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    Saturday, September 28, 2019

    Live From the 205 (9/24/19): NXT Lite

    So if it is true that we're witnessing the last hurrah, the death throes if you will, of 205 Live, then what a terrible shame to be going out right now.

    See, we're already witnessing the NXT crossovers in full effect, and let me tell ya: it's been the best idea the show has had this year. (Last year's great idea was the addition of Drake Maverick as general manager.) I've been complaining just a tiny bit that the cruiserweight division was getting a little stale, especially with the slow trickle of new talent, that they've pretty much had to force themselves to make too many ill-advised turns in the past few months.

    Sharing the division between 205 Live and NXT TV not only unlocks an entire division waiting in the wings over on the black-and-yellow brand, but it also gives the cruiserweights even more time to flesh out their stories. Sure, we might not be seeing Drew Gulak and the others yet on Wednesday nights, but now I know the option is there, and I'm glad.

    That said, the roster sharing isn't without its problems right now. Last week on NXT, the returning Lio Rush... returned... to win the #1 contendership to the cruiserweight title from out of nowhere. Outside of this week's 205 Live opening recap, that wasn't really touched on, with the main event instead focusing on Oney Lorcan's beef with Gulak and Tony Nese, as well as introducing Danny Burch to the show. It seems as though they haven't truly figured out yet how stories will unfold over both shows, and they'll need to figure that out soon with Hell in a Cell happening next week.

    And if the plan is to keep holding Cruiserweight Championship matches on PPV kickoffs—because we don't know if they'll be moved to NXT Takeovers now—they'd better bring Lio back on 205 real quick. But if it isn't, that's fine too; I just really want to know what the new setup is moving forward so I can temper my expectations.

    The other other elephant in the room is the fact that Lio seems to still be a heel, which means they're going to have to find a way to make it jive against another heel in Drew Gulak. If they're going to make this make sense, it probably means the cruiserweight division's stories are moving to the NXT timeline.

    205 Live 9/24/19 Grade: Angel Garza's back for a fun match with his cousin Humberto Carrillo, while Danny Burch's 205 Live debut was also rock-solid. An A- for this no-filler, all-killer episode.

    Short stops

    • The frantic opening minutes of the Garza/Carrillo match, where they went full lucha libre, was everything I really wanted from the luchadores of this show. The WWE style slows them down too much, which is fine, but it's not really ideal for a brand that's built around cruiserweights—remember that the audience has a certain idea of how a cruiserweight, especially a luchador, should wrestle. If the show hasn't really lit a fire in the WWE Universe, it's because of stylistic decisions like this. Let them be free. I'm hoping Triple H taking control means more artistic freedom for the cruiserweights.
    • Hilarious work from the commentators during Garza/Carrillo, with Aiden English continuing to make himself stand out. Now that Nigel's gone, I'm really just waiting for him to turn into the heel color commentator.
    • Brian Kendrick is the latest victim of the current heel turn trend, and while it was a really good promo for him (this whole gives-no-fucks veteran is the best character he has) I'm just afraid of going back to feuds with both Akira Tozawa and Jack Gallagher, which has honestly been done to death. It feels like everyone's spinning in place here.
    • How silly does Tony Nese look now that he's gone back to being Drew Gulak's lackey and still losing? I get that Oney and Danny needed to look strong, but damn, look how far Nese has fallen from the spring.
      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 (9/24/19): NXT Lite Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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