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Top 15 Former WWE Cruiserweights: Where Are They Now?

When Stephanie McMahon announced that the cruiserweight division would return to Monday Night Raw, one couldn’t help but remember the amazing moments the division gave us in the old times. The cruiser

When Stephanie McMahon announced that the cruiserweight division would return to Monday Night Raw, one couldn’t help but remember the amazing moments the division gave us in the old times. The cruiserweight division took flight in the mid-90s when the WWE introduced the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship and WCW introduced their own Cruiserweight title, as these got merged when WCW was bought by WWE and named into the WWE Cruiserweight Title. The best of athletes have competed in this division, which never disappoints on the entertainment front as these less weighted, more agile superstars seem to have given for some memorable matches in the past.

The cruiserweight division of the WWE gave birth to some of the most technical, exciting matches in it and was a pillar for the product becoming so popular, because the crazy moves of the light weighted competitors were exciting enough to reap even the most casual of wrestling fans. These super-talented, agile competitors proved that they can compete in terms of technical supremacy with the top level superstars as they continuously gave us some very impressive matches which were full of high-flying maneuvers as well as strong, hard-hitting action on the front. Who can forget matches like Rey Mysterio vs Tajiri or Tajiri vs Billy Kidman which set up the division extremely well and these superstars ushered a new, more exciting form of wrestling in the company after the original brand split.

The WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament has ushered a new form of high-flying, technical wrestling in the company as many of the competitors in the tournament might be soon seen as part of the cruiserweight division on Monday Night Raw. But we must not forget the pioneers of the company’s original cruiserweight division, as the WWE took the talent from WCW to create their own exciting division of cruiserweights who put on exciting matches week in, week out to entertain the fans as well as elevating the “wrestling material” of the company.

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30 SPIKE DUDLEY (THEN)

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Popularly known to be the “baby” brother of the Dudley Boyz, Spike Dudley was the 3rd in Team 3D. Sticking with them since their ECW days where he got the nickname of “Giant Killer” for upsetting wrestlers way bigger than him. Spike moved to the WWE in 2001 where he instantly reunited with brothers Bubba and D-Von, as he went on to help them win the WWE Tag Team Championship. His feuds and alliances with his brothers would take the center stage in his early WWE career, but after he was drafted to Smackdown in 2004, he became an important part of their budding cruiserweight division. Spike went on to win the WWE Cruiserweight Title after coming to Smackdown and wrestled as a heel. He had an impressive wrestling ability for his size, and put on some very good matches during his title run to build the foundation of the division. Spike would hold the Cruiserweight Title for over 100 days, before dropping it to Funaki. His last appearance would be in the “ECW: One Night Stand” PPV of 2005 where he’d come home to the land of extreme, before being released by the company.

29 SPIKE DUDLEY (NOW)

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Spike went to the independent circuit afterwards, where he went on to wrestle at Shane Douglas’ Hardcore Homecoming promotion and competed regularly for many other indy promotions. He debuted for TNA in 2006 where he would yet again reunite with Brother Bubba and Brother Devon and be named “Brother Runt”. Spike would go on to compete against guys way bigger than him for TNA, but couldn’t really win matches which really mattered. He broke off with his Brothers in 2007 and was soon released by TNA. He would go on to make sporadic appearances for the company in the latter years, most of them being Team 3D reunions. Spike returned to the indy circuit for a while after being released by TNA, also winning the BTW (Massachusetts) Heavyweight Title at one point. As off 2012, Spike has been working as a financial planner for MassMutual, but still makes appearances at wrestling shows.

28 FUNAKI (THEN)

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Funaki was an entertaining competitor during his time in the cruiserweight division, as he not only put in some impressive matches but also kept the crowd going with his hilarious antics. Debuting in the Kai En Tai stable in the WWE, Funaki would show signs of his comical character with Taka Michinoku. Funaki would go to the lower card of the WWE before the brand split drafted him to Smackdown, and his amusing character and weight made him perfect for the WWE’s cruiserweight division. He relished this opportunity and became a prominent part of the division, soon going on to win the Cruiserweight Championship in 2004. Funaki would soon transition into a mainstay in the cruiserweight division and competed for the championship many more times but failed to regain the title. But after the title was discarded along with the division, he again fell down the order to compete in B-Shows and eventually released, after a 12 year old stint at the company.

