The WWE had a hugely successful tournament in 2016 with the Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network. Fans loved it so much that the WWE signed many of the wrestlers competing in the tournament and brought them to Monday Night Raw. While that was a perceived failure, the WWE Network just debuted 205 Live last week, an all-cruiserweight show, and it was extremely entertaining.
However, one person who is not impressed by the cruiserweight wrestlers is “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. On his most recent podcast episode (as transcribed by Wrestling Inc.), Flair buried the entire cruiserweight division, something that might not go over well since he has just signed a new contract with the WWE to return to Monday Night Raw.
When asked about the new cruiserweight showcase and their reemergence in the WWE, Ric Flair said that he wasn’t impressed. Flair said they were athletic, but it wasn’t something he cared to watch. He then put his daughter Charlotte over the entire division.
“I just feel like, first of all, [Charlotte] is a better athlete than the cruiserweights. Does that make sense? The cruiserweights are great, they’re athletic, really nice guys, but they can’t have a match better than Sasha and Charlotte.”
Now, it is clear that Charlotte and Sasha Banks have had some great matches. Their Hell in a Cell match was not the best, but it was a pretty good match and was groundbreaking for the WWE women’s division. Their Fall’s Count Anywhere match from Monday Night Raw last week was much better and a great main event.
There is no denying that. However, there were a huge number of matches in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic that puts most matches to shame. The semifinal matches featuring Gran Metalik vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and T.J Perkins vs. Kota Ibushi are some of the best matches of 2016, regardless of company or show.
There are guys on 205 Live like Jack Gallagher who prove that there are some great in-ring performers and characters in the cruiserweight division. Guys like Drew Gulak and Tony Nese prove that there are some great wrestlers, similar to Dean Malenko from the past. People like Rich Swan proves that they have performers who are a mix of both.
Of course, it is always the right of Ric Flair to like one form of wrestling over another. It is also fair to say that Ric Flair prefers to watch his daughter wrestle than cruiserweight matches. It just seems to be insulting to tell the entire cruiserweight division on 205 Live that they can’t put on matches as good as Charlotte and Sasha Banks.
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The WWE really wanted to push the cruiserweight division after the huge success of 205 Live. Sadly, when they went to Monday Night Raw, the cruiserweight division was booked to wrestle the exact same type of matches as the rest of the roster, which is not why fans gravitated to the Cruiserweight Classic. It is the same reason many NXT stars fail when they arrive on the main roster.
WrestleZone reported that many people left SmackDown Live last week instead of sticking around to watch 205 Live, which is not a good sign for the cruiserweight division.
However, the show ended up being very good and the crowd that remained really got into the Cruiserweight Championship match that Rich Swann won. While Ric Flair may not be impressed, the WWE has to hope that the fans like the cruiserweight division enough to make 205 Live another WWE Network success.
[Featured Image by WWE]