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Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins: WWE Cruiserweight Title Match Winner and Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2016

Credit: WWE.com

Brian Kendrick lost the battle but won the war on Raw, falling to TJ Perkins by count-out Monday night and thus retaining the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Perkins delivered a hurricanrana off the top rope to the ring apron, sending both wrestlers to the outside.

WWE shared a replay of the impressive move:

WWE @WWE

The #FilAmFlash @MegaTJP is putting it ALL on the line against @mrbriankendrick! #RAW #CruiserweightChampionship https://t.co/ZaLMKbcJ6s

ESPN.com's Brian Campbell didn't enjoy watching Perkins' head bang off the apron on his way down:

Brian Campbell @BCampbellCBS

Replays of that Perkins move make me cringe each time. Wow. #RAW

Rather than re-entering the ring, Kendrick stayed outside as the referee finished his 10-count, ensuring he wouldn't lose the cruiserweight title.

WWE painted itself into a corner by having Perkins' rematch with Kendrick the day after after Hell in a Cell. Having the cruiserweight title change hands so quickly won't help the belt gain any prestige. Conversely, the last thing Perkins needed was another loss after Kendrick won their last two head-to-head meetings.

Although the count-out allowed WWE to avoid both of those scenarios, it's an underwhelming finish in any title match.

Fighting Spirit Magazine thought of a way the match could've been salvaged:

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Bleacher Report's Mike Chiari applauded Kendrick's work Monday night:

Mike Chiari @MikeChiari

Kendrick is killing it as a heel right now. He's really what's keeping an otherwise disappointing cruiserweight division afloat #WWE #Raw

When WWE unveiled the cruiserweight division on Raw, it looked like a big step in the right direction. The Cruiserweight Classic was a success on the WWE Network, so the timing was perfect to transition most of the stars from that tournament over to WWE's flagship program.

In theory, the cruiserweight wrestlers were set to provide something different than what fans had expected to see on Raw every week.

Instead, the division has been a disappointment. WWE has done little to establish any of the cruiserweights as stars. As the Miami Herald's Scott Fishman tweeted, the focus has been on only Perkins and Kendrick:

Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN

#WWE does know they have more cruiserweights than TJ Perkins and Brian Kendrick...right? #Raw

Monday's finish suggested Kendrick and Perkins still have unfinished business, but both wrestlers would benefit from going in different directions. Their story has run its course for now after the two have wrestled on Raw's last two pay-per-views.

It's time for WWE to begin shining the spotlight on one or more of Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado or Gran Metalik.

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