WWE News

NXT Cruiserweight Championship Set To Be Retired

WWE NXT Cruiserweight Championship Roderick Strong

The NXT Cruiserweight Championship looks set to be retired following NXT New Year’s Evil.

At NXT New Year’s Evil, Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong will meet North American Champion Carmelo Hayes in a huge unification bout. It was also revealed on the December 28th episode of NXT that the winner of that clash will be known as the North American Champion going forwards. Meaning that the Cruiserweight Championship will be retired.

In 2016, WWE launched the Cruiserweight Classic tournament featuring 32 wrestlers from around the world. In final of the tournament, TJ Perkins defeated Gran Metalik to win the Cruiserweight Championship.

The future of the championship was thrown into doubt in early 2020 as a travel ban caused by the COVID-19 pandemic meant that champion Jordan Devlin was unable to appear on NXT in the United States. In his absence, Santos Escobar was crown interim champion, which set up a unification match at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver which Escobar won.

Current champion Roderick Strong won the title from Kushida on the September 21st episode of NXT 2.0.

WCW crowned it’s first Cruiserweight Champion in early 1996, while the then WWF reclaimed it’s own Light-Heavyweight Championship from Michinoku Pro Wrestling in Japan a year later. The two titles were merged following the ‘Invasion’ in 2001 after WWF brought WCW.

This led to the creation of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. The belt remained a fixture on WWE television until it was retired September 2007.

You can find the updated card for NXT New Year’s Evil below.

  • Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Bron Brekker (NXT Championship)
  • Many Rose (c) vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade (NXT Women’s Championship)
  • Roderick Strong vs. Carmelo Hayes (Unification match for the Cruiserweight and North American Championship)
  • Riddle & MSK vs. Imperium