WWE’s brand new Cruiserweight show, 205 Live, kicked off today with its premiere episode. It was a really fun show and was as close to perfect in length as you can get. Let’s recap it here and give you the run down of an exciting first shot at giving the Cruiserweight Division their own weekly show.
Bollywood Boys vs Drew Gulak and Tony Nese
This was a fun little match that gave the fresh tag team of Harv and Gurv Sihra the win. Their video package before the match was a nice insight in to the journey to WWE, and giving them the win doesn’t hurt their opponents. Gulak and Nese have been on Raw most weeks and are by far the more established stars here.
Both the Sihra brothers played off their opponents tough-as-nails style well. Nese continues to be a shining light in the division. It would be wise to capitalise on that.
Not entirely sure where the idea of tag teams goes on this show unless titles are introduced, but this was a good showcase for these four men regardless.
The Brian Kendrick Backstage Interview
Kendrick continues to be the star of the division. This set up the main event in a solid way, as well as keeping the former champion, TJ Perkins, in the title picture. Kendrick’s mic work is unique and he brings a poise to his style that not many have. Despite his lack of believability when speaking, reminding fans that TJP is owed a rematch is a smart way to keep him relevant.
Ariya Daivari vs Jack Gallagher
One of the standouts of the CWC made his return to WWE programming with his typical fun performance. Gallagher has an uncanny charisma both in and out of the ring, and giving him the win here makes the fans take notice.
The match was nothing spectacular but it was a showcase for the Brit. On the other hand, Daivari is still struggling to find himself in a division full of fun and unique characters.
These were a nice way to get to know Noam Dar, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado. The forgotten finalist of the CWC, Metalik, will be a strong addition to this show. Getting the stories and motivations laid out for guys who can’t make the one hour show is a smart way to use them.
Cruiserweight Title Match: The Brian Kendrick (c) vs Rich Swann
The big match billed for the premiere episode of 205 Live was the title match, and the two big stars of the division put on a stellar performance here. Kendrick was the brash heel and dominated a fair chunk of the action before Swann put in a stellar comeback.
The title switch was a great way to create hype for the debut of the new show, and this was a big coming out party for Swann. His selling, comeback and post-match promo were all on point. Kendrick’s complaint about TJP costing him the match was a typical stunt from the veteran.
A really strong match that ended the show on a huge high.
The debut of 205 Live did a lot more the Cruiserweight division than any of their work on Raw. It gave them the spotlight instead of just being an afterthought on an already crammed flagship show. The main event was an awesome match, and building the division around its most charismatic star as champion is smart from WWE. Impressive atuff.
OVERALL GRADE: B+