Return Of The Cruiserweights

I’ve been thinking lately about the now defunct cruiserweight division and how, in all honesty, I haven’t missed it all that much. I have said many times that I’m glad it’s gone and that it really doesn’t need to return. Lately, however, I’ve started to soften on this stance and feel that a return of this division wouldn’t be all THAT bad after all. There are some rules I would have put in place with the return of the division though. It’s not an entirely useless group of workers, but at the same time the people who are in this division aren’t really “world champion” material in my eyes. I know that last statement may catch some flack but I will qualify it during this piece.

The cruiserweights, or little guys as I have deemed them, are good for curtain jerking in many cases. While this may seem like a shot at the division, it’s actually a factual statement. When you look at it, these matches are usually not as long as those of heavyweight workers and they also tend to be at a much higher pace which is usually good for whipping the crowd into a bit of a frenzy. This also works after a particularly (and purposefully) slow segment where you may have had some deep subject matter and you need to liven up the crowd again. These matches are also good for the younger audience as the workers don’t sell nearly as much as the bigger guys, making it appear like there’s less pain going on, which would allow the suspension of disbelief a bit more usually.

The lighter guys are talented, I’ll admit that much, but they are eternally held in the “underdog” role due to their size and you can only go so far in that before it gets to be TOO unbelievable. I can take a Rey Mysterio seriously against maybe a Triple H or Shawn Michaels in a matchup because they are bigger than him but not too much bigger. When you line someone that small up against a Big Show is when it gets to be too much. There’s a point where all the speed in the world isn’t going to help you against someone bigger than you, especially when (smart mark that I am) you KNOW Big Show is actually very mobile for his size, hell even for a guy 100 pounds and 6 inches shorter than him in some cases. If these workers are going to branch out of the division and take on larger athletes, you can’t program them against someone that massive or it just doesn’t work in my opinion.

I would have the weight limit of 225, this allows people on the larger end of the spectrum to get in and work with the smaller guys when needed. While you’re working in the cruiserweight division you are not allowed to move into the other divisions until you can prove your ability to add mat wrestling of some sort into your arsenal. You could put someone like Christian in there once in a while with the cruiserweights to prove themselves ready to move up by being able to work a slower paced match with more ground based moves, maybe even adding in a bit of submission work now and again. This would allow the smaller guys a chance to get on television and work a live crowd to start their time, as the develop in front of the crowd and on the mic they could start working with more well-rounded workers and eventually build their way into the IC/US (I would combine these again) or Tag Division with the person who helped season them. Unfortunately I would restrict them from the top titles for the most part. It would take something special for the smaller guys to reach THAT level, which would make someone getting there mean so much more.

As stated at the beginning of this as recently as six months ago I would have said absolutely not to the return of a cruiserweight title and division. I’ve thought about it a lot since it was first rumored to return, going over different situations in which I would welcome the division back into the WWE and on the main stage. In the last month or so I’ve devised these criteria for a return if I could book it my way. Adding it back isn’t without its negative points but at the same time I’ve at least warmed enough to see the bright points and how it could be used properly to get people back on television and build up some workers who are great talents but will never be world champion material. In the coming months, especially if The Network ever actually happens, we’ll see what happens in relation to this return. If there is a return of the division I am very hopeful some of the things I’ve thought of are held as a standard for the entire group of workers. I’ve pointed out I have zero power in WWE creative, but if there’s a wrestling God out there (JBL, hook me up) maybe some of my ideas can reach the ears of the decision makers one day.

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  • Steven

    Great article.

    I have to agree with you on just about everything you are saying. Watching someone like Rey or Eddie in their prime going up against a Big Show or even a Kevin Nash was believable because they were exceptional talents and could make us believe that they could somehow pull off the upset. Those were, however, the exceptions to the rule. Daniel Bryan is probably the only one that can make a plot like this work.

    The only downside that I can see coming at the expense of bringing back the Cruiserweight division is that we will be forced to watch something different than the same repetitive matches we have had forced upon us for the past couple years. Oh wait, that’s actually a good thing. I for one am tired of watching the Prime Time Players versus Team Hell No.

  • Van Hammer

    With so many Indy workers in NXT, I am wondering if WWE may be looking to develop their own X-Division styled cruiserweight hybrid. Excited for the future of the Network.

  • doug

    I think this would be good … But I would rather see more of a ranking with the curremt belts.

    When they had the undisputed champ and the split talent for shows wwe had a concept that could have worked.

    It could have worked if the orginal idea of the wwe champ working raw and smackdown with his challenger … and another eight top guys to be the pool for the next story line for the wwe title, I believe the concept could have worked.

    Add to that the World and IC champions as secondary titles or “SHOW” belts that the 4 wwe pool challenge for while waiting for a wwe title run with the up and coming talent that works only one of these shows … the Rybacks would get a chance to work up to a title and show their metal without being pushed too fast to be considered real.

    As for the US belt that could be the belt for the curtain jerkers, NXT or Main Event could contend for as they work out of development or a minor league show to either Raw or Smackdown.

    Four belts to define pecking order and achievement form top of the card down. And the return of a grand slam champion.

    US Champion … Curtain jerkers or new talent on tv to give them something to prove themselves with.

    IC and World Champions for one of the two live or major shows. The division title … Or national/american league champion for a baseball equivent.

    WWE Champion … Big dog belt for only the top workers. The true company belt.

    Also while I am on this rant … 52 weeks in a year divided by 4 week lead ins = 13 ppvs. Wrestlemania would be the world series still … Pick 4 other shows as the ones that end story arcs and determine the next contender (summer slam or rumble) put two minor ppvs inbetween and rumble moves to 4 weeks before mania(adjusting all ppvs to fit a three ppv story arc) (mania being an adition ppv between rumble and summer slam in june??? )

    And only matches or noncommercials during the ppv … We bought mania and dont need a cm punk/taker ir cena/rock recap … Maybe just the next ppv ad toward the end so a ppv is worth 70 dalla dalla yall …. Type ppv idea …

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