A new report has claimed that WWE is potentially planning to “ditch” the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, only five years since it was brought back by the company.
The Cruiserweight Championship was first introduced in 1996 and quickly became a cornerstone of World Championship Wrestling. Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, and Rey Mysterio all held the title, and the cruiserweight division was hailed as one of WCW’s biggest successes.
Following the sale of WCW to WWE in 2001, their titles remained in use for several months. However, in the lead-up to the conclusion of the ‘Invasion’ angle which saw an alliance of WCW and ECW wrestlers unsuccessfully try to take over WWE, many were merged with their WWE counterparts in a series of unification matches.
The WCW Cruiserweight Championship was an exception to this, as it was renamed the WWE Cruiserweight Championship replaced WWE’s own Light Heavyweight Championship.
The title became a mainstay of SmackDown, with Superstars such as Billy Kidman, Tajiri, Matt Hardy, and The Hurricane all holding the gold in the initially much-loved division. By 2007 however, the title was no longer held in as high regard, and when it was scrapped, Hornswoggle was the last champion of that period.
In 2016, WWE announced the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament which featured top Cruiserweight stars from around the world. Big names who competed included Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr., and Johnny Gargano. In the end, TJ Perkins fought his way to the finals of the tournament where he bested Gran Metallik to win the whole thing and become the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion in almost a decade.
The future seemed bright for the revived cruiserweight division as they not only competed on Raw, but were given their own show, 205 Live. In October 2019, the title was rechristened the NXT Cruiserweight Championship as the wrestlers of the division began competing there as well. The current champion is NXT’s own Roderick Strong.
Now, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio has reported that WWE is planning to retire the title once again, with the current storyline of Joey Gacy challenging Strong for the Championship showing a move to an “All-Inclusive Championship” could well happen in the near future.
“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 considerably more than the 205lb weight limit usually needed to be in contention for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, has challenged Roderick Strong for the title. Strong’s manager in Diamond Mine, Malcolm Bivens, has agreed to waive the weight limit to allow the match to go ahead.
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the above transcription.