The popularity of the Lucha Dragons is something that can’t really go unnoticed. Then again, the appeal of smaller wrestlers, such as Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, and others, is something that is catching on again. Many people are beginning to truly appreciate the work that goes into being a small performer in professional wrestling. With that, rumors have started that WWE is having a tournament to bring back the WWE Cruiserweight Title and crown a new champion.
According to Wrestling Rumors, the Cruiserweight division could end up returning with a new show devoted to lightweight wrestlers on the WWE Network. If the reported plans for this idea go through, it would all begin in the summer of 2016.
The idea is that the new series on WWE Network would focus primarily on the lightweight wrestlers, and it would happen in a tournament featuring superstars under 205 pounds. Under the old rules for the division, superstars under 225 pounds qualified to compete for the title.
Upon bringing back the division, current superstars on the main roster of WWE or even in NXT may not end up taking part in it. Daily Wrestling News states that it may end up just being all the wrestlers from the independent scene who are vying for that big breakthrough.
Not only would this give those stars some exposure, but it could end with them getting a deal from WWE if they impress enough. Then again, WWE could go another direction and mix the top indie guys with some talent from WWE developmental, which could work as well.
This would give WWE the chance to properly introduce La Sombra (aka Manny Andrade) to the world of WWE. The Mexican luchador has wrestled around the world and was just signed to a developmental deal by WWE in November. He debuted in a match for NXT at a house show in early January, where he appeared under the name of Manny Andrade.
The Cruiserweight division rose to stardom in WCW with names such as Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Billy Kidman, Psychosis, and Eddie Guerrero. It was one of the most popular divisions in all of WCW, and it came over when WWE purchased the company in 2001.
Before purchasing WCW, there was the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship, which had actually debuted back in 1981 but got lost in the shuffle. In 1997, it was brought back to life, and an eight-wrestler tournament was held to determine a new champion which ended up being Taka Michinoku.
That belt was retired in November of 2001, when the Cruiserweight belt essentially took its place.
For seven years, the WWE Cruiserweight Title was defended and represented, but then it also got lost in the shuffle. In late 2007, it was won by Hornswoggle, and then he was stripped of the title. It sat vacant before being removed from WWE.com in 2008 and sort of retired.
Not only have some of the smaller wrestlers grown to popularity in WWE but also in other promotions such as TNA, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. That’s not even mentioning Lucha Underground, which essentially has based its entire promotion on those that would be in a Cruiserweight division.
That being said, it could be a way of WWE enticing more superstars from those other promotions in the hope of bringing them in to sign.
If WWE does bring back the Cruiserweight Title and division, it could end up leading to something huge for the company. Right now, there are just whispers and rumors of the new show and tournament for the WWE Network, but the idea is already getting lots of fans excited.
[Image via WWE]