When WWE announced that the Cruiserweight Classic tournament was going to occur on the WWE Network, it received mostly a positive reaction from fans worldwide. For members of the WWE Universe who have been watching both WWE and WCW for a number of years, they understand how important this division is in not only highlighting the respectful competitors but giving them a chance to prove themselves in the heavyweight division.
One of the biggest examples of this is Rey Mysterio Jr. After spending most of his career in WCW as a cruiserweight, winning the championship on five separate occasions as well as the short-lived WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship, his resume proved that he had what it takes to ascend up the ladder to the heavyweight division when recruited to be a member of the WWE roster.https://www.instagram.com/p/Y3U5JaGJj2/?taken-by=reymysterio_619&hl=en
In WWE, he became one of the most successful cruiserweights to ever compete for the company, winning the world championship three times. In addition, Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero are two other former cruiserweight champions who became world champions in the WWE.
The reincarnation of the cruiserweight division has brought a positive and necessary element to WWE programming. Since the rave reviews of the Cruiserweight Classic, WWE continued the momentum by giving the division members an opportunity to showcase on WWE Raw, and they have seized every moment of it. As a result, a new series – 205 Live – made its debut Tuesday evening, with No. 1 contender Rich Swann defeating Brian Kendrick to win his first championship in the WWE.
Along with Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves, Austin Aries also joined the commentary team. Interestingly, when the program started and he was introduced, Aries stated that he will be eyeing the division. Moreover, he stated that he is looking to join the cruiserweights soon in hopes to win the championship.
WWE also teased his main roster debut.
“…calling the high-flying action of the Cruiserweight division wasn’t the only reason Aries was at ringside; he also revealed he was scouting the competition and let his intention to claim the WWE Cruiserweight Championship be known.
“Undoubtedly waiting to pick his moment, will Aries leave the announce table and become the next great force in the Cruiserweight division? It seems only time will tell.”
Aries would be a great addition to the cruiserweights. Not only because he fits the mold, but he would be another strong heel for the division outside of Brian Kendrick.
Aries is one of the pioneers who put the X Division back to a prominent spot in TNA. In 2012, Aries invented the option of giving up his championship – which he named “Option C” – in exchange for competing for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at the Destination X pay-per-view.
He capitalized on this concept by defeating Bobby Roode and winning the world championship. The next year, Chris Sabin chose the same option and won his first and only world championship by defeating Bully Ray.
Since debuting for NXT earlier this year, Aries’ name alone has been an asset to the brand, helping names such as Baron Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, No Way Jose, and Hideo Itami. While NXT is in need of the self-proclaimed “Greatest Man That Ever Lived,” making his name on the main roster for the cruiserweight division is the best option for Aries, preventing himself from being lost in the shuffle like some of the other call-ups within the past 12-18 months.
Currently, Aries is out with an orbital injury after receiving a crushing blow at the hands of Shinsuke Nakamura during a match at a house show in Fresno, California. Per Cageside Seats, he was forced to undergo surgery and is expected to be out until the beginning of 2017.
With names like Austin Aries, the WWE cruiserweight division will continue to grow and give names who may never make it to a world championship status the opportunity to be a top star for the weight class. Since characters are an essential factor of feuds succeeding, as seen by the fantastic work from Brian Kendrick, Aries has a suitable persona to help babyface talent become top stars for the division.
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