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205 Live is Bad for Business

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There was a great article written by Dallas Barnes last week that laid out all the reasons why 205 is Must See TV .  I can’t say that I disagree with any of his points, however, I also can’t seem to get passed the fact that 205 Live has clearly impacted the Cruiserweights in a negative way. This isn’t to say that the Cruiserweights themselves aren’t worth the watch, because they absolutely are.  What I’m saying is that the format in which they’re presented absolutely hinders their ability to flourish on the main roster.

If the main storylines are taking place on 205 Live and only a small piece of that storyline is seen on RAW, then what’s the point?  Why should I remain invested?  Is the payoff not worthy of Monday Night RAW?  As is, I’m already investing three hours of my Monday night, but now if I’m understanding correctly, the WWE is asking me for MORE of my time? Listen, I love WWE just as much as anyone else, but this is a bit excessive.


It’s perplexing that within the three hours of RAW that this division is at times only given one segment to get across what’s going on in ANOTHER show.  It’s as if WWE does not want to the division to get over with a broader audience, which is completely mind bottling since I’d bet that a large portion viewers in the 28-34 demographic got drawn to pro wrestling via the Cruiserweights on WCW programming in late 90s.  Additionally, the Cruiserweight division is the easiest division to keep PG and remain entertaining.  It’s the only division that character development does not have to be the top priority.  Instead, they can rely on their bread and butter, which is telling stories in the ring via high flying action that cannot be seen anywhere else.

I know what some people will say, which is that 205 Live gives other superstars the chance to shine and get noticed …. but does it?   Does it really get them noticed?  Maybe it does, but I’d bet that getting two minutes of TV time on Monday Night Raw is more impactful to their character and career than three weeks on 205 Live.  Think about it, James Ellsworth was given a 10 second promo and two minutes with Braun Strowman on Monday Night Raw and this past April he was skipping to the ring down an 80 yard ramp at WrestleMania in front of 75,000 people.  So while I agree that it gives them exposure, I think it’s the wrong exposure for a new division.

Now, I said before that I didn’t disagree with any points from Dallas’ article, however I need to retract that.  Neville’s King of The Crusierweights was not born in 205 Live nor did it contribute to any of his success as a heel.  That’s all Neville.  His promos on RAW, his heel turn on RAW, his athleticism on RAW is why he has gotten to the level he’s on.  205 Live is merely his testing ground for his performance on the main roster.  If anything, I’d argue that the purple ropes that he was forced to fight between did him actual harm.  The simple coloring of the ropes was a statement that Neville was separate from the Main Roster, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  Pound for pound Neville is easily one of the best performers within the WWE and he has single handily kept this division afloat. WWE is fortunate that he has the credibility and ability to back it up each and every night.  This is why guys like Swann and TJP didn’t work out with the title and why Neville has held it for so long.

If you’re the Champ and the crowd goes to take a piss break when you’re in the ring, there’s a problem.  It’s even worse when they see the ropes being changed, leave to hit up the merchandise stand and don’t even hear your theme music … “but don’t worry folks, because whatever you miss here you can see on 205 Live!”.  To me, this makes a statement.  A statement that says, if you don’t want to watch, don’t worry about it, because this is anything but Must See TV.

So while 205 Live is a great show, it’s NOT best for business.  It’s not best for the talent on the show and it’s certainly not doing the fans any favors.  If anything, 205 Live is robbing the fans of an experience to see the world’s best high flyers on the world’s top wrestling promotion by a country mile.  If I had it my way, the division would be gone tomorrow and the WWE would host an annual C.W.C. tournament to determine a #1 contender. Not only would the winner of that tournament become the #1 contender, but the Championship match would headline a WWE “B” PPV like BattleGround or Backlash.   This would allow the Cruiserweights to establish themselves in front of the WWE’s primary audience and bring credibility and eyes to their division within the WWE main roster.

In summation, I want to make it clear that I like the show, 205 Live.  It is “Must See TV” from an action standpoint, but unfortunately in order to be successful it also “Must Make Sense.”  At the moment, I don’t think it does.  It’s just simply not best for business.

 

 

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Y2J

    Aug 3, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I can’t tell if the separate rosters are to blame, or if it is just poor writing and booking but the WWE product is losing steam quickly. Indy leagues such as NJPW and ROH are putting out a better product right now. The WWE is getting by alot based of reputation rather than what they’ve done lately. Hoping they get the hint here soon and make some changes and put out a better product.

  2. Dallas Barnes

    Aug 3, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Great Read Nick! I wish they would keep the cruiserweight non championship feuds on 205 live and stop trying to mix them up on raw. Mustafa Ali is a good example , on 205 live he’s an upper card wrestler but on raw he’s treated as a jobber. its inconsistent which i think is the main problem with 205 live.

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    Feb 26, 2021 at 9:10 pm

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Match Of The Month: The Top 10 WWE Matches (February, 2021)

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Last month I kicked off a new feature, where I run down the 10 best WWE matches of the month from across all shows and PPV events. January saw some very good matches take place (which you can check HERE), but the month of February actually saw that stepped up a notch.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at what my top 10 matches for February were in the world of WWE.


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AEW

Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #7)

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Break It Down

It’s Sunday, you know what that means. As ever, it is time to Break It Down, as we take a detailed look back on the last week of wrestling, taking a look at what has worked, and what has fallen short, in what’s been another action-packed set of shows.

As ever, there have been some highlights and lowlights, but there have been some brilliant matches throughout the week which have kept fans entertained. But which of the shows was the true standout?


WWE RAW

WWE Raw continued in its recent tradition of being a very long three-hour show, and while certain moments worked, and were enjoyable, there are too many moments that simply don’t work. The Miz TV opening segment wasn’t exciting, but it does make sense on his behalf to pull out of the Elimination Chamber.

