SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
New WWE Cruiserweight champion T.J. Perkins says he found out about the new Cruiserweight Title when Triple H introduced the belt prior to his final tournament match against Gran Metalik.
“I found out like everyone else,” TJP told Brian Fritz of Sporting News in a post-tournament interview. “I didn’t get a chance to see it or understand that that was what the stakes are. You get a feeling that a lot of this stuff is going to be correlated and, definitely, winning the tournament is going to mean something, but until everyone has a chance to see it.”
Perkins added that he did not have expectations going into the tournament – he was just taking advantage of being a free agent and “staying in the moment” round by round. Then, one thing led to another.
“I didn’t know how it would go. I don’t think a lot of people understood or even knew where this would lead everybody and how it would turn out. I didn’t think anything about past Round 1 or anything,” Perkins said.
“That I really wanted to do was coming away from it having inspired Filipino people. We don’t have a lot of heroes and that was important to me and with each passing round, it just became more and more important to me. To have gone all the way through and to win the whole thing, for me it’s special because it bring validation to my original motive. Now the magnitude of my message is bigger. And it’s not just about me.
“Like I said after the final, I said this trophy, all of this, is not about one guy, it’s about 32 guys. Well, the Cruiserweight Championship and being in this position is bigger than just me. It’s for all Filipino people. We haven’t had a lot of heroes and I’m happy to inspire them to become heroes in their own right.”
Now, Perkins heads to Raw TV hoping to represent another kind of revolution on WWE television.
“And if this is to be the benchmark of a new generation for the cruiserweights, I want to be that. Same with everybody else that’s representing what they’re doing proudly. We had a Women’s Revolution and they have aspirations to main-event WrestleMania and I think that’s amazing and that’s great. I honestly think that’s something we’ll see. And the tag teams are going through a renaissance,” Perkins said.
“I would love for it to be a perceivable idea that cruiserweights might main-event WrestleMania. Cruiserweights will represent in a bigger way than they had been in the past. For me, that’s my goal going forward is to represent this division and this culture, my people, in a bigger way than ever before and hopefully create new heroes for other people, people that will inspire me back.”