It was teased yesterday by 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick that some huge WrestleMania news would be revealed on last night’s episode of the purple brand. Well, he definitely delivered as he opened the show to congratulate current champion Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa on their stellar match at WWE Elimination Chamber. Maverick went on to announce that with WrestleMania 35 swiftly approaching, a new challenger for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship needs to be crowned. The way that will be decided? A tournament.
— WWE (@WWE) February 20, 2019
The very type of event that spawned the division and relit the fire at the start of 2018 will now likely do the same over the next few weeks. Now, eight of the best cruiserweights in the promotion will compete in a single elimination tournament with the winner heading to WrestleMania 35 to challenge for the title.
Four of the eight competitors have been announced with two matches already set for next week. Those matches are Drew Gulak vs. The Brian Kendrick and Kalisto vs. Tony Nese.
— 205Live (@WWE205Live) February 20, 2019
As for the remaining four names yet to be announced, a strong case could be made for the two winners of last night’s matches. Humberto Carrillo, the brands newest star took down the inaugural Cruiserweight Champion TJP and former-champion Cedric Alexander beat Mike Kanellis. As well as these two, Ariya Daivari is looking strong, working his way through squash matches.
Two big queries arise with this news. Firstly, those of you who even slightly pay attention to the product will surely know that WrestleMania 35 is not the next pay-per-view. Fastlane is. So if this tournament will be taking up all the time on 205 Live, does that mean there will be no Cruiserweight Championship match at WWE Fastlane?
Second, these tournaments a tailor-made to introduce new or guest appearing talent. Roderick Strong and Murphy himself in the 2018 edition spring to mind. With the ‘Juggernaut’ having already destroyed the majority of the division, are we likely to see any surprise call-ups? What’s KUSHIDA up to?
Regardless of who is involved, 205 Live looks to be reinvigorated once again over the coming weeks and I for one cannot wait. Murphy needs some new blood so that he can finally lose his title and join Mustafa Ali with the big boys.
Then again, Murphy is still 61 days away from Neville/PAC’s record reign which WWE is seemingly trying to replace. Those 61 days will take us past WrestleMania 35 so I guess a title retention is probably more likely no matter who the opponent is.