It’s sometimes hard to believe that it’s been almost 5 years since the WWE scrapped the Cruiserweight title in disgrace. Yes, sadly, the championship that was held by such names as Brian Pillman, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko went out with a wimper as Hornswoggle was the final champion. With the fictional network on the horizon and Monday Night RAW’s move to three hours, talk has surfaced regarding bringing the Cruiserweight title back.
WWE is badly in need of solid undercard matches. The tag team division has a chance to shine occasionally but not consistently. Wrestlers like Ryback and Brodus Clay just aren’t cutting the mustard and don’t go in the ring any longer than 5 minutes. What the company needs are 15-20 minute matches full of the spectacular moves and high flying that only the lighter weight guys can consistently bring. I looked at the WWE roster page and was surprised by the number of wrestlers on the roster who are 215 pounds and under. It’s a great range of wrestlers who vary from jobbers to upper card talents. With that said, here is a look at the current roster of WWE Cruiserweights.
Kofi is currently one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions but does fit the Cruiserweight mold. There is no “higher” flyer in the WWE right now and he certainly has a tremendous fan following. Kofi could be one of the main faces of a relaunched division, in the same vein that Rey Mysterio and Dean Malenko were in the old WCW. Kingston has no shortage of charisma and could make feuds with a variety of heels work.
Primo’s tag team partner, Epico, doesn’t fit the Cruiserweight definition as he is 217 pounds as listed on the WWE roster page. Primo is a tremendously underrated worker but hasn’t been able to show any personality on WWE television as of yet. While he can provide great matches, I would avoid having him full time in the singles division unless there is an injury to Epico.
This, in my opinion, is the most interesting wrestler who fits the weight limit for Cruiserweights. I would continue to have Bryan in the World title picture and keep him away from the Cruiserweights. By mixing him in occasionally it can give the appearance that the Cruiserweight title is minor league, which is definately something to avoid. I vividly remember how angry I was when Triple H thought he was above the Intercontinental title and certainly don’t want to duplicate that with Bryan and the Cruiser belt. Daniel Bryan as world champion against the Cruiserweight champion could be an interesting concept match for a Pay Per View at one point.
The man known for flying high both in and out of the ring, Evan Bourne could be an asset to this division without question. Due to the fact that Evan has had documented Wellness Policy issues, I would hesitate in making him one of the faces of the new division. Air Bourne would be in my midcard of the Cruiserweights but he can definitely work with a variety of heels and provide great matches.
As I’ve said before, Trent isn’t the flashiest guy around but he is someone who the could fans grow to respect and get behind as a star in time. In fact, there may be no person who could benefit more from the return of the Cruiserweight division than Trent Barreta. Trent reminds me of Billy Kidman in 1996, someone who’s talent could break him out more than his personality. I would have a slow build bringing Trent back to television and slowly move him up the cruiserweight division as he has been largely forgotten about or jobbed out when he is on television.
The former multiple time champion, Christian is on a short list of guys who have held both the World Heavyweight title and the Light Heavyweight / Crusierweight title. Now that he has lost the Intercontinental title, I would use Christian as the elder statesman, grizzled veteran of the Cruiserweight division. Christian is a guy who a “young punk” could target and start a great feud. I would use Christian to groom the next challenger for the Cruiserweight champion and that would give the division at least two simultaneous feuds at any given time.
Dolph Ziggler — 213 pounds
Dolph, like Daniel Bryan, is ready to breakthrough and main event entire cards, not just the cruiserweight cards. At the risk of burying the division, Ziggler is ready to swim with the big boys. The key to the relaunch of this title is allow new stars to be developed and Dolph is already a star. While it can be argued that Dolph isn’t a top star, no one can deny that he has the talent to reach that level and has already started to ascend to the top of the card. Dolph is the second qualified cruiserweight that I omit from the division.
Hunico is part of what will make the Cruiserweight division stand out from the larger wrestlers, an international style. While superstars like Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, and Tensai have had international experience, they all wrestle the “WWE Style”. I would utilize the international cruiserweight superstars to bring a variety of styles to the WWE audience. This would definitely give the feeling that the cruiserweights are different from the rest of the larger wrestlers. Hunico I keep with Camacho, as his bodyguard which would be unique to him in the WWE.
Speaking of international superstars, Sin Cara is WWE’s currently attempt at Lucha. The $80 masks do sell and, because of that, the former Mistico is someone that I use as the “face” of this division. I hesitate to say that he is the new Rey Mysterio but the comparisons can and will be made given the masks and the styles that the two men wrestle. I would align the two masked cruiserweights with each other and slowly build to one of them turning (more on that later) to a big match at a Wrestlemania.
Since I just brought him up with Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio is definitely someone to be utilized in the Cruiserweight division. Similar to Christian, Rey is a veteran of lightweight action, but I wouldn’t promote that as much as I do with Christian. Rey was told in 1999 that he shouldn’t even be jumping off a curb, let along the top rope so his time in the ring is closer to the end than the beginning. I would have a jealous Rey turn heel on Sin Cara leading to a Wrestlemania match where Mysterio puts Cara over.
Justin Gabriel-213 pounds
Gabriel, while he doesn’t have a unique style, does have a unique story being from Capetown South Africa. The other great thing that Justin has going for him is the Shooting Star Press. Gabriel is someone that I build around the Shooting Star, a continuation of how he was utilized in Nexus. On NXT, he is being given an opportunity to talk and while he is working on that skill, the silent cruiserweight with the spectacular finisher is how I would book Gabriel.
Another competitor that is tremendously under utilized in the current WWE booking. Tatsu can initially be the “Japanese Crusierweight” and add to the international-style flavor to the division. Yoshi has really not been given a chance to show his talent since his initial days in ECW in matches with Shelton Benjamin and Christian. Yoshi has a great charisma and can play either heel or babyface. In fact, I would have Tatsu go heel given the fact that there will be a heavy weighting towards babyfaces in the division right now.
Tyson is one of the best all around talents in WWE today. He has the ability to do high flying maneuvers, like is moonsault, and has a great “ground game”, such as his finisher the dungeon lock. Kidd has the ability to cut promos, although that fact may not be know due to lack of opportunities. Tyson can play cocky heel or underdog babyface. Since everyone in the division will roughly be his size, I would go with cocky heel for Kidd. I put Kidd on screen with real life girlfriend Natalya to play the Sensational Sherri role for Tyson.
Zack Ryder is definitely in need of a rebuild and the Cruiserweight division can provide this restart. Zack moves merchandise so he definitely needs to be featured on television. Having a feud in this division would keep him out of the top of the card but keep his fans happy as they just want to see the Long Island Iced Z compete. A prolonged feud where Zack, as the babyface, prevails is just what the doctor ordered for leader of the Broskis.
Yes I am aware that 216 pounds is more than 215 pounds, I’m not from Saskatchewan. The reason I have included Heath is because he IS so close and there is the opportunity to do vignettes, similar to Matt Hardy, where Slater “works off” the extra pound in order to qualify for the division. Heath Slater reminds me a lot of the Disco Inferno and so I can very much see him in the comedy role. There can be times where the commentators talk about how serious Heath is taking a particular match and that would seem different if he is largely comedy.
So there’s a look at all 15 guys (including Heath) that are currently on the WWE roster who would qualify in the cruiserweight division. With some smaller guys such as Xavier Woods in developmental and the recent signing of PAC, the possibilities for the future of the WWE Cruiserweight division are vast.
Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org