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    Wednesday, June 5, 2019

    Live From the 205 (6/4/19): The Rat Race

    So sorry for these every-other-week 205 Live updates, for anyone who's still following the purple show. I assure you I still keep up with the cruiserweights every week, but the schedules just aren't aligning sometimes.

    Before we get into this week's episode, I want to tell you that last week's was a refreshing one and you should go catch it. Jack Gallagher and Humberto Carrillo pull off an entertaining main event that proves the division's still got legs even with guys not necessarily in the championship picture.

    That said, 205 Live is starting to feel electric again, if only because it seems someone's realized the division needs a seismic shift when it comes to the championship picture. For the first time in a while, it looks like the Cruiserweight Championship has more than one clear contender at Stomping Grounds with the whole story of GM Drake Maverick unsure of who to book Tony Nese against.

    The fact that it's open season can only be good for the title picture. Truthfully, Nese needs a bigger supporting cast to succeed in his role as champion, and the stacked roster the division has really can't wait to take turns now that they need to rebuild as fast as they can.

    Let's do something different and bring the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme front and center, taking a look at the emerging contenders after this week's episode:
    • Drew Gulak — It's a little rushed, but Drew Gulak got a slight rebranding this week after being gone for around a month following a loss to Tony Nese. Now looking bigger and more like your typical WWE heel midcarder (I promise I'm saying that in a good way) with a new aggressive style, it looks like they're setting this repackaged Gulak up to be Nese's top foil. My only issue is that I wish we got more of a build to it than random throwaway shoutouts to Gulak's Instagram posts.
    • Oney Lorcan — The Boston Brawler is still finding his footing, but he's slowly carving out his own niche of being the best brawler/striker in the cruiserweight division. (Sorry, Ariya.) He's got lower chances since he's also a babyface, but it seems like they're setting up a multi-man title match at Stomping Grounds, so his win should cover him.
    • Mike Kanellis — Kanellis is making his case with words than actions, but it does seem like they're positioning him as another threat. Mike has been putting in some solid work recently, and while he's not the best, he's believable as an imposing heel over the rest of the division.
    • Humberto Carrillo — Well, Carrillo is still actually stuck with Jack Gallagher as the feud isn't over yet, but if they're taking recent wins into consideration, he'd be an emerging contender too.
    • Akira Tozawa — Tozawa got really close this week, being Nese's original choice after that five-way win and putting up a good fight against Drew Gulak. Something tells me they're not quite finished with the Stamina Monster just yet.

    Whoever it's gonna be, I'm just glad that more people are getting considered on 205 Live. The show has needed all hands on deck since Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy were taken away. We might finally have something to look forward to at Stomping Grounds.

    205 Live 6/4/19 Final Grade: I wanted to like the Lorcan/Daivari main event, but it just wasn't the right kind of match for a tired crowd. Gulak/Tozawa is solid, though. This week's episode gets a B.

        Short stops

        • I like that everyone's acknowledging Drake Maverick's attention being taken up by the 24/7 Championship. Dunno if that's going to lead to an actual storyline where Drake has to prove he's focused on his GM job, but it would make for something interesting on an otherwise cookie-cutter show.
        • Speaking of cookie-cutter, was Gulak really gone that long? How was he able to grow enough hair to slick back?
        • That was a brutal promo by Tony Nese. If they're going to stick with him as a project he'll need someone to talk for him.
        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 (6/4/19): The Rat Race Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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