|The King of the Cruiserweights|
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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"The King of the Cruiserweights" Neville survived another match against Austin Aries. This time the two went at it in a submission match at Extreme Rule 2017. In my predictions blog, I expressed my hope that Neville would survive this match but thought in the end that A Double would finally get a taste of WWE gold. Much to my surprise Neville won the match and retained the championship he won back at the Royal Rumble, making him the longest reigning current champion in WWE.
That speaks volumes for Neville. I'm the first to admit, I'm a huge fan (some will say mark) of Neville's. If you've read this blog before you know the story, but in case you forgot, we met in 2012 at an indy show (AAPW) when I was doing commentary and wrestling. Neville was Pac then and was brought into battle El Generico that night. Much to my surprise at WrestleMania XXX Axxess he remembered me and again at a meet & greet for WrestleMania 32.
But put my bias to the side, it's hard to deny Neville is quite an athlete. His aerial assault has lessened since turning heel, but his Red Arrow is one of the most impressive moves in the business today. A couple years ago, after debuting on the main roster, I thought Neville might become King of the Ring. Bad News Barrett ended up beating Neville in the finals. In hindsight, I'm glad that happened. It seems what Neville ultimately needed was a change of attitude. The mean streak he's displayed since returning to the ring in 2016 has worked.
He may not be the King of the Ring, but he is THE King of the Cruiserweights. Hopefully, he moves on now after beating Aries three times on pay per view to a new challenge. This will help develop new talent on that roster and showcase the skills of the Superstar once known as "The Man Gravity Forgot." I should also note, I believe the matches against Aries have helped elevate Neville as well. And who can forget the recent endorsement Neville received from Kurt Angle? I totally agree and hope one day he transitions into a contender for the Universal or WWE Heavyweight Championships.
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