WWE 205 LIVE
NOVEMBER 21, 2017 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness
– The broadcast began with Enzo Amore and his Zo Train of Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, and Noam Dar all gathered around a turkey backstage to give thanks. Enzo said that because of him they all were well connected and rich and they should be thankful. He then said that via his connections he got them all matches on tonight’s show. Enzo said that last night on Raw wasn’t a good look for him and the Zo Train. He said that if they wanted to be on the Zo Train they each needed to make Enzo’s brand look good. He said that if the Zo Train won their matches tonight, he’d be happy and Christmas would come early. Amore said that if the guys were victorious in their match, he’d recommend one of them to be a contender for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in the near future. From there, a gobbling turkey came into the picture and it was revealed to be Drew Gulak. Enzo was 100 percent not impressed.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Are you kidding with the turkey stuff? It’s like the Halloween episode all over again. That nonsense aside, I enjoyed the segment. It set a hook for the show in which each member of the Zo Train was going to attempt to win their match to not only impress Enzo Amore to stay on the Zo Train, but to also get in a position to receive a cruiserweight title match. It made Enzo look like the star, because everyone wanted to make good to him, but it also gave the audience a decent reason to watch the rest of the show.
– After the backstage segment with Enzo and his Zo Train, the 205 Live open hit and Nigel McGuinness and Vic Joseph welcomed the audience to the show. Joseph recapped SmackDown Live quickly and then promoted the matches of the night including Mustafa Ali vs. Tony Nese and Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari/Noam Dar.
(1) DREW GULAK vs. AKIRA TOZAWA – Street Fight
Drew Gulak walked to the ring and then hopped on the mic. The crowd chanted powerpoint at him to which he responded “no chanting”. Gulak proclaimed himself a proud member of the Zo Train. He said that since Enzo Amore is from the streets, by proxy, he is too. He said that in his street fight against Akira Tozawa he would put an end to Tozawa’s chanting. He said that he would show the world that he isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and get dirty. He then introduced a special edition of his 205 Live powerpoint presentation. The crowd chanted for the powerpoint. Akira Tozawa interrupted Gulak with his own entrance that received a minimal reaction at best.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It must be noted that the audience was chanting for the powerpoint presentation throughout Gulak’s promo. Week to week he is getting this gimmick over. At some point down the line I can see him flipping the script and using it while booked as a babyface.
The match began with the audience doing Tozawa’s war chant. Gulak responded by rolling out of the ring and yelling “no chanting” at the crowd. Gulak eventually rolled in and started his attack on Tozawa. He hit Tozawa with some fists and clotheslines before Tozawa got the upper hand with a fireman carry and chop to the chest. Tozawa continued the chops with Gulak in the corner and eventually turned the chops into straight punches to the face. Gulak countered the punches and clocked Tozawa with a punch of his own. Gulak then hit the ropes for a move but Tozawa gained the upper hand with a running hurricanrana. That move sent Gulak out of the ring. Tozawa attempted to capitalize further with a suicide dive but Gulak caught him in midair and slammed him onto the ramp with a vertical suplex. It was all Gulak from that point forward. He measured him up with kicks to the throat in an effort to end the chanting of Tozawa. The crowd did buy into this and chanted for Tozawa themselves instead. The announcers continued to push the fact that Gulak was incredibly annoyed by the chants.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Given how little the audience cared for Tozawa when he made his entrance, it was good to see them chanting in his favor as the match went on. Gulak deserves the credit for that as its clear the audience does it to get under his skin and not to cheer on Tozawa. Gulak is just more over than Tozawa is at this point.
After the beat down outside the ring, Gulak tossed Tozawa back inside it and clocked him with his no chants sign. He then went under the ring, gathered weapons, and tossed them all into the ring. Gulak climbed back in and set up a chair. He sat Tozawa on it and slapped him across the face. Gulak went for the pin but just received a two count. After the pin attempt, Gulak held up his no chants sign and placed it in the corner. He then went to grab Tozawa and taunted him by yelling “give up” when he couldn’t get back to his feet. Gulak lifted him up and attempted a body slam, but Tozawa countered. Tozawa then hammered away with elbows as the crowd did his war chant with him. From there, Tozawa hit a back suplex on Gulak that drove him through the “no chants” sign. This received a big pop from the crowd. Both Gulak and Tozawa were down for quite a while before Tozawa went to the outside for some weapons of his own. The crowd had been chanting for tables all throughout the match and Tozawa gladly got one and set it up in the ring. Before he could fully set it up, Gulak kicked Tozawa in the face to gain the momentum once again. He slammed Tozawa’s face into the table before suplexing him into the ring post. Gulak went for the cover again, but got another two count. After the pin attempt, Gulak finished setting up the table by placing it near the opposite ring post. Tozawa rolled out of the ring and Gulak went after him. Gulak tried to throw him into the announce table, but it was countered by Tozawa who through him into it instead. From there he hit a cannonball off the announcer table and into Gulak. Tozawa had the momentum from there and rolled Gulak back into the ring. He then again rolled under the ring to grab more weapons and pulled out a kendo stick and a trash can. He tossed both into the ring and then worked to attack Gulak. Once in the ring, Tozawa placed the trash can on top of Gulak’s head and beat him with the kendo stick. He then placed Gulak on the table with the trash can and went to the top rope. Tozawa then signaled for his signature Tozawa bomb and connected with it through the table. He then covered Gulak for the 1,2,3 victory.
