WWE 205 LIVE
NOVEMBER 28, 2017 ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Vic Joseph and Nigel McGuinness
– The broadcast began with video highlights of last night’s cruiserweight action on Monday Night Raw where Rich Swann qualified as the first entrant into the number one contendership match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in two weeks.
– After the highlight package, the show open ran and Vic Joseph welcomed the audience to the show. He and Nigel McGuinness quickly recapped the events of SmackDown Live and then promoted the matches for tonight’s show including a tag team match pitting Drew Gulak & Tony Nese against Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali along with Kalisto vs. Jack Gallagher.
– After the intro, Vic Joseph noted that tonight was the official one year anniversary of 205 Live and thanked the WWE Universe for making 205 Live what it is and has been for the last year.
Heydorn’s Analysis: It’s hard to believe that 205 Live has been around for a full year. The show has certainly had its challenges and painful moments. That said, the WWE has done better by it throughout the last two months. The addition of Enzo Amore and the impending arrival of Hideo Itami should bolster the roster and make the show even more interesting heading into its second year.
– Enzo Amore’s music hit to kick off the show and the WWE Cruiserweight Champion made his way to the ring with Noam Dar. On his way down, a video aired of Amore and his Zo Train decimating Swann and Cedric Alexander last week. It appeared that Enzo did his full entrance shtick in the arena, but it didn’t air on television. Before the video aired, the shot was still prominently on Amore who was talking into a microphone but what he was saying couldn’t be heard.
– When Enzo got to the ring, he grabbed the mic and cut a promo in which he gloated about his success last week. He said that he provides opportunities and Kurt Angle’s announcement last night ruined his offer to crown the next number one contender. He then said to Dar that he needs him to redeem himself. He got in Dar’s face and asked him for a favor which was to take out Rich Swann. Enzo said that Swann was not allowed to look at his boo, the cruiserweight title, and he finished his promo by calling Swann S.A.W.F.T. From there, Rich Swann made his entrance into the arena and the announcers reminded the audience that he became the WWE Cruiserweight Champion exactly one year ago today. As he made his way to the ring, a backstage interview from last night was shown of Swann discussing being a step closer to having another title match. In the video he celebrated that he was incredibly close to finally being champion once again.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The promo by Enzo is probably the best straight heel mic work that he has done to date. He boosted his character by wrecking Dar and at the same time addressed his potential babyface challenger in a dismissive and heelish way. Amore looked like a total jerk in the segment which is exactly what the goal was. Mission accomplished. As for Swann, I like the fact that he’s making his title aspirations his number one priority.
(1) RICH SWANN vs. NOAM DAR
The bell rang for the match to begin and Noam Dar immediately rolled out of the ring. He walked over to Amore who started to give him instructions on how to win the match. Dar nodded and jumped back into the ring to execute. When he did, he immediately took control of the match by locking in a wrist lock. He held that for a couple seconds before Swann escaped. After the escape, Dar left the ring again which prompted Swann to attack him on the outside. The crowd liked this. After beating up Dar a bit, Swann rolled him back in the ring and kept control of the offense with kicks to both knees before hitting a splash. After the splash he went for a cover but got a two count. Swann then climbed to the top rope for a big move but was distracted by Amore who waved the title in his face. This allowed Dar to hit Swann from behind and gain the momentum in the match. He went for a cover, but only got a two count. From there, he locked in another wristlock which was infinitely more effective this time around. The wristlock then turned into a surfboard variation. Dar released the hold which allowed Swann to battle back. He hit some running clotheslines and a drop kick before Dar regained control with a clothesline of his own to Swann’s back. Dar sold his knee injury from last night throughout the entirety of the match. As Dar sold the knee, Swann capitalized with more kicks to it before connecting with an enziguri. That knocked Dar out cold. Swann then went to the top rope and connected with a Phoenix Splash for the 1,2,3 win.
– After the match, Enzo Amore looked visibly upset with Noam Dar. Swann celebrated in the ring and then up the ramp. Back in the ring, Enzo yelled at Noam Dar as they left. He said that he only wants winners on the Zo Train. Dar pleaed with Enzo, but Enzo kept yelling.
WINNER: Swann at 4:41
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was a short but effective match. Swann is in a prominent position after winning his way into the number one contendership match on Raw and needed a showcase match like this to continue to look strong. Again, mission accomplished here.
– The broadcast then went backstage for an interview with Kalisto. He said that losing to Enzo was torture. He then said that he needs to fight his way back into the title picture and that fight back begins tonight when he beats Jack Gallagher.
