I had a couple of days out of the office, which is always nice because it gives me a chance to catch up on some wrestling – in this case the WWE Cruiserweight Classic.
The tournament ended this past week with what a spectacular tournament. Gran Metalik defeated Zack Sabre Jr. in a great match, while T.J. Perkins beat Kota Ibushi in what was a five-star match in my opinion. In the end it was Perkins who not won the prestigious tournament trophy, but was also crowned the new WWE Cruiserweight champion, marking the first time promotion had a cruiserweight titleholder in years.
The Cruiserweight Classic is one of the bright spots in what has been a great year for professional wrestling.
I’m a big a fan of tournament and the CWC was something I looked forward to watching this summer.
Although my favorite style of wrestling is brawler – almost hardcore – I’ve always enjoyed cruiserweight matches. My first exposure on WCW Monday Nitro with Rey Mysterio Jr. defeating Dean Malenko for the Cruiserweight title.
In WCW, the Cruiserweight style was mostly identified with the high flying. The CWC emphasized that not all cruiserweight are high flyers. Guys like Sabre and Jack Gallagher were technicians who specialized in submission.
The tournament also introduced some well known names like Ibushi, Sabre, Perkins, Cedric Alexander and the Bollywood Boys – as well as former WWE talent like Brian Kendrick and Tajiri.
The presentation of the tournament reminded me a little bit of Pride Fighting Championships Grand Prixs not only because Mauro Ranallo was on commentary, but also because you had performers from all around, the referee giving instructions before the match and even the parade of fighters to start the tournament.
Speaking of commentary, I love Ranallo on the microphone and Daniel Bryan is great on color. They both bring an enthusiasm and passion to the broadcast.
The matches themselves were great. What’s interesting is that the first round matches showed that you don’t need 15-20 minutes to work a great match. That said, the matches got better throughout the tournament. Each match also good a story that built on the background of each performer. Even though Kendrick was a heel, you wanted him to win the tournament because it was his last shot.
Of we know that Kendrick is going to be one of the many names from the tournament who will be featured on RAW’s cruiserweight tournament.
The Cruiserweight Classic was a success and while I might lose my wrestling fan card by saying this – props to Triple H and William Regal for putting this together.