205 Live needed something to keep MSG fans from leaving the building after SmackDown and that something was Kushida.
As SmackDown moves to Fridays and NXT goes live on USA, we are left wondering one thing. What will be the fate of 205 Live? Right now, the cruiserweight brand airs live on the WWE Network after SmackDown on Tuesday nights. We can't imagine that will continue to be the case on Fridays, but we might be mistaken.
One of the ongoing issues with 205 Live is when it takes place. Due to SmackDown being over, many in-house fans opt to leave during the show or before it has even started. That means WWE tries to do whatever it can to keep fans interested. This week, in Madison Square Garden, it did that by debuting an NXT Superstar right at the start of the show.
That Superstars was Kushida. 205 Live's opening match was a tag team affair. Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa versus Jack Gallagher and a mystery partner. Gallagher revealed that his partner would be Kushida, and the match got underway. Considering the level of star Kushida is in wrestling, he was always going to win this one. He did so by forcing Kendrick to tap to the Hoverboard Lock.
Before Tuesday, Kushida had only wrestled in NXT since signing with WWE (not including a couple of matches for EVOLVE). However, he hasn't really had a real thread, angle, or storyline to speak of. He has clashed with the likes of Kassius Ohno and Kona Reeves and picked up wins. However, he is yet to chase a title or be featured on a TakeOver.
At the time of typing this, Kushida is still listed as an NXT Superstar on WWE.com. That likely means his appearance on 205 Live was a one-off to keep fans in their seats at MSG. We would be especially surprised to see him leave NXT one week before the show is extended to two hours and goes live on USA. With twice as much time to fill, the brand will need big names like Kushida.