Hello, WNW People, Mitch “Big M’ Adams here. And I welcome you to the very first edition of 205 LIVE VIBES.
Now before I get started with the review of this week's show, I thought I’d address the elephant in the room. Namely, why the cruiserweights have yet to get over on the main roster.
Firstly, I can guarantee you that all of the theories WWE’s higher-ups currently have are not the reason why the CW’s are not yet over.
Theories such as “small guys don’t draw” and “Internet fans are the only people who like this stuff” are complete and utter bullshit. Pardon my language, but very stupid ideas like that need to be put to bed straight away!
The answer to why the CW’s are not over on the main roster yet is very simple. WWE completely overestimated the strength and reach the WWE Network has on their regular TV audience. They automatically assumed that because the Cruiserweight Classic was one of the most watched (if not THE most watched) program on the Network everyone who tunes into Raw every week would have watched it.
But, obviously, they didn’t. And because fans didn’t watch it, they have no idea who these guys are and are in no way invested in them. And by failing to give any backstory or character development to any CW Division worker in the weeks after the division's debut…they gave fans even less reason to care.
And before anyone says “But internet fans already knew all the CW’s in the CWC while mainstream fans had no clue!” may I just suggest you watch the CWC. Most fans only knew about four or five workers in the 32 man tournament. And they were all given introduction videos to get viewers invested.
The whole argument some fans throw online about the IWC not being a part of the “mainstream” wrestling audience (which is a narrative that WWE has tried to push for so long to little avail) is just plain rubbish.
It’s going to take time and a bit of a rethink by WWE to get the CW’s over for good. So what if they are not getting a big reaction yet. Ninety percent of the main roster gets little to no reaction from fans in attendance! That’s what happens when you spend all your time and resources on only two or three people. Then after a decade you try to develop new talent when it’s far too late.
The CW’s not being over is not the fault of fans, but the fault of WWE.
Plain and simple!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way. Let's delve into what happened on this week's 205 Live shall we?
Jack Gallagher vs Drew Gulak > B+
Before I get into this match, I would just like to say how much I’m enjoying Austin Aries on commentary! He is someone I can see having a permanent spot in the both after his in-ring career winds up. Drew Gulak came out to a nice little pop this week! Not surprising considering he’s a mainstay on the Philadelphia indies.
I would like to comment on a report here on WNW a few days ago that claimed WWE higher ups were displeased with the “look” of Jack Gallagher. This guy has talent and charisma for days, and all WWE higher ups care about is the fact he’s not aesthetically pleasing to them. I know I harp on this subject, but these faceless power brokers backstage in WWE that have far too much influence on the careers of WWE talents simply do my head in!
This was a great technical style match that delivered in spades. A solid opening match that more than a few fans in attendance seemed to appreciate!
Winner via PINFALL: Gallagher
Backstage Segment: Rich Swan & TJP > B
TJP is not the most charismatic person on the microphone I admit. But I think he does these backstage segments well. Rich Swan has the charisma for days, though! I hope he has a decent run with the Cruiserweight strap as I feel he can definitely get the division more over.
Video Promo: Tajiri Returns To WWE!
Despite the fact he is now pushing fifty years of age, Tajiri can still go in the ring. He has been working a steady schedule in Japan ever since leaving WWE in 2005 and has a few new moves he has yet to debut in North America. His presence in the new Cruiserweight Division will help get fans further invested!
Backstage Segment: Gallagher & Davari > B
Finally, the CW’s get storylines! I liked the passion the younger Davari showed here. He seems like someone who can give a solid promo.
Lince Dorado vs Mustafa Ali > B
I have a question to ask you guys! Do you think it’s possibly racist that workers of middle eastern descent always debut as heels? I know that’s the norm for all non-north American wrestlers in WWE, but I think it would send a positive message for someone like Mustafa Ali to debut as a babyface. Especially with the current social and political climate in the world today!
As far as the match itself goes, it was a very exciting but far too short show these two great workers put on. And I wasn’t a fan of the double count out finish! But the attack by Ali after the bell probably means that he and Dorado are set to have work a program with each other.
Lince Dorado works a very exciting modified Lucha style. While Mustafa Ali is a great all round worker, who can work multiple styles. 205 Live was taped before Raw this week, so I hope the reactions these two were getting from the crowd weren’t added in after editing. Because they really did have a great match!
Draw via DOUBLE COUNT OUT
Backstage Segment: Noam Dar & Alica Fox > D
I know I said the Cruiserweight Division needed its own storylines, but a love triangle angle! Seriously, is that the best they can come up with? It doesn’t do anyone involved in the angle any favours. Nor does it help the CW Division get over.
TJ Perkins vs Rich Swann > A
WOW, WHAT AN AMAZING MATCH!!! And Brian Kendrick on Commentary was an obvious, but entertaining addition. TJP has several Rey Mysterio like moments in the ring in which a fan has to ask himself “Just how on earth did he do that?”.
And Rich Swann’s ring work only seems to get better and better with every match! Although, I don’t understand why he never dives off the ropes! He only seems comfortable performing high flying moves from ground level. Is he afraid of heights or something?
Some people may be upset that another champion lost a non-title match in WWE, but I think it was a necessary booking step! TJP needed a big win after losing the Title to Kendrick. And Swan needed to lose a big match to add that level of unpredictability to the Triple Threat CW Title Match at Breakdown. I especially like the standoff between TJP and Swan after Kendrick got super kicked! The “I could have got you if I wanted” ploy isn’t done anywhere enough in WWE I think.
Winner via SUBMISSION: TJP
Overall Grade > B
It has been reported that Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn were personally overseeing the booking of 205 Live. And sadly it shows a great deal. And it’s further proof that Vince should hand over the creative reigns of WWE to either Stephanie and Triple H or Shane!
However, despite the obvious booking and segments that had Vince and Dunn’s fingers all over it…the incredible in-ring work of all the Cruiserweights shone through!
And that WNW people was 205 LIVE VIBES! I hope you have enjoyed it.
P.S. Please feel free to follow me on twitter @TheBigM91