Brian Kendrick defeated the Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins in a non-title match on the latest edition of Monday Night Raw. On the surface, this can be viewed as an attempt by the WWE to lazily prolong what has been an interesting feud. I beg of you, however, to dig a little deeper.
Yes, this continues the angle between the two men all while allowing the rest of the division to sort itself out. But there’s potentially a little bit more going on here.
By allowing Kendrick to go over the champion clean, it sets a precedent in the division. That, at least in theory, the division is so volatile, and each wrestler happens to be so close in abilities, that any individual man can win a match against any other during any random bout.
Something like this can’t work in another division. The main event scene, as well as the tag team and mid-card title areas, need a firm pecking order. The cruiserweights, though, can benefit greatly from not having that — especially this early in the stage of its growth.
Because the WWE is introducing so many new talents at the same time, coupled with a few former “washed” guys, this can help almost everyone get over in a rather short period of time without costing anyone their credibility. After all, if the champion can lose a random match, so too can Rich Swann or Tony Nese.
The unpredictability this adds to the division also helps.
A long running complaint within the Internet Wrestling Community is that the WWE product is too predictable. While that’s actually arguable, as the company is far better at being random now than ever, there’s no way any of us knows what the creative team has in store for any of the division’s participants — at least not now.
Even if this results in Kendrick actually taking the title away from Perkins, which would only add to the theory of designed volatility, it doesn’t mean someone like Perkins would be banished to the bottom of the division. Since he is the first champion in the history of this newly tinkered with version of the division, he carries with him a credibility that can’t be taken away.
So, that “job” he performed on Monday night, and the one he might take when the two face next, it means nothing to him as far as decreasing his appeal, but can mean everything in helping set the tone for the division — even if that has to deal with more of the behind the scenes stuff.
Perkins lost a month into his WWE career… as the champion. Let that wash over you like a cold shower for a second. I’ll wait.
Because of that, and assuming Perkins did so with a smile on his face, it sets the tone for the other cruiserweight wrestlers. That, in no uncertain terms, everyone in the division is going to lose at some point, and it might even be often, but it is most certainly OK when it happens.
Admittedly, I can be entirely wrong about this. The Kendrick-Perkins feud has been really awesome — to the point of it lowkey being the best thing going on in the entire WWE — so the WWE could simply be trying to extend this feud to the point of milking every last drop of worth out of it.
But I’d also like to give the company the benefit of the doubt here. That it has a plan in place for the entire division and its wrestlers.
Despite anarchy rarely being the greatest idea to implement while trying to build a steady foundation for anything new, it is this author’s belief that it would work perfectly during this infancy time-frame of the division.