This week, the WWE has made it a priority to tout the available content that currently lives on the WWE Network. The Network’s library has surpassed the 7,000-hour mark with events from WWE, WCW, ECW, and tons of original programming. Its expansion has become a major initiative and will continue to be in 2017 with declining subscription numbers weighing heavily on the minds of WWE officials.
In addition, Vince McMahon seems to have had a major change of heart in regard to his feelings on tournaments. He’s stated publicly and privately in the past how he loathed them despite the fact that several have provided memorable moments for the company that now live in perpetuity on the WWE Network.
WrestleMania IV gave us a new WWE Champion in Randy Savage after surviving a 14-man tournament in Atlantic City. The 1996 King of the Ring provided the genesis for Austin 3:16, and The Rock memorably turned heel by joining Vince at the conclusion of the 1998 Survivor Series.
Fast forward to the current product, where there have been an abundance of tournaments on the WWE Network in the last two years. In honor of the passing of Dusty Rhodes, Triple H concocted the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic on NXT, which has been a major success in 2015 and 2016. The Cruiserweight Classic drew rave reviews as the WWE recruited talented performers from all around the world to compete in the WWE Network exclusive.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have been rumored to be working on something similar for women that is currently scheduled to air sometime in 2017. And the success of the Cruiserweight Classic spawned the rebirth of the Cruiserweight Division on Monday Night RAW, and more recently, their own show in the form of 205 Live, which airs immediately after SmackDown on Tuesday nights on the WWE Network.
Taking all that into account, it makes today’s news somewhat surprising. According to a report from Daily Wrestling News, Vince McMahon has been in control of 205 Live and not Triple H. Vince and longtime producer Kevin Dunn have been largely responsible for the creative of the show, with Triple H remaining focused on NXT and his post as second in command of RAW and SmackDown.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has a clear vision for the direction of the Cruiserweight Division, especially as it pertains to the product that’s displayed weekly on 205 Live. It was reported over the summer that Triple H had a lot of convincing to do for Vince to green-light the CWC, but there was doubt at the end of how successful it ended up being. Vince has run with that success and been extremely hands-on with the cruiserweights since their return.
Whether that success has translated onto the main roster on Monday nights is certainly up for debate, but for someone like Vince to go from the thinking that cruiserweights couldn’t draw to being a focal point of his energy is certainly interesting.
The bigger criticism within the brand hasn’t been so much with the performers in it, but those who aren’t. There have been many who have questioned why Neville isn’t being used in the WWE’s new high-flying division or why Austin Aries wasn’t brought up immediately upon its debut. Neville hasn’t been used in a significant manner on the main roster in some time. Aries was injured recently and appeared as a commentator on 205 Live, so there is a feeling that he’ll wrestle there when he’s cleared.
But the major takeaway from all of this is that Vince McMahon is heavily involved with the production of the cruiserweights and 205 Live. How do you think he’s done so far? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]