One thing that fans have been begging for years is the return of a Cruiserweight title. The Cruiserweight Championship started in WCW in 1996, when Eric Bischoff wanted to put a focus on the smaller athletes from around the world on his programming. Feeling that “Jr. Heavyweight” sounded degrading (the popularity of the Junior Heavyweight title in New Japan has proved the opposite of that for years, by the way), he used the term “cruiserweight”, and for the next few years the battles over the Cruiserweight Championship were the most exciting part of WCW. It created stars like Eddie Guerrero, Psicosis, and Rey Mysterio Jr., but like everything else in WCW, became a laughing stock in short order. Such illustrious stars as Oklahoma (a Jim Ross parody portrayed by one of Vince Russo’s friends), Madusa (better known for dumping the WWF Women’s title in the trash on live TV) and Crowbar & Daffney (that’s right! Co-champions!) held the WCW version of the belt.
Once the WWE bought WCW in 2001, they brought the cruiserweight title back to prominence …. for an even shorter amount of time. The title was quickly thrown in an never-ending series of multi-man battle royals in an attempt to give all the smaller wrestlers paydays and to fill spots on the card. The title lineage included all the biggest legends, such as Chavo Classic (Chavo Geurrero’s father who was 55 years-old at the time), Jacqueline (best known for getting her shirt ripped off by a referee and exposing her terribly fake breasts), and Hornswoggle, who wasn’t even scheduled to be in the match that he won it in. Hornswoggle held the belt in his grubby little hands until the title disappeared in 2008, with absolutely no fanfare.
Surely if anyone can bring the Cruiserweight Championship back with any sort of prestige, it can be Triple H and the magic of Full Sail, right? Well Trips seems to think so, as a few weeks ago it was announced that the Global Cruiserweight Series, a 32-man, single-elimination tournament only on the award-winning WWE Network ($9.99!) will start in July, and run throughout the summer until September 14th, when a new champion will be crowned. There is not much known about the tournament at this point, other than it will be recorded at Full Sail University, separately from NXT, and that the new weight limit for the division will be 205 pounds (down from the 220 lb. limit that Matt Hardy V.1 often pushed to the brink). We do know that most of the competitors will be coming from the NXT camp or EVOLVE Wrestling, an independent company that has a close working relationship with WWE.
One thing is for certain, is that American wrestling companies have not had the best history of making non-heavyweight wrestlers seem important. WWE is just now starting to break the stigma of smaller wrestlers with stars such as Finn Balor, Neville and Kalisto.
This series will certainly help, but it will take a lot of star power. Below are 15 suggestions of wrestlers from all over the world (it is Global, after all) that would make a great fit in the tournament.
HONORABLE MENTION: Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio has the record for the most Cruiserweight title reigns in history, with eight. He practically defined the “high-flyer” style of wrestling in America, and the feats he accomplished during cruiserweight matches made him arguably the most popular masked wrestler in the world: humongous shoes that the WWE are still trying to fill to this day.
Why, then, would he only be an honorable mention? Well for two reasons:
During his latest run with WWE , Rey Mysterio was not the same high-flyer that we saw in the 90’s and early 2000’s. A long history of injuries, mostly involving his knees, kept him from doing some of the moves that dazzled fans to begin with. This may very well mean that a long tournament in the developmental arena of the company won’t convince Mysterio to come back.
The second reason, which just so happens to be tied to the first, is that Mysterio did not leave WWE on the best of terms. Mysterio took time off in 2015 in order to heal a wrist injury. While away, he expressed his desire to leave the company and pursue other ventures, but the WWE made it clear that the Master of the 619 owed them performances, so Rey was essentially held captive by his contract. This spat became very public, and up until recently, it was assumed that he may never come back to the company that made him so famous.
However, both Vince McMahon and Mysterio himself have said that they would be open to a return, with Mysterio most recently expressing interest in one more run with the sports entertainment empire after he has completed his obligations with the second season of Lucha Underground. The El Rey Network show will still be going on when the tournament starts, but since it’s taped ahead of time, Mysterio would be able to do both. WWE could promise LU some publicity (or even some much needed money) to allow their use of the high-flyer, which would be very smart for both parties.
