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    Monday, December 3, 2018

    Live From the 205 (11/28/18): Don't Call It A Mail-In

    I don't know what to tell you, other than even 205 Live has to go through its rebuilding phases.

    This week's episode truly wasn't anything special, as the cruiserweight division has started to go back into building toward their next big climax after the title match from Survivor Series. The main event plot is still plodding along in its chapters, while more minor stories are in the process of being wrapped up. Some new threads are being woven, and that's fine.

    There really is nothing to complain about, but at the same time, there's nothing to gush over this week. On its face, that's fine. It could be worse—it could be a frantic and hasty Vince McMahon-rewritten episode of RAW. That's the lowest bar a WWE show could reach right now, and a stepping-stone episode of 205 Live is far from that.

    If nothing at all, the show has been absolutely consistent, and solid products come not from its extraordinary moments but in its phases of consistency. I don't think I've ever graded the show below a B in this current stretch after Enzo Amore was kicked off of it.

    So let's run a quick recap of everything that's gone on since there are no major plot points to dissect:
    • Cedric Alexander is now back in his fighting form and between his guaranteed title shot and Mustafa Ali's current chase for the title, it seems like we really are headed toward a convoluted (in a good way) three-way feud with Alexander, Ali, and Murphy with Nese by his side for the title. It probably means we won't be getting my predicted heel Cedric Alexander, but this scenario is rife for nuance, especially for Cedric who needs it the most. I can't wait.

    • The whole TJP + Kanellises versus Lucha House Party seems to be coming to an end soon. Mike and Maria finally explained why they allied with TJP, and it all makes sense. But it's time to close this book now and deal some new cards for everyone.
    • Gulak and Gallagher versus Tozawa and Kendrick is also finally ending. Thank God, as I've really wanted Gulak to do other things. Seriously, though, if this is the kind of feuds we're getting on the show we might as well pull the trigger on the Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships already. (Also, Kendrick seems to be dead inside for this babyface run so far.)
    • Speaking of a cruiserweight tag title, Ariya Daivari is back and is allying with the reappeared Hideo Itami. This is the strangest pairing yet, and Daivari looks like a total dumbass for respecting and befriending a guy who stabbed his former partner in the back. I don't know if Daivari will just be managing and throwing his riches at Itami, but I'm really not sure how this one's going to pan out.

    205 Live 11/28/18 Final Grade: It's another connecting episode of 205 Live this week, and only the hardcore faithful will probably appreciate this one. I wouldn't blame you if you don't tune in. B

    Short stops

    • Love the use of Noam Dar here as a bit of a random but credible enough contender for the heels on the show. Looking good on NXT UK definitely helps, although others who don't watch both shows probably won't be able to say the same. At least we know he's still here to stay.
    • But yo... Noam trying to get Maria's attention, while a bit of a callback to his ladies' man character with Alicia Fox, was a tiiiny bit creepy.
    • So I guess the Lucha House Party are entering into dickish territory here. It's fine, as they're only getting back at the heels. Makes me wonder who's coming out of this feud victorious, though.
    • Who the fuck works mitts like that? Brian Kendrick's a vet!
    • You can sense the absence of Lio Rush on this show now.
    • Honestly, a babyface Ariya Daivari would've been much more compelling than another Itami pairing. It's just (ironically) a poor man's version of the Murphy/Nese partnership so far.

    205 Live Rankings as of 12/3/18

    Not a lot of big movement this week, but there are interesting changes at the top of the ladder. The Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme gives us the calculations:
    1. Cedric Alexander (#3 last week) — Cedric manages to fight his way to the top and regain his mojo, and I expect his rematch at the end of the year.
    2. Mustafa Ali (no movement) — Ali beats Murphy and Nese in a tag match at least, and that's enough for him to stay at #2.
    3. Buddy Murphy (#1 last week) — The Cruiserweight Champion had an unlucky week. That's all.
    4. Lucha House Party (no movement) — LHP are still here without competing this week, and how? Well, others weren't so lucky.
    5. Tony Nese (no movement) — I did say last week that Nese had to be on every episode moving forward. Here it is, and I am glad.
    6. Noam Dar (#10 last week) — The Scottish Supernova capitalizes on a timely LHP distraction to stay in the game. Why does he jump four spots higher, though? Again, others are not so lucky.
    7. Hideo Itami (new) — Itami's back! As is the custom for returning stars, they get a free victory via squash on the middle segment.
    8. Mike Kanellis (#7 last week) — Karma comes around for Mike, but it seems like everything's coming to a head soon.
    9. Ariya Daivari (new) — The Persian Lion is back to form a new alliance. Not really feeling it, but let's see how this one goes.
    10. TJP (#9 last week) — TJP drops a spot after not competing this week, but that seems to be changing soon.
      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 (11/28/18): Don't Call It A Mail-In Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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