|WWE Cruiserweight Championship|
|Date retired:||September 28, 2007|
|Other name(s):||WCW Light Heavyweight Championship|
WCW Cruiserweight Championship
WWF Cruiserweight Championship
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
|First champion(s)||Shinjiro Otani|
|Most reigns||Rey Mysterio (8 reigns)|
|Longest reign||Gregory Helms|
|Shortest reign||Psicosis (1 hour)|
|Oldest champion||Chavo Classic|
(55 years, 160 days)
(21 years, 51 days)
(222 lb (101 kg))
(119 lb (54 kg))
The WWE Cruiserweight Championship was a professional wrestling championship originally used in World Championship Wrestling and later, World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment. It was challenged by cruiserweights at a maximum weight of 225lbs. Following the acquisition of WCW by the then-WWF in 2001, it became a WWF (and later, WWE) championship and replaced the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. During the first WWE brand extension, it was the only title to be exclusive to the SmackDown! brand during its entire tenure.
The championship was created in WCW in 1996, with Shinjiro Otani as the inaugural champion. However, following WCW's purchase, the WWF/E considered the title to be a continuation of the earlier WCW Light Heavyweight Championship, which had been created in 1991 with Brian Pillman as the inaugural champion. The Cruiserweight Championship was retired in 2007 with Hornswoggle as its final holder.
A new WWE Cruiserweight Championship was created in 2016, and although both championships share the same name, the new championship does not carry the lineage of the original. The new WWE Cruiserweight Championship also has a different weight limit of 205lbs (93kg).
The Cruiserweight Championship was originally created as the WCW Cruiserweight Championship on March 20, 1996. However, after the acquisition of World Championship Wrestling's assets by rival company WWE (then WWF), both lineages of the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship and the WCW Cruiserweight Championship are considered to be one and the same, and WWE refers to the holders of the Light Heavyweight Championship as former Cruiserweight Champions.
Following the introduction of the Light Heavyweight Championship in 1991 (which WCW had considered to be a separate title, but WWE does not), a tournament was held to determine the inaugural champion. On October 27, Brian Pillman defeated Richard Morton in the tournament final to win the title. However, when Brad Armstrong was forced to relinquish the title due to injury on September 2, 1992, it became inactive. Then, on March 20, 1996, Shinjiro Otani defeated Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) in a decision match to win what then became known as the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
In March 2001, the World Wrestling Federation purchased World Championship Wrestling. Soon after, "The Invasion" took place, in which The Alliance was ultimately dismantled. Following the Survivor Series in November 2001, the title was renamed the WWF Cruiserweight Championship, replacing the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. Following the WWF/WWE name change in 2002, the championship was subsequently referred to as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and became exclusive to the SmackDown brand.