In the 2-hour Finale of the CWC, Perkins was victorious against the heavily-favored Kota Ibushi from Japan in the semi finals before going on to win against Mexico’s Gran Metalik in the finals to attain the top prize. Not only did he win the CWC tournament, but he also attained the revived WWE Cruiserweight Championship. As the Cruiserweight Champion, TJP headlines RAW’s Cruiserweight division on Monday Nights (American timezone, of coruse). We should also note that his victory came off days after the WWE RAW Brand had a show at the SM MOA Arena last 9 September 2016 as part of the WWE Live tour.
This is the point of the article where I would like to say I am a BIG T.J. Perkins fan…but no, I’m not. Honestly speaking, I do not know much about T.J. Perkins outside the fact that he was once a competitor from TNA/Impact Wrestling or what he talked about with our friends from the Smark-Gilas Pilipinas Podcast who had the pleasure of interviewing TJP a year before his big win at the CWC. But this article serves as a big question:
“What Does TJP’s Win at the CWC Mean for the Filipino Pro Wrestling Fan?”
Is it just a simple case of “Pinoy Pride”? Or is there something deeper?
T.J. Perkins, the current WWE Cruiserweight Champion, is the first pro-wrestler of Filipino descent to have held a WWE singles championship since Dave Batista who last held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in late 2008. That fact alone gives the win of the man also known as the “Fil–Am Flash” an even bigger fact.
Maybe with this win, prominent pro wrestling companies like the WWE might check out the local product in the Philippines such as the Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) or the Manila WRestling Federation (MWF), with the latter having its debut last Historycon 2016.
But that’s just my view. I asked a handful of fellow pro-wrestling fans in the Philippines to get their thoughts on what TJP’s win means or signifies to them. Below are the handful of responses I’ve gathered:
“TJP’s win opens up an all new era when it comes to talent recognition. And given how Batista already made its mark, it is good to know that someone’s taken the mantle to represent the Pinoys. And in the end, Pinoy fans will benefit in the long run.” -Lance T. Ong
“T.J. Perkins’ win in the CWC, not to mention their recent WWE Live Manila tour, means to me that WWE is now acknowledging its sizeable fan base here in the Philippines more than it did before when they still employed Batista. How does TJP’s CWC win affect Filipino wrestling fans? I think in a way it rekindles the Filipinos’ interest in pro-wrestling/sports-entertainment, especially now that they’ll see a kababayan represent the country weekly on Monday Night Raw (though he might be billed from Los Angeles, CA from now on). I can only hope that their renewed interest in the WWE can also spark their interest in our own brand of pro-wrestling with PWR.” -Alvin Balce
“It’s good, I suppose. I’m not a big #PinoyPride guy and all. T.J.’s win at the CWC meant to me about as much as (Kota) Ibushi winning would have.” -John Wolfe
His win means more eyes on the WWE again since Batista. It’ll shine the spotlight on him for casual WWE fans who’ve tuned out. Hopefully his reign is meaningful and he can have a solid run in the WWE.” -Hub Pacheco
We would like to thank those who participated in this mini survey and expressed their thoughts on T.J. Perinks’ recent win and his crowning as the WWE Cruiserweight Champion and how it could affect the FIlipino pro-wrestling fan.
Images from: WWE.com