27 FUNAKI (NOW)

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Funaki was announced to be signed by Pro Wrestling Zero1 after being released by the WWE, where he teamed with his former student Ikuto Hidaka. Funaki also started to host his own professional wrestling school, named the Funaki Dojo in 2010. The school’s first class started on January 15th, 2011. Funaki also went on to wrestle an event for TNA at their “TNA One Night Only: World Cup of Wrestling” event. Meanwhile, he was also called back by the WWE in 2011 and cameoed as a referee in their house shows in Japan in 2011 and 2013. Meanwhile his school turned into a training facility in 2012, having the same name. Funaki was seen as a translator for Hideo Itami’s first WWE interview. He is now signed on with WWE and provides Japanese commentary for the WWE Pay-Per-Views, and is also seen appearing in the Edge & Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness.

26 PAUL LONDON (THEN)

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Before his infamous tag team reign with Brian Kendrick happened, Paul London was drafted to Smackdown where he found a place in the cruiserweight division. After a short alliance with Billy Kidman, he feuded with Kidman (who turned heel) as both elevated the status of the cruiserweight division with a very intensive feud. He would then wrestle as a cruiserweight in Smackdown’s B-Show Velocity before going on to win the WWE Cruiserweight Title in a battle royal on Smackdown! London would keep hold of the title for a few months while he feuded with The Mexicools on the side, before he dropped the title and started tagging with Brian Kendrick. And the rest they say, is history. London’s historic tag team title reign with Kendrick showed that cruiserweights could easily rule a division in the company, as his up rise also gave confidence to other cruiserweights on overcoming bigger obstacles.

25 PAUL LONDON (NOW)

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After being released by the WWE in 2009, London went back to the independent circuit and soon got signed up by Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG). He worked many main event tag team matches in the promotion, before reuniting with Brian Kendrick in the company as the two of them turned back the clock to show their sizzling chemistry. He would then go on to tag with El Generico (Sami Zayn) as the both would go on to win the PWG World Tag Team Championship. They held the championship before London’s injury, during which his replacement Ricochet and Generico lost the titles. London would then go on to wrestle and put over many rising independent superstars, and continues to wrestle in the independent circuit as WWE could call him back as they need some experience in the cruiserweight division, as he’s someone who can guide the division into success.

24 JUVENTUD GUERRERA (THEN)

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Juventud Guerrera was an important talent in WCW’s cruiserweight division as the Mexican put on some amazing matches in the excellent cruiserweight division of WCW. So when WWE needed some fire-power for their own cruiserweight division, they called upon Juventud and signed him up. He created a tag team named The Mexicools with fellow Hispanic superstars Psicosis and Super Crazy, during which he also focused on the cruiserweight title. His lucha libre style was a breath of fresh air in the division, and in spite of being a heel, Guerrera put on some very entertaining matches. Guerrera went on to win the Cruiserweight Championship twice in 2005 and worked as a really good heel during that. But he was released in 2006 because of backstage issues and not complying with WWE’s rules in his matches.

23 JUVENTUD GUERRERA (NOW)

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After leaving the WWE, Juventud went back to the Mexican promotion AAA and would create a stable named the Mexican Powers. Guerrera continued to wrestle for AAA before leaving to compete in the Mexican independent scene for a couple of years, before he returned to the promotion in 2012. This time he returned in full flow and wrestled a lot of more matches than his last stint, competing for the AAA World Tag Team Championship and also winning the AAA Cruiserweight Championship later on. He reformed the Mexican Powers stable later on as well as forming another stable Anarquia. Juventud was seemingly written out of AAA after Daga took control of Anarquia. In a recent interview with WWE.com, Juventud mentioned on how he has been working on his musical career nowadays. Guerrera has been producing several hip-hop songs and music videos, and also works as a DJ for several clubs. He is also working on a television show called TV Show La Arena as it’s host, as he’s now transitioning into the entertainment business, but loves to entertain fans in the squared circle as well.

