Since he defeated Rich Swann at the Royal Rumble back in January, Neville has been on by far the most dominant run of any Cruiserweight Champion since the resurrection of the title. His heel turn was a refreshing injection of energy into a division that was on life support at the time. So far, it’s shown how aggressive and nasty the self-proclaimed “King of the Cruiserweights” can be. It hasn’t saved the division by any means. But, having a cornerstone champion is a start.
For whatever reason, the Cruiserweight Division just didn’t click when it came to Monday Night Raw. To this day, the purple ropes feel a bit gimmicky. Creative seems to have drawn up some pretty terrible storylines for these guys to execute. It seems virtually impossible to transcend the Cruiserweight Division. Once you wrestle in between the purple ropes, you’re destined to do so forever. It has become Monday Night Raw purgatory.
That said, we’re still light years past the early days when the wrestlers and matches drew crickets from the crowd. That’s in large part due to Neville’s run as Cruiserweight Champion. His initial win over Swann came after a fantastic bout. At Fastlane, he and Jack Gallagher stole the show. One of Wrestlemania 33’s finest showings was Neville vs. Austin Aries. And, he had a quick little program with Mustafa Ali following Wrestlemania that produced some great matches.
But, now, a new problem is starting to present itself. Neville isn’t necessarily running out of challengers or anything, but they’re at a point when they need to start using this run to create new stars. Just when it looked like Ali was going to be that first man up, WWE abandoned the program. Neville continues a quality feud with Aries, and sure – it has helped to legitimize a second real star in the Cruiserweight Division. But, as Neville continues to run roughshod over the division, who is going to emerge as the ultimate victor here? Who can dethrone the King of the Cruiserweights?
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