Who could replace Neville on 205 Live? When Enzo Amore and Neville had their double-turn, it looked like the King of the Cruiserweights, despite the recent loss of his Cruiserweight Championship, was going to become the division's top babyface. But with reports suggesting that Neville angrily walked out of the WWE after allegedly talking offense to the plan to have him lose to Amore on Raw, there's a very real possibility that the WWE will be losing another one of its top talents, a man who was arguably underutilized despite his tireless efforts to bring legitimacy to the cruiserweight division.
Although he still had some limitations on the mic, Neville was clearly a talented individual in the ring, and one of the WWE's most popular wrestlers. Let's take a look at five wrestlers who could fill the void he might be leaving (both in and out of WWE's cruiserweight division), and why they deserve to be the number one babyface in the division.
We might as well kick off with the most obvious choic—the newly-crowned Cruiserweight Champion, Kalisto. Based on the rather lukewarm crowd reaction upon his debut in the 205-pound division, then on the more enthusiastic response when he defeated Enzo Amore for the title, it looks like it's taken a while for fans to warm back up to him. But as long as he doesn't shoot himself in the foot with another "good lucha things" promo, Kalisto has serious potential to establish himself as a franchise player for the cruiserweights, much like Neville did during his run as champion. But will he be a transitional champion or a long-term solution as 205 Live's top guy? We'll find out soon enough.
The rumors are already swirling —it would seem that WWE is finally warming up on Ricochet, aka Prince Puma in Lucha Underground, and it might not be much longer before WWE inks him to a deal, according to recent reports. If he does sign with WWE, his 90-day non-compete clause with Lucha Underground means that he may be debuting sometime in January, but it's going to be a potential game-changing signing. He's a longtime "indie darling" who deserves a big break with a major promotion, but we'll still have to wait and see if the rumors are true.
Too bad we probably won't be seeing his 2016 NJPW Best of the Super Juniors opponent, Will Ospreay, until a couple of years from now, due to the terms of his ROH and New Japan deals.
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3. Johnny Gargano
This one's similarly a long shot, and one that may have to wait until early 2018, but what if former tag teammates-turned bitter enemies Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa resumed their feud on 205 Live, instead of on NXT? They did, after all, compete in WWE's Cruiserweight Classic before they signed full-time deals with the WWE and debuted as the tag team #DIY in developmental. It certainly wouldn't hurt to see Johnny Wrestling make his main roster debut as a cruiserweight, and with Ciampa due to return from injury early next year, he may have a ready-made feud waiting for him, one that could further help in putting 205 Live on the map.
2. Rich Swann
Those who don't watch 205 Live regularly couldn't have been blamed for thinking Rich Swann had fallen off the map after he lost his Cruiserweight Championship to Neville at this year's Royal Rumble. But he seems to be on his way back after an unsatisfying feud with Noam Dar that made one feel that Sasha Banks was slumming by aligning herself with Swann. His current rivalry with TJP has done both men some much-needed favors, and it won't be surprising if he finds himself back in the championship picture before long. He has some legit skills and a fun in-ring persona – it's just a matter of booking him right.
1. Zack Sabre Jr.
If the WWE will be losing its top British talent, the company might as well make another stab at another mega-talented U.K. wrestler— Zack Sabre Jr. If you remember the Cruiserweight Classic, Sabre made it all the way to the semifinals, and if only he had agreed to sign a WWE contract following the tournament, there’s a very good chance he would have been booked to win the CWC. Currently, ZSJ is signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling, and while signing him to a WWE deal at this point isn’t too likely, we can always hope and dream that this big-time international talent steps into Neville's shoes, assuming he's indeed leaving.
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