While Monday Night Raw has been criticised over the past month for its stale product and, sometimes, boring action, SmackDown has continued to be a pleasant surprise.
Last week on the go-home episode of SmackDown Live ahead of the TLC pay-per-view, WWE champion Daniel Bryan faced 205 Live competitor Mustafa Ali.
Anyone who has followed the cruiserweights knows what a terrific talent Ali is inside the squared circle, but the WWE has long booked 205 like its own identity.
Originally, the cruiserweights would feature on Raw and have some matches on there, but they virtually never mingled with the main roster in any way.
Except for when Braun Strowman inexplicably destroyed Enzo Amore, of course.
However, the 205 Live brand has grown in its own right now and Ali was rewarded for his stellar performances with a televised bout against the man who is currently on top of the mountain, The New Daniel Bryan.
Ali would end up losing the contest, but during an appearance on Lillian Garcia's Chasing glory podcast, Ali revealed what a big deal it was to the whole 205 Live crew.
"One of the cruiserweights showed me a picture that ended up online. Tonight I had my first match ever on SmackDown against Daniel Bryan. He’s the WWE Champion. Obviously we talked about WrestleMania, but this was right up there. The entire 205 locker room was watching my match in Gorilla and as soon as I came back they were the first ones to greet me.
"Obviously, it’s a competition and we’re all trying to compete and we’re all jockeying for position, but all of them sat and watched my match and we’re rooting for me. Obviously, I hope that brought some eyes to 205 Live, but out of everything that happened, out of all the kind words I got today, that actually meant the most: my brothers in arms."
There are plenty of fantastic wrestling matches waiting to happen if the WWE starts to mingle the cruiserweights with the big starts on Raw or SmackDown, it's just all about timing.
For instance, when Ricochet finally makes his bow on the main roster, he should not be shackled to Wednesday nights on the WWE Network. He has big star potential like Rey Mysterio.
Very cool insight from Ali nonetheless and good to see SmackDown has the confidence to give him that opportunity. there's no question that he impressed.
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