WWE have announced that a new Global Cruiserweight Series will launch on the WWE Network on 13 July.
The 10-week series will follow 32 cruiserweight wrestlers as they attempt to prove themselves the best cruiserweight in the world. The 32 wrestlers have not yet been determined, but Paul “Triple H” Levesque, the WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events & Creative, has suggested that we may be familiar with final chosen 32, though the search for competitors is going worldwide. In an interview with PWInsider‘s Mike Johnson, he said;
“I’m excited about this, I really am. It’s a really great opportunity for us to tap into what’s a really exciting talent pool. I believe, sort of an underutilized talent pool. There are just numerous, numerous, numerous Cruiserweights around the world that are great performers that have not fully had the opportunity to be seen around the world and that’s something that hopefully, WWE can give them. I would say the vast majority [of talents on the series] will be non-contracted or long-term contracted WWE talents. It’s going to be a discovery process. I don’t want to negate anyone from that process because they are under contract to us. At the same time, I’m looking for the best in the world and the brightest around to give them a platform that they’ve never had. I’m certainly looking at the vast majority from being from the outside of WWE….We are recruiting from everywhere. UK, Japan, China, to find the best talent. That doesn’t mean we are going to find someone everywhere, but we are really trying to turn things over and really find someone from every part of the globe to be part of this and show the world who they are and what they can do.”
While this is not certain to lead to a cruiserweight revival in WWE, and indeed it would seem rushed to proceed from this straight into a return to the cruiserweight division on WWE TV, Levesque is hopeful of making the series a regular event.
“I want this to be something that is repetitive. I would like this tournament to be a recurring thing where we take the best talent from around the world and let them do their thing…I think where it lands is sort of a work in progress. If you look at this tournament, it’s going to be a platform where somebody and it could be more than one person, is going to be seen as one of the best Cruiserweights in the world or the best Cruiserweight in the world.”
The plan going forward is for the weight limit on the series to be 205lbs or less, meaning a rare focus on ability and skill, rather than size.
“This will be an in-ring series. But there will be a lot of….if you just take talent that you don’t know anything about and it’s someone no one has heard of before, they can do anything they want in the ring, but it’s just not as exciting. You aren’t as emotionally invested into who they are as characters as performers, as people, as performers, as where they are trying to go in their careers. I want people to learn about these talents and learn about who these talents are. This is not just me saying I’m giving you a platform and you have eight minutes in the ring and ‘Go get ’em, kid.’ This is, ‘I’m going to tell the world who you are. I’m going to tell them what you do.”
“I think we all have to grow and the look changes and the approach changes. The guy that taught me that is the guy that everyone says can’t do that and that’s Vince. People don’t know him and they don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to him. To have guys go and have places to go and have reps and show what they can do. It’s a wonderful opportunity. I’m selective as to who we want to associate with….I don’t even want to say ‘associate with’…who we promote and who we define things with. I know that if I go to certain groups, there are talents there working a certain style and genre and that’s what we are looking for and that’s what I’m going to gravitate towards. It’s good for the health of the business and the more people that are excited about the business, the more people want to get into it and the more people that want to work hard to excel at the business, the better the business is going to be as a whole.”