October 2, 2017
One week ago, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Monday Night RAW held their brand exclusive pay-per-view, No Mercy. Overall the show was decent, but there was one glaring result that infuriated many fans. Enzo Amore defeated “The King of the Cruiserweights,” Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight championship.
Many people were not pleased with this result because Amore is not the best wrestler on the roster and feel he is not worthy of having the title. Neville on the other hand, has been carrying the division since the beginning of 2017.
Amore is champion, what’s done is done. The big question is what does this mean for the cruiserweight division and 205 Live?
Fans were pushed over the edge, when they saw Amore get the rub. Amore, the man who has only been in the division for less than a month and is not the best wrestler at all, is the champion. While guys like Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher, Mustafa Ali, Gran Metalik, Ariya Daivari, Lince Dorado and Cedric Alexander, have yet to even get a one on one chance for the championship despite being some of the best workers in the world.
Keep in mind, the aformentioned competitors have been in the cruiserweight division since it was resurrected. They have also been competing on their own show 205 Live for a little over a year now. It is puzzling why WWE went in this direction with Amore and pretty much gave the rest of the division a giant middle finger. After a week of watching WWE programming, I have come to the conclusion that the Cruiserweights are doomed.
One of the big reasons WWE went with Amore as champion, is because he has “star power.” About a year and a half ago Enzo Amore debuted on the WWE main roster with his tag team partner Big Cass.
During that span, Amore and Cass became one of the most popular tag teams in the company, until their split earlier this year. Despite the split Amore was still very popular with the WWE universe.
A question that is being asked is “Why doesn’t the WWE Universe care about the other competitors in the cruiserweight division?” The answer is simple, the fans don’t know who most of these guys are, while on the other hand people are familiar with Amore.
Last summer WWE held the Cruiserweight Classic (CWC). A 32 man tournament to determine the best cruiserweight in the world and new cruiserweight champion. At the conclusion of the tournament, TJP became the inaugural winner of the CWC and new cruiserweight champion.
This tournament produced some of the best wrestling in all of 2016. In fact, Cedric Alexander, who is in the current division had the match of the tournament with Kota Ibushi. This led the man who produced the CWC, Triple H, to sign Alexander immediately.
After seeing this match, many fans would have thought that Alexander was a lock to be a cruiserweight champion. Instead, he hasn’t even come close to the title. The only notable thing he has done sincewas being in a love triangle storyline with Noam Dar and Alicia Fox.
Most of the division is composed of wrestlers who were in the CWC other than Neville and Amore. Go back on the WWE network and check out some of the matches in the CWC and I promise that the wrestling in this tournament will make you a fan of these guys. Here is a clip of the match between Alexander and Ibushi.
Another question that is being asked, “Well if this tournament was such a success, how come the fans don’t know who they are?” The reason is there are two types of fans in a WWE crowd, the “casuals” and the “hardcores.”
The big difference between the two fan bases are, the “hardcores” have the WWE Network and the “casuals” do not have have it or if they do have it, they don’t watch some of the content on the network. Particularly the CWC and 205 Live, so of course they are not going to know who these guys are when they come out to perform.
Even though hardcore fans and casual fans attend the show, “the casuals” outnumber the “hardcores” every time during a RAW or Smackdown show. The reason the CWC was so successful was because it was taped in front of hardcore fans at Full Sail University. The competitors got “over” in this type of environment, but ever since the cruiserweights were brought up to the main roster, they have been sent out in front of a live crowd that are not familiar with them to drown.
WWE wanted to solve this problem the cruiserweights had of not getting a reaction, so they came up with the idea of giving them their own show, 205 Live. Every Tuesday after Smackdown, 205 Live would air to showcase the cruiserweights.
Unfortunately, this concept has not worked out at all. Casual fans make up most of the Smackdown crowd, and most of these fans are made up of families. This is an important detail because what are families going to do on a school night? Try and get home early. If their kids or they are not invested in the cruiserweight competitors, they are just going to get up and leave. If people aren’t watching the 205 live and are not invested in the cruiserweights, then of course these guys are not going to “get over.”
There was a glimmer of hope that the cruiserweight division might be able to succeed, and that was all because of Neville. In January, Neville defeated Rich Swann for the Cruiserweight championship at the Royal Rumble. For nine months, Neville carried this division on his back. He had amazing matches against the likes of Jack Gallagher, Akira Tozawa and Austin Aries. The wrestling was good, but the same problem remained, the fans did not care for the competitors.
I feel WWE got desperate and wanted to get people talking, so they decided to throw Amore into the division and immediately have him win the title. With Amore as champion it got some brand new eyes on the division.
In fact WWE, felt so good about the decision that they gave Amore and the entire Cruiserweight division the main event segment on RAW last week. The segment got over very well with the fans especially because it had the entire division beating up on Amore, including a cameo by Braun Strowman who initiated the attacks first. Here is the clip of this segment.
With Enzo Amore as champion, it is obvious that WWE does not care about how great of a wrestler a superstar is. Right now WWE is desperate to get the cruiserweights some type of popularity, and the only way they think they can get this entire show over is by having a well known guy be its champion despite his lack of wrestling skills.
The CWC brought us some of the best wrestling all of last year, but now 205 Live and the cruiserweight division seems to be heading into a storyline of a champion who will keep holding onto the title by fluke wins. Wrestling skill no longer matters on this show, and that is a shame.
In conclusion, the cruiserweights are doomed to fail especially with Enzo Amore as the division’s champion. The only thing cruiserweight fans can hope for is that Amore gets so under the skin of the fans that eventually the WWE Universe will rally behind one or many of the cruiserweight competitors and get some of these guys over. Could Amore be the catalyst in a change in the cruiserweight division and how people view them? Maybe, but right now the way WWE has been booking this show lately, I have my doubts.
Do you think the WWE Cruiserweight Division is doomed? Let us know.