CruiserWeight Classic Night 8 & 9

It’s the quarterfinals! And with this post, I’ll be all caught up in time for the live finale. The CWC has been really special, and news broke this week that at least 10 of the guys have been signed for the “Cruiserweight Division” on Raw. My fingers are crossed that they get the respect they deserve on the flagship show.

Gran Metalik (Mexico, lucha libre) vs Akira Tozawa (Japan, technical): One of the great things about this tournament is the incredible clash of styles in some of these matches. They’re even on the mat early on, neither able to get advantage while they exchange holds. They exchange armdrags, then dropkicks, showing how even they are. Metalik finally gets advantage with a dropkick into the ropes, putting Tozawa on the defense. That’s a dangerous way to play against Metalik though, as he goes diving through the ropes, taking Tozawa out. (more…)

CruiserWeight Classic Night 7

This is the final episode of the second round. The second round has been really good so far. Also, I’m only an episode behind after this one, though another airs tonight. I should be caught up before the finals. Woot!

Lince Dorado (Puerto Rico, lucha libre) vs Rich Swann (United States, high-flying): This should be a fast paced, high flying affair. They open up with a low key version of the Ricochet/Ospreay opening from the Best of the Super Juniors tournament earlier this year. Dorado decides to join in the fun and dance a little before diving waaaaay out of the ring. Swann ties up Dorado in, uh, well, a unique submission to say the least, but Dorado escapes. Stiff strikes are exchanged, and the dancing is over as these two start laying into one another. They both go down as they scissor kick each other.  (more…)

CruiserWeight Classic Night 6

The second round continues!

Akira Tozawa (Japan, technical) vs Jack Gallagher (England, technical): This matchup with everything I want out a tournament like this. Even though they are both listed as “technical” wrestlers, the styles of these two couldn’t be more different. Will the speed and power of Tozawa prevail, or the smoothness and creativity of Gallagher? Tozawa has an intensity to him that not many competitors match, while Gallagher is much more laid back and relaxed, another way these guys differ. Tozawa tries to put Gallagher in a couple different holds early, but the Englishman easily escapes each one, reclining casually as he wraps Tozawa’s legs in a grapevine. (more…)

CruiserWeight Classic Night 5

The second round begins! The first round was relatively easy to predict; if I had heard of them, they were probably advancing. This next round is much tougher to pick though, with only a few heavy favorites obviously advancing. The first round had mixed quality. There was nothing bad, but nothing really stood out either. It was definitely worth watching though, if nothing more than for the novelty of all these guys on WWE television. The show opens with a fantastic video package recapping the first round and the 16 men who advanced.

Tajiri (Japan, strong style) vs Gran Metalik (Mexico, lucha libre): This is a pretty big clash of styles, we will see if Tajiri can keep up with the younger and faster Gran Metalik. Tajiri is no stranger to lucha libre, though the style has certainly evolved since Tajiri was fighting the likes of Super Crazy. Tajiri is able to keep up with Metalik early as they run the ropes, showing Tajiri’s lucha skills. They also exchange grounded holds, going from armbars and leg locks, showing Metalik’s proficiency in the more technical style. (more…)

CruiserWeight Classic Night 4

This is the last night of the first round, and they saved a couple of doozy’s for last. I’m still behind on, well, everything, so no more wasting time.

Jason Lee (Hong Kong, China, high-flying) vs Rich Swann (United States, high-flying): Swann has competed a few times on NXT television, and has been impressive. He’s got all the tools, including that all important charisma factor. I know a lot of people were looking forward to him being in this tournament. I do not know Jason Lee, but I hope he’s better than his Chinese compatriot HoHo Lun.

Both these guys are fast. Swann runs and flips around Lee, but Lee gets him with some quick martial arts strikes. Swann is super impressive athletically, hitting a leaping hurricanrana on the top rope, then an AWESOME standing 450 splash for the win. This was too quick to be anything but an impressive showcase for Rich Swann. **1/2 (more…)

CruiserWeight Classic Night 3

Hey, remember that other awesome tournament that happened to be taking place during the last two months? Somehow, I’ve only seen the first two nights, and that is changing immediately. So here we go. Let’s catch up on the CWC.

Zack Sabre Jr (England, technical) vs Tyson Dux (Canada, technical): Zack Sabre Jr is one of the four or five guys that could realistically win this tournament, and is my pick to advance to the final four from his corner of the bracket. He has the same buzz about him that Bryan Danielson used to have. Tyson Dux is… a guy. I know the name, but have never watched him. He’s probably fine. The real star here is ZSJ though.

Mauro drops a World of Sports reference in describing ZSJ, which is pretty cool. Bryan meanwhile sounds like he’s orgasming every time ZSJ counters a hold. While both are labeled technical wrestlers, they are extremely different in the ring. Dux is labeled as master of the basics, and keeps it simple but effective with things like a fireman’s carry. ZSJ though is twirling around limbs, going from hold to hold, attacking almost casually. Dux is getting frustrated, and plants Sabre with an awesome Fisherman’s Buster. It’s hard to describe ZSJ’s offense. He transitions from one hold to another so smoothly. Sabre wins with a unique omoplata armbar. *** (more…)

CruiserWeight Classic Night 1 & 2

I decided to blog the entirety of the G1 Climax and the Cruiserweight Classic. Because I decided this after the CWC started, I’m combining Night 1 and Night 2 into one post. First thing I have to say about the CWC is I love the style and presentation. Everything from the UFC style introductions to the different colors being used makes this feel special. Only the top notch quality of the presentation makes this noticeable as a WWE product, and that’s great. A lot of these wrestlers are guys I’ve never heard of, so I’ll be relying on the WWE’s own information. I’ll also include their “fighting style” and where they are representing next to their name, because I love stuff like that.

Gran Metalik (Mexico, lucha libre) vs Alejandro Saez (Chile, striking)Gran Metalik is Mascara Dorada, who spent 2015 in New Japan doing jack and squat. The luchador can really bounce around the ring, but mostly just filled in space in multiman tag matches while in Japan. Saez trained in Mexico and Japan, and had to cut a lot of weight to make the legitimate 205 weight limit, making him one of the biggest guys in the tourney. (more…)