By Jared "JJF" Jackson-Ferrans
When the WWE Network had been announced initially back in 2011, one of the main selling points was a tournament or brand based around Cruiserweight wrestlers. While this was rumoured throughout 2011 and 2012, by the time the network was launched in 2014, there was simply no sign of it, with NXT filling the niche that many fans hoped this series would. With that said, after 5 years in development hell, the Global Cruiserweight Series will officially be happening. Thirty-two competitors will be involved, with both non-contracted talents and contracted talents alike competing in the tournament. As I am a huge proponent of the cruiserweight division, here are my thoughts.
Triple H has become more of an ally to the independent scene than his father-in-law, aligning with Gabe Sapolsky and Evolve, and he's continuing this by looking for talents in Progress, Revolution Pro and Japan. Hunter has shown that, like Vince in the early '90s with Smoky Mountain and ECW, he's willing to help out smaller promotion for the benefit of his own company. His deal with Evolve has already paid dividends for them, and I could see this tournament paying off for RevPro and Progress, two promotions in Britain with immense talent.
Naturally, WWE will have their own "ringers" in the tournament, with the likes of Neville, Kalisto, Rich Swann, Chad Gable and Austin Aries under WWE contract, but the 205 pound weight limit means a lot of outside talent potentially. With recent attempts to sign Ricochet and Angelico rebuffed, it wouldn't be surprising to see an indy standout such as Zack Sabre Jr. or Will Ospreay, two competitors from both RevPro and Progress Wrestling. As well, it'd be a great opportunity to use a former WWE star such as Matt Sydal, formerly Evan Bourne, or a former one off such as Jushin Liger, to complete the 32 man field. Evolve stars and occassional WWE appearing talents such as Sami Callahan and Johnny Gargano could be possible as well.
This is, as of now, unknown, but the stakes of the tournament must be huge, whether a large cash prize, a WWE/NXT contract for the winner, or simply a large trophy and bragging rights. Ideally, however, this would lead to a new WWE or NXT Cruiserweight Championship to be defended on a regular basis. This would, however, mean that it would likely be a current WWE or NXT star winning, but the idea of a Network exclusive championship is too great to pass up, and perhaps this Global Cruiserweight show could become more than a one off tournament.
This has the potential to be one of the best shows on the WWE Network, if they book it correctly. Cruiserweight wrestling is a highly neglected art form in wrestling, and hopefully this leads to a revival of the division (as I've spoken of before). As a major proponent of cruiserweight wrestling, I hope this manages to lead to either a fresh division or a yearly tournament, but regardless, I expect an entertaining show no matter what.
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SEE ALSO: "JJF's Take - Assembling A WWE Light Heavyweight Division"