– After the main event announcement, a video hype package aired for James Drake.
(1) KALISTO vs. JACK GALLAGHER
With Kalisto already in the ring, Jack Gallagher came down and made his entrance for the match. Gallagher got a very nice response from the audience. As he made his entrance, a recap video aired that detailed the events between Gallagher and Rich Swann from last week’s show. After the video, Gallagher cut a promo and said it was good to be home. He said it was good because he remembered all the things he got to leave behind when he left. He proceeded to totally rip on the England audience. He said he was reminded of the man the audience tried to make him into which was a pointless clown. He said now he got to return home as a real, dignified man that didn’t need Manchester. He said he was a man bigger than Manchester and bigger than Britain. The match began with a very aggressive attack by Gallagher. Gallagher got some nice punches in before Kalisto countered with a dropkick into a rolling pin attempt. The two then tied up and each looked to hip-toss the other. Finally, Kalisto got the edge by whipping Gallagher to the outside. As Gallagher got back in the ring, Kalisto kicked him in the head to the outside. He then hit a somersault senton on Gallagher. The crowd popped big for this. With both guys on the outside, Gallagher slammed Kalisto’s knees into the ring steps. This grounded Kalisto. From there, Gallagher tossed Kalisto into the ring and went for a pin, but only got a two count. Gallagher controlled the match from here with wristlocks, submission holds, and kicks to various body parts. Nigel put over this strategy as a smart one to keep Kalisto grounded. Kalisto worked to gain momentum back with kicks to the face, but Gallagher maintained it by crushing Kalisto with a stiff shoulder tackle.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked the psychology of Kalisto being grounded. It allowed for the crowd to feel sympathy for Kalisto, but let Gallagher shine as he was relentless in attacking various body parts that slowed Kalisto down.
After the tackle Gallagher got tossed outside the ring again which allowed Kalisto to recover. When he reentered, Kalisto hit him with a hurricanrana and got his momentum back on offense. From there it was all Kalisto who hit another running hurricanrana before being headbutted in the chest by Gallagher. The two then went back and forth in the middle of the ring until Kalisto found the energy to go for and hit a moonsault form the second rope. Right after he connected, Gallagher locked in an armbar submission. Kalisto worked to counter but couldn’t until he pushed off the top ring rope into his SDS finisher. Kalisto then covered for the 1,2,3 win.
– After the match Kalisto celebrated with the audience and did lucha chants. As he did this, Vic Joseph said that if he could hit that SDS at Survivor Series, he would be WWE Cruiserweight Champion for the second time.
WINNER: Kalisto at 5:06.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Overall this was a fun match. It was short, but had enough in it to tell a good story. Gallagher really knows how to shine up a babyface and he did so nicely in this match. Kalisto took full advantage and looked good after the win. Kalisto still just doesn’t have the right audience connection to be a lead babyface for a show like 205 Live. He’s ok, but that’s it.
– Backstage, Enzo Amore was interviewed about his encounter with Tyler Bate. He said he’s closed out bar tabs that were bigger than what Bate has made in his entire life. He then angrily walked off camera after saying that later he would close Bate’s tab in the ring.
– A commercial aired promoting Kairi Sane being in action on this week’s NXT episode.
(2) CEDRIC ALEXANDER & MARK ANDREWS vs. JAMES DRAKE & JOSEPH CONNORS
Alexander made his way to the ring first to his typical non response. His partner Mark Andrews was next who got a bit of a bigger response than Cedric. As he made his way to the ring, a special promo video aired that highlighted who Andrews is. Joseph Connors came out next and a video package aired for him as he made his walk to the ring as well.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I liked these video packages a lot. Andrews is a babyface at heart and Connors looked really good as well. This was a very effective way to introduce the UK division to an audience that may not have seen them before.
Connors and Andrews started the match with a tie up. Andrews hit some fast paced moves including a couple arm drags and a flying hurricanrana. As he kept going, Connors clocked him with a boot to the face. Andrews bounced back and countered with a clothesline. He went for a pin, but only got a two count and then tagged in Alexander. Alexander got a quick punch in before Connors tagged Drake. Drake and Alexander went back and forth at the start before Alexander got the upper hand with some fast paced offense. He tagged Andrews who continued the fast paced domination. Joseph highlighted the fast action. As Andrews got momentum, it was halted by Connors who illegally tagged himself into the match. That heel distraction threw Andrews off who then got dominated by the two bad guys. Both Connors and Drake then hit a variety of high impact moves on Andrews. Andrews sold the pain well and they began to build to the hot tag. Andrews attempted to come back and did so by hitting some pele kicks on both opponents. He then flipped over Connors and dove to Alexander for the tag. Alexander came in with a ton of energy. He dropped kicked everything in sight and then hit a flying elbow on Connors. From there he jumped for a springboard clothesline and hit it on Connors as well. He went for the pin and got a two count. After that, Cedric bounced off the rope and a blind tag was made by Andrews. This made him the legal man in the match. Right after, Alexander nailed a double neuralizer and Andrews hit his shooting star press for the 1,2,3 win.