– After the backstage interview, a commercial aired for tomorrow night’s NXT show featuring Peyton Royce vs. Kairi Sane.
(2) JACK GALLAGHER vs. KALISTO
Gallagher made his way to the ring first and was accompanied by The Brian Kendrick. Kalisto came out next to a decent pop of lucha chants from the audience. The bell rang and the match started with a tie up in the middle of the ring. Gallagher pushed Kalisto’s face away which Kalisto did not like. Gallagher was able to capitalize on Kalisto’s anger and grounded him with a submission move. Kalisto countered and put Gallagher in the same hold. Gallagher got to his feet and took down Kalisto with ease before locking in another submission. Vic Joseph made a point to bring up Kalisto’s tough up bringing in Chicago.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Since Kalisto debuted on 205 Live, this was the first time his tough Chicago roots were brought up. Why not bring those up when he was a featured character getting pushed in a main event slot. It was strange timing for character development like this.
Both men took their time in the early part of the match. Kalisto finally picked up the pace by cornering Gallagher and hitting him with a fury of right hands. As he did that, he was distracted by Kendrick at ringside which allowed Gallagher to gain the upper hand with a back drop off the second rope. From there, Gallagher controlled the match with submission holds, sleeper holds, and vicious knees to the stomach. Throughout that assault he went for pinfalls but only received two counts. Gallagher then continued his work on Kalisto by connecting with a running headbutt. He then dragged Kalisto to the middle of the ring with another choke hold while his knee pierced Kalisto’s spine simultaneously. Kalisto worked his way to his feet, but Gallagher was able to keep the hold locked in. Gallagher then bent Kalisto’s back even further by dropping to his back and twisting. Kalisto was able to roll through the hold to escape. Out of the roll, Kalisto slammed Gallagher into the ring post before hitting a rolling kick to the face. With Gallagher dazed, he hit a springboard senton before connecting with a basement hurricanrana. This momentum got a lucha chant going from the crowd. After the chant began, Kalisto hit an SDS which got a nice pop from the audience. As he attempted a pinfall, Kendrick broke up the pin. The referee then signaled for the bell.
– After the match, Kendrick and Gallagher both beat down Kalisto and arrogantly left the ring.
WINNER: Kalisto by disqualification at 6:26
Heydorn’s Analysis: The match itself was much to do about nothing, but I like the story coming out of it. The Brian Kendrick has the promo ability to make people care about Kalisto. I think the two characters will play off each other nicely and will provide entertaining angles throughout the next few weeks. A match between Kendrick and Kalisto after a couple weeks of building could be really fun to watch.
– Out of the match, a hype video aired for the arrival of Hideo Itami. Nigel and Vic built this up very big with their commentary.
– After the hype video, Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann were shown backstage with Mustafa Ali. Alexander said that he was excited because he will be winning the fatal four-way next week and go on to take on Swann for the number one contendership. Mustafa Ali interjected and said that he would be winning that match. Both agreed to wait until next week to discuss that because they needed to focus in order to win their tag team match tonight.
– From there a commercial segment for WWE Shop aired and was followed up by a commercial for Total Divas.
(3) TONY NESE & DREW GULAK vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER & MUSTAFA ALI
Nese came out to the ring first and cut his off mic promo during his entrance. He said that he would become the next number one contender for the Cruiserweight Championship and that the belt would be around the waist of eight amazing abs.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I like the off mic entrance promo from Nese. With it, he highlights his body which is what his character is based on and the off mic nature of it makes it stand out. He can’t keep saying the same things over and over during this, but the fact that its unique will help him.
