Fair play to WWE, they are doing everything in their power to try and make the cruiserweight division work. Yes, it is partly their own fault that 205 Live hasn’t taken off, but at least Vince McMahon isn’t just washing his hands of it and giving up on the project. It was announced this week that the division will be putting on some exclusive live events early next year, and the company has also been introducing new talent to the division for pretty much the entirety of 2017. They’ve had some success, but unfortunately for the most part Superstars moved to 205 Live seem to feel typecast. That once they’re a cruiserweight that’s it for them in WWE. Neville and Austin Aries appear to have felt that way, although Enzo Amore seems pretty happy with his lot right now. The next experiment will be the addition of Hideo Itami. The NXT star is on his way to 205 Live, but what rivalries should the Japanese competitor have first to help him feel like 205 Live is the right place for him?
5. Cedric Alexander
Cedric Alexander may be the best Superstar on the 205 Live roster who is still yet to win the Cruiserweight Championship. That opportunity won’t be coming anytime soon either as the next challenger to Enzo Amore’s crown will be either Drew Gulak or Rich Swann. Sooner or later though, Alexander needs not only a shot but to have a spell with the title. What’s more is he could be a legitimate competitor outside of 205 Live. That’s why a lot of fans got on board when he challenged Roman Reigns via social media. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but a hard-hitting match with Hideo Itami could. It would be the perfect introduction for Hideo to 205 Live.
4. Akira Tozawa
Knowing WWE and Vince McMahon, because Hideo Itami is Japanese they will just put him up against fellow countryman Akira Tozawa right off the bat. Either that or they’ll make them a quirky tag team. If one of these things is going to happen, then let’s pray it’s the former. Even though WWE may put them in a program together for all the wrong reasons, a series of matches between Tozawa and Itami would be pretty incredible. Even though they both hail from Japan, the two of them have different styles, and it would be very interesting to see those styles clash on 205 Live.
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3. Pete Dunne
What WWE has planned for Pete Dunne is still unclear at the time of typing this. Most of The Bruiserweight’s appearances have been on NXT, however when Raw and 205 Live hailed from Manchester not too long ago Dunne debuted as a cruiserweight. In fact, he picked up a win over the division’s champion, Enzo Amore. If WWE really does want to increase interest in 205 Live then the addition of the United Kingdom Champion on a permanent basis would most definitely do that. To the matter at hand though, and imagine how great a match Dunne and Itami could have against one another? It would be hard hitting, and a match worthy of being for the Cruiserweight Championship.
As touched upon previously in this article, the latest casualty of 205 Live is Neville. The two time Cruiserweight Champion held the division’s crown for the majority of the past year, yet following his apparent walk out on Raw a couple of months ago he has been nowhere to be seen. While the reasons for that remain unclear it is probably partly due to Neville thinking he has more to contribute to WWE beyond the cruiserweight division. That may very well be true, but adding Hideo Itami is certainly going to increase the legitimacy of 205 Live. Perhaps if they offer Neville Hideo’s first rivalry on the show then he may return, and what a return it would be.
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1. Enzo Amore
If WWE really wants to give Hideo Itami what he deserves on 205 Live then there is really only one rivalry that he can have as soon as he steps through the cruiserweight curtain. Itami has to go straight for Enzo Amore in an attempt to try and take away his Cruiserweight Championship. Itami could be introduced to the roster by dismantling Amore’s newly formed ‘Zo Train one by one until only their not-so-fearless leader is left. It might not make the best match in the world but it would certainly have Amore running scared. Most importantly though, it would demonstrate to fans that aren’t familiar with Hideo Itami that he is a big deal from day one.
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