For the past two weeks, the cruiserweight division has been closing out the WWE Raw show. At the previous Raw pay-per-view, No Mercy, Enzo Amore shockingly ended the dominant reign of the self-proclaimed “King of Cruiserweights,” Neville. Despite not fitting the mold of the cruiserweights from an in-ring standpoint, his charisma certainly outshines the rest and has brought a revived sense of interest to the 205 roster.
Seemingly, with the 205 roster at the end of the recent flagship shows, WWE is showing a serious interest in the brand. After the success of the Cruiserweight Classic, WWE used this momentum to sign some of the contestants to revive the defunct cruiserweight division. With talent such as veteran and former WWE Tag Team Champion Brian Kendrick, former Impact Wrestling star TJ Perkins, former Ring of Honor star Cedric Alexander, as well as a host of popular independent talent, the division seemed very promising. However, being placed after SmackDown Live on the WWE Network has not been well-received, and has lost interest since its debut.
With Enzo Amore at the helm, the division has drawn more interest. However, while closing Raw would appear to be a significant promotion, it may be the opposite.
According to ProWrestling.com via Wrestling Observer Radio, the reason why the division has been closing the show is due to WWE’s notion of when people lose interest in the three-hour Raw show. Reportedly, around 10:15 is when the numbers and interest start to drop, which causes WWE to end the show with filler. This has been shown over the past two weeks with an Enzo Amore Cruiserweight Championship celebration, which led to him getting attacked by Neville and then the rest of the division. This is followed by the most recent episode, which also closed with an extended Enzo Amore promo, and the 205 debut of Kalisto.
On the same show, the opening match was Seth Rollins challenging Braun Strowman, and Roman Reigns challenging The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship to close the second hour. While it is doubtful that Raw will reduce its time back to two hours, the concept of putting filler content in the third hour may be more harm than good for future viewership during that time. Based on the recent final-hour numbers, the trend is already heading that way.
[Featured Image by WWE]