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    Thursday, July 26, 2018

    Live From the 205 (7/24/18): You're Not In the Drew League

    After months of building himself back up, Drew Gulak's set to challenge Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship again.

    Honestly, it's the best thing I could've ever hoped for coming out of this week's fatal four-way main event. TJP? Always deserves to be in the running, but doesn't have a solid claim to a reign right now. Hideo Itami? They've wasted that shot when they could've pulled it off a couple of weeks ago. Mustafa Ali? Deserves to be champion more than Cedric right now, but it isn't quite the right time yet.

    The match itself is... interesting, to say the least. A four-way loaded with three heels to one face is going to have much different chemistry than if it were evenly balanced, or even three faces to one heel. We got something that's not your usual fast-paced 205 Live cruiserweight showcase, with TJP hilariously trying to direct traffic, everyone trying to trade nasty shots with each other, and Ali ending up being the sacrificial lamb. (Because who else would it be?)

    I feel like they've given Gulak the shot here because it's finally time to change. After four months, Cedric's reign—and the show, with it, in general—has been treading water, and Drew deserved to win the title a long time ago. Or at least, stand opposite Cedric at WrestleMania. Once Gulak wins the title (whenever the match is happening) it's time to build and bring up babyfaces like Mustafa, Kalisto, and Tozawa. When that happens, the 205 landscape is going to get a makeover I feel is good for the show.

    I'm ready for this reign. Bring it on.

    205 Live 7/24/18 Grade: An interesting opening match helps anchor the episode, but everything other than the main event is skippable if you're not up to it. This week gets a narrow B+.

    Short stops

    • It's good that Drake Maverick says he considered recent efforts and "overall body of work," but nothing will ever beat the ladder rankings I make every week.
    • I loved the little detail they put in to make the Tozawa/Gallagher match a little less of a throwaway singles bout. In his PIP promo, Gallagher claims he wants to reestablish himself as a singles competitor, so he challenged Tozawa. Too bad he lost, though.
    • Lio Rush is right, though—why should he give Tozawa another shot when he cleanly beat him in their match? Drake has no reason to make this rematch happen unless Rush cheated to win, which he didn't. I get that the heel has to win in order for the face to have a reason to keep chasing him, but they backed themselves into a corner handling this. That said, the match is likely still happening, so there's no real point to this rant other than maybe you guys should've considered having Lio win dirty.
    • Interesting that they acknowledged Gran Metalik sorting out his US visa. That's the kind of thing they generally write off as something else.
    • All biases aside, TJP promos are getting better and better every week. There will be those who don't acknowledge this because of how annoying he could get, but he could low-key end up being the most improved cruiserweight by the end of the year.
    • That said, Gulak should've been the one directing traffic. Did this count as actually calling spots really loudly?
    • A Gulak vs. TJP feud for who's the real best technical wrestler in the game is something they need to table for the future, when one of them turns face.

    205 Live Rankings as of 7/26/18

    BIG THINGS POPPIN! The Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme crowns a new #1 (for now)!
    1. Drew Gulak (#3 last week) — Gulak finally makes it to #1, after beating three other guys to get a shot! Poor Cedric, but that's what you get when you stay backstage watching TV.
    2. Cedric Alexander (#1 last week) — He better spend more time with that title, because he's losing it soon.
    3. Mustafa Ali (#2 last week) — Drops down one spot, but what can you do when you're the lone good guy staring down three assholes?
    4. Hideo Itami (#5 last week) — Comes close, but no cigar. I have a feeling he'll be dealing with TJ next. 
    5. TJP (#7 last week) — It's the highest he's been in a while, but he did well in that four-way.
    6. Akira Tozawa (#8 last week) — Beats Jack Gallagher and reestablishes himself. Not bad for someone who's still finding his bearings.
    7. Lio Rush (#4 last week) — Not in a match this week, but sticks around to take shots at Tozawa.
    8. Lucha House Party (new) — The Lucha House Party return to the ladder after beating a couple of local competitors this week, sans Gran Metalik.
    9. Buddy Murphy (#6 last week) — I guess Murphy's sticking with Nese in this little Lucha House Party feud.
    10. Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher (no movement) — Gallagher loses to Tozawa, but they're still riding with championship-bound Gulak, so it's all good.
      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 (7/24/18): You're Not In the Drew League Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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