It’s been more than a year since TJ Perkins, now known to the WWE Universe as TJP, won WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic and became the revived Cruiserweight Division’s first champion since the belt was last retired. While that would normally suggest carrying the division and being one of its most visible stars one year after, that has not been the case for the veteran Filipino-American wrestler. TJP has so often been lost in the shuffle, with brief hope spots punctuating an extended stay in creative purgatory. And since he hasn’t been seen since ending his comparatively intense feud with Rich Swann, you may be wondering what’s been keeping him off TV since October.
As it turns out, it all boils down to the very simple, yet frustrating reason of WWE creative having nothing for him, according to a new report from PWInsider. That means he’s been asked to stay home in California as most of his fellow cruiserweights fly around the country, as having him join his colleagues on the road with nothing to do would be a “waste of money” on WWE’s part.
Aside from TJP, Gran Metalik is also on the sidelines for the same reason, and is not touring with the rest of WWE’s roster. But unlike TJP, who last was seen losing a best-of-three falls match against Swann on the October 10 episode of 205 Live, Metalik has at least been busier. He has appeared thrice on WWE’s Main Event in November and also appeared on 205 Live toward the end of October.
A former real-life protege of fellow CWC competitor Brian Kendrick, TJP has over 15 years of pro wrestling experience under his belt, despite being only 33-years-old. This included multiple stints and gimmicks in Impact Wrestling, including runs as masked wrestlers Suicide and Manik. After winning the CWC, Perkins feuded with his old mentor Kendrick, though he would be far removed from the Cruiserweight Championship picture for the most part since he lost the belt to Kendrick at Hell in a Cell 2016.
Obviously, this new development (or lack thereof) with TJP is not good at all, and probably a sign that he may be one of the first names to go if WWE decides to trim the fat in its Cruiserweight Division. It’s a pity that WWE never capitalized on the momentum TJP had after winning the Cruiserweight Classic. But he can at least take solace in the fact that he was the CWC’s first-ever winner, and the first face of the Cruiserweight Division since its 2016 revival.
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