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    Thursday, November 9, 2017

    Live from the 205 (11/7/17): 93 kg. Live

    The entire WWE is in the UK right now, so while it made some sense (and was a lovely surprise) that United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne showed up on RAW yesterday, you knew the rest of the apparently still-existing division was showing up on 205 Live.

    It may seem like a purely convenient move for the company to make—instead of paying for a roster of guys that are at the bottom of the totem pole to go all the way to England, might as well get the guys they got earlier in the year—and it was nice to see them making some use of a division we needed to see more of. But in the bigger picture, it underscores a lack of real intention and planning for both divisions. Yes, both of them.

    It already sucks that there wasn't that much story advancement going on in this episode (the whole thing came across as a glorified house show, which isn't a bad way to pattern a show, but tells you a lot about how they're managing the cruiserweights right now) but also that they still have no idea how they're going to make their UK division work, especially with the proposed UK Network show dead in the water.

    One obvious answer would be to merge the two divisions and fold in some of the UK guys they're not using on NXT. It makes sense, anyway—a lot of the British wrestlers they got for the tournament, especially those they kept around, already qualify for the cruiserweight division. Guys like Mark Andrews and Danny Burch should've been shoe-ins for 205 Live anyway.

    That just leaves us with the problem of what to do with the United Kingdom Championship. How about this: make it the official midcard championship of NXT, which sorely needs one. Johnny Gargano (a non-Brit, we should point out) is already challenging for the title outside of the UK, so you might as well ditch the division but keep the belt around. It's a pretty belt, and it would be a waste to deactivate it.

    Of course, we'd be lucky if even Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne got called up to the cruiserweight division, but we all know Vince McMahon doesn't have any idea who they are. And so the wheel turns another day.

    205 Live 11/7/17 Grade: Some baffling booking decisions (like not pairing up Cedric Alexander and Jack Gallagher with a UK Division guy apiece) kind of cement this episode as a glorified UK house show. The idea and the grit to make it work was there, but the support was just lazy. B.

    Short stops

    • Enzo Amore's getting a lot better at wrestling as a heel, to the point where I can believe him as a wily, crafty asshole who could retain control of a match. He definitely looks a lot more comfortable moving around the ring than, say, Jinder Mahal. He's excelling in his role.
    • No Noam Dar? Not even for Kalisto to beat up?
    • The kind of match Cedric Alexander, Mark Andrews, Joseph Conners, and James Drake had made me wonder if they were actually bringing the UK guys onto the division moving forward. That would definitely be something to shake the division up, but the writing on the show has been weak lately.
    • Anyone else think James Drake looks like the wrestling Seth Green?
    • I'm so glad Jordan Devlin didn't get booked. He still looks goofy as fuck.

    The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 11/9/17)

    We lost Neville, but for this week we have added five new British wrestlers! The Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (tm) has its work cut out.

    • 1. Kalisto, #2 last week — I'm gonna give Kalisto the top spot for now, because he wasn't the one who lost to Pete Dunne in three minutes. I really wonder if they'll give the title back to him, because I'm not sure what else there is for him to do if he loses to Enzo again. This is why it should have been a Survivor Series match that builds to the last title match.
    • 2. Enzo Amore, #1 last week — Enzo did make up for his three-minute loss with a lucky win against Tyler Bate, but taking that long to beat Bate doesn't make him look extremely competent.
    • 3. Pete Dunne, new — Beating a main show champion in three minutes is the best rub a relatively unknown guy can get.
    • 4. Cedric Alexander, #3 last week — Gets the nice, perfunctory win that doesn't advance much.
    • 5. Mark Andrews, new — Gets a nice win being the only UK division guy with the most TV exposure prior to the WWE. I hope it does translate to bigger things for him.
    • 6. Jack Gallagher, #7 last week — At least makes it back to his home country to lose to Kalisto. He's doing good work in understanding his new heel character and milking it for all it's got.
    • 7. Tyler Bate, new — The best choice to put in the main event of this episode, really. It's a shame he didn't get to win, but I hope we see more of him and Pete Dunne moving forward. 
    • 8. Joseph Conners — Jobbing on TV is still appearing on TV, at least.The Brian Kendrick#5 last week — See Rich Swann.
    • 9. James Drake — See Joseph Conners. 
    • 10. Rich Swann, #4 last week — Nothing to write about here.
    • 11. Mustafa Ali, #6 last week — See Rich Swann.
    • 12. Drew Gulak, #10 last week — See Rich Swann.
    • 13. Ariya Daivari, #11 last week  —  See Rich Swann.
    • 14. Tony Nese, #12 last week — See Rich Swann.
    • 15. TJP, #13 last week — #TJPforICTitleinthePH #TMD

    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. He likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.
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    Item Reviewed: Live from the 205 (11/7/17): 93 kg. Live Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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