At long last, WWE announced a much-anticipated Cruiserweight-based tournament that will air on WWE Network in the summer. The Global Cruiserweight Series will be a ten-week competition featuring 32 wrestlers from around the world, all weighing less than 205 lbs. In his role as Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, Triple H gave an interview where he discussed this new show, and how it deviates from WWE’s long-standing “larger than life” mantra when it comes to their Superstars:
“People often think of WWE as this close-minded…’This is how it’s going to be’ and that’s not how it is at all. We’re open to a lot of things but it takes time to make changes and it takes time to open those doors and there’s a lot of business components that have to be in place for it all to happen. This is one of those things. It took a long time to come but now here we are. I am excited about it for these guys to have the platform. I am also excited about it for some of the organizations that they work for now, getting exposure through WWE and the WWE Network. That kind of helps them as well. It’s just good for the health of the business overall.
There’s different ways at looking at things but the world changes on a daily basis and if you aren’t willing to grow, then it passes you by. I think we all have to grow and the look changes and the approach changes.
To do this business and to do it very well takes a long time and there’s a lot of reps. To have guys go and have places to go and have reps and show what they can do. It’s a wonderful opportunity. I’m selective as to who we want to associate with….I don’t even want to say ‘associate with’…who we promote and who we define things with. I know that if I go to certain groups, there are talents there working a certain style and genre and that’s what we are looking for and that’s what I’m going to gravitate towards. It’s good for the health of the business and the more people that are excited about the business, the more people want to get into it and the more people that want to work hard to excel at the business, the better the business is going to be as a whole.
I’ve said this about NXT. Without college football, the NFL loses it’s feeder system and its a similar thing for us. I want that feeder system to be there and I want it to be healthy. I want them to have places to work and when they are ready, if its the right fit for them, if its their passion, and they are the right talent and right performer, we can give them that bigger global platform to get them to do what they do in front of the entire world. If that means making the independent undercurrent healthier, then that’s what we do. I just look at it as helping the business to succeed long-term.”
Here’s Triple H on where the 32 competitors will come from (WWE and NXT currently have barely a handful of Superstars under contract who would fit into the “Cruiserweight” designation):
“I would say the vast majority [of talents on the series] will be non-contracted or long-term contracted WWE talents. We haven’t finalized the selection process, watching tapes and seeing who we want to work with and all of that. It’s going to be a discovery process. Look, I want to have the best in the world. I don’t want to negate anyone from that process because they are under contract to us. At the same time, I’m looking for the best in the world and the brightest around to give them a platform that they’ve never had. I’m certainly looking at the vast majority from being from the outside [of WWE.]
When I say Global, I mean Global. We are recruiting from everywhere. UK, Japan, China, to find the best talent. That doesn’t mean we are going to find someone everywhere, but we are really trying to turn things over and really find someone from every part of the globe to be part of this and show the world who they are and what they can do.”
And here’s Triple H on why they chose to do a show focusing on Cruiserweights:
“There’s this talent that I like and I’d like to go and see what they can do. So, I push for going to see what I can do with that. I think it’s important for everything to always grow and become bigger. I’ve looked for a long time at that population of talent in that under 205 lb. category, the Cruiserweight category and thought, “Man, there’s a lot of really talented performers” and I don’t mean guys that can just do flips. Really talented performers that have characters and can speak are really good.
They are underutilized to me and they don’t have the platform to show what they can do. I feel like that’s a miss. Not intentionally a miss, but just something that we’ve left sitting on the table, and I don’t want to leave stuff sitting there on the table.”
You can read the full interview here