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Live From the 205 (9/26/18): It's Not Always A Fairytale Ending


I'll be honest—I was ready to tune out and give up on this week's 205 Live main event.

Both Mustafa Ali and Hideo Itami have been stuck with this lame-duck storyline, but Ali more than Itami. Ali gets taken out via Itami's brutal style, sits out for a couple of two-week intervals where we don't actually see him struggling to get back. It's like nothing really ever happened to him and he was just waiting for the week Drake Maverick gives him the green light to compete on the show again. The main event felt like your typical feel-good resolution that doesn't do much for Itami.

And then... the finish happens. Even though it was looking that way, Ali doesn't get his fairytale ending. The two of them are at a stalemate, ending in a double countout after a more-heart-than-brains-influenced 054 to Hideo on the apron. Now they've got my attention again.

 


It feels a little like 50-50 booking, but I wish we just got to this point much earlier in the feud instead of having to go through Mustafa's fake-ass injury time. Had they gone with a straight Ali win, both men would've gone nowhere while waiting for Cedric's feud with Buddy Murphy to finish in a couple of weeks.

I've had a little faith in it, but I'm glad 205 Live is still agile and self-aware enough to know exactly what to do at the right time. Of course, it doesn't always manage to hit all the notes it should every week (if it did, I wouldn't be giving it grades lower than A- sometimes) but every now and then the show will do something that slightly surprises me, proving that Triple H really is running the show.

Anyway, I can see some of the pieces coming together, if that is where they're going: with Ali looking like he's going to win this feud in two or so more weeks, it feels like Murphy's really going to take the title from Cedric at WWE Super Show-Down.

Then again, I could be wrong; Cedric could always retain just like he always does, and Itami could come out on top from this feud. But the beauty of this show is that no matter how bleakly routine things could seem, it finally gives us some hope for some of us jaded lifers to hold on to, that they'll make the right moves when it counts the most.

205 Live 9/26/18 Grade: Aside from the continuation of the Ali/Itami feud, this episode finally feels like it's consolidating the players it's going to heavily rely on, despite returning to the Formula. It's definitely one of those stepping-stone episodes. B+

Short stops

  • Lio Rush has finally found a dance partner he's got some good chemistry with. After a few months of messing around with Akira Tozawa and local competitors for matches that probably just amount to around 60% over if this were a game of Extreme Warfare: Revenge, Noam Dar gives him an in-ring style he could really mesh well with. It's a shame that Rush is probably already moving on from this because I'd be down for another match between these two.
  • Finally, someone's bothered to explain the meaning behind Noam Dar's two-pinky taunt. It's apparently a football thing, so thanks, Nigel.
  • Did you catch that low Black Mass that Rush did? And no, Vic, that's not a roundhouse kick. It's a spin kick.
  • At least we got a segment between Cedric and Murphy, but maybe we could've done this in the ring and switched the Gulak and the Pips beatdown to backstage?
  • But I'm pretty happy that they're not waiting another couple of weeks to trot Gulak out. Keep him hot and relevant.
  • I'm glad that TJP brought out his old Puma mask, but I wonder how he must feel having to say that he doesn't care about the lucha tradition. It's on point, at least, with his previous opinion of the concept of anonymity not being that important.

205 Live Rankings as of 9/28/18

Two big rivalry matches this week, but will there be enough movement recorded by the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme?
  1. Cedric Alexander (no movement) — Champ stays on top because he was only involved in a mere backstage face-to-face.
  2. Buddy Murphy (#3 last week) — Murphy is finally recognized as the #1 contender, but can he follow through next week?
  3. Lio Rush (#5 last week) — Salutations are in order for Rush, because not only is he really active on RAW, but he won against Noam Dar after he said he would. Here's to the 23-Year-Old Piece of Gold's steady rise.
  4. Drew Gulak (#2 last week) — Gulak made his presence known once more a week after a failed attempt at the Cruiserweight Championship, but without winning a match he can't hold on to his #2 spot.
  5. TJP (#6 last week) — TJP makes his intentions clear one week after beating Lince Dorado, and calls his shot on Kalisto next week. I have a feeling he won't walk away from that as easily as he did from the Golden Lynx.
  6. Mustafa Ali (#5 last week) — Well, Ali hung in there, and that's what's important. He'll be gearing up for another showdown against Hideo Itami sometime soon, I'm betting.
  7. Hideo Itami (no movement) — See Mustafa Ali.
  8. Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher (new) — The Pips are back in business after Kendrick returns from his (kayfabe?) injury with the fastest win on 205 Live.
  9. Noam Dar (#6 last week) — The Scottish Supernova drops down a couple of spots after putting Lio Rush over. He'll have to scrap a little to rebound, and with a midcard face lineup that also has Akira Tozawa, he'll have to fight a little harder to stay relevant.
  10. Lucha House Party (#9 last week) — The House Party slip down after not making a statement against TJP this week, but they've got a chance to recover next 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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