What’s the story?
If you’re one of the folks who were certain that 205 Live was going to finally get back on its feet and see some rating success, well.... It appears that both the TV ratings for the show on the WWE Network, as well as the number of people sticking around after Smackdown to watch it are both, sadly, quite low.
WWE have also been discussing changing a major aspect of the show backstage.
This isn’t anything really new for the show, as it’s been struggling to get a foothold with the fans since it debuted shortly after the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament last year. The cruiserweight division has had four different champions since the end of the tournament (T.J. Perkins, Brian Kendrick, Rich Swann, and Neville) and it’s really only since Neville won the title in January has there really been one wrestler the division has been centred around.
Even with that, fan interest seems to be at an all-time low.
The heart of the matter
Over at F4WOnline, Dave Meltzer is reporting that things are getting even worse for the show. Meltzer has stated that the viewership for 205 Live over the last couple of months have been “really bad”, to the point that taped episodes of NXT are beating it.
Fans have also been seen filing out of Smackdown before 205 live starts airing, giving it significantly less crowd heat. Discussions have gone on behind the scenes suggesting the show may be taped before Smackdown (a la WWE Superstars, WWE Main Event) in order to get a fresh crowd for it.
Whatever WWE decides to do, they’re going to have to do it soon. The company has invested a lot into the cruiserweight division, as – like NXT – it’s a great place to nuture new talent and add some variety to their programming.
WWE has clearly learned from the mistakes WCW made with their own cruiserweight division – where WCW merely looked at them as an early show attraction as opposed to a place to foster future main event level talent. That’s why they have their own show and are also featured on the “flagship” program, Raw.
But, honestly, when you finally put the spotlight on them after five hours of wrestling over two days (and more if there’s a PPV that week), fans are going to get burnt out. As has been suggested before, pretaping the show, and maybe airing it as a two-hour block with NXT on Wednesdays – or even giving it its own slot on Thursday (maybe call it “205 Thunder” as an in-joke) – will help the show find a new audience.
Send us news tips at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished 17 Apr 2017, 04:16 IST