For many years, WWE was the home to larger than life superheroes. Hulk Hogan was their champion for years at over 300 pounds. Andre the Giant was one of their most popular stars at over 500 pounds. Even when they went "smaller" in the '90s, it was with people like Bret "The Hitman" Hart at 235 pounds and "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels at 225 pounds. There were even fans then that felt these two men were too small to be WWE champions.
Things have changed. Wrestlers are smaller and quicker than ever. Many WWE fans weight more than a number of WWE superstars, although the lightweight stars are in better shape than many of the WWE superstars of the past. With smaller wrestlers like AJ Styles (218 pounds) and Danie Bryan (210 pounds) as champions, here is a look at the lightest wrestlers in WWE history.
10 KALISTO (170 LBS)
Kalisto came to WWE in 2013 after a successful career in Mexico and the indies. Working under a mask and the name Samuray del Sol in AAA luchador wrestling in Mexico and FIP in America, Kalisto captured the attention of WWE. He joined NXT first and changed his name to Kalisto. Then, in 2015, Kalisto joined the main roster as a tag team partner of Sin Cara.
Kalisto actually had immediate success, despite weighing only 170 pounds. He captured the United States Championship from Alberto Del Rio in 2016, lost it back two months later and then won it again 10 days after that. He even beat Ryback in a title defense at WrestleMania that year. He also won the Cruiserweight title and has worked as a part of Lucha House Party since.
9 ZACH GOWEN (169 LBS)
Zach Gowen was an interesting story. He was diagnosed with cancer as a child and lost his leg when he was eight. However, he trained for a career as a professional wrestler and actually got to work in WWE in 2003. Gowen made his debut when he ran into the ring as a fan to save Hulk Hogan from a beatdown from Roddy Piper and Sean O'Haire. When Piper pulled off his prosthetic leg, it was a surprising moment.
Gowen, at 169 pounds, then signed a contract and competed without the prosthetic, using just one leg. His most infamous moments included getting beaten up by Brock Lesnar in front of his family and losing to a heel John Cena.
8 RICH SWANN (168 LBS)
Rich Swann was an immediate star thanks to the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament and 205 Live. His story was an uplifting one, with his father murdered when he was 12 and his mother dying when he was 16. He then started hanging out with the wrong people as a teenager before cleaning up and setting out on a new career in professional wrestling.
At 168 pounds, Rich Swann danced his way to the ring and the fans bought into his hard life story and cheered him on. He won the cruiserweight title once but WWE released him after allegations of domestic abuse rose against him. He has since rebounded in Impact Wrestling.
7 T.J. PERKINS (167 LBS)
T.J. Perkins was decently successful before he made his way to WWE, working in PWG and Impact Wrestling, a former X-Division Champion at one point. His story was one that WWE fans loved throughout the Cruiserweight Classic, as he was homeless and living in his car as a teenager in order to make his wrestling dream come true.
He was a success, the first WWE Cruiserweight Champion when he won the Classic. However, after losing the title, he was lost in the shuffle. He eventually was released and is now trying to find his footing on the indie scene, but as a former WWE champion, Perkins shouldn't have a hard time finding a new home.
6 JACK GALLAGHER (167 LBS)
Jack Gallagher made his way to WWE after working in the indies for nine years. He made his WWE debut in the Cruiserweight Classic tournament and caught the attention of WWE fans thanks to his unorthodox wrestling style and his comically strange British wrestling attire and mannerisms.
He ended up losing in the second round but found a home on 205 Live when he signed a WWE deal. At 167 pounds, he worked as a babyface thanks to the fans enjoying his gimmick but soon it grew old and he had a heel turn, although he has yet to win a title in WWE.
5 LIO RUSH (160 LBS)
Lio Rush signed with WWE after proving himself in Ring of Honor. At the weight of 160 pounds, he was much smaller than other wrestlers he competed with, but he impressed thanks to his high flying skills and amazing athletic ability. He worked in ROH for two years before giving his notice and signing with WWE.
He almost lost his job before he started when he made a social media joke about Emma getting fired, but worked his way back and ended up in 205 Live. Soon, he made his Monday Night Raw debut as the mouthpiece for Bobby Lashley and has been a heel sidekick for Lashley ever since.
4 AKIRA TOZAWA (156 LBS)
Akira Tozawa worked for 12 years for Dragon Gate in Japan and was a huge success there. He held their Open the Brave Gate, Open the Twin Gate, Open the Triangle Gate, and Open the Owari Gate titles. He also impressed when he came for a tour of America and worked for Chikara, PWG and Dragon Gate USA. It caught WWE's attention and he signed to join them.
The 156-pound Japanese superstar made his debut in the Cruiserweight Classic tournament and made it to the quarterfinals. He then joined 205 Live, and despite not speaking English, became a huge fan favorite.
3 THE SINGH BROTHERS (COMBINED: 303 LBS)
Sunil and Samir Singh made their big debuts for a TNA Impact Wrestling side-promotion in India called Ring Ka King as the Bollywood Boyz. They ended up winning the tag team titles by beating none other than Scott Steiner and Abyss. They made their way to Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling and won their tag titles too.
The brothers arrived in WWE and made their debuts in the Cruiserweight Classic as singles competitors. Both were eliminated in the first round but then went on to sign with NXT as the Bollywood Boys. At an average weight of 151 pounds, they soon arrived on SmackDown Live as The Singh Brothers, accompanying Jinder Mahal to the ring and interfering in his matches.
2 SPIKE DUDLEY (150 LBS)
Spike Dudley worked in the indies in California before he signed with ECW in 1996 to become part of the large Dudley family. He teamed with his brother Bubba Ray Dudley when he showed up. He was the comic relief in the Dudley family, the runt of the family whose name was Little Spike Dudley (LSD) and whose finishing move was the Acid Drop.
Over time, the 150-pound Spike Dudley teamed with and feuded with the Dudley Boyz. His small size allowed some big moments, such as when Bam Bam Bigelow threw him into the fans, who caught him and crowd surfed him around. He also worked in WWE where he won the Cruiserweight, European and Hardcore titles, as well as the tag titles with Tazz.
1 MARK ANDREWS (147 LBS)
Outside of the classic midget wrestlers, possibly the lightest weight male WWE superstar of all-time is Mark Andrews at 147 pounds. The cruiserweight started his career in various NWA promotions in the U.K. as well as other various U.K. promotions, including Triple X Wrestling, Insane Championship Wrestling, Frontier, Preston City, and Progress Wrestling.
After a stint in TNA Impact Wrestling as Mandrews, he signed with WWE. He was part of the United Kingdom Championship tournament to crown the first ever WWE U.K. Champion and made it to the semifinals before losing to Pete Dunne. He has since wrestled on 205 Live and WWE NXT UK.