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Live From the 205 (12/5/17): Droo-Droo!



Sorry for missing out again on the review last week, mga ka-205, life's been hell and Christmas is starting to lose its meaning when you're an adult and you gotta work.

Not much has changed on 205 Live since I last left you, though. The overarching narrative of the entire show now revolves around the civil war between the Zo Train (that's Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari, and Tony Nese) and who I'll call the rebels (Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, and Mustafa Ali). The cruiserweight division has literally been reduced to that storyline—and Kendrick and Gallagher's feud with the luchadores apparently.

On one hand, it's actually great. You already know this, but because of Enzo Amore's involvement, the division's gotten a lot more airtime on RAW. The past couple of weeks had two Fatal Four-Way matches just to determine who's going to face off to become Enzo's #1 contender. That's an actual system, and it's a lot more than they used to do when they were looking for Neville's challengers. Plus, more importantly, it means what happens on RAW is now very much consistent with what happens on 205 Live.



On the other hand, 205 Live just doesn't have enough time for everyone else. It's great that they were able to find a story that involves as many people as possible, but the fact remains that those people are still going to take up more than one segment of the show. That means there just isn't any space for guys like TJP, who's been conspicuous in his absence ever since he lost to Rich Swann in their feud.

The solution's simple—start moving up some of the guys who could transcend. Even if they can't obviously transcend outright, give them a shot anyway. Why couldn't TJP get a shot at the Intercontinental Championship? Why shouldn't Gallagher and Kendrick mess a little in the RAW Tag Team Division? Jack's already been in the Royal Rumble, so there's a precedent for this.

Because otherwise, a guy like Hideo Itami, as heralded as he is, will eventually get lost in the shuffle. As it is I don't already know what his role will be coming in, if WWE's even willing to give up their Enzo title run to Itami. Because if Kalisto can't even get a decent reign, what hope do we have for anyone else?

205 Live 12/5/17 Grade: This week's episode is a tad bit toothless without Enzo's mic work holding it together, but Gulak did well. Usual decent action from the crew. B+

Short stops

  • I don't know if it's just me, but are they setting Gulak up for a face turn? He's the only other Zo Train guy getting any real reactions thanks to the PowerPoint presentations, and sowing tension among the team makes me think that they're going to kick him out eventually.
  • On that note, you know they're cutting off his presentations because they've been getting over.
  • Noam Dar's gotten to be a really underrated striker.
  • What's the deal, really, with Kendrick and Gallagher targeting luchadores?
  • Tony Nese beating Rich Swann to set up some doubt for next week is a good idea, but man Nese working slow is such a hard watch. It would be better for him to incorporate more power moves given his bigger size and better build against the rest of the division—or it should have been more of a Lucha Underground style match with both guys flying around as much as possible. Nese is too athletic to be wasted working slow, and working heel doesn't always have to mean slowing it down.
  • Mustafa Ali in ring gear backstage without a match kind of gave away the end segment. But shouldn't we have gotten this five-on-five match at Survivor Series?
  • #PushGranMetalik

The Cruiserweight Division Power Rankings (as of 12/8/17)

I'm shutting down the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme (TM) for the time being simply because the show is now Zo Train vs. the Rebels. There's not much use ranking everyone when they're divided into factions.


    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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