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Live From The 205 (5/23/17): Stamina Monster Among Men


This week's episode of 205 Live was straightforward in its objective, something it was pretty clear it was going to do as soon as they announced the main event last week: we're still a few weeks away from Extreme Rules, the next RAW PPV, so the focus of this episode won't be on the Cruiserweight Championship scene.

Akira Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick's long-ass midcard feud finally came to an end in a street fight on this week's episode, and I'll say it managed to live up to its main event placement, moreso than any other C-side 205 Live main events as of late. It helps that both men have been entertaining by themselves (especially Tozawa; more on that later) and throughout their entire rivalry. The street fight was pretty tame by a lot of wrestling standards, with the highest, most violent spot a huge flying senton onto a table, but it helps that Kendrick can bring a certain kind of brutality to this show other cruiserweights can't seem to, or don't choose to.




To be honest, Akira Tozawa may be the only person outside of the four messing around the title who could make a crowd care about a main event. People in the crowd have taken well to his weird-ass barking (barking it back at him), and it's a sign that they feel some sort of way about him when they chant to support him. Normally, you'd have a hushed audience most of the time. (Especially when anyone not named Neville, Austin Aries, Jack Gallagher, or TJP is main-eventing.) It's a great sign that they've got another star on their hands.

It's time, then, to start building up the rest of the division, and the way to do that is to not stick them in silly Diet RAW storylines. We need less Alicia Fox shenanigans, maybe a little more thought-provoking Drew Gulak campaigns, more love for former champions (and Cruiserweight Classic finalists), a little more competition and the athletic nature.

The idea of 205 Live giving airtime to everyone is a great one. We just gotta make sure we're making the most of it. Figure out who you really want to push, and make the most of it.

Short stops


  • WHY IS NOAM DAR VS. RICH SWANN STILL A THING??? YOU ALL PLAYED ME WITH THE FAKE ARIYA DAIVARI FEUD! NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THIS ANYMORE!

  • Welcome back Cedric Alexander! You were missed. Also, your opponent was pretty loud.

  • Quite a bit of storyline progression happening through pre-taped segments. There should be enough time for most of the roster to get a backstage vignette or a video package. Why can't we build the others up this way?

The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 5/25/17)


Since it's a minor week for the cruiserweights, there isn't much movement at the top again. Cedric Alexander's return and the culmination of the Kendrick/Tozawa feud should move the earth a little bit, but let's see what the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (tm) picked up on the seismometer.

  • 1. Austin Aries, no movement — Still looking the strongest in the build to Extreme Rules, defeating Tony Nese on RAW.

  • 2. Neville, no movement — Neville stood in Tony Nese's corner on RAW, but was unable to get one over Aries. They're losing some of Neville's momentum booking him as a sitting duck on the road to his next defense, and I'm confused that they didn't book him in a match against Jack Gallagher after the umbrella thrashing he got last week.

  • 3. TJP, no movement — TJP holds down the #3 spot once again after beating Gran Metalik on Main Event. It looks like they're running out of ideas for him until the title switches hands, or Aries stops chasing the title.

  • 4. Akira Tozawa, #9 last week — Tozawa jumps all the way back up to the spot he was in before Kendrick destroyed him a couple of weeks ago. At this point, it may not be so far-fetched for Aries to lose his third title opportunity for Tozawa to take over as Neville's main foil, as he's earned it.

  • 5. Jack Gallagher, #4 last week — Jacky Boy drops down one spot for going missing this week.

  • 6. The Brian Kendrick, #5 last week — Kendrick takes the loss he was meant to take, but many other people not showing up on TV this week cushions his fall.

  • 7. Rich Swann, #10 last week — Beats Ariya Daivari to settle the whole powder box thing from last week. Gets back into his feud with Noam Dar, which is apparently not over. Sweet baby Jesus, why?

  • 8. Noam Dar, no movement — Literally running in place after it's revealed that he and Rich Swann are not done yet. HIGHLY DISAPPOINTING.

  • 9. Cedric Alexander, #14 last week — Cedric's back in full force, and jumps all the way up to #9 by virtue of most people not showing up this week. I hope he finds his way to the title scene soon.

  • 10. Drew Gulak, #6 last week — Shows up in a pre-taped video segment, just to preach about the No Fly Zone some more. Wish he got a short squash, but Cedric already had that covered, I guess.

  • 11. Mustafa Ali, #7 last week Missing this week, presumably to sell Gulak's attack from the previous episode.

    • 12. Tony Nese, #11 last week — Tony Nese is falling so far, and it's disappointing. Not too long ago he was primed for a notable role in the midcard, and now he's unceremoniously putting people over left and right. Why waste the Premiere Athlete like this?

    • 13. Gran Metalik, #12 last week — Loses to TJP on Main Event this week. Guess this is where we're really at with the one-time Cruiserweight Classic finalist, and they wonder why people aren't really that interested in the show?

    • 14. Ariya Daivari, #13 last week — I appreciate that his rich Arab kid character is nothing more than a jobber. It's fine, as Daivari still has a lot to learn.

    • 15. Lince Dorado, no movement — Poor, poor Lince. I just hope he's still allowed to taking bookings outside of WWE.

    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.

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