All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Cedric Alexander VS Ariya Daivari w/ Drew Gulak; Alexander wins.
- Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick; Kalisto wins.
- Enzo Amore w/ The ‘Zo Train VS Tony Nese; Nese wins, by disqualification.
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The Cruiserweight Championship Contender Series was given a “Second Chance” on Raw.
The Outlandish One lost his right to compete for the #1 Contender spot, but that gave four other members of the Cruiserweight Division another shot. Drew Gulak was confident that it wouldn’t matter who won the Fatal 4 Way, he would defeat them to then move on and defeat the champion, Enzo Amore! The Certified G didn’t take kindly to that assumption, but Gulak was still confident even as Cedric Alexander won that “second chance”. Can the Carolina Kid shatter that confidence and finally derail The ‘Zo Train once and for all?
Cedric Alexander VS Ariya Daivari w/ Drew Gulak!
“Gabba Gulak” faces Alexander on Monday to determine the new #1 Contender, but tonight he supports his ‘Zo Train comrade in “Daivari Dinero”, can they slow Alexander down just 24 hours after his major victory?
But first, Gulak speaks to the crowd. Since day one, it has been Gulak’s dream to create a #Better205Live. He takes one step closer when he defeats Alexander for the right to challenge his “mentor”, Enzo Amore, for that Cruiserweight Championship. Alexander won a “second chance” but his luck just ran out going up 1v1 with Ariya Daivari. Daivari is not in a holiday spirit after “Cedric the Grinch” stole that victory from him. Daivari will pound Alexander into the dirt! Please, no chanting! Gulak informs us that fellow ‘Zo Train member, Noam Dar, suffered a knee injury, and will need surgery. As a thoughtful gesture to their fallen friend, Gulak has a 93 point plan for a speedy recovery via hiiiiiiiiiis… POWERPOINT, PRESENTATION! Which is again interrupted by an entrance.
Cedric grins, he knows exactly what he is doing. He enters the ring and the match finally begins.
Alexander and Daivari circle, tie up, and Daivari powers Alexander to the ropes. He shoves Alexander and trash talks in Farsi, Alexander brushes it off. Fans chant, Gulak scolds them, the two circle and tie up again. Daivari gets Alexander’s arm, and wrenches with a wristlock while Gulak resorts to using his megaphone to quiet the fans. Alexander rolls and spins to trip up Daivari onto that sore back, fans duel with “Let’s go, Cedric!” “Power Point!” as Alexander speeds things up. He hits the handspring headscissors and dropkick, Daivari’s bad back bothers him again, cover, ONE. Gulak reprimands Alexander for flipping, another violation of #Drewtopia law. Alexander ignores him, bringing Daivari up for an arm wringer and wristlock. Gulak coaches Daivari as Alexander puts on an armlock, fans keep dueling with chants. Daivari gets up, pulls on Alexander’s hair, the ref breaks them up. Alexander ducks the sucker punch to give a chop, then another. Daivari kicks back and puts Alexander in a corner, but misses his chop, Alexander gives him another chop back. Alexander trash talks Gulak but runs in to be put on the apron. Alexander springboards, Daivari gets out of the ring, so Alexander speeds up, only for Gulak to get on the apron and in Alexander’s face.
Gulak orders Alexander to stop using the top rope, Alexander just lets him talk. But that gives Daivari an opening, he grabs Alexander to throw him right into buckles! Alexander hits face first, Gulak says that’s what he gets for being on the top rope. Daivari stomps away on Alexander now, the ref backs him off. Daivari grinds a knee into Alexander’s head now, then backs off again. He brings Alexander up for chops, “How do you like it?” Alexander is tossed out of the ring, the ref keeps Daivari from pursuing, so Gulak takes advantage by running Alexander over with a lariat!