Rey Mysterio can still put on great matches when needed to, and his legendary status as the greatest Cruiserweight ever would add much needed prestige to the WWE Network’s first cruiserweight show. He wouldn’t make it far. In fact, he should not even get past the first or second round. A young upstart should beat him clean, and whoever does it will get the largest rub of the series, and instantly be a threat for the strap. Simply put, it seems wrong to have a cruiserweight show without the most legendary cruiserweight of all time.
I know what is on everybody’s mind: “Kalisto is on the main roster. This tournament is to bring in new talent. Why would they put a well-known talent in the tournament?!” Well, hypothetical critics that I created for that last sentence, I’ll explain.
It has been announced that there will be 32 spots for the tournament. On one hand, that is awesome, as that shows that there are plenty of cruiserweights that are capable of competing in the WWE. On the other hand, it will be difficult to fill the tournament with outside performers, as many of them will surely have interfering indie dates, and some of them may even have contractual obligations, with say, Ring of Honor or New Japan Pro Wrestling. This means that Triple H and co. will have to look to the Performance Center, and maybe even it’s alumni for help. And why wouldn’t they? Everyone at the performance center is there to some day get on TV, and what better opportunity than the Global Series?
In the previous slide I mentioned how WWE has yet to fill Rey Mysterio’s shoes. Well, reports have been stating for a while now that Kalisto is being set up for that humongous push. This is the reason behind his long feud with Alberto Del Rio, a former world champion, over the United States title, and why he has not been tagging with Sin Cara as part of the Lucha Dragons as often. The last Lucha Dragons match even saw Sin Cara and Kalisto where different colored ring gear. If that isn’t a sign of an impending tag team break-up,what is!?
What better way to set someone up as the newest, masked, high-flying warrior than to put him in a grueling tournament with other high-flying warriors? Kalisto’s mask and ring gear provide him with a great look. His previous ring name on the independent scene was Samuray del Sol, because, well he looks like a Samurai. This means that he would essentially be a Mortal Kombat character in a Mortal Kombat-like tournament. How cool is that? He definitely knows how to get over in matches purely by using his daredevil moves (see: TLC 2015), and having multiple matches in a short period of time against different opponents will allow him to pop a new flip or spin every match.
He can come back down to Full Sail, which is where he started his WWE career, build a new highlight reel, and then lose in the semi-finals, or even the finals. At that point, he should hopefully still have the United States title, so whoever ends up beating him will be beating a main roster mid-card champion, automatically giving that Superstar a huge push. Kalisto can prove any doubters he may still have wrong, and his push as the next masked superstar will be taken to the next level.
14. Tyler Breeze
The reason behind putting Breeze in the tournament is very similar to the reasons for having Kalisto compete. Except this time, instead of helping a push that he is currently getting, it would be to give him a push he never had. For anyone familiar with the Network series Breaking Ground, you know Tyler Breeze spent years in developmental, hanging on by a thread. He never quite had the ‘it’ factor, and almost got cut multiple times. This was, of course, until he found the Tyler Breeze gimmick, a Zoolander-esque character that shot him straight into the NXT main event scene.
The problem is, however, that the gimmick only got him so far. He had multiple chances at the NXT Title, but never won when it counts. He got to fight legends such as Jushin Thunder Liger, and got to share screen time with William Regal, but again, it never really got him any major wins. With so many independent stars currently crowding the NXT Championship picture, it was clear the WWE-built Prince of Pretty was not going to win the strap anytime soon. WWE Creative seemed to realize this, and decided to promote him to the main roster early, hoping his gimmick will carry him. This provided a wonderful ending to Breaking Ground, as everyone got to see the kind, hard-working man formerly known as Mike Dalton make it to the big time.
However, outside of the reality series, things aren’t so easy for Breezey (I’m so, so sorry). His gimmick hasn’t seemed to connect with the larger arena crowds as well, and word is that he has heat backstage for leaving a RAW taping early. Vince himself supposedly said he didn’t understand the gimmick, which may or may not mean career death for Tyler, as VKM simply hasn’t seen a movie since the 80’s.
A move back down to NXT might give the Prince of Pretty some more exposure. He can tell all the indie wrestlers how he thinks he’s so much more handsome and successful than them. Also, the cruiserweight division is often seen as just a place for “flippy stuff”, but Breeze’s offense consists more of kicks, strikes and technical wrestling. His style would be a wonderful contrast and provide a change of pace for the tournament, and he can finally chase a mid-card title in NXT, which is what he needed all along to establish some legitimacy on the Yellow Brand.
