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Live From The 205 (11/29/16): We Can Handle It





How do you form an opinion from something that had just begun?

You don’t, really, but you place your faith in it while praying that the rest of the machinery don’t eff it up.

This was what I felt with the debut of 205 Live, a refreshing take of Cruiserweight action all exclusive for an entire hour on the WWE Network.

Now, for all the flak we have given the WWE over the years, whether it be for their apparent favoritism for Supermen, insistence on rekindling past glories or how much they truly are "in touch" with the times, one thing they have been able to do right is to provide avenues for world-class talent to perform on the premiere stage of sports entertainment. And despite how stubborn they were, they showed that they can and will put effort in their investments with the creation of 205 Liveall of course, in their usual hit-and-miss manner.

This seemingly pre-emptive strike to regain the division's footing is all about going back to where the magic of CWC left off: creating characters, building stories, coupled with high-flying and hard-hitting action. Yet 205 Live’s pilot episode also showed why the division has also floundered in the mainstream machinery of RAW

The Cruiserweights are introduced on WWE 205 Live.
How many more till we reach 205?

Kicking off with a formal introduction of the 16-member roster at the top of the show and the various vignettes scattered throughout, showed a commitment to fully introduce characters to the WWE Universe. Although I’d rather have watched Lince Dorado do his Shooting Star Press in a match than hear him talk about it or build up Drew Gulak and Tony Nese more than a lackluster match with the Bollywood Boyz, (and don’t get me started on the post-match interviews) but the missing pieces and raw potential are just enough to make you to look forward to the next episodes.

The inclusion of Austin Aries's star power was an also interesting take. More than providing his smug takes on commentary across Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves, the presence of the so-called The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived only can suggest his future entry to the division.

The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived and friends

But the entire show revolved around the high-profile match-up between the Cruiserweight championship match between the sly champion Brian Kendrick and the uber-charismatic Rich Swann. WWE, did an amazing job building up Rich Swann. It’s amazing how a decent vignette can progress a character’s motivations and personality greatly, and in this case, a great foil to the already featured and recognized The Brian Kendrick.

If this match will serve as the standard for 205 Live, then we can expect great things from the show. Not a five-star match, but it was a great showing between both men, bringing to the table different elements of storytellingmethodical pacing and moves, the right injection of three Spinning Back Kicks to seal his third victory,




If you were expecting the Cruiserweights of old or similar to other lucha libre-centric shows out there, then you will be disappointed, as these men are bringing an entirely different kind of wrestling and it’s not just because of their flips and dives. Unfortunately, the crowd also makes the show. It was a mild audience at best, and we wonder if it’s really the different flavor or the fatigue in being present for over 4 hours of wrestling—two for SmackDown Live, one for Main Event tapings.

With a division that was once known for its high-flying acrobatics, we saw a fine mix of the technical wrestling proficiency of Jack Gallagher, stiff striking of Tony Nese and Drew Gulak, exciting moveset of Rich Swann, and we have yet to see how they’ll establish the rest of the roster.

Rich Swann is perfect face to lead this division. Although one can argue that they are playing Swann the cards they once gave to TJ Perkins, being a comeback kid from insurmountable challenges. Interesting how they'll separate TJP from Swann and we'll see this as the rivalry between Perkins and Kendrick just went up another notch.

Rich Swann defeated The Brian Kendrick to win his first WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

With the current business objectives of the WWE in maintaining and developing a vast selection for on-demand wrestling content, 205 Live is bound to serve two masters, one is about acquiring fans with a more diverse wrestling palate, and giving an opportunity to their talent to build their own niche in the Universe, while honing and growing their abilities. 

Great things come in small doses, and we are about to find out if this serves to be true or merely a pun.

But for now, the WWE Cruiserweight division has finally found a home.

Quick Results



  • Bollywood Boyz (Harv and Gurv Sihra) def. Tony Nese and Drew Gulak with stereo Superkicks

  • Jack Gallagher def. Ariya Daivari via Running Corner Dropkick

  • Rich Swann def. The Brian Kendrick via Spinning Back Kick to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion


Photos from WWE.com

*****

Lynch Imbat (@imbatlynchis a marketing guy by profession. He has a few constant things in his life: his family, his comics and his wrestling. Unsure if it were the plastic chair shots to the head, pro wrestling has altered his ways of understanding the intricacies of the world through finely crafted storylines and savagely fought feuds. Now that he has found a community of wrestling marks, he continues to learn and understand more while sharing his own views about wrestling.

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