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    Sunday, February 25, 2018

    Live From The 205 (2/20/18): Prince Ali, Glorious Is He

    If there's one thing this Cruiserweight Championship tournament is doing right, it's that deserving folks who went under the radar in the old regime are finally getting a little more of the spotlight and recognition.

    We've got guys like Cedric Alexander, Drew Gulak, and Tony Nese continuing their good work in earlier matches of the first round, but no one's needed the shine more than this week's main eventers, Mustafa Ali and Gentleman Jack Gallagher, two talented OGs who've been somewhat lost in the shuffle. Granted, they were lost in the shuffle because everyone in the division's been so talented and it's a shame only a few get to shine at any given time; the tourney at least gives them the platform to remind everyone why they were signed in the first place.

    Ali's been a star in the making ever since he won his long feud with Drew Gulak over the No Fly Zone, and it's a damn shame that they've been underusing him since then. The guy's the total package: looks good and unique, exciting to watch in the ring, a natural babyface, and can draw a whole ethnic demographic behind him when given the right momentum. It's only right that he advances to the second round, and it's looking like the semifinal is him and Gulak in a must-see rematch.

    Now that the first round is over and the tournament's about to kick into higher gear, I can't actually tell you who's sure to end up in the final because everyone's so good. 

    Look at that bracket. It's so hard to toss any one of these guys out in the quarterfinal round. There are some more obvious choices but with the way the first round went, it's literally anyone's ball game. My pick is still Strong/Gulak, in Triple H's attempt to bring an NXT TakeOver-style match to WrestleMania, but any one of these guys making the finals will be fine by me. 

    Who knew 2018—and Enzo Amore fucking up—could still save 205 Live?

    205 Live 2/20/18 Grade: Every show in the Drake Maverick era has been must-watch, and this is no different. Prince Ali, glorious is he, Ali Mustafa. A

    Short stops

    • Is Buddy Murphy officially the biggest cruiserweight in the division? It's a great look for him and the show, and I absolutely love how they made a big deal of him cutting weight. See, when you play by the rules, you get to create some interesting and sensible drama—I can see his first feud be over someone questioning his actual weight.
    • That said, his finisher, though... new Buddy Murphy is NXT's Best-Kept Secret.
    • A squash match that FINALLY utilizes the mishandled luchadores on the show? WHODA THOUGHT?
    • But Hideo Itami must be crying inside.
    • Props must be given to Jack Gallagher's costume designer, as the suede tights throwback? Bravo. Also, I really missed catch-as-catch-can Jack; angry, cruel Jack in the same vein as Brian Kendrick was all right, but him relying on his ground game elevates the villainous character even more.
    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 (2/20/18): Prince Ali, Glorious Is He Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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