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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

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Pros and Cons of The RAW Cruiserweight Division

By @TrueGodImmortal

So, in a bit of a shocking move, we're getting a new Cruiserweight Division on Monday Night RAW. I'm thrilled that some of the best performers I've ever witnessed in this era will get a chance to showcase their talents in a WWE ring in front of 20,000 people regularly. I'm also extremely pleased that after years of shunning wrestlers that weren't 7 foot tall or huge muscular forces, that the WWE will highlight some smaller guys and let them entertain the fans. However, I'm also a bit hesitant and a bit worried. I have my reasons. I'll get to those in a second. With the Cruiserweight Division debuting on September 19th (why not the 12th.... when I'll be live in Baltimore at RAW... Damn you WWE), there's a certain aura around it that truly could make or break the future for the division and the careers of the guys out there. Today, I wanted to take a look at the pros and cons of the division along with the possible stars and who should be the first new RAW Cruiserweight Champion. Let's start with the pros.


*Cedric Alexander

-Alright, sue me, I'm biased. Having watched Cedric through the indies for 3 years and being proud to call him somewhat of a friend, it's amazing to know that he will be on Monday nights and be able to show the world what he can do. He's got a chip on his shoulder since knocking off some weight to make the Cruiserweight Classic and from his peculiar ending to his relationship with ROH. If anyone should be the face of the Cruiserweight Division, Cedric is the guy to run with. From his athleticism to his high flying ability to his underrated technical skills, Cedric can put on a show like no other. He needs to be the FIRST Cruiserweight Champion, and I'm not just saying that because he's my boy, I say that as a fan of the wrestler. He's one of the best today. He's shown that.

*Better Matches Weekly On RAW
-Now, while I love those squash matches from Braun Strowman and Nia Jax (I mean who doesn't??? Wait, that's most of you), and I appreciate the need to give us useless Golden Truth and Darren Young segments, the fact is, WWE is very wasteful with their talents sometimes and their usage of TV time. Honestly, I'd be happy with seeing the Cruiserweights get 15-20 minutes of TV time weekly, maybe 30 minutes if possible on a three hour plus show that runs way too long. Allowing a Ciampa vs Cedric match or a Gargano vs Swann match to go on at the 9:30 or to open the 3rd hour would be a great way to keep fans tuned in. There's no doubt that these wrestlers would certainly make the fans happy and their matches would be regular match of the week candidate.

*Opportunities For Higher Championships 
-The US Title isn't necessarily just for heavyweights. The Universal Championship isn't necessarily just for heavyweights either. This allows for guys like Ciampa or Cedric to go after the titles and make a name for themselves. Imagine that the crowd takes to these guys as well as I think they will and then Owens decides one night he wants to give an open challenge for the Universal Title and Cedric answers. Imagine Gargano pushing Rusev to the limit. These are all things that could happen if the WWE doesn't pigeonhole the guys strictly into that division (I'll get to that in a few).

*New Faces For Fans 
-The WWE is in a new era right? What better way to drive this idea home than to have the Cruiserweight Division return with a whole new set of wrestlers, most of whom made names for themselves on the indies. The WWE fanbase is oddly enough more accepting these days to new faces and this just seems like the chance for these guys to become stars. Kids wearing Gargano's shirt, Cedric's shirt, or any of the Cruiserweight merchandise will be huge and for the kids and smaller guys in the stands, it could possibly give them motivation to see guys that aren't 6'11 and 295 pounds out there killing it.

*New and Fresh Title
-The WWE should allow the Cruiserweight title to look nothing like the rest of the cloned belts they have. All the titles look exactly the damn same, they just colored it to match the show. That was lazy as fuck. You can correct that by giving the Cruiserweight Division a much different design and shape to their title belt. If anything, this makes the belt stick out and could make people focus more on the division in general. A new title could really cause waves and with ESPN and TMZ now covering WWE related stuff, they could very well get the division more coverage to get it over even more than it already will be.

Now, while the pros are great for this, there is definitely a possibility of negativity going forward. Let's jump into the few cons of this division.


*Forgotten In Months
-My biggest fear is that the division will get ample time on TV the first few months and then fade away some in lieu of a returning Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, or even The Rock during Wrestlemania season. I don't want the division regulated to just be on Main Event or something of that sort. The division is too good to just go to waste, but this is WWE and that is a sad possibility with them.

*No Growth Outside Of The Division 
-I mentioned this earlier. The worst thing to happen would be that there is no other opportunities for guys to grow out of the division as the time progresses. Let's say the division is a hit.... surely Cedric, Ciampa, Swann, and Gargano would like other opportunities. I think Cedric would be a great fit on Smackdown, taking on AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler, and contending for the Intercontinental Title in 2017. The thing that would make more sense is just to use these guys as the launching pad for the division and continue to bring in newer guys as the months go by that'll take the places of the original wrestlers in the division. I'd love to see Ciampa and Gargano go back to teaming full time on Smackdown and challenge American Alpha. I'd love that. As long as they all get chances for better opportunities, this is a success.

*Smackdown Is A Better Fit For The Division
-Why RAW? A three hour clusterfuck of a show with about 12 wrestlers in the division from the CWC. It's very cluttered and one would assume that Smackdown would be a better fit with their smaller roster and lack of stars. This is why I think we'll see the division split into two anyways and Smackdown gets their own division as well. I'd imagine that Smackdown having the blue Cruiserweight title is a bit far fetched, but you never know. It doesn't make sense that a show that drags on and wastes so much time like RAW would just get the division when Smackdown seems like a much better choice for it. It could be a horrible choice and decision to keep it strictly to RAW.

As of now, that's really it as far as the negative side goes. There aren't many cons to having a ton of great wrestlers at your disposal. I just hope WWE takes this serious and give the division a fair shot. It deserves it.



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