TJ Perkins is the new WWE Cruiserweight champion

TJ Perkins, the 32-year-old California native became the new WWE Cruiserweight champion last night after defeating Gran Metalik in the finals of the Cruiserweight Classic tournament, an event which aired exclusively on the WWE Network.

Perkins and Metalik advanced to the final after defeating the popular and favorites Zack Sabre, Jr. and Kota Ibushi. The tournament was originally only going to crown a winner but it was changed to also crown the new Cruiserweight champion, a division which will be part of the Raw brand only.

Perkins made his wrestling debut in 1999 and he wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerilla, Ring of Honor, and TNA before landing in WWE. In TNA he wrestled as Puma, Suicide and Manik, winning the X Division title and the X Division tournament in 2013. This is actually his second time with WWE after very brief stints in 2009 and a couple of appearances on WWE’s version of ECW TV.

Perkins, who is also of Filipino descent, defeated Da Mack, Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann, and Kota Ibushi to claim the revived WWE Cruiserweight title.