Who is going to save 205 Live?

With the division slowly getting back the luster of what was once the Cruiserweight Classic, who among the cruiserweights can save the show from cancellation?


(Photo credit: Zotany)

Since the Cruiserweight Classic back in August 2015, “smaller” talents around the globe were allowed to showcase their talents on a WWE level, a thing that wasn’t possible a few years back.

There used to be a Cruiserweight Title back when there were the likes of Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, and even legends from the east such as Yoshihiro Tajiri and Ultimo Dragon. The problem is, when Mysterio got pushed up the card, the opposite happened to the rest of the division.

With this second incarnation of the Cruiserweight Title, it was destined for better days with the WWE modeling what was once a pure wrestling division into more complete set of talents such as Drew Gulak, The Brian Kendrick, and most importantly, Enzo Amore (but we all know what happened with his title run and WWE career all together).

Here are some of the names that could possibly save the entire 205 Live program as whole:

The holdovers

Kalisto

Definitely the most accomplished competitor on the roster, Kalisto has shown that he definitely deserves the Rey Mysterio comparisons both in performance and in holding his own on title runs. Currently affiliated with fellow luchadors Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado, it is more interesting to see at the moment how the three enter the storylines as a group rather than another Kalisto title run.

The former Lucha Dragon definitely deserves to hold titles, but may be better used in putting a lucha group into 205 Live’s storylines.

Drew Gulak

In a division of “pure wrestling”, Drew Gulak is a name that stands out first when it comes to a complete package. Once known as “The Human Torture Device”, Gulak has transitioned into a character that fits the WWE mold with a surprisingly developed mic ability and character.

We have seen how not only Gulak justified that the 205-and-below roster are not only acrobatics and showmanship but also technique and character. Since the release of Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak may have found himself the closest to the WWE mold among all the guys in the cruiserweight division.

It’s just a matter of time when the WWE decides to go all in on a guy who consistently campaigns for a “better 205 Live”.

Cedric Alexander

Cedric “Showtime” Alexander is a product of a bright future in the eyes of the WWE Universe as his signing with the company was mainly a product of fan rally. He did not disappoint though with stellar performances twice a week both on Monday Night Raw and 205 Live.

Despite not being his bread and butter, Alexander’s mic work isn’t that bad at all. In fact, he was already scheduled to compete for the Cruiserweight Title before controversy would surround then champion Enzo Amore.

Whether Alexander would be booked to win the entire cruiserweight tournament or maybe go as far as the finals, he sure is still owed a title reign by initially earning it prior to the tournament.

TJP

The inaugural champion of the reinstated Cruiserweight Title, TJP has slowly fallen out of the radar after dropping the title he won back at the Cruiserweight Classic. With a knack for flash and swagger, the Fil-Am Flash ironically isn’t the smoothest person on the mic.

A new light has shone down upon him though as a cocky heel he has been portraying since being aligned with former champion Neville for a time. Should TJP play the heel Sami Zayn of 205 Live, he might see a little more airtime than usual.

The Brian Kendrick

Let’s be realistic here. Brian Kendrick will never hold the WWE or Universal titles, let alone the US and Intercontinental titles. The best shot he’s got is to be at the top is on 205 Live.

He has already had a taste of the top but fell victim to a rushed push of Rich Swann and has never came close to the title ever since. He was able to show in a classic feud with Jack Gallagher that he can pretty much hold his own when it comes to story lines. 

Probably a close second to Drew Gulak when it comes to completeness as a WWE superstar, it is not far from possible for him to hold gold once more.

The call-ups

Hideo Itami

After an injury plagued stint on NXT, Hideo Itami is finally up on the main roster by way of 205 Live. He was initially bound to go straight up the main roster as Kenta when he signed with the WWE but they decided to postpone that and develop his character a little bit more in NXT.

With the performance department not a question for Itami, he has shown development when it comes to his character especially with his brief heel turn before going up the main roster. Though still not a fluent English speaker. he is still able to make it work on the mic.

An early elimination in the tournament has left his future in question, but if Itami remains a staple of the brand, it’s only a matter of time before he captures gold. 

Roderick Strong

One of the crowd darlings in NXT for his stellar performances, Roderick Strong’s appearances on 205 Live may pretty much be his transition into the main roster. Making it past the first round of the tournament, “the messiah of the backbreaker” might just be the dark horse to win it all.

While he’s not the smoothest talker and not the most athletically gifted, it only takes one End of Heartache to move to the next round.

