Drew Gulak Talks WWE Ending 205 Live, Triple H’s Work as Creative Director


Drew Gulak reflected on the end of 205 Live during an appearance on Casual Conversations. Here are the highlights: 

Working on 205 Live: 

“Every experience I had with WWE, in the beginning, was very surreal to me because of the history I had watching and growing up with it. Looking back on 205 Live, and it does not get talked about enough, is how pivotal everything was going on with the Cruiserweight Classic happening and 205 Live becoming its own brand, that was for WWE and the future of pro wrestling. I don’t mean to sound braggadocious about that, for real, technologically, it was the first exclusive streaming show on Network and NXT UK being a thing a year or two later. Guys like CM Punk and Bryan Danielson did, getting hired initially, being these independent wrestlers and pushing through the barriers, breaking through the glass ceiling and making it; ultimately, it led to them wanting to do an entire tournament full of guys who are these journeymen pro wrestlers who, for the most part, the WWE Universe hadn’t heard about or seen. Just by luck, I happened to be affiliated with EVOLVE, which is one of the American locations they scouted from and I did work with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and it just worked out.”

How WWE managed them for 205 Live during its run: 

“It’s amazing, that whole cycle up until they rebranded with NXT Level Up, I got to be part of that initial push to do that kind of thing. We didn’t have any real instructions just, ‘they’re cruiserweights, obviously, let’s see what happens.’ It went the way it went, we did a lot of really cool stuff and got to be experimental, way more than we usually would with constraints on network or cable television. We had fun and the ultimate learning experience, being on tour with Raw and SmackDown right off the bat. We didn’t really sit in the developmental system because most of us were tenured wrestlers. In that sense, we were pretty lucky. I’m super grateful for it and I know all the other guys who were part of the show, for the most part, were super grateful for that experience. I wish there was a way…if I ever see anybody talk about 205 Live in a negative light, I wish there was a way to sit them down and be like, ‘No, check this out. Understand what’s going on. See the bigger picture.’ I wish there was a way to do that, but it’s not for everyone to get to that point and I’m fine with that. It’s just how I feel about the show.”

Triple H: 

“It was excellent. As a creative director, he was very creative. He has amazing ideas and is very good at orchestrating them in a way that are easy to understand and to make stuff stand out and to sit under his learning tree directly, at least the first few months of my WWE run, and move forward with that relationship is super rewarding. His vision was to take that Cruiserweight Classic concept where it was a sport-oriented feel and turn that into a brand. Most of that vision stuck. A lot of it go modified and changed and grew over time, which is what happens when you’re running a show that didn’t have a start or end date. It’s a living, breathing thing. Stuff gets thrown at it, it changes, it reacts, it grows, it takes weird turns sometimes. That’s really kind of the show it is. his ideas were great and a lot of fun to work with and try to make happen.”

H/T to Fightful for the transcript

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