All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Noam Dar w/ Enzo Amore VS Rich Swann; Swann wins.
- Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick; Kalisto wins, by disqualification.
- Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander VS Drew Gulak & Tony Nese; Gulak & Nese win.
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A Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Series has begun!
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle is in charge of the Cruiserweight Division, so to address the concerns towards The ‘Zo Train protecting the Realest Champ in the Room, he gave equal opportunity to everyone. Last Monday’s Raw saw the first of two qualifying Fatal 4 Way matches, in which Rich Swann overcame ‘Zo Train members Noam Dar & Ariya Daivari, along with fellow Anti-Amore Cruiserweight, Akira Tozawa, to be the first man into the true #1 Contender’s match. Next Monday will see the second, what impact will tonight’s 205 Live have on who comes out to meet the Outlandish One?
Tonight marks the One Year Anniversary of 205 Live!
The Cruiserweight Division and their exclusive WWE Network series have been back for one year, may there be many more in the future!
Enzo Amore heads to the ring!
The Cruiserweight Champion is here to walk out the Scottish Supernova for his match. Wait his mic’s not working. A blessing in disguise until he and Dar enter the ring and it starts working again. Enzo reviews how last week, The ‘Zo Train “choo choo” went straight to the top. Enzo’s four were Cruiserweight Rushmore, and the Bonafide Stud puts the G in generosity. He promised a title opportunity for those who won last week, only for things to Mario Kart and ToaDar here slipped on a banana peel. But there’s still time in this race, Nese or Gulak could get things back on track. The ‘Zo Train will get a full head of steam, but Dar needs to watch out, this isn’t a game. Do a favor and don’t do Enzo a favor, just redeem yourself, which you will, or else! Dar, take Swann’s eyes, so that Swann can’t make eyes at Enzo’s boo. Swann, there’s only word to describe him! S A W F T!
Noam Dar w/ Enzo Amore VS Rich Swann!
Speaking of Mario Kart, the Outlandish One is ready to shift gears and take pole position going into that #1 Contender’s match, will Dar get run off the Rainbow Road? And speaking of that one year anniversary, it’s been about the same amount of time since Swann was the second ever New Era Cruiserweight Champion, and in an interview after winning his opportunity, Swann wonders if you can feel it? Can you taste it? #CanYouHandleIt? Swann is “oh so close” to being a two-time–that’s right, a two time–champion! The bell rings, Dar rolls out to get advice from Enzo the current two-time champion. Dar returns, he circles with Swann then gets arm control with a wristlock. He brings Swann to the mat but Swann shows off agility by doing many kip-ups before getting his own wristlock. Ropebreak gets Dar free, Enzo gives him more advice, Swann gives Dar a dropkick! Then from the apron, flying cannonball!
Dar goes down, Swann and the fans are fired up, Swann mocks Enzo with his own take on the Certified Shuffle. Back into the ring, Swann gets Dar’s arm but Dar pulls on hair to then kick a leg. Dar whips but is reversed, Swann kicks Dar’s leg until it falls out from under. Rolling Thunder Splash, TWO, Swann keeps his eyes on Dar as he picks on that bad leg. Swann climbs up, Enzo distracts, Dar gets up to sweep Swann’s legs out now. High-five from Enzo, Dar drags Swann for a cover, TWO. Dar gets his leg working before going back on Swann with a tackle, cover, TWO. Dar goes after the arm, wristlock to shoulder breaker, Swann shouts in pain as Dar then sits on a hammerlock and brings the other arm over. Swann endures this unique armlock combination while Enzo trash talks right in front of him.
Dar shifts, Swann fights out with body shots, then backs Dar down with haymakers. Swann is shoved away but comes back with a splash and back kick, but Dar dodges the front flip kick to then clobber Swann with a lariat to the back of the head, cover, TWO! Dar is getting frustrated, as is Enzo. “Who cares about your leg? Who’re you, Big Cass?” Swann fights back as Dar grabs a leg, Swann kicks Dar in that bad leg to spin him around and roll him up, TWO, Swann swings a kick that Dar ducks, so he comes back with the other leg! Dar down, Swann up and Enzo upset as Swann hits the Phoenix Splash! Swann wins! And the fact Enzo can’t even look at his ‘Zo Train protege says it all. Is The Realest Champ’s chances of staying champ dwindling before his very eyes?
Backstage interview with Kalisto.
How does the Lucha Dragon feel about having his first match since losing the title to Enzo Amore? He lost to Enzo at Survivor Series, so it’s torture to no longer be champion. But Kalisto gets up after getting knocked down, and he will fight his way back to that title, starting tonight against the Ungentlemanly Jack Gallagher!
Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick!
