Renewal: How The WWE Cruiserweight Title Could Make a Comeback
There was a time when I truly believed that the Cruiserweight division was the greatest thing I had ever seen. I had seen some of the battles displayed on WCW from time to time and whenever I did I was truly amazed by how entertaining they were.
Those matches didn’t feature hulking 6’5, 250+ pounders but instead introduced us to smaller, faster wrestlers where your speed and agility mattered more than just overall strength.
It truly was a great division, but because it was a WCW event, back when I began watching wrestling at around eight years old, I never was able to fully get a taste of what they had to offer and just exactly why they were important.
I, like many others, grew up in a WWF/E house where that was the main wrestling show that was viewed because my family viewed WWE as being okay but for some reason believed WCW to be the enemy.
Occasionally I'd catch a sneak peek at WCW but they were few and far between. Most of the matches I saw were on video tapes that I'd watch if I went to a friend's place.
Then something happened. The WWE bought WCW and in a genius business move kept the Cruiserweight division. Suddenly I was heavily invested in the rivalries between Billy Kidman, X-Pac and Tajiri.
No longer did my main focus lie with the Heavyweight championship, in some cases it didn’t even matter during particular nights.
Having been very fortunate to grow up right in the middle of the Attitude era I believe that along with the many great stars, stables, rivalries and divisions, the Cruiserweight division helped push the WWF/E over the top.
One of the things that the Cruiserweight division did very well was introduce the casual viewer to different styles that would match up to see which was better.
You didn’t always have the big names but you also weren’t going to get the same match from Tajiri vs. Billy Kidman and X-Pac vs. Billy Kidman, no you were going to get something far different.
It also gave us classic and different match types with those different styles of wrestling. Triple-Threats, Six-Ways, 8-Man Battle Royals, when you did Cruiserweight, you put all your cards in and went all out.
We got such memorable guys like Kidman, Pac, Tajiri, Chavo Guerrero, The Hurricane, Funaki not to mention guys that the division helped put over like Spike Dudley, Matt Hardy and one of the best right now, Rey Mysterio.
With the combined Cruiserweight division and amazing Tag-Team Division, then the awesome finishes from the guys in the Heavyweight division the WWF/E had a very diverse product that could appeal to everyone thus giving out a great ending to one of the greatest eras in all of sports entertainment.
I say “ending” because in reality for many of us the golden age pretty much died in 2006. For some it probably extends to 2007 for others it probably retracts to 2004 and earlier. For me personality is was during the summer of 2006.
The Cena/Edge rivalry was phasing out, the Spirit Squad/DX rivalry wasn't my thing and the Jeff Hardy/Johnny Nitro feud didn’t interest me at all. However I still tuned in, albeit a little less than before.
The day I gave up wrestling for good though was when Hornswoggle won the Cruiserweight championship. Not that I had anything truly against him, only the ways that he won and the gimmicks used.
That’s all history now as I began watching wrestling against due to hearing about the match that was supposed to happen between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXV.
However, when I came back the PG era was in full effect and boy was it disheartening. Now after watching for the past year and a half, seeing the Superman antics of Cena, the rise of Sheamus and Nexus and the evolution of Miz and Morrison I have to say WWE really needs help.
It’s clear how bad the Tag-Team and Women’s/Divas divisions are doing. And with only a handful of actual talent able to really contend for the WWE/World Championships we’re left with a bunch of trash feuds and random matches.
And when the WWE doesn’t know what to do they run terrible promos and feature a somewhat longer commercial break.
Yes, we know your product is PG. Yes, we know about whatever movie featuring whatever wrestler coming out in limited theatres. How about an extra match?
I swear I once saw a show where they only used five wrestlers, the Nexus and had a 1 minute Divas match (Well they always have 1 minute Divas matches).
How about those other guys, how come we can’t give them a chance? Where are they? What is the answer to all of this? Bring back the Cruiserweight belt.
Consider this Six-Way match: Evan Bourne, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Zack Ryder, Primo and Yoshi Tatsu. All Cruiserweights, all guys with usually nothing to do, (aside from Gabriel) that are put in random matches (especially Bourne, he’s injured now but when he comes back give this guy a push already!).
All have great talent, including Ryder, for those that don’t know he’s actually a really good wrestler which makes his gimmick hard to watch. While none of these guys really have any amazing mic skills they wouldn’t have to as it’s about ability more than anything when it comes to Cruiserweights.
Add guys like David Hart Smith, Curt Hawkins, Kaval, Trent Barreta, Caylen Croft and maybe even Heath Slater and one of the Uso’s (although they’re a bit over the weight limit) and you get a good group of guys that can work on their spotlight abilities and also show their true skill to the world.
Since the WWE is in desperate need of good talent, this can help those guys develop faster, possibly bring in different wrestlers and give better matches with some type of purpose as well.
This would help with cutting down on some of the terrible promos and extended entrances that now plague both Raw and Smackdown.
Cutting down would mean more time for better matches (I personally think Bourne vs. Kidd would be a great match) and more time to help build rivalries.
With people literally talking about retiring the tag-team titles, something that as of now I’m all for myself, and the possibility of the unification of the United States and Intercontinental Championship the WWE is going to need something to create storylines and rivalries with.
Why not bring back a belt that could pretty much create opportunities for the rest of your guys on the roster.
The WWE may still have the edge on TNA in viewership but if TNA was more polished why couldn’t they steal some of the WWE’s thunder?
They have a great Tag-Team and Women’s division not to mention the X-Division.
Come on, WWE! Let’s get things in order, Linda lost, the opportunity is now but it's not going to be here forever.
Does anyone else feel that Cruiserweights would be a fresh squeeze and bring in some new excitement? Might not be a bad idea to try.
If anything, it wouldn't be worse then some of the other stuff WWE has come up with as of late. Just a thought.
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