For decades, American professional wrestling was considered to only be an industry for giants and super heavyweights. WWE historically has never really favored cruiserweight or junior heavyweight-style wrestling, opting instead to focus on iconic big man showdowns as the main attractions, rather than the high-risk, visually enthralling action of the former.
It wasn’t until the dominance of the junior heavyweight division in Japan, WCW’s risk-taking Cruiserweights, and a surplus of smaller main eventers (including Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels) getting over that saw the wrestling industry shift slightly. Many top wrestlers over the last fifteen years fall roughly around the 220 lbs mark, and some have gone on to win top world championships, a notion unheard of generations ago.
The debate rages on over whether weight divisions in wrestling should be more or less enforced; however, one thing remains the same, wrestlers are, nowadays, a lot smaller by average. The matches are more athletically focused and it’s rare we see the same standard of main event wrestlers akin to Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage anymore. Right now, WWE has more “average human-sized” wrestlers than ever before. Here are 10 of the lightest.
10 Lucha House Party – 170 lbs each
The trio of luchadors aptly named the Lucha House Party, are all billed at the same weight. Yes, that’s right. Gran Metalik, Lince Dorado, and Kalisto are billed at 170 lbs; in the interest of fairness, it seems right that all three of the stable's members get equal attention.
Kalisto is a former WWE Cruiserweight and United States Champion, who famously made waves in NXT as one half of the Lucha Dragons with Sin Cara, winning the NXT Tag Team Titles. Lince Dorado had a great run on the independent scene and was introduced to WWE fans in their inaugural Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016.
Gran Metalik, formerly known as Máscara Dorada is a multi-time champion in CMLL and was the eventual runner up in the previously mentioned WWE tournament. Together, the Lucha House Party are a supremely talented and decorated triad, although they have recently spent their time putting over Lars Sullivan. Here’s hoping the latter half of 2019 is kinder to them.
9 Gentleman Jack Gallagher – 167 lbs
To the untrained eye, a 167-pounder from Manchester with a twiddly mustache might look like a bit of a pushover in the wrestling ring. Well, Jack Gallagher might be small in stature, but he has the physical attributes, technical prowess, and legitimate toughness to quash those theories. He was trained in the famous Snake Pit, owned by British legend Billy Robinson, who was notorious for training MMA fighters in catch wrestling. You can tell the influence by watching Gallagher in the squared circle.
Spending years on the British independent scene, Gallagher made his WWE debut in the aforementioned Cruiserweight Classic and made it to the second round, where he used his technical wizardry and chain wrestling skills to create some very entertaining spots. He also made a short appearance in the 2017 Royal Rumble match before being eliminated by Mark Henry. Recently, Gallagher has formed some kind of alliance with current Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak and made occasional appearances on NXT UK as a babyface.
8 Ligero – 160 lbs
Another British independent wrestling sensation makes this list. Ligero, formerly known as El Ligero, from Leeds (not Mexico as they may try to make you believe), is already a 17-year veteran in the business. Having made waves in PROGRESS, Pro Wrestling NOAH, Attack! Pro and Preston City Wrestling, Ligero made his WWE debut in the second United Kingdom Championship tournament. He would only get as far as the first round but was able to secure an NXT UK contract.
At only 160 lbs, Ligero is one of the smaller men on the roster. The wrestler looks somewhat outmatched when facing people like Kassius Ohno and the Coffey Brothers, but that doesn’t change the fact that he remains one of the more well-rounded cruiserweights. He hasn’t been featured in a prominent story as of yet; however, if his matches continue to be as good as they have been, it should only be a matter of time.
7 Lio Rush – 160 lbs
One has to wonder whether Lio Rush is even a WWE wrestler at this point, with recent murmurings suggesting he has fallen out of favor with management, while his Twitter bio poses more questions than answers. Rush had previously made waves in Ring of Honor and Combat Zone Wrestling, even winning the latter’s World Championship at the age of 22. NXT eventually came calling, and within a matter of weeks, Rush had joked on Twitter about Tenille “Emma” Dashwood’s release, which attracted condemnations by fellow wrestlers. After a main roster call up as Bobby Lashley’s manager, recent supposed backstage heat has not helped the young man’s case.
However, Rush is a capable wrestler and has the athletic credentials and abilities to be a very good all-around player. At such a young age, time is very much on his side. Weighing 160 lbs and in very good physical shape, Rush could be quite a prospect if he was to tweak his attitude. It just remains to be seen if WWE are willing to give him the chance.
6 (The) Brian Kendrick – 157 lbs
A veteran of the industry and someone who has done more than most could ever hope to do, Brian Kendrick clocks in at a very surprising 157 lbs. Considering his various stints in WWE over the years, it seems strange to look at that number as his weight now. Nevertheless, it doesn’t take away from his accolades, skills, and career-defining moments.
