NXT Cruiserweight Championship

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NXT Cruiserweight Championship
NXT CW Title.png
The current NXT Cruiserweight Championship belt with default side plates
(2020–present)
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandNXT
NXT UK
205 Live
Date establishedSeptember 14, 2016
Current champion(s)Jordan Devlin
Date wonJanuary 25, 2020
Other name(s)
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship
    (2016–2019)
  • NXT Cruiserweight Championship
    (2019–present)

The NXT Cruiserweight Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, currently defended on their NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live brands. It is contested in the promotion's cruiserweight division by wrestlers at a maximum weight of 205 lb (93 kg), the only active WWE championship with a weight limit. The current champion is Jordan Devlin from NXT UK, who is in his first reign; however, due to a travel ban as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an interim champion will be crowned in the United States until Devlin's return.

Originally established as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, it was first unveiled on September 14, 2016, as the award for the Cruiserweight Classic, which was won by T.J. Perkins. It was originally defended on Monday Night Raw as part of the Raw brand's cruiserweight division before the premiere of the cruiserweight-exclusive 205 Live in November 2016, after which, it was defended on both shows. Following WrestleMania 34 in 2018, the title became exclusively defended on the 205 Live brand.[1][2] In October 2019, the title became shared between 205 Live and NXT and was renamed NXT Cruiserweight Championship, and was then extended to NXT UK in January 2020.

The title is distinct from the previous WWE Cruiserweight Championship that originated in World Championship Wrestling and was retired in 2007. Although the two titles had shared the same name, they do not share the same title history.[3]

History[edit]

The inaugural Cruiserweight Champion T.J. Perkins

In mid-2016, WWE held the Cruiserweight Classic, a WWE Network series and tournament for wrestlers 205 lbs (93 kgs) and under, billed as cruiserweights.[4] Tournament qualifying matches took place in various promotions of the independent circuit, including well known promotions such as Revolution Pro Wrestling, Progress Wrestling, and Evolve. Many cruiserweight wrestlers from around the world were given the chance to qualify for the 32-man single-elimination tournament, which took place over four dates: June 23, July 13, August 26, and September 14.[5]

The final of the Cruiserweight Classic came down to T.J. Perkins and Gran Metalik. Before the final match, Triple H revealed that the winner would not only receive a trophy but would also become WWE Cruiserweight Champion for the revived cruiserweight division for the promotion's Raw brand. Perkins defeated Metalik to become the inaugural champion.[6][7]

Originally, the championship was defended exclusively on Monday Night Raw. On November 29, 2016, a cruiserweight-exclusive show entitled 205 Live premiered on the WWE Network.[8] On the premiere episode, Rich Swann defeated The Brian Kendrick to win the championship.[9] The title then became defended on both Raw and 205 Live. In early 2018, Triple H was given creative control over 205 Live, as he has with the NXT brand, and began restructuring the show. Following WrestleMania 34, 205 Live became its own brand where the title became exclusively defended. Although the title became exclusive to 205 Live, it was still defended on WWE's main pay-per-views alongside Raw and SmackDown.[2]

After then-champion Enzo Amore was released from WWE on January 23, 2018, and the title was vacated,[10][11] it was announced that a general manager would be appointed for 205 Live and would address the championship.[12] On the January 30 episode of 205 Live, Drake Maverick (formerly known as Rockstar Spud in Impact Wrestling) was appointed as the 205 Live General Manager. Maverick announced that there would be a 16-man single elimination tournament to crown a new WWE Cruiserweight Champion, with the finals to occur on the WrestleMania 34 Kickoff pre-show. The tournament came down to Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali, where Alexander defeated Ali to win the vacant championship.[13]

Just prior to NXT moving to the USA Network in September 2019, NXT head Triple H spoke with Newsweek and said that "You'll start to see 205 [Live] begin to become part of NXT". He said that 205 Live's talent would start moving towards NXT, that 205 Live had "become lost in [the] limbo", and that the Cruiserweight Championship would have more meaning on NXT where it could create more opportunities for the cruiserweight wrestlers.[14] It was then reported that the NXT Creative Team would be in charge of 205 Live.[15] The following month, the title was renamed to the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, becoming part of the NXT brand, and started being defended on the NXT show. NXT, previously a developmental territory for WWE, became the promotion's third major brand with the move to USA.[16]

