As of July 11th 2017, Neville’s reign is officially the second longest reign in WWE history.
The current Cruiserweight Championship is not technically recognised amongst the same historical lineage as the old title. Which is backdated to the days of WCW. Although, they do share the same name with similar weight limitations for their contestants.
The longest reign of the old Cruiserweight title is held by Gregory Helms. Otherwise known as ‘The Hurricane’, at 385 days. Second was Tajiri with 162 days – Neville’s successful defense of the Cruiserweight Championship on Sunday’s Great Balls Of Fire PPV meant that he was able to surpass Tajiri’s record days later.
The 163+ day reign of Neville as the champion is a literal embodiment of him being the ‘King of the Cruiserweights’. Which he has so often gloated about. Previous defenses against the likes of Jack Gallagher, Austin Aries, TJP and Rich Swann have not stopped the Newcastle-born wrestler from reigning supreme on both 205 Live and RAW for the past few months.
Whilst 205 Live‘s stock has significantly dropped since its introduction to RAW after the Cruiserweight Classic, it has seen the spotlight on it thanks to the ‘Titus Worldwide’ garnering interest with Akira Tozawa’s rivalry with the former NXT champion forming. Despite the woes in popularity of the division in recent times, Neville has managed to put on high intensity matches. No matter the opponent. Coupled with fabulously arrogant promos which has gave him a defined position in WWE which was not the case before he joined the Cruiserweights.
All things come to an end eventually – this wonderful reign of Neville’s is no different. Tozawa seems the closest in terms of having legitimacy in dethroning the ‘King’ than any others in the division right now. Whilst Mustafa Ali and Jack Gallagher have the potential to lead the division in the future, it is too soon to be the face of the division for them. However, Tozawa with O’Neill as a mouthpiece could do just that.
What’s Next for Neville?
Looking forward, perhaps Neville has outgrown 205 Live to have another reign after this lengthy one has run its course. On just the red brand, there is a whole host of superstars for him to battle with. Especially now that he is defined as an established heel.
As for now, the King continues to reign supreme inside the purple ropes. And generally, the reign will be remembered fondly and more significantly, as the re-birth of Neville on the main roster.