How To Improve 205 Live
One of the often good yet never talked about things in WWE is 205 Live. One of the good things about the show is that there are always really good matches, but when it comes on after Smackdown and only on the WWE Network, not a lot of fans tune in to watch the show. Many times the championship match is put on the preshow, and while that is decent exposure it is nothing compared to being on the main show. This is the show that gave the main roster Buddy Murphy, Cedric Alexander and Ali while still having the likes of Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Mike Kanellis and many others. The talent is there, but fans just aren’t that interested in the show. There are many ways to help this situation, and I think that these are the steps that need to be taken to do just that.
Stop being after Smackdown
One of the biggest issues for 205 Live is that it is after Smackdown Live. After two hours of a show, the third hour typically drags on, and fans aren’t as invested in the show anymore. People also tend to leave after Smackdown ends. I’m also not sure how many people switch over to the WWE Network to watch 205 Live, well live either. I think it was in a perfect spot when the second season of Mixed Matched Challenge was going on, when the show was on before NXT. When a wrestling show starts at 10 PM, it’s always going to be a tough time to watch that wrestling show. It would make a lot more sense if the show started at 7 PM for the fans to watch, and then have two great wrestling shows back to back.
Move To Full Sail (Or a Smaller Venue) And Be Taped
Now if 205 Live was to move away from being filmed after Smackdown, then it will need a new home. The easiest, and the most obvious answer is for the show to move to Full Sail University, the same place that NXT is currently filmed. There are other small arenas that they could use, but Full Sail makes the most sense. Full Sail has a very devoted fanbase, and that fanbase would love all of those guys on the roster. There is a very loyal fanbase that follows the NXT roster there, and I’m sure that those fans would welcome more wrestling. Also, with how small the 205 Live roster is compared to NXT, it would allow the fans to grow attached to certain wrestlers and have their favorites like they have with the NXT wrestlers. Look at reactions that Keith Lee or Kushida get, and imagine the likes of Lucha House Party or Humberto Carillo getting those same reactions.
Introduce Tag Team Championships
I always thought that there was something missing from every company cruiserweight division, and it took New Japan to show how cool a cruiserweight tag team championship division would be. Now, I already know this one may get some hate, but it is a need at this point. We seem to have tag team matches on a weekly basis and sometimes, and it feels weird when there is nothing for them to fight for. You have the Lucha House Party, The Singh Brothers, and Akira Tozawa and Brian Kendrick. These wrestlers are all talented, but the big issue is the lack of depth on the roster as their are only 14 wrestlers on the roster right now. However, that leads into my next point.
Have More NXT/NXT UK Wrestlers On The Show
One of the biggest issues with NXT and NXT UK is that they have a very talented roster, but not enough time to showcase them all. So why not allow for more of them to be on 205 Live. We’ve seen Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Angel Garza Jr recently on the show. We’ve also seen Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Roderick Strong, Mark Andrews and Ligero on the show before, so include them more and more in the show. One of the benefits of 205 Live is that there are usually only a few stories happening at a time, so why not let more wrestlers get match and screen time so we can watch them wrestle. Plus if it did go to a taped style, it would have the same benefit of having a lot of matches in one night. Instead of having some wrestlers pulling double duty, use some more unknown names to fill out the match card.
More Integration With The Main Roster
Now I’m not saying that all the cruiserweights should go back to being only on 205 Live. What I’m saying is have them on the show once in a while here and there. A lot of the younger wrestlers would really benefit from having the likes of Rey Mysterio, Ricochet and Finn Balor come over for a match. I feel like seeing how over Cedric Alexander, Ali and Buddy Murphy have become since making the jump from 205 Live to the main roster speaks to just how good of a tool 205 Live can be. If there is someone that WWE wants to get over on 205 Live, then a good way to do that would be to have that wrestler go against one of these well known cruiserweights and have a great showing. Fans would start to take notice and that would be exactly what they want. Also, if one of the mentioned wrestlers don’t have a story on the main roster, then why not let them have a small story on 205 Live and help get someone else over.
Have Cruiserweights Run The Show
Now what I mean by this is not having the wrestlers run the show. I mean having retired wrestlers that were cruiserweights and are used to the style run the show. You look at the list of WWE Producers and you see that they have Billy Kidman, Gregory Helms, Jamie Noble, Shawn Daivari, Sonjay Dutt and Tyson Kidd are listed. All of these wrestlers have been a Cruiserweight Champion in some promotion or another with the exception of Kidd. If you have the wrestlers that know the style the best run the show where that style is the main feature, then you could see an even better product than what we are getting right now.
Sign More Wrestlers For The Show
This circles back to the depth thing that I mentioned earlier. Every show needs to have some sort of depth, and 205 Live is missing that right now. You look at the wrestling world, and you will see that there are plenty of fantastic cruiserweight wrestlers in the world that just need one opportunity. Names likes of Aaron Solow, Matt Cross, Matt Sydal, and Adam Brooks all come to mind, but there are so many more names out there. I’m not saying that they should go overboard and have as many names as Raw or Smackdown, but maybe like 20 to 25 wrestlers would work. The issue with getting to that number would then be how do you determine which wrestlers get those roster spots. Well, that leads to my final point.
Have a Second Cruiserweight Classic
One of the best decisions WWE made in 2016 was to go back to having tournament wrestling to the WWE with the Cruiserweight Classic. They got names like Zack Sabre Jr., Kota Ibushi, Johnny Gargano, Rich Swan, Noam Dar, TJP, Tajiri, Tommaso Ciampa, Tony Nese, Tyson Dux, and so many more to enter a WWE ring and signed many of the wrestlers in the tournament to start the new cruiserweight division. It’s hard to believe that there have been three years since the tournament happened, and it’s high time that we have another one. If the WWE want to fill out the cruiserweight division and have more depth, then putting 32 unsigned wrestlers in a tournament where only a limited number of them get signed would be the best way to do it.