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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Cruiserweight Comeback"
February 15, 2006 by Anthony Filangeri


Is the Cruiserweight Championship coming back to its feet" Is it coming back up where it once was or is it going to come back down" 2004 and most of 2005 didn't have many impressive matches with the lightweights and it may look like we will be getting better cruiserweight matches now. In 2002, when the draft was complete, it left the Cruiserweight championship on Smackdown with the Cruiserweights. This is when they started to shine. Every week on Smackdown, they would wrestle and amaze us. To me, they were the most entertaining matches to watch. They weren't like the heavyweights, which were slow paced, and kind of boring, they were highflying, quick paced athletes. In 2002, we saw awesome matches with Tajiri, The Hurricane, Billy Kidman and the new Jamie Noble. Which lead us to 2003.

In February of 2003, Matt Hardy came into the cruiserweight picture and won the title against Billy Kidman. Shortly after, this is when finally, Rey Mysterio started fighting for the title. Everyone wanted to see him win the championship at WrestleMania 19 against Hardy, but he cheated for the victory. Rey Mysterio is what got the Cruiserweight matches very popular. Everyone loved him, and the kids did especially. He never made matches boring. The feud with Mysterio and Hardy stirred up rapidly and they landed the main event spot on Smackdown and was the first time the title has been defended in the main event of the show.

2004 is when it slowed down. Chavo Guerrero won the belt and it seemed like at that time, it went downhill. He faced numerous opponents, and on a Smackdown in June, he lost it to... former women's champion Jacquelyn" Correct. Okay it was a clever idea having Jacquelyn come out for the challenge, but having her win the title... no thank you. Chavo quickly won it back and then lost it again, to his father. Good thing Rey won it back to finish off the year with decent matches with Spike Dudley, Chavo and others.

2005 was a bad year. Chavo was again champion - surprise, surprise. And at Wrestlemania 21, the title wasn't even defended. Smackdown completely ignored the title. Paul London won it and had it for a good while when Nunzio won it. Then Juventud captured it at No Mercy. This was when the matches were getting better but no fans were completely going wild like they used to. Kid Kash came on Smackdown and finally, a champion who fans were showing interest in.

Now it is 2006, and there is a whole new year for the Cruiserweights. Gregory Helms is now on Smackdown with the belt, which he won at the Rumble. To me, the last three months have been good with them, and there IS no telling what's going to happen. There are tons of Cruiserweights they have to use. With Jamie Knoble back, he can easily be a soon to be champion once again. Also, why not bring Scotty 2 Hotty and Steven Richards into the mix. Are the cruiserweights going to steal the spotlight yet again" Or is 2006 going to be another let down of the Cruiserweight Championship"

by Anthony Filangeri


PokemaniacWiII wrote:
Just one thing about your column, at Wrestlemania 21, the Cruiserweight title wasn't ignored. It wasn't defended because the current champ, Chavo Guerrero, had an injury that kept him from competing, thus, the battle royale on SmackDown where Chavo was eliminated right away, to keep him from getting hurt further. Also, you ignored most of the later half of 2004, where Spike Dudley was the Cruiserweight title and had a fairly good reign, until he lost the title to Funaki at the end of the year.

Personally, the Cruiserweight Division lost its hope when Juventud was gone. He was pretty popular at the time and could've had a great reign, but his backstage problems prevented that. He really could've been the next big thing in the Cruiserweight Division. Now all the Cruiserweights that are left will probably fail to get much interest. Kid Kash is the only one who I can see having some lasting appeal. Gregory Helms has gotten next to no reaction since becoming the Hurricane, Funaki hasn't been taken seriously except for the few months where he was champion, Jamie Noble has had no impact since his return, and Nunzio may very well be the only Cruiserweight champion who actually lost more matches as champion than he won. Not to mention most of these wrestlers are heels. London and Kendrick are off into the tag division.

A wrestler I think should've become a main heel in the Cruiserweight Division is Daivari. Daivari's had tons of airtime and has plenty of untapped skills, and could be the next guy to make the people care about the division. However, for whatever reason they chose to leave the division in the hands of other heels.
Navin Panesar wrote:
in my oppinion i remember a time when i real winner was on the roster (not that im saying the others arent) but Ultimo Dragon, the most insane guy in the world to me, i love Ultimo Dragon especially when he was in WCW coz he was great and he is well respected round the world i mean look at all the titles the guys held, and WWE squandered that, i think if they had let him work then he would make a decent champion, hell of a decent champ, but WWE lost him now and need to get thier CW crowd back and one man who can do it Jamie Noble, hell of a worker and hell of a champion whether hes heel or face, but yea you did forget spike, he ruled as CW champ, well kinda i just loved his character from ECW, but they should let some of the CW talent really shine, but 2006 will be a better year for the CW's because of lets face it TNA and the X division, Vince has to stand up and take notice of them now as they are rising up the ranks
JeffC wrote:
Actually PokemaniacWiII at the time of Wrestlemania 21 Paul London had the title. he won it a few days earlier.
James Watts wrote:
I do agree with what you're saying Anthony, except for when you put down Jacquelyn. She is a great performer and she used to wrestle men in WWE and WCW. The WWE wouldn't have given her the belt if they felt she didn't deserve it. But, I personally don't think Steven Richards in the cruiserweight division is a good idea. I don't think much of him as a wrestler, and I think he would lower the tone of the cruiserweight division. And PokemaniacWiII, what the hell are you talking about" Gregory Helms has had a tremendous reaction from the fans since abandoning the Hurricane gimmick when he turned on Rosey (who the fans loved) and became the man the fans love to hate. And as for those comments about no impact from Jamie Noble...do you watch Velocity" Did you not see him make Scotty Too Hotty, Funaki and Paul London tap out in consecutive matches" That is a successful and impactful return to the WWE in my opinion! Nunzio too was quite successful as champion, with wins over Paul London in his title defenses. I do agree, however, that Daivari should have a run in the cruiserweight division, because his matches with Austin Aries on the indy circuit were awesome.
MArk Patai wrote:
You're whole Column was pretty good, although you did miss a lot of what happened with the Cruiserweight Division. In my opinion whats really destroying the Division is the short title regions, and the people that held it. The Division is focusing on people like Kid Kash, and Gregory Helmes, what the hell is up with that" No wonder barley anyone watches the matches anymore, I know I dont.

You say the Cruiserweight Division was heading near death in 2005, but in my opinion it was dieing ever since they lost the high-flying entertaining Rey Mysterio. The Cruserweight Division sunk almost as low as the Womens Division. Trish Stratus and Mickie James are the only two holding the Womens Division together, and with the Cruiserweight Division they really dont have a decent Fued that can hold it together. The Cruiserweight Championship may be vanished just like the Hardcore, and European.
Alister Fraser wrote:
i think the cw division is great! but with the lack of intelligance WWE seems to have its not all that good. They take X division guys like Juventud Guerrera and Kid Kash and yet they manage to screw it up! Kid Kash's move set is basically banned (i was hoping to see him do that tiger-driver move he does). The cruiserweights are great athletes but WWE limits them too much. Put it this way: the best cruiserwieght match i've seen in a while was Super Crazy vs Nunzio on Velocity! Anybody feel the same way"
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