In the latest WWE news, the company recently confirmed the addition of six WWE Cruiserweight wrestlers for the Monday Night Raw roster. After the recent excitement and success behind the tournament to crown the first champion in the division, it seemed only a matter of time before several of the wrestlers involved would make their way to Raw. Now they’ll have a chance to make a name for themselves on the USA Network each week, if WWE can properly integrate them.
The F4WOnline website reported on Friday that six names have been confirmed, and they are in addition to the recent Cruiserweight champion. TJ Perkins. Joining Perkins on the roster will be Rich Swann, Gran Metalik, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, Noam Dar, and Brian Kendrick. Of those names, Metalik was the runner-up in the championship match, while Kendrick used to appear regularly on WWE back in the day. He was a member of the tag team champions at one point with partner Brian London, and branched out on a solo gimmick for a while too.
It was noted that four particular wrestlers from the division were used to promote the division on Raw, but that they haven’t yet been announced for the show. They include Akira Tozawa, Jack Gallager, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa. Another name that is noticeably absent is Tajiri, who, just like Kendrick, was part of the WWE roster before, and also a Cruiserweight champion three times there with the previous belt. Tajiri appeared from 2001 through 2008 and then took an eight-year hiatus from the company. He appeared in TNA for a year back in 2014 and also wrestled in the Japanese wrestling circuit for several years.
The Cruiserweight Classic featured a total of 32 men competing in the 205-pound weight class for a single elimination tournament. According to WrestleZone, Perkins is officially the first-ever champion in the division, even though WWE had a Cruiserweight title before. He’s previously worked in New Japan Pro Wrestling for a decade, Ring of Honor for nearly a decade, and TNA for a few years. Now he gets to star on the grand stage on Monday nights.
At first, only TJ Perkins was confirmed to be heading to the show. He won the entire 32-man tournament this past week on the WWE Network. The grand finale match saw Perkins defeat Gran Metallic, via submission. After the win, he was awarded the new purple Cruiserweight title belt by Triple H and informed that he would be on Raw this coming Monday. With six other guys from his division also to appear, one would certainly speculate that Metalik will step up to challenge for the belt again. What will be most interesting to see is how WWE uses the various Cruiserweights in the face and heel roles now that the tournament has ended.
There have been rumors that other superstars on Raw’s roster could get involved in this Cruiserweight title chase too. Among the names that have been tossed out are Sin Cara and Neville. Cara is already billed at that weight, while Adrian Neville is about 10 pounds lighter, but could probably compete. Neither has been involved in a whole lot of action or storylines since the WWE Draft happened. A push in the right direction in the new division could certainly rejuvenate their careers which have been marred by obscurity lately.
Adding these guys to the roster should certainly help. It could generate new feuds and, in turn, bring viewers around. Between the two weekly programs, most viewers have been praising the Tuesday SmackDown Live program so far in comparison to a stale Raw. The Monday night slot has also been difficult in the past due to competition with Monday Night Football on ESPN. With some fresh talent and matches on the show, it could rev things up a bit.
[Featured Image by WWE.com]