This past Wednesday, the finals for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship aired live on the WWE Network, putting an end to the 32-man tournament that started all the way back in June. The finals showcased two very talented wrestlers, as the Philippines’ T.J. Perkins faced off against Mexico’s Gran Metalik. Representation from nations outside of the United States was not just restricted to the finals, as wrestlers from more than 15 countries qualified for the tournament.
After almost 20 minutes of intense and suspenseful action, T.J. Perkins was able to make Metalik tap out, making Perkins the inaugural Cruiserweight Champion. WWE COO Paul “Triple H” Levesque unveiled the new title belt before the final match, and the purple and silver championship received a loud and positive reaction from the crowd in attendance.
Now that Perkins is the new champion, he will be placed on Monday Night Raw, starting this Monday night on the USA Network. This is a big pickup for the show, as the Cruiserweight Championship tournament has been gaining more and more momentum in recent weeks. WWE can expect the fans of the tournament to continue to follow the champion to Raw, as both fans of the tournament and fans of Raw will be interested to see how Perkins assimilates to life on the main roster. There is plenty of possibilities for intriguing storylines, especially with the recent announcement that six more cruiserweights from the tournament will be making the jump to Raw as well. These wrestlers are: Brian Kendrick, Rich Swann, Gran Metalik, Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, and Noam Dar.
— WWE (@WWE) September 17, 2016
Heading into Monday, Raw is just one week away from their first exclusive pay-per-view, Clash of Champions. As of now, there is plenty to get excited about for this event, as the card is already shaping up to be a good one – highlighted by matches like Kevin Owens v. Seth Rollins, Sasha Banks v. Charlotte, and Sami Zayn v. Chris Jericho. With only one week until the PPV, there isn’t sufficient time to build up any credible storylines for the new cruiserweight division, but fans should not be expecting any quick buildup.
To get the most out of the new division, the creative team should make sure that Perkins and the new additions to the main roster get plenty of exposure on this Monday’s episode of Raw. Having another celebration segment for Perkins could possibly help remind the fans of the new title, as well as help the belt build legitimacy. To further expose the title and the new division to fans, starting a number one contender’s tournament between the new wrestlers could help. Witnessing the talent of these new wrestlers is the only way to get them any real recognition at this point, and a small tournament is certain to show the WWE Universe how skilled these guys are. Rushing into a storyline with no credibility would be the worst option as of now.
Having the culmination of the number one contender’s tournament at Clash of Champions would give the division great exposure, and would allow any significant storylines involving Perkins’ title defense to hit the ground running.
Fans of the WWE should be getting excited about this new division, as it brings a brand new pool of talent to the mainstream wrestling audience, and if the CWC was any indication, people will not be disappointed. In the context of the brand split, Raw now has a serious advantage over Smackdown Live, so it will be interesting to watch how the creative team for Smackdown handles Team Red’s newest additions. In short, the CWC seems to have been a success for the WWE, and has the potential to become a championship that fans can really get behind.
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