WWE is reportedly considering once again scrapping the Cruiserweight Championship, only five years after resurrecting the title.
The Cruiserweight Championship was originally a mainstay of World Championship Wrestling, introduced in 1996. Stars such as Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, and Rey Mysterio all held the title and the cruiserweight division was lauded as one of the success stories of WCW.
When the company was sold to WWE in 2001, the new owners continued using the WCW titles until Survivor Series 2001 when many were unified with their WWE counterparts. The WCW Cruiserweight Championship however was renamed the WWE Cruiserweight Title and replaced WWE’s own Light Heavyweight Championship.
The title was a mainstay of SmackDown and stars such as Billy Kidman, Tajiri, Matt Hardy, and The Hurricane all held the gold in what was a massively competitive division. By 2007 however, the title had somewhat lost its lustre and Hornswoggle was champion when the belt was retired.
Nine years later WWE announced a Cruiserweight Classic Tournament where they invited many stars from around the world to compete. The likes of Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr., and The Brian Kendrick all took part. Eventually, TJ Perkins defeated Gran Metallik in the final to win the tournament and become the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion in almost a decade.
The title and the competitors fighting for it appeared on Raw and were given their own spotlight on the 205 Live show. In October 2019 the title was renamed the NXT Cruiserweight Championship and became part of the black and gold brand as well. In total, seventeen men have held the title since it was revived including current champion, Roderick Strong.
Now according to a new report from Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the title could be scrapped if recent storylines on NXT 2.0 are any indication:
“Did you see the Joey Gacy segment? It feels like they’re going to change the 205 Live…I’ve heard they want to ditch the Cruiserweight Title. The All-Inclusive Championship, is that the deal?”
“Like the old people running [NXT], it would not have…they wanted the Cruiserweight Title to be legit. They told everyone to be 205 and under or they can’t be in the division. You think these guys are going to do weigh-ins? They stopped doing weigh-ins a long time ago. The whole idea of Joe Gacy challenging for the Cruiserweight Title and Malcolm Bivens waiving the weight limit….but yeah, that’s from what I understand.”
“The whole 205 Live is not how Vince [McMahon] does things. We’ll see what happens, but they’ve talked about that. I know they’ve talked about changing the 205 Live with the Cruiserweight Title thing. I don’t know if they’re going to do it in this situation here. It feels like they are because Gacy is getting all kinds of TV time.”
Joe Gacy – who weighs a lot more than the 205lb weight limit associated with the NXT Cruiserweight Title – has challenged Roderick Strong for the title with Strong’s Diamond Mine manager Malcolm Bivens saying he’ll waive the weight limit stipulation to allow Gacy to challenge.