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Thread: Taste My Rainbow - Purple Phase (The Brand with No Mass Appeal)

  1. #1
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    Sep 2013

    Taste My Rainbow - Purple Phase (The Brand with No Mass Appeal)

    Purple Phase
    (The Brand with No Mass Appeal)

    While that last column was intended to pull the shades down on my Color Chronicles series, I just couldn’t close the curtain on such a depressing note. Not when we’re forced to stare at Bayley’s sad ugly mug on a weekly basis. RAW has deflated her cheery disposition quite considerably, wouldn‘t you agree?

    If I can be serious for a moment though, it seems like everyone thinks 205 Live is nothing but a roster full of Lance Storms and that’s simply not the case. Rumors regarding the show’s potential cancellation have reached a boiling point and I recently spotted Tito adding fuel to said fire on the Main Page. Well that old man needs to settle his kettle because I for one have not burned out on the Cruiserweights. Yeah the division has cooled off to almost chilly temperatures since the CWC ended last summer but it’s still managed to spark my interest over the past couple months. So much in fact that, since April, the purple brand has become my favorite of WWE’s four primary programs.

    205 Live may not be supported by many but I’ll sure as hell stand up for it. The show is similar to the CF in that it’s a niche product which only caters to a small audience. Neither has any mass appeal but that doesn’t make them worthless. Like the Columns Forum, I believe a lot of the best work is currently being done on 205 Live. It continues to go unnoticed though because viewership is so woefully low. We do the little things right here and so do the Cruiserweights. The majority of them are ridiculously talented. It’s simply a matter of being handed opportunities and having a forum in which to properly showcase them.

    As solid as the performances typically are, my favorite aspect of the purple brand is how often the heels cut in-ring promos before their matches. Whether it’s Neville, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari or Brian Kendrick, everyone’s given a couple minutes to enhance their characters and build heat for the forthcoming match. Are they anything groundbreaking? No but it lays the foundation for something beyond just two high fliers randomly facing each other on another throwaway episode. And the majority of the fans in attendance probably still don’t give a fuck but at least they’re given a choice rather than no reason to care whatsoever.

    It’s a simple minded show and that’s why it’s so effective in my eyes. 205 Live doesn’t suffer from over saturation like RAW. Or guys being miscast like they are on SmackDown Live. Or struggling to find adequate screen time for everyone like NXT. The Cruiserweight Division is a relatively small sample size of wrestlers but one that if you examine close enough, shows room for potential growth. Every feud on 205 Live lately has exceeded my expectations; whether it be Gulak/Ali, Dar/Alexander, TJP/Swann or Kendrick/Gallagher. And likewise, my time spent here in 2017 has rivaled anything that’s come before it. This stretch from April to August has been more satisfying than I ever could’ve imagined. Winning back-to-back COTMs was quite literally a dream come true. In the midst of digesting all this however, I’ve reached a fork in the road and it‘s the same dilemma Vince is chewing on with 205 Live. Should I stick with it or move on?

    After discussing it with Doc, he’s put an interesting proposition on the table; to fill the void left by Rob who just returned to the CF. The offer of a shiny columnist position on LOP’s Main Page has the tendency to blind any aspiring writer fixated on accomplishing great(er) things. Have I reached the end of my rope here? Could I be leaving any loose ends behind? Would I be better off hanging around this neck of the woods instead? Will another trip to the MP result in career suicide? Is Vince prepared to cut his losses and sever 205 Live from WWE’s weekly programming? The Cruiserweights are an acquired taste and so am I. Aren’t Main Page readers more apt to spit me out than willingly stomach what I have to say? Perhaps they’d skip my colorful discourse altogether.

    The challenge is certainly enticing though. Tweaking my style to reel in more casuals than it repels. 205 Live’s fate appears to be dangling by a string just like my attachment to the CF following this thread. Vince is hovering overhead with his pruning sheers but the show’s been cut down to size enough already. I think what the purple brand could really use is a different timeslot. My first thought was to take the Nitro route by having the Cruiserweights go on before SmackDown rather than after it. Assuming most people watch 205 Live at a later convenience like I do however, that might not be such a wise move (especially with fans still complaining tirelessly about RAW being three hours long). Then NXT creeped into my mind. I entertained the idea of 205 Live being held each week in a smaller venue like Full Sail and also airing on Wednesday nights. Unfortunately, that sort of switch seems logistically impossible and even if done, WWE would merely tape the episodes; rendering the show’s title meaningless.