WINNER: Tozawa at 11:07
Heydorn’s Analysis: This match was decent. They didn’t overdo it with the street fight gimmick, but the spots that they did do were fun and impactful. I say this every week, but Gulak has something with this gimmick. He showed it in this match once again. The crowd is responding to him and connecting with him week in and week out.
– Nigel and Vic then heavily promoted a brand new acquisition for 205 Live.
– After Nigel’s glowing promotion, a video for Hideo Itami aired that detailed his greatest hits from NXT. The video did not give an exact debut date, but told the audience that he was “coming soon” to 205 Live.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This is major news and a nice “get” for the 205 Live brand. It’s no secret that the cruiserweight division needs stars and that Enzo Amore needs proper babyfaces to work with. Hideo Itami fits that bill. He has equity built up as a top guy and an important guy that will lift 205 Live up. This acquisition will help Enzo Amore develop as a heel too.
– After the video, the Zo Train was shown backstage eating turkey. Tony Nese said he didn’t care about Hideo Itami and laughed him off. Amore said not to worry about that, but to worry about winning his match. After Enzo said that, Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, and Mustafa Ali interrupted and said that they were going to embarrass the Zo Train again like they did on Monday Night Raw. After they left, Enzo said to Tony Nese that he was up next and that he expected Nese to do whatever it takes to win.
– When the backstage segment was finished, a commercial aired promoting Pete Dunne vs. Johnny Gargano for NXT this week.
(2) MUSTAFA ALI vs. TONY NESE
Ali made his entrance to a tempered response from the audience. Tony Nese came out next and cut a mini promo off the mic that detailed how nobody could have the body that he does. The match began with both competitors circling each other in the ring. Before they started fighting, Nese knelt down and told the audience and Ali to be grateful for his body.
Heydorn’s Analysis: This got some good heat from the crowd. Good work by Nese.
From there Ali went for the offense but was countered by Nese. Nese locked in a choke hold and then tossed Ali into the ropes. After hitting the ropes Ali taunted Nese by kneeling down which got a nice pop from the crowd. Nese was angered by this and hit Ali with a vicious shoulder tackle. He worked over Ali from there before Ali hit a dropkick to gain momentum. After the dropkick Ali hit a front flip senton onto Nese who had rolled to the outside of the ring. Ali attempted a brawl at ringside, but Nese was the one to capitalize. He caught Ali in midair to counter a high risk move and proceeded to toss him into the side barrier. From there he slammed Ali into the announce table before rolling him back into the ring for a pin attempt. He received a two count only and then locked in a rear chin lock. Ali tried to counter by pushing himself to the corner, but Nese was able to keep the move locked in. Nese broke the hold himself by tossing Ali into the other corner. Nese attempted a splash on him, but Ali countered by rolling out of the way. Ali hit a couple punches before hitting an X Factor like face-buster. Ali went for the cover, but only received a count of two. Both Ali and Nese went on to exchange punches back and forth before Ali gained the momentum with a tornado DDT off the second rope. He went for the pin, but received a two count once again. After the pin attempt, Ali moved Nese near the corner for his 054 reverse 450 splash. As he climbed the ropes, Nese tripped him and slammed him into the ring post. He then connected with a running boot to face on Ali and pinned him for the 1,2,3 victory.
WINNER: Nese at 7:09
Heydorn’s Analysis: Some moments were very “cruiserweight” like in terms of speed, but for the most part it was a forgettable match. Both Ali and Nese need tremendous work on their characters and personalities. Until they put that work in and get better, the matches will continue to be meaningless.
