205 Live recap: Positioning for the Rumble, WrestleMania and beyond

Cedric Alexander seems poised to take on Enzo Amore in an upcoming cruiserweight title match. Courtesy @WWE

In the midst of a couple of matches on this week's 205 Live, there was also the setup for extended storylines that will decide what is done with the cruiserweight championship as WWE begins its most important stretch of the year.

What could be the headline feud that will try to match what Neville and Austin Aries (both of whom are no longer in the WWE picture) were able to accomplish last year at this time? Those two carried the cruiserweight division with a feud that included both their stellar in-ring work and the back-and-forth verbal sparring that upped both of their games.

How about Cedric Alexander?

After Enzo Amore fended off a challenge from Alexander the previous night on Raw, retaining via a count-out loss, their feud was continued Tuesday, although with questions.

Alexander won through somewhat heelish fashion, feigning an injury in order to surprise Tony Nese with a small package. Afterward, Alexander kicked Amore in his injured ankle and hit him with a lumbar check, an uncharacteristic move from what seemed to be the most pure baby face on the roster.

It could be looked at as Alexander willing to do "whatever it takes" to win the title. But it was inconsistent with the Alexander we're familiar with. Alexander will get another shot at the title, perhaps at Raw 25, perhaps at the Royal Rumble, but can this feud extend all the way to WrestleMania?

How about Tony Nese?

Nese begged his way back onto the Zo Train this week. Not just to be a passenger, but to hold the top spot ... of anyone not named Enzo.

Having seen the error of his ways and conceding that he deserved the beatdown that Amore, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari gave him a few weeks ago, Nese told Amore that he would prove his worth to the Zo Train by way of a beating of Alexander. That didn't happen, as Nese was tricked into defeat.

Amore ordered him out of the ring, and Nese retreated as told. But was it a missed opportunity to have Nese get his revenge right then and establish him as Amore's next foil. It could be a slow burn to when Nese is finally fed up and uses his unique combination of strength and agility to take down Amore, but then again, it could lead to absolutely nothing.

Nese could get the spot to challenge for the cruiserweight championship come WrestleMania season, but if so, it could work best as a multi-man match, because ...

How about Drew Gulak?

Gulak (and Daivari) wasn't on 205 Live this week, but he shouldn't be neglected when discussing the future of the division. Gulak has been a loyal soldier to Amore, turning on his best friend and ignoring (or just plain not noticing) Amore's abusive treatment.

Gulak has unexpectedly gotten over on his own, using Powerpoint presentations, but also with his unique personality and commitment to character. Gulak might be the guy who's done the most to stake his claim to a WrestleMania spot.

Or, how about Hideo Itami?

Itami, with the timing of his arrival in the division, seemed to be the guy they were setting up for the WrestleMania spot. He hasn't done anything to make us think otherwise, proving dominant and physical.

Or, how about several of them?

For the cruiserweights to stand out at a grand stage like WrestleMania, it could take a multi-man match in which these wrestlers can showcase their abilities. Nothing would get a WrestleMania crowd fired up more than letting the cruiserweights loose.

Hits and Misses

  • It was a solid night of matches, and Gran Metalik picking up his most meaningful victory since the Cruiserweight Classic, over TJP, who beat him in the event final, stood out. Metalik's acrobatics and creativity really stand out and could connect with the crowd, perhaps even more than Kalisto.

  • On the flip side is TJ Perkins, who flipped out after taking the loss, destroying the ringside area. Hey, throwing temper tantrums after losing worked in the WCW cruiserweight division for Chris Jericho, but Jericho started as a squeaky-clean heel, and TJP lacks the same impact.

  • TJP, let's all ignore that you tried and couldn't get the table to flip over. In fact, it made me enjoy your tantrum more.

  • Jack Gallagher's heel promos have a cadence and a tone that I really enjoy. "He's bruised, he's battered, he's ... not here."

Superlatives of the Night

Move: Gran Metalik's sunset flip powerbomb starting from the ringpost was another example of his innovation.

Line: Some combination of Amore's updates on "the realist ankle" and that he should get a Ford logo tattoo since he's "built Ford tough."

Match: Metalik def. TJP. TJP's pace was slow to start the match, but when Metalik got moving, TJP kept up and the match had a fun conclusion with a good story to get there.