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    Friday, July 14, 2017

    Live From The 205 (7/11/17): Finally, Some Honor In Quitting

    So remember when I explicitly mentioned last week that 205 Live needs to start promoting their main event matches, especially when they have heavy storyline implications? For the second straight week in a row, the show sprung up a relatively huge bout from out of nowhere, ignoring my caring advice—Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar had an I Quit match in this week's episode to finally seal the coffin on their long-standing rivalry over Alicia FOOOOOOOX. (More on that later.)

    Yep, with no warning whatsoever, the two men had to beat each other into concession in the main event. To be fair, however, unlike the RKO the match was not completely out of nowhere. Cedric and Noam always interact one way or another every week, and everyone already knows what their deal is over Alicia Fox. It just would've helped the show's viewership if the match—a stipulation we don't even see often—was made on even RAW the night before, when both men had a quick singles match.

    That said, however, it was not only a fun match, but a match (and post-match) that sorely needed to happen. It wasn't your usual high-flying, energetic Cedric Alexander match; instead he turned in a performance worthy of a look beyond the purple ropes. Cedric turned on a killer instinct that we haven't really seen before, not even in his landmark Cruiserweight Classic outing, and kept it up from the beginning to the very end.

    Cedric winning and ending the feud is the icing on the cake, because the real treat was Noam suddenly turning on Alicia FOOOOOOX Fox. That was something I never expected to see coming in this episode, but it was right about time for it to happen, as I'd been mentioning. Even though Noam was right in that Alicia got him the attention he wouldn't have gotten normally in a sea of more exciting wrestlers, she was beginning to drag him down. That leaves an open slate for both Cedric, Noam, and Alicia, which makes me excited for what's next for the three. Especially Cedric and Noam.

    205 Live 7/11/17 Grade: Issues about promotion and marketing aside, the show seems to be hustling, perhaps toward building and wrapping things up in time for SummerSlam next month. All other active storylines were advanced and touched on this week, which is enough for me to consider this episode a TJP Heel Turn, or A-.

    Short stops

    • Before anything, I'd like to touch on Austin Aries's release from the WWE. Attitude and reputation issues aside, it's not far-fetched for him to feel unhappy about his use as a cruiserweight. He's not wrong in feeling the cruiserweights could be more than just being pigeonholed in the middle of purple ropes simply because of a weight limit. I still maintain that Aries could've been the breakthrough player to work toward eliminating the barrier between weight divisions. Aries is just one guy, but WWE needs to do better and make sure that their exciting talents don't feel boxed in, and that includes not chasing the title for three months, all for nothing.

    • For all the shit I give them, they did actually promote next week's two out of three falls match between Drew Gulak and Mustafa Ali. I hope that's a main event, because I'm still invested in Gulak's No Fly Zone campaign, and I feel they could wrestle something that wouldn't be out of place in EVOLVE. It really does feel like the show is hustling to create new angles.

    • I'm also happy that they didn't take a break with Tozawa and Neville. The fact that their match was in the Great Balls of Fire kickoff might have had something to do with it.

    • Great segment with TJP and Rich Swann. I did notice, like TJ did, that it seemed difficult for Swann to put away the local competitor they put in front of him, but it served a storyline purpose. Dude looked just the right amount of competitive so as to not put Swann's skill in doubt, and what they had TJ do was exactly what he needed to cement his arrogant douchebag character. Now there just has to be a way to reconcile all his Filipino homer imagery with his heel personality, because there's still a slight disconnect there.

    The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 7/14/17)

    Great Balls of Fire is done, 205 Live is beginning to wrap some other stories up, so the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (tm)'s work is cut out for it:

    • 1. Neville, no movement — Neville hasn't dropped down from the #1 spot since Austin Aries was challenging for the title. It should only really be a matter of time, however, since Tozawa topples him.

    • 2. Cedric Alexander, no movement — I can't lie—Cedric's having one hell of a run these past few weeks, and if his big win against Noam Dar this week is actually setting him up for a chance to play at the title scene sooner rather than later, I'm all for it.

    • 3. Akira Tozawa, no movement — Tozawa misses the mark in the first act of this new storyline, which is to be expected. He does kind of get his heat back on RAW except he loses it again on 205 Live.

    • 4. TJP, #5 last week — Our homeboy TJ moves back up a spot after starting to own his douchenozzle character even better. Also beats Lince Dorado on Main Event.

    • 5. Rich Swann, #6 last week — Didn't lose, but holds up his end of his feud with TJ. This storyline is going to be one to watch, for sure, and I hope they all end up fighting for the title.

    • 6. Jack Gallagher, #4 last week — Gets punked out by Brian Kendrick after a rather lame duck segment, but insists that he is not a third-rate William Regal. (He isn't, because he isn't quite trying to be Regal.)

    • 7. Mustafa Ali, no movement — Doesn't appear this week.

    • 8. The Brian Kendrick, #10 last week — Moves up on the strength of his umbrella ownage of Jack Gallagher.

    • 9. Ariya Daivari, no movement — Almost lost if it weren't for Tozawa getting his ass kicked by Neville on 205 Live, so he gets a DQ win.

    • 10. Noam Dar, #11 last week — Loses the big I Quit match, but goes up just for dropping Alicia Fox, because it's about time.

    • 11. Drew Gulak, #13 last week — Pops back up after appearing in a video promo. I still dig his politician character.

      • 12. Tony Nese, #8 last week — Disappeared after Brian Kendrick took over his role as Jack Gallagher's current nemesis.

      • 13. Lince Dorado, #12 last week — Goes back to Main Event job duty this week.

      • 14. Gran Metalik, #14 last week — Moves up just because Austin Aries is released. How the mighty have fallen, but now that one spot is free it's time to use Metalik a lot more than he is right now.

      • 15. Mario Connors, new — He's technically this week's local competitor used in the TJP/Swann segment, but dude was game (and stupid) enough to take on TJP in a second match right after losing handily to Rich Swann. He looked good, though, with a headscissors DDT.

      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 (7/11/17): Finally, Some Honor In Quitting Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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