Since the departure of Enzo Amore from WWE, 205 Live has had a bit of a rejuvenation. Recently, Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer reported that Triple H has been given control of the show in an attempt to turn things around. Additionally, Triple H is starting to put his own team together with the notable addition of Jeremy Borash to the company.
Vince McMahon has been in charge of 205 up until last week. Unfortunately for Mr. McMahon, his vision for 205 Live hasn’t really been setting the world on fire.
In the past two weeks, we have seen a complete change in direction. The show has felt more like The Cruiserweight Classic that aired on the WWE Network a year and a half ago.
It is perfectly plausible to believe that Triple H can turn this show into a success the way he did with NXT. The Cruiserweight Classic was extremely successful, focusing on in-ring storytelling with real life documentary style video packages to inform fans of who the wrestlers are. This seems to be a simple direction that Triple H is starting to take the weekly show.
The roster of 205 Live has always been an issue. During this first two years, the show lost Neville, who was the most dominant Cruiserweight Champion to date. They also failed to retain the services of Austin Aries, who is unquestionably one of the most talented wrestlers on the planet. With the dismissal of Enzo, the arrest of Rich Swann & overall negative connotation surrounding the show, 205 Live has faced a steady decline.
With that being said, the roster is STACKED with fully capable talent. I believe that 205 Live needs MORE “Ring of Honor” & LESS “X-Division.”
What I mean is…tone down the high-flying & lets get more classic wrestling matches on the show each week. It was recently reported that WWE has brought in EVOLVE owner Gabe Sapolsky as a consultant. This show would be a perfect way to utilize his unique eye for talent & ability to book intriguing matches.
Sapolsky was the booker for Ring of Honor from the companies inception until 2008. He’s a huge hire for WWE & will likely be a prominent part in the next era of the company.
Two weeks into the “Triple H Era” of 205 Live, we’ve seen 4 solid matches in the first round of the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament booked by new 205 Live Commissioner Drake Maverick, the man formerly known as Rockstar Spud. He immediately brings charisma that the show lost with Amore. Both Tyler Bate & Roderick Strong, two extremely popular wrestlers, were brought into the brand for the tournament. Strong even advanced to the 2nd round.
In my opinion, the roster needs to be showcased on all WWE programming, not just RAW. If they can work something into #SDLive, even if just a minor cameo, showcase match, or video package, it will help the audience get to know the talent.
The same goes for NXT. Why not bring in top contender Cedric Alexander for a showcase match with a top NXT star?
With the finals of the aforementioned championship tournament culminating in a match at WrestleMania, it’s important that this match can make the main show this year. Even if given a quick 10 minute spot, the height of the moment can help bring some much needed legitimacy back to the show.
The final reason that Triple H could take 205 Live to the next level is how open he can be to new ideas & concepts. NXT has had cameos by wrestlers in the past that have helped drive intrigue into specific Takeover events & TV shows. The same can be done in 205 Live. Imagine if Triple H occasionally brought in a Japanese wrestling legend for a cameo match? That would add immense value to the brand.
Triple H should also build the brand around a 2-hour themed show like he did with Takeover. These shows can still be taped after #SDLive if needed, but could also stand alone. Rather than just having one big match at traditional WWE PPV events, 205 Live could have a show where multiple feuds culminate.
I’m not saying these changes needs to be implemented right away either. As the brand continues to gain momentum and find it’s own identity, it will be clear if Triple H is taking this brand to the next level or maintaining a pace.
I would bet the house on The Game succeeding.