Ex-WWE Star Explains Why Cruiserweight Division Failed – “It’s Vince-ism”

wwe Vince McMahon

A former WWE superstar has blamed Vince McMahon as the main reason why the Cruiserweight division never really took off in WWE.

There have been a few starts and stops for the Cruiserweight Division in WWE over the last 30 years while the company’s Executive Chairman Vince McMahon was running things.

In December 1997, Taka Michinoku won a tournament to become the new Light Heavyweight Champion. At the time, WCW’s Cruiserweight division was thriving with exciting matches and a deep roster, so WWE tried to emulate it with its own division. It lasted for about four years, which was after WWE bought WCW in March 2001.

It was in the spring of 2002 after the first WWE Draft when the company created the Cruiserweight Division for Smackdown. Vince McMahon and WWE made it exclusive to the blue brand while the Women’s Title was exclusive to Raw.

Some great wrestlers like Billy Kidman, The Hurricane, Tajiri, Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy and numerous others held the tile. It lasted until July 2007 with the diminutive Hornswoggle as the final Cruiserweight Champion.

There was yet another WWE Cruiserweight Title revival in September 2016 after yet another WWE Draft. It would become part of a show called 205 Live. That would become the NXT Cruiserweight Title, which ended in January 2022, so that one last just over five years.

Matt Hardy, who was a former Cruiserweight Champion in WWE, gave his thoughts on Vince McMahon not truly pushing the Cruiserweight division on a recent episode of the Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast.

“It’s Vince-ism. He thinks what draws is having a big larger than life superstar that is either your world champion or trying to be the world champion, then when they walk through an airport that people recognize, ‘Oh, my God, this guy’s a star’, and in Vince’s mind, like small people who don’t stand out quite as much, aren’t as big of a deal.

And I think that kind of the stigma from Vince is why the Cruiserweight Championship never got a ton of promotion, in many ways. He’s just like, ‘okay, sure, these guys can go out and they can have these great matches, but nobody sees them as like, you know, household name, a larger than life star, they’re gonna recognise in an airport’.

You know, that’s once again another one of Vince’s big attractions were big, tall, muscular, jacked up dudes, you know, he loved that because they’re gonna stand out at an airport.”

H/T Inside The Ropes