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    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    Live From The 205 (3/14/17): With A Title In The Middle, There's Some Leeway

    Well, they done did it again. 205 Live held a second Fatal Five-Way to crown a new #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship.

    While I like their dedication to giving Austin Aries a logical way to earn his WrestleMania title shot (and advance a couple of storylines in the process), the second five-way match in less than two months is exposing 205 Live creative's lack of good ideas in the bigger picture. If they do this again a month from now, we'll know what's up.

    This elimination match was good, as usual, because you know these things always are. I just have a huge problem with how the past two big Cruiserweight Championship contenders were pushed aside like they didn't compete in the main event scene at all. Where's Jack Gallagher and Rich Swann? What did Brian Kendrick do lately to deserve a shot at a shot? Even though I loved his involvement in the match, what has TJ Perkins done lately?

    The mark of a lazy creative team is when they treat a wrestler poorly and then quickly try to make up for their mistreatment with unexplained legs up when it's convenient for the program. If they just instituted a logical ranking system to figure out why people deserve these opportunities, then we wouldn't be having this problem, but alas.

    The good news, though, is that Austin Aries has finally punched his ticket to WrestleMania, and right on time, too. It's actually amazing how this entire Aries story has only been two weeks in the making so far, and we're all accepting it as the most natural thing to happen to the cruiserweight division. That's mostly due to how well A-Double has carried himself, and also partly because of how wonderful of a heel Neville is. This should be fun.

    Short stops

    • Drew Gulak cut a promo after his loss to Mustafa Ali, saying that 205 Live needs to change. HAS HE BEEN READING THIS COLUMN?

    • Nobody is paying attention to this Noam Dar story. It's so bad that even Jack Gallagher is getting dragged into this.

    • I hope it's not just me, but the TJP heel turn is imminent. If that exchange between him, Kendrick, and Aries after his elimination is any indication (because wrestling logic) you know it's about to happen. If it does, I'll give this show plus points for some reactive booking, because my boy is floundering as a babyface. Did you hear that loud booing after he hit the dab?

    The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 3/16/17)

    This week on the Cruiserweight Power Rankings (powered by the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme TM) the strange-ass booking of 205 Live makes for some sudden movements up and down the board.

    • 1. Austin Aries, #2 last week — Neville not competing at all on TV this week, coupled with Aries scoring two big wins, leads him to the #1 spot. It's almost as if they're... grooming him... to win at WrestleMania?

    • 2. Neville (champion), #1 last week — The hardworking champ gets the break from action he deserves, but that doesn't guarantee he stays on top of the chain. (Moral plus points to him for his dedication in wearing his ring gear despite not wrestling, though.)

    • 3. The Brian Kendrick, #8 last week — TBK shoots all the way up in the rankings in what may be the biggest jump of the week, tagging with Tony Nese to head into the Five-Way, and actually being the last guy eliminated by Aries to win.

    • 4. Tony Nese, #6 last week — Yes, Tony Nese is #4 just for winning an important RAW match leading up to the Five-Way, and actually being in the Five-Way himself.

    • 5. Noam Dar, #7 last week — Dar finally wins a match on 205 Live, advancing the ALICIA FOOOOOOX story. Also loses to Jack Gallagher in a Main Event match, but who's watching?

    • 6. Akira Tozawa, #5 last week — A ho-hum week for Tozawa, as he loses both his matches this week. Wonderful interaction with Kendrick, however, that keeps his story moving forward.

    • 7. Mustafa Ali, #9 last week — Ali continues to go over, and while these are still rather meaningless matches and I can't tell where this is headed, I like that they're just building him up.

    • 8. TJ Perkins, #10 last week — TJP moves up only on the virtue of other people moving down, the fact that he competed for a shot at the title, and his imminent heel turn.

    • 9. Jack Gallagher, #3 last week — The (second) hardest fall. Not only was he not considered for Cruiserweight Championship contention, but he has to get stuck in Rich Swann's feud with Noam Dar, rehashing his forgettable rivalry with Ariya Daivari. Despite not being the best character for the job, Jacky Boy remains over with the crowd. How is this possible? If you really don't like it, book him to be more than his foppish self.

    • 10. Ariya Daivari, #11 last week He got a win. He got squashed, but he got a win, too.

    • 11. Rich Swann, #4 last week — This is the hardest fall. Loses to Noam Dar and Ariya Daivari (!) and doesn't even get in a word edgewise.

      • 12. Drew Gulak, no movement — Would move up if everyone else didn't stay put around their vicinities. A new storyline with him presents huge possibilities for movement, though.

      • 13. Cedric Alexander — Doesn't even appear this week. What gives?

      • 14. Gran Metalik — Still missing. Ridiculous to have all that momentum for his debut only to keep him away again for reasons we don't know.

      • 15. Tajiri — Also still missing.

      Photo from WWE


      Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. 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.
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      Item Reviewed: Live From The 205 (3/14/17): With A Title In The Middle, There's Some Leeway Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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