The referee doesn’t see it at all, Daivari slips out to fetch Alexander, and even does the ‘Zo Train secret handshake with Gulak. Things return to the ring, cover, TWO. Daivari puts Alexander in a chinlock, fans rally and Alexander feeds off the energy. Alexander gets up, fights out with body shots, then forearms, he whips but is reversed, Daivari gives him a bulldog, TWO! Daivari goes right back to the chinlock to keep Alexander grounded, fans rally again. Alexander gets up, more body shots then a jawbreaker breaks him free. Alexander gives Daivari an uppercut, then dropkicks out a leg to send Daivari into a buckle. From the apron, Alexander gives Daivari a kick to the head!
Gulak frowns, but Alexander grins as he turns around, springboard lariat!
Cover, TWO! Alexander is getting a little frustrated but he isn’t done just yet. He fires up the fans, looks for the finish, but Daivari resists. Alexander throws a stiff right elbow to stun Daivari, but Daivari still counters the Lumbar Check into a headlock takeover pin, TWO! Daivari kicks, Alexander blocks then counters with the back elbow, handspring is caught into the spinebuster! Daivari powers through a bad back to go top rope, but Gulak disapproves. Gulak says to get down, Daivari doesn’t listen, Persian Lion Splash!
Direct hit, cover, TWO! Daivari is frustrated, Gulak is upset, but Alexander is still stirring. Daivari prepares his finish, but Alexander ducks the lariat to roll-up, TWO, handspring for the Neuralizer! Alexander brings Daivari up, Lumbar Check!
Alexander wins! He stares down Gulak as his hand is raised. Will Alexander become THE #1 Contender to the Cruiserweight Championship?
205 Live takes a look at the situations developing within the Cruiserweight Division.
Gulak feels he will not only defeat Alexander to become #1 Contender, he also feels he will defeat current Cruiserweight Champion, Enzo Amore, to become the new champion! Enzo keeps it real with Gulak by saying those PowerPoint presentations can be described by one word, and he was going to spell it out, but Gulak didn’t get the hint. At the same time, Nia Jax appeared. How You Doin’? Nia replied by saying she was doing fine, and was glad to see Enzo. She wants to talk with Enzo about something, but couldn’t speak in front of Gulak. What does the Brutal Beauty want from the Certified G?
The ‘Zo Train regroups backstage.
Daivari apologizes for the loss, his back is hurting. Gulak says that is all the more reason why he lost: Daivari went for a top rope move with an injury. “Well what do we got over here?” Enzo Amore has returned to 205 Live!
Enzo didn’t call a team meeting. Gulak says he was giving Daivari pointers. Who gave Gulak permission to give pointers? Enzo has an idea for Daivari: start bringing more to the table! Gulak reasons with Enzo, a lot has been going on, Nia Jax has been a distraction, but Gulak has been thinking on what Enzo said. Gulak knows it was wrong to joke about winning. Enzo sees “a foggy mind with a clear thought” for once. Gulak knows he’s meant to be behind Enzo, but it isn’t impossible for Gulak to win against Enzo and become champion. Gulak imagines that, but Enzo gets upset. Enzo says Gulak isn’t even worthy of holding his microphone, let alone hold the title. Tony Nese speaks up, saying Enzo shouldn’t talk to Gulak like that when Gulak is just trying to help. Enzo is surprised that “Tony Abs” has guts! Team PowerPoint, trying to undermine Enzo? No? Good, because that would be stupid considering they’re on the ‘Zo Train, which Enzo built with his own fists. Enzo rebuilt 205 Live, they sit at his table and enjoy the fruits of his labor. How ungrateful! Enzo takes a moment to calm down.
Enzo knows that sometimes you need to look in the mirror, recognize your faults, and work on yourself to be the best you. He needs to take a step back to be the best leader possible, and he will lead by example. Therefore, tonight, be ringside for Enzo’s match against Tony. What? Enzo VS Tony? Now who’s joking?
Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick!
The Ungentlemanly Alliance beat down the Lucha Dragon, then talked trash while he was away, but now he’s back for revenge! Can the former Cruiserweight Champion get a 1v1 victory against the “cruel winter”?