The Ungentle Men that are Gallagher and Kendrick have tried to drag others down into their “cruel Winter”, but can they make the Lucha Dragon feel any worse than he already does? The bell rings, Gallagher seems to take Kalisto easy as they circle. Kalisto is wary of Kendrick before getting Gallagher in a waistlock, Gallagher backs him down for a ropebreak which is clean but disrespectful. Kalisto is ready to lash out at him, they tie up and Gallagher brings Kalisto down with a hammerlock to wristlock. Gallagher bends and tortures that arm, Kalisto gets up and cartwheels to a counter, now Gallagher is down on the mat. Gallagher gets up, reverses, fireman carry takedown, armlock and a knee on Kalisto’s head. Kendrick watches stoically as Kalisto fights to his feet. Springboard armdrag and Kalisto starts rallying with kicks to Gallagher’s legs and haymakers to the head. Gallagher is in the ropes but just gets yo-yo’d up and down for haymakers from Kalisto again and again. Kalisto climbs up but is thrown down by Gallagher, Kendrick applauds. Gallagher rains down rights before calming himself to then stomp away on Kalisto. He drags and snapmares Kalisto into a half-straitjacket, which Gallagher than puts all his weight on to squeeze Kalisto. Fans rally, Kalisto gets up, spins out but then takes a knee right to the stomach from Gallagher. Knee drop to the ribs and chest, Gallagher is making sure Kalisto can’t breathe. Whip to the ropes leads to a stiff headbutt to the chest, cover, ONE. Gallagher isn’t done, back to a straitjacket clutch, knee in Kalisto’s spine. Kalisto powers up to his feet, but can’t get away, Gallagher deepens that straitjacket stretch!
Gallagher keeps his shoulders up so it isn’t a pin on himself, Kalisto endures the bend, but then pops over and out of the hold. Gallagher runs in, Kalisto dodges, Gallagher on his feet but is rolled up into the Listo Kick! Gallagher rocked, he staggers to Kalisto at the bottom rope but gets another kick and then another kick. Kalisto springboards for a seated senton, he wants Gallagher up, runs, Spike-rana! “Lucha! Lucha!” chants begin, Kalisto takes aim, Salida Del Sol!
Kendrick slips in and attacks! Kalisto still wins but not the way he wanted as The Man with a Plan beats Kalisto down with stomps and crossface punches! Kendrick whips Kalisto with his studded jacket, then puts that jacket on Kalisto to make a real straitjacket, leaving Kalisto open to Gallagher’s Extraordinary Headbutt!
Down goes the Lucha Dragon, the Ungentle Men take their leave, has the “cruel Winter” begun again?
Hideo Itami is coming to the Cruiserweight Division.
From Japan to NXT, Itami proved to be an intense and unforgiving striker, no matter who he was up against. And now that he’s coming to 205 Live, the superstars of 205 Live are already feeling the pain. But first thing’s first, ie the Carolina Kid winning the Fatal 4 Way to then take on his friend for a chance to take out Enzo. The Pakistani Prince would like to dispute that claim, Cedric’s getting ahead of himself because Raw LA is gonna see fans chanting “Ali! Ali!” Well, Monday is Monday, tonight is a tag team match. They’re gonna make The ‘Zo Train a train wreck in the main event!
Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander VS Drew Gulak & Tony Nese!
Tag teams tonight but it’ll be every man for himself next Monday as these four men compete in the second qualifying Fatal 4 Way, which half of that match-up will gain themselves momentum? But before that, the Campaigning Crusader of #Drewtopia wishes to speak. Gulak and Nese are, in Enzo’s words, “Team Power Point”! A nickname so clever it doesn’t need to be explained, but Gulak will anyway. The Premier Athlete is all power, and Gulak makes good points. Their skills go together perfectly, and as members of The ‘Zo Train, they’re like the Justice League. Tony is Aquaman, Gulak is Batman. Tony disagrees but Gulak continues by saying Enzo is their Superman. Tony agrees there. Tonight, they dedicate this match to Enzo, along with a special edition of hiiiiiiiiiiiiis… POWERPOINT, PRESENTATION! Which we won’t get, because their opponents finally arrive.
Enzo is again watching backstage, to keep an eye on his ‘Zo Train. Alexander and Gulak start us off, fans chant “Power Point!”, which upsets Gulak because of his No Chant rule. He doesn’t have his sign, so maybe they didn’t know. Gulak calms down and circles with Alexander, they tie up but Alexander gets wristlock control, Gulak tries but fails to counter. Alexander keeps Gulak on the mat, Gulak gets a good reverse and break then a headbutt to Alexander’s ribs. Stiff elbow to the back from Gulak to Alexander before Gulak tags to Nese, but Nese gets caught in an armdrag and armlock. Nese powers up but Alexander directs him to his corner, Ali tags in and gives a double ax handle to the arm. Tag back to Alexander, Alexander double stomps that arm. Nese is at the mercy of Ali & Alexander, Nese pulls on Ali’s hair and gets him to a corner. The ref calls for the break, Nese dirties it up with body shots and stiff forearms. Nese does what he wants, he’s the Premier Athlete. Back chop to Ali, corner to corner whip but Ali goes up and over and Nese hits buckles before taking another arm-drag. Ali wrenches, Gulak gets into trash talk with Alexander so that Ali can’t make the tag.
