The events Sunday through Tuesday at No Mercy, Monday Night Raw and 205 Live dramatically altered the landscape of the cruiserweight division. New champion Enzo Amore (if you've zoned out for the past couple weeks, you're reading that correctly) is now a full-blown, self-aggrandizing heel. Neville is a face both in actions and crowd reaction, doing what is right for the disrespected division ahead of his own pursuit of the title.
In general, 205 Live has changed the entire way the division has been presented.
Seemingly gone are the days when the cruiserweight division was featured on Monday Night Raw with a single, largely meaningless match. This week, Raw didn't have a cruiserweight match, but rather Amore's championship celebration. Oh yeah, that segment closed the show.
But, unless you're given more time, you're going to lose some in-ring product in exchange for character-driven segments. That has been the case on both Raw and 205 Live, where there were two matches. One of those matches, Neville versus Ariya Daivari, was more of a vehicle to further the feud with Amore.
If you're more into pure wrestling, it's a negative move. However, the cruiserweight division was in a constant state of struggle to equal what was going on during last year's Cruiserweight Classic, especially when it comes to crowd reaction. If you're looking at the overall health of the division, Amore has taken it to new places in terms of awareness and buzz.
Both Amore and Neville put their verbal skills on display once again on Tuesday night's episode of 205 Live, taking the story of "Amore versus everyone else" to another level.
Amore opened the show, clearly hurt from the beating he received both on Monday Night Raw, and after the show was off the air from Braun Strowman and the entire cruiserweight division. After taking shots at Cedric Alexander and Neville, Amore said that he was the reason people were staying up late on Tuesday night.
"I take that stage," he said. "And I'm the same guy backstage as I am on the stage. And you know what that guy is. That guy is a star. That guy is a champion. That guy is the guy that put 205 Live on the map."
Amore also made the point that with his "no-contact" clause he got Kurt Angle to agree to Monday, every cruiserweight taking turns in his thrashing means he'll be champion forever.
He might've put 205 Live on the map, but it's a totally different 205 Live now.
However, if that puts eyeballs on the screen, and exposes more people to what the remainder of the division can do in the ring, Amore truly will be the player that takes the show to the next level, despite being its worst in-ring performer.
Neville closed the show with a win over Daivari, but first addressed his actions from the night before, and how he knew he forfeited his rematch.
"Last night, I knew exactly what I was doing. And it was the best night of my life," Neville said, the crowd getting more and more behind him by the moment. "But you know what, I don't care. And given the opportunity, I will do it again. And again. And again. So my advice to little 'Muscles Marinara,' keep one eye open, buddy. Cause you never know when this creature will be lurking."
Neville has become even more interesting, turning from dominant heel to anti-hero, who is on a personal mission to torture Amore, because he disrespected not just Neville, but the entire division. What made his mic skills enthralling as a villain simply carry over to his role as crazed avenger.
Hopefully it's just the start of something great for Neville, a push that leads to him "saving" the division from Amore, and becoming a bigger character than he was as champion.
Hits and Misses
Alexander has been the butt of Amore's references to his lack of charisma, but Amore's annoying charisma might lead to Alexander growing as a strong, silent type -- the antithesis of Amore.
Superlatives of the Night
Move: I loved the sequence that led to the finish in the Akira Tozawa-Tony Nese match. Tozawa forearm, Nese running forearm, Tozawa thrust kick, Nese matrixes to avoid a clothes and hits a combo, Tozawa misses a roundhouse kick, ducks under Nese, Nese flips out of the suplex attempt, Tozawa connects with a roundhouse and hits the sky-high senton for the win. Phew.
Line: Outside of Amore and Neville's verbal sparring, I have co-winners.
"I have a dream. A dream of a Drew-topia. A place where talented ground-based athletes can compete in peace, shake hands before and after every match, and not have to deal with mindless celebrating" -- Drew Gulak to Akira Tozawa
"Actions speak louder than words, and what action speaks louder than cruelty? Cruelty is a gift humanity has given itself." -- The suddenly poetic Jack Gallagher, before his match next week with Alexander
Match: The aforementioned Tozawa-Nese match.