The six-man tag team match featuring The Hurt Business against Riddle and Lucha House Party was a very average match, and the Lacey Evans announcement renders that recent storyline fairly pointless. It’s not been a great story anyway, and the fact a tag team match had Asuka as a bit-part player just showcases where the women’s division is at right now.

Kofi Kingston and The Miz did have a nice match against each other, which was great to see, but the overwhelming positive of this show was the gauntlet match. It’s a stipulation WWE typically does very good at, and this was no different.

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WWE Network Recap: ‘WWE The Day Of’ Royal Rumble 2021

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The following is a recap of the new ‘WWE The Day Of’ special that dropped on the WWE Network (LINK) today, taking us behind the scenes of the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view. 

The show opened with classic clips of Pat Patterson talking about how much everyone loves the Royal Rumble and the process behind how he came up with the match. “We’re always trying to be creative and do something that’s never been done.” He had to convince Vince McMahon that it was going to work as he didn’t initially believe it was viable. Patterson also told a story about “Nature Boy” Ric Flair coming through the curtain in ’92 after winning the world title “crying like a baby” and hugging him.


Edge and Christian were shown arriving at the ThunderDome for the 2021 Royal Rumble. They actually shared a dressing room for the show, I imagine for the first time since Edge retired.

Edge talked about the Rumble being based in fan interaction and the challenges of adapting to the pandemic. Now there’s a lot of going out and trying something, then going back and looking on social media to see the reactions and if it worked.

Christian said he’s been asked for years literally everywhere he goes if he’ll ever wrestle another match. Until six months ago he genuinely thought the answer was no, and didn’t like the idea that the last time fans ever saw him would be that segment where Randy Orton punted him.

Damian Priest said the Royal Rumble was his favorite WWE event of the entire year going back to watching as a little kid. “It’s the dream, man. I think part of the process of achieving your dreams is just making it to the company. … In NXT I was one in the back thinking I don’t know if I belong here sometimes, because there’s so much talent, and I don’t know if I can hang. But I figured out a way to belong, and a way to excel. That’s my goal here.”

Shane Helms was asked if he was nervous coming back, but said he was never a person to get a lot of nerves before a big moment. He talked about being a backstage guy now and enjoying every opportunity he has to help someone achieve their goals, but when he sees that ring or walks into the arena there’s a little voice in the back of his head going “you can do it one more time!” Helms said he was okay if his in-ring career ends in the Royal Rumble because it’s his favorite event of all time.

Bad Bunny was shown rehearsing his song with Booker T, which they apparently did in one take. He met various Superstars backstage including Charlotte Flair, who talked about being able to understand Spanish but getting super nervous trying to speak it in front of people. Bunny admitted he was the same with English.

Torrie Wilson said the best part about coming back is seeing all her old friends and the people she watches on TV now. She was really excited to get in the ring with Bianca Belair, calling her a “badass”.

Carlito didn’t know what to expect as obviously this year’s Rumble was very different than any before it, but he was excited to make his walk down a WWE ramp for the first time in ten years. They showed footage of him winning the Intercontinental Championship. “I’m excited to mix it up with the young ones, the old-timers, everybody. It’s what I came for, to compete with everybody. I’m proud to be one of the surprise entrants. Hopefully some people will be happy about it, and some will remember who I was.”

Victoria opened up about her doubts and the pressure she put on herself to be perfect and have an amazing match. She said she was very nervous to meet all the new girls in the locker room, but they were very warm and nice to her and she seemed to be having a great time visiting.

Seth Rollins reiterated that the Rumble is the most fan-interactive WWE event of the year, so he hoped they were able to connect with the fans and bring them something exciting, as well as keep up the energy for the performers in the ring who don’t have live fans to feed off.

Ember Moon said a lot of the same things we’ve already heard but you can tell she’s such a huge fan and is serious when she talks about wanting to headline WrestleMania since she was a kid, watching her favorites point at the sign after winning the Royal Rumble year after year.

An awesome video package recapped the Women’s Royal Rumble match with all the important moments, surprise entrants and eliminations until it came down to the final three.

An emotional Montez Ford was shown backstage watching Bianca Belair win the match. When she came back through the curtain all the producers and women in the match gave her a standing ovation and chanted “EST! EST!” but she went straight to Montez and as she said, “sat in that moment together”.

Bianca also had a moment with Triple H where he hugged her and told her that he believed in her, and that “this is only the first step.” She also spoke to Ric Flair who congratulated her with a big smile on his face and when she admitted she didn’t know what to do next, he said, “This is the real deal. It’s like winning the Super Bowl. You enjoy it.”

Big E paid tribute to Brodie Lee as they showed off the special New Day gear they were all wearing in his memory. Xavier Woods showed the different Brodie poses they had and explained them to Ruby Riott. Big E had to walk off camera, and Woods broke down nearly crying and said “I just miss my friend….”

Much like the women’s match, they ran a video package recapping the highlights from the Men’s Royal Rumble match, interspersed with comments from the performers throughout.

An emotional Edge talked about winning the match and how important it was for him to do it on the same night that his best friend Christian returned, just like him, after being told he would never wrestle again.

“It means a lot. I assumed this was all done. If you had told me four years ago that I would be in the Royal Rumble, going in first and winning it to go to WrestleMania… I still feel like I need to pinch myself. Next to my family, that means the most to me.” … “If you wrote this as a script for Hollywood they’d say it was impossible, that it could never happen. Yet here we are. I don’t get it, and I think I’m going to stop trying to get it, and just enjoy it. It’s happening, and it’s awesome.”

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