Those who pay even a little attention to the WWE probably heard that trash-talking and often controversial WWE Superstar Enzo Amore was released from his contract. Those that follow the WWE a little more closely were probably aware Amore’s release left the WWE Cruiserweight Title vacant. Those that follow WWE religiously know that former Impact Wrestling star Rockstar Spud was named as the new GM for 205 Live and in his first act as GM, announced a 16-Man championship tournament to crown a new Cruiserweight Champion.
While losses this year like Neville and Enzo Amore have hurt WWE and their fairly new show 205 Live, a 16-man tournament is about what the doctor ordered to get fans back and interested in the Cruiserweight Division again. Everybody loves a tournament and when it comes to the Cruiserweight Division, getting the 205 Live brand back to its competition-based, wrestling-first roots is a smart idea.
NEXT WEEK on @WWE205Live
We have more First Round matches in the @WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament.
— Drake Maverick (@WWEMaverick) February 1, 2018
A tournament is how the Cruiserweight Division for WWE got its first life. The WWE Network crowned TJ Perkins as its inaugural champion (since 2007) after a special on the Network promoted the finest cruiserweights from around the world all competing for the title. The styles were unique, the wrestlers were mostly new names to the average WWE fan and the showcase was different than anything fans had seen offered by WWE up to that point. A similar tournament might remind people just how good these Cruiserweights actually are… and they are good.
With names like Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, Kalisto, Mustafa Ali and Gran Metalik as high flyers, the division has its share of exciting superstars. With personalities like Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher, Hideo Itami and Tony Nese, the division also has some flair and panache. The mixture could really showcase the division, but in a style that doesn’t try to overload the sense of the average fan.
As it stands now, WWE is too often cramming these competitors into segments that group as many talents together as possible. Using terribly scripted interviews and bad promos, WWE has overdone the idea of making these talents “characters” and while that’s not altogether terrible, the Cruiserweights are respected in many ways because of their in-ring talent. Too much is too much and to get back down to bare bones wrestling might be the right move.
A tournament also gives fans the opportunity to forget what’s been going on in the division over the past year. Between Neville walking and Enzo leaving, the division has had its fair share of bad press. The show hasn’t been received as well as the WWE would have liked and a tournament often draws attention just because of the fact that its a tournament and it becomes a bit easier to forget why the title was vacated in the first place.
Finally, a tournament is always a great way to introduce a new talent to the roster. Whether that becomes someone like Rey Mysterio or Trevor Mann (Ricochet), adding a new face to the division via the tournament opens the door for a very exciting finish and a push that could sustain that character for some time. It could also open up the possibility of a roster move for a talent like Johnny Gargano or someone from the main roster coming for a temporary visit.
The hope here is that a tournament is the wakeup call WWE needs. It started the Cruiserweight Division so strongly after running its first tournament, but like WWE often does, it fell victim to the same booking style as all its other shows and that’s not what 205 Live needs. 205 Live is home to the best wrestlers in the company and it should be treated as almost exclusively a wrestling show. A tournament nearly forces WWE’s hand in that respect. If it goes over well, the company may decide its best to book its shows going forward as more of a showcase than a sideshow act. Let the drama exist in the ring, that’s where the Cruiserweights shine.
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