A top WWE Executive has revealed that the company discussed making 205 Live the third hour of Raw.
205 Live debuted in November 2016 as a replacement for WWE Superstars. Typically airing after SmackDown, the show was intended to highlight the many talented cruiserweight competitors in the company.
WWE was also looking to capitalize on the success of the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic tournament that saw the likes of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampo introduced to a wider audience.
Speaking recently on his Oh You Didn’t Know podcast, WWE Senior Vice President of Live Events Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James reflected on the reasons behind introducing the show:
“There’s so many people out there that are great that are under 200 pounds. Look at both rosters right now, [they] are just chocka block full of them.
So, I think it was an opportunity to get that kind of talent, the smaller than the normal WWE talent on WWE programming, and get them under contract.”
WWE Executive Road Dogg Reveals ‘Hidden Gem’ 205 Live Was Considered For Raw
The show failed the hit the expected heights despite positive reviews of the in-ring action. Many feel that it was limited by its positioning as a WWE Network Exclusive with James revealing that the company considered moving the matches to Raw’s third hour in order to give it a wider audience:
“We talked about all this. Do we make the third hour of Raw 205 Live? There’s a million conversations, and call it WWE Turbo or something.
I don’t know what we were out to get; it was almost a hidden little gem. You had to really go in there and find 205 to watch. I think if you go back on there right now and watch it on the archives, there is great, and I mean great, wrestling matches on there.”
Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion and 205 Live mainstay TJP shared a different view, however, revealing that the show’s ultimate lack of success came because Vince McMahon lost interest in the purple brand.
H/T: WrestlingInc for the above transcription