– The show headed backstage once again where Enzo was excited about Nese’s win. He told Daivari and Dar that he wanted them both to do the same as Nese. He said they should be more like Nese instead of Gulak who was shown in his turkey costume in timeout. Gulak said he wanted out because he needed to go to the bathroom and Enzo ignored him and left with Dar and Daivari
– A commercial aired for WrestleMania and highlighted that tickets were currently on sale. From there, a second commercial aired for Clash Of Champions that featured Charlotte Flair
– After the commercials, Enzo Amore’s music hit and himself, Noam Dar, and Daivari hit the ring. Enzo had a mic in hand and did his typical entrance. The crowd sung along and seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Amore got a nice pop. While I don’t like the fact that he still does the sing-a-long entrance, it’s good to see that his star power and connection with the audience isn’t fading.
– As Amore was about to talk, he was interrupted by Rich Swann’s music.
(3) ARIYA DAIVARI & NOAM DAR vs. RICH SWANN & CEDRIC ALEXANDER
Daivari and Alexander started the match by locking up in the middle of the ring. Both wrestled back and forth before Cedric was able to secure a quick takedown. Daivari got to his feet quickly thereafter and drove Alexander into the corner. He then whipped Alexander back and forth a couple times before tossing him into the side ropes. Once he did that, Alexander hit a hurricanrana on Daivari and then tagged in Swann.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Enzo was gabbing at his team and the audience throughout the beginning part of the match. The crowd proceeded to chant “shut up Enzo” which was good for the heel persona of Amore.
As soon as Swann tagged in, Dar did as well and gained the momentum. He hit some nice drop kicks before Alexander made a blind tag on his partner. Dar didn’t see it and Alexander was able to connect with a flying elbow drop. Alexander worked to keep momentum and attempted another hurricanrana off the ropes. It was blocked by Dar who then proceeded to kick Alexander in the face. From there, the ring was cut in half and it was all Dar and Daivari. They each tagged in an out after locking Alexander into various submission holds. Dar kicked Alexander in the face and then ran and knocked Swann off the ring. Alexander was able to roll underneath Dar to his corner, but Swann was not there to be tagged in. As Alexander realized what happened, Dar was able to toss him back toward their corner where he tagged in Daivari. Daivari worked Cedric’s leg for a bit before locking in a sleeper hold. Alexander got himself to his feet and hit a chin breaker on Daivari. Alexander then crawled toward his corner for the tag. Dar attempted to interfere to stop the tag, but was tossed outside of the ring. After that, Alexander made the tag and Swann finally got in the match. Dar tagged Daivari as well. Swann had some very high impact moves before he headed to the top rope for a Phoenix Splash. To avoid that from happening Enzo interfered and knocked Swann off the ropes. Daivari capitalized with a top rope splash and went for the cover, but he only received a two count. After that the match really got out of control. Amore yelled at Daivari to tag in Dar because he felt Daivari just couldn’t get the job done. Daivari made the tag and Dar was immediately rolled up for a two count. Amore interfered again and Alexander ran over to stop him. With Alexander distracted and about to hit Amore because of his interference, Noam Dar clocked Cedric. Enzo graciously hugged Dar for saving him and then sent him back into the ring. As he entered, Swann nailed him with a roundhouse kick. Swann then was able to scale the top rope and hit a Phoenix Splash on Dar for the 1,2,3.
– After the match, Enzo ran into the ring and beat up Swann with his Zo Train members (Dar and Daivari). After they were done with Swann, they moved onto Alexander. As they were beating up Alexander, Tozawa and Ali ran down to make the save but were stopped by the other Zo Train members (Nese and Gulak). From there, Enzo and the entire Zo Train destroyed everything in their sights. Daivari hit is hammerlock lariat on Alexander before Daivari connected with a running enziguri on Swann. Enzo celebrated in the middle of the ring and then went to the top rope. On the top rope he gloated and then dove off to crash down on Swann. Enzo did his dance and then grabbed a microphone. He then knelt on the mat to address Alexander and Swann who were writhing in pain. Enzo leaned in on both and said “How You Doin” as the show closed and faded to black.
WINNER: Swann & Alexander at 8:10
Heydorn’s Analysis: Fun little match. Enzo’s involvement makes everything more interesting and this match was no different.
Final Thoughts: The point of this show was to further Enzo’s position as top dog. They succeeded with that goal. I would have had Enzo’s guys win the match, but the beat down after was a way to protect Swann and Alexander while making Enzo’s team look strong. With Hideo Itami coming to 205 Live, it’s imperative that the WWE keep Enzo hot as a heel so that he can match up with an equally hot Itami. The further that Amore is entrentched into his character and role, the better it will be when Itami confronts him upon his arrival.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 11/14 WWE 205 Live Report: Kalisto’s birthday party, Kalisto vs. Drew Gulak, Kendrick & Gallagher vs. Swann & Alexander