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    Thursday, November 8, 2018

    Live From the 205 (11/7/18): 205 vs. UK

    I got a confession to make: I didn't realize Survivor Series was this close already. Like two Sundays away close.

    That's why 205 Live decided to wrap up its stories and introduce a new #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship last week, and I gotta say, two weeks to build up the championship match that's happening at Survivor Series (surprise!) isn't actually bad when you've been building up both champion and challenger this whole time. Like way before they knew they were going to fight each other.

    This week, as the WWE tours the UK for their second annual Europe run, the British Empire is represented as 205 Live goes up against NXT UK. Because the United Kingdom Champion isn't in a position to lose at all, even in a hard-fought match, Buddy Murphy gets crossover wrestler Mark Andrews for an exhibition and a tune-up.

    As you'd expect, Buddy Murphy manages to beat Mark Andrews, but not without being taken to the limit. Andrews is framed as a stylistic stand-in for Mustafa Ali, and his craftiness provides insight for the challenger on how to possibly beat the champ. Of course, it isn't enough for Mandrews as he's not quite Mustafa.

    The big question, now, is whether the show's ready to proceed with Mustafa as the Cruiserweight Champion. If anything, 205 Live's managed to get good at hiding the result because they don't necessarily feature the main event story on the go-home shows anymore. But while I'd been pulling for a Mustafa reign since about a month into the Cedric Alexander title win, I also feel like they've got something good going on with Murphy, and the Heart of 205 Live will be doing a little more chasing.

    Between this and Cedric looking to turn his fortunes around by tangling with Lio Rush, the division's title picture is pretty promising. No matter who wins, we 205 fans will be winning the most.

    205 Live 11/7/18 Final Grade: The show's slowly gone back to its notoriously familiar three-match formula, but it's been a while since they've done it—plus the episode is full of progression—so it's forgivable for the time being. A-

    Short stops

    • I just wanna give props to Lince Dorado for wrestling the match he wrestled while wearing two masks the whole time. That's not easy at all and it has to be uncomfortable as hell, so his work this episode is a testament to how good he is.
    • It seems Maria's got a plan, so the whole heels-back-away-from-the-fight spot isn't just your usual cowardly heel play. If they do actually push through with it then I'll also give them props for reinventing the wheel.
    • Steve Corino sighting! This Performance Center vignette was really good and refreshing, because it's a setting we never see on 205 Live. Between this and the Charlotte/Becky brawl on SmackDown, it seems Creative's starting to use the PC more for main roster spots.
    • I feel like Lio Rush's local opponent pissed him off somehow.
    • A great promo by Lio Rush as he switched up his game and got mean and vicious there, but not without giving his own props to Cedric. I like this Lio, I hope they keep him.
    • One would expect Mustafa to do one of his fancily-shot video promos for the title match, and not just an ordinary video where he's... sitting down? Does that mean he's losing?
    • Quod erat demonstrandum is Latin, Nigel, not Greek. I hope you were pulling a Kanye there.

    205 Live Rankings as of 11/8/18

    Not a lot of topside movement on the ladder ranking, but we may see some changes in the bottom rungs. Let's see what the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme has to say:
    1. Buddy Murphy (#2 last week) — Murphy finally reminds everyone he's a dominant fighting champion, but I wouldn't blame him. Great win this week, even if the crowd wasn't totally into it.
    2. Mustafa Ali (#1 last week) — Ali only comes to us live via video promo this week.
    3. Cedric Alexander (#4 last week) — Cedric goes one spot up because he's got an opportunity to get his wins back next week with Lio Rush.
    4. Lucha House Party (#6 last week) — The Party finally rebound from their tough luck against TJP and Mike Kanellis, and in a crafty way too!
    5. Tony Nese (#3 last week) — No Tony Nese this week. Guess he couldn't hang around to be in his buddy Murphy's corner.
    6. Lio Rush (#9 last week) — Rush finally returns to 205 Live, and in fighting form, too.
    7. Mike Kanellis (#5 last week) — Mike and Maria's momentum hit a road bump this week after the House Party get their revenge on them. This obviously isn't over, though.
    8. Brian Kendrick (#7 last week) — Kendrick wasn't around, but he's got a match next week tagging with Akira Tozawa against Gulak and Gallagher.
    9. TJP (#8 last week) — TJP drops down one spot after losing to the House Party. He's lucky that's about it for the movements on the show.
    10. Drew Gulak (no movement) — Nope, no word from Drew Gulak or Jack Gallagher at all about their upcoming match. Way to cool this guy down.
      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 (11/7/18): 205 vs. UK Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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