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    Friday, May 5, 2017

    Live From The 205 (5/2/17): At Least Nobody Was Sliding Into Any Instagram DMs

    Halloa there, and welcome to another late edition of Live From the 205. You know what it is. (Really, you do.)

    The immediate post-Payback episode of 205 Live was strangely lukewarm, even for its usual standards. There was no watering of the seeds of dissension planted between Cruiserweight Champion Neville and Neville's advocate TJP (just TJP now, by the way). Neville doesn't even show up to push his story forward, where you'd expect them to use this episode to continue the momentum. While yes, that might mean that Neville and Austin Aries would do something for three nights in a row, it doesn't mean they have to wrestle.

    Instead, we got a huge blowoff match between Rich Swann and Noam Dar, a bout no one thought they were going to get–and by the end of it, still a main event nobody really wanted. Afterward, something absolutely bizarre happened—Noam Dar strangely got the win with a new running kick finisher, apparently to set up Alicia Fox getting back with him.

    Here's the thing: I'm glad 205 Live switches up the formula every now and then, like NXT the TV show. In a way, I'm happy that it's not always the permutation of Neville/Austin Aries/TJP holding down the last slot of the evening, because it means that even the midcard cruiserweight feuds get the big fight feel.

    But have some self-awareness. The Noam Dar/Rich Swann/Alicia Fox storyline, despite the awesome swerve that was Swann doing it all for his buddy Cedric Alexander, was something people were so ready to move on from. I know no one who wanted one last blow-off match between Noam and Rich, even though I know both men are talented workers. Tozawa/Kendrick getting this spot would've been much more fun, and at least Gallagher/Daivari, the other midcard cruiserweight feud that got a main event blowoff spot, was fun because of Jack's novelty, and there was a stipulation. 

    That said, it isn't a terrible match. Very few people in 205 Live are bad, and regardless of what you feel about the Scottish Supernova's work, he can carry his own weight. He even debuts a striking new finisher. You're just gonna need to power through the damp crowd atmosphere to appreciate the whole thing.

    As for Noam and Alicia FOOOOOOOX getting back together? No one really wins, except Rich Swann, because he can finally be rid of this story.

    Short stops

    • What a wonderful match between TJP and Lince Dorado, but at this point I would've much rather seen them bring back Gran Metalik for this role. Those two guys were the fucking CRUISERWEIGHT CLASSIC FINALISTS. Wouldn't it have been a better reintroduction for Metalik? It doesn't seem like you were planning to give him a push, anyway, what with all the time he's spending in Main Event. (Also, I'm totally cool with the name tweak to TJP.)

    • Tozawa blindsiding Kendrick in an interview might be the first borderline heelish thing he's done. The guy's just giving a peaceful interview.

    • PRAISES TO THE CONSERVATIVE CRUISERWEIGHT DREW GULAK FOR BEATING THE DASTARDLY DAREDEVIL MUSTAFA ALI! This is totally not paid for by the fact that Gulak noticed me on Twitter. Also, I'm expecting Tony Nese to interject himself in this story soon.

    • Also, Corey burning Tom in that line the title of this article references is A+. He needs to find a way to make those jokes every other week.

    The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 5/5/17)

    The cruiserweight power rankings hold steady as the status quo doesn't really change at the top, but there should be some interesting movements in the middle. Let's see what the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (tm) had measured for us this week

    • 1. Neville (champion), no movement — Neville still stays #1 because of his heelish ways. I love that Payback was the first time he's really had to cheat in a title match; it means he's been established as a dominant champion first before being portrayed as a traditional heel. You don't really see that often anymore. That said, the cracks are starting to show, and the next time Aries has him in a title match should be the time he finally loses.

    • 2. Austin Aries, no movement — The chase has been incredibly frustrating for the Greatest Man That Ever Lived, who I expected would be champion right now. Let's hope they don't wait for Great Balls of Fire in two months to pull the trigger.

    • 3. Akira Tozawa, no movement — Tozawa holds his fort down with a nice six-man tag win on RAW.

    • 4. TJP, no movement — TJP rebounds from a loss against Austin Aries on RAW to a definitive win against Lince Dorado on 205 Live. That's not enough for TJ to move up the ranks, though.

    • 5. Jack Gallagher, #7 last week — Don't be fooled, though—Jacky Boy is just getting by on meaningless wins. And if wins by themselves meant anything, then he'd get more opportunities, but alas. This is just a reminder that he hasn't been losing a lot as of late, except for that UK Championship shot he had on NXT last week.

    • 6. Drew Gulak, #9 last week — Makes a huge jump after beating foe Mustafa Ali on 205 Live, and beating Lince Dorado on Main Event this week. His stock is rising, y'all, which is a surprise given where he was on this list just a month ago.

    • 7. Rich Swann, #5 last week Wins on RAW, but loses where it counts most. If you're going to uphold your friend's honor like that, people are better off not being friends with you.

    • 8. Mustafa Ali, #6 last week — Drops two spots after suffering an embarrassing loss to Drew Gulak. It shouldn't be the end of that, though.

    • 9. The Brian Kendrick, #8 last week — Continues to drop as Akira Tozawa steadily gains his ground on him. The blowoff should be coming soon, and given the way this feud has been going, TBK needs a huge win to score a big rebound and keep himself on the championship radar. But on the other hand, Tozawa is Tozawa.

    • 10. Noam Dar, #13 last week — Rebounds from a bad loss on RAW to win on the main event of 205 Live and get his hunny back.

    • 11. Tony Nese, #10 last week Goes back to being low-key after taking a loss in the RAW six-man tag. WWE just doesn't know what to do with the Premiere Athlete, which is a shame.

      • 12. Gran Metalik, #11 last week — Only above Lince Dorado on this list because he's not the one who lost twice.

      • 13. Lince Dorado, #12 last week — My favorite traditional luchador in this batch continues to take his dreadful lumps. It's hard to be so good that you get used to make other people look good.

      • 14. Ariya Daivari, no movement — Still no signs of life after the gimmick change.

      • 15. Cedric Alexander, no movement — Just unlucky #15 at this point, until he gets back (or Kalisto finally joins the roster, which would push him off this list).

      Photo from WWE


      Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul.
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      Item Reviewed: Live From The 205 (5/2/17): At Least Nobody Was Sliding Into Any Instagram DMs Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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