On October 18, 2019, Drake Maverick – who himself was drafted to SmackDown but remaining as the General Manager of 205 Live – announced that following the 2019 WWE Draft, he had made a talent exchange agreement with NXT General Manager William Regal, whereby NXT's cruiserweight wrestlers could also wrestle on 205 Live.[17][18] With Jordan Devlin's win at Worlds Collide on January 25, 2020, the title also became shared with the NXT UK brand.[19]

Due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown in the United Kingdom, current champion Jordan Devlin is unable to travel outside of his home country and defend the title. On April 8, 2020, NXT General Manager William Regal announced a tournament to crown an interim champion in the United States which would begin on the April 15 episode of NXT. Devlin responded by stating that whoever won was a fraud and that when he can return, he would prove that he is the only true NXT Cruiserweight Champion.[20][21]

Inaugural tournament (2016)[edit]

 
Round of 32
Taped June 23
Round of 16
Taped July 14
Quarterfinals
Taped August 26
Semifinals
Live on September 14
Final
Live on September 14
 
                  
 
July 20 –
 
 
United States Kenneth JohnsonPin
 
August 17 –
 
Japan Akira Tozawa09:46[22]
 
Japan Akira TozawaPin
 
August 3 –
 
United Kingdom Jack Gallagher11:38[26]
 
United Kingdom Jack GallagherPin
 
August 31 -
 
Italy Fabian Aichner06:45[23]
 
Japan Akira TozawaPin
 
July 20 –
 
Mexico Gran Metalik15:49[29]
 
Japan TajiriPin
 
August 10 –
 
Australia Damian Slater05:28[22]
 
Japan TajiriPin
 
July 13 –
 
Mexico Gran Metalik10:53[27]
 
Chile Alejandro SaezPin
 
September 14 –
 
Mexico Gran Metalik04:04[24]
 
Mexico Gran MetalikPin
 
July 27 –
 
United Kingdom Zack Sabre, Jr.13:13[7]
 
India Harv SihraSub
 
August 24 –
 
United States Drew Gulak05:18[25]
 
United States Drew GulakPin
 
July 27 –
 
United Kingdom Zack Sabre, Jr.08:27[28]
 
United Kingdom Zack Sabre, Jr.Sub
 
September 7 -
 
Canada Tyson Dux08:28[25]
 
United Kingdom Zack Sabre, Jr.Sub
 
August 3 –
 
United Kingdom/Israel Noam Dar15:46[30]
 
United Kingdom/Israel Noam DarSub
 
August 17 –
 
India Gurv Sihra05:26[23]
 
United Kingdom/Israel Noam DarSub
 
July 13 –
 
Hong Kong Ho Ho Lun07:02[26]
 
Iran Ariya DaivariPin
 
September 14 –
 
Hong Kong Ho Ho Lun05:03[24]
 
Mexico Gran MetalikSub
 
July 27 –
 
Philippines T.J. Perkins 17:47[7]
 
Mexico Raul MendozaSub
 
August 17 –
 
United States The Brian Kendrick07:35[25]
 
United States The Brian KendrickSub
 
July 27 –
 
United States Tony Nese13:42[26]
 
United States Anthony BennettPin
 
August 31 -
 
United States Tony Nese06:34[25]
 
United States The Brian KendrickPin
 
July 13 –
 
Japan Kota Ibushi13:58[29]
 
Japan Kota IbushiPin
 
August 10 –
 
American Samoa Sean Maluta09:40[24]
 
Japan Kota IbushiPin
 
July 13 –
 
United States Cedric Alexander15:00[27]
 
United States Cedric AlexanderPin
 
September 14 –
 
France Clement Petiot05:58[24]
 
Japan Kota IbushiSub
 
July 20 –
 
Philippines T.J. Perkins14:52[7]
 
Philippines T.J. PerkinsSub
 
August 24 –
 
Germany Da Mack06:32[22]
 
Philippines T.J. PerkinsSub
 
August 3 –
 
United States Johnny Gargano12:18[28]
 
