Neville shocked the WWE Universe when he turned heel at Roadblock. Forbes reported that the turn happened after the three-way match for the Cruiserweight Championship when Rich Swann beat T.J. Perkins and Brian Kendrick and the music started for Neville. After the match, Neville then walked to the ring and beat the crap out of both Perkins and Swann.
While it was a surprise to the fans and announcers, many of the fans in Pittsburgh started to cheer for Neville as he beat up Perkins and Swann. Some even chanted “thank you Neville” as he destroyed the cruiserweights.
While it was a shock to see Neville return and an even bigger surprise to see him attack the faces after the match, it wasn’t a surprise as far as Neville was concerned. WWE.com posted a video of a backstage reporter catching up with him, and Neville said no one should have been surprised.
It was almost funny to hear the announcers act shocked, especially Corey Graves. Neville and Corey Graves were tag team champions back at NXT before Neville went on to become the NXT Champion. Neville even worked on his heel gimmick in NXT towards the end of his stint there.
However, the best thing about this Neville WWE heel turn is that he will suddenly change the entire landscape of the 205 Live show and might also increase the interest of Monday Night Raw when it comes to the cruiserweights.
The reason that the cruiserweights have failed on Monday Night Raw is because none of the fans have a reason to invest in anyone in the division. Fans fell in love with Cedric Alexander during the Cruiserweight Classic, and Monday Night Raw did nothing but give him a girlfriend, Alicia Fox.
TJ Perkins had a great story with the fact he used to be homeless while working to make it in his career, and the WWE gave him a video game gimmick that fans turned on. He has been more interesting with the swagger he has developed, but it is slow coming.
Brian Kendrick is the only one anyone knows anything about from before, and his gimmick doesn’t seem to be lasting that well as the top heel in the division. That is why creating a heel that is well-known — someone like Neville — is the best thing the WWE could do right now.
Rich Swann is an exciting champion and has an even better real-life rags-to-riches story than TJ Perkins. A real heel like Neville could bring out the best in Rich Swann, and the two of them could have amazing matches. That will bring the WWE fans around better than putting two unknown guys against each other on Monday Night Raw.
There are great wrestlers in the cruiserweight division. Drew Gulak and Tony Nese can be great villains, but they need time to grow. While they are developing a relationship with the crowd, someone like Neville can hold the fort as the biggest character on the entire show.
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Neville is also a perfect addition to 205 Live because he stagnated since joining the main roster from NXT. He is one of the most exciting wrestlers in the WWE, but he never had a chance to shine outside of mid-card matches. Now, he can main event the cruiserweight shows, get the work in that he deserves and make the entire 205 Live experience even better.
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