WWE captured the attention of the world when it announced that it would be hosting a Global Cruiserweight Series, featuring some of the hottest cruiserweights from the independent scene.
With names like Rich Swann, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa from NXT already announced for the tournament, as well as British sensations, Zach Sabre Jr. and Noah Dar, Japanese star, Akira Tozawa and, according to some rumours, Lucha Underground star, Prince Puma.
WWE has long been criticised for its focus on bigger, more muscular talent, forgoing pure wrestling ability in favour of appearance. NXT has been working wonders in recent years to reverse this stereotype and the success of smaller stars such as Neville, Sami Zayn and Finn Balor proves that a change in WWE is fully in motion.
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The next step in this change for WWE will begin on 13th July 2016, when the Global Cruiserweight Series begins airing on the WWE Network.
This is a huge development for WWE and could be the start of something brilliant for the company. With so many of the WWE fans becoming more aware of the independent wrestling scene and with the appeal of smaller, more agile wrestlers expanding rapidly over the past few years, this tournament could be a great way to integrate some of the most popular indie wrestlers into WWE and promote a new style of wrestling that has already been making waves in the company.
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What this series could also do is usher in the return of WWE’s Cruiserweight division. What began as the Light Heavyweight Championship in 1981 would later become the Cruiserweight Championship in 2001, before being retired in 2007. In that time, the belt was won by legends such as Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho and many more, all of which added huge prestige to the title.
A rebirth of the Cruiserweight division and a subsequent un-retirement of the Cruiserweight title could add a new depth to the roster and give wrestlers who wouldn’t usually receive a shot at a championship something to fight for.
When asked about the possibility of a new Cruiserweight division, Triple H implied that there are no plans for the title to return, instead implying that the tournament would be an annual event. However, he did say regarding cruiserweights – “It’s a hell of a platform and it’s going to get bigger and better but just not sure 100 percent what was that it.”
Whilst there seem to be no imminent plans for a fully-fledged Cruiserweight division in WWE, one thing is for certain – the Global Cruiserweight Series will be a spectacle. Amazing matches from amazing athletes, some of whom will hopefully get signed afterwards and an event celebrating one of the most under-represented forms of wrestling in the world. Very exciting stuff.
Is this a step in the right direction for the WWE? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!