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Live From the 205 (3/19/19): Buddy Isn't Your Buddy, Pal


I can't believe it. They actually pulled it off.

Because 205 Live's got enough creative space to do just whatever the fuck they want for WrestleMania, they went with the compelling option instead of giving us Cedric Alexander for the second straight year in a row. That's right, folks, my original prediction was correct: Buddy Murphy's training partner Tony Nese is your #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship at the big show.



The final outcome I predicted for this tournament all came true: Nese went all the way to the finals, turned babyface in the process, right before getting destroyed by his only friend in the entire division. While either result would've made sense, I think it's a valiant decision to try and build a new babyface in Tony Nese to replace Mustafa Ali. You churn out a solid tournament final, get a feud that's fresh, has the benefit of having some weight of history behind it, and you create a new star in the process.

My only criticism for this angle is that Buddy Murphy's turn seemed rushed. It was bad enough that they didn't address the possible nuance of Murphy having to face Nese should the latter win (they had enough time to do this in the weeks leading up to the finals). Perhaps they were short on time and they had to wrap up, but the guy didn't even let the victory sink in before hitting him. Yes, we all saw it coming, but the champ could've milked that moment a little more to make a bigger impact. The turn didn't feel as big as it should have been as a result.

Still, I'm pretty excited as the creation of a new star with considerable momentum elevates the WrestleMania match from a foregone conclusion to a bout that could realistically go either way. The match Nese and Alexander had was a lot of fun, with a dig-down-deep performance proving why the former is one of the show's hidden gems. Imagine, all you had to do to get starmaking performances was to give people opportunities. I can't wait.

205 Live 3/19/19 Final Grade: This week's episode gets straight to the point. With a solid match from Mike Kanellis and Akira Tozawa supplementing a stellar main event, 205 Live earns another A. Catch it while you still can.

Short stops

  • Speaking of starmaking performances, I'm glad Mike Kanellis finally scored an important victory. It felt like the circle completed the right way this episode: Nese blossomed as a new babyface in the main event, while Mike arrived as a formidable heel right before it. It's a good trade that sets the stage for the division after WrestleMania.
  • On that note, I do think the show needs to make a couple more call-ups from either NXT or NXT UK. They're doing a good job of maximizing talents now, but the truth is after Mustafa Ali's promotion to SmackDown, KENTA's departure, and Noam Dar's move to NXT UK, they need one or two more people to groom and round the roster out.
  • This main event is easily Nese and Cedric's best match together, and it definitely helped that the crowd was willing to buy into it. This tells me Nese may be just fine if he's to win the title from Murphy.
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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