Inaugural champion T. J. Perkins

The NXT Cruiserweight Championship (originally known as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship from 2016 to 2019) is a former professional wrestling championship that was created and promoted by the American promotion WWE. Before its retirement, it was defended on the NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live brands. It was contested exclusively for wrestlers with a maximum bill weight of 205 lb (93 kg), referred to as cruiserweights. During its tenure, it was the only WWE championship with a weight limit.

Established as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, the title was originally part of the Raw brand and defended on Monday Night Raw until the premiere of 205 Live, after which, it was defended on both shows until WrestleMania 34. Following this event, 205 Live became its own brand and the title became exclusive to 205 Live until October 2019 when it began to be defended on NXT. The title was subsequently renamed to NXT Cruiserweight Championship.[1][2][3] In January 2020, the title was extended to NXT's sister brand NXT UK.[4]

The championship was generally contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants executed scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. The inaugural champion was T. J. Perkins, who was awarded the title for winning the Cruiserweight Classic on September 14, 2016. Carmelo Hayes is recognized as the final champion. He defeated Roderick Strong on the special New Year's Evil episode of NXT 2.0 on January 4, 2022, to unify the title with the NXT North American Championship; the Cruiserweight Championship was immediately retired following his win.

Throughout the championship's short history, there were 20 reigns between 18 champions and one vacancy. The oldest champion was Roderick Strong, winning the title at 38 years old, while the youngest champion was Lio Rush when he won it at 24. Neville and Enzo Amore were tied for the most reigns at two. Jordan Devlin's sole reign was the longest reign at 439 days, while final champion Carmelo Hayes' singular reign was the shortest at less than a minute as the title was immediately retired after he won it in a title unification match.

Reigns

Names

Name Years
WWE Cruiserweight Championship September 14, 2016 – October 2, 2019
NXT Cruiserweight Championship October 2, 2019 – January 4, 2022

Reigns

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
Days recog. Number of days held recognized by the promotion
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Days recog.
WWE: Raw
1 T. J. Perkins September 14, 2016 Cruiserweight Classic Finale Winter Park, FL 1 46 45 Before the finale of the Cruiserweight Classic, WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H revealed that the winner would also win the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Championship for WWE's revived cruiserweight division exclusive to the Raw brand. T. J. Perkins defeated Gran Metalik in the tournament final to become the inaugural champion. [5]
2 The Brian Kendrick October 30, 2016 Hell in a Cell Boston, MA 1 30 30 [6]
3 Rich Swann November 29, 2016 205 Live Columbia, SC 1 61 60 This was the inaugural episode of 205 Live. [7]
4 Neville January 29, 2017 Royal Rumble San Antonio, TX 1 197 196 [8]
5 Akira Tozawa August 14, 2017 Raw Boston, MA 1 6 5 [9]
6 Neville August 20, 2017 SummerSlam
Kickoff
Brooklyn, NY 2 35 35 [10]
7 Enzo Amore September 24, 2017 No Mercy Los Angeles, CA 1 15 15 [11]
8 Kalisto October 9, 2017 Raw Indianapolis, IN 1 13 12 This was a lumberjack match. [12]
9 Enzo Amore October 22, 2017 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Minneapolis, MN 2 93 92 [13]
Vacated January 23, 2018 Vacated due to Enzo Amore's release from WWE one day after it was confirmed that Amore was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that was reported to the police in October 2017; the case was later dismissed in May 2018 due to lack of evidence. [14][15]
10 Cedric Alexander April 8, 2018 WrestleMania 34
Kickoff
New Orleans, LA 1 181 180 Defeated Mustafa Ali in a tournament final to win the vacant championship.
The title then became exclusive to the 205 Live brand.
[16]
WWE: 205 Live
11 Buddy Murphy October 6, 2018 Super Show-Down Melbourne, Australia 1 183 183 [17]
12 Tony Nese April 7, 2019 WrestleMania 35
Kickoff
East Rutherford, NJ 1 77 77 [18]
13 Drew Gulak June 23, 2019 Stomping Grounds
Kickoff
Tacoma, WA 1 108 108 This was a triple threat match also involving Akira Tozawa, whom Gulak pinned.
In October 2019, the title became shared between 205 Live and NXT, and it was renamed the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
[19][3]
WWE: NXT and 205 Live
14 Lio Rush October 9, 2019 NXT Winter Park, FL 1 63 63 [20]
15 Angel Garza December 11, 2019 NXT Winter Park, FL 1 45 44 [21]
16 Jordan Devlin January 25, 2020 Worlds Collide Houston, TX 1 439 438 This was a fatal four-way match also involving Travis Banks and Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, whom Devlin pinned. With Devlin's win, the title was extended to the NXT UK brand. Devlin's reign ended on April 8, 2021 at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 2, when Santos Escobar defeated him to determine the undisputed champion. From May 27, 2020 (aired June 3) until April 8, 2021, both Devlin and Escobar were recognized as champion. [4][22]
WWE: NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live
17 El Hijo del Fantasma/Santos Escobar May 27, 2020 NXT Winter Park, FL 1 321 313 Due to a travel ban as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an interim champion was crowned in the United States until Jordan Devlin could return; Devlin, who resided in the United Kingdom, still defended the title on NXT UK while the U.S.-based interim champion defended the title on NXT. Fantasma defeated Drake Maverick in the finals of an eight-man tournament to become the interim champion in the U.S. WWE recognizes his reign as beginning on June 3, 2020, when the episode aired on tape delay.

On the June 10 episode, Fantasma unmasked and changed his ring name to Santos Escobar.
After Devlin made his return to the U.S. the following year, Escobar defeated Devlin in a ladder match at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 2 on April 8, 2021 to determine the undisputed champion (recognized as a continuation of his reign as interim champion).

[23][24][22]
18 Kushida April 13, 2021 NXT Orlando, FL 1 161 160 [25]
19 Roderick Strong September 21, 2021 NXT 2.0 Orlando, FL 1 105 105 [26]
20 Carmelo Hayes January 4, 2022 New Year's Evil Orlando, FL 1 <1 <1 This was a title unification match, in which Hayes also defended the NXT North American Championship. [27]
Unified January 4, 2022 New Year's Evil Orlando, FL Carmelo Hayes defeated Roderick Strong to unify the NXT Cruiserweight Championship into the NXT North American Championship. The Cruiserweight Championship was retired with Hayes going forward as North American Champion. [27]

Combined reigns

Neville (left) and Enzo Amore (right) tied the record for most reigns at two
Longest reigning champion Jordan Devlin, who held the title for 439 days
Longest reigning champion Jordan Devlin, who held the title for 439 days
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined
days
Combined days
rec. by WWE
1 Jordan Devlin 1 439 438
2 El Hijo del Fantasma/Santos Escobar 1 321 313
3 Neville 2 232 231
4 Buddy Murphy 1 183
5 Cedric Alexander 1 181 180
6 Kushida 1 161 160
7 Enzo Amore 2 108 107
Drew Gulak 1 108
9 Roderick Strong 1 105
10 Tony Nese 1 77
11 Lio Rush 1 63
12 Rich Swann 1 61 60
13 T. J. Perkins 1 46 45
14 Angel Garza 1 45 44
15 The Brian Kendrick 1 30
16 Kalisto 1 13 12
17 Akira Tozawa 1 6 5
18 Carmelo Hayes 1 <1

References

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  15. ^ Enzo Amore released from WWE after Allegations of sexual assault - Sky Sports.com
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