Simple stories are the simplest to tell, and for most WWE fans, the best type of story to become invested in as a viewer.
The Cruiserweight division, since its inception after the Cruiserweight Classic mid last year, has been underwhelming to say the least. Shortened matches, no clear top dog in the division and a reliance on bland characters hindered what should have been a really exciting addition to WWE’s weekly programming.
However in recent weeks, step by step, the division has become a easier to follow and in return has made for more enjoyable viewing. This definitely started off with the return of former NXT Champion Neville as the top star in the 205lbs weight division. Add in the likes of ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher and Japanese sensation Akira Tozawa getting some prominence of TV, and you have a pretty formidable division.
However, perhaps the biggest moment so far in the division’s inception occurred on the most recent episode of Raw. After putting on a really strong performance against Jack Gallagher the previous night at the WWE Fastlane PPV, Cruiserweight Champion Neville successfully defended his title against former champ Rich Swann in what is probably the best Cruiserweight match on Raw or 205 Live to date.
What came after was the most electric moment we have seen from the division. Austin Aries, one of the greatest independent stars of all time, came down to the ring to interview the champion, and the Chicago crowd were itching to see him challenge the self-proclaimed ‘King of the Cruiserweights’.
The fans got exactly that. After the constant chants and claps for Aries got to the champion, he snapped, launching a scathing tirade on ‘The Greatest Man That Ever Lived’ that led to a microphone shot to the head followed by a vicious forearm to Neville. The crowd came unglued, clearly in the corner of the commentator who looks set for an in-ring return.
Aries making his way into the division could definitely prove the final piece in a very talented puzzle. While Neville vs Aries is a huge Wrestlemania match, and a secondary program of Akira Tozawa and The Brian Kendrick has plenty of potential, it’s the supporting acts in the division who please this writer the most in the long-term. The likes of Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese and Gran Metalik are going to prove to be huge assets to the company and will shine when given the opportunity.
When the dust settles, this crop of talent are going to grab the proverbial brass ring just like the three men on Raw did on a more consistent basis, and fans are without a doubt going to be better off for it.
Are you excited for the future of the Cruiserweight division? Is Austin Aries, along with Neville, going to bring this division to prominence during Mania season?