At Roadblock: End Of The Line, Neville returned from his strange exile to lay waste to the cruiserweight division. He continued his reign of terror on Monday’s Raw, and it’s starting to feel like the shake-up that the cruiserweight division needs right now. Despite getting a new weekly show with 205 Live, the presentation of the cruiserweights hasn’t felt quite right since the conclusion of the Cruiserweight Classic this summer.
Raj Giri at Wrestling Inc. recently asked Sean Waltman (who has been back in the public eye recently with his extremely good podcast, X-Pac 1-2-360) for his thoughts on the cruiserweight division. Waltman (who wrestled as a cruiserweight for large chunks of his career) had some pretty interesting thoughts about how the cruisers have been presented. For the most part he’s happy, but he thinks there are some drawbacks to the division that may have to do with some higher-ups behind the scenes butting heads on philosophies.
“I’m really happy. Mostly I’m happy with what they’re doing with it, but there [are] a few things I don’t like. I don’t like them taping the 205 Live [show] after everything else is done in a half-empty arena where nobody gives a s–t. I think we’re marginalizing these guys.
“So, not cool. I don’t like that. It makes them seem like they’re still an afterthought … Of course [taping 205 Live before SmackDown Live would be better], of course. Whenever you put the heavy hitters out before the guys that are perceived to be lower on the card, it doesn’t work. I mean, well, it did at one point, but I’ll give you an exception. Back when they would take Hulk [Hogan] and somebody in the main event, or whoever, and put them on forth, before intermission, and then, put, like, Rockers versus The Hart Foundation on last. That was something that was done a lot. But, come on, I mean, the cruiserweights are still trying to get established. We don’t want to treat them like they’re a special attraction like the midgets, we used to call them midgets, and what the ladies used to be back in the days, back in the Moolah, the Fabulous Moolah circuit days.
“Who gives a s–t [about changing the color of the ring ropes]? I mean, why are we changing ropes? Well, I guess I understand why. But, like, yeah, it does signify it’s time to go to the bathroom, or get some popcorn, or it’s time to just leave. Right? Without talking to anybody about it, I know there’s an internal struggle going on about these types of things. I guarantee you somebody feels the same way I do about it, so it’s not like everyone there is just oblivious or doesn’t get what I’m saying.”
Reports have indicated that Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn, not Triple H, are in charge of the cruiserweights and 205 Live, and the booking and general aesthetic surrounding the division. That would probably explain why the cruiserweight division hasn’t felt much like the Cruiserweight Classic since that tournament and show ended.
I would imagine that Waltman is right — and he’s certainly someone who would know how things operate over at WWE — and that there are differing opinions about how the cruisers should operate and be presented. But bringing Neville back as the Brock Lesnar of the division is absolutely a step in the right direction, so there’s always a chance we can eventually end up with something that will make everyone happy.
There I go again, being optimistic on the internet. I’ll never learn my lesson.