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    Friday, May 25, 2018

    Live From the 205 (5/22/18): The Sun Sets On Team Japan

    205 Live this week featured the decisive end of a friendship—one that didn't last long, it should be said, but still a rather important B-story on the show.

    Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami climaxing in this episode is honestly a mixed bag. I've been searching my feelings all day, wondering if this was the right thing for them to do, and I haven't figured out what my final answer is yet. That's... not good. Not if we're talking about 205 Live.

    On one hand, it sets up Hideo Itami to be a singles competitor once again, and a potential new foil for Cedric Alexander. That means Cedric may likely retain against Buddy Murphy next week, and then they move through the revolving door of challengers. It also paints the show as surprisingly agile, able to recognize when something isn't quite working, takes steps to fix it, and move forward, rebuilding as it goes along. Maybe Hideo really didn't like teaming with Tozawa. Or maybe someone else thought it didn't work.

    On the other, it still seems way too early for them to pull the trigger on this breakup in the first place. You may have heard some doofus in the crowd loudly yell "boring!" as they were about to set up one of their high spots, and while that's highly disrespectful to two guys reminding us why they've been signed to WWE, I can't quite blame him. We've only gotten two, three weeks of intrigue surrounding Team Japan, and they haven't even been teaming together for more than three months. I love these guys, but I'm supposed to be more invested in them as a unit before I get invested in them breaking up.

    And other than that, what of the rumored cruiserweight tag team championship? Even though it's still nothing but dirtsheet dirt right now, you go back to having only two teams in the whole division. The teams were a fun way to give exposure to people without overworking them, and there's no reason we can't have two guys be part of a team and pursue singles accolades at the same time. (That's what makes Lucha House Party so fun, too.)

    I'm just really not feeling this decision, I guess. I hope whoever's running the show has grand plans for both men, and I'd like to think that in the Drake Maverick era, these two won't be wrestling each other a million times before their feud ends. That's part of the reason why the climax feels rushed, but at the same time, if it were up to Vince I figure Hideo and Tozawa would be kicking each other's asses in 100 different match types before moving on.

    On to Murphy/Alexander.

    205 Live 5/22/18 Grade: Despite my misgivings of this week's main event, this episode was solid and efficient all around. Hideo and Tozawa proved that you didn't need to wrestle for the title to have a great main event, and a couple of intriguing storylines were pushed. B+

    Short stops

    • Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick were wonderful on guest commentary. They play out much more naturally in the booth than they do in their promos, for some strange reason. I'm a little surprised, though, that Gallagher didn't touch on Gulak being his first round opponent in the United Kingdom Championship Tournament.
    • Prooobably because Gulak is about to enter into an alliance with the Cruel Gentlemen, and it makes a lot of sense. I wonder how they'll work it out, though.
    • I like TJP getting a story out of not being booked properly. I do actually hope that it leads to him being able to wrestle on SmackDown or RAW. If people can cut weight to be part of 205 Live, then surely it should follow that guys can bulk up and make the heavyweight division? I just hope it's not Crash Holly 2K18.
    • You ever realize that you do actually miss Drake Maverick when he's not around?
    • Murphy's training vignette makes him look badass, but you also have to wonder if all his heavy lifting contributes to his not making weight. I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be overweight yet again next week.
    • Why is Cedric Alexander dumb enough to reveal his game plan for Buddy Murphy a week before their match? The dude can still train cardio!
    • Who will Hideo Itami's Rederick Mahaba be?

    205 Live Rankings as of 5/22/18

    No high-stakes matchup happening this week so the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme doesn't have to reshuffle so bad, but how does the middle of the list stack up?
    1. Cedric Alexander (no movement) — Like last week, Cedric keeps his spot on the top after not having to wrestle this week.
    2. Buddy Murphy (no movement) — See Cedric Alexander.
    3. Drew Gulak (#4 last week) — Gulak switches places with Mustafa Ali after defeating Gran Metalik on the show this week.
    4. Mustafa Ali (#3 last week) — Not on this week's episode, unfortunately. Like nowhere to be seen.
    5. Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher (#7 last week) — Beats Lucha House Party on Main Event.
    6. Kalisto (#5 last week)  — Loses with Lince Dorado on Main Event.
    7. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik (#6 last week) — It's really not a good week for the Lucha House Party, as all of them take some unfortunate Ls.
    8. Hideo Itami (#10 last week) — Establishes his dominance over Akira Tozawa, making us all curious as to what's next for the Don From Nihon.
    9. TJP (new) — Returns to the 205 Live ladder after beating his second straight jobber in a row. It's something.
    10. Akira Tozawa (new) — Loses to former partner Hideo Itami after an impressive performance.
      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 (5/22/18): The Sun Sets On Team Japan Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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