Although it might not look like it on paper, this was a great week for the cruiserweight division. Just scratching the surface doesn't do it justice. Monday Night Raw only featured one cruiserweight segment -- and it wasn't even a cruiserweight match. Enzo Amore took on The Miz in a match that quickly ended as the Miztourage attacked Amore.
205 Live didn't feature a title match. In fact, its main event was also cut short due to interference (more on that coming). Actually, cruiserweight champion Neville and the number one contender, Amore, didn't show up live at all. So why was it so great?
Let's count the ways:
Raw provided buzz around Amore, which will hopefully generate buzz for the whole division. Miz's acknowledgment of what's been flying around the rumor mill -- that Amore has big backstage heat and was "banished" to 205 Live -- was thrown out into the open. Living in the "Reality Era" of professional wrestling, blurring the lines between what's scripted and what's real is "money in the bank," and that's what we're getting here.
Amore-Miz was only one example of blending the cruiserweights in with the rest of the main roster. 205 Live featured an odd pairing that turned into a fun segment as Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) interrupted Drew Gulak's Powerpoint presentation. The crowd was into it, Breezango provided its ridiculous brand of humor, and everybody came out of it a little ahead of where they came in.
205 Live had a shocking moment for the second time since SummerSlam. First was Enzo's debut in the division, but last night's heel turn for "Gentleman" Jack Gallagher, was right there, too. Gallagher, thought to be doing a run-in to exact some revenge upon "The" Brian Kendrick, actually turned his (and William III's) furor upon Cedric Alexander, much to the bewilderment of Kendrick.
You can provide all the excellent in-ring action you want (and 205 Live often does), but without some storyline development and surprises, it's not going to capture eyeballs. Tuesday night did give us one solid match, as Rich Swann went up 2-1 in his "friendly rivalry" with TJ Perkins.
Early back-and-forth action set up a sequence where Swann hit a sky-high drop kick, right to the nose of Perkins, and then hit a somersault off the apron onto TJP, as Swann gracefully landed on his feet.
The match hit an apex when both men hit roundhouse kicks in unison. Both answered the 10 count -- although a draw would've been a great way to set up their next encounter -- but Swann eventually hit his reverse thrust kick, the "Fantastic Voyage" (a version of a "Michinoku Driver") and the "Phoenix Splash" for the win.
Those two obviously have great chemistry together, and if the storyline keeps moving along and stays fresh and relevant, I don't mind seeing the pair square off again. I simply loved having the match within a 205 Live that saw more melding with the main roster and surprise storyline twists.
Hits and misses
Swann's sunglasses are worthy of a spot in the Edge & Christian eyewear Hall of Fame.
Perkins' begrudging handshake at the end of his match with Swann makes me doubt that their story is over. I want to see another match, but I want to see the narrative take another step before we get there.
Somebody had a lot of fun designing the ring gear that Gulak deemed "too elaborate" during his presentation. Gulak has been made into a laughingstock, but he's 10 times more relevant now than he was early in his WWE run. He's being a good sport, and he's being rewarded with more TV time.
If you were curious, Tyler Breeze is listed at 212 pounds. If we're OK with SmackDown wrestlers appearing on 205 Live, and if he can drop seven pounds, he'd be a fun addition to the division. There are options that could spruce up a slim roster, both from WWE and NXT. The dream is still the Johnny Gargano-Tommaso Ciampa feud coming with the cruiserweight championship on the line.
Alexander seems to be heading for a feud with Gallagher (and perhaps Kendrick). Alexander looked dominant in last week's Fatal 5-Way, and everybody comes out better after a feud involving Kendrick.
Superlatives of the night
Move: Not technically a move, but props to Gulak for not laughing when Fandango got in his face to the point of actually rubbing his face against Gulak's.
Line: "What's Slide 3, Captain? We can't cruiser-wait to see the rest." -- a Microsoft Office tweet on Gulak's Powerpoint presentation.
Match: By default, it's Swann-Perkins. However, you could also say Tuesday had a "Turn of the Night" and a "Comedy Segment of the Night" and have excellent candidates for each.