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    Friday, August 31, 2018

    Live From the 205 (8/28/18): Too Many Limes

    Here's something I've noticed, especially after this week: 205 Live may actually have too many stars.

    When I say "stars," I don't actually mean big names like Neville and Enzo Amore that could carry the show by reputation alone. While some of the guys are slowly getting there, that's not it. The show's actually done a good job of building up several possible contenders to Cedric Alexander's Cruiserweight Championship... and then promptly not putting everyone they built in the hunt, leaving them to wait until they could get a shot at the title.

    This is what happens this week after Buddy Murphy beats Kalisto in—curiously—a one-on-one match. The culmination of the Nese/Murphy vs. Lucha House Party feud was not in last week's awesome tornado tag match, but instead in a singles match designed to get Murphy (not even Nese with him) over. Okay, fine, I guess I've got no choice but to let that slide. But what's next for Murphy?

    So this singles match is their way of telling us that they're not gonna have a cruiserweight tag title anytime soon. Fine. But look at the upper midcard you've got now after this decisive victory: other than Cedric and Drew Gulak, you have Hideo Itami, Mustafa Ali, and now Buddy Murphy waiting in the wings for a shot. In fact, I'd argue that Murphy's been waiting for a while now—they just stuck him in a tag feud with Nese as a detour.

    Why couldn't the title be defended against more than one challenger? Is there a rule we don't know about, or is the creative team simply unable to handle anything bigger than a one-on-one rivalry? It's just a shame because these guys end up being shelved while waiting for their turn to go into the revolving door of contenders, and having a flavor-of-the-month (or few months) challenger could get monotonous.

    Having more than one challenger could mean that not only more guys get featured every week, but the hunt for the title's also always on the show, solving all the problems of the weekly rotating format of these one-hour shows. Consider that Cedric Alexander's been relegated to a mere selfie promo this week, and Drew Gulak's not even on the show. If you had two or three guys going after the championship at the same time, they could always have a match, and it doesn't always have to be the main event.

    205 Live's got such a deep roster, WWE. I know it's great to give everyone a break, but you can do a better job of straddling that fine line.

    205 Live 8/28/18 Grade: After last week's phenomenal episode, the show levels out again with some necessary plot-advancing segments and matches. The main event carries the episode well, at least. Here's a narrow B+.

    Short stops

    • I did enjoy the fact that they used last week's Drew Gulak and the Pips filibuster to segue into a match between Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick.
    • It does seem weird, however, that Kendrick would easily fall to Tozawa. There could've been something there with the three of them dominating the show for a couple of weeks before the faces band together and fight back (or until Gulak finally gets his rematch).
    • I liked the backstory Nigel provided about Hideo Itami's days main-eventing NOAH. It seems like a minor detail, but it completely fleshes out Itami's entire "RESPECT MEEEH" gimmick. He was a respected ace in Japan, Hulk Hogan was at his contract signing, but he wrestles in front of an American crowd and nobody gives a flying fuck about him. Why wouldn't he be frustrated with all of you?
    • Also dug his selfie promo, as it was short and sweet. "I feel bad I didn't hurt you worse."
    • Has Mustafa Ali really been out for a few weeks? Wasn't Drake Maverick's medical suspension on him just a couple of weeks ago? That said, is Ali truly cleared to compete? I have a feeling DM's going to be stopping him next week.
    • Also, of course Mustafa Ali comes down in a nice shirt and pants.
    • I can't lie, I almost didn't recognize Gran Metalik. I thought they invited a guest luchador to the house party.
    • Great (and kind of funny) for Nigel to immediately concede his point after Tony Nese was also sent to the back. I figured he would've tried to go for a loophole, as heel commentators often do.
    • Buddy Murphy's always getting caught with moves as he's trying to get back in the ring.

    205 Live Rankings as of 8/31/18

    There's not much moving and shaking going on from this week's episode, so let's see how it all checks out with the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme:
    1. Cedric Alexander (no movement) — Well, he's still on top.
    2. Drew Gulak (no movement) — No Gulak, just his minions.
    3. Lio Rush (no movement) — No Lio Rush either.
    4. Hideo Itami (no movement) — He did get a match in, but he technically didn't win as the match never officially stopped after Mustafa Ali ran down.
    5. Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese (#8 last week) — The two jump back after Murphy scores a decisive win against Kalisto, but that's about it.
    6. Akira Tozawa (#10 last week) — Manages to beat Brian Kendrick, rebounding from a terrible past few weeks.
    7. Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher (#5 last week) — Drops down a couple of spots after the untimely loss to Akira Tozawa.
    8. Lucha House Party (#6 last week) — The House Party isn't so hot right now, losing two tag feuds in a row. Still though, they're better off than some people/
    9. Mustafa Ali (no movement) — Your boy's not down for the count, but will he be cleared to compete?
    10. Noam Dar (#7 last week) — On the sidelines this week.
      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 (8/28/18): Too Many Limes Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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