13. (The) Brian Kendrick
Once again, going into the WWE stock. Brian Kendrick came back in 2015 to help train new recruits at the Performance Center. More specifically, he was chosen to train Eva Marie. While she has improved, that is not saying much, as she is still utter, complete, hot garbage both in the ring and on the mic. But I digress.
Kendrick was once one-half of one of the most popular high-flying Smackdown! tag teams ever along with Paul London. Kendrick has been very public about his time in the company, even saying that he tried to get himself fired multiple times. However, the fact that the NXT staff saw him fit to train young wrestlers shows that he still has a lot to give to the company.
Putting the man once known as Spanky in the tournament as a one-time deal can add even more legitimacy to the event. Corey Graves can spout his accomplishments during his match(es), including, but limited to: being a part of the longest WWE Tag Team Championship reigns in history, how he was trained by the legendary Shawn Michaels, his friendship with Daniel Bryan (pro-tip: D-Bry press is always good press), or even how he competed for the WWE Title against Triple H. Sure, that last one was technically in a five-person Championship Scramble match on a B-show PPV, but a credit is a credit.
The point is, Kendrick can still wrestle, and the thought of doing one or two matches at Full Sail must sound a lot better than traveling full time on the main roster. He could teach some of the independent stars the WWE style of wrestling, and get some last matches in on WWE programming before he goes off to do marijuana-infused yoga, or whatever he’s into these days.
12. Rich Swann
If this name sounds familiar, then check out the January 20, 2016 episode of NXT. There, you will see a small man with winged trunks come out to generic music. You will then hear the crowd inexplicably chant “All Night Long”, and you will then see him get squashed by the face-for-a-belly-button-having Baron Corbin. After that, go to Youtube and search Rich Swann, and you will not only be impressed by him, but you will be upset at Baron for beating someone that is so much more talented than he is (yet again).
Swann has spent his career wrestling for the deathmatch-centric CZW, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in Los Angeles as part of the Inner City Machine Guns (a parody of TNA’s Motor City Machine Guns) alongside Ricochet, and the Dragon Gate promotions (also the home of Uhaa Nation, now Apollo Crews), where he got noticed by the rapper Wale. Wale, a big wrestling fan, sent a tweet out saying how Swann and Nation should be in the WWE. Mark Henry noticed, and got both of them a tryout.
Apollo Crews is obviously going to do some big things in NXT and WWE soon, but Swann has only just begun. Sure, they may be using him as a jobber now, but guys like Jason Jordan and Enzo Amore were jobbers until they found their niche in the developmental system. For Jordan and Amore, it was tag team wrestling. For Swann, it could be the cruiserweight division.
Rich Swann is charismatic and athletic. The only thing keeping Swann from achieving great things in the company is his size, and the Global Series should make that factor a mute point.
11. Trevor Lee
Known as “The Carolina Caveman”, Trevor Lee is 100% potential. At only 22 years old, and only wrestling professionally since 2014, he has already made a huge impact in both Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and TNA. What else do you expect from someone trained by the Hardy Boys? Hardy Boyz? Never quite sure…
In less than one year, he defeated THREE former PWG champions, including Kevin Steen (now Kevin Owens) in his farewell match, Adam Cole, who, at that point held the record for longest PWG title reign, and Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno in NXT). His TNA success came even sooner, as he and Brian Meyers (formerly Curt Hawkins) beat the Wolves less than a month after debuting to win the tag team belts. He is currently the X-Division Champion, which is the closest thing to a cruiserweight title TNA has. If that doesn’t show the success he could have in the upcoming Full Sail tournament, what can?
The only thing keeping Lee back is the fact that he is still with TNA. However, knowing Dixie’s track record, the protege of Jeff and Matt Hardy may very well be out of that company soon, and hopefully WWE grabs him as soon as that happens. He can be guaranteed to add a unique look and high-octane style to the tournament. He doesn’t have to get very far either, because when he gets eliminated, he can simply start training in the Performance Center, where he can get a head start on what will be a long, title-filled career for him in WWE.
10. Matt Sydal/Evan Bourne
Evan Bourne came into the WWE at the wrong time. One of the greatest high-flying wrestlers of all time, Bourne was debuted on ECW in June of 2008, right around the time that the Cruiserweight Championship was being phased out. If it had been taken seriously, then there is no doubt that Bourne would have been chosen as the face of the division for years, making this article completely unnecessary.
