205 Live has never really gotten the recognition it deserves.
NXT and 205 Live are WWE’s most consistently entertaining shows. However, a majority of wrestling fans disagree, with the show not doing good numbers on the Network each week.
How do we change that? Here are three things that could help put 205 Live in the position that it should be in.
The first option I am presenting in theory is the easiest one, it seems like common sense. Now when 205 Live first debuted, the Cruiserweights did wrestle on Raw, but it wasn’t handled correctly. 205 Live and NXT are on the same level, in terms of being their own brands, while being a bit of a developmental system for Raw and SmackDown. Therefore, I think we should see more of NXT Superstars showing up on 205 Live and vice versa.
NXT is an extremely popular brand so I believe NXT Superstars periodically showing up on 205 Live would give it a huge buzz. Imagine the matches guys like Johnny Gargano, Adam Cole, Tyler Bate, and others could have on 205 Live. This is a simple solution but I believe it would give a huge boost to 205 Live and how fans perceive the brand.
This is another one that seems like a no-brainer. The two times the division has been at it’s hottest was the Cruiserweight Classic in 2016, then again in 2018. Wrestling Tournaments have always been extremely successful in Wrestling, look no further than New Japan’s G1 Tournament. I think a yearly tournament on the Network, much like the Mae Young Classic, would give the brand huge exposure. Add some kind of reward to the winner like a shot at the champion and let them wrestle like they wrestle on 205 Live every week.
I’ve always been a huge fan of tournaments and with WWE bringing back King of the Ring I don’t see any reason to not bring back the Cruiserweight Classic. I think sometimes 205 is guilty of spinning its wheels with stories and feuds, so a tournament every year would freshen things up. This is not a sure fire solution by any means, but I know it sure wouldn’t hurt.
This one may be a bit controversial, I don’t think 205 Live has any stars. Don’t get me wrong they have a fantastic roster, but they do not have any wrestlers setting the world on fire. If you look at NXT in comparison they have a plethora of wrestlers that are main event quality and are Superstar level. NXT has Undisputed Era, Gargano, Velveteen Dream, Matt Riddle, to name a few.
Any of those guys could get called up tomorrow and make an impact, 205 Live on the other hand is scarce. As good as guys like Gulak, Nese, and Tozawa are none of them are on the level of the NXT stars I mentioned. WWE is signing so many stars and the fact the majority go to NXT then the main roster, gives 205 Live a horrible look. It makes the brand look like nobody wants to go there, and results in low viewership. I’m not saying I want this, but imagine if Johnny Gargano went to 205 and won the Cruiserweight Championship. I would bet my life that viewership would go up.
At the end of the day 205 Live is putting on fantastic matches on a consistent basis, but they lack the star power to draw in the viewers on the Network.
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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 (@Ginger_Guy_).