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Live From the 205 (4/16/19): Shaken All Night Long


Like oh my God, 205 Live took a beating in this Superstar Shakeup.

On one hand, it's glad to know that there is apparently a graduation from the cruiserweight division. It is, apparently, a sort of stepping-stone in between developmental and the main roster for those who are under 205, and those who can apparently pass as being under 205. (Looking at you, Buddy.)

2019 will be the year everyone remembers as the year the Purple Brand rebuilds, simply because of all the talent that's been fleeced from their roster. Here's a recap of who's gone:
  • Mustafa Ali (moved to SmackDown Live late last year)
  • Lio Rush (apparently permanently on RAW now)
  • Hideo Itami (left)
  • Noam Dar (moved to NXT UK)
  • Cedric Alexander (drafted to RAW)
  • Buddy Murphy (drafted to SmackDown Live)
Can you believe that the biggest star left on 205 Live is Kalisto, and he's not even anywhere near the Cruiserweight Championship picture? And that the Lucha House Party is also in perpetual danger of being permanently moved to RAW? This ain't a soft rebuild at all, friends.

I can't imagine the pressure on Tony Nese's shoulders right now, as he has to singlehandedly carry a repackaging cruiserweight division now that it was robbed of its last remaining stars. I'm expecting the show to experiment as much as it can, but within reason, which is why I was baffled that somebody like Mike Kanellis, who has been given enough of a spotlight in the past couple of months, didn't get the win in this week's Fatal Four-Way.



The show's been doing really well with all the longer-form action it showcases every week, which is why it hurts me to have to make this suggestion, but it's time to move back to the three-segment layout. The lack of stars this time around make having to rotate them in between weeks too long a process; they have to build up as many people as they can with the one hour they're given. I believe they can still pull out good matches and stock the show with a lot of segments—it's just gonna take a bit of elbow grease.

And if this episode is any indication, they've got the talent to make it work. Horses like Oney Lorcan, Akira Tozawa, the Lucha House Party, Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher, and Humberto Carillo share more than enough skill between them to tide all of us over. It's really just that that's a rag-tag group of second-string names that the show has to polish into gold.

Stay with it, 205ers. This is far from over—in fact, it's only the beginning.

205 Live 4/16/19 Final Grade: The Fatal Four-Way was highly refreshing, even if I wanted someone else to win. Oney and Cedric also put out one hell of a fight to bookend Cedric's time on the show. Must-watch episode. A

Short stops

  • At this point, maybe they should've tried poaching someone from NXT? I mean, this is still the Superstar Shakeup after all. If I were Drake Maverick, I would've gotten Travis Banks. Or Kenny Williams. People keep robbing my roster!
  • So does this mean Ariya Daivari is the next challenger? They don't explicitly say he won a chance, only that... Drake Maverick is watching.
  • Also, does the show of respect mean Oney Lorcan is still a babyface? Are they recalling the heel turn?

    205 Live Rankings As of 4/21/19

    So many spots have opened on the Smarkometrics Experience Xtreme! Time to grab the brass ring, boys!
    1. Tony Nese (no movement) — Tony Nese gets to look over his kingdom as he awaits his next challenge.
    2. Oney Lorcan (#3 last week) — Oney supplants Buddy as he manages to knock off Cedric Alexander in the latter's farewell match. If he was fighting for a chance to be a leader in the division, then this showing makes him look like a viable candidate.
    3. Cedric Alexander (#7 last week) — Get drafted to RAW and put out one hell of a match in the same week? Just another day in the life. We'll miss ya, Ceddy.
    4. Buddy Murphy (#2 last week) — In this week's shocking Superstar Shakeup twist, Buddy gets to go to SmackDown Live too. I wasn't surprised at Cedric's drafting, but Buddy's caught me off-guard. We'll miss ya too.
    5. Ariya Daivari (new) — Ariya comes from out of nowhere to beat three other guys in a Fatal Four-Way. Not bad.
    6. Mike Kanellis (#4 last week) — Mike is back to his losing ways again, but I don't think he deserved that loss at all. If anyone has to be a big heel to go up against Tony Nese, it's this guy.
    7. Lucha House Party (no movement) — The Party gets thrown a bone every now and then, but at least they're still on the show.
    8. Akira Tozawa (#9 last week) — Gets another opportunity, but falls to Ariya Daivari.
    9. Humberto Carrillo (new) — Is getting a match against Drew Gulak next week! I can't wait to see how the little three-way feud unfolds.
    10. Drew Gulak (new) — See Humberto Carrillo. Although Drew deserves to be the top heel of this show already.
    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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