The WCW Cruiserweight Championship;
The greatest division of the 90's created by ECW
By Dilk Bathoon

In this article I'm going to shift gears a bit, and instead of writing another page about ECW's impact on the industry and so on, I'm going to talk about the reason I went from being a casual wrestling fan, to a guy who would stay up until 12:00 pm on a tuesday night, switch on TSN, and watch in amazment as the WCW Cruiserweights defied gravity and did the impossible. And I'm pretty sure that I wasn't the only one who was sitting though a three hour Nitro just to see twenty minutes of cruiserweight action.

It is common knowledge that the mid-to-late 90's was a very special time to be a wrestling fan. Thanks to ECW and Eric Bishoff, the industry was experiencing somewhat of a renaissance after fans had become tired of watching the same old thing. While the nWo had done a superb job of capturing the attention of a worldwide audience (in what I feel was the most important angle in the industrie's history), the actual "wrestling" had advanced by leaps and bouds. ECW had brought back the "sports" aspect of "Sports Entertainment", but unfortunatly was not nationwide at the time. However, somebody at WCW must have been paying close attention to what was going on at the bingo hall, because soon enough the most revolutionary division in North American history was in full effect.

That division was of course; the WCW Cruiserweight division. In it's prime, the division was so far past any other wresling company in match quality it was almost scary. Even ECW, who had brought these amazing athletes to North American audiences in the first place couldn't keep up with what was going on in WCW on a pure 'wrestling' level.

These althletes consisted of 'The Man of 1000 Holds, Counters, and Submissions' Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, 'Lionheart' Chris Jericho, and Rey Misterio Jr. The other division leaders consisted of Syxx, and The Ultimo Dragon. All these wrestler chased one belt, and the matches surrounding that title where so incredible and innovative, that the title eventually became one of, if not THE most prestigious in the industry.

The division seemed like the only one at the time that was wrestling-heavy and storyline-light. However, you still had you're traditional heels such as Syxx, who was in his prime and had no problem keeping up with the others, and Eddie Guerrero who played his dark and sneaky heel role so well it was erie. Rey Misterio Jr (my favorite all time wrestler I might add) and The Ultimo Dragon provided the amazing arial highspots, while Dean Malenko and Jericho provided more of the mat-wrestling offence.

I know most wrestling smarts thank Paul Heyman for introducing the mainstream audiences to true 'Hardcore' wrestling, but if it was in fact him personally who brought us the cruiserweight wrestlers, I would like to thank him for making me a wresltling fan. .