Cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore was released by the WWE on Tuesday, leaving the WWE just hours to contemplate a backup plan before the airing of this week's show. Amore was scheduled to defend his championship against Cedric Alexander at this Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view, but the road to the cruiserweight championship now will require an alternate route.
Which direction will it take? There are plenty of possibilities.
The easiest solution would be to reward the No. 1 contender, Alexander, with the title. Or how about a tournament similar to what was done to handle the vacancy of the United States championship on SmackDown Live? However, it is Royal Rumble season. Perhaps a cruiserweight Royal Rumble match featuring the entire division as a way to crown a new champion would be the most appropriate call. Smartly, the WWE bought a little more time.
As 205 Live came on the air, SmackDown Live general manager Daniel Bryan, who cited his affinity to cruiserweight wrestling, announced that for the first time since the show's inception, 205 Live would be naming a general manager of its own next week.
This is a welcomed addition to a show in desperate need of a face-lift. The addition of a GM not only will shed some light on the championship situation, it'll provide some much-needed direction to what's been an erratically booked show.
You have to feel for Alexander, though.
It appeared that he was nearing his big break as his championship match at the Royal Rumble neared, but it was not to be. The detour didn't slow him down, though, as he and Mustafa Ali rewarded the live audience members who stuck around past the 11 o'clock hour with an excellent bout that ranks among the best matches ever on 205 Live.
A normally subdued 205 Live audience chanted: "This is awesome," as Alexander and Ali weaved in and out of perfectly timed sequences full of crisp offense and believable near falls on their way to delivering the match of the night, SmackDown Live and Mixed Match Challenge bouts included. Alexander lumbar-checked himself to victory, but this wasn't about wins and losses. It was about two superstars leaving everything they had in the ring as a sign that the brand is in good hands.
Next week figures to be the most anticipated episode in 205 Live history. Let the speculation of the new GM begin as we head toward what could be a new and improved home for the cruiserweights.
• Luchadors Kalisto, Gran Metalik and a returning Lince Dorado took on TJP, Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese. Each had the chance to shine, and make cases that they are championship material. The match was highly athletic and featured a number of innovative spots, none more impressive than Kalisto and Metalik delivering stereo missile dropkicks and somersault planchas in succession to Daivari and Nese. That opened the door for Dorado to hit TJP with a modified springboard stunner and pick up the win for his team.
Afterward, TJP's trend of whining after his losses continued as he got in the faces of Nese and Daivari only to be shoved to the mat by Nese, who had heard enough. TJP is embracing this grouchy role of his, a wonderful heel characteristic added to his repertoire.
• Hideo Itami launched his name up the list of potential cruiserweight championship candidates with a win over Jack Gallagher. Gallagher failed in his attempt to avenge his injured comrade, Brian Kendrick, who suffered a significant facial injury at the hands (knee, actually) of Itami's GTS knee-strike finisher last month. Interestingly enough, Itami didn't finish Gallagher off with the GTS on Tuesday night, but rather a modified codebreaker-esque maneuver -- a safer alternative. Has the GTS been deemed too dangerous for regular use? It's something to keep an eye on going forward.