The Man with a Plan speaks, saying that “over one year ago”, Kendrick’s own Cruiserweight Championship was taken from him. He worked tirelessly towards being champion in the WWE, but that dream was taken with it. Kendrick has yet to be granted an opportunity to win the title back, but all Kalisto had to do was show up in 205 Live to be “gifted opportunity after opportunity after opportunity”! What does Kalisto do with those opportunities? Squander them. Gallagher speaks, saying they gave Kalisto an easy way out: stay away. Kalisto is like the “lazy sods at ringside”, so he should do the smart thing and stay in the locker room. Otherwise, the “little Lucha Dragon” will only springboard into a spider’s web. Kalisto chooses… to appear!
Kalisto upset Gallagher & Kendrick, but his fighting spirit won’t allow him to run and hide, this match will happen.
Gallagher and Kalisto circle, tie up, Gallagher gets the headlock and takeover. Kendrick watches closely as Kalisto gets back on his feet, Gallagher wrenches the arm and puts on a wristlock. Gallagher brings Kalisto down to the mat, cover, ONE. Kalisto resists further attempts, but Gallagher goes to put his weight on Kalisto, Kalisto uses that to monkey flip Gallagher. Gallagher maintains the double wristlock, Kalisto rolls back but now Gallagher monkey flips Kalisto. Kalisto lands on hsi feet, standing switch to tilt-o-whirl headscissors. Gallagher gets in a corner and puts Kalisto on the apron. Kalisto knocks him away to climb up top, high-flying arm-drag throws Gallagher! Gallagher gets out of the ring, Kalisto starts the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants, but Gallagher gets out of the way as Kalisto tumbles over the top rope. Gallagher joins Kalisto on the apron, Kalisto rocks him with a roundhouse. Kalisto runs on the apron, Kendrick saves Gallagher but takes that Penalty Kick himself!
Kalisto looks for Gallagher and spots him crawling around the other corner. He runs at Gallagher again but his kick is blocked, Gallagher slings that leg into the post! Kalisto falls to the floor, writhing as he clutches that leg. Gallagher leaves Kalisto out there, letting the ring count climb past 7. Kalisto hops on one leg and barely makes it back in the ring. Gallagher grabs that leg, and puts Kalisto in half-surfboard to stomp his knees.
The referee checks on Kalisto, Kalisto refuses to quit, so Gallagher rains down right hands. Gallagher stalks Kalisto to ropes, brings him up, and knees him down when Kalisto fights back. Gallagher puts Kalisto in a Tree of Woe, climbs up and wrenches on the bad leg before yanking it down!
Kalisto drops out of the Tree, Gallagher covers, TWO. Gallagher goes back to the bad leg, but Kalisto uses the good leg to kick Gallagher away. Kalisto limps but is caught again, dragon screw twists that knee again. Gallagher tortures that bad leg with a deep toe-and-ankle wrench. Kalisto endures, Kendrick smiles, but Kalisto kicks Gallagher away again. Kalisto can only crawl as Gallagher kicks him down. Gallagher mocks the “Lucha” chant, then scrapes his shoes on Kalisto’s face. Gallagher wrenches Kalisto’s leg on the ropes, even as Kalisto fights back. The referee backs Gallagher off momentarily, Kalisto tires but fails to stop Gallagher from going after that leg again. Gallagher wants Kalisto to quit, but Kalisto won’t, so Gallagher lifts Kalisto in a modified Stretch Muffler meets Horse Collar.
Kalisto endures the bend and stretch caused by gravity, fans rally and Kalisto pulls himself up. Sunset flip to the Listo Kick! Kalisto gets to ropes, then dodges Gallagher to send him outside. Gallagher lands on his feet, and walks off his frustration, but Kalisto can only limp as Gallagher returns. Gallagher grabs Kalisto’s bad leg again, Kalisto rolls to send Gallagher into buckles! Kalisto and Gallagher are both down, but Kalisto manages a boot from the mat. Kalisto uses his one good leg to hop up and hit a quebrada from the corner!
