WWE fans who follow 205 Live may have noticed a change in direction with the show that started at the beginning of 2018 – and not just in regards to the Cruiserweight title picture.
The main story on 205 Live is a Cruiserweight title tournament that will culminate with a new champion crowned at Wrestlemania.
In addition to the superstars on 205 Live like TJP and Kallisto, the tournament has featured NXT alumni Roderick Strong, former United Kingdom Champion Tyler Bate and the upcoming Mark Andrews.
The direction of the show has shifted from a character-based show the WWE Universe would normally see on WWE’s Raw and Smackdown Live brands, to a program more focused on presentation akin to NXT or what fans saw in the Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016.
Part of the shift from 205 Live can be attributed to Triple H taking over the direction of the program.
According to a report from PWInsider, WWE CEO Vince McMahon is no longer the lead show runner for 205 Live.
While McMahon had focused on bringing out wrestlers’ personalities on 205 Live and believed that a character-driven show and program was the way to go. Once 205 Live debuted and McMahon took over production of the show, fans started seeing more promo packages and character based work rather than wrestling.
McMahon’s approach worked in some cases. WWE sent Enzo Amore to 205 Live and placing the Cruiserweight title on him to become the face of the program, which generated some buzz.
Drew Gulak entertained the WWE Universe with his powerpoint presentations. Neville also shined with his King of the Cruiserweights persona, though he later became frustrated, walked out and hasn’t been on TV since.
Although the character work on 205 Live has worked on some degree, it hasn’t elevated the program much higher than programming on the WWE Network.
PWInsider’s report noted that while McMahon wanted a character-based show, there were still other members of WWE brass who felt presenting 205 Live in the same manner as the Cruiserweight Classic was the way to go.
It makes some sense because having more character work on 205 doesn’t help the program stand out from Raw and Smackdown Live. Fans loved the Cruiserweight Classic and still talk about fondly.
The report states McMahon handed the reins to Triple H as a way to fix the brand.
While McMahon was more focused on making 205 Live another copy of the main roster brands, Triple H’s approach to 205 Live seems to be more focused on bringing the in-ring work and competition element to the forefront.
The report also states that Jonathon Baeckstrom is the lead writer for 205 Live while former NWA Champion Adam Pearce remains the lead producer for the brand.
Running 205 Live also helps Triple H guide and work with certain NXT talent, specifically the wrestlers at or under 205 pounds, when they are called up to the main roster. It also gives him a place to showcase the United Kingdom talent outside of NXT or a UK special. Image a Cruiserweight title match between Pete Dunne and Strong at Wrestlemania or Summerslam.
On one hand, there’s always a chance McMahon could try and wrestle the reins of 205 Live from Triple H. On the other, McMahon likes to many money and if he sees Triple H’s direction for 205 receiving an overwhelming response from the crowd and benefitting the product, as well as the WWE as a whole, he might just sit back and let him run the show the way he wants to.
If Triple H has success with 205 Live, this could lead to the cruiserweights having a show beyond the Raw roster.
NXT’s Adam Cole Discusses Creative Freedom
NXT Champion Adam Cole is at the height of his success with the promotion, recently defeating Johnny Gargano in another instant classic to capture his first NXT Championship, and he is talking about how things go down in NXT.
Unlike much of the main roster, where promos are often scripted and comedy-acts are more common, Cole says that superstars in NXT get a bit more creative freedom, as he had with Gargano for their match.
“One of the coolest things about NXT is we have a ton of creative liberties to come up with the story and the vision we have for the match” Cole said, during an interview with TalkSport. “Of course, there’s input and advice given and there’s suggestions or, you know ‘we need something this way’ (but) we do have a lot of freedom, which is great.”
Cole added that he and Gargano came up with the format for their two out of three falls classic at NXT Takeover: New York.
Rey Mysterio Praises Andrade
WWE superstar Rey Mysterio believes that the company has a big star on their hands in Andrade .
“This kid is awesome” Mysterio said, during an appearance on the WINCLY podcast. “I mentioned it before, in previous interviews, but, every time I’m in the ring with him, there’s an affiliation to how I would move with Eddie [Guerrero],” Mysterio said.
“This is how good he is! He’s thinking a step ahead before you even move. He already knows the positioning, and knows exactly what to do and how to do it. My hat goes off to Andrade, as he’s definitely the future of WWE.”
Mysterio sees all the tools necessary to succeed in WWE.
“Just like anybody else, once you can dominate the mic skills and English, then he is bound to become a star,” Mysterio continued. “I’ve seen him work on his English, and it’s a slow process, but he’s moving forward. Once he dominates his English language, he’s on his way to stardom.”
Fandango, Apollo Crews, Killain Dain Make Returns to NXT
WWE is starting to allow superstars on their main rosters to transition back to NXT, much like they did with Tyler Breeze, who recently returned to NXT, where he had his most success, following around 2 years of meandering on the main roster following his callup.
Fandango, Apollo Crews, and Killian Dain made their returns to NXT tv at Winter Park, FL at Full Sail University for Thursday’s NXT TV tapings.
Fandango, also making his return from injury, made the save for his Breezango partner, Tyler Breeze, who was on the receiving end of an attack at the hands of the Forgotten Sons. Crews made his return to take on Kushida in singles competition, and Dain made a brutal attack on Matt Riddle following Riddle’s win over Arture Rass.
Fandango had been out of action after suffering a shoulder injury back in July 2018.
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