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    Friday, March 16, 2018

    Live From the 205 (3/13/18): He Won't Let Go

    I've got a huge bone to pick with the results of this week's first semifinal match!

    Yes, if you read this column you'll know that I've been pulling for Roddy ever since he got called up to do this tournament. I've been assuming that he's going to be one of the first real post-WrestleMania callups, and from the very beginning they've established a strong story for him. Until the very end, when he mentioned his daughter, Cedric Alexander never had the most compelling reason to win the whole thing. Other than "I lost my previous title shots against Enzo Amore and now I have to do this whole tournament again to prove myself," I guess.

    What a match, though. You can really feel the high pressure of the tournament emanating from the frantic way both guys wrestled this bout, wasting little time at all in trying to put the other away. Both men understood that if they don't deal significant damage to their opponent as quickly as possible, the more likely they are to be destroyed by the other's late-game offense. It didn't take long before the whole exchange turned into a compelling game of oneupsmanship, underscored by the finish that saw Cedric roll Roddy up. 205 Live is really maximizing rollup finishes, driving home the fact that one man just is better than his opponent on any given night.

    Still, I have to admit that at this point, all four semifinalists and the people running 205 Live have done a good job of building themselves up. Despite my own biases, I know any combination of the four—well, three now—would do just fine in the finals at WrestleMania. I'm holding out hope that Drew Gulak gets his moment and beats an also-rising Mustafa Ali next week, but if he doesn't, I wouldn't mind. They truly are deserving.

    And we're also getting a clearer picture of the new 205 Live post-tournament, and I must say it's looking pretty damn good. It's really starting to look and feel a lot like NXT—I know I've been saying that for a while now, but I'm just really hyped for what this show could finally be.

    205 Live 3/13/18 Grade: New storylines being set up organically from the early results of the tournament have me excited, plus actual cruiserweight tag team action. Catch this episode. A

    Short stops

    • It's such a great idea to pair up the minorities so that they would have some good chemistry with each other. Not to be racist or anything, but both teams are looking really motivated. It's a good ploy to have the crowd familiarize themselves with how great both groups could be in the ring when they flow and bounce off one another naturally.
    • This—kicking major ass—is exactly what Hideo Itami needs to be doing every week anyway. I love the clear personalities between the two: Itami is the no-nonsense straight man while Tozawa is the intense but comedic foil. I'm hoping the Lucha House Party gets fleshed out too in the coming weeks, but I already see a few distinctions among the three.
    • Loved the little touch of Drake Maverick watching Jack Gallagher's match in person, and wanting to invest in him as a wrestler. It's probably because of their British ties, but that's better than nothing.
    • Gallagher's using the headbutt as a finisher, and is working more cruelly. I APPROVE.
    • Mustafa Ali's vignettes are getting better and better every week. I don't quite understand what was going on with the sprinting dude (wasn't sure if it was also him) but it did leave me intrigued, and that's all I need. Ali's going to break my heart and beat Gulak, but like I said, they're all deserving of that spot.
    • The look on Roddy's face when he realized he just lost his shot at WrestleMania. I couldn't take it, man.
      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 (3/13/18): He Won't Let Go Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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