22 ULTIMO DRAGON (THEN)

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Although Ultimo Dragon didn’t have as much as a glittering career in WWE as he’d want, he was still a very good asset for the company in the two years in which he was there. The experienced Japanese would join the WWE with much anticipation and hype from the fans, and won over the American audience with his impeccable ability in the ring and variety of maneuvers created by himself. Though he never challenged for the Cruiserweight Title in his WWE career, he was billed as one and wrestled against other cruiserweights like Eddie Guerrero, Tajiri and Jamie Noble. Dragon wrestled in the Cruiserweight Open at WrestleMania XX, achieving his dream of wrestling at the grandest stage of them and soon left the WWE, opting to go back to his country of Japan. But in his short time, he had given the WWE audience a showcase of his impeccable talent which must’ve been a strong influence on the younger cruiserweights too.

21 ULTIMO DRAGON (NOW)

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Dragon returned to Japan quickly after wanting his release from the WWE, and quickly joined a New Japan Pro Wrestling tour. He then went on to wrestle for a lot of independent promotions, like Dragondoor which was ran by his students. In 2006, Dragon began promoting the annual “Toryumon Mexico: Dragon Mania” wrestling. He also wrestled at UWA Hardcore Wrestling based outside of Toronto, Canada. He has worked for promotions like Michinoku Pro, Pro Wrestling KAGEKI and also for Spanish promotion Nu Wrestling Evolution. Since 2013, he has been working as a freelancer and won the All Japan Pro Wrestling World Junior Heavyweight Championship. Dragon also won the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Yoshinobu Kanemaru last year. Since vacating the title, he has been working fewer dates in Japan, but is still extremely agile and hardworking, as WWE could call to him if they need someone to guide their young cruiserweights in the future.

20 CHAVO GUERRERO (THEN)

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Chavo Guerrero had the awful luck of being in his Uncle Eddie shadow’s when he joined the WWE in 2001 and created the entertaining Los Guerreros with Eddie. Eddie went on to greater things, winning the WWE Championship and becoming one of the top guys of the company, while Chavo was kept in the cruiserweight division. But he took the opportunity by the scruff of the neck and soon went on to win the Cruiserweight Championship from Rey Mysterio, with his father Chavo Classic at his side. Chavo would go on to win the title another time in 2005 after recovering from an injury, for a short time before he dropped the title to Paul London and was later drafted to RAW. Chavo really helped the cruiserweight division gain some attention with his heel-ish antics which caught a lot of heat from the crowd and put the baby-faces, as his impeccable ability in the ring which was extremely versatility made him into a valuable star for the division.

19 CHAVO GUERRERO (NOW)

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After his Uncle Eddie’s horrific untimely death, Chavo would go on to have a short rise to stardom with his feuds with Rey Mysterio turning him into one of the main heels of the company for a while. But Chavo never got the top-level push, later being drafted to the ECW brand, where he did win the ECW Championship but failed to capture much attention. After a final few years in the company where he was in the lower-mid card, he was released in 2011 at his own request. Since then, he has been wrestling for many independent promotions before he joined TNA in 2012 for a short time. He tagged with Hernandez during his stint at the company, as they won the TNA Tag Titles twice. Chavo would also be able to collect a briefcase in TNA “Feast or Fired” match, but it would turn out to be a pink slip which would mean he’d be fired. He returned to the indy circuit, before signing on with Lucha Underground in 2014 where he has been working since. Guerrero became the first Lucha Underground Champion, losing it after sometime. He also won the Gift of the Gods Championship this year, but lost it a week later. He has been working on LU’s production too, also helping creative at times. Guerrero was part of a mass class-action lawsuit against the WWE by its former employees, where the wrestlers have been demanding money for the brain injuries and trauma they suffered in their tenure at the company, as his chances of returning to the company seem slim right now.

18 TAKA MICHINOKU (THEN)

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Taka Michinoku is one of the most innovative cruiserweights in the history of wrestling, creating the “Michinoku Driver” and was the first Light Heavyweight Champion for the WWE, way before the title was merged with WCW Cruiserweight title. Michinoku defeated Brian Christopher at D-Generation X: In Your House in 1997 to win the Light Heavyweight Championship tournament. Taka defended the title for almost 10 months before losing it to Christian. Michinoku then joined the Kai En Tai stable after feuding it for some time, and during his heel persona faced off against other cruiserweights in brilliant matches. Taka saw a fall from grace after the stable was disbanded, as he tagged with Funaki as Kaientai, being lowered to being a comical jobber. They tried to capture the WWE tag titles at various times, but failed every time as Michinoku departed from the company in 2002 and returned to Japan to rehabilitate a serious shoulder injury as Michinoku is pretty underappreciated considering how he introduced the cruiserweight division to the WWE perfectly with his reign.

