WWE Cruiserweight Championship

professional wrestling championship

The WWE Cruiserweight Championship, later known as the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was a wrestling title owned by WWE. Only wrestlers under 205 lb (93 kg) could compete for it. The first champion was T.J. Perkins. On January 4, 2022, at New Year's Evil, the title was made into one with the NXT North American Championship and retired. Carmelo Hayes was the last champion.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Two-time champion Neville with the first championship design (2016–2020)
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandRaw
(2016–2018)
205 Live
(2018–2022)
NXT
(2019–2022)
NXT UK
(2020–2022)
Date establishedSeptember 14, 2016
Date retiredJanuary 4, 2022
(made into one with the NXT North American Championship)
Other name(s)
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship
    (2016–2019)
  • NXT Cruiserweight Championship
    (2019–2022)

The title did not continue the history of WWE's old Cruiserweight Championship.

History

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In 2016, WWE created the Cruiserweight Classic, a 32-man tournament for cruiserweights.[1] When T.J. Perkins beat Gran Metalik in the final, Triple H gave him the new WWE Cruiserweight Championship for the new cruiserweight division on the Raw brand.[2][3]

After the show 205 Live was created, the Cruiserweight Championship also could be defended in this program.[4] When WWE fired the champion at the time, Enzo Amore in January 2018,[5] there was an announcement that there would be a general manager on 205 Live who would decide what would happen to the championship.[6] Drake Maverick was chosen to be the general manager and he decided that there would be a 16-man tournament to decide a new WWE Cruiserweight Champion and that the final would happen at WrestleMania 34. In the final, Cedric Alexander beat Ali to win the title.[7] After WrestleMania 34, 205 Live separated from Raw so the title was only defended on that show.

On October 3, 2019, the title was renamed to "NXT Cruiserweight Championship", became part of the NXT brand, and started being defended on the NXT TV show.[8] On October 18, Drake Maverick announced that NXT's cruiserweight wrestlers could also wrestle on 205 Live.[9][10] After Jordan Devlin won the title at Worlds Collide on January 25, 2020, the title could also be competed fot on the NXT UK brand.[11]

At NXT WarGames on December 5, 2021. Joe Gacy, who weighed 245 lbs, became the only man above the weight limit to challenge for the championship. Reigning NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong allowed Gacy to challenge for the title at WarGames. Gacy said that if he won the title, he would make it an all-inclusive championship.[12][13] At the event, Strong won and remained champion.[14]

At the special New Year's Evil episode of NXT 2.0 on January 4, 2022, North American Champion Carmelo Hayes defeated Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong to make the titles into one. Hayes became the last champion and went on as North American Champion. The Cruiserweight title was then retired.[15][16][17] The final episode of 205 Live aired on February 11, 2022, and it was replaced by NXT Level Up the following week on February 18.[18]

Reigns

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Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
Days
recog.
Number of days held recognized by the promotion
<1 Reign lasted less than a day
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Days recog.
WWE: Raw
1 T. J. Perkins September 14, 2016 Cruiserweight Classic Finale Winter Park, FL 1 46 45 Beat Gran Metalik in the tournament final to become the first champion. [3]
2 The Brian Kendrick October 30, 2016 Hell in a Cell Boston, MA 1 30 30 [19]
3 Rich Swann November 29, 2016 205 Live Columbia, SC 1 61 60 Took place on the first episode of 205 Live. [20]
4 Neville January 29, 2017 Royal Rumble San Antonio, TX 1 197 196 [21]
5 Akira Tozawa August 14, 2017 Raw Boston, MA 1 6 5 [22]
6 Neville August 20, 2017 SummerSlam
Kickoff
Brooklyn, NY 2 35 35 [23]
7 Enzo Amore September 24, 2017 No Mercy Los Angeles, CA 1 15 15 [24]
8 Kalisto October 9, 2017 Raw Indianapolis, IN 1 13 12 This was a lumberjack match. [25]
9 Enzo Amore October 22, 2017 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Minneapolis, MN 2 93 92 [26]
Vacated January 23, 2018 Reigning champion Enzo Amore was released from WWE one day after it was confirmed that he was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that was reported to the police in October 2017. [27][28]
10 Cedric Alexander April 8, 2018 WrestleMania 34
Kickoff
New Orleans, LA 1 181 180 Defeated Mustafa Ali in a tournament final to win the vacant championship.
The title then became exclusive to the 205 Live brand.
[7]
WWE: 205 Live
11 Buddy Murphy October 6, 2018 Super Show-Down Melbourne, Australia 1 183 183 [29]
12 Tony Nese April 7, 2019 WrestleMania 35
Kickoff
East Rutherford, NJ 1 77 77 [30]
13 Drew Gulak June 23, 2019 Stomping Grounds
Kickoff
Tacoma, WA 1 108 108 This was a triple threat match also including Akira Tozawa, who was pinned by Gulak.
In October 2019, the title became shared between 205 Live and NXT, and it was renamed to "NXT Cruiserweight Championship".
[31]
WWE: NXT and 205 Live
14 Lio Rush October 9, 2019 NXT Winter Park, FL 1 63 63 [32]
15 Angel Garza December 11, 2019 NXT Winter Park, FL 1 45 44 [33]
16 Jordan Devlin January 25, 2020 Worlds Collide Houston, TX 1 439 438 [c] [11][34]
WWE: NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live
17 El Hijo Del Fantasma/Santos Escobar May 27, 2020 NXT Winter Park, FL 1 321 313 [d] [35][36][34]
18 Kushida April 13, 2021 NXT Orlando, FL 1 161 160 [37]
19 Roderick Strong September 21, 2021 NXT 2.0 Orlando, FL 1 105 105 [38]
20 Carmelo Hayes January 4, 2022 NXT 2.0:
New Year's Evil
Orlando, FL 1 <1 <1 This was a title unification match in which Hayes also defended the NXT North American Championship. [39]
Unified January 4, 2022 NXT 2.0:
New Year's Evil
Orlando, FL Carmelo Hayes defeated Roderick Strong to make the NXT Cruiserweight Championship into one with the NXT North American Championship. The Cruiserweight Championship was retired with Hayes going on as North American Champion. [39]

