The Cruiserweight Championship was retired back in 2008 with Hornswoggle being the final holder. This had tainted the title’s lineage in many people’s eyes, as they believe it devalued the prestige of the title which had so much value back in WCW, being held by the likes of Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Brian Pillman, Jushin Thunder Liger, Billy Kidman, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho,etc.
There was speculation as to whether the winner of the Cruiserweight Classic would become the Cruiserweight Champion heading into Raw. It was rumored a month before that WWE had issued for a belt to be made. Naturally, since the Cruiserweight Division had been announced on Raw back in July, there had to be a top prize to fight for. As we found out right before the finals of the Cruiserweight Classic, Triple H introduced the new Cruiserweight Championship.
Incidentally, even finalists TJ Perkins and Gran Metalik were oblivious to the introduction of the Cruiserweight Championship. This must have been a real surprise for them, but an even sweeter moment for TJ Perkins, who knew that he was going over.
The Cruiserweight Championship has now been updated on the WWE.com, but it is being projected as a brand new championship and not related to the belt created by WCW in 1991. Therefore, TJ Perkins is the first ever champion in a brand new lineage. The previous Cruiserweight Championship has not even been mentioned, thus practically having its history erased. It is sad to hear since the original Cruiserweight Championship had such a great lineage of champions and professional wrestling legends fighting for it.
An almost similar situation happened with the Women’s Championship introduced at Wrestlemania. Though there had been a Women’s Championship for decades before, the one introduced at Wrestlemania was a brand new one with a new lineage altogether, which is probably the reason why they wanted a Flair to hold it first. However, WWE still does acknowledge the previous Women’s Championship by glorifying the past champions.
Either which ways, it is a New Era after all, and with the brand split, there simply had to be new championships introduced. Raw now has as many championships as WWE did altogether before the brand split, but that is just a part and parcel of it. The addition of the Cruiserweights should be very interesting, to say the least.