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Live From the 205 (4/24/18): The Real Infinity Gauntlet


The new 205 Live, under Triple H and Drake Maverick, understands that in order to distinguish yourself from the rest of the main roster programming, you've got to be bold as fuck. That's why when GMDM (I'm now no longer sure of the final order of the letters, thanks Percy) announced a Gauntlet to determine the #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble, I knew that it was gonna be all night long or bust.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you already know that the former 205 Live tended to be pretty formulaic with its match order. You had your #2 feud to start the show, your #3 feud in the middle, and your main feud, well, main eventing the episode. That's how it always was, and it never changed—until now.

Besides, when you only have an hour, you've got no choice anyway but to make your gauntlet count.



In true 2018 fashion, each of the five guys running the gauntlet received some important exposure and advancement. TJP reminded everyone why he's actually the #1 technician in the division. Mustafa Ali bafflingly didn't win, but it was obviously to build him up even further as a sympathetic babyface (especially after lasting long enough against Drew Gulak) set him up for a bigger push sometime down the line. Tony Nese learns the hard way that he's got to stay focused. Gulak leaps over Buddy Murphy to be the most cruel motherfucker on the show. Kalisto gets a well-deserved title shot, even though his work was cut out for him by being the last guy to enter.

With one huge happening for a shot at the Cruiserweight Championship, you manage to reestablish the entire 205 Live singles division. You're still missing on a few—like Murphy didn't show up so I still don't know what the deal is—but everyone in this match is who you need to keep an eye on in the next few weeks. I'm hoping they dedicate most of next week's episode now to the burgeoning tag team division and finally introduce the new titles they said they were going to.

Meanwhile, Murphy really gotta show up soon and fuck shit up.

205 Live 4/24/18 Grade: Four different matches get the job done. It's amazing what you can achieve when you focus on great wrestling and logical storytelling. A+

Short stops

  • A ladder ranking would've really helped making a sensible Gauntlet Match entry order. I get that these are technically your top five guys minus Buddy Murphy, but why does Mustafa go first in kayfabe?
  • I didn't realize that Cedric hasn't competed in a singles match since WrestleMania. At first glance, it feels like a cop-out especially for a babyface champ, but you realize that everyone else on the show's managed to look great and credible since. Making your contenders look stronger is a better use of your hour.
  • Anyway, Cedric's promo backstage ran a little longer than seemed comfortable.
  • Anyone else expecting more guys to have been in the match? I feel like Mustafa could have used another win before surviving Gulak.
  • There's TJ.
  • Excellent backstage "interview" with Tony Nese, and I look forward to where his character goes from here.

205 Live Rankings as of 4/27/18

How does the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme™ track changes when only five guys competed on 205 Live this week?
  1. Cedric Alexander (no movement) — The only thing keeping Cedric in this list is the fact that Murphy's been sidelined for two weeks in a row now. I expect this to change soon.
  2. Kalisto (#4 last week) — Getting the shot at tonight's Greatest Royal Rumble event props the Lucha Dragon to the second spot. Sorry, Mustafa.
  3. Drew Gulak (no movement) — Top. Heel. Sorry, Murphy.
  4. Mustafa Ali (#2 last week) — Beats TJP decisively and lasts as long as he could against Drew Gulak. Not this week, I guess.
  5. TJP (new) — Looks good but is only ever around to make other people look better. Keep doing what you do, kuya.
  6. Tony Nese (#7 last week) — Moves up just for his inclusion in the Gauntlet. Also could've won if he just pinned Gulak after the Running Kneese.
  7. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik (#6 last week) — Still your top tag team in the division.
  8. Buddy Murphy (#5 last week) — Still nowhere to be found.
  9. Akira Tozawa (#8 last week) — Probably regrouping after that tough loss last week.
  10. Hideo Itami (#9 last week) — See Akira Tozawa. Hoping they don't break Team Japan up, though.
    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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