The effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, including bans on international travel, have gone on a lot longer than I think most of us were really expecting when the whole thing got started. That may have something to do with a change in WWE’s official rhetoric we saw on last night’s episode of NXT.
If you watched the show, you know that El Hijo del Fantasma beat Drake Maverick in the tournament finals to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion. That’s great for him, but when this tournament started it was only going to crown an Interim Cruiserweight Champion, because Jordan Devlin is still the official champion but is currently stuck in Ireland. You didn’t hear that word “Interim” as the tournament ended, however.
So what changed? According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE has quietly stripped Jordan Devlin of the title since he’s been unable to defend it or even appear on WWE TV in so long, which makes Fantasma the sole champion. As for why this wasn’t explained on the show, Dave said they just expected fans to come up with their own explanations, which does sound like typical WWE behavior.
On the other hand, as of today, the roster page on WWE.com shows both El Hijo del Fantasma and Jordan Devlin sharing the Cruiserweight Champion slot. So it’s possible that Meltzer is wrong on this one, and all that’s happened is a change in rhetoric. Either way, it seems likely that an angry Jordan Devlin will return to wrestle Fantasma just as soon as he’s able, and the winner of that match will be Cruiserweight Champ going forward.