Earlier this year, the WWE put together the Cruiserweight Classic, a tournament which brought together the best lightweight wrestlers from around the world in a competition to see who’s the best. It was, top-to-bottom, the best show WWE has run in years, with incredible action and stories told effectively through quick promos, great announcing, and excellent in-ring psychology.
So when WWE added the some of the best wrestlers from the tournament to their Raw roster, it seemed like a slam dunk of an idea–a tope suicida, if you will. Unfortunately, only the “suicida” part of that has turned out, as the Cruiserweight division has been floundering on Monday nights, with disinterested crowds and more “boring” chants than we’ve heard in years.
The in-ring talent hasn’t lessened any, and these wrestlers are still putting on good matches, but there’s just no interest in them from the mainstream crowds. WWE has announced a new “205 Live” show for the Network featuring the Cruiserweights, and put some heavy stakes on this Sunday’s title match at Survivor Series. Can it make the division relevant?
The match will feature SmackDown wrestler Kalisto taking on “the” Brian Kendrick for the Cruiserweight Championship. If Kalisto wins, not only does he capture the title, the entire division moves to SmackDown. These two are absolutely capable of putting on a great match, but as we’ve seen great matches haven’t been enough to keep the division alive.
Ultimately, Kalisto winning makes the most sense for the future of the division. 205 Live will air after SmackDown in the same arena, so the Cruiserweights will have to be with the Tuesday night crew regardless. If things stay the same, they’d be the only wrestlers working both Monday and Tuesday nights.
More significantly, though, it gets the division out from the eyes of exhausted Raw crowds who are trying to survive the weekly three-hour show. The shorter matches and livelier atmosphere that SmackDown is now providing would benefit from and offer benefit to their brand of high-flying action. And for the folks who are utterly disinterested in the Cruiserweights? They’ll leave the arena once the main event is done, leaving a more invested crowd for the lightweight action.
Kalisto’s also established enough in WWE to offer credibility for that more mainstream crowd–his infamous “good lucha thing” promo and botch on Tuesday night aside. He can offer some impressive action in a quick match on SmackDown to help sell 205 Live on the Network, both to the audience watching at home and the one populating the arena.
These are all hopes and speculations, though. The Cruiserweight Division has been failing on the main roster, but with how good the CWC was I’m glad to see that WWE is trying to help the division stay alive. Hopefully the match this Sunday and whatever comes after can deliver on that promise.