TWO! Kalisto and Gallagher both down, but Kalisto uses that to his advantage for another rolling Listo Kick! Kalisto manages to run and hit a spike-rana! Kendrick coaches Gallagher to get up, Kalisto covers, TWO! Gallagher grabs Kalisto’s mask at the eyes to dig in fingers before giving a stiff headbutt! Gallagher staggers over to Kalisto, Kalisto springs up and gets him in a huricanrana pin! Kalisto wins!
Kendrick stops Kalisto from enjoying his moment by clobbering that bad leg with a chop block! The Ungentlemanly Alliance circles like vultures, ready to pick the bones of the wounded Kalisto. But Gran Metalik comes to the rescue!
The King of the Ropes shoulders and kicks Gallagher and Kendrick away in turn, then springboards for a 2-for-1 missile dropkick!
Metalik handsprings to arm-drag Kendrick out of the ring, SUPERKICKS Gallagher, and feeds him to Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol!
Kendrick & Gallagher are down as Metalik & Kalisto stand tall. Has the Ungentlemanly Alliance’s “cruel winter” just run into a sudden Lucha heatwave?
Drew Gulak finds Enzo Amore backstage.
Enzo asks Gulak “why the long face?” Gulak realizes things got heated, but he wants to call of the match and talk things out. Enzo is surprised, why is Gulak worried? Things are okay in the ‘Zo Train. Then why does he have to fight Tony? Fight? Who said this was a fight? Enzo is the best Cruiserweight in the world, like this generation’s Dean Malenko. Enzo promises he’s just going to show Tony some holds, put on a “technical spectacle” and give fans what they want. This is the ‘Zo Train. Look at this way: it’ll be a good learning experience for everyone. Gulak still looks worried about that. What is Enzo really planning for the Premier Athlete?
The Cruiserweight Division’s newest addition is Hideo Itami.
The fierce striker from Japan finally moves up from NXT, and he is coming to 205 Live. Who will be the first man forced to show Itami respect?
Enzo Amore w/ The ‘Zo Train VS Tony Nese!
The Cruiserweight Champion does not like his authority being questioned, least of all from those within his own group. Nese looks dejected, unsure as to why Enzo wants to have this match with him. He doesn’t even count his abs upon entering! The Certified G and Bonafide Stud recites his entrance as usual, “How You Doin’?” echoes out in Cincinnati. The ‘Zo Train is doing well, especially after hearing about the first ever WWE Cruiserweight Tour happening in 2018. The Realest Champ and his unit are an “unbreakable unit”. Therefore, anyone who thinks otherwise, there’s only one word to describe you, Enzo spells it out for you, S A W F T!
Gulak and Nese seem unsure, but the bell rings. Nese tries to reason with Enzo as Enzo takes off his extra gear. Enzo warms up with a roll, then asks if Nese wants to wrestle. Do the fans want to see a “technical spectacle?” Fans have a mixed reaction. Enzo asks if Nese wants to be in the ring with him. Enzo shows off his fast feet, and wonders if Nese even saw his shoes. He even offers Nese a free leg!
Nese is in the ring with the best (Cruiserweight) in the world, so give it a try. Instead, Nese asks Daivari what’s going on but Enzo says there’s no point in that. Nese wants to talk behind Enzo’s back, is that it? Enzo let Nese do what he does, because Nese can’t face first place. Fans chant for Nese to “Beat him up!” Nese asks Gulak for help on this, Enzo slaps Nese! “What are you thinking, huh?” Enzo trash talks Nese. “There ain’t no Uber to the top! If you want to get to the top, you ride The ‘Zo Train!” Nese contains his rage, Enzo says to think twice before doing something. The fans keep chanting to “Beat him up!” Enzo says that Nese is smarter than this, but Nese keeps stepping closer and closer to Enzo. Enzo takes steps back, he gets cornered. Daivari attacks Nese from behind!?
