205 Live has not been the major success that WWE had envisioned, there are a multitude of reasons that the Cruiserweight show has drawn poorly; the time slot behind Smackdown Live, the lack of genuinely intriguing storytelling and the poor promotional efforts from the company being just a small cluster. Many have suggested that WWE cut it’s losses and look to redistribute the Cruiserweight stars amongst the RAW & Smackdown brands, but with the recent announcement of 205 Live touring shows it is clear that WWE do not want to put this project to bed just yet. So, who could WWE bring into the ‘purple brand’ to attempt to revitalise and boost the programme? We’ll take a look at three names now.
This is basically cheating…Hideo Itami has been confirmed for 205 Live but I wanted to highlight how the switch massively helps both Hideo and the Cruiserweight show. Itami has been flagging on NXT for an extremely long time and his presence on the de-facto ‘developmental brand’ no longer carries the weight of a major independent star who can shift ticket sales. When Hideo is transitioned to 205 Live (and essentially RAW) then he can be repositioned as an absolute killer amongst the more high flying elements of the show because fans from his KENTA days will tell you he can be absolutely brutal, vicious and devastating inside the ring when the time calls. Whilst Hideo may not necessarily attract the numbers that WWE would be looking for he will be a welcome asset, the prospect of Itami against Gulak, Cedric Alexander and Akira Tozawa is more than exciting and perhaps he can lend a certain in ring credibility that the show (and title) are perhaps looking for.
It’s quite incredible to consider where both Hideo and Balor are at this point in their careers, with Finn debuting in NXT to team with the already somewhat established Hideo. That being said a move to 205 Live for the Irish star would be seen by a large majority as a step down, but what needs to be considered is how and where Finn could be used on RAW in the foreseeable future. A rumored nixing of the Universal Title match against Brock Lesnar due to Vince McMahon believing Finn wasn’t ‘over’ has seen Finn referencing and mocking this idea on social media…but realistically what can Finn do between now and next year’s Wrestlemania? There’s certainly opportunities for Finn on RAW but how much of a benefit would Balor be as a temporary star on 205 Live? I really believe that you would see a rise in interest and he would generate a buzz around a completely stagnant show. It wouldn’t be for long and I wouldn’t advocate him winning the Cruiserweight title but a nice run against some of the better in ring stars on 205 Live could do wonders for that show.
Last and certainly not least would be Chad Gable. Gable’s isn’t a name that I have heard suggested for 205 Live but at 92kg (202 pounds) he certainly could be on the roster. Whilst his run with Shelton Benjamin has been entertaining within the Smackdown Live Tag Division there does need to be time to transition the former Olympic athlete into singles competition. Instead of possibly getting lost in the shuffle of the Smackdown mid card why not give Chad a run amongst the Cruiserweights? Gable’s unique style would set him apart from other performers on the roster and he could mesh well with the likes of Jack Gallagher (who himself has not had the chance to truly shine), Noam Dar and funnily enough Enzo Amore. Chad has a charisma and ability on the microphone that the other two performers suggested actually lack, his original stint in NXT alongside Jason Jordan garnered praise and comparisons to a young Kurt Angle. Gable has a great sense of timing, humour and could trade off well against Enzo in his own wheelhouse.
Who would you like to see brought over to 205 Live? Let us know in the comments