    Another issue with the purple brand is that it’s current complexion pales in comparison to the success of the Cruiserweight Classic. At this point, it seems highly doubtful that 205 Live can live up to the lofty standards of last year’s tournament. And likewise, I feel like this run of mine over the last four months is bound to lose its steam as soon as I reach the Main Page and cross that threshold. I managed to catch fire and streak through the record books but at this pace, burnout is inevitable. It feels inevitable; making the leap to the MP all the more daunting of a task.

    I should be thrilled about the prospect of taking my writing game to the next level… so what’s with the mounting apprehension? Is it because I’ve seen this movie before and know how the ending plays out? Well judging by how WWE’s handled their Cruiserweight Division in the past, the future looks pretty fuckin’ bleak for the current crop of high fliers. It took the company all of two months to silence the buzz created from the CWC in 2016. The birth of 205 Live clearly wasn’t Vince’s idea because he immediately aborted the Cruiserweight movement and turned the show into this generation’s Velocity. It’s become as much a failed endeavor as the Austin Aries experiment because WWE didn't put in the work necessary to give the program grander appeal.

    My aim as a wrestling columnist should be the same but it couldn’t fall any further off the beaten path. Much like the purple brand, what I offer is so niche that it turns off a good portion of the mainstream audience. And history’s shown my Main Page stuff to draw crickets just like 205 Live does every week. It’s a shame because most folks don’t realize what they’re missing (in regards to both the Cruiserweights and the average MP reader). So to quote whatever meme Gene invented it, "the struggle is real". Even though I’m the one who initiated the conversation with Doc, my conscience is having seconds thoughts and needs a third party to help sway my decision. Therefore, I’ll pose the same question that The Clash did: Should I stay or should I go?


    Last edited by SkitZ; 12-24-2017 at 07:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Go and do it, dude - very few more deserving over the last couple of months. Good luck with it all.

    205 is starting to remind me of that peak NXT period, when they'd established everyone as characters and then started just having blow away feuds across the shows. It's taken longer than I think I would have liked, and I still don't understand why they're filming it in front of 50% of the SD Live crowd late on a Tuesday instead of at, say, Full Sail on an NXT-like schedule, but I guess they need to keep it up to date for Neville's continued brilliance to remain on Raw.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    My advice would be to go to the main page, but keep doing what you would do down here up there. you'll have all the same fans from the CF, plus if people decide to give your work a chance they can enjoy it too. If low viewership were a reason to give up I would have stopped a long time ago.

    205 Live does suffer from being on at the end of the long wrestling TV block. I think they could move it to Thursday or even Saturday and it would likely thrive a bit better, and I agree on the smaller venue, something more like the ECW or NXT arenas would work. The cruiserweight can't recapture the fire from the CWC, but they can keep things hot enough to keep going, just get it away from the tail end of five hours of wrestling, that is a death spot.

    Best of luck with whatever you choose to do Skitz.

  4. #4
    My main problem with 205 Live is that there's just too much content these days. I can't keep up. 205 live would be so far down my list of priorities, I'm just never going to see it no matter how good people here say it is.

    I am going to agree with something though. It should be at Full Sail. For me, wrestling generally works best either with those small crowds or the huge stadiums we only see once or twice a year. Places like Full Sail have character through the audience. The stadiums have a uniqueness caused by the rarity of seeing that size of crowd. However, the arena's that get used week in week out are all just bland, too big for the audience to have any individuality, but too small to truly generate the same emotion as a stadium.

  5. #5
    Damn, Bayley looks haggard in that pic. I feel like I caught a glimpse of her into her 50's and she ages badly.

    The Cruiserweight division is something that would have worked from the get-go as part of NXT. NXT is a roster that can absorb that kind of depth as well. They thrive off being an underground-type promotion and it just doesn't work with the main roster fanbase who are either exhausted with the product or have no personal investment into the purple brand's characters.

    As for your decision to go to the main page, you definitely deserve that right so I'm all for it. However, if you believe that you will have to compromise your writing style to gain a bigger audience, then I wouldn't do it. You are talented enough to write captivating pieces about the product in it's current state, but (knowing you the little I do from CF) I know you want to always think outside the box and do better. One thing I will say is that the main page's audience seldom thinks outside the box and lose their attention span quickly when something unique is presented to them. I'd love to hear from tales of Taryn and the Asian chick and how that ties into wrestling.. so i'll be on the look out!

