Given the positive reception for the cruiserweight division on Raw, is it time for WWE SmackDown to get its own?
Thanks to the success of The Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network, the WWE decided to bring back the cruiserweight division on September 19th.
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Along with the division, the WWE also announced the creation of a brand new WWE Cruiserweight Championship. This new title would share a different lineage from the first cruiserweight belt that the WWE retired in 2007.
After beating Gran Metalik in the final round of The Cruiserweight Classic, TJ Perkins became the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion. Since then, there have been several cruiserweight matches on Monday Night Raw.
Fan reception toward the new cruiserweight division has been positive for the most part. The matches and feuds are entertaining and the division has certainly helped fill Raw’s three-hour programming.
Given all these benefits, it would make sense to give SmackDown its own cruiserweight division. After all, the WWE wants the two brands to compete, so SmackDown should level the playing field.
But the truth is, SmackDown does not need a cruiserweight division. The show is doing just fine without it. It also doesn’t help that the WWE has made a few mistakes with how they’ve handled the division.
One of these issues occurred right from the start of the division. Current cruiserweight champion TJ Perkins did not compete in the division’s first ever match on Raw. He did not even make an appearance that night. The WWE decided to halt his main roster debut until Clash of Champions.
This was not a smart decision, considering the fact that many casual fans did not watch The Cruiserweight Classic. They had no clue who Perkins was, which is bad considering he is the inaugural champion of this new division. If fans don’t know who the champion is, how can you expect them to recognize any other cruiserweight?
There is also no real structure to the cruiserweight division. These wrestlers are just sent out there to put out matches for no reason. The only matches that seem to matter are those involving Perkins or Brian Kendrick, the No.1 contender for the championship.
The division would be better if there was some sort of ranking system to determine who should be next in line for a title shot. If a wrestler wins, their ranking goes up. If they lose, their ranking goes down.
A ranking system would make the cruiserweight division feel more unique and important. It would make every match matter. That is what made The Cruiserweight Classic so entertaining, because every single match was significant.
The cruiserweight division on Raw is good, but it is not great. The wrestlers need more time to build up momentum and support from fans. They also need actual storylines and feuds.
The WWE has to find a way to make the division more interesting for casual fans. Until things improve significantly, it would be best to keep the cruiserweight division on Raw.