Paul "Triple H" Levesque is in the process of taking '205 Live' back to its roots. WWE

It's not too long ago that "205 Live" was on critical life support. Just weeks ago, in fact.

Faced with the departure of its second top star in a matter of months, WWE's upstart show -- the home of its cruiserweight division -- was teetering on irrelevancy.

Sixteen months after the critically-acclaimed "Cruiserweight Classic" wrapped by crowning TJ Perkins as the first cruiserweight champion since the reintroduction of the title dormant for nine years, WWE found itself in a quagmire.

The division's top star and one of WWE's most athletic performers, Neville had taken what can best be called an extended leave of absence after his extended title reign ended at the hands of Enzo Amore. It did not take long for Amore to see his exit out of WWE expedited just days after being publicly accused of sexual assault; the company had no choice but to immediately vacate the title.

All the while, viewers lost interest in "205 Live" for myriad reasons. What was initially presented to fans as action-packed wrestling featuring some of the best cruiserweights (performers weighing in at 205 pounds or less) in the world during the "Cruiserweight Classic" became far less about the wrestling and much more about … well … that's still anyone's guess.

It quickly became apparent following Neville's departure that his billing as "King of the Cruiserweights" was far more than a gimmick. His in-ring ability, personality and delivery carried a fledgling show that needed him way more than he needed it. Amore was able to fill some of that hole due to his electric personality and hot mic skills, but his lowest-common-denominator character and WWE's inability to build compelling storylines around him brought the show down to near-rock bottom.

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WWE had a difficult choice to make: continue booking the program as-is or use Amore's departure as a jumping off point to reboot the show and the division. Luckily, it chose the latter option.

On the first edition of "205 Live" following Amore's firing, SmackDown Live commissioner Daniel Bryan announced the show would have its own authority figure named in one week's time. Seven days later, WWE introduced Drake Maverick (formerly known as Rockstar Spud in Impact Wrestling) in that very role and announced that a tournament would decide the champion for the vacated title.

The air was already different, but what exactly changed?

The "Cruiserweight Classic" and formation of the cruiserweight division was initially brought to fruition by Paul "Triple H" Levesque, the 14-time world champion who has served as the executive vide president of talent, live events and creative for WWE since 2013. Once it was deemed a success, WWE chairman Vince McMahon decided to take control, create a branded show and feature some of its performers on his flagship program, Raw. was first to report back in February that McMahon ceded control of "205 Live" and the cruiserweight division back to Levesque following Amore's firing. The change has been impossible to ignore.

"I think it's a work in progress," Levesque said of the division's rejuvenation during an conversation on CBS Sports' In This Corner Podcast (listen and subscribe here). "I think we did the 'Cruiserweight Classic' and it was an excitement and an opportunity. We jumped on making it into its own show, but I don't know if that was totally just kind of thought out in the right way or done in the right way. I think we made an attempt at it that.

"Vince will say a lot that the business is like flavors -- chocolate and vanilla -- and not everyone is going to agree on the flavors. So we went in the direction of a certain flavor. We gave them vanilla and people weren't buying the flavor of vanilla, so we went back to chocolate and people are seeming to like that again."

The focus of "205 Live" has completely shifted back to the in-ring product with superstars given time to showcase their ability and tell stories in highly acclaimed matches. Those with corny or nonsensical gimmicks were allowed an opportunity to refresh their characters and creative directions. The cruiserweights were no longer shoe-horned into multiple segments on Raw broadcasts, taking time away from WWE's stacked red brand performers and limiting fan interest in tag team matches that did not always play into relevant storylines.

Simply put, "205 Live" has become fun again, and it has now become a can't-miss part of WWE's weekly programming just over a month after being an easily skippable one.

"The great thing about [WWE] is we can change them on a dime," Levesque continued. "We can put it in a different direction, and if people don't like something, just keep watching [because] we are probably going to get you there. We are probably going to get you to a place that works for everyone. That is the intent.

"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."

In addition to his corporate role with WWE, Levesque is the founder and senior producer of NXT, a developmental promotion linked with WWE's Performance Center that has become the company's de facto third brand behind Raw and SmackDown. Nearly 43 percent of the superstars announced on the official WrestleMania 34 card (sans the battle royals and cruiserweight title match) spent at least some time in NXT, which did not begin its weekly program on WWE Network until late 2014.

WrestleMania is the biggest show on WWE's biggest weekend each year, but NXT TakeOvers -- the brand's special-event show coinciding with WWE's major pay-per-views -- are often more critically acclaimed.

This has led some WWE fans to believe the company would be better suited with Levesque completely in charge of creative, though such a massive internal change is likely a ways off as McMahon prefers to continue serving as the final approver for all the vast majority of week-to-week storylines and angles.

Still, the blossoming of NXT, phoenix-like return of the cruiserweight division and potential for a future UK-based weekly show have Levesque looking to the future.

"My vision for all this stuff is five and 10 years down the road, not tomorrow and not six months from now," he explained. "I want to look at all of these things as long-term and that growth is exponential."

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