17 TAKA MICHINOKU (NOW)

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After recovering from his injury, Michinoku debuted the Kaentai Dojo as his new promotion and started to himself work many matches for the promotion in order to make it popular in Japan. In the side, he also debuted for renowned Japanese Promotion All Japan Pro Wrestling where he would quickly join a stable Roughly Obsess and Destroy. Michinoku would tag with D’Lo Brown for the World’s Strongest Tag Determination League 2003 but couldn’t make it very far. Michinoku would later go on to win the Strongest-K Championship and World Junior Heavyweight Championship for the promotion and be one of their top guys for a while. Michinoku would also debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2007 for a short stint, before returning in 2010. He would become one of their veteran wrestlers who often put over young, budding talent as he went on to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles. Michinoku continues to wrestle around Japan nowadays, managing his promotion of Kaentai Dojo and using his infamous name to reap more to his product.

16 MATT HARDY (THEN)

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Matt Hardy would burst into the wrestling scene with brother Jeff as part of The Hardy Boyz who became one of the main pillars of WWE’s exciting tag team division of the Attitude era. After disbanding the team with Jeff, he went his own way towards the end of 2002 as he created a new gimmick “Matt Hardy: Version 1” where he would show some “Mattfacts” during his entrance. He’d become a prominent member of the cruiserweight division, as with Shannon Moore at his side he managed to reduce his weight to compete in the division and soon won the Cruiserweight Title from Billy Kidman. He would also defend the title against Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania XIX as The Mattitude Faction was starting to expand as they introduced Crash Holly as Moore’s “Moore-on” (follower). He later disbanded the group and also went on to lose the title, before controversy struck him and he moved on from the cruiserweight, but had given the division an entertaining face-lift with his Mattitude faction which was really fun.

15 MATT HARDY (NOW)

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As he moved on from the cruiserweight division, Matt would go on to have some very good feuds, especially the one with Edge which would escalate him to stardom. He would also later become ECW Champion and have an intense rivalry with brother Jeff, before he was released in 2010. He joined TNA in 2011 and wrestled in the promotion for some months, before leaving and going back to the independent scene. He would join Ring of Honor in 2012 and become a part of the “S.C.U.M” stable which had Kevin Owens as it’s leader. He would later feud with Owens as well as other ROH stars like Adam Page and The Briscoe Brothers. Matt would opt to rejoin TNA in 2014 and reunite with Jeff to reform The Hardys. They won a TNA Tag Team Championship Tournament and later on went on to win the Tag Titles, before they had to vacate it. Matt spent 2015 at the top of TNA, going on to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and winning it again in 2016, before he started his infamous feud with Jeff. As “Broken Matt Hardy”, he created one of the most bizarre feuds which ended with Matt “deleting” Jeff from the Hardy name, as Matt is now one of the most talked about things in wrestling.

14 TAJIRI (THEN)

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After having a successful ECW run, Tajiri was signed up by the WWE after ECW folded up and debuted as part of The Alliance and would soon go on to win the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship. He would soon lose it to X-Pac in a unification match, after which he along with his valet Torrie Wilson were drafted to the Smackdown! brand. In this brand, he’d soon win the new WWE Cruiserweight title from Billy Kidman after losing it to Kidman 19 days earlier. Tajiri would again lose the title to The Hurricane a few weeks later, and left the cruiserweight title scene to tag with Eddie Guerrero to win the WWE Tag Titles. But he’d soon return to the cruiserweight scene, as he spat green mist (a trademark for him) on Rey Mysterio, turning him heel. He’d win the Cruiserweight Championship for a 3rd time and would hold it for around three months before losing it back to Mysterio. Tajiri would keep this heel persona for some time and spray mist into the face of opponents to win matches. He’d fall from grace towards the end of 2004, as the draft to RAW didn’t go that well for him and he stated that he wanted to leave the company in 2005 to become a journalist and spend more time with his family, getting a standing ovation in his farewell match indicating how important he was for the cruiserweight division.

