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    Monday, February 25, 2019

    Live From the 205 (2/19/19): Much Ado About A Lot of Things

    Apologies for not being around last week, as there is an internet issue I need to resolve. In the meantime, a lot of things have been happening on the 205 Live horizon while I wasn't covering it. Let's tackle them one by one, in chronological order:
    • First, the announcement of a new #1 contendership tournament for WrestleMania. I'm glad that they're doing this for the second year in a row, as it gives 205 Live something special to work with on the road to the biggest event of the year. Of course, it's different now as we already have a champion on one side of the coin, and this could be a real chance to elevate someone new to the scene in a hardworking way. (Not to mention it involves everyone on the show as much as possible.) I hope they go all in and make this tournament a yearly thing.
    • Akira Tozawa gets to look really good against Buddy Murphy. At this point, Murphy is 2019 Neville: pretty much the same look, almost the same skillset, and definitely the exact same booking. They couldn't have chosen a better guy to push, and Murphy's running all the way to the endzone and back with this ball. What's even better is that Murphy also takes the time to make the contender look really good while remaining dominant in the end. Tozawa becomes a championship-level threat who was just outsmarted and outdone by the Unstoppable One, and that's really important in a time where the top babyface spot on the show is a revolving door.
    • Mike Kanellis is still a loser. I still don't get where this storyline is going, because the guy-who-couldn't-make-it-despite-his-best-efforts usually is associated with babyfaces, or at least someone who's gunning to be a babyface. I mean, I'm as invested in the Kanellises' fortune as much as Nigel McGuinness is, but this is just strange to see on a heel. That said, it's producing some of Mike's best work in his WWE career so far.
    • TJP has been released from the WWE. This is the hot rumor of the week, what with several factors apparently contributing to his departure, though we don't know the whole story yet (it's just being said that he was released for "disciplinary reasons"). It's also interesting to note that they brought him back to TV with a little storyline on whether he was going to rebound in 2019, only for the release to happen. Nevertheless, the brand will continue without him as it's not in a terrible place. Props go to whoever's handling 205 Live for keeping it a solid place for the oft-overlooked cruiserweights.
    205 Live 2/19/19 Final Grade: The show goes back to the three-match format for this week's episode in an attempt to rebuild the division a little bit, and it's a welcome change. Mike Kanellis versus Cedric Alexander, while frustrating in its result, is some of Kanellis's best work. Whole episode gets a B+.

    Short stops

    • This goateed TJP does actually make him look like a dirty tito.
    • Pretty funny to see Gulak and Gallagher be on Humberto Carrillo's corner, even though Carrillo won in a way Gulak wouldn't have liked.
    • I'm digging this revitalized Ariya Daivari. He seems to have tightened up his work and style, and I like the black tank look.
    • I still don't really know where Mike Kanellis is going with all these losses, so I'm not entirely sure if this is headed for some sort of face turn. Or maybe an even more aggressive version of himself? Hopefully? I don't know.
    • I really felt Nigel's elation at Mike seemingly winning. I felt that and I wanted it to happen too. I guess them getting me invested in it worked?
    • Tony Nese beats Noam Dar in the latter's swan song for 205 Live, as he's headed to NXT UK. That means we've got space for more NXT callups, I guess. I can't wait.

    205 Live Rankings as of 2/25/19

    The Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme may be taking a break as soon as the tournament starts because of its straightforward nature. I'll keep you updated.
    1. Buddy Murphy (#2 last week) — Murphy reminds everyone why he's the unstoppable champ after defeating Akira Tozawa in a must-watch preshow match.
    2. Akira Tozawa (#1 last week) — The Stamina Monster brought it, he really did, but it wasn't enough. Who could stop Buddy Murphy?
    3. Cedric Alexander (#4 last week) — Cedric gets back to his winning ways after defeating Mike Kanellis in this week's main event.
    4. Humberto Carrillo (#5 last week) — Also gets back to his winning ways, but will likely have to deal with Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher in the coming weeks.
    5. Tony Nese (new) — Tony Nese jumps back into the rankings after defeating Noam Dar in a hellacious main event last week, and is primed to be one of the favorites heading into the tournament.
    6. Mike Kanellis (#8 last week) — Sure, he lost, but I'd say that performance is worthy of getting bumped up just a tiny bit.
    7. Drew Gulak and Jack Gallagher (#9 last week) — A nice win over Lince Dorado last week, plus being in Humberto Carrillo's corner does pretty well for these guys' presence on the show.
    8. Ariya Daivari (new) — The Persian Lion reestablishes himself with a quick victory on this week's episode.
    9. Lucha House Party (#6 last week) — The House Party have become somewhat of an afterthought on the show over the past couple of weeks, but there's always something to do around the corner for Kalisto, at least.
    10. Noam Dar (no movement) — Noam fails to overcome Tony Nese in their No-DQ match, and with this being his last 205 Live appearance for the time being, this is also the last time you're going to see him in these standings.
      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 (2/19/19): Much Ado About A Lot of Things Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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