Instead, Bourne had some minor success, winning the tag titles with Kofi Kingston in another “What Should We Do With These Two Similar Wrestlers? I Know! Put Them In A Tag Team” storyline by WWE Creative. Shortly after that, injuries and the inability to pass drug tests led to Evan Bourne’s release from the company. One trip to the Amazon and some hallucinogenic cacti later, Evan was “Reborn” and returned to the independent circuit as Matt Sydal. Since returning, he has found success, as he is currently one-half of the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions with Ricochet in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Assuming that New Japan allows any of their wrestlers to come and work for the WWE for a temporary gig, Sydal would be a great choice. They did it with Jushin Thunder Liger at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, so why not with a younger star? Sydal would be a great addition to the tournament, as he would provide a veteran role to the proceedings. Also, the commentary team could mention his “previous life” as Bourne, and his accomplishments during his last stint, which would add value to his name. He wouldn’t have to win the title or stay in WWE for any longer after the tournament, but he would add some experience and foreign flavor to NXT before going back over to Japan.
9. Marty Scurll
For those of you who may not be familiar with British strong-style wrestling, please check out Revolution Pro’s free show on Youtube, or PROGRESS Wrestling’s on demand service. And while you are at it, make sure to search Marty Scurll. This young English wrestler was a part of TNA’s British Boot Camp series, not much came from that venture for him or any of the wrestlers outside of Rockstar Spud.
Scurll is a perfect example about what happens when a character is given time to develop. He debuted in PROGRESS in 2012 as part of a tag team with Zack Sabre, Jr., and called himself “Party” Marty Scurll. Over the years, he changed from a bland fraternity brother to “The Villian”, a fur-coat-wearing, umbrella-toating heel. As this character, he won multiple championships across the UK, and is currently the PROGRESS Champion.
Scurll works a hybrid style, combing kicks and elbows with the technical wrestling that is often associated with Britian. If the WWE were to make a short-term deal with “Party” Marty, then he could provide some technical masterpieces among the “flippy stuff” in the tournament. He would also bring a well-defined character to Full Sail, which isn’t often seen with indie wrestlers and new NXT recruits. Following a strong showing in the tournament, there is no doubt that WWE would scoop him up in order to try and fill the hole of technical proficiency that Daniel Bryan left behind.
8. Mark Andrews
Nicknamed “White Lightning” in the UK, affectionately called “Draco Malfoy” by the fans, and saddled with a skateboarding teenager gimmick in TNA, Mark Andrews can provide a lot to the Global Cruiserweight Series.
At only 24 years old and 150 pounds, “Mandrews” is an underdog, even in the world of underdogs that is the cruiserweight division. Despite that, he has had some success, appearing in the prestigious Battle of Los Angeles for PWG, Chikara’s Young Lion Cup tournament, and winning both the PROGRESS Championship and the PROGRESS Tag Team titles at different points in his career.
A tournament is not complete without an underdog story, and Andrews can provide that in spades. That is not to take away from his offense, though, as he capable of performing beautiful Shooting Star Press, Moonsaults, 450 Splashes, and even a 180 Stunner. His guts, endurance, and stunt-like move-set would make him a hit on the WWE Network.
7. AR Fox
AR Fox looks unassuming at first. His resume reads like the standard independent journeyman. He has wrestled in Dragon Gate (both USA and Japan), CZW, PWG, and Evolve, as well as other promotions in Mexico and Japan. The fact that he has traveled the world is a great asset, but it’s his move-set that makes him a must for WWE.
Fox has a great look and a great physique, which, less face it, even in 2016 is still half the battle for Superstars and Divas in the WWE. He uses that great physique to combine high-flying stunts with high-impact slams, including his AR-KO (a take on the Viper’s move). One look at his signature moves page reads like a move-set for a Street Fighter character: Over the shoulder back-to-belly piledriver, Arabian moonsault sideslam, and shooting star cannonball. That’s just to name a few! Now sure, some of these moves may be deemed to dangerous to do in a WWE ring (piledrivers are a HUGE no-no), but AR Fox can create a new series of breathe-taking moves if given 15 minutes and a copy of Tekken.
Fox combines strength with high-flying ability, which is what has given Apollo Crews so much success in NXT so far. Not only that, but when things get taken out of the ring, or when Fox runs out of ideas, he is not afraid to take a Jeff Hardy-like approach to Sports Entertainment. For proof, look no further than 2CW’s last show.
