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    Sunday, September 13, 2020

    Live From the 205 (9/11/20): Should You Watch This Show?

    Legado del Fantasma, Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, Raul Mendoza on 205 Live

    How's it hanging, mga ka-205? If you've clicked on this link, you're either a) curious, or b) a 205 Live fan of some sort, looking for someone else to talk about the show that very few wrestling fans watch nowadays. Otherwise, you would've passed on this like the many times this review column has been passed on in the past. So welcome, welcome, glad to have you here again.

    When I last left 205 Live back in December, it was a look-back on the show and the evolution it's gone through in that year. 2019 was a turning point for the cruiserweight division—it had now been subsumed under NXT after being aimless for so long, and while they hadn't figured out exactly why we still needed a cruiserweight-exclusive show now that there was NXT, it was still a C-show that gave people the airtime they wouldn't have gotten.

    Almost a year since then, not much has changed. COVID-19 has affected 205 Live in the most meaningful way, out of all the programming WWE puts out: the runtime is now around half an hour, which means there's no longer any need to stretch out matches that honestly just weren't capturing the crowd's imagination, no matter how good the cruiserweights are. More often than not, pro wrestling works best in short yet fleshed-out bursts, and the current 205 Live format is good practice for that. 

    So should you watch 205 Live? The answer is, sadly, it depends. How starved are you for some decent wrestling? Does the potential of in-ring action based on the smaller NXT names excite you? More importantly, do you have time to spare? Only you can figure out the answers to these questions—all I can say is, the worst part about this show really is that you're not missing anything. NXT remains the must-watch show for anything that goes on in the cruiserweight division, as it should.

    But I'll be here, watching the show again—it is only half an hour now, after all—and reviewing it for anyone who wants to catch. I need the practice, anyway, and I want to consume the wrestling. Let's see how long I can keep it up. If you've made it to this point, let's continue to the matches themselves.

    Ashante "Thee" Adonis's show

    It took me a quick Google search to realize that Ashante "Thee" Adonis (I see what you did there) is the former Tehuti Miles. I'm not a big fan of the name, although the assonance is good—I just don't like the jacking of Megan Thee Stallion's gimmick.

    This was a serviceable match, though I just wish they'd commit to something and have Adonis be an upstart beating everyone on the show—especially if he's also on NXT getting beaten by the likes of Velveteen Dream. He's athletic, but I'd like to see more though; right now his high-flying just reminds me of a 2020 version of JTG. JTG was good, but in a way that shone because he was teaming with a big man in Shad Gaspard (RIP). I think Adonis has more up his sleeves, which he can unlock by working with people closer to his style. 205 Live is eventually going to be his show, so might as well get started on that.

    (After being reminded of Kendrick's work from the early 2000s, I can't believe he isn't a high-flyer now. But that's the way people grow in the business.)

    What the fuck is an Ever-Rise?

    I'm really going to skip this match because it was just a squash, so the main question is: what is an Ever-Rise? Why does it sound like an ED drug and less like a tag team? The guys making up the team are vets so I'm not going to throw their skills into question, but there really isn't much to hook into right now.

    A match that should've been a brawl

    When I asked earlier if NXT names by themselves would excite you enough to watch 205 Live, this match is what I was talking about.

    I don't know about you, but I immediately got gassed up at the thought of Legado del Fantasma versus Lorcan and Burch—so much that I was only disappointed that we only got around nine minutes. I feel this match suffered from some very WWE habits, such as playing it straight like an exhibition instead of a pure fistfight between two teams that don't really like each other, and a dirty finish that doesn't really reestablish Legado as the threats they are.

    In that regard, 205 Live still hasn't really changed all that much; it's still a cruiserweight program in which the cruiserweights don't really get to go all out. The fat has been trimmed, but it still feels like a WWE show with smaller guys. Some will be okay with this, but others probably won't be.

    The good thing is that the Cruiserweight Champion still shows up here, just to remind people that it isn't a random offshoot that has nothing to do with the main story surrounding the title. But that's about it, I guess.

    205 Live 9/11/20 Final Grade: B

    Photo from WWE


    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry, one of the four hosts of the Wrestling-Wrestling 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, and he likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.

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    Item Reviewed: Live From the 205 (9/11/20): Should You Watch This Show? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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