T.J. Perkins being the winner of WWE's Cruiserweight Classic and first champion of the new version of the cruiserweight division was something of a surprise. It was clear that Zack Sabre Jr. and Kota Ibushi were booked as the stars, but neither signed with the company. Gran Metalik (Mascara Dorada) and Perkins, who both signed, made it to the finals as a result, and with Metalik/Dorada not starting on the main roster immediately, Perkins had to be the champion, it seems.
Of course, he deserves more credit than that. Stylistically speaking, Perkins was the most well-rounded wrestler in the tournament, with tons of international experience, including an extensive lucha libre background.