The man is cruiserweight incarnate.
6. Mike “Speedball” Bailey
This Canadian Tae Kwon Do expert does not look like a prototypical WWE Superstar. He isn’t particular toned, he isn’t that tall, he doesn’t weigh that much, and even though he’s in his early 20’s, he looks like he still needs a parent’s signature in order to wrestle.
What he does have, is the ability to become the greatest babyface ever. In the Battle of Los Angeles 2015, a 24-man tournament held by Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (amazing event, by the way, check it out), Bailey was the absolute fan favorite in any match he was in.
The man is simple. He says it himself: “My character is that I kick people.” And that’s all he needs. He is a living embodiment of the Karate Kid: an energetic youngster who is not afraid to take on any opponent, even those much, much larger than him. No matter how much he gets beat up, he keeps coming back. If you leave Mikey on the floor, watch out, because he’ll spring right back up with two dozen kicks to your chest. If NXT wants a new, white-meat babyface that can appeal to young kids, then the “Speedball” is an excellent choice.
A place in the title tournament will get him adjusted to mainstream audiences, and he could no doubt garner a Blue Pants, “back by popular demand” reaction every time he steps his bare feet in the Full Sail Arena.
5. Johnny Gargano
This one has the most likely chance of happening. For one, Johnny Gargano works in NXT on a regular basis, either competing in NXT TV main events with Samoa Joe, or competing in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic this past fall with fellow indie vet Tamasso Ciampa. “Johnny Wrestling” has also been a huge presence in EVOLVE wrestling, which has an excellent working relationship with WWE and the Performance Center.
Gargano has a great look for the cruiserweight division, and an excellent move-set that includes a slingshot spear through the ropes. Not only should he be a guarantee for the tournament, but he should one of the odds-on favorites to win.
4. Kenny Omega
Two words. The Elite. For those of you who do not follow New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Elite is a subset of the Bullet Club consisting of the World’s Most Famous Indie Tag Team, the Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega. With the Bullet/Balor Club coming to the WWE, NJPW has moved away from the stable and put more focus on the three men who led the Club. Out of the Elite, Kenny Omega is the leader, and his success has made him a star in Japan in the wake of AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura’s move to the States. His charisma and slimy ‘gaijin’ (foreigner) antics has made him the top heel in the company, and as a result he is the only man who currently holds TWO titles: the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, which he won against Hiroshi Tanahashi (also known by some as Japanese Cena), and is one-third of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Champions along with the Young Bucks.
It turns out that he also has experience in the cruiserweight division, as he held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship until he lost it to KUSHIDA at Wrestle Kingdom 10. At which point, he kicked AJ Styles out of the Bullet Club, upon which Styles immediately formed the Cool Dads stable with Y2J Chris Jericho in WWE.
On top of that, the Elite have started an internet feud with the New Day. Omega can be seen competing with Xavier Woods on Woods’s UpUpDownDown video game channel, and the trio have mentioned how much business both companies could do if they let the top two trios in the world go at it, even mentioning it in Omega’s recent Rolling Stone article. I mean, the New Day did JUST say they were out of opponents at Fast Lane, and this option would be 100 times more entertaining than the League of Nations feud we might be stuck with.
How about this for a plan: bring Kenny Omega in for the cruiserweight tournament. Graves and Phillips can tout all of his achievements over commentary, just like the main roster crews do for AJ Styles. “The Cleaner” can bring his Japanese title along with him, which would bring cross-promotion that Hunter wants so badly. Also, the WWE can use that forever (FOR-EV-VER) by stating that this was the first time IWGP belts have ever been in a WWE ring.
Omega can have a great match with anyone, and he literally has. He has fought a small Japanese girl, for crying out loud! He is basically a living, breathing, Metal Gear Solid villain, capable of tense character promos and laugh-out-loud antics, all at the same time.
Have him pull a good showing in the tournament, and then direct him into a feud with the New Day afterwards, where he can finally bring the Bucks to WWE, along with a much-needed breathe of fresh air to the tag team division.
3. Zack Sabre, Jr.
Best Technical Wrestler of the Year, 2015.