Kendrick was trained by Shawn Michaels at his Texas Wrestling Academy before making his wrestling debut against Daniel Bryan, who has spoken very highly of him over the years. Kendrick spent the next few years bouncing between WWE, Impact, ROH, NJPW, and Dragon Gate - famously winning the TNA X Division Championship, enjoying a record-breaking WWE Tag Team Title reign with Paul London, and competing in NJPW’s Best of The Super Juniors tournament in 2012 and 2013.
Kendrick was re-hired by WWE in 2014 and began working as a trainer in the WWE Performance Center. He appears on 205 Live now, but it doesn’t look like he is getting close to winning the Cruiserweight Championship anytime soon. Hats off to Kendrick for everything he has done though.
5 Flash Morgan Webster – 156 lbs
For those of you who don’t know, “The MODfather” Flash Morgan Webster is a 29-year-old prodigy from Wales. After making a name for himself in PROGRESS, Revolution Pro Wrestling, and Attack! Pro Wrestling in the UK; WWE announced him as one of the sixteen men in the second United Kingdom Championship Tournament. After defeating Jordan Devlin in the quarterfinals, he fell to eventual winner Zack Gibson at the Royal Albert Hall in the semis.
Webster is a staple of NXT UK and regularly teams up with fellow Welshman Mark Andrews. Webster’s small stature is not a detriment to his high-flying-meets-European-strong wrestling style, and his gimmick is one of a kind. It’s only a matter of time before we see a championship around this man’s waist.
4 Akira Tozawa – 156 lbs
Believe it or not, Akira Tozawa was once a big-time player. He spent the early part of his career in Dragon Gate, winning several championships there before embarking on a USA excursion for a year. Seriously, learning of Tozawa’s past partners and opponents reads like a whos-who of currently popular wrestlers, and the matches are worth a revisit.
After appearing at the Cruiserweight Classic tournament, Tozawa made it to the quarterfinals before being ousted by Gran Metalik. Nonetheless, Tozawa was quickly hired by WWE for 205 Live. Around this time, Tozawa won the Cruiserweight Championship and, for a brief period of time, was a member of Titus Worldwide. Hey, if you’re adamant that winning multiple Dragon Gate championships parallels being managed by Titus O’Neil, then good for you.
3 The Singh Brothers – 151.5 lbs each
Statistically speaking, as the combined weight of the Singh Brothers (FKA Bollywood Boyz) at 303 lbs, it is safe to assume they individually weigh-in at approximately 151 lbs. Anyway, if we look at the position the brothers are in now, they are the perfect cannon fodder for former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (I can’t believe that still even happened). Can we all just take a moment to remember the times they were annihilated by Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar?
It might be difficult to look at the Singh Brothers as anything other than comedy wrestlers and jobbers, but they once held Ring Ka King and GFW Tag Team Championships. They also competed as singles competitors in the Cruiserweight Classic. It just goes to show that not everything is as one-dimensional in wrestling as it sometimes appears.
2 Mark Andrews – 147 lbs
Arguably one of the lightest male wrestlers on the planet, Mark Andrews stands 5 feet 8 inches and weighs 147 lbs. That’s 67 kilograms! To put it into perspective, Bray Wyatt weighs approximately double what the young Welshman does. Take nothing away from Andrews, though. The man is a former PROGRESS World Champion and has already been on TNA television briefly as Mandrews. Great name, by the way.
Andrews was announced as a part of the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament in 2017, losing to his long-time friend and rival Pete Dunne in the semi-finals. He is one of the “founding five” of the WWE UK division, and although he hasn’t won the title yet, it’s only a matter of time. NXT UK is doing very well, and Andrews remains a large talking point of the division. Who needs to be a super heavyweight anymore anyway?
1 Drake Maverick - 126 lbs
No, that number is not being made up. 126 lbs. 57 kilos. 9 stone. That weight belongs to the current WWE 24/7 Champion, Drake “Rockstar Spud” Maverick. Maverick is best known for his time in Impact Wrestling and has previously wrestled for the likes of International Pro Wrestling: UK and Frontier Wrestling Alliance.
Maverick is known for his lavish and exuberant suits, with his time as EC3's ally resulting in some particularly lively getups. Alas, Impact’s plaguing company issues saw Maverick leave the promotion in search of greener pastures. The recent addition of the 24/7 Championship has seen Maverick’s stock in the company slightly rise; the shenanigans involving R-Truth that occurred on his wedding day were highly entertaining.
With the recent shifts in WWE Executive management, here’s hoping that we see more of Maverick’s magic.