Since Raw's extension to three hours, the WWE has had a hard time delivering solid programming throughout the entire show.
Bringing back the Cruiserweight, European, and Hardcore championship belts would help the WWE maintain an entertaining program for all three hours.
Also, the reintroduction of these titles would create more dynamic storylines and feuds on both Raw and SmackDown.
This means more wrestling and fewer video flashbacks!
In this article, I will give a brief history of each championship and the Superstar that would be the best champion for each belt.
Light Heavyweight/Cruiserweight Championship (1991-2008)
The Light Heavyweight Championship was introduced to the WWE Universe in 1991. It was unique at the time because all the participants were required to weigh under 215 lbs.
Brian Pillman was the very first WCW Light Heavyweight champion.
In 1992, the title was temporarily retired after the champion at the time, Brad Armstrong, suffered an injury.
We wouldn't see the gold until March 26, 1996, when Shinjiro Otani defeated Chris Benoit in a match to decide the winner of the new Cruiserweight Championship.
In 2001, the WWE infamously bought WCW. WWE had its own Light Heavyweight title and merged it with the Cruiserweight title when it came over from WCW
Following Survivor Series 2001, it was renamed the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and was mainly featured on Smackdown.
On March 3, 2008, the WWE deemed the Cruiserweight title vacant.
It has yet to be seen.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship facts:
- The longest reigning champion is Gregory Helms. He held the title for 385 days.
- The shortest reigning champion is Psychosis. He held the title for one hour.
- Rey Mysterio won the championship the greatest number of times. He has eight title reigns.
- Rey Mysterio is the youngest Superstar to win the championship. He was 21.
It's cringe-worthy, but even Hornswoggle has been a Cruiserweight champion.
The Cruiserweight division would be one of the most exciting divisions to watch in the WWE.
Bringing back this title would benefit many of the younger wrestlers on the WWE roster and help them develop into potential stars.
WWE Superstars under 215 lbs would qualify to be in the division.
Best fit for WWE Cruiserweight champion: Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan would be a good Cruiserweight champion because he is agile and a very good technical wrestler. He is a submission specialist and could carry the Cruiserweight division on his back.
European Championship (1997-2002)
In 1997 the wrestling world was introduced to The WWE European Championship.
To decide the first European champion, a tournament was held in Germany. The two wrestlers who made it to the finals were the British Bulldog and Owen Hart.
The British Bulldog reigned supreme.
The European Championship was retired on July 22, 2002 when the Intercontinental champion, Rob Van Dam, defeated the European champion, Jeff Hardy, in a ladder match.
The RVD vs. Jeff Hardy match unified the European and Intercontinental Championships.
Since RVD won the match, the European Championship was taken away from Jeff and replaced by the Intercontinental Championship.
WWE European Championship facts:
- The longest reigning champion is the British Bulldog. He held the title for 206 days.
- The shortest reigning champions are Jeff Jarrett and Chris Jericho. They each held the title for only a day.
- William Regal and D'Lo Brown have won the championship the greatest number of times. They had four title reigns.
- Jeff Hardy is the youngest Superstar to win the championship. He was 24.
There were a few wrestlers who held both the Intercontinental Championship and the European Championship at the same time. They were called Eurocontinental champions.
This exclusive group includes: D'Lo Brown, Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam.
Like the Intercontinental Championship, any Superstar on the WWE roster could compete for this title.
Best fit for WWE European champion: Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett would be a good European champion because he is physical, aggressive, and is almost ready to be a World champion. He's also European! Barrett being the European champion would be a step closer to major gold.
Hardcore Championship (1998-2002)
The Hardcore Championship was never meant to be a contested belt.
Vince McMahon gave the belt to Mankind as a gift and a sign of how hardcore he was. It was a comedy routine of sorts when Mankind had the championship in his promos and backstage segments.
Once Mankind lost the championship to the Big Boss Man, he rarely attempted to recapture the title due to his main event push and sudden popularity amongst the fans.
When Crash Holly won the belt, he introduced the 24/7 rule, which stated that the Hardcore Championship would be on the line every day and every hour of the week, as long as a referee is present.
The title was officially retired on Aug. 26, 2002 when the Intercontinental champion Rob Van Dam unified the championships by beating Tommy Dreamer.
WWE Hardcore Championship facts:
- The longest reigning champion is The Big Boss Man. He held the title for 95 days.
- It is impossible to tell who the shortest reigning champion is. There were so many title changes which occurred within a matter of seconds.
- Raven won the championship the greatest number of times. He has 27 title reigns.
- Christopher Nowinski is the youngest Superstar to win the championship. He was 23 years old.
With the return of the Hardcore Championship, many comedic segments and unpredictable feuds could develop.
Like the time Crash Holly defended the Hardcore Championship at Fun Time USA.
The WWE doesn't have "hardcore" matches anymore, but they have "extreme rules" matches. The title could be contested under extreme rules only.
Anyone on the WWE roster would be capable of winning the belt.
Best fit for WWE Hardcore Champion: Tensai (it would give him something to do)
Tensai would be a good Hardcore champion because he has a lot of experience in the WWE. Tensai has also been a Hardcore champion before.
Do you think any of these championships should be brought back to the WWE? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below!
Adrian Fylonenko is an aspiring writer who plans to major in journalism. His interests include writing and debating about all things wrestling. Bleacher Report has given him the opportunity to improve and perfect his craft. Adrian is active on social media and if you have any questions or suggestions, you can do so on Twitter and Facebook. Word on the street is if you follow him, he will follow back.
All comments are greatly appreciated and will be responded to. Thank you for reading and for your support.