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Live From the 205 (3/5/19): Still Won't Let Go


I thought I had this tournament figured out, but after this week, I failed to recognize the fact that 205 Live will always rely on Cedric Alexander as a pillar of the division.

After Cedric beat Akira Tozawa to move on to the next round, it immediately became clear to me what this tournament was really all about—building up new stars is part of it, but it's really to re-legitimize Cedric after a lackluster past couple of months on the brand. I wouldn't put it above the show to go back to a guy who's already been to WrestleMania representing the division, even if we've already seen the Cedric/Buddy Murphy matchup a lot of times. For all we know, he could even be repeating at the big show.


Think about it: you need the best possible matchup at WrestleMania, because you need to hook in the casual fans who are attending. Tony Nese challenging his training partner and becoming a good guy in the process is compelling, but not the most sensible. A comeback story for Cedric, especially when executed well? It's personally not my cup of tea, but with the way the crowd rallied around him and Tozawa by the end of their main event, it's the logical thing to do. I don't doubt that he'll bring it to the big dance.

There is, of course, the possibility that this is one big red herring. The show has been able to swerve me when it comes to how they handle Cedric; there were times that he lost when I figured him to win, and vice versa. They are crafty enough to make him somewhat unpredictable. But I don't think this unpredictability is the name of the game now that we're here in WrestleMania season, even when the show has a lot of space to do whatever they want.

I would very much like to be wrong here, but otherwise, I'd like to think I cracked the case wide open. Guess we've got no choice but to enjoy the rest of the ride to New Jersey.

205 Live 3/5/19 Final Grade: The tough post-SmackDown crowd reactions are really hurting the feel of the show, especially with a rather quiet reaction to Oney Lorcan and Humberto Carrillo. The crowd really didn't know who they were. Good thing Cedric and Tozawa managed to bring them back at the very end, but I'd give this episode a B+ overall.

Short stops

  • I do hope Oney is here to stay, especially with that win. I mean, it could very well be another Roderick Strong situation, but with Noam Dar headed to NXT UK, the show could use another plucky babyface. (Brian Kendrick is not that guy; he's more of a grizzled veteran.)
  • But I suppose Tony Nese could also work in that role. I figure he'll be playing the babyface when he meets Drew Gulak next week.
  • So I guess Mike Kanellis is still firmly a heel after not taking the easy win against Colby Corino.
  • I generally hate and avoid commenting on how the wrestlers wrestle, but I think something has to change given the circumstances surrounding 205 Live. The crowd is way too tired after two hours of SmackDown for these slow starts, no matter how much sense they make. Either move the show back to pre-SmackDown, or give them quicker sprints that aren't tiring to watch. The crowd woke up when Cedric and Tozawa were exchanging believable near falls, so I think the best way to go about it is to let them loose and be more indy than WWE. Just two cents.

205 Live Rankings as of 3/9/19

Well, I thought we were going to get a non-tournament match this week, but we didn't. We may have to bring the rankings back two weeks from now.

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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