United States Johnny GarganoPin
 
September 7 -
 
United States Tommaso Ciampa10:47[23]
 
Philippines T.J. PerkinsSub
 
July 20 –
 
United States Rich Swann17:03[30]
 
Pakistan Mustafa Ali Pin
 
August 24 –
 
Puerto Rico Lince Dorado05:55[22]
 
Puerto Rico Lince DoradoPin
 
August 3 –
 
United States Rich Swann08:14[28]
 
United States Rich Swann Pin
 
 
Hong Kong Jason Lee03:47[23]
 

Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship tournament (2020)[edit]

A round-robin tournament began on April 15, 2020, to determine the interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion after Jordan Devlin was deemed unable to defend the title due to coronavirus pandemic-related travel restrictions. Eight wrestlers were split into two groups of four, where each wrestler competed against the other three members of their respective group. The wrestlers with the best record in each group then competed to determine the interim champion. Any ties were broken by head-to-head results.[31] Group A consisted of Kushida, Tony Nese, Jake Atlas, and former 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick, while Group B consisted of Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, El Hijo del Fantasma, Akira Tozawa, and Gentleman Jack Gallagher.[32] Although Maverick was released from WWE on April 15,[33] he confirmed via Twitter that he could still be competing in the tournament, which could be his last matches in the company.[34] As a result of a tie in Group A, Maverick, Kushida, and Atlas faced each other in a triple threat match on the May 27 episode of NXT to determine the winner of the group; Maverick won to advance to the final against Group B's winner, Fantasma.

Group A Group B
Drake Maverick 3–1 El Hijo del Fantasma 2–1
Jake Atlas 2–2 Akira Tozawa 2–1
Kushida 2–2 Isaiah "Swerve" Scott 1–2
Tony Nese 0–3 Gentleman Jack Gallagher 1–2
Group A Kushida Nese Atlas Maverick
Kushida Kushida
(NXT, April 22)[35]
Kushida
(NXT, May 6)
Maverick
(NXT, May 20)
Nese Kushida
(NXT, April 22)[35]
Atlas
(NXT, May 13)
Maverick
(NXT, April 29)[36]
Atlas Kushida
(NXT, May 6)
Atlas
(NXT, May 13)
Atlas
(NXT, April 22)[35]
Maverick Maverick
(NXT, May 20)
Maverick
(NXT, April 29)[36]
Atlas
(NXT, April 22)[35]
Group B Swerve Fantasma Tozawa Gallagher
Swerve Swerve
(NXT, April 29)[36]
Tozawa
(NXT, April 15)[38]
Gallagher
(NXT, May 13)
Fantasma Swerve
(NXT, April 29)[36]
Fantasma
(NXT, May 20
Fantasma
(NXT, April 22)[35]
Tozawa Tozawa
(NXT, April 15)[38]
Fantasma
(NXT, May 20)
Tozawa
(NXT, May 6)
Gallagher Gallagher
(NXT, May 13)
Fantasma
(NXT, April 22)[35]
Tozawa
(NXT, May 6)

Brand designation[edit]

The following is a list of dates indicating the transitions of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship between WWE's brands.

Date of transition Brand Notes
September 14, 2016 Raw The championship was established for Raw as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. TJ Perkins became the inaugural champion by winning the Cruiserweight Classic.
November 29, 2016 205 Live The WWE Cruiserweight Championship became part of 205 Live after the launch of that brand on November 29, 2016, though the championship continued to be defended on Raw until WrestleMania 34, after which, it became exclusive to 205 Live.
October 9, 2019 Shared
(205 Live and NXT)
The WWE Cruiserweight Championship became shared between 205 Live and NXT in October 2019 and was renamed to NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
January 25, 2020 Shared
(205 Live, NXT, and NXT UK)
In addition to 205 Live and NXT, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship became shared with NXT UK in January 2020.

