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    Thursday, October 12, 2017

    Live From the 205 (10/10/17): Kalistorine

    Last week, I was writing about Kalisto's long-delayed arrival in the cruiserweight division. I had no idea I'd have to write about his Cruiserweight Championship reign in the week after.

    Of course, I also didn't have any idea Neville would be so offended by the thought of Enzo Amore getting the spotlight on himself and the entire division. On the other hand, I should have seen it coming. Apparently, all it takes for the 205-and-belows to get consistent main event spots is not putting your body on the line week after week and making leaps and bounds of improvements over a whole year—all you have to do is be controversial... and talk well.

    I'm honestly torn by how to feel about both sides of the debate. It's true that Enzo naturally brought all the attention to the show just because he was more established than the Man That Gravity Forgot—note why I used the nickname, because it's an important distinction to make—and he had all eyes on him for all his scandals. It's also true that Neville's work pretty much carried the rest of it on his back when there was no Enzo, and he honed himself into a more complete package along the way.

    But it's also true that it seems WWE never gave them the effort they needed to shine when it was just them. I mentioned a long time ago that Austin Aries should have been the guy to break the division through just because of his pedigree. But even with just Neville, all they had to do was not treat the cruiserweights like afterthoughts. A loudmouthed main roster failure should not have been needed for the first cruiserweight to interact with the rest of the roster, for the first cruiserweight main event, and so on, if the company only had the political will to make them matter.

    That takes us now to Kalisto.

    If it's true that Kalisto was never meant to win the Cruiserweight Championship on RAW, then that means one of three things: 1) they're undoing Neville's revoked title shot when he laid hands on Enzo by giving it to someone else, 2) they're doing this to spite Neville (by showing this could've happened if he stuck around), or 3) they've finally come to their senses and elevating the star power of the division.

    I'd like to believe that it's the first scenario playing out here, and that they'll be making a play to try and keep Neville from leaving by turning the title match at TLC into a triple threat. That's if they actually manage to keep him from walking away. 205 Live needs him more than it realizes, because if every episode is now going to start with an Enzo promo, we're eventually gonna run out of time for everyone else. And the time for everyone else is honestly one of the best parts of the show.

    205 Live 10/10/17 Grade: Kalisto is surprisingly competent on the mic now, Rich Swann and TJP deliver on one of the two big matches of the show, and the Cruiserweight Championship scenario is sufficiently addressed, even with the glaring absence of Neville. B+.

    Short stops

    • I should probably feel offended that TJ lost to a Rich Swann clean sweep, but he's punked Rich out so much in the past few months that I feel he deserved it. It could have been a more cathartic match, though, and given the recent history of how the show has dealt with climaxes of B-side feuds, I definitely expected this to be bloodier and more emotional. I felt they lost some steam since scheduling this match, and while I'm glad they decided to make it two out of three falls from out of nowhere, it wasn't the fitting end the feud deserved.

      Holy shit, what if it means the feud isn't actually over yet?
    • So Drew Gulak and Akira Tozawa are really out here feuding over the "HA!" battle cries. This is really a thing.
    • I'm glad they found a use for Mustafa Ali once again, as being the guy to help spoil Enzo's party. It probably would have been Gran Metalik, and it probably should have been, but not speaking English gets in the way of that. Oh well, at least Ali deserves his spot.

    The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 10/12/17)

    Let's hope we're not dropping back down to 15 cruiserweights here; I just recalibrated the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (tm) last week.

    • 1. Kalisto, #4 last week — Just like that, we've got a new king. You know what kind of hurts about this roll, though? It makes the entire division look bad because Kalisto can just come down from the main roster and suddenly start dominating. While Neville and Enzo did the same, Neville at least came back from injury (and not being a total jobber), and Enzo... well, you know how Enzo won. Kalisto is the Jinder Mahal of the cruiserweight division, except he's much better.
    • 2. Enzo Amore, #1 last week — I'm still undecided on how I think Enzo losing the championship this early affects him. At the very least, the result made sense—he made an enemy out of the whole locker room, and it bit him back in his certified ass.
    • 3. The Brian Kendrick, #5 last week — Rebounds with a win on RAW this week against Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali.
    • 4. Cedric Alexander, #2 last week — Drops down one spot after taking a loss against new foes Kendrick and Gallagher.
    • 5. Rich Swann, #7 last week — Finally disposes of frenemy (more on enemy) TJP after a decisive two-fall victory. If this is the end of the feud, I have no idea where Richie Boy is going next.
    • 6. Jack Gallagher, no movement — See Brian Kendrick.
    • 7. Neville, #3 last week — I'm praying really hard that the King's absence this week stays being this week. It really feels like the Kalisto title win is to make sure of this.
    • 8. Mustafa Ali#12 last week — Shoots back up after back-to-back wins against the likes of Enzo Amore and Ariya Daivari, and entrenches himself in a cozy spot around the title scene. Expect him to figure in the Cruiserweight Championship picture sooner or later.
    • 9. Akira Tozawa, no movement — Gets punked out by Drew Gulak as a piece of karma after punking him out last week.
    • 10. TJP, no movement — TJ would fall further down the list if the rest of these guys did better. I hope that the big loss to Swann sets TJ on an introspective path to self-awareness. 
    • 11. Ariya Daivari, #13 last week — Daivari moves up a couple of spots just by virtue of being Enzo's new associate, but don't let that fool you—he actually lost twice this week.
    • 12. Drew Gulak, #14 last week — Got a measure of revenge against Akira Tozawa. I hope the feud ends soon after this.
    • 13. Lince Dorado, #8 last week — Ends his three-week 205 Live appearance streak by not even showing up on Main Event.
    • 14. Gran Metalik, #11 last week — Fell all the way off after a decent summer. It's pretty sad. 
    • 15. Tony Nese, no movement — The most exposure Nese got all week was as a lumberjack in the main event of RAW. Let that sink in.

    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 (10/10/17): Kalistorine Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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