WINNER: Alexander & Andrews at 4:31.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Honestly, this was a nothing match for the most part. The audience couldn’t quite connect with it because there was not a story in place. That said, seeing some of the Andrews high flying stuff was entertaining.
– Vic Joseph and Nigel discussed being in the UK at ringside before talking about the UK Tournament and its winner Tyler Bate. From there, a special video package aired about Tyler Bate and his win at the UK Tournament to become the WWE United Kingdom Championship.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Once again, I loved this video package. It made Bate feel like a big star which instantly boosted the credibility of the upcoming match.
(3) TYLER BATE vs. ENZO AMORE
Bate hit the ring first to a really nice pop. The crowd seemed to totally love this guy.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Sidebar – I love Bate’s waving during his walk to the ring. Great stuff and could be used while working babyface or heel someday.
Amore came to the ring next. He danced around for a bit before walking pretty seriously to the ring. The bell rang and Bate dodged an Amore clothesline to kick everything off. Bate mat wrestled pristinely and almost pinned Amore twice with it before Amore rolled to the outside. Bate lowered the rope and welcomed Amore back in. Enzo very cautiously entered again and once again was toyed with by Bate. Bate hit a punch to the face before connecting on a suplex. Amore rolled out of the ring again to avoid further damage.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Bate looked great to start the match. He was really smooth in the ring and had a maturity to him that is special.
Amore said he wasn’t going back in the ring which prompted Bate to come out and fight him on the outside. As he did, Amore hit him with a cheap shot and started his attack. He launched Bate into the ring post, guardrails, and stairs. Amore then rolled Bate back into the ring and stomped him in the corner. Amore taunted Bate and the crowd throughout all of this which yielded quite a few boos. Bate did a nice job selling for Amore here. It did wonders in getting his crowd more on his side. After the stomps, Enzo went for a cover but only received a two count. After the pin attempt, he hit a barrage of punches on Bate before locking in a sleeper hold. Immediately the crowd was clapping to get Bate out. As Bate almost broke the hold, Enzo slammed him to the mat again with the sleeper locked in. Throughout this, Nigel was complimentary of Enzo. Bate made his way to his feet eventually and hit a back suplex on Enzo to break the hold. Enzo made it to his feet first as Bate was selling the sleeper. From his knees, Bate delivered some stiff punches to Enzo’s midsection. From there he hit his rebound lariat on Enzo. This gave Bate the momentum. As he got it, Enzo hit a driving boot to an attacking Bate which gave Amore the pace again. He lifted Bate up to the top rope as he taunted and talked to the audience again. On the top rope, Amore went for a superplex but it was countered by Bate who hit him with headbutts and European uppercuts. One knocked Amore off the top rope. As Bate appeared to prep for a top rope high risk maneuver, Amore delivered a hard punch which made Bate fall from his top rope perch. His knee was tweaked and the announcers went all in on selling it. Seeing this, Enzo went to the outside and tossed Bate back in. He lifted Bate up and taunted him to his face before hitting his own lariat. Amore danced around gloating before lifting Bate up again. Enzo then hit his finisher boot maneuver for the 1,2,3 win.
– After the match Enzo danced in the ring and held the belt over Bate. He then continued to beat up Bate who was defenseless. Kalisto ran out to make the save and Enzo ran away smiling.
WINNER: Enzo Amore at 8:17.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I thought this match was very well done. Bate looked like a star and Enzo hung with him in his own way. Enzo isn’t even close to the same caliber wrestler as Tyler Bate. That was obvious. He was able to use his character though to help get the match over. In the end, Enzo looked like a big jerk and Bate looked like a valiant fighting babyface. Each won and came out looking brilliant. I think Enzo needed a win, but was a bit surprised as to how clean the finish ended up being.
FINAL THOUGHT: Tonight’s show was infinitely better than last week’s. It was booked more seriously and there was some true star power on the show with Amore, Kalisto, and Tyler Bate. Bate is a guy that could create some nice buzz as a full time 205 Live addition. He is a babyface that people clearly care about. Having someone of Bate’s notoriety as the lead baby on this show would do wonders in making it a can’t miss attraction. He has a special connection with the audience that is missing with Kalisto.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 10/31 WWE 205 Live Report: Fright Night Four-Way, Gulak vs. Tozawa, Kendrick vs. Swann, Survivor Series announcement