In a recent interview with Newsweek, Triple H all but confirmed the long-rumored merger of NXT and 205 Live.
Triple H said, “You’ll start to see 205 begin to [sit under the NXT umbrella]. I think it always existed as an island unto itself, a little bit, and it’s become lost in this limbo. You’ll begin to see it move more towards the NXT banner and the talent there. We have a lot of talent.”
Now this does not 100% indicate the merger of the two shows, but it heavily implies it. So what would the benefits be of these two shows combining?
The first benefit is quite self-explanatory. While NXT does have a deep enough roster to fill a 2-hour show, the roster does not have many main eventers. When you look at NXT you have Undisputed Era, Matt Riddle, Johnny Gargano, and Velveteen Dream. The rest of the roster is either developmental or talent that hasn’t had enough exposure to reach that level (Keith Lee, etc).
205 Live often suffers from the same pitfall of having a few main eventers that they have to cycle through. However, if you combine the two shows, suddenly you have a plethora of top-level talent. This is the most obvious benefit of the possible merge, but it’s also one of the biggest.
205 Live suffers from low ratings on a weekly basis, they usually are in the latter half of the 10 most viewed things on the Network every week. You could blame that on a lot of things, but I think one of the main reasons is there’s just too much to choose from. Right now for you to watch every WWE show during the week, you’d be watching 5 shows, which is too much. If you combine 205 Live and NXT, suddenly you combine two of those shows and it doesn’t seem as overwhelming.
NXT is obviously the more popular show, so people will tune into that regardless. So if you can infuse the 205 Live wrestlers and drop a show, it condenses the weekly WWE schedule just a little.
I certainly don’t know this for a fact, but I think this would be a huge deal for the 205 Live wrestlers.
One of the other things 205 Live suffers from on a weekly basis is a disinterested and/or tired crowd that just sat through SmackDown. 205 Live consistently puts on killer matches, but they suffer from a tired crowd waiting for a dark match to see people they care about. It’s a shame because they put on NXT-level matches, but due to the situation the people just don’t care. Put the 205 Live wrestlers in a packed, excited Full Sail University on NXT and people will eat it up.
I believe crowds have an impact on matches and every week it takes away from their amazing matches. A crowd that is actually there to see them and not waiting around after SmackDown would bring the match qualities up many notches.
This is the absolute biggest benefit for the 205 Live wrestlers.
I mentioned this earlier but, NXT gets way more exposure than 205 Live. The 205 Live wrestlers being put on NXT would give them the most exposure they’ve had in WWE. This is the simplest benefit, but it’s also one of the biggest because the talent do not get enough attention. I would go as far as to say 205 Live is WWE’s most underrated weekly TV Show.
The wrestlers on 205 Live are more than deserving of being on USA Network where they will actually be seen, and I think they would provide some fresh air to NXT as well.
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The Scrap’s Austin Luff is broadcasting student with a passion for watching and writing about mixed martial arts and professional wrestling. Make sure to follow Austin on Twitter (@AJMMA_).