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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2017 05:02 pm
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bpickering
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We have created something called 205 Live, which is a show involving our cruiserweights, which is another whole division in which we are starting up now, which will again have its own sources of revenue in terms of live events as well as other things that are all – merchandising, licensing and all of that." - Vince McMahon, February 2017

 World Wrestling Entertainment will move forward with the first-ever 205 Live brand live events starting in January 2018, PWInsider.com has confirmed.

 The current plan is for 205 Live to have its first standalone live events on the weekend of 1/18/18-1/20/18.  We are told WWE will be targeting smaller buildings in the Northeast for that weekend, possibly the same venues they utilize for the WWE NXT brand. 

It appears WWE will be taking a "let's walk before we can run" stance with the brand.  The current 205 Live touring plan appears to be running 2-3 events over a weekend once a month, but beyond the January and potential February dates, we are told that nothing has been set in stone and it's being seen as something of an experiment.

The 205 Live brand, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, was born out of the very successful 2016 Cruiserweight Classic tournament, which led to a number of talents being signed full-time by WWE.    205 Live was launched a year ago under the strategy of adding weekly live programming to the WWE Network, effectively replacing the taped WWE Superstars series.   Cruiserweight talents have been appearing regularly on Monday Night Raw since that time as a way to hook fans into subscribing to the WWE Network to watch the series. 

Over the last six months, 205 Live took a major step forward with the addition of current Cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore, who brought a strong personality to the weekly storylines.       The brand will get another boon when WWE NXT star Hideo Itami joins the roster shortly.

During a WWE quarter earnings conference call back in February, Vince McMahon noted there were plans to create revenue sources for 205 Live, including live events, licensing and merchandising.  Until now, nothing had moved forward, officially, in terms of those plans and the Cruiserweights continued to work TV tapings.  

In 2018, we will start to see those plans rolled out and how the brand will fare when it goes on the road and whether that leads to additional merchandising for the brand and its performers.

Last edited on Tue Dec 5th, 2017 05:03 pm by bpickering



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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2017 05:03 pm
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bpickering
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The first-ever WWE 205 Live house shows will take place on

Friday 1/19/18 at the Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island.

Saturday 1/20/18 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA

Sunday 1/21/18 at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY

Tickets for the events will go on sale this Friday, which may mean some online pre-sales a day or so before.

As PWInsider.com exclusively broke this morning, WWE is taking a "walk before they run" stance with the live events and is looking to potentially run one weekend of live events per month. We are told that they are looking at the middle of February for a second set of 205 Live events.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 09:04 pm
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srossi
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Mike Johnson reports from the first ever 205 Live house show:

Over the weekend, WWE held their first-ever 205 Live events beyond the weekly series that airs on Tuesdays on the WWE Network.  I attended last night's event in Poughkeepsie, New York at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, which has been hosting pro wrestling for decades and housed a number of major WWF angles in the 1980s.

With this being the first 205 Live events, I was curious going in how the live event would differ from a traditional WWE house show and what demographic would be in attendance at the show.  WWE NXT crowds traditionally have been events far more populated by die-hard fans who have followed talents over the course of their independent and international careers vs. average WWE family-style fans who watch Raw and Smackdown. 

With 205 Live having been spawned from the Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network, but having been exposed regularly over the last year on not just its own series but Monday Night Raw, the make-up of the crowds were going to be interesting.   While all signs are the Lowell, MA event featured the same type of audience that would be attending Ring of Honor events in the same venue, last night's event in Poughkeepsie were made-up of 85-90% of the type of family WWE audience you'd expect to see at their "top" branded tours.  There was a sea of Enzo Amore wigs with Amore and Hardy getting the biggest reactions of the night in terms of ring entrances.  This was not the type of die-hard audience you'd see at a WWE NXT Takeover event and WWE smartly, played to the audience, as there were lots old school wrestling house show elements in every match - the heel stalling, the babyface playing to the crowd, lots of fan interaction. 

If you walked into 205 Live expecting a series of crazy springboard dives and nothing else, well, you weren't getting that.  There were several instances of teased countouts.  What the show was, was a nuanced WWE show designed to send everyone home happy, not something designed to be similar to a ROH or EVOLVE with a futuristic pro wrestling twist.  This was not a series of Young Bucks style of matches.

Backstage, the event was something of a departure from the usual WWE way WWE designs and executes their house shows.  There were no Producers at the event.  Adam Pearce, who over the last few years went from ROH booker to NWA champion to WWE NXT Coach to full-fledged WWE Producer, put together and ran the show.  He could be easily seen on headsets directing the event on the Civic Center stage. 

Before the show, there was a signing for ringside fans with Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak and others.  The merchandise stand featured the first-ever 205 Live t-shirt as well as shirts and merchandise for Matt Hardy, Enzo Amore, Bray Wyatt, Kalisto and others.    Those hoping for a Drew Gulak PowerPoint presentation shirt, however, were sadly disappointed.

Jojo was the ring announcer and the show featured the no typical WWE live event production with a small Titantron screen that played all sorts of promotional videos pushing Raw 25, Wrestlemania 34, fan social media from the event and more in between matches.  The ropes were Cruiserweight purple, a return to the way the 205 Live series looked before production cutbacks led to the rope changes being dropped.

Following the national anthem, the 205 Live TV opening played at 7 PM on the dot.

*Hideo Itami pinned Jack Gallagher with his DDT into the knees combination.  Gallagher played stalling heel early and was very good at it.  The crowd was all over him for not wrestling.  Hideo looked OK early but really shined when he went into a combination of kicks and set up the finish.  Good opener.

