205 Live Recap: A strong build toward a championship match at TLC

Kalisto and Mustafa Ali celebrate after their main event victory over Enzo Amore and Ariya Daivari Courtesy @WWE

Tuesday was the go-home episode of 205 Live, setting up Sunday's cruiserweight championship match at TLC, as Enzo Amore gets his rematch against Kalisto, the man who stole "his beau."

But the episode did more than to just set up the match five days away. It felt like it set up the next several weeks of 205 Live and started telling a story that was sorely in need of being told.

The immediate takeaway is that it seems like Enzo has to win his rematch with Kalisto, or at least have it end in some sort of shenanigans. A clean loss in his rematch would at least temporarily take Amore out of the title picture. Despite any knock on his in-ring skills relative to the rest of the division, Amore is needed in a prominent role as he helps the rest of the division fill out their character to match their in-rise prowess.

Beyond Tables, Ladders and Chairs, the alliance between Amore, Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Noam Dar screams a five-on-five Survivor Series-style elimination match against a team led by Kalisto and Mustafa Ali. It seems like that team would be easy enough to fill out, given the original "everyone versus Enzo" feud that dominated the first couple weeks of the Enzo Era.

Those four being aligned with Amore was originally puzzling, given how thorough a roasting Amore gave each and every member of the division upon his debut, but repeated references to how much money Amore is bringing to the table makes the alliance a little more reasonable.

Is it a perfect transition from an all-versus-one to straight heels against faces? No, the suddenness of it all isn't the best storytelling. But, it does get us to Survivor Series. And it might be a last-second change to make up for the disappearance of Neville, whose status with the company is in apparently in limbo.

This week's show started with Amore in the ring, microphone in hand. "Can you smell that, Seattle?" Amore asked, "It smells like team spirit. I had us looking like a money team last night. 'Cause everyone around me is getting money, people. And I'm making star bucks. And I'm not talking about cappuccinos, Seattle."

The long-term potential for the cruiserweights who have aligned with Amore is up in the air. It has undoubtedly helped Daivari, who appears Enzo's right-hand man, and Gulak's had his own thing going on ... but Nese and Dar are just faces in the crowd. However, they appear to be heading to a Survivor Series match on the back of Enzo.

"The foundation for 205 Live was rebuilt with this fist," Amore spouted, pointing at the microphone. "I rebuilt that division from the ground up."

Amore was interrupted by Kalisto, who quickly sent the champ retreating, setting up that night's main event, a tag team match pairing Kalisto and Ali and Amore and Daivari.

Some early tandem offense by the faces set up what a Survivor Series match with 10 cruiserweights might look like ... and it's a bright outlook. Kalisto played the "face in peril" role during the match, but turned it around impressively with a suplex attempt into a planting DDT.

The finishing sequence began when Kalisto made a blind tag to Ali, who then dove out of the ring, taking out Daivari. Kalisto then hit a cross-body on Amore, who attempted to roll through for the pin. Kalisto, though, kicked out and quickly hit the Salida del Sol for the win.

Usually in this type of match, heading into a pay per view, both the champion and challenge don't factor into the finish. But Kalisto pinning Amore actually makes sense with the way the story is going. Nobody is questioning whether Kalisto is the more-skilled wrestler, so Amore getting pinned doesn't kill any of his momentum. Now the story turns into what means Amore will go to recapture the cruiserweight championship.

Hits and Misses

  • The influence of Amore could be seen on Raw this week, when there were two cruiserweight segments, including getting to showcase Cedric Alexander and Jack Gallagher.

  • I'm always amazed at Rich Swann's in-ring skills. His punches are great, and his variety of aerial maneuvers is eye-popping. His Phoenix Splash was amazing, but I love the number of moves he's used as finishers. Even a move that he's never won with, the somersault leg drop on the back of a standing opponent, is incredible.

  • Really glad to see the Swann-Alexander/Gallagher-Kendrick match getting a spot at the TLC PPV. They've put the work into this storyline to deserve a payoff.

  • Drew Gulak considers himself my father. If you told me Gulak's character was overly-cautious suburban father turned wrestler, I'd buy it and be all-in.

Superlatives of the Night

Move: It wasn't something we haven't seen before, but Kalisto's dive onto Amore and Daivari to end the night set a tone for Sunday.

Line: "And despite what you kid may have heard on your Beastie Boys or Fresh Prince records, rules are not to be broken." - Drew Gulak

Match: Swann and Gallagher had a solid match that ended in a DQ, leaving us wanting more for the Pay Per View.