The match ends but the “lesson” doesn’t! Enzo “checks” on Nese as he and Daivari stomp Certified Mudholes into him. Gulak is confused, what is happening before his very eyes?
Enzo tells Nese to remember his place! He and Daivari stomp away more and more, Gulak is frozen in place. Fans boo and jeer, Daivari drags Nese to the center of the ring. Enzo asks Nese, “Do you know who I am?! I’m the best damn Cruiserweight in the world!” Enzo is the Conductor of the ‘Zo Train! Nese needs to know his place. Fans boo and referees tell Enzo to stop. Enzo acknowledges their disapproval, but he still puts his foot up against Nese’s head. Enzo notices Gulak is still outside the ring.
Gulak asks “What?” Enzo lets go of Nese and walks over to Gulak, telling him to “get in and prove your worth.” Gulak asks “Why?” Why? Because they’re The ‘Zo Train! Is Gulak on The ‘Zo Train or not? Gulak paces, conflicted on what to do. Enzo waits, Gulak gets on the apron. Good boy, Gulak. Enzo tells him to “use your head”, but Gulak is still conflicted. Gulak says this isn’t right, Nese doesn’t deserve this. Enzo asks what Gulak is going to do about it, then. Is Gulak gonna “pony up”? Is Gulak gonna man up? Gulak paces, still conflicted, Enzo dares him to do something. Fans also shout for Gulak to choose a side, but Enzo says not to listen to them. The referees insist things stop, but Enzo ignores them. Gulak and Enzo stare down, Gulak asks “You wanna get hard?”
He kicks Nese in the head!?
And Enzo says the kick is good.
Gulak betrays his Team PowerPoint pal, Daivari says he did what he had to. Enzo says he’s better than everyone, but doesn’t think Nese is alright. Make sure he’s “alright”. Gulak does, by punching and stomping Nese more. Enzo applauds, he has Daivari fetch his things. Gulak stomps a mudhole into Nese, Enzo cheers him on, but fans disapprove. Enzo asks if Nese is gonna run his mouth again. Daivari picks Nese up, and Enzo says things are alright. Enzo “shows mercy” by giving Nese a Jor-DONE-Zo.
The Certified G made an example of the Premier Athlete, Gulak and Daivari have fallen in line. Will Gulak do what Enzo wants him to by defeating Cedric Alexander this Monday? Or will the ‘Zo Train run itself into the ground?
This episode was really close to being something great, but perhaps timing was what limited its quality. The side story of the Division is still going strong, as Kalisto does great in toughing it out against Jack Gallagher. Naturally, Kendrick attacks Kalisto afterward to emphasize how the Ungentle Men are sore losers, but then just as logically, Gran Metalik rescues his fellow luchador. I really look forward to the tag team match between these four, it’ll be even more acrobatic than the Kendrick-Gallagher VS Swann-Alexander match, and I hope they add a stipulation to allow there to be even more aggression. Those two qualities combined should get great attention for the Cruiserweight Division.
The Cruiserweight Championship story was both the strongest yet weakest point of tonight. It built up strong with Gulak supporting Daivari in a losing effort to Alexander to give the True Face of the Division momentum towards the #1 Contender’s match next Monday. However, the real focus of the story was The ‘Zo Train, where Enzo makes his 205 Live return to see what has become of his stable while he was away. The tension between leader and followers is great, and even Nese felt on the brink of a Face Turn. And that is where the problem lies. Everyone played their roles perfectly to build that tension between Gulak and Enzo, and fans were practically begging Gulak turn on Enzo. Unfortunately, with the Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender match still to happen on Raw, Gulak couldn’t turn Face just yet, or else that would make for a Face VS Face match and WWE dislikes doing those. Gulak instead breaks and betrays his good pal so he can stay in Enzo’s good graces. He can still turn Face after defeating Alexander, but in the moment, it was a disappointment as fans turned on Gulak by chanting “This is Boring!” That chant is inaccurate, there was a lot of complexity going on, but “This is Disappointing” is too much to chant.
My Score: 7.5/10