Cruiserweight
Opinion Pieces

Dethroning The King: Who Will Finally Capture The Cruiserweight Championship?

One of the best things since the draft last summer has been Neville’s heel turn. The self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” used his mean streak to capture the Cruiserweight Championship at the Royal Rumble, and has been successful in every defence since.

It seems Neville has gone through every legitimate threat in the division. Most recently, he defeated Akira Tozawa at Great Balls of Fire, and will defend against Tozawa once again at Summerslam. If the ‘Titus Worldwide’ client is unsuccessful in his second challenge, who will be the one to finally defeat Neville and knock the King off his throne?


Cedric Alexander

Cruiserweight

WWE.com

One of the most exciting members of the cruiserweight division, Cedric Alexander has surprisingly never received a shot at the title. A lot of that can be attributed to the knee injury he suffered that forced him out of action for just over two months. Now back at full strength, Alexander possesses the qualities to be the one to finally defeat Neville.

The two have squared off once in WWE, where the champion came out on top on the January 24th episode of 205 Live after Noam Dar, Alexander’s adversary at the time caused the distraction. The feud between Alexander and Dar has recently concluded, leaving Alexander with a clean slate.

The contrast between Alexander and Neville works in that it’s a real babyface against a full-on heel. Alexander also utilizes a sort of “no b.s” attitude when it comes to the ring. He’s out there to win and will do it cleanly, but isn’t afraid to get rough when needed.

Alexander simply wows the crowd every time he competes. Neville has that ability as well. Combining the two could work wonders for not only the WWE product, but 205 Live as a whole. Assuming Tozawa comes up short, Alexander should be next in line for a shot.


Johnny Gargano

Cruiserweight

WWE.com

How about a face from NXT? Johnny Gargano is now on his own after being betrayed by former teammate Tommaso Ciampa after the two failed to capture the NXT Tag Team Championships at NXT TakeOver: Chicago back in May. After some time off following the separation, Gargano returned to NXT by defeating Raul Mendoza on August 2nd.

“Johnny Wrestling” brings a sort of star power that has really flourished in NXT. While together, #DIY put on some incredible matches with the likes of the Revival, the Authors of Pain and more. The reactions the team receives were beyond words, especially when they won the tag titles at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. Another big reaction, specific to Gargano, was during the introductions of the Cruiserweight Classic competitors. The fans inside Full Sail University got on their feet and chanted “Johnny Wrestling” in unison.

An in-ring veteran, the reactions Gargano garner stem a lot from his time on the independent scene. He’s traveled all over entertaining fans, and continues to do that under the WWE umbrella.

Like Alexander, Gargano brings the contrast a feud with Neville would possess. Gargano is more of the clean-cut good guy in this case.

Gargano is not scheduled for a match at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, but we’re still a few weeks away. That night could possibly be his send-off to the main roster and right onto the 205 Live roster. A highly-anticipated feud would be with Ciampa, but that could potentially take place for the Cruiserweight Championship once Ciampa returns from injury.


The Brian Kendrick

Cruiserweight

WWE.com

A savvy, in-ring veteran, The Brian Kendrick is a former holder of the Cruiserweight Championship. He’s arguably the most experienced competitor in the division, seeing as this is his third stint in WWE. At 38-years-old, Kendrick still has a lot left in the tank.

Currently engaged in a feud with “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher, Kendrick is pre-occupied at the moment. But that doesn’t mean this could blow over in a few weeks.

A topic that we’ve covered has been “contrast.” Both Kendrick and Neville are heels and heels alone. That doesn’t mean a feud between the two wouldn’t work. Characters and storytelling aside, 205 Live is more for the in-ring product. The two have different styles that would open up the opportunity to have some great matches. Although Neville has an intense mean streak, Kendrick is no slouch. He uses dirty tactics to ensure victory, and will do whatever it takes to win.

It’d be a breath of fresh air for the division, and given Kendrick’s reaction when he returned last summer, fans could certainly get behind this. Having two heels collide is always intriguing, and these are two that could work wonders.


Rey Mysterio (Cruiserweight Fantasy)

Cruiserweight

Pinterest.com

This is more of a fantasy option. But fans will eat this choice up if it were to actually happen.

Rey Mysterio is arguably one of the most popular superstars in WWE history. The former three-time world champion debuted in WWE in 2002 after his time in WCW. He also captured the original Cruiserweight Championship three times in WWE, and another five times in WCW.

Mysterio is currently committed to Lucha Underground, and continues to compete in other independent promotions.

Recent reports suggest WWE is not interested in bringing back Mysterio, so that effectively shuts him down as a potential challenger. Still, one can dream.

He and Neville have never faced off before, but it’s safe to say a match between the two would be a fun one. Mysterio was always a face during his time in WWE, and going after a heel in Neville clearly puts fans behind the good guy. A win against the champion would generate a swarm of cheers.

And if Mysterio were ever to return, having him on 205 Live instantly gives the show incentive to watch. The star power he possesses has been well documented over his illustrious career.

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