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Building Raw’s cruiserweight division: The legends

REY MYSTERIO poses for the 74,000 fans in Reliant Stadium before the match his match with JBL Photographer: Matt Roberts/ZUMA Press/Icon Sportswire
(Matt Roberts/ZUMA Press/Icon Sportswire)

The brand split is upon us, and with that, many additions are being made to both Raw and SmackDown to assure that the rosters have enough talent. The WWE has committed to fill out the rosters by bringing back old wrestlers like Rhyno, Jinder Mahal and Curt Hawkins.

That said, the Raw brand is making a huge move by bringing the cruiserweight division to their show. This is a brilliant move, given how exciting and popular cruiserweight wrestling is in both modern wrestling and in the past. If you don’t believe me, go back and watch 90s WCW and you will see some great wrestling.

So now, we bring you a new, five-part series examining 25 wrestlers who should inhabit this new cruiserweight division. They are some of the best in the world that would surely make the cruiserweights the must-see men on Raw.

Part four will take a look at many familiar men who used to call the WWE their home. Those men are legends of the cruiserweight division that can still wrestle and could add some credibility to the new division. So without further ado, here are three WWE legends who should join the Raw Cruiserweight Division.

Brian Kendrick (United States, 157 pounds)

In watching the Cruiserweight Classic thus far, one thing is for sure: Brian Kendrick is still good. Kendrick has always been a skilled wrestler, with some of his best memories coming as a tag team with Paul London.

Given his veteran status and previous experience with the WWE, Kendrick would be a good foundation wrestler to help build Raw’s cruiserweight division. He can still go in the ring and still has the personality to get over with fans. Sure, like the Dudley Boyz and other veterans that have returned to the WWE, Kendrick would likely be a guy that puts over the younger talent. That’s OK, though. He would still be able to put on top-flight matches and make his opponents look like a million bucks.

Rey Mysterio Jr. (United States, 175 pounds)

If Rey Mysterio Jr. came back to the WWE, most would assume it would be in an upper-card role. However, the return of the greatest cruiserweight in WWE history should be in the division he got his start in.

Yes, Mysterio’s best days are long behind him, but he can still have solid matches. If you want top-notch Mysterio matches, check out the WWE Network. However, you will still get great action out of him, especially considering he won’t be wrestling the monsters and behemoths in the main event scene.

Mysterio’s addition to the cruiserweight division would give it instant credibility. Not only that, being a former champ that can put over the younger talent would be immensely important. He would be the only former WWE Cruiserweight Champion in the division. That is, of course, unless…

Tajiri (Japan, 189 pounds)

…Tajiri was also added to the Raw cruiserweight division. Just recently knocked out of the Cruiserweight Classic by Gran Metalik, Tajiri has proven that old age has not hindered his ability to put on strong matches. He has relied even more heavily on striking since his quickness has left him a bit, but his matches are still fantastic.

He is a former WWE Cruiserweight Champion in his own right, so he, like Mysterio, would add great credibility to the new division. Like Kendrick and Mysterio, he would win his fair share of matches, but would be there to put over the top younger talent. Plus, it gives Japan yet another guy on the main roster for which they can root for.

After all, regional marketability and familiar faces helps in foreign markets. That’s why Tajiri, in addition to guys like Hideo Itami, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kota Ibushi, could help fly the flag in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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