Over the last year, not only the product of WWE 205 Live has been improved, but the general interest in the show has increased.
WWE caught fire with bringing back the cruiserweights as they did the Cruiserweight Classic tournament which led to the company deciding to use them on the main roster and eventually gave them their own show.
The only problem with this decision was the fact that it would air on Tuesday nights after SmackDown Live got done. Thus, with the product not being what they were looking for, those in attendance would end up leaving either before 205 Live aired or during the show. While being interviewed by Lilian Garcia for her podcast, Chasing Glory, Mustafa Ali spoke about this situation and fans leaving in the middle of the show.
“When 205 started we were going on after SmackDown. I don’t know if you ever been to a concert, but the opening act starts and then the headliner comes out. We were reverse. I remember standing in Gorilla. It was me vs Ariya Daivari and we’re watching the monitor and it’s John Cena vs. Randy Orton in a 2 out of 3 falls match, and we have to go out after that. If there’s ever crew of guys that are behind the 8-ball every night that have their work cut out for them, respectively, it’s the 205 Live guys.
In the early stages of things, there was some genuine interest: what is this show about? But as time progressed, I think people did lose interest in it. We were in a tough spot. Like I said, John Cena vs Randy Orton in a 2 out of 3 falls match, so some would stay and some would leave.”
Once the second season of Mixed Match Challenge started, WWE taped 205 Live before SmackDown and aired it on Wednesday’s. Ali continued about how now the mindset of not watching the show has changed and fans are giving them a shot.
“Yeah, it’s a little disheartening when you want to give your heart and soul in this ring and you look up and half the arena is gone. It reminds you of how much work you have to put in. It doesn’t matter if there are 500 people in the stands or 50,000. The 205 Live guys stick to the script and we’re gonna tear it down each night and now it’s nice to kinda see the way this is turning so to speak.
Now people are staying for 205…205 guys are on pay-per-views now, so we’re putting in the work. We’re not done yet by any means. The biggest thing is the 205 Live guys are trying to build a brand and each other at the same time which makes it even more difficult, but we’re all stepping up to the plate”
H/T to WrestleZone for the transcript