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    Friday, February 2, 2018

    Live From the 205 (1/30/18): Drake's Fortune

    We are completely in a new era of 205 Live, ladies and gents, and the reboot couldn't have been done any better.

    First, the show immediately introduces a new structure with no nonsense, headed by the new 205 Live GM Drake Maverick (who you know better right now as Rockstar Spud). It's a role that fits Spud well, as his Britishness seems to instantly lend him an air of credibility and authority. Although I imagine he's a bit sad he doesn't get to perform—but given his stature and in-ring reputation back in Impact Wrestling, it seems to be better than the alternative of being treated as a joke.

    Second, somebody really is reading this review column, because they did exactly what I suggested they should do and are holding an unofficial 16-man Cruiserweight Classic to crown a new champion at WrestleMania. Because a handful of the cruiserweight division is injured, we're getting a few callups as well, starting with Tyler Bate this week and Roderick Strong next week.

    The only shortcoming is that they haven't revealed the full brackets yet, and it seems like they're making it all up on the fly.

    But the change in the overall mood is immediately palpable. Suddenly, the bullshit on which the show was coasting before Enzo Amore's firing is thrown out. It's no longer a group of guys hogging the main event with their meandering drama. Everyone's got a singular direction—we're all fighting for the Cruiserweight Championship.

    It's no longer just a group of guys at a time messing around for the title (although I assume after WrestleMania it will go back to that) everyone's in the hunt again, everyone's being given a platform, everyone's wrestling with a purpose like it was 2016.

    It feels like a real scene.

    205 Live 1/30/18 Grade: This tournament is the spark in the ass 205 Live needed, and keeping things spartan with two solid matches and a bunch of vignettes somewhat reintroducing everyone makes it feel like 2013-2014 NXT. Which is always a good thing. A+

    Short stops

    • TJP/Tyler Bate was just so, so good. So good, in fact, that I wish it were a semifinal match. 
    • Honestly surprised that TJ took the win considering his recent storyline, but Bate is probably just in here to fill out the 16-man bracket. You might as well have built him up over a couple of rounds and make him a mainstay. There's no rule that says we can only have one British cruiserweight active on the main roster, is there? Bate's over and magnetic enough for a place at the table.
    • They continue to do Gran Metalik so bad by having him lose right away in the first round. There's really something to be said about these first-round matchups—yeah, they're seeded to make sure the early goings come off great, but in the process you're really wasting some top talent. I think they could have still given the cruiserweights who are lower on the totem pole to the bigger names and they would have still pulled out solid first-round matches. That's how deep the cruiserweight talent pool is, anyway.
    • I wonder if Rey Mysterio will agree to participate in this?

    Cruiserweight Power Rankings (as of 2/2/18)

    It's a little pointless to do a power ranking when there's a tournament going on, so I'll bench the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (tm) while the playoff is going on and bring it back after WrestleMania.

    Photo from WWE


    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry, one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast, and is associated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution. 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 (1/30/18): Drake's Fortune Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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