Kalisto makes successful debut, but 205 Live takes half-step backwards with story flaws

It's been some time since Kalisto was actively involved in a top storyline, and a move to 205 Live could be beneficial to both himself and the cruiserweight division (which is in the midst of some tumultuosness) going forward. Courtesy of WWE

Enzo Amore's debut and subsequent takeover of 205 Live provided a really unique opportunity for the cruiserweight division to do something really different than the rest of the roster, and from what even they had been doing up until that point.

The feud wasn't Enzo Amore versus just Neville, or Amore, the new cruiserweight champion, versus his new number one contender (more on that later), but rather Amore versus the entirety of the cruiserweight division.

With the existing division ineligible for a title shot, thanks to Amore's contractual clause and an attack that happened on Monday Night Raw, the cruiserweight division needed a breath of fresh air. Enter Kalisto, the latest addition to the division and a long-overdue asset for 205 Live.

With so many changes going on, and another piece added to the cruiserweight division, it could be helpful to reset on everything. Let's take a look at the story over last two weeks.

Sept. 25: After winning the cruiserweight title via low blow the previous night at No Mercy, Amore gets attacked by Neville on Monday Night Raw. After the show goes off the air, Braun Strowman gets some licks in, and once he's out of the ring the rest of the 205 Live roster knock Amore around

Sept. 26: Ariya Daivari gives an apology to Amore, the only person to do so, and Amore later accompanies Daivari to the ring for his match against Neville.

Oct. 2: The entire 205 Live roster (including Daivari) surrounds Amore on the ring apron. Amore runs down each and every member of the roster, and they all start to close in on him (theoretically risking their jobs with any contact). But with the clause as constructed by GM Kurt Angle, the restrictions don't apply to new signing Kalisto, who makes his debut and gets a little vengeance.

Oct. 3: Amore again plays nice with Daivari, introducing him for his match against Kalisto. Later in the show, The Brian Kendrick to Enzo for getting caught up in the "mob mentality" against Amore, too.

While this started off as a strong angle, one that blurred the lines between reality and storyline, it's already starting to lose a little steam. It's hard to believe that one night Amore can run down Daivari's clothes, and the next night call him "the Persian version of Drake." Or call Kendrick a hobo on Monday, and Tuesday have Kendrick begging for his forgiveness.

It's not contradictory to their characters for Daivari or Kendrick to try to align themselves with a power player, but with the distinct divisiveness that seemed to make it a one-vs.-all scenario for Amore, it's unfortunate that it only really took two weeks for a handful of heels to start aligning with him, with no real benefit to themselves except a tangential proximity to the champion.

Or how about Neville, who sacrificed his title rematch in order to get some payback on Amore, and the way he disgraced not just himself, but the entire division? This week, Neville stood silently on the apron on Raw, and on Tuesday, was a total non-factor. So far it's been a huge step backwards in what could've been a new character with gruff valor, or even could've been a way to move Neville back up to the primary Raw or SmackDown rosters.

That being said, this angle is less than a month old, and Amore hasn't even defended the title yet. But if the resistance weakens and this turns into a matter of "the heels like him, and the faces hate him," it doesn't do justice to the kind of heel Amore can be, and the kind of face Neville could be.

Kalisto becomes an interesting player immediately, though, seemingly on a collision course for the first opportunity at Amore and his cruiserweight title; If Neville's going to fall back for a bit, he could lead the drive. While Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado have largely struggled to connect with the crowd, Kalisto's one biggest positive is his ability to get a reaction.

Amore ran down Kalisto in the same fashion he dressed down each other cruiserweight, one-by-one on Raw, by poking fun at his main roster experience; simply recognizing Kalisto's runs as United States champion gives him as much street cred as anyone else on the roster. Between the matches with Strowman and two brief U.S. title reigns, Kalisto has had some face value with an audience that might not be tuning into 205 Live weekly.

But Amore was quick to turn that around, saying "ever since you lost that U.S. title, you ain't been nothing more than a lucha letdown."

Kalisto picked up a win over Daivari after hitting his Salida del Sol finisher out of nowhere. Elsewhere on 205 Live, Cedric Alexander turned more aggressive after getting fed up with attacks from Kendrick and Gentleman Jack Gallagher. After taking out Kendrick backstage, Alexander took an umbrella Gallagher introduced to the ring and smashed Gallagher in the face with it, causing a DQ.

205 Live is just a few weeks into these changes, and there may be more to come. It's not perfect, but there's a potential for big things to come. Let's give it time.

Hits and misses

  • Drew Gulak's new entrance music might be the most intense audio I've ever heard. I was more ready for a battle scene than a Powerpoint presentation. Speaking of said presentation, that's now eight panels down, 268 to go for Gulak. At the rate of one a week, we should finish on Nov. 29, 2022, by my math.

  • Say what you will about Gallagher's ring gear as a heel, but his strikes were strong and his overall aggressiveness was surprising. It seems to suit his change in demeanor.

  • Nigel McGuinness continues to make strides as a heel-leaning color commentator, calling for "repercussions" against Alexander for his umbrella-based attack.

Superlatives of the night

Move: Leave it to 205 Live and Kalisto to find another way to do a dive to the outside of the ring that's different-looking and fresh.

Line: "I consider myself a grassroots fellow," Gulak, on the verge of realizing his Drewtopia.

Match: On a night where SmackDown was nearly devoid of matches, we got three on 205 Live. Consider me impressed with both Alexander and Gallagher in their main event showdown.