Combined reigns

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Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined
days
Combined days
rec. by WWE
1 Jordan Devlin 1 439 438
2 El Hijo del Fantasma/Santos Escobar 1 321 313
3 Neville 2 232 231
4 Buddy Murphy 1 183
5 Cedric Alexander 1 181 180
6 Kushida 1 161 160
7 Enzo Amore 2 108 107
Drew Gulak 1 108
9 Roderick Strong 1 105
10 Tony Nese 1 77
11 Lio Rush 1 63
12 Rich Swann 1 61 60
13 T. J. Perkins 1 46 45
14 Angel Garza 1 45 44
15 The Brian Kendrick 1 30
16 Kalisto 1 13 12
17 Akira Tozawa 1 6 5
18 Carmelo Hayes 1 <1
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Footnotes

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  1. WWE officially recognizes 438 days
  2. Unified with the NXT North American Championship
  3. This was a fatal four-way match also involving Travis Banks and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott. Devlin pinned Scott to win the title, that now could also be defended on the NXT UK brand. Devlin's reign ended on April 8, 2021 at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 2, when Santos Escobar defeated him to became the undisputed champion. From May 27, 2020 (aired June 3) until April 8, 2021, both Devlin and Escobar were listed as champion.
  4. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reigning champion Jordan Devlin was not allowed to wrestle in the United States. An interim champion was crowned in the United States until Devlin could return. Devlin, who lived in the United Kingdom, still defended the title on NXT UK, while the U.S.-based interim champion defended the title on NXT. Fantasma defeated Drake Maverick in the finals of an eight-man tournament to become the interim champion in the U.S. WWE lists the start of his reign as beginning on June 3, 2020, when the episode aired on tape delay. On the June 10 episode of NXT, Fantasma unmasked and changed his ring name to Santos Escobar. After Devlin made his return to the U.S. the following year, Escobar defeated Devlin in a ladder match at the second night of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver on April 8 to become the undisputed champion (the days of his reign as interim and undisputed champion are listed as one single reign by WWE).

