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Live From the 205 (10/25/19): Young Volcanoes


Okay, this is it. We've all been waiting long enough for the whole 205 Live is NXT and NXT is 205 Live thing to happen, and I'm glad to say that this is the episode that really sets everything in motion.

Every episode of 205 Live lately up to this point has been all about slowly introducing the larger cruiserweight division down in Full Sail to the purple show. This latest episode is them now assimilating the deserving talent waiting in the wings, with not one, not two, but three showcase matches for those on the come-up.


First, NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush makes his comeback to the show, and his outing with Oney Lorcan was exactly what the brand needed to spark some life back into the idea of a cruiserweight. Lio's insanely athletic, plus his babyface character retained the edge of his heel days—I feel like he's definitely a build-around talent this time, with a lot more motivation at his side.

Then in the middle of the show, Cruiserweight Classic standout Raul Mendoza scores a huge upset victory over who-should've-been-#1-contender Tony Nese. I think this probably means no one from the old guard is safe with these NXT guys around, and it's the best move to help establish the fact that these new guys aren't just cannon fodder brought over from Full Sail. (It also throws a wrench into the plans of whoever's next in line for the title.)

And in the wonderfully short main event, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott also makes his return to the show putting away Ariya Daivari. I say "wonderfully short" because somehow, whoever's running 205 Live figured it out, if only for this week: these matches don't have to be lengthy, as long as they're meaty. All of them were definitely substantial on the meat side, and I hope this will be the convention for the show moving forward.

It's not a loud reboot, but for fans of the show and the cruiserweight division, it's more than enough.  It's also found a better identity along the way: consider it the lost third hour of NXT, just in front of a different crowd.

205 Live 10/25/19 Grade: A much better product than last week's thanks to all the new talent getting wins and enough time to showcase themselves. The only thing lacking now is for the show to be taped before SmackDown. A-

Short stops

  • I think a better question to ask about Angel Garza is that is it really him tweeting all that?
  • It probably won't be much considering how the title has been booked, but it looks like we'll be getting 24/7 Championship shenanigans on 205 Live. That is, of course, if R-Truth doesn't win the title back from the Singh Brothers this week.
  • "Tony Nese's abs are fake" is the hill Lio Rush wants to die on?
  • So... who's in charge here? Has Drake Maverick officially relinquished control to William Regal? What would be the point of having a 205 Live GM if the NXT GM also makes decisions regarding the Cruiserweight Championship?
  • The Brian Kendrick is back to being the grumpy old vet character he started with on the show. Not a huge fan of this, mostly because I've already seen it play out three years ago—I understand the decision, though, since Drew Gulak has been moved to SmackDown. I think it may be time for another Ariya Daivari push, and Angel Garza can't come to this show any faster.
    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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