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Live From The 205 (5/8/18): The Magical Turn of Tony Nese


So now that we're clear that Buddy Murphy is next in line for the Cruiserweight Championship—as if there was any doubt at all—and that next week's London episode will feature some of the UK division cruiserweights, let's talk about something important: why is Tony Nese back to being a heel?

If you'll remember, Nese turned good after Drew Gulak dismantled him in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament before WrestleMania. He spent a while trying to confront Gulak for being a dick, and had a cup of coffee as a babyface. This run culminated in a heartbreaking loss in the gauntlet match from two weeks ago, where Tony let Drew pin him after not pinning him when he hit a Running Kneese. He almost had a breakdown after that.


(Nope, that's not Ethan Page.)

Look, I totally understand if Nese needed to be a heel again if there's already a glut of babyfaces on 205 Live. You've got Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali, the Lucha House Party, Akira Tozawa, maybe Mark Andrews. That's a lot of good guys in the division, and somewhere in there they'll probably need a #3 or #4 heel in Nese. But to expect us to pretend Nese was a heel all along in his first appearance since the Greatest Royal Rumble is ridiculous. We're the 205 Live audience, and we've been conditioned to expect better.

He was already breaking down when we last saw him, and it would've been great if we were taken through a journey of Nese the newly-minted good guy being tempted by his dark side again. Maybe they didn't have enough space for a drawn-out arc between him and Gulak (who could've been elevated by another big, climactic win over Nese). Instead, we just see Tony pop-up again backstage being Buddy's buddy, as though they've been buddies this whole time. What's next, he and Drew are gonna be friends again?

I was wrong, Buddy being suddenly sidelined by the kayfabe weight limit isn't 205 Live's first misstep. It's botching Tony Nese.

205 Live 5/8/18 Grade: It's another paint-by-numbers episode of 205 Live, but not without its subtle implications, which I'll get into more in a little. It wasn't terrible, but the sudden Nese turn is a little disheartening. B+

Short stops

  • Although Lucha House Party vs. Kendrick and Gallagher isn't really for anything and is more perfunctory after the disbanding of Team Japan, you can tell they're already planting seeds for a Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship, especially on commentary. The only thing they have to do now is, uh, actually keep more than two tag teams in the division for a title to make sense.
  • That said, Kendrick and Gallagher should've won here. We already know Lucha House Party is great.
  • I didn't understand why Gulak was out here, though, other than low-key building up a new feud against Kalisto.
  • Good way to set the table for next week's episode. It's as simple as telling everyone the show's gonna be in London next week.
  • So really, since when were Tony and Buddy buddies?
  • And speaking of people who are not buddies anymore, it looks like Tozawa and Itami are officially over.
  • I feel a little bad for Mustafa, but I know they're just setting up for a big feud with Murphy down the line when he finally becomes champ.
  • Jesus, that rope-hung satellite DDT. I didn't even know that was possible.
  • Did anyone else miss or have a problem with the cruiserweights not being on Backlash? Don't they deserve a spot?

205 Live Rankings as of 5/11/18

What does the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme™ think of the show's goings-on this week?
  1. Cedric Alexander (no movement) — Cedric didn't compete on 205 Live this week, but he did beat Tony Nese on this week's Main Event.
  2. Buddy Murphy (#3 last week) — Big win against Cedric's boy Mustafa Ali puts Buddy on the #2 spot.
  3. Drew Gulak (#2 last week) — Gulak steps down one spot after not competing on the show this week.
  4. Kalisto (no movement) — Holds steady after accompanying the Lucha House Party in their win against Kendrick and Gallagher.
  5. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik (#6 last week) — Moves up after beating the cruel gentlemen this week.
  6. Mustafa Ali (#5 last week)  — Could've made a big push up the rankings, but falls short after losing to Buddy Murphy. He fought damn hard, though.
  7. Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher (no movement) — Doesn't move down despite losing because no one else below them is moving up.
  8. Tony Nese (new) — Redeems himself with the quick win over Ethan Page local competitor Keith Clayball.
  9. Hideo Itami (no movement) — Holds his spot because, well, there's no other choice? And he's staked a claim to success after breaking free from Akira Tozawa.
  10. Akira Tozawa (no movement) — Not on the show this week.
    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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