Matt Sydal is confident that if AEW brought in a Cruiserweight Championship he would own it – however he has also given them an alternative.
Having competed around the globe over a storied career, Matt Sydal has stamped his mark on the junior heavyweight division wherever he’s gone. This has included two runs as IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, as well as holding the X-Division Championship in IMPACT Wrestling.
However, despite the increasing number of belts on display in AEW, there has so far not been much of a focus on a cruiserweight division. In a discussion with Steve Fall for WrestlingNewsCo, Matt Sydal commented that AEW stars could go after the NJPW Championship, but if his home promotion pushed the division then he would be at the head of it.
Yeah, or I mean, we could just start going after the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title because that’s the New Japan title, and I think it has one of the strongest lineages out of any championship in all of pro wrestling. Given that, that would be an iconic belt to represent and to hold. But also if AEW started their own junior heavyweight division or cruiserweight division, whatever you want to call it, that’s my division.
I would be owning it, I would be on top of it, and people would be fighting for my spot. When it comes to junior heavyweight wrestling, since the first time I went to Japan, I was winning junior heavyweight belts. It’s just who I am. I’m not trying to be anything other than a guy who’s five-foot-eight, 165 pounds and ready to fight.
Continuing on, Sydal discussed why he likes facing competitors who are of the same size as him, whilst naming some of the greats of the division.
I love fighting guys [in] my weight class. I’ve beat Mark Henry, I’ve wrestled The Big Show, I’ve been in there with the biggest guys. But for me, what I want is I want to look somebody square in the eye dead on and go toe-to-toe with somebody who’s of equal skill because I think sometimes styles make fights, and the junior heavyweight division is what got me into wrestling. If it wasn’t for Super Crazy and Tajiri, Rey Mysterio versus Psychosis, Eddie and Dean, all these guys that came before us, that’s what I want to carry forward.
It is not inconceivable for AEW stars to go after NJPW Championships, with the crossover continuing since Forbidden Door and Tomohiro Ishii facing Chris Jericho on the most recent edition of Dynamite.
With thanks to Fightful for the transcription.