*Drew Gulak was introduced and got a big reaction.  He wanted a Better 205 Live and of course, was giving his Power Point presentation, which the crowd reacted to in a big way when out came Akira Tozawa to set up a match.  This was very good, highlighted by Gulak's facial reactions while selling and a hell of a dive that looked like Tozawa was about to decimate Gulak completely.   Of all the 205 Live regulars, Gulak got the biggest reaction coming out.

*They aired a backstage interview were Nia Jax admitted she was nervous and excited because this was going to be the first time she'd ever refereed.  Enzo Amore arrived to sooth her, teasing the idea that he was trying to win her over.

*Broken/Woken Matt Hardy pinned Bray Wyatt with the Twist of Fate.  Hardy received, by far, the biggest reaction of anything and anyone up until this point.  There was a lot of playing up the characters of each talent and interacting with the crowd.  Wyatt attacked and grabbed Hardy early and attempted to hit Sister's Abigail's Kiss, which the audience totally bought as a potential end to the match.  Hardy wrestled early on with his robe on and appeared to be limping when he came to the ring.    The crowd was really, really into the "Delete" chant and Hardy sang the "Obsolete" song, which the crowd also played along with.

After this, it was intermission.

*Mustafa Ali pinned Ariya Daivari in a very good match that the crowd really got into after scoring with a great looking 450 splash.  Daivari pulled a play out of the George South book, taking a long time to take off his "$1,500 shirt" to get heel heat.  Ali ended up putting on the shirt later in the match, infuriating Daivari.  The one thing that absolutely stood out here is how good Ali is in the ring, completely crisp and with a lot of fiery offense.  I have been watching the entirety of the 205 Live series and I was more impressed with him here than I had ever been with his TV bouts.  He absolutely shined here.  Daivari, who has always been a really good heel, looked strong as well.

*Gran Metallik & Kalisto defeated TJP & Tony Nese in a long, back and forth tag match.  Nese ruled here with all his strongman spots and in many ways was the star of the match.  The crowd got into the babyface comeback for Kalisto and he scored the pin with the Salida del Sol on Nese.

*WWE Cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore pinned Cedric Alexander in a bout featuring Nia Jax as the guest referee.  Big, big reaction for Enzo's entrance and pre-match promo, second only to Matt Hardy.  Enzo cut a promo where he said that even though the people in the balcony were looking down at him, he was actually in the ring looking down upon them.  He also knocked Poughkeepsie and told everyone to go swimming with three-eyed fish in the Hudson River.  The crowd turned on him at that point.  Cedric Alexander was absolutely excellent here, almost Ricky Steamboat-esque in his crispness and execution in the ring.  He had Enzo on the run for much of the early portion of the match.  The story was that Alexander had Enzo beaten, but Enzo accidentally knocked into Nia and blamed the challenger.  Cedric went for a spinning kick and Enzo ducked and Nia was struck in the head.  She went down and Cedric had the match won, but when she returned, she nailed him with a Samoan Drop and Enzo scored the pin.  Nia counted quickly.  Cedric is good enough that if they drafted him to Raw or Smackdown and shifted him away from the Cruisers, he'd be fine.  

The show was over before 10 PM.   Overall, a solid night.

Notes:
The show was not a sellout but appeared to be about 70-75% full...Former WWE developmental talent Bill Carr was backstage visiting with Bray Wyatt, who he teamed with in FCW....WWE did not announce a return date for Poughkeepsie....There were a lot of late arriving fans as the venue only has two doors to enter, which led to a long delayed entrance into the building as fans had to go through security, then have their tickets scanned.  There were fans walking in all through the first two matches.  At 7 PM, belltime, there was a line down the block and around the corner to enter the Civic Center.

Last edited on Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 09:05 pm by srossi



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 Posted: Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 09:55 pm
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Superstar
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They tried this approach with ECW in 2006. Three weeks before their house show in Danbury CT, I got tickets for my wife and two sons. I knew then the brand was in deep trouble because 21 days before the show I was able to basically pick where I wanted to sit. The front rows were all sold out, but virtually anywhere else had tons of seats. If I recall, by counting I figured about 185 seats were sold in a building that holds a couple thousand. Sure enough, a week before the show they canceled the show, and all ECW shows, and said they would be only doing the shows in conjunction with Smackdown.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 10:10 pm
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Yeah but if the arena was 70-70% full like Johnson said, that's not too shabby



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 Posted: Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 10:11 pm
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I would be interested in going to a 205, NXT or C level house show if it was held in a small arena here in the Houston area. In the past 8 months I’ve been to the Toyota enter twice once for raw and once for smackdown and it’s a hassle to get down there



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 Posted: Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 10:13 pm
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wittman2 wrote: Yeah but if the arena was 70-70% full like Johnson said, that's not too shabby
That's actually really good.  I've been up there many times.  TNA sold it out a couple times, and the last time I saw them there was about half full or less.  Saw WWE there three times and all times were sellouts - in fact, a few times they did doubleheaders with an afternoon and night show because they sold out so quickly.  Basically, If they sold 70% of the tickets for 205 live, and they can do that consistently around the horn, the brand will survive.  That place holds about 3000 people, so that's a lot of tickets that were bought for probably a card where only Hardy and Wyatt were advertised.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 22nd, 2018 10:31 pm
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bpickering
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Photos I seen from the night before (Saturday) Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. They had a great crowd also.

From What I could tell its was close to a sell out.



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"22 years of my fucking life just got fucking ruined!!!!"---Fan outside Wrestlemania XXX

PRO WRESTLING HALL OF FAME: http://www.angelfire.com/pa5/old (updated September 2 2018)

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