Hello! I would like to start out by introducing myself. My name is Clueless Wrestling Columnist, but you can call me CWC for short. My parents originally wanted to name me Ian. Boy oh boy, I’m sure glad they didn’t. Well, I mean if they did, my nickname would be IWC. Hmm? Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing because I could then relate to 90% of my reading audience. Nonetheless, my parents decided to name me Clueless, so it looks like the nickname of CWC will just have to stick. Speaking of CWC, I did a Twitter search of #CWC and could not believe my eyes. Unfortunately, nothing was about me. I didn’t realize there was recently this major wrestling event called the Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network. Then I began to scroll through all the Tweets of #CWC and literally spent hours upon hours reading about its supposed brilliance. But then I remembered back to when I was a teenager. There used to be this great Cruiserweight Division in WCW in the mid-late 1990s. In 1997, WWF then tried to replicate it with the Light Heavyweight Division; however, it fell way short of expectations. Suddenly, I felt the urge to watch this CWC on the WWE Network, so I could determine for myself if it is actually brilliant, or if it is broken. Congratulations to TJ Perkins, aka Manik, aka Suicide for winning the tournament and becoming the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion, whoever that is..
Okay, I may be called Clueless even from my parents’ perspective, but I am pretty sure that Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio Jr, Chris Jericho, Billy Kidman, Juventud Guerrera, Ultimo Dragon, Dean Malenko, etc made up a pretty historic division of Cruiserweights in WCW. Meanwhile in WWF: Taka Michinoku, Aguila/Essa Rios, Scott Taylor, Brian Christopher, Christian, Duane “Gillberg” Gill, X-Pac, and a few others were not so much a historic Light Heavyweight Division. I want to be very clear that I am not knocking a talent like Michinoku, but let’s be very honest here, the Val Venis “I choppy choppy your pee pee” segment from Raw was more talked about than Michinoku's Light Heavyweight Championship reign. As for Christian, it took him teaming with Edge in the Tag Team Division to make a household name for himself, not the Light Heavyweight Division. And by the time X-Pac was Champion, it didn’t even feel like a true Light Heavyweight Division. Quite honestly, perhaps it never really did feel like a legit Light Heavyweight Division. As for what eventually happened to some of the WCW Cruiserweights, well, Eddie, Mysterio, and Jericho would all go on to become future WWE Champions. So how am I supposed to believe that the WWE will produce a historic Cruiserweight Division on Raw today? Sure, the CWC tournament contained many solid wrestling matches involving many talented wrestlers, but is WWE capable of doing what WCW once did and make a great Division out of it? I personally do not think WWE is capable of such a feat these days. But what do I know? I’m Clueless…
The WCW Cruiserweight Division was definitely not all perfect. There were some wrestlers who almost did not even seem to fit the Cruiserweight billing, such as Disco Inferno, Alex Wright, and even Jericho; however, in my uneducated opinion, the WCW Cruiserweight Division was a thing of Broken Brilliance. Why? Because it had good to great wrestlers who also had characters who were booked properly. Even despite the household WCW Cruiserweights mentioned earlier, wrestlers like La Parka, Psychosis, Prince Iaukea, Shane Helms, and Chavo Guerrero were always a threat to win the title. La Parka had his steel chair air guitar gimmick, Prince Iaukea once went by "the Artist formerly known as Prince Iaukea", and Shane Helms would go on to become the Hurricane in WWE and eventually feuded with the Rock.
Also, some people now look back on the WCW Cruiserweight Division and state that it has not aged very well. They even call it a glorified spot fest circus. Are you freakin' kidding me? If you look at pro wrestling today, many of the current wrestlers do indeed show in their style that they were heavily influenced by the Cruiserweights of that era. I will agree that there were numerous high spots back then, but that was before high spots were the norm like in wrestling today. Back then, it was different, and therefore it was cool. The bottom line is that the talent pool of the WCW Cruiserweight Division was seemingly endless. They were also given plenty of opportunity to shine. A near perfect storm was created back then and anything that seemed broken about the Division was clearly overshadowed by its brilliance. It was a spectacle. My fear is that WWE will not allow their modern day Cruiserweight Division to shine. Whether it be by lack of talent or lack of time given to perform, I feel it could quickly become bland like the 1997-2001 WWF Light Heavyweight Division. Or, it could even quickly become OBSOLETE.
If WWE wants to make a believable and interesting Cruiserweight Division on Raw, then it needs to pull out all the heavy artillery. WWE needs to have at least 5-6 big names in the mix and dedicate at least 30 minutes of Raw to the Division. They need to sign guys like Kota Ibushi, Kushida, Ricochet, Will Ospreay, and eventually guys like the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. They say history tends to repeat itself in professional wrestling. Well, in the case of the WCW Cruiserweight Division, I think WWE needs to seriously model today’s Division after that one. Or, because I am so Inept and Clueless, maybe WWE can read my column and then do the exact opposite. Dare I say, I digress?
I would like to now state my conclusion on the Broken Brilliance of the WCW Cruiserweight Division in Rayman’s terms. You know who Rayman is, right? I absolutely love his video games, especially Rayman Origins on the Nintendo Wii. I could play that game all day and all night. Okay, what I mean is actually quite simple. Sometimes the best things do not need to be modernized or placed into a 3D World. Rayman video games have always been at their best in 2D with side scrolling action. I hope WWE realizes this simple formula for its brand new Cruiserweight Division. They do NOT need to fully reinvent the Broken Brilliance of the WCW Cruiserweight era. Instead, they need to learn from the little bit that was broken about it (especially what didn’t work from the WWF Light Heavyweight Division era), and then they need to make sure to not repeat the same mistakes again. I believe the keys will remain as follows: WWE needs to get the main Cruiserweight talent pool to a solid 10-12 wrestlers on the main roster, with at least 5-6 of them being the top Cruiserweights in the World. I understand WWE will not always be able to have them all under contract, but money does talk. Also, since Raw is 3 damn hours long, I believe the Cruiserweights should have at least two nice segments (minimum) every week. If WWE can put the time and investment into the new Cruiserweight Division (like they did for the CWC tournament), then just perhaps it can eventually live up to the WCW days. Maybe in protest, I will hold my breath until WWE makes something great happen with the new Cruiserweight Division. If I don’t make it to the next episode, at least you will know why. Although, I am probably more likely to get captured by Gargamel right outside of Smurf Village, chopped up, and then turned into stew. Speaking of Smurfs, Cruiserweights are also Smurfs, right?
In order to prepare for next month’s CWC column, I will be traveling to Haddonfield, Illinois. I will be staying overnight in the Myers’ house so I can channel my inner wrestling knowledge and write about some of the scariest events in professional wrestling history. As a matter of fact, the episode will be called “Halloween Havoc”. To be continued…
I hope you enjoyed Episode 1 of the Clueless Wrestling Columnist. It will return later next month with Episode 2. Remember folks, not everything on a wrestling news website needs to be written as if it could make the Wall Street Journal or Forbes magazine. We are all here to express our views and opinions. Most importantly, we should all strive to be creative and simply have FUN. Wait, I sure hope I’m not breaking the fourth wall here! Regardless, I challenge all wrestling columnists and readers to take a breather once in a while and write/read something different. You don’t always have to be so serious and literal. I think many wrestling columns from back in the late 1990s to early 2000s were some of the best reads I ever had. Coincidentally, pro wrestling may have been at its peak then. Many of those columns had their own unique character/gimmick. Just think outside the box every now and then. I love you all…
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