    I will say this. Don't be Tito. I've read his stuff for 2 decades and it's gotten worse. I know a lot of you respect him and his contributions, but I feel like he writes for an audience of 1 (himself) to get more views on his columns. A lot of his research and stuff is excellent but he dumbs down his audience. My advice to you would be make sure your audience feels included in what you're writing about. Doc does an excellent job of this and as someone who posts avidly on the main page, I really appreciate it.

    That's my 2 cents. It was nice getting to know you better in my short time here!

    Type it in maaaaaaaaaaaaaan

  6. #6
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
    Your poll missing a third option: "Do whatever the hell you want". That's what I would tell you, just because you've been there before and you know what to expect whether you stay here or move up there.

    I've been catching more of 205 Live recently because I was interested in the feud between The Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa. They really had a great blowoff match to their feud that I think was really underrated. Most of the talents there are great and the feuds have been entertaining for the most part. But I honestly don't blame people for not following them as closely as other products. Having the show come on live after watching two hours of Smackdown is tough. Unless I make a concerted effort to make sure I catch the show at a later time, I often just forget about it.

    I like your idea of airing the show before Smackdown, but I would love it more if they actually took the first hour of Raw to do it instead of appending another hour to an already-massive TV schedule for the fans. That would make Monday nights more bearable. And the brand technically belongs to the Raw brand in the storylines, so I don't know what's the insistence on them having it play after Smackdown. If not, the other option I can think of is to do like NXT and give the show its own day when it first airs on the Network. It won't be live anymore, but having a separate day where there's typically no wrestling like a Friday or Saturday would probably serve better to engrain in people's heads about this show instead of being an afterthought on one of the other bigger shows.

    Interesting take on that division, and one that I don't think people talk about too much. I hope that they can thrive and not get thrown aside which is what a lot of people have been thinking with all the recent cuts that the company is doing.

  7. #7
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    I'm loving the love for 205 Live! Just a thought: If the Cruiserweights were to match up against RAW or Smackdown in terms of being better wrestlers who would win? I'd say 205 Live for sure. The only problem is personality; or at least that's what the masses thinks. The wrestlers on 205 Live have been gradually building their characters these few months but not many people would know that because not many people watch the show. I'm not sure if a change in timeslot would fix the entire problem but that would definitely be a start. Another thing that would really kick 205 Live into gear would be to let at least 2 of the matches have Cruiserweights showcase their talents and put on a great match; not just the main event.

    As for you leaving, well, you kind of said it yourself bro. Your creativity might get stifled because the MP audience might not get what you selling. And I think your past experiences on the MP should really be the deciding factor in your ultimate decision. I will be voting in short order though. A really easy vote for me, I must add.

  8. #8
    Wet Dream Machine SkitZ's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Oli: Appreciate the kudos, homie. As for the Cruiserweights still being a part of RAW, I don't really care much for the inter-promotional stuff. They do it to give Neville a bit of spotlight and keep 205 Live somewhat relevant but meh. I wish the purple brand were it's own entity on a deserted little island.

    Zak: Last time I checked the poll, roughly 80% of the vote were for me to join the Main Page (and I feel myself leaning that way). The doubt crept in over the last week while I waited to hear back from Calvin for my posting account info. And due to some misplaced email, my ass is still waiting. Thanks for chiming in and being a consistent feedbacker.

    TNT Bill: Gotta agree with you there. When one considers all the content the WWE Network throws at you on a weekly basis, it's easy to see how 205 Live lands near the bottom of the list. It's more frustrating because the show's actually really consistent across the board and I get the feeling people assume the purple brand is just an hour of mediocrity.

    Type: Haha I remember Uncle Joe writing a column last year titled Jesus Bayley Looks Like Abe Vigoda and he was fucking spot on. As for Tito, don't you worry. I'd parody Tito (again) way before I ever became a bootleg version of him. There won't be any compromising my style for the Main Page audience. I just do my thing and people either dig it or hate it.

    Degen: That Kendrick/Tozawa feud didn't receive nearly enough love! To be honest, Kendrick has played the entitled veteran role terrifically on 205 Live. His rivalry with Jack Gallagher has been just as enjoyable and they haven't even really wrestled much yet. The character work of the Cruiserweights is severely underrated. We get 3-4 heel promos per episode and it's great.

    The Don: RAW is pretty stacked but 205 Live's roster from top to bottom can definitely compete with SmackDown's. The issue is sample size and the Cruiserweight roster is pretty damn thin compared to the other three brands. As for the Main Page, I know you want me to stay! Should I leave though, the only thing that's gonna change is where TMR gets posted. Plus I'll still be hanging around the CF.

  9. #9
    205 ruins the WWE narrative. That's all.

    You know how I feel about the MP part.

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