The WWE Cruiserweight Championship is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE on the Raw brand. Unveiled on September 14, 2016 as the award for the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic, it is contested in WWE's cruiserweight division by wrestlers at a maximum weight of 205lbs. The championship shares its name with the previous Cruiserweight Championship in WWE that originated in World Championship Wrestling, however, it does not share the same title history.
The Cruiserweight Classic was a WWE Network series and tournament for cruiserweights. 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 tournament, which took place over four dates: June 23, July 13, August 26, and September 14, 2016.
The final of the Cruiserweight Classic came down to TJ 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 new cruiserweight division on the Raw brand. Perkins defeated Metalik to become the inaugural champion. Like the WWE Championship's side plates, the Cruiserweight title's side plates include removable round sections, allowing the holder's personal logo to be added to the championship belt; the default sections show silver and purple world maps with the WWE logo over them. During Neville's first reign, the color of the slash under the WWE logo on the center plate and default side plates were changed from purple to orange.
In addition to Monday Night Raw, the Cruiserweight Championship is defended on 205 Live, a cruiserweight-exclusive show on the WWE Network that premiered on November 29, 2016. On the premiere episode, Rich Swann defeated The Brian Kendrick for the championship.
After previous WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore was released from WWE on January 23, 2018, and the title was vacated, it was announced that a general manager would be appointed for 205 Live and would address the championship; 205 Live was previously controlled by the Raw General Manager as 205 Live is part of the Raw brand. 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 at WrestleMania 34. The tournament began that episode with Cedric Alexander and TJP advancing to the quarterfinals by defeating Gran Metalik and Tyler Bate, respectively. Over the next couple of weeks, Kalisto, Roderick Strong, Mark Andrews, Drew Gulak, Buddy Murphy, and Mustafa Ali also advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Lince Dorado, Hideo Itami, Akira Tozawa, Tony Nese, Ariya Daivari, and Gentleman Jack Gallagher, respectively. The first two quarterfinal matches occurred on the February 27 episode with Alexander and Strong advancing to the semifinals by defeating TJP and Kalisto, respectively. The final two quarterfinal matches are scheduled for the March 6 episode between Andrews and Gulak, and Ali and Murphy.
As of April 23, 2018, there have been nine reigns between seven champions and one vacancy. The inaugural champion was TJ Perkins. The oldest champion is The Brian Kendrick, winning the title at 37 years old, while the youngest champion is Rich Swann when he won it at 25. Neville and Enzo Amore have the most reigns at two. Neville also has the longest reign at 197 days, while Akira Tozawa has the shortest reign at six days. Neville also has the longest combined reign at 232 days (233 days as recognized by WWE).
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship at CAGEMATCH.net
- Official WWE Cruiserweight Championship Title History
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship
|WWE Cruiserweight Classic 2016 episodes|