The WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament has done a lot of good this summer. It’s given a huge spotlight to some of the world’s finest athletes who otherwise wouldn’t be competing under the WWE umbrella, it’s been a great way to draw in the eyes of fans of various independent organizations from throughout the globe who, again, otherwise wouldn’t be interested in WWE’s products, and it’s also given already established wrestlers the opportunity to increase their stock within the company.
Names like Tajiri and Brian Kendrick, who are most certainly no strangers to the WWE locker room, have become relevant again despite losing efforts, while NXT hopefuls such as Rich Swann have been able to make names for themselves even without a strong track record on the NXT roster.
Two men who made a tremendous impact in the first round of the tournament are Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano; unlikely tag-team partners that made for a surprisingly impressive duo upon their NXT arrival, forced to go one-on-one in the CWC to prove who is better as an individual.
Johnny Gargano came out of that match with his arm raised, but the emotion and intensity showcased during the bout, not to mention the showmanship displayed afterwards, was enough to make both men look spectacular in the eyes of the WWE audience.
At the same time, Ciampa and Gargano were making their rounds as one of NXT’s finest rising tag-teams. The two managed to pull off one of the greatest tag matches in recent years against The Revival at NXT TakeOver, in a losing effort with the NXT Tag Team Championship on the line.
Needless to say, the last couple of months have been pivotal in Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano’s WWE careers, both as a tag team and as singles competitors in the future.
That shined through on Monday Night Raw this past week, when the WWE continued to push its oncoming cruiserweight division as something that’s going to take the flagship show to the next level of in-ring competition, by introducing the casual audience to more of the names we can expect to see each week when the division launches. Each of the names discussed thus far have been some of the CWC’s finest participants, including that of Ciampa and Gargano on this week’s broadcast.
But despite the lasting impression that the two left on the tournament, is the cruiserweight division on Monday Night Raw really the best option for these two?
We’re unaware at this point just how much of the cruiserweights we can expect to see when the division goes live, but when you factor in the main event – which usually takes up the show’s first 20 minutes or so as well as the final segments, the women’s division, the tag division, the mid-card and the ever-important weekly installment of Sheamus vs. Cesaro, to even isolate an hour of the broadcast for the new recruits would be quite generous.
As great as it would be to see the majority of the CWC’s stars head to Raw, the chances of several of them getting lost in the shuffle is almost inevitable, and there’d be very little consistency to what faces the fans are being acquainted with on a weekly basis.
Plus, putting Ciampa and Gargano in there, albeit a guarantee for some excellent matches, practically confirms that the tag team is sure to break up upon their main roster debut.
The team of “Johnny Wrestling” and “The Psycho Killer” would easily fit into either of the main roster’s tag divisions, either to get in the face of two dominant athletes in Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows on Raw, or to try and bring some more competition to the blue brand’s fast-improving roster.
Wrestlers like Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are destined to break off back into singles action, but you would hope that by the time they do, they will already have made a name for themselves as great tag-team wrestlers, especially if the potential is staring them right in the eye.
Putting them in with the likes of Perkins, Brian Kendrick, Rich Swann, Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander, as well as whoever else joins that already impressive roster between now and the launch of the division, entails a far less manageable than letting them coast off of the inertia from their NXT successes and shoot straight into Raw or SmackDown’s tag team or mid-card division.
Gargano and Ciampa heading to Raw’s cruiserweight division isn’t necessarily going to derail their WWE careers, but with the two finishing up their final independent dates as they gear up for their debut, they’d hope for as much opportunity as possible to have a strong showing in their early days.
The current concept of the cruiserweight division really only foresees three or four guys, at best, receiving good exposure from week to week, so the odds of seeing some consistency there with the ever-expanding list of names involved aren’t very good.
Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are well capable of making the best out of this situation and hopefully competing in some extraordinary matches on Raw, but until we receive confirmation that this was the right way to go, a lot of fans may be concerned that the two should have been kept separate from their fellow CWC competitors upon their emergence on the main roster.