13 TAJIRI (NOW)

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Tajiri would indeed return to Japan but wouldn’t find a career in journalism, forcing him to return to the field of wrestling. He started wrestling for Japanese promotion Hustle as well as going on to wrestling for All Japan Pro Wrestling, and later with New Japan Pro Wrestling. During his time at these promotions, he would have some great matches with the best of wrestlers in Japan including Minoru Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi and even Prince Devitt (Finn Balor). He also wrestled for a low-key promotion like Wrestling New Classic for two years before it folded up. Tajiri would return to America to debut for TNA in 2014, where he defeated Robbie E in his debut. He had a very short stint in the company, after which he went on to wrestle for the Wrestle-1 promotion. His time at this promotion would be quite successful, as he went on to win the EWP Intercontinental Championship. Tajiri was announced to be a part of WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament, where he went on to defeat Damien Slater in the first round. There have been reports that Tajiri has been approached by the WWE to be part of their cruiserweight division, and his expertize is what needed to elevate it to another level.

12 GREGORY HELMS (THEN)

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Gregory Helms has been known by many names in his career, from Shane Helms to “Hollywood” Helms to the most popular in “The Hurricane”, a comical character who dressed like a superhero. The Hurricane actually gave him a lot of popularity as he went on to win the WWE European Championship and Hardcore Championship soon. But soon he was put in comical story-lines and angles, as he soon started tagging with Rosey as his sidekick as they won the World Tag Titles. They started a losing streak, and Helms disbanded his team-mate and his Hurricane gimmick was over. Helms returned at the 2006 Royal Rumble with his new gimmick, and won the Cruiserweight Championship. As a result, he returned to the Smackdown! brand and was the top cruiserweight in the division, who brought some real legitimacy to it with his heel persona and excellent ability in the ring. He would continue to win against any opponent presented against him and became quite a hot-shot in the Smackdown! brand. Helms would only lose his Cruiserweight Title in an Open Invitational, after which he was down with a horrible injury. He would then return in a non-wrestling role where he would provide for some short video promos called “Hurrapops” before returning as “The Hurricane for while” after which he was released.

11 GREGORY HELMS (NOW)

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After being released by the WWE, Helms started wrestling in the independent circuit, including Canada’s Wresting’s Elite as Hurricane Helms. Helms also went on to wrestle for Jersey All Pro Wrestling and Lucha Libre USA. In 2011, Helms would also make some appearances for Pro Wrestling Guerrila and later would also go on to work for Carolina Wrestling Federation. On the personal side, Helms is very good friends with The Hardys and often appeared in their web series. In 2011, Helms was also a part of a horrific motorbike accident where he suffered a broken leg, ankle, jaw and nose and had to get over 200 stitches. Last year, Helms joined TNA as an agent as he’s responsible for the production process. On February 2nd, 2016 Helms assisted Trevor Lee in defeating Tiger Uno for the X-Division Championship to turn heel and continues to work as an on-screen manager for the promotion, as well as looking into the production stuff for the failing promotion.

10 JAMIE NOBLE (THEN)

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Jamie Noble would turn out to be an excellent acquisition for the WWE who at first must’ve had very low expectations of him. Noble debuted in the Smackdown! brand where he was joined by Nidia as his on-screen girlfriend. Noble soon went on to win the Cruiserweight Championship and started to feud with other prominent cruiserweights like Tajiri and Billy Kidman. Noble held the title for 147 days, before dropping it to Kidman and then went on to have a short face turn. He again turned heel using Nidia as his human shield, and feuded with Rey Mysterio for the Cruiserweight championship. He lost the match and the relationship between him and Nidia started to get worse, culminating in a Boyfriend vs Girlfriend blindfold match at No Way Out which Noble won after taking the blindfold off to see where Nidia was. Noble then left the WWE when a steroid usage was discovered following a staph infection, as he went on to return to the independent scene.

9 JAMIE NOBLE (NOW)

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Noble would be hot property as a free agent, as he went on to have a short stint at New Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2005, he went on to work for Ring of Honor where he became ROH World Champion which he held for almost six months before dropping it to Bryan Danielson. He soon went on to rejoin the WWE after that, creating a short-lived tag team with Kid Kash. He would then go after the Cruiserweight title once again, but fail to recapture it. He would then feud with Hornswoggle who pinned him in the Cruiserweight Open, and would continue to lose to the leprechaun. Noble would then get into weird story-lines and work in the lower-mid card till 2009 when he had to take semi-retirement because of nagging injuries. Noble then became a producer for the WWE, making sporadic appearances in house shows. He then returned to WWE TV as part of J&J security with Joey Mercury to help Seth Rollins win matches. He was kayfabe injured by Brock Lesnar and didn’t return to WWE TV after that. Noble continues to be an influential figure in the backstage.