As Nese made his entrance, a commercial aired that promoted the fatal four-way match next week on Raw to determine Rich Swann’s number one contendership match opponent. Drew Gulak’s music hit next and Gulak proceeded to walk to the ring without his “no chants” sign. He did have a mic though and cut a promo while entering. Gulak said that Enzo took one look at the pairing of Nese and himself and called them team “powerpoint”. He said it was a nickname so clever that it needed no further explanation. He then explained it anyway. He said that Tony was all power and that he liked to make good points. Gulak said that their skills complement each other perfectly. He compared him and Nese as a team to the Justice League. He then said that tonight, him and Nese were dedicating their victory to Enzo. He said he also created a special powerpoint presentation. Nigel loved this as usual and Nese clapped loudly behind him. In typical fashion, the powerpoint was immediately stopped by Cedric Alexander’s entrance music. The fact that his pop interrupted Gulak’s powerpoint got a nice reaction from the audience. Alexander’s tag team partner, Mustafa Ali, entered next and as he did Enzo Amore was shown backstage watching the match on a monitor. The bell rang for the match to start and Alexander vs. Gulak kicked it off. They both circled each other in the ring and the crowd chanted “powerpoint” immediately. Gulak yelled to them to stop chanting, which was a fun moment.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The crowd chanting for Gulak’s powerpoint presentation is incredibly ironic. The announcers spun the chant as the fans working to get on Gulak’s nerves because he hates chanting, but really it was because he’s getting over with them. Gulak was able to use the chants to get some heat, but it’s becoming clearer each week that Gulak has something with his gimmick.
Alexander got the early momentum with an armbar takedown followed by a wristlock takedown. Gulak escaped the hold and crushed Alexander with punches and kicks to the mid-section. Gulak tagged Nese in and Nese got one quick punch in before Alexander was able to push toward his corner. While he was there, Ali tagged in for a quick offensive move before tagging out. Alexander got a few quick punches in before tagging in Ali once again. When Ali got back in the match, he attempted a takedown on Nese but was halted with a kick to the face. Nese gloated and went for a big move but Ali countered with a back flip into a running clothesline. Ali looked to make a tag, but Alexander was distracted. Ali hit another move to take down Nese and then argued a bit with Alexander. This allowed Gulak to tag into the match. Gulak ran to take advantage but was hit by an enziguri by Alexander who had also tagged into the match himself. Another distraction caused Gulak to tag Nese in secretly. An unknowing Alexander was then caught with a punch by Nese who proceeded to control the match. He hit Cedric with his ab day punches in the corner as well as power moves outside the ring. Nese tagged in Gulak who continued the momentum and offensive assault by hitting Alexander with a power bomb followed by a Boston Crab like submission. Alexander got to his feet and attempted to run and make a tag, but Gulak held onto him. Nese took out Ali in his corner as Alexander finally got to his partner. Alexander couldn’t make the tag and Gulak was able to then drag him back to his own corner to keep the momentum. The two exchanged some quick punches before Gulak locked in a sleeper hold. Alexander escaped and attempted to make a tag, but Nese tagged in to stop him. Alexander was able to fend off Nese and finally made his tag to Ali.
Heydorn’s Analysis: The match is being built on Ali and Alexander having dissention. The team hasn’t been on the same page and they are clearly setting the stage to have that dissention cost them the match.
Ali hit the ring off the hot tag with a variety of fast paced offensive moves on Nese including facebusters, flipping clotheslines, and pristine dropkicks. After his run, he went for a tag, but Cedric was nowhere to be found. Ali went to the top rope and as he did a blind tag was made by Alexander. Ali and Alexander hit a doomsday device on Nese and Alexander went for the cover but got a two count. After the pin attempt, Alexander was distracted on the outside by Gulak. That distraction prompted his partner Ali to become distracted as well. With Ali distracted, a dazed Tony Nese hit a surprise school boy rollup pin for the 1,2,3 victory.
– After the match, Enzo came out and celebrated with Gulak and Nese. In the ring, Alexander and Ali argued to further play up their issues and competitive dissention heading into their fatal four-way match next week on Raw.
WINNER: Nese & Gulak at 9:33
Heydorn’s Analysis: This match was very discombobulated. It was jerky and lacked cohesion. Part of that stemmed from the fact that the premise of it was to lay a foundation where a rivalry could start between Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander. That worked. Even with that said though, the match felt off. Alexander and Ali didn’t do much at all in terms of their typical high flying offense which just left the audience wanting more.
– The show ended with Alexander and Ali arguing while Vic Joseph promoted the major cruiserweight match next week to determine Rich Swann’s opponent in the upcoming number one contendership match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
Final Thoughts: I liked this show because it progressed a bunch of storylines moving forward. A very big deal was made about Monday’s fatal four-way and next Monday’s fatal four-way that will lead to eventually determining Enzo Amore’s next championship contender. I like that this was the focus of the show. It made the title seem important. Kalisto vs. The Brian Kendrick being setup is a positive as well. There weren’t any must-see matches tonight, but the storyline movement made up for that missing piece.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 11/21 WWE 205 Live Report: Daivari & Dar vs. Swann & Cedric, Drew vs. Tozawa, Nese vs. Mustafa Ali