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WrestleMania 34 is upon us and the cruiserweights are yet again on the pre-show.
Although 205 Live has struggled a great deal in the past, the recent title tournament has been a refreshing restart for the brand since Triple H took over the show. Through the inception of 205 Live, to the height of Neville, to Enzo Amore’s tenure as champion, WWE is now trying to put some weight behind the brand. With that said, the lack of a placement on the WrestleMania main card may be a huge detriment to the 205 Live brand and the cruiserweight division. Let’s take if from the beginning and discuss where WWE went wrong, and right, with 205 Live’s booking leading into the Cruiserweight Championship Matcht that was on the WrestleMania 34 Kick-Off Show.
The “Old” 205 Live
According to PWInsider.com, Vince McMahon ran 205 Live when it first aired on the WWE Network. To be blunt, the show was boring and it had close to zero substance. Even though it had many stars from the Cruiserweight Classic, it felt lazy in booking and execution. Until Neville returned and won the championship at Royal Rumble 2017, there was really nothing on the show that drew people in.
Fast forward a few months later in 2017 and Enzo Amore joined the foray. That may have made the show more interesting to watch, but in hindsight it really didn’t do anything to elevate talents and their skills other than the comedic stylings of Drew Gulak. Maybe more eyes travelled to the Network to see what was going on, but it once again fell pretty flat in that it did not champion athleticism while feeling like a low rate episode of Velocity at the same time.
The “New” 205 Live
Enzo’s exit from WWE gave the company a chance to change and invigorate the 205 Live brand. It’s no big surprise that this new era of 205 Live replicated the success of the Cruiserweight Classic and kicked off with a tournament. Since Triple H has reportedly been given control it seems the brand is on track to be what it was really supposed to be: A program for exciting in-ring competition that emulates much of what the Cruiserweight Classic was all about.
Given the new focus of energy, new stars, character changes for some talent (most notably Drew Gulak) and the introduction of Drake Maverick (everyone’s favorite former potato), 205 Live is set up to strive for success in 2018. However, the lack of representation on the main card of WrestleMania does not express that WWE intends to learn from its mistakes.
NEXT PAGE: The Case Of The Cruiserweights & 205 Live In 2018 (Cont.)