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205 Live Undergoes Backstage Changes

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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.

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Tye Dillinger Requests Release from WWE

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Tye Dillinger is ready to move on from WWE, and has officially asked for his release from the company.

Dillinger has been sparingly used since his call up from NXT almost 2 years ago, and with the rise of other promotions, and the launch of AEW, it’s no surprise that Dillinger has decided to go elsewhere.

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Lio Rush Backstage Reputation

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WWE superstar Lio Rush has been in the middle of a confusing wrinkle in his association with Bobby Lashley, who seems to be done with Rush, but still teaming with him.

Lashley attacked Rush following Fin Balor pinning Rush in their handicapped match at Elimination Chamber, which cost Lashley his Intercontinental Championship despite not being pinned.

It’s been an interesting direction for Rush’s character, and according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson (h/t WrestlingNews.co) Rush may have a reputation backstage.

“It appears Lio Rush is done with Bobby Lashley. I can tell you behind the scenes there were not a lot of people surprised at that and not a lot of people surprised that Lio took the pin. There are times Lio has a reputation for rubbing people, including other workers, the wrong way. Whether that was being held against him and that was part of the reasoning for him losing or whether it was just a decision to protect Lashley and shift the belt to Finn Balor, I guess we’ll have to see based on how Lio is presented in the weeks and months to come.”

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D-Generation X, with Chyna, to be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame

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Chyna will finally get recognized and honored as a WWE Hall of Famer.

According to ESPN, Degeneration-X will be officially inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2019.

Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The New Age Outlaws, X-Pac, and Chyna will all be inducted. It will mark Michaels’ second induction into the Hall of Fame.

“I think it’s the most meaningful for us all to go in together and to be recognized together,” Tripe H said, according to ESPN. “Because I think both groups were [just] as impactful.”

“It’s a funny thing, because DX was something that, before Kevin [Nash] and Scott [Hall] left, at the time we all talked about using ‘The Kliq’ as it was — kind of morphing that into television, since it was so out there anyways,” said Levesque. “But things worked out the way they did — they left, and the timing was right.”

“Shawn and I still wanted to do it. Vince saw the value in it, I guess, and finally let us go at it, by that point in time I was looking for a heater, and we had brought Chyna.”

Triple H went on to say Chyna deserved to be in the Hall of Fame.

“Look, people believe what they want to believe. When I said a few years ago on the Austin podcast, or show, or whatever you want to call it, there’s complexities around it,” said Triple H. “But absolutely, definitely deserves to be in there. It’d be tough to pick a female that was more impactful on the business. She did something that was completely so out of left field that it wasn’t even being considered when we first brought it up for her to come in. It wasn’t even a consideration… it wasn’t an easy thing, and against all odds she did all of that.”

And as far as Chyna being inducted in the future as single’s competitor, which she deserves, Triple H is confident it will happen eventually.

“From that standpoint, absolutely 100 percent deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and should probably be more than once — as a group, but individually as well,” Levesque continued. “There’s more complexity to that than meets the eye, but here we are. I’m just happy that it’s here. I’m happy for her family, the people that she was close to, that hopefully this is super meaningful to them. I know it would be to her. It’s a great thing — very deserving.”

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