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WRESTLING COLUMNS

London - Turning The Cruiserweights Around
April 13, 2005 by D. Whelan


OK, so the WWE has made me and a lot of fans of their product very very happy. The cruiserweight title has gone to Paul London, a tough competitor with a lot of energy, which as an opener on any SmackDown! gets the crowd pumped for the night ahead of them.

Early in London's career he was a stiff wrestler in the independents, companies like Ring of Honor and ECWA. London was given great reviews by hardcore fans following Ring of Honor, after running through gauntlets, and having a "blood-feud" with Michael Shane that ended with a great Shooting Star Press off a ladder, a ladder which had a bent frame and couldn't lock into position. The blood feud is the biggest type of feud in the Honor system Ring Of Honor has. When it came to an end London competed in the well known ECWA super eight tournament... and won! London defeated Frankie Kazarian and Chance Beckett to win the Super Eight in a tournament which featured Spanky, Chris Sabin and Kazarian.

One month later he showed up in TNA for just a little while, winning a 4 way match for a shot at Chris Sabin's title. Although he didn't win he was noticed, because just one week later he had a dark match for the WWE against Matt Hardy. It was months afterwards when he got another shot at a WWE match, and on Velocity London faced off against now WWE Champion John Cena.

The WWE have a lot of trust in Paul London I feel because since that match with Cena he has progressed and done a lot of things. He tagged with his friend Spanky as 'Get well soon' and was the resident Velocity tag team, but when Spanky decided to go to Japan again London took the ball and ran with it. Within 6 months, along with Billy Kidman, he had had matches with the world's greatest tag team, the Basham's and then even went on to win the tag team titles in a match against the Dudleyz. Branching from this match could have been one of the greatest feuds but the WWE cut it short and rushed it, albeit with a great match where London sold an unbelievable Shooting Star Press while he was tied down to a stretcher.

In 2005 London has lost 3 matches if you include the Royal Rumble, otherwise 2... he lost to Akio early in the year and then after going on a streak he found himself at No Way Out against 5 other cruiserweights. London practically ran the gauntlet defeating Funaki, Spike, Shannon Moore and Akio, then found himself against Chavo Guererro in the final portion of the match and was beaten. Shortly after he became the cruiserweights number one contender beating Akio on velocity of all places, he was due to face Chavo at WrestleMania, the biggest stage of them all, but due to an injury Chavo couldn't compete. A Battle Royal was announced prior to 'Mania on SmackDown!, where London captured his first title and was absolutely ecstatic, even going as far to hug the referee.

SmackDown! is due to soon see the arrival of some great cruiserweights including Franky Kazarian, Psicosis, Juventud Guererra and Super Crazy. These guys could well mix it with the best of them and at the moment the best of them is Paul London. The matches that could occur with these 4 new talents is unbelievable and should push the cruiserweight division ahead. London is already getting a major push. He has had 3 articles on WWE.COM in the last 2 weeks, talking about his win, WrestleMania and then the newest one made the 3rd biggest moment in the WWE this week according to the WWE Weekly Top Five, only behind Austin's return and Batista defeating Orton. I see WWE focusing a lot on the cruiserweights in the near future and here is to seeing them excel and become a mainstay on SmackDown! Headed by Paul London, the man who I believe is turning the cruiserweight division around.

by D. Whelan ..


Shawn wrote:
I think London is a great young talent but he's not the guy for the job. He lacks the charisma of a Tajiri,Hurricane,Chavo,Noble or Matt Hardy. The fans don't care about him, he gets no kind of reaction. The fans only react when Chavo comes out. When Super Crazy,Juvi(the best in the world) and Kazarian show up, London will probably take a back seat because those guys have charisma the fans care about. He don't have the extra it that Styles(former World champ),Daniels,Primetime and Williams have in the X division. Those guys can get it done in and out the ring. London mic work suck and the cruiserweight needs someone to work both ends.
Jack Malone wrote:
I think the best way to get London over would be to let him reach his full arial potential. He should be allowed to use a few more of the high spots and sick bumps he used in Ring of Honour, that's how he'll get noticed by the fans. Because right now, he's just another generic cruiserweight to them. They don't care for what he has to say, but whenever he goes up for a 450 splash, they get on their feet. Look at his stint with Kidman. During that time, he pulled off a lot more high-flying moves and started getting some big pops. Yet he's been toned down again since his injury. Tazz is always talking about how the cruisers like to "fly around the ring" well I say let's see a bit more of it then.
Liz wrote:
I am writing in regards to Shawn's reply. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but I feel that London deserves a lot more credit. I agree to a certain extent that London lacks the Charisma, but seriously I believe that should he given more opportunities to talk to the crowd on Smackdown, he would develop more as a character and gain more support. Seeing as until the last 2 weeks, the Cruiserweights were only shown on Velocity, it would make more difficult to build crowd support and build on his mic work. Chavo, Noble and Hardy for example have more of a background in WWE which would build on their reputations with the crowd than London as he has been on Smackdown for a shorter amount of time. As for London's character, he reminds me of Reeves in Bill and Teds Bogus Adventure and I reakon he should go along that line. :) Cheers.
Curtis McLean wrote:
Shawn...are you crazy" London is insanly charismatic...I don't know if you realize that SD! is pre-taped and the cheers are dubbed on, London gets a great reaction and gets the fans into his matches. He can talk just as well as anyone else and has a great personality. Besides, this is the Cruiserweight division, it's about wrestling anyways. Daniels, AJ and Petey are all great, I love to watch them, but they aren't quite on the tier with London to me. Paul London is my favorite wrestler, someone I will go out of my way to see, much like I did all summer with Petey. Petey, Psicosis, Kazarian and Apolo (from TNA) are the 4 guys to me right under London. London is one of the best performers on SD!, he has a unique moveset and odd style. He sells better than anyone that isn't Eric Young and is someone I get excited to watch. At No Way Out I was going crazy, hoping he would win, something I have only done 3 times in my 13 years as a wrestling fan. The other 2 were Petey winning the X title and Benoit winning the World. Now that London is regularing SD! I am going to stop reading spoilers, I would read them to see if he was on or not, now that I am sure he will be, I will want to see it so I can mark again.

London has the potential to turn the CW division around, especially with the help of Psicosis and Frankie. Super Crazy is good, and Juvi has pissed me off lately, I mean getting booted out of the America's X Cup for being lazy, injuring Lynn and bitching about the booking is just sad, luckily Garza ran with it, but it kinda killed the World's X Cup when Team TNA didn't beat the original Team Mexico. I think London vs Frankie "The Future" Kazarian (great gimmick that would work in the WWE), having London defend on SD! would be great for viewers, better than Diva contests. Psicosis could fit well into the tag division, I mean...Eddie turns on Rey and joins Chavo and demands the other tag strap, Rey gets Psicosis to debut to team with him (it makes sense...training partners, debuted together) in a match to decide the tag titles, Super Crazy could join Los Guerrero's and Juvi Rey/Psi and give us a battle of the luchadors.
MrDarron01 wrote:
Paul London is not only one of the best Cruiserweights around but he's also one of the best pure wrestlers around as well. His matches in ROH with American Dragon were classic encounters and his style is very reminiscent of young Ricky Steamboat. I think that he should be contending for a bigger title on Smackdown like the U.S. Title because the CW Title is truly beneath him espcially when you got the agents and everyone else telling him to hold back and not upstage guys like Rey Mysterio and the other high flyers which he can easily do.
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