Since the show 205 Live began, who is it’s standout performer?
WWE will crown a new Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion on this Wednesday’s show. Whoever wins it will be the fifteenth different Cruiserweight Champion in the belt’s history. Ever since 205 Live debuted on November 29th, 2016, the show has been a staple of WWE programming and has showcased the best the cruiserweight division has to offer. With just over three and a half years of shows, it is time to answer the question: Who is Mr. 205 Live?
To do it, we’re using a points system. This will take into account only appearances on 205 Live and pay-per-view, not Raw, SmackDown or any other brand. We’re looking to find who is the real MVP of 205 Live. The point system is:
- 3 points for a win (any match type)
- 2 points for a multi-man loss (gauntlet matches, triple threats, fatal four ways)
- 2 points for a no-contest
- 1 point for a loss (singles & tag team)
- 8 points for a title win
- 5 points for a title defense
- 3 points for a title match loss
- 5 points for a pay-per-view win (205 Live related feud)
- 3 points for a pay-per-view loss (205 Live related feud)
- 2 points for each full week as champion, 1 point for each part week
- 2 bonus points for a spot on the Wrestlemania card
With the administration out of the way, here are the top five point getters. Number one will claim the title and be named Mr. 205 Live.
#5: Neville – 185 Points
Buoyed by one of the best Cruiserweight Championship runs of this belt’s history, Neville finds himself in the number five spot. After a long babyface run in WWE, Neville turned heel on Rich Swann upon entering the Cruiserweight division. Neville then had the longest reign of any of the Cruiserweight champions in history, clocking in at 196 days. He also has the most cumulative days with the title and the most successful defenses on 205 Live/pay-per-view. Sadly, his run was ended by Enzo Amore of all people. Neville, now known as PAC in AEW, brought a real nasty streak to the division. If his run was longer (it was less than a calendar year) he could have easily become Mr. 205 Live.
#4: Akira Tozawa – 194 Points
Tozawa finds himself fourth on the list due to his longevity on 205 Live. He is a one-time champion, but he won the title on Raw so the win didn’t give him a bump. Tozawa also only held the title for 5 days, which didn’t help either. He received most of his points for his ability to rack up wins on the show: a leading total of 40 victories for 120 points. Those wins were usually to build him up for a title opportunity. Tozawa has the most title match losses of any competitor on the list with seven. A 205 Live original, Tozawa has been part of the fabric of the show since the beginning.
#3: Drew Gulak – 197 Points
Gulak has always been an important member of 205 Live, with his no-fly zone and powerpoints being a highlight of the show’s earliest days. Unfortunately for Gulak, a lot of his time on 205 Live has been spent in the L column. Gulak has the third highest total of losses on 205 Live & pay-per-view with 36, only behind the next guy on the list with 42 and Ariya Daivari with 45. Still, Gulak managed to reinvent himself into a great Cruiserweight champion in 2019. He held the title for over 100 days and made five successful defenses.
#2: Tony Nese – 233 Points
Tony Nese is likely the most underappreciated member of the 205 Live roster. A major player from the very beginning of the show, Nese has put over a ton of other talent. He has 42 losses, but has had his fair share of success with the second most wins on 205 Live/pay-per-view with 38. Nese won the Cruiserweight Championship at Wrestlemania 35 in a stellar match against Buddy Murphy, and held it for 11 weeks before losing it without being pinned. Envy his abs if you must, but appreciate the work that Nese has put in for the purple brand.
#1: Cedric Alexander – 250 Points
Ever since his standout performance that drew out Triple H at the Cruiserweight Classic, Cedric Alexander has been stellar for the division. His best feud was leading into Wrestlemania 34, where he won the tournament to become the new Cruiserweight Champion. Cedric Alexander was named “The Soul of 205 Live”* and he lived up to the billing. He racked up 36 wins, five successful title defenses, and the third-most weeks as Cruiserweight champ. Congratulations to long-time 205 Live original Cedric Alexander – the true Mr. 205 Live.
*for the curious, the “Heart of 205 Live” Mustafa Ali finished 11th in the ranking.
So, do you agree with our statistical analysis of the 205 Live era? Does Cedric Alexander lay claim to the best competitor that 205 Live has had? Or is it someone who was left off the list by the numbers entirely, like Jack Gallagher or Buddy Murphy? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @FPC_Wrestling.