By Ross Casey @RossCasey24
The resurgence of 205 Live post Enzo Amore has been a joy to behold. This is not to say that the stripped former champion did not enhance the show at the time. When the realest guy in the room entered the division he was a breath of fresh air as he had a clear character and was able to enhance the likes of Drew Gulak, Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari.
This was at a point that 205 Live was an hour long show at the end of Smackdown Live and was booked just like Raw and Smackdown with segments, promos and regurgitated matches played out in front of a tired post SD Live crowd with little investment in the roster.
The addition of Amore was a wise choice whilst it was in that format as his mic work was always on point, he garnered a fan reaction and played a good chicken shit heel in the ring in this writer’s opinion.
After an accusation against him and his failure to file it to the higher ups at WWE, he was released and the title was in vacant hands. Thanks to the introduction of the Mixed Match Challenge, 205 Live has now been cut from an hour to around 40 minutes and a 16 man tournament is now underway to crown a new Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania.
This, along with the introduction of the former Rockstar Spud as GM has given the show a new lease of life. His passionate plea for Drew Gulak to stop being a goof and return to being a ring general already has me pumped for his match next week! Every encounter on the show now has a purpose, and for us fans ‘dream matches’ are being booked to go 10 minutes plus between two brilliant performers.
Even the famously disinterested 205 Live crowd are beginning to show signs of life. All four matches so far have been excellent contests, with fast paced, hard hitting action which caters to the NXT type audience that own the WWE Network, with excellent commentary from Vic Joseph and the respected Nigel McGuinness.
It has taken a long time for the show, which should be my bag, to feel like it is a must see, but finally they have hit upon a formula which I truly adore and make sure I watch now with baited breath for the next jaw dropping elimination encounter.
The only worry is that once this great focus ends with the final goal being a tearaway Cruiserweight Championship tournament final at Wrestlemania – what happens to the show? I would personally love for some kind of tournament to be happening almost throughout the whole year, similar to NJPW with their major tournament calendar. The introduction of a tag or trio league for example? More of the five way match that killed it last year – give us balls out matches between guys that can go!
A clear focus and meaningful matches was what made the original Cruiserweight Classic so compelling and I would hate for this perfect storm to come to a crashing halt at Wrestlemania and the show to return to silly promos between the likes of Jack Gallagher and Brian Kendrick.
Amore is no more, in the words of Drake Maverick ‘that train has left the station’. Let this talented roster flourish by what they do best – wrestling.