References

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  1. "WWE Network adds Global Cruiserweight Series to robust 2016 programming slate". wwe.com. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  2. "WWE Cruiserweight Classic: T.J. Perkins becomes Raw's first WWE Cruiserweight Champion". WWE. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Caldwell, James. "9/14 WWE Cruiserweight Tourney Finals – Caldwell's Complete Live Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  4. HHH discusses 205 Live...and more - 411 Mania.com
  5. "Enzo Amore released". WWE. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  6. "Daniel Bryan addresses the state of WWE 205 Live". WWE. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Powell, Jason. "Powell's WrestleMania 34 Kickoff Show live review: WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal, Cedric Alexander vs. Mustfa Ali for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  8. Johnson, Mike (October 3, 2019). "CHANGE TO WWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE & MORE NXT NEWS". PWInsider. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  9. "411MANIA". Csonka's WWE 205 Live Review 10.18.19.
  10. Vishwakoti, Anish (October 18, 2019). "10/18 WWE 205 Live results: Anish V's review of Tony Nese vs. Oney Lorcan vs. Ariya Daivari in a Triple Threat, Jack Gallagher vs. Brian Kendrick, The Singh Brothers vs. Justin Alexander and Justin Morris". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Powell, Jason. "WWE Worlds Collide results: Powell's live review of Undisputed Era vs. Imperium, Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm for the NXT Championship, Angel Garza vs. Isaiah Scott vs. Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov, DIY vs. Moustache Mountain". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  12. Currier, Joseph (November 23, 2021). "GACY TO CHALLENGE FOR CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE AT WWE NXT WARGAMES". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  13. Bryant, Nathan (November 24, 2021). "Roderick Strong opens Cruiserweight Championship opportunity to Joe Gacy". WWE. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  14. Moore, John (December 5, 2021). "NXT WarGames results: Moore's live review of two WarGames matches, Roderick Strong vs. Joe Gacy for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel vs. Kyle O'Reilly and Von Wagner for the NXT Tag Titles, Cameron Grimes vs. Duke Hudson in a hair vs. hair match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  15. Currier, Joseph (December 21, 2021). "TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH ADDED TO NXT NEW YEAR'S EVIL". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  16. Holder, James (December 29, 2021). "NXT Cruiserweight Championship Set To Be Retired". Inside the Ropes. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  17. Currier, Joseph (January 4, 2022). "WWE UNIFIES NXT NORTH AMERICAN AND CRUISERWEIGHT TITLES". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  18. Johnson, Mike (February 15, 2022). "SAY GOODBYE TO 205 LIVE, NEW NXT SERIES TO BEGIN TAPING TONIGHT". PWInsider. Archived from the original on April 30, 2022. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  19. Powell, Jason. "Powell's WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 live review: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women's Championship, Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship, Roman Reigns vs. Rusev for the U.S. Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  20. Namako, Jason. "WWE 205 Live Results – 11/29/16 (Rich Swann wins the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on the premiere episode)". WrestleView. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  21. Powell, Jason. "1/29 Powell's WWE Royal Rumble 2017 live review: AJ Styles vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns in a No DQ match for the WWE Universal Championship with Chris Jericho in a shark cage". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  22. Keller, Wade. "KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 7/14: Final episode before Summerslam with latest on Seth-Dean, Women's Title match, Fatal Four-way". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  23. Powell, Jason. "08/20 Powell's WWE SummerSlam Kickoff Show coverage: New Day vs. The Usos for the Smackdown Tag Titles, Akira Tozawa vs. Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, and Jason Jordan vs. Miz, Bo Dallas, and Curtis Axel". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  24. Powell, Jason. "Powell's WWE No Mercy 2017 live review: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship, John Cena vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  25. Keller, Wade. "KELLER'S WWE RAW REPORT 10/9: Shield reunion continues, Miz TV with Sheamus & Cesaro, TLC build up continues". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  26. Powell, Jason. "Powell's WWE TLC 2017 live review: Kurt Angle, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman, Kane, The Miz, Sheamus, and Cesaro in a TLC match, AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor, Asuka debuts, Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James for the Raw Women's Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  27. "Enzo Amore released". WWE. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  28. Enzo Amore released from WWE after Allegations of sexual assault - Sky Sports.com
  29. Powell, Jason. "Powell's WWE Super Show-Down live review: Undertaker vs. Triple H for the final time, AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe in a no DQ, no count-out match for the WWE Title, The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler, Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte for the Smackdown Women's Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  30. Powell, Jason. "WrestleMania 35 Kickoff Show results: Powell's live review of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, WWE Women's Battle Royal, Buddy Murphy vs. Tony Nese for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  31. Powell, Jason. "WWE Stomping Grounds Kickoff Show results: Powell's live review of the pre-show". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  32. Moore, John. "10/09 NXT TV results: Moore's live review of Drew Gulak vs. Lio Rush for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, WWE UK Champion Walter vs. Kushida in a non-title match, NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  33. Moore, John. "12/11 NXT TV results: Moore's live review of Finn Balor vs. Keith Lee vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a Triple Threat for a shot at the NXT Championship, Lio Rush vs. Angel Garza for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Dakota Kai vs. Mia Yim". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Moore, John (April 8, 2021). "NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver results: Moore's live review of night two with Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship, Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly in an unsanctioned match, Santos Escobar vs. Jordan Devlin in a ladder match to unify the NXT Cruiserweight Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  35. Moore, John. "6/3 NXT TV results: Moore's review of El Hijo Del Fantasma vs. Drake Maverick in the finals of the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Title tournament, Mia Yim vs. Candice LeRae, final hype for Takeover: In Your House". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  36. Johnson, Mike (April 17, 2020). "MORE ON NEW WWE TAPING SCHEDULE". PWInsider. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  37. Moore, John (April 13, 2021). "4/13 NXT TV results: Moore's review of the first appearances of Karrion Kross and Raquel Gonzalez since winning the NXT titles, Franky Monet's debut, MSK vs. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick for the NXT Tag Titles, NXT Cruiserweight Championship open challenge". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  38. Moore, John (September 21, 2021). "9/21 NXT 2.0 results: Moore's review of Kushida vs. Roderick Strong for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Moore, John (January 4, 2022). "1/4 NXT 2.0 results: Moore's review of Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Title, Walter, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel vs. Riddle and MSK, Mandy Rose vs. Raquel Gonzalez vs. Cora Jade for the NXT Women's Title, Carmelo Hayes vs. Roderick Strong in a title unification match, AJ Styles confronts Grayson Waller". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 4, 2022.

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