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A division in search of an identity


I like Tony Nese.

Really, I do. On the indies sometimes I’d get frustrated when he was a bit over-pushed for my tastes, but at his best, he’s an exciting performer who excels in indie main event style junk food wrestling matches. Stick him in a six-man scramble, by example, and watch the sparks fly!

So when he became WWE Cruiserweight Champion at WrestleMania, I was stoked to see him get something of a gold watch for years of being a steady, reliable guy who’d bust out a killer move or six in the right situation.

What I didn’t want was for WWE to immediately strip 205 Live of both former champions Cedric Alexander and Buddy Murphy as if Nese were the keystone to the division, and yet here we are.

Slim pickings

So, with 205 Live down to a mere nine singles competitors, it was somewhat inevitable that someone who hadn’t really gotten a fair one-on-one shake at challenging for the title would be Nese’s first title defense. Humberto Carrillo, perhaps, or Oney Lorcan, or even Mike Kanellis.

And instead, we got... Ariya Daivari.

Don’t get me wrong! Daivari is a solid performer and a guy who’s done good work as a supporting character in the division, whether as part of the Zo Train or as Hideo Itami’s lackey, and if nothing else I love that he’s out here doing a Pepsi Twist-style hammerlock lariat, but... challenging for the title? I’m not so sure.

On the record(s)

The picture becomes clearer when we look at Daivari’s record.

The man hasn’t been beaten in singles action since April of 2018! Granted, he had a bunch of time off in there and effectively his win streak starts in February of this year, but even so it’s an impressive record.

Nese’s record in the same time is a rather more even 14-11, which, while nothing to scoff at and including some big wins over very talented performers, still paints a picture of a very human and very beatable champion.

Will the Premier Athlete continue his reign or will Daivari add the gold to his collection?


Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Ariya Daivari
    (48 votes)
  • 84%
    Tony Nese
    (257 votes)
305 votes total Vote Now

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