8 BILLY KIDMAN (THEN)

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Billy Kidman was one of the most exciting prospects in the WCW days, so when WWE signed him up with the acquisition of WCW, many were hoping that he becomes one of the stars of the company. Kidman debuted as a tweener during the Invasion angle. Kidman won the Cruiserweight Championship from Gregory Helms in his first Smackdown match. He would then go out of action due to a slight injury, but returned to win the Cruiserweight Championship once again from X-Pac. When he was drafted to Smackdown, Kidman defeated Tajiri to win the Cruiserweight Championship for an unprecedented third time in the WWE. Kidman would become one of the top guys of the cruiserweight division, before tagging with Paul London to win the WWE Tag Titles. He later turned heel to have an intense feud with London, which Kidman won. Kidman later again feuded with London over the latter’s Cruiserweight title, but couldn’t recapture his coveted gold. Kidman was released in 2005 after having a dispute with management.

7 BILLY KIDMAN (NOW)

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Following his departure from the WWE, Kidman began touring in the United Kidman. He competed for independent promotions like Frontier Wrestling Alliance and Real Quality Wrestling during that time. Kidman then started to wrestle for International Wrestling Association as well as working for other independent promotions on the side. He won the NWA World Tag Titles with X-Pac which was previously vacated by Team 3D. Kidman joined WWE’s developmental Florida Championship Wrestling to help train their talent, and wrestled his last match in 2008. Kidman was rehired by the WWE in 2010 as a producer/road agent. Though rarely appearing on WWE TV, Kidman was seen on an episode of Monday Night Raw in 2012 breaking up a brawl between Brock Lesnar and John Cena. He was also Paul Heyman’s doctor on WWE’s European Tour in 2013, as “Dr Weisenburg”. A book detailing Kidman’s career called Billy Kidman: The Shooting Star was released in 2014, and he appeared in the JBL show in 2014. With his expertise in training and developing talent, WWE could call Kidman to come train the cruiserweights as he’ll excel to work with the talented athletes.

6 DEAN MALENKO (THEN)

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“The Iceman” Dean Malenko is regarded by many to be one of the most technically sound wrestlers of all time, as he was known as “The Man of 1,000 Holds” because of his amazing ability inside the squared circle. So after an extremely successful career in the WCW, Malenko came to the WWE along with fellow wrestlers in Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Chris Benoit. He soon went on to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship from Essios Rios. He lost the title to Scotty 2 Hotty but quickly regained it back for his 2nd Light Heavyweight Championship reign. He would dominate the cruiserweight division for almost a year, as he defeated all the talented cruiserweights who came to defeat him and one could say that his amazing title reign was a factor into convincing the WWE to create a cruiserweight division later on. His 322 days title reign was ended by Crash Holly and would fall down the pecking order with the Invasion angle.

5 DEAN MALENKO (NOW)

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Malenko would leave the WWE in 2001 and would go on to have his last matches later that year for some promotion before going on to retire from in-ring competition soon. He was closely tied to the WWE though, as he returned to WWE TV in 2005 during a segment of the WWE Homecoming Edition. He appeared on the November 14th, 2005 edition of RAW to mourn the death of his good friend Eddie Guerrero, and also appeared on the Chris Benoit’s Memorial Episode of RAW talking about the life of Benoit. Malenko would soon be signed by the WWE as a road agent and has been working as such for many years. Malenko also appeared in 2008 as part of “The Four Horsemen” to a farewell tribute to Ric Flair. Dean suffered a heart attack in 2010, but was soon back to work. In November 2013, he was again taken to hospital and later sent home from WWE’s European Tour after suffering chest pains. Malenko was also inducted into the 2300 Arena Hardcore Hall of Fame in 2015. Malenko might not be able to wrestle anymore, but WWE could easily use him to train the cruiserweights and undersee the division’s development, as “The Iceman” is the best asset you can have to promote such a division.

