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Live From the 205 (12/26/17): The Very Next Day, You Gave It Away



It's the Boxing Day episode of 205 Live and you'd think they'd have something big planned for the last show of the year, but nope, life goes on.

Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, though. I mean, they did a Fatal Four-Way with pumpkins and stuff for Thanksgiving (or was it Halloween, I don't remember much anymore) and that didn't really mean anything. No, the hype train continues to build for both Cedric Alexander's Cruiserweight Championship match next Monday on RAW and Drew Gulak's eventual face turn.


I dig the slow-burn face turn happening in front of us, because had they pulled the trigger when Enzo was attacking Tony Nese, it would've been too early. No, let him go through a test of character and transform him bit by bit. Start with the Nese lynching, then have guys like Cedric plant more seeds of doubt in his head, have something happen at next week's cruiserweight title match and most probably build up to a Gulak/Amore match at Royal Rumble. That timeline sounds about right.

Frankly, I'm pretty amazed at how much mileage they're devoting to Gabba Gulak for this. It's not like he's the most popular face or wrestler on the cruiserweight roster, as much as I would like him to be. There are other guys who deserve a babyface push, like Mustafa Ali or Kalisto or Lince Dorado. But I am proud of them trying to craft a compelling storyline with someone such as Gulak, who is pretty vital to the roster as the only other good talker left aside from Enzo.

It'll put Gulak in a bit of an awkward position, but mostly because a lot of us don't really know how he's going to fare as a babyface once that happens. He'll have to go through an overhaul to make it stick, as his ground-based bruiser style is mostly an acquired taste. He's no Cedric or Ali, so he'll have to find a way to adapt. If he does, he'll go down as one of the most improved cruiserweights of 2018.

205 Live 12/26/17 Grade: There's a terrible lack of star power going around the show lately as they've been keeping Enzo out of the cruiserweights' own program. They'll also have to start building up new top faces if they don't want to rely on their old favorites; Hideo Itami needs a bigger spotlight soon. B+

Short stops

  • I wish they went for an Asuka-like booking with Hideo Itami. Have him come out every week and crush guys for like two months so that he's got a legit claim to the title. Kendrick and Gallagher are great opponents, but putting Itami in with a story against them feels like it's going to drag him down unless they get a license to kick each other's asses up and down the arena. especially if Kendrick and Gallagher are going to be all cruel. Itami needs to look strong as a newcomer.
  • It seems like the jury's still out on Tony Nese's new direction, but I hope they make him an Orton-like tweener. He's too dull to be a true heel but he's also too rough to be a face. A program with Tozawa is going to make for some interesting matchups.
  • Plus points to Cedric and Ali for remembering how Ariya Daivari was really supposed to be Enzo's right-hand man. That's a plot thread they'll need to keep pulling.
  • #BringTJPBack

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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