The WWE has (un)officially confirmed that the Cruiserweight division is just what I always thought it was; a place for the more over “smaller” wrestlers would compete so they never have to deal with another Daniel Bryan ever again. The WWE does not care or like Daniel Bryan. He’s a commodity that they don’t want in the hands of their rivals. It’s that simple.
Bryan represents everything the WWE has refused to embrace, and the Cruiserweights represent that desire to push away possibilities. How else do you explain Austin Aries’ relegation to the mid-card of the D-show? That’s right, D-Show. If RAW and SmackDown are the A+/A- shows, and NXT is a C-show, then 205Live is a D show. Is it above Superstars and Main Event? Obviously, mostly because no one really ever knows if those two shows still exist.
205Live is below NXT, and NXT is supposed to be for the nobodies. But that’s not the case anymore, that’s 205Live. Neville, as “entertaining” as he is to some, is not over enough to justify the show, and there’s no one else on that brand that is “eye catching”. Austin Aries was. He was the ‘A-Double’ player on that brand, and his association was going to help elevate the brand past it’s initial point.
But that’s not what happened. Aries got passed over in NXT due to Shinsuke Nakamura breaking his face, and then got passed over for a generic evil king character on 205Live. People, Neville is not a star in the making. He’s not even a star on the horizon. He’s the star that’s gone super-nova twelve million years ago and now just floats around as a dull, lifeless mass.
The thing is though, we’ve had champs like that before in all sorts of companies and while the Cruiserweights are part of the WWE and retroactively, part of RAW, they are still their own independent group. And since they debuted, they’ve missed the boat on a number of talents. Tyson Dux never got brought up from the tournament, Tajiri was fired due to his age, which is funny as he’s only 6 years older than Bobby Roode or AJ Styles, the faces of NXT/SmackDown respectively. Mr. 450 never got brought up from NXT after a few appearances and Kota Ibushi said…”EH, Naw”, when asked about signing with the company. So yeah, I think it’s safe to say that the WWE can’t figure out what to do with 205Live.
The problem isn’t that there’s not enough Cruiserweight talent around, there is. The problem isn’t that most can’t cut promos, cus some actually can, and there are plenty of unsigned talent that could. The problem is that by saying the Cruiserweights have their own show, and that they’re not “good enough” to compete with the main roster guys, you’re essentially saying that title is pointless.
This is the issue with the Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight titles in the U.S., TNA/GFW has made the idea of weighted classes obsolete. Why is there a need for weighted classes anymore? Style classes make sense. Ring of Honor’s Pure Title was fine, GFW’s X-Division is iconic, and lets not forget the various women’s and hardcore classes that have existed. But with the exception of the women’s divisions, classes should be for styles, not size. Women’s divisions should not focus on styles or weight, and just allow all women regardless of style and size to compete in them. To limit what a wrestler can be is to tell the fans that they are limited as to what they can be. So don’t do that.
(*Gendered divisions make sense due to a variety of reasons, most notably due to the way society sees inter-gender matches*).
So the WWE now have a costly live show, with talent that fans mostly don’t care about, a title that segregates most of the roster – whom not everyone who’s eligible even competes for, and a capped limit on how high these talents can go; and you have every reason necessary to not continue this failed project.
Because it is a failed project. I’m not sure why anyone even disputes this.
Outdated concepts, boring wrestlers, and an obvious show designed just to keep them out of the spotlight. Is there any reason to keep the division around?