COVID-19 had reared its ugly head once again and thrown the wrestling world into further chaos.
Just days ago, a brand new tournament was announced by NXT General Manager William Regal to crown an Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion due to current champion Jordan Devlin being unable to travel. The tournament will begin this Wednesday, and I for one can't wait. Cruiserweight wrestling has long been a love of mine, just behind tag team wrestling, and the original Cruiserweight Classic was an absolute masterpiece.
Let's take a quick look at the Superstars who will be competing for the prestigious crown. Eight Superstars will be split into groups of 4 for this round-robin style tournament. The four competitors in each group will face each other once, and then the Superstars with the best record will advance to the championship match.
The Japanese Lightning Bolt has been impressive since arriving in NXT last spring, but championship gold has eluded him so far. Can Kushida reverse his fortunes in the tournament and finally make an impact in WWE?
Drake Maverick is no stranger to the Cruiserweight Division, serving as the brands GM, but now he’ll be in contention for its top title. You'd be forgiven for not knowing this but Maverick is an extremely talented wrestler. Can the former 24/7 Champion add another title to his resume?
The Premier Athlete captured the Cruiserweight Championship on The Grandest Stage of Them All last year. An extremely gifted grappler, can he add a second reign at the conclusion of this tournament?
This California native only reported to the WWE Performance Center in January of this year. The 25-year-old will certainly be out to make waves as he gets started in NXT... what a way to make an impact eh?
Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
Since his arrival in the Cruiserweight Division, Scott has been out to show the NXT Universe that it’s “Swerve’s House.” What better way to accomplish that than by becoming Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion?
El Hijo del Fantasma
"Who?" I hear you ask. The second-generation luchador will make his NXT debut in the tournament. Known as one of the best high flying superstars around, how will the world-renowned aerial assassin fare on the black-and-gold brand? Hopefully not another Lucha House Party member...
A Cruiserweight Division stalwart, Tozawa has e enjoyed moderate success and even appeared on the main roster a handful of times. The talented Japanese superstar will be looking to add a second reign as champion to his name.
Gentleman Jack Gallagher
Another stalwart of the brand. Along with his new ink, Gallagher has unleashed a new, more ruthless side of himself in recent weeks. Will that pay off for him in this tournament as he looks to finally cement himself as the top cruiserweight in town?
So there we have it. A very talented group of superstars and some incredible looking matches in the near future. But who will win and become the Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion? For me it has to be.....
It just has to be. An argument can be made for Swerve as he may be the most athletically gifted superstar outside of the main roster, but Kushida needs... something. Anything. Even a short, placeholder title reign could do wonders for bringing him back into relevancy.
Kushida arrived in WWE to much fanfare, joining NXT and quickly establishing himself as a fan favourite through a mix of raw talent and charisma. But since the first few weeks of his NXT career, Kushida has sort of faded away. He was lauded as a future NXT Champion, went toe to toe with Imperium and even brought in Alex Shelley for the Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Tournament but every time he seems to be going somewhere, he suddenly loses all momentum. For one of NJPW's all time greats, his WWE career has been extremely underwhelming despite still being in its infancy.
Hopefully the winner of the tournament will eventually lose to Devlin regardless. To end The Irish Ace's reign this early would be an absolute crime and extremely harsh given the circumstances. Either way, I'm sure the tournament will be great and yet another example of why 205 Live is the most underrated brand in all of WWE.