Belt design[edit]

When the championship was introduced, the irregularly shaped center plate of the belt largely featured a globe with the WWE logo over the top of it. Above the globe was a banner that read "Cruiserweight" and below the globe was one that read "Champion". Ornamentation filled out the rest of the plate. In what has become a prominent feature of WWE's championship belts, the side plates featured removable center sections, allowing the holder's personal logo to be added to the championship belt; the default side plates showed silver and purple world maps with the WWE logo over them. The plates were on a purple strap. During Neville's first reign, the color of the slash under the WWE logo on the center plate and default side plates was changed from purple to orange.[39]

On January 25, 2020, Triple H and NXT General Manager William Regal presented a new NXT branded Cruiserweight Championship belt to then-champion Angel Garza. The design is largely the same, except the WWE logo on the center plate was replaced with a vertical NXT logo and the purple strap was changed to a dark purple, almost black colored strap. The color of the slash under the WWE logo on the side plates was also changed to silver.[40]

Reigns[edit]

As of May 30, 2020, there have been sixteen reigns between fourteen champions and one vacancy. The inaugural champion was T.J. Perkins. The oldest champion is The Brian Kendrick, winning the title at 37 years old, while the youngest champion is Lio Rush when he won it at 24. Neville and Enzo Amore are tied for the most reigns at two. Neville's first reign is also the longest reign at 197 days (196 days as recognized by WWE), while Akira Tozawa's singular reign is the shortest at 6 days (5 days as recognized by WWE). Neville also has the longest combined reign at 232 days (231 days as recognized by WWE).

Jordan Devlin is the current champion in his first reign. He won the title by defeating champion Angel Garza, Travis Banks, and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, who Devlin pinned, in a fatal four-way match at Worlds Collide on January 25, 2020 in Houston, Texas. However, due to a travel ban as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an interim champion will be determined in the United States until Devlin's return.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ WWE officially recognizes 196 days
  2. ^ WWE officially recognizes 5 days

References[edit]