This was the award given by Dave Meltzer to the lanky British grappler in the annual Observer Awards. And if you haven’t seen any of his matches, please do, because after you view them, you won’t have any option but to agree with Da Meltz. I mean the award is nicknamed the “Daniel Bryan” award! What better way to replace the recently retired technician?
Zack Sabre, Jr. has it all. He’s good looking, he has a good sense of humor, he’s hard working, and he can knock your teeth out with an elbow just as quickly as he can tie you up like a pretzel. At 29, he has already accomplished a lot, working in Pro Wrsetling NOAH in Japan, PWG in L.A. and PROGRESS Wrestling in the UK, among many others.
Sabre is one of those workers who can fill any spot on the card. A technical masterpiece against Jericho to jerk the curtain? ZSJ can. A tag team with an American counterpart, or perhaps with another European Superstar? He’s a part of Eurotrash with the Danish Tommy End and friend Marty Scurll, and has tagged recently with Sami Callihan (Solomon Crowe in NXT) for the Evolve Tag Team titles. He can get knocked around by bigger guys to look like the scrappy underdog, or he can apply 1,005 holds on a rookie to look like a veteran.
There have been some rumors that the WWE are looking into Zack, and if they are, they should do so soon. The only thing keeping him back in the #1 Sports Entertainment company in the world is his size, as he’s tall but very thin. What better way to avoid that stigma than to give him a dominating performance in the Global Series, and having him either win or come in second place?
He would be a great competitor in the cruiserweight division on NXT, and if pushed right, could become a “People’s Champion” along the lines of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.
2. Will Ospreay
If Ospreay’s attire and peace-sign pose looks familiar, it’s because it is eerily similar to Evan Bourne’s look in the WWE. This should come as no surprise, as the 24-year-old British high-flyer got his inspiration from Bourne. However, he took Bourne’s jaw dropping moves and increased the insanity, causing jaws to go straight into the ground, to never be picked up again.
Ospreay is a true student of wrestling, from day one. When asked his favorite match, he didn’t choose one featuring the colorful Hulk Hogan, or the charismatic Rock, or the show-off Shawn Michaels. The match that convinced him to start wrestling was the Triple Threat in TNA involving Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, and AJ Styles. He also cites Eddie Guerrero, Essa Rios, and his peer Ricochet as inspirations. The guy has a taste for good wrestling.
That sort of passion has allowed him to learn quickly, and allow him to reach success even faster. There’s no better example of that than when he went from generic tag wrestler in PROGRESS to the PROGRESS Champion in less than 3 years. His finisher is the impossible-sounding 630 Senton.
Ospreay is a perfectly marketable wrestler, as he’s essentially a human action figure. He draws inspiration from the video game Assassin’s Creed (explaining his entrance jacket and nickname “Aerial Assassin”), which in today’s scene can draw some major pops. Just ask Finn Balor and Blue Pants, who both infuse cosplay into their indie entrances.
The biggest problem may be that he is currently signed to New Japan, and will be debuting in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, which will be happening around the same time as the Cruiserweight Series. However, if the timing is right, and if NJPW lends NXT some of their stars, then expect Will Ospreay to be the biggest threat in the division.
Known to Lucha Underground fans as Prince Puma, he may be the only person on Earth who can lay claim to Ospreay’s “Best High-Flyer” title.
Ricochet has had a big couple of years. In 2014, he won the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in Japan, as well as the Battle of Los Angeles in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He currently is one half of Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions with Matt Sydal, having beaten the Young Bucks for the titles, which most thought would be a near-impossible task.
AAA and Lucha Underground thought so highly of this young, charismatic high-flyer that they made him the star of the first season, and gave him the Lucha Underground belt. Once he was champion, he wasn’t afraid to defend it against people much larger than him in the Temple, including King Cuerto and Mil Muertes. Despite his size, he shows an seemingly unlimited supply of confidence, which he can use to play a cocky heel or a cool, Rock-like babyface. His physique is excellent, he has a great look (although some would compare him to Dr. Turke from Scrubs, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing), and it seems like he can go a whole match without his feet touching the ground. He can work well in a variety of tag teams and is an excellent singles wrestler. You can put him under a mask and market him as a luchador, or you can leave him as is and let his personality shine.
Rumors are that the WWE tried incredibly hard to get him under contract last year, but his obligations to New Japan and Lucha Underground kept it from happening. Let’s hope that with a perfect new series to showcase him, they can convince him to come to Florida, because if they do, they may very well have their next big star.