According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there are a few ideas being tossed around for the rest of the Wrestlemania card, and one of them involves two high-profile names in the Cruiserweight Division. Yes, one of the match ideas will pit Cruiserweight Champion Neville against Austin Aries.
Perhaps by having two high profile names competing for the title, WWE hopes to raise both the title’s and the division’s stock. The division has been ailing, with many cruiserweights struggling to get over and connect with fans. The cruiserweights have also been “watered down,” according to many fans, as they wrestle the exact same style as the rest of the roster, instead of the exciting, high-paced action found in the highly acclaimed Cruiserweight Classic, which was a tournament held by the WWE from June to August of 2016.
The Cruiserweight Classic, which featured many high profile names such as Zack Sabre, Jr. Kota Ibushi, and Gran Metalik, as well as former WWE superstars like Tajiri and Brian Kendrick, was the basis for WWE starting a cruiserweight division on Raw. Several wrestlers from the tournament were signed and placed in the division, such as Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann, Ariya Daivari, Lince Dorado, Noam Dar, Jack Gallagher, and Cruiserweight Classic winner TJ Perkins.
The division has been off to a rocky start, having seen four different champions in its five-month lifespan. Inaugural champion TJ Perkins lost the championship to Brian Kendrick, who dropped the strap to Rich Swann just a month later. At the Royal Rumble, Neville beat Rich Swann to become Cruiserweight Champion.
By having Neville defend against Aries, it shows that at least WWE is trying to fix their errors when it comes to the division, especially with Aries being seen as a big name.
Aries, who was injured last October with an orbital fracture, has reportedly been cleared to wrestle again. He has also been commentating for Raw’s Cruiserweight Division alongside Michael Cole, while also commentating for the Cruiserweight exclusive show 205 Live alongside Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves. Before stepping into the commentary booth, Aries wrestled on NXT, having been signed by WWE in January 2016. He debuted in March that year and defeated Baron Corbin at Takeover: Dallas.
Prior to his stint in NXT, Aries wrestled for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor. He is one of three superstars to hold the Ring of Honor World Championship more than once. He is also a six-time TNA X-Division Champion and a former TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
As for Neville, he is a former NXT Champion, and he was injured in March last year when he fractured his ankle against Chris Jericho. He returned in July, and many were wondering why he was not a part of the Cruiserweight Division. In December at Roadblock: End of the Line, Neville appeared after Rich Swann defended his championship against Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins. He attacked Swann in a heel turn and declared himself “King of the Cruiserweights.” He would continue to attack both Swann and Perkins before claiming the championship in January 2017.
It is still a question, though, whether the Cruiserweight match will be placed on the pre-show or on the stacked main card, and if so, how much time they will be allotted. If the match does not push through, WWE may also opt to have the Cruiserweights compete in a multi-man ladder match for the championship in an energetic spotfest to get the crowd excited for the rest of the show. Regardless, WWE is making the right steps to repairing a division that was seemingly damaged on arrival but has somehow against all odds still survived.
[Featured Image by WWE]