  1. ^ McMahon, Vince (November 30, 2016). "Vince McMahon on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Casey, Connor (June 29, 2018). "Here's Why the 205 Live Roster Is No Longer on Monday Night Raw". ComicBook.com. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  3. ^ "WWE Cruiserweight Championship". WWE.com.
  4. ^ "WWE Network adds Global Cruiserweight Series to robust 2016 programming slate". wwe.com. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  5. ^ "WWE Cruiserweight Classic tickets available starting Friday, May 20". WWE. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  6. ^ "WWE Cruiserweight Classic: TJ Perkins becomes Raw's first WWE Cruiserweight Champion". WWE. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Caldwell, James. "9/14 WWE Cruiserweight Tourney Finals – Caldwell's Complete Live Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  8. ^ "411MANIA | Triple H Conference Call Report: Discusses 205 Live, NXT Takeover: Toronto, Says HBK Working at the Performance Center and More". Triple H Conference Call Report: Discusses 205 Live, NXT Takeover: Toronto, Says HBK Working at the Performance Center and More.
  9. ^ Namako, Jason. "WWE 205 Live Results – 11/29/16 (Rich Swann wins the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the premiere episode)". WreslteView. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  10. ^ WWE.com Staff. "Enzo Amore suspended". WWE. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Enzo Amore released". WWE. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  12. ^ "Daniel Bryan addresses the state of WWE 205 Live". WWE. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  13. ^ Powell, Jason. "Powell's WrestleMania 34 Kickoff Show live review: WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal, Cedric Alexander vs. Mustfa Ali for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Archived from the original on April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Martinez, Phillip (September 10, 2019). "TRIPLE H DISCUSSES NXT'S MOVE TO USA AND THE BRAND'S CONTINUED EVOLUTION". Newsweek. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  15. ^ "THE FUTURE OF 205 LIVE REVEALED | PWInsider.com". pwinsider.com.
  16. ^ Johnson, Mike (October 3, 2019). "CHANGE TO WWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE & MORE NXT NEWS". PWInsider. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  17. ^ "411MANIA". Csonka’s WWE 205 Live Review 10.18.19.
  18. ^ Vishwakoti, Anish (October 18, 2019). "10/18 WWE 205 Live results: Anish V's review of Tony Nese vs. Oney Lorcan vs. Ariya Daivari in a Triple Threat, Jack Gallagher vs. Brian Kendrick, The Singh Brothers vs. Justin Alexander and Justin Morris". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  19. ^ Powell, Jason. "WWE Worlds Collide results: Powell's live review of Undisputed Era vs. Imperium, Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm for the NXT Championship, Angel Garza vs. Isaiah Scott vs. Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov, DIY vs. Moustache Mountain". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "Tournament to crown Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion to begin next week". WWE. April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  21. ^ Powell, Jason (April 8, 2020). "WWE to crown an interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion, Jordan Devlin responds". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  22. ^ a b c d Caldwell, James (2016-07-20). "7/20 WWE Cruiserweight Results – Caldwell's Week 2 Report on Akira Tozawa, Tajiri, TJP, excellent Dorado vs. Ali match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  23. ^ a b c d Caldwell, James (2016-08-03). "8/3 WWE Cruiserweight Tournament Results – Caldwell's Report on Week 4 to conclude First Round, including Gargano vs. Ciampa". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  24. ^ a b c d Caldwell, James (2016-07-13). "7/13 WWE Cruiserweight Results – Caldwell's Week 1 Report on Ibushi, Cedric Alexander, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  25. ^ a b c d Caldwell, James (2016-07-27). "7/27 WWE Cruiserweight Results – Caldwell's Week 3 Report on Zack Sabre, Brian Kendrick, more in action". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-07-28.
  26. ^ a b c Caldwell, James (2016-08-17). "8/17 WWE Cruiserweight Results – Caldwell's Report on stellar Kendrick vs. Nese and Gallagher vs. Tozawa Sweet 16 matches". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  27. ^ a b Caldwell, James (2016-08-10). "8/10 WWE Cruiserweight Tournament Results – Caldwell's Report on Ibushi vs. Alexander classic, Tajiri vs. Metalik in Sweet 16". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-08-11.
  28. ^ a b c Caldwell, James (2016-08-24). "8/24 WWE Cruiserweight Tournament Week 7 – Caldwell's Report on Gargano vs. TJP, Sabre vs. Gulak, Swann vs. Dorado to finish Sweet 16". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  29. ^ a b Caldwell, James (2016-08-31). "8/31 WWE Cruiserweight Tournament Week 8 – Caldwell's Report on Ibushi vs. Kendrick, Tozawa vs. Metalik Elite 8 matches". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  30. ^ a b Caldwell, James (2016-09-07). "9/7 WWE Cruiserweight Tournament – Caldwell's Report on Sabre vs. Dar, Swann vs. Perkins to conclude Elite 8 Round". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  31. ^ WWE.com Staff (April 11, 2020). "Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament format revealed". WWE. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  32. ^ WWE.com Staff (April 12, 2020). "Complete field for Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament unveiled". WWE. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  33. ^ WWE.com Staff (April 15, 2020). "Kurt Angle, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows and other Superstars released". WWE. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  34. ^ Drake Maverick [@WWEMaverick] (April 15, 2020). "My immediate thoughts" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  35. ^ a b c d e f Moore, John (April 22, 2020). "4/22 NXT TV results: Moore's review of Velveteen Dream and Keith Lee vs. Adam Cole and Roderick Strong, Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez, Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament matches with Kushida vs. Tony Nese, Drake Maverick vs. Jake Atlas, and El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Jack Gallagher". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  36. ^ a b c d "4/29 NXT TV results: Moore's review of Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest for the NXT North American Championship, NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Mia Yim in a non-title match, Drake Maverick vs. Tony Nese in an Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. 2020-04-29. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  37. ^ "4/29 NXT TV results: Moore's review of Keith Lee vs. Damian Priest for the NXT North American Championship, NXT Women's Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Mia Yim in a non-title match, Drake Maverick vs. Tony Nese in an Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. 2020-04-29. Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  38. ^ a b Moore, John (April 15, 2020). "4/15 NXT TV results: Moore's review of Matt Riddle and a mystery partner vs. Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong for the NXT Tag Titles, Finn Balor vs. Fabian Aichner, Charlotte Flair's appearance, the beginning of the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  39. ^ Hausman, Nick (December 21, 2016). "Rich Swann Gets Custom Plates On Cruiserweight Title (Video), Bubba Ray Hosting RAW Party In Freehold, NJ". Wrestle Zone. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  40. ^ "NXT replaces one title, implements changes to two others". SBNation. Retrieved January 25, 2020.

External links[edit]