WWE veteran star Ariya Daivari was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. During his appearance Daivari spoke on his WWE release, and he reflected on his time in WWE. Daivari was a mainstay on 205 Live, and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked Daivari if he ever regretted not be able to start his WWE career in NXT.
“I’ll be honest, a lot of us who were on 205, we were all about 10 years on the job, and I’ve heard stories about when guys get signed to NXT, they have to go back to being rookies,” Daivari said. “There’s a funny story, when Kevin Owens, Finn Balor and KENTA all got signed, the three of them had to sit out and watch practice for the first couple of weeks or a month or so. These guys are veterans of this business.
“They’re better than all these guys who are here, but they still have to watch practice because they’re new to the WWE. So the fact that we got to skip some of that stuff and just go straight to Monday Night RAW, that was nice because I felt like they treated us a lot better on the main roster right away, I felt like now you guys are now part of the WWE. You’re part of Monday Night RAW. You’re part of the family. You’re just like any other Superstar. So that was pretty cool to jump right into that.”
Those who signed with WWE after the Cruiserweight Classic worked spotlight matches on RAW as part of WWE’s revival of the cruiserweight division. Daivari revealed whether the cruiserweights were under a NXT contract or a main roster contract at that time.
“We signed NXT contracts. That was the original deal when getting hired and all that stuff,” Daivari revealed. “I don’t know if 205 Live was already in the works at that point, but we were on those NXT contracts for a month or so, and we were just doing so much RAW stuff. We used to do Monday Night RAW, and then 205 was filmed after SmackDown, so we were doing RAW and SmackDown loops basically every single week.
“After a few weeks, they’re like, ‘Alright, we got to switch this,’ and then after a few weeks, we all got switched to main roster deals. So it’s always kind of funny. People always say, ‘205’s not main roster.’ I was like, we have main roster contracts. We had the exact same contracts as all the other guys on RAW and SmackDown. We traveled with RAW and SmackDown every single week, so 205 Live was a main roster show.”
Near the end of 2017, WWE announced that 205 Live would be conducting a live event tour. Daivari recalled his expectations for 205 Live and whether he thought the tour would mean bigger things for the brand.
“I always knew it was gonna be a niche thing,” Daivari admitted. “We used to do house shows with Monday Night RAW, and that was great. And don’t get me wrong, the 205 Live house show loop that we did, it was awesome. The crowds were super hot, and clearly, there were 205 fans or else they wouldn’t have come.
“They were a lot of fun to do, and there’s a good fan base there, but I don’t think it ever would have became a full-time traveling thing on its own because my brother (Shawn), he was on that ECW brand, and I remember him telling me back then that when ECW used to do just their house shows only, you wouldn’t really draw anything. And they had bigger names on ECW than we did on 205. So I didn’t think it was something. I just thought hopefully, we could just be touring with RAW or SmackDown more full time.”
You can follow Ariya on Twitter @AriyaDaivari.
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