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    Thursday, August 31, 2017

    Live From The 205 (8/29/17): The Adventures of the Slimy Weasel

    Enzo Amore's first foray into 205 Live action is just... there. It's not bad, but it's not mindblowing in any way, either. It's actually pretty representative of how much burnout results from writing a weekly episodic TV show on the fly.

    There are two things wrong with the six-man tag main event, which saw the team of Enzo Amore, Gran Metalik, and Cedric Alexander go up against Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, and Noam Dar. The first issue is if it feels like you've seen 2/3s of this matchup before, it's because they have absolutely no clue where they're going with the whole Nese/Gulak/Metalik/Cedric feud, which was supposed to be a Tony Nese push.

    It's clear that they're trying to make Enzo a little more palatable by teaming him up with two of the most exciting babyfaces in the division, and I suppose that's fine. But by rehashing the exact same tag team match that's been doing well over the past couple of weeks and just adding Enzo and Noam is by-the-book levels of lazy, as though Vince has never heard of the law of diminishing returns.

    As for Nese's push, I'd like to believe that this still is his spotlight, but these other players on his side are muddling up the broth—and bringing in a partner doesn't make sense without a tag team championship to play for.

    The second is going by the finish of this match, the way Enzo is getting by in the hyper-competitive cruiserweight division is by cheating. On its face, it's not outright offensive as Enzo isn't exactly the purest of babyfaces; people just love him. It's something I could buy him doing to get a win, and it adds another sublayer to the story of Enzo not being good enough to hang with the rest of the division. It'll play off just fine in his eventual story with Neville. 

    It's not actually an issue as long as Cedric and Metalik eventually notice this and allow it to create tension between them, if there's still going to be something between them moving forward. Otherwise, it'll all be for nothing, and the other two faces would look unnecessarily evil by not calling Enzo out on the way they won.

    But really, though, I would much rather this main event have been another multi-man elimination match for the contendership instead. 205 Live does those well, and not often enough to still have it be special. Tozawa is benched (for some reason), No Mercy is coming up, and there isn't a contender yet. 205 Live doesn't and has never doled out contenderships just because of star power—Neville earned his shot, Austin Aries earned his shot. Since it's clear Enzo is challenging Neville soon, he's got to earn his shot. And they really should've made him earn it this week.

    205 Live 8/29/17 Grade: Two undercard matches that never really got going despite their promise and a lazy main event make for a totally forgettable episode. B-

    Short stops

    • I did actually expect Enzo to come up with an introduction for Cedric and Metalik, though.
    • The real highlight of this episode, really, is the Ariya Daivari/Rich Swann/TJP interaction. I would've preferred the actual match go longer, as it would've easily been Daivari's best match so far if it did. But god damn is this drama playing out so well. I didn't expect TJ's subterfuge to be uncovered so soon, but the way he set up Swann's win and let his ego get the better of him in attacking Daivari is doing so much to set up Swann really winning this rivalry.

      Rich just needs to step up his acting just a little more, but his gesture of handing TJ his crutches was also pretty well-done. The ball is in creative's court now to take this feud up a notch since Rich already knows TJ is messing with him–if they don't, Swann's going to look like such a chump.
    • I honestly thought the no-DQ match was going to be the end of the Gallagher/Kendrick feud, but this is 205 Live and I should've really known better. Both men's intensity was great, but they needed to pick it up some more for a crowd that wasn't that invested in their angle.

    The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 8/25/17)

    THINGS DONE CHANGED. We obviously have a new #1, according to the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (tm) after last weekend:

    • 1. Neville, no movement — Neville's earned his breaks from action on TV, but is it hurting the quality of the cruiserweight actions? I would love for a Neville destruction from time to time, just to remind people how good the current champion is. Lince Dorado's not doing anything, he'd have a good filler match with Neville.

    • 2. Enzo Amore, #3 last week — A win over Noam Dar and securing the win in the six-man tag moves Enzo up as the crowd still makes noise for him, but how long is his welcome going to run?

    • 3. Cedric Alexander, #4 last week — Cedric at least retains relevance by winning a lot, but this #3 spot doesn't mean much if it doesn't translate to actual opportunities. 

    • 4. Akira Tozawa, #2 last week — Off licking his wounds somewhere, but after winning and losing the Cruiserweight Championship, there's not much for Tozawa to do until someone else beats Neville. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets taken off this list entirely as he moves up out of the division.

    • 5. Gran Metalik, #6 no movement — On the flip side, while the show is rehashing the same tag team match over three weeks now, as long as it means exposure for Gran Metalik, I'm kind of okay with it. 

    • 6. Tony Nese, #5 last week — Nese's push is stalled thanks to 205 Live putting over the babyfaces, but to be honest, there wasn't much for him to go as long as Neville is the champ.

    • 7. Rich Swann, no movement — Swann gets a win, but not through his own efforts. His feud with TJP is about to turn up, though.

    • 8. The Brian Kendrick, no movement — TBK beats Jack Gallagher in their no DQ match to stay in the game.

    • 9. TJP, #10 last week — TJ moves up because Gallagher goes down after his loss. The good thing is he'll have opportunities to keep moving up now that we know he's actually good to compete.

    • 10. Jack Gallagher, #9 last week — It was a fine opening showing for Gallagher, but the Man With A Plan just caught him and imposed his will. This means we have to keep getting this feud, though.

    • 11. Mustafa Ali, no movement Mustafa Ali is now relegated to wowing crowds on Main Event.

      • 12. Ariya Daivari, no movement Loses against Rich Swann due to interference in what was a good showing, despite how short it was. 

      • 13. Drew Gulak, no movement — Just there to lose without a meaningful feud on his own.

      • 14. Noam Dar, no movement — Noam loses twice this week just to make Enzo look good, but he at least appears on the show.

      • 15. Lince Dorado, no movement — Nowhere to be found this week.

      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. He likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.
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      Item Reviewed: Live From The 205 (8/29/17): The Adventures of the Slimy Weasel Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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