Buddy Murphy

The former NXT Tag Team Champion has made a surprisingly spectacular impact in his first round match against Ariya Daivari. The 20 pound weight cut has paid off as we saw a Buddy Murphy that is more agile and athletic than the original NXT version.

His relationship with Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss is no secret, but maybe continued solid performances can help outshadow that? Or maybe it has to be a title? Just ask Tyson Kidd for advice in that department.

The UK guys

Mark Andrews

Having pretty much a solid career both in wrestling and in music as part of the band Junior, Mark Andrews may find himself a good share of exposure due to his entertaining style. Though schedule commitments may affect how often we see the Welsh highflyer, taking his punk persona may just prove interesting for 205 Live’s storylines.

Tyler Bate

Probably the most charismatic among the UK guys due to his “boyish meets manly” looks, Tyler Bate definitely is the darling of the crowd wherever he performs. The inaugural WWE UK Champion finds himself in an unfavorable position backstage however due to his inability to appear on scheduled commitments as per backstage reports.

Not really having much of a character, Tyler Bate’s solid performances inside the squared circle may just be hard to ignore. Plus, holding the Cruiserweight Title may just cater to the European demographic, right?

Pete Dunne

The current WWE UK Champion might just be that heel staple that the division needs. With that mean demeanor and the brute wrestling style to back it up, the “Bruiserweight” might be the “Bruiserweight Champion” at some point depending on the status of his WWE commitment.

Right now, Dunne is doing shows with British promotion Progress but employs a busier WWE schedule than the likes of Tyler Bate and Mark Andrews having appeared on WWE television more often.

Having no new challengers for his championship at the moment, 205 Live would definitely give him something to do and draw eyes to the brand.

The “little guys” of NXT

Ricochet

The WWE has finally signed one of the hottest free agents of 2018 in Trevor “Ricochet” Mann. The name Ricochet has been hot all over the world be it in Japan, Europe, and the entire North America due to his diverse acrobatic wrestling style.

Despite not being known as much of a talker (except maybe for interviews and YouTube promos), Ricochet has held belts all around the globe which is why it wouldn’t be a surprise if he holds the WWE Cruiserweight Championship sometime in the future.

Lio Rush

Forget the backstage heat for his comments on Twitter regarding Emma’s release. Lio Rush definitely is one of the brightest young stars on that NXT roster still waiting for a push.

One of the busiest guys on the indie scene prior to signing with the WWE, the road schedule of the WWE won’t be that much of an issue for Rush who is used to traveling already. Whether we see him flying around with the likes of Mustafa Ali and Cedric Alexander in the future, we never know what  is in store for one of the youngest talents in the entire roster.

Also, for what it’s worth, the guy has been both training and tag partners with Patrick Clark aka The Velveteen Dream. Though Dream is the brighter star of the two, you can check Lio Rush’s work on YouTube to see what he has to offer for the cruiserweight division.

Fabian Aichner

Fabian Aichner is a name that would ring a bell to the hardcore WWE fans that watch NXT TV tapings and live events. Aichner is no stranger to the division having competed in the Cruiserweight Classic as well.

If you are amazed by high-flying powerhouse guys like Apollo Crews and Tony Nese, you will surely like Fabian Aichner’s style as well.

The authority

Drake Maverick

Call him “Rockstar Spud” all you want but now that he is under contract with the WWE, you better get used to calling him Drake Maverick. The current General Manager of 205 Live was actually once an active competitor in the past which is why it would be no surprise if we see him lace up those boots and trunks to compete in a WWE ring someday. 

Maverick is impressive on the mic and is even looking good as 205 Live’s authority figure. Only time will tell when he turns into that heel GM that usually works for ratings.

Daniel Bryan

Speaking of authority figures, Daniel Bryan is just so big of a name to pass on if you want to put views on your program. Despite CM Punk being the real voice of the “smaller guys”, Daniel Bryan is the one recognized as the poster child.

Rumors are speculating that Bryan is in fact cleared by doctors to wrestle again, but the WWE is yet to release an official report. Bringing the YES! Movement to 205 Live might just spike up the currently low numbers get a new lease on the show’s life.

Though it could be risky to put Bryan in high tempo matches such as the ones seen on 205 Live, one can wish the WWE would decide to put one of its biggest names on a show with a lot of promise.

Who do you think will be the one to save 205 Live? Let us know in the comments below!

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