WWE Cruiserweight Classic
July 20th, 2016 | Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida
After words from Daniel Bryan and Mauro Ranallo, Corey Graves recaps week one from the "control center". For those that forgot, Ho Ho Lun, Gran Metalik, Cedric Alexander and Kota Ibushi all advanced.
Tajiri def. Damian Slater in 5:27
It's great to see Tajiri back in action. I was always a fan of his.Damian Slater is representing Australia. Commentary did a good job of talking about Slater getting into a kicking battle with a master of it. Slater stuck to his guns and delivered his best kicks, which was cool. Tajiri has lost a step but still did well throughout. At one point, they kicked each other at the same time to a pop. Tajiri's kicks proved to be better as he won with the Buzzsaw Kick. Fine little opener here. The crowd loved seeing Tajiri again and Slater was rather impressive. In round two, we get Gran Metalik vs. Tajiri. **1/2
TJ Perkins def. Da Mack in 6:31
I love TJ Perkins. I just want to point that out beforehand. He represents the Philippines, while Da Mack is the "Urban German". Da Mack's theme is at least ****1/2. They worked at a very fast pace early on, with Perkins showing off his ability to blend high flying, technical expertise and a flair for the cocky. Da Mack got in some of his own stuff, including a dive outside and a series of kicks that saw him dance and moonwalk. Perkins caught the flashy Mack in a kneebar to make him submit. A really fun sprint between two guys that brought a lot of personality, which is sometimes missing in things like that. I would love to see Perkins make it to the final four because a showdown with Ibushi sounds incredible. ***1/4
Lince Dorado def. Mustafa Ali in 5:53
Ali is from Pakistan, while Dorado is here for my home, Puerto Rico. Ali was reluctant to shake hands, like Daivari in week one. Damn those evil foreigners. Dorado was all over the place in a good way here. He had a highlight reel flying head scissors which he followed with an Asai moonsault