The WWE Network’s latest show 205 Live made its debut immediately after this week’s Smackdown Live broadcast, and, as feared, without big name stars in the usual dark match to stick around for, many audience members left, leaving the arena looking empty in parts. One fan posted an image on Twitter showing the vacated seats with:
“Unfortunately, half the crowd has left and most of the people around me are drunk”
The sensible scheduling would be to move 205 Live to before Smackdown to act as a lead-in to the show. That way you’d have high-flying cruiserweight action to get the crowd hot for the TV broadcast. But by calling it 205 Live, WWE have blocked themselves into a corner where they have to transmit it as it happens.
But that’s not to say it wasn’t a newsworthy premiere.
As expected, Rich Swann won the Cruiserweight Championship from Brian Kendrick. CageSideSeats are reporting a rumour that WWE’s reasoning behind the title change was to build interest in the show.
WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens congratulated Swann on Twitter:
“We’re a long way from you sitting in the crowd at the Arena watching Steen and Generico matches, aren’t we?! Congrats, dude. @GottaGetSwann”
Kevin Steen and El Generico were KO and Sami Zayn’s names before they came to WWE, so it’s a nice shout-out to how far all of those guys have come. But, at the same time, this is another example of wrestlers breaking kayfabe on Twitter. A congratulatory message doesn’t really fit Owens’ heel persona.
And speaking of life-before-WWE shout-outs, a currently out-with-injury Austin Aries was on commentary with Corey Graves and Mauro Ranallo for 205 Live, where he had this fantastic line after the cruiserweights’ pre-match custom: “what’s with the shaking hands?”
Because jokes are much better when they’re explained, this is funny because Aries is a two-time Ring of Honor champion, a promotion where they begin every match by shaking hands.
See, it’s funny.
What did you think of 205 Live’s debut episode? Tell me how Jack Gallagher was the best thing on it in the comments below.