Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition, Craig talks 205 Live while Brian shares some of the most interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon over the last seven days.
2o5 Live Needs to Differentiate Itself
We’ve written previously about 205 Live, in this past week’s ‘Book or Cook’, as we wondered whether ‘205 Live’ is the last ditch attempt to make the WWE cruiserweight division work.
Like many, I enjoyed the Cruiser Weight Classic (CWC) but was left wanting when the entire division was promoted to the Raw division.
Much like in the same way several previous NXT graduates were, the cruiserweights were just promoted to the main roster with the expectation that everything that had made them a success on the Network only show, would be enough to get them over on the main roster.
It quickly became abundantly clear that this wasn’t going to work out.
The cruiserweight matches on Raw were treated to a muted, at best, reaction from the crowd. As a result, the WWE’s hand was forced somewhat and ‘205 Live’ was born.
Early signs were fairly positive. Guys were given vignettes in the hope that the fans would be able to buy into the character. It was something sadly lacking, even as simplistic as it is, from Raw where they were dumped either in a singles match or a multi-man match as the company hoped for the best.
But there are certainly some flaws with the presentation of ‘205 Live’.
In reality, beyond the purple mat and ropes, it is the Smackdown Live arena set-up that is featured on the show. Whilst NXT looks and sounds completely different to other WWE shows, ‘205 Live’ feels like a variation of the same.
But the biggest gripe, it’s not really cruiserweights as we have come to expect.
A peruse of the ‘205 Live’ promo videos of each member of the roster sees superstar after superstar line-up to highlight the mat based focus of their in-ring style.
To many, myself including, that’s not the main characteristic of a cruiserweight match.
Not for a moment am I suggesting that each and every match should be a high-flying spotfest, merely that there needs to be variety. When you cast your eyes across the Raw, Smackdown and NXT rosters and see a number of superstars who could fit within the ‘205 Live’ show due to weight restraints.
As those guys display the traditional “WWE style” on their respective show, it’s therefore not setting ‘205 Live’ apart to see a series of mat-based wrestling matches take place on the WWE Network on a Tuesday evening.
It’s a welcome start to see the WWE launch a show to showcase their cruiserweight division. There is undoubtedly a wealth of talent for them to showcase. However, with a show that looks very similar to Raw and Smackdown, features commentators from those shows and a series of mat-based, rather than high-flying, matches, it is difficult to differentiate between each show. Of all the WWE programmes that will suffer from that, it is ‘205 Live’ that will be hurt the most.
This leaf is just…too…sweeeeet!
Wrestling slippers, I think I’ll pass.
An old advertisement hyping the WWF’s old Saturday Morning Cartoon…
Before she made it big and became a billionaire, Oprah she was interviewing people like Don Muraco on a show called AM Chicago in 1985…
A cool pic of Sylvester Stallone posing with Nick Bockwinkel and the AWA world title.
The late Terry Gordy’s WWE Hall of Fame ring when he was inducted as the Executioner……err I mean a member of the Fabulous Freebirds!
A young Mick Foley!
Andre the Giant’s casket before it was buried on his farm in North Carolina…
Stan Hansen entering the ring in Japan the only way he knew how…
Jesse Ventura, Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorf in a soup commercial in 1986…
Last Week on the Blog
Last Sunday we previewed TLC 2016; on Monday we had part 93 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; Tuesday’s ‘Book or Cook‘ looked at the entire cruiserweight division; on Wednesday we took a look at the life and times of Jim Barnett; Thursday’s Top Five featured wrestlers who haven’t benefited from the brand split; and we rounded off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.