“What does he walk around at? 180 pounds? I have smaller guys now in the WWE. We have 200-pound guys who are stars. You don’t need to be 300 pounds any more.” – Triple H on Conor McGregor in 2016.
While Roman’s comments might be humorous to some, there is some reason to believe WWE’s cruiserweight division was brought back in order to give smaller celebrities, fighters or other athletes a division in WWE. Fighters under 205 lbs have proven they can draw money in combats sports, so there’s no reason to think they couldn’t draw in WWE either if they were given their own titles to compete over.
Triple H on Conor McGregor
Following 2016’s Cruiserweight Classic but before 205 Live began airing on the WWE Network, Triple H had this to say regarding Conor McGregor possibly signing with WWE.
“He could come over, he’s got it all, man,” Triple H told the Daily Telegraph’s Gareth A. Davies. “He’s got the personality, the skills, the talk. He’s an entertainer, for sure.
Triple H then mentioned Conor in regards to WWE’s cruiserweight division.
“What does he walk around at? 180 pounds? I have smaller guys now in the WWE. We have 200-pound guys who are stars. You don’t need to be 300 pounds any more.”
Did Triple H create 205 Live with the intention of it providing a platform for athletes and celebrities to compete in? It certainly sounds as though the idea crossed his mind.
Triple H On Conor McGregor & 205 Live
Triple H has frequently referred to 205 Live as a long-term plan.
“My vision for all this stuff is 5 and 10 years down the road, not tomorrow and not six months from now,” Triple H said to CBS Sports in 2018. “I want to look at all of these things as long-term and that growth is exponential.”
Much of what is being done in the Cruiserweight division is providing a platform for smaller wrestlers who may not have had a path to WWE previously.
“I think 205 continues to be a work in progress. I’m excited about that opportunity for all of the athletes there because, for a lot of them, there was no road in front of them. There was no big path, and it was doing what they were doing but this opened up doors for them. Hopefully it will continue to grow, much like NXT has, much like the [United Kingdom efforts] will and all of that. I think there is tremendous opportunity and in some way we are just kind of nicking the surface of where we will be.”
It sounds as though if Triple H has his way, the Cruiserweight title could be placed on smaller guys who had made their name previously in MMA or other sports.