In 2016, the WWE started a tournament called the “Cruiserweight Classic”. It featured 32 wrestlers competing in single round matches all the way to the finals in which the winner would be crowned “the best cruiserweight of all time”.
Little did they know that in the end, one of them were to become the new Cruiserweight champion. In the end, it was TJ Perkins who defeated Gran Metalik to be crowned the inaugural champion.
The very next week, we witnessed the beginning of a bust. The cruiserweights debuted on Raw, and despite having great chemistry with one another, the crowd was nowhere near involved, simply because it didn’t feel special.
The title would change hands twice before the end of the year, as Perkins lost to Brian Kendrick, who would then go on to lose on the first episode of 205 Live to Rich Swann. Later on, it would be Neville who took control of the division.
The reign of Neville was absolutely brilliant, but due to 205 Live airing after Smackdown Live, the fans typically didn’t stick around. After half a year, Neville’s reign ended twice: Once to Akira Tozawa, and then again to Enzo Amore.
The reign of Amore didn’t last long, as he was released from his contract due to sexual accusations. This would seem like the end of the cruiserweight division, but that was until news broke out that Vince McMahon was stepping down from controlling the WWE, and Paul Levesque (aka WWE superstar Triple H) was stepping up for it.
This would mark the beginning of the boom era. Under the control of Levesque, the WWE began a tournament to crown a new champion where the finals would be at the grandest stage of them all: WrestleMania.
The tournament is now down to the final three in which Cedric Alexander is waiting on either Mustafa Ali or Drew Gulak to win so that the match can be finalized on April 8th.
The division started off poorly with numerous title changes, negative crowd reactions, and not enough storylines to keep the fans excited. After the company brought in a new general manager, Drake Maverick, we have seen a turn of events.
Photo credit: WWE.com