As Smackdown moves from USA to Fox and NXT from the WWE Network to USA, there has been speculation about the future of 205 Live, the one-hour, all-cruiserweight show that has aired on the Network since November 2016. According to an announcement by WWE today, the purple brand will continue to air live on the company’s streaming service after Smackdown, now on Friday nights instead of Tuesdays. (This had been reported earlier in the week.)
This move comes soon after the first episode of the USA-era of NXT featured a number one contender’s match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship between Oney Lorcan and a revamped Lio Rush. This match fit Triple H’s statement in a recent Newsweek interview in which he said 205 Live will start to, “sit under the umbrella of the NXT brand”:
“NXT UK will sit under that NXT banner as well, probably 205 too breathing some life into it a little bit. That creates three distinct brands that talent, over the course of their career – which hopefully is long – where they can migrate from one to the other and be reinvigorated and have fresh starts and have longer, more meaningful and lucrative careers while staying within the same company…
“I think [205 Live] always existed as an island onto itself, a little bit, and it’s become lost in this limbo. You’ll begin to see it move more towards the NXT banner and the talent there. We have a lot of talent. For them to begin to compete either open against anyone or in the cruiserweight division, but have that title sit under the NXT brand is more meaningful. It creates more opportunities for more people.”
So while 205 Live has already played a role in this era of NXT and we’ve seen talent exchanged between NXT domestic, NXT UK, and 205 Live, the cruiserweights will continue to perform and be aired live right after Smackdown.