Nese fights out with a mule kick, then kicks Ali while he’s down. Alexander wants the tag now, Ali gets out of the back suplex to dropkick Nese down, Ali gives him that tag but argues about how Alexander was too busy arguing with Gulak. Speaking of, this argument makes them too busy to see Nese give Gulak the tag! Alexander is still ready, he ducks, handsprings, headscissors and dropkicks Gulak, cover, TWO. Alexander brings Gulak up but Gulak revives to give him a stiff chop. Nese gets a back elbow and Gulak’s kick is blocked to get one for himself, Alexander handsprings but Nese trips him up! Alexander face plants then ends up taking a knee to the back from Gulak. Tag to Nese, Nese runs Alexander over with a back elbow of his own. Nese stomps away on Alexander, then drags him up and in, leg drop, ONE. Alexander gets to a corner but gets stomped and put in the Tree of Woe, more knees to Alexander’s stomach. Nese slows down to get himself some Full Contact Cardio!
Nese kicks while getting in his crunches, “that’s why I have these right here.” Nese brings Alexander over, tags Gulak, Gulak gives Alexander a stiff stomp before a standing powerbomb, TWO. Gulak keeps on Alexander with a modified half-crab crossface.
Alexander endures the bend, but still gets up as fans rally. Gulak tries to keep him down but Alexander fights out, Gulak holds onto the waistband but gets a forearm right to the face! Alexander crawls to Ali while Gulak crawls, but Nese decides to go right at Ali! No one home for Alexander, Gulak pounces on him from behind. Ali fights off Nese but can’t make it to Alexander, Gulak clubs away on Alexander, a chop as well. Alexander responds with a chop, Gulak gives him a kick and puts him in a chinlock. Fans rally again, Alexander feeds off it, jawbreaker breaks the hold. Tag to Nese, Nese redirects Alexander but Alexander stays on the apron to slide under and shove Nese away, tag to Ali! Ali rallies, whips but is reversed, flapjack dropkick drops Nese, a dropkick for Gulak keeps him out of the ring. Corner to corner whip reversed, Ali slides to slip out and roundhouse Nese away. Ali gets the fans going before hitting the rolling facebuster! TWO, Ali is surprised but not off focus. No Alexander to tag, again, Nese takes advantage by shoving Ali to a corner for a big forearm. Ali boots back, slips out again to climb up top, but Nese trips him up. Alexander returns, tags Ali when Nese isn’t looking, so as Nese climbs up, Alexander joins in. Nese is brought onto Alexander’s shoulders, Ali adjusts, flying crossbody electric chair combo!
Cover, Gulak breaks it up! Gulak checks on Nese before going after Ali, Ali brings him out to the floor. Alexander tags Ali in before wrecking Gulak with a dropkick. Ali brings Nese up, Nese shoves Ali into Alexander! Roll-up on Ali, Team Power Point wins!
Enzo even comes out to celebrate with them!
The ‘Zo Train has the last laugh, but Ali and Alexander argue over who is to blame for their loss. Perhaps it doesn’t matter now, it’ll be every man for himself Monday. Will the ‘Zo Train leave everyone else at the station? Or can they be derailed and completely left out of the #1 Contender’s match?
A pretty solid episode for the first anniversary of 205 Live. The fact it wasn’t treated as that big of a deal is a bit indicative of how WWE has treated their Cruiserweight Division since its return, but that’s another issue entirely. As for the actual content, a solid return for Kalisto, him going into a program against THE Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher could be both a way for Kalisto to gain an edge in his character as well as give an opening to someone else, as I feel this needs to end in a tag team match the same way Kendrick-Gallagher VS Swann-Alexander did. Kalisto could make a great team with fellow luchadors, Gran Metalik or Lince Dorado, to revive the tag team form of Lucha Dragons back from before the New Era brand split. If only WWE was allowing crossover, these tag teams could challenge The Bar or The Shield. But again, that’s another issue entirely.
Nice to see a bit of breaking down between the allegiances on both sides of the championship issue. Swann gets a solid win over Dar to keep himself strong while also making Dar out to be the caboose of the ‘Zo Train, and perhaps the first to be kicked out. On the other side, The ‘Zo Train’s “Power Point” formation stays strong to tear Ali and Alexander apart, though the chance at the singles title was doing that already. Swann is a Face, so chances are the issues between Ali and Alexander will be what gives a Heel opening to win Monday’s Fatal 4 Way, and then chances are Swann will still win to face Enzo. If Nese wins, I can already sense he and Swann can have a great match in physicality as well as aerial moves, so long as they’re allowed to go all out. It’ll be two birds one stone if they do, this is an important match, so why wouldn’t they give it 100%? And fans will see what Cruiserweights are capable of and will have reason to care about the Division.
My Score: 8/10