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Live From the 205 (10/24/17): Last Call For The Zo Train



Hello, and I'm back. I missed last week's review because of a shitty combination of factors, including sickness and a lack of good internet to spend that sickness on.

It's good that nothing much happened on the show last week and everything important happened this week. Thanks to newly-recrowned champion Enzo Amore (and much to the chagrin of Neville, who seems to be gone for real now after he's nowhere to be found on 205 Live's opening video), the cruiserweights are getting even more screen time on RAW. I used to be able to talk about what happens on RAW on top of 205 Live, but now that those two shows are slowly pushing their own agendas, we'll keep this review exclusive to the second-best main roster show in the WWE right now.

So now that we know the cruiserweights won't have much of an impact in the week-to-week goings on between RAW and SmackDown on the way to Survivor Series next month, they seem to be fast-forwarding through the Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore feud. This is actually not a bad thing considering Cruiserweight Championship stories used to take forever getting from one RAW PPV to the next, and I hope they've realized this given the actual depth of the division.


Now it might be just me and my wishful fantasy booking, but they seem to be railroading Kalisto's pure onscreen hatred towards Enzo to set up a possible Survivor Series elimination match between the many members of the division. This actually already happened on this week's RAW minus the  with the Zo Train going up against Team Lucha Lucha (not a very inspired name) but this may be our only chance of getting an actual story-driven elimination match. 

Why? Because 205 Live is a pretty consistent show when it comes to their undercard storytelling, with so many things going on at once. We could believably stick other guys who are feuding with each other under Enzo and Kalisto's respective banners, because they aren't actually feuding for the sake of a Survivor Series match. Now I've just talked myself into wanting to see this happen. Let's do it. Such a match could possibly be PWG or NJPW levels of insane, given enough time.

205 Live 10/24/17 Grade: Three solid matches this whole episode (and Drew Gulak looking good), even though we have a lukewarm crowd. Give these boys a chance to wrestle and it's a little bit of magic. A-.

Short stops

  • Hey, we haven't seen TJP since he lost to Rich Swann. Guess they're giving him the perfunctory time off after losing a feud, but let's hope he doesn't come off it being treated as bad as Noam Dar.
  • Drew Gulak has totally owned his PowerPoint presentation and Drewtopia gimmick, and notching a (believable) win over someone as good as Gran Metalik is proof. Hell, I'll let that win over Metalik slide because he's become that entertaining.
  • The whole come-over-to-the-dark-side storyline happening between Jack Gallagher, Brian Kendrick, Cedric Alexander, and to some extent Rich Swann is getting really, really good. It's a nice morality play that the talented but absolutely cookie-cutter Alexander needs right now. (And it's been the best thing to happen to Jack right now.) It's up to Swann to step up and convince his boy Cedric to stay in the good side, and I've got a little concern because Swann tends to come across as goofy until it's finally time to turn serious. Let's hope they direct him better here.
  • That said, WWE really tends to book faces terribly if the best thing that could happen to them is a heel turn.

The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 10/28/17)

Okay, so the disappearance of Neville does mean we're back down to 15 cruiserweights from 16 and I've got to go recalibrate the Smarkometrics Exprience Xtreme (tm). I wonder when they'll be getting any of the youngins down at NXT. (It's only a matter of time until we get Fabian Aichner, and you know it.)

  • 1. Enzo Amore, #2 last week — Remember when I kept saying this guy should've never lost the title? He should've never lost the title. I'll only forgive it if we're really headed toward the cruiserweight Survivor Series match.
  • 2. Kalisto, #1 last week — I'm glad that they're not booking him like a boring face that rolls over and looks stupid whenever someone does him wrong. Everyone wants to see a babyface fight for what's his.
  • 3. Cedric Alexander, #4 last week — Wins at TLC and keeps it up on 205 Live? The reason why the scoundrels are going after him is because of his high spot.
  • 4. Rich Swann, #5 last week — See Cedric Alexander. I like Rich's role right now, too.
  • 5. The Brian Kendrick, #3 last week — Slips down after losing to Cedric and Swann, but that's not the end of their game.
  • 6. Jack Gallagher, no movement — See Brian Kendrick.
  • 7. Mustafa Ali, #8 last week — Being on Team Lucha Lucha is paying dividends for him, but don't let this ranking fool you; he's been kicked a bit aside from his spot as Kalisto's #2 last week.
  • 8. Drew Gulak#12 last week — Officially the guy making the huge jump this week, Gulak's win over Gran Metalik (and getting his own spot on the TLC kickoff) means he's in line to be the #2 heel in the division. I'm all for it, really.
  • 9. Ariya Daivari, #11 last week — Ol' Ariya jumps up as well because the people in front him go down, and like Ali, being the second-in-command of the Zo Train (does that make him the conductor?) is paying off well for him.
  • 10. Gran Metalik, #13 last week — Heads back up after getting featured again on shows this week. 
  • 11. Akira Tozawa, #9 last week  —  Seems to be feeling stuck in a feud that's mostly going better for Drew Gulak. You gotta look like you want to be here, Tozawa. I can't blame him, though, as he's been nothing without the rest of Titus Worldwide. 
  • 12. TJP, #10 last week — Currently nowhere to be found after losing to Rich Swann a couple of weeks ago.
  • 13. Tony Nese, #14 last week — Is back on the show also after being a part of the Zo Train, but isn't doing well since his nice push. I keep saying that, and it's sad.
  • 14. Noam Dar, new — Gets back on the ladder, mostly because Neville is gone. Also on the same boat as Tony Nese.
  • 15. Neville, #7 last week — This is the King's last hurrah. The King is dead. Long live the Zo. 


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. He likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.

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