4 X-PAC (THEN)

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X-Pac would become a star in the WWE only after his successful time at the WCW, as he signed on with WCW’s rival during the Monday Night Wars to become a part of D-Generation X. X-Pac would soon become one of the most entertaining superstars in the WWE, with the promotion letting him run wild with his character and entertain the fans. Being a cruiserweight, X-Pac was soon drafted into the cruiserweight picture after departing from DX and won his first Light Heavyweight Championship in 2001. He was the last Light Heavyweight Championship in the WWE as he held both the Light Heavyweight Championship and The WCW Cruiserweight Championship at a point, but an injury meant he had vacate the WCW Cruiserweight one (which became the WWE Cruiserweight Champion) and the other belt was dropped by the company. He returned as a member of the NWO but his stint in the stable was short-lived, as he was fired shortly afterwards.

3 X-PAC (NOW)

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X-Pac quickly found work in TNA Wrestling where he rejoined his former tag partners in Road Dogga and Scott Hall. X-Pac would also win the X-Division Championship for TNA before dropping it shortly. He left TNA for a short time before returning and went on to wrestle quite a lot of matches to elevate the status of the promotion. He would then go on to wrestle for promotions like Wrestling Society X, National Wrestling Alliance and AAA in the next couple of years, before again returning to TNA for a year. X-Pac was inducted into the Legends Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011. He would later go on to work for Chikara in 2011, and wrestled for them mostly teaming with someone. X-Pac then returned to the WWE in 2011, appearing in the 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony and later worked as a scout and evaluator for their FCW program. He would continue to make sporadic appearances before signing a WWE Legends contract in 2013 after which he has made more appearances, the most recent being at NXT Takeover: Dallas. He also hosts a weekly podcast with friend Johnny Fairplay regarding uncensored life topics and wrestling topics as well. X-Pac’s troubled personal life which is filled with drug-abuses makes him a man the WWE don’t want to trust as a trainer, or else he could’ve easily been one for the cruiserweight division as he has all the skills needed to make for an entertaining product in the division.

2 REY MYSTERIO (THEN)

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Rey Mysterio was one of the most exciting signings from WCW by the WWE, as the amazing luchador would soon become one of the most exciting underdogs in the history of the company. Before Mysterio was a main-eventer and went on to win the top prizes in the WWE, he would become the face of the cruiserweight division and was built for the division. The small wrestler with the tenacity of a bull, Mysterio soon wooed audiences by joining the cruiserweight division of Smackdown! and winning the Cruiserweight Championship from Matt Hardy. Mysterio would continue to go back and forth with the title, challenging and defending against all the prominent cruiserweights and wowing audiences with his incredible athleticism and high-flying ability. Mysterio would win the title 3 times in the space of a year and would keep the eyes glued on the cruiserweight division, elevating to another level altogether. Due to his impressive work, he went on to have an intense feud with Eddie Guerrero and would go on to become World Champion after Eddie’s death, after which he’d become one of the top stars of the company for many years and would go on to win the Intercontinental Title and WWE title as well.

1 REY MYSTERIO (NOW)

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Mysterio would leave the WWE in 2015 after almost 13 years at the company, as his popularity was deterring which meant WWE didn’t regard him as a top guy anymore. Mysterio returned to Mexico after leaving the WWE as he would sign with AAA for the first time since 1995. Mysterio was the top superstar for the promotion and had a feud with Los Perros del Mal’s leader El Hijo del Perro Aguayo. During the match, Aguayo would suffer a freak accident while setting up for the 619, and would be later revealed to have died. But Mysterio somehow kept his calm and continued to wrestle for the promotion, also working for the promotion’s biggest pay-per-view in “Triplemania XXIII”. Mysterio has also wrestled against talented stars like The Amazing Red, Richochet, PJ Black and AJ Styles after leaving WWE as well as former WWE superstar Kurt Angle. Mysterio signed a deal to be a part of the exciting Lucha Underground last year and has appeared on the second season of the show. Mysterio won the Lucha Underground Trios Championship with Dragon Azteca Jr. and Prince Puma and has been one of the defining pillars of the promotion ever since joining. There have been many rumors floating around about Mysterio returning to the company, and with the cruiserweight division looming around the corner, we could see the master of the 619 return to become the face of that division and yet again elevate it to a top-level status.

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