205 Live has undergone a major transformation from the moment that Triple H was tasked with running things. Drake Maverick was put in charge as the on-screen general manager and a tournament was created to crown a new Cruiserweight Champion.
There has been a different feel around the 205 Live brand since those major changes. Buddy Murphy has become a rising star, and each and every week the brand is pumping out quality matches.
Last night, another change came to 205 Live in the form of an announcement. Lio Rush is on his way. Rush’s background and style are a perfect fit for the 205 Live brand and gives them another player to add to the mix.
Yet, all of the important questions still hover around the brand. The news of WWE’s new television deal, especially SmackDown Live moving to Friday nights in 2019, puts 205 Live in a weird spot.
The high-flying hour on the WWE Network always felt out of place after SmackDown Live. It is the sixth hour of wrestling over a two-day span for WWE. By the time 205 Live rolls around, fans are tired. Many times, the crowds aren’t engaged in the matches that are taking place.
When SmackDown Live moves to Fridays, is 205 Live going to go with it? Or will WWE use that as an opportunity to move the show to Full Sail and tape the show?
There is still a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the show; a cloud that could be stopping new fans from hopping on board. The cruiserweights are barely used on Raw (which is a good move, by the way) and we really haven’t seen how they are going to be used for the new dual-branded pay-per-views that WWE is starting to run.
WWE would benefit from adding more content to the network, and 205 Live specials might be a perfect place to start — just the way they’ve done with NXT TakeOver’s.
205 Live was always an odd fit. Coming out of the Cruiserweight Classic, WWE wanted to capitalize on the momentum that their tournament had. First, they were just apart of the Raw roster until WWE (without there being demand for it) created its own show.
From there, 205 Live has been fighting this uphill battle. Lio Rush is a fantastic name to add to the mix. Names like Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa might not be far behind.
Unless WWE starts to acknowledge and answer the looming questions surrounding their fourth brand, it will stay just that. A brand that people know of, but don’t go out of their way to watch.
It’s unfortunate because 205 Live has been some of the better WWE television since ‘Mania. If only they could figure out how to make people care.