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    Friday, February 9, 2018

    Live From the 205 (2/6/18): Stronger Than Yesterday

    The Cruiserweight Championship tournament rolls on into the second week, and if you've read this week's Grapevine bit, 205 Live's new direction now makes a whole lot of sense. Triple H has now been given control of the show in an effort to drive its performance up... and clearly, Triple H reads this column.

    Anyway, this week's tournament brackets see Hideo Itami going up against NXT's Roderick Strong in the main event. After TJP dismantled Tyler Bate last week, I was pretty much expecting Roddy to do the perfunctory job to the relatively fresh Itami, when... Roddy beats Hideo clean?!

    That's right, Boss Hunter is full of surprises for us since taking over as Roddy advancing to the second round basically guarantees him to be your first call-up of 2018. If it wasn't already clear, it is now: this truly is a different 205 Live, evolved from the original Cruiserweight Classic pool, coming together from all of Triple H's pet projects. 

    Other than call-ups to RAW and SmackDown, this is apparently now the culmination of almost everything he's been putting together over the past few years. I can imagine that where an assignment to the cruiserweight division used to be the death knell for a budding indy star's career in the WWE—and it may still be—now here's a chance to make being in the division mean something. If Roddy's making it to WrestleMania and everything gets treated like the big deal it could be, it wouldn't be such a bad deal.

    On the flip side, that leaves Hideo Itami out of the running for a championship once again, but I figure this is just a way to go right back to the heel character he was working down in NXT before he got called up. There is a void at the top of the cruiserweight division for a solid villain, and his debut was rather mishandled with a lukewarm feud against Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher. Like I said, Hideo needs to be going out there, snapping and kicking all sorts of ass every week. Again, it wouldn't be such a bad deal assuming there was already a plan in place.

    At this rate, you'd better start getting on the 205 Live bandwagon soon if you're not on it yet. Despite the quiet crowd reactions, the show's shaping up to be the main roster equivalent of NXT with the way Hunter's letting them go crazy, and it's only a matter of time before the crowds in front of it start reacting the way they should. Let's hope this gets Neville back.

    205 Live 2/9/18 Grade: Another top effort from 205 Live this week. It seems everyone's motivated by the new regime, not to mention better-rested while still remaining relevant. Crowd could be better, though. A

    Short stops

    • What's this? 205 Live making Lince Dorado look as good as he was in the Cruiserweight Classic? I would've taken either of them winning, but Kalisto needs that rub again.
    • Speaking of Lince Dorado looking good, anyone notice that he looks more jacked? He's starting to distinguish himself from the other luchadores on the roster.
    • Glad to see Drake Maverick address Drew Gulak and Tony Nese's backslides. This is the best role you could have for the GM during this period of transition: facilitate the actual sports thing happening right now, and also be the catalyst for character growth without being too condescending. That said, I'm calling for a Nese win, and I hope Triple H doesn't do away with Gulak's dweeb character.
    • FINALLY, MANDREWS IN 205 LIVE! Only took you a year, guys.
    • Roddy is such a good fit for the division, if only because he's one of the few dudes on the roster who bring a completely different style. Gran Metalik is the best luchador, Hideo is the best striker, TJP is the best technical wrestler, and I could watch Roddy break backs all day. In fact, he's what Tony Nese should have been.
    • "COME ON, KENTA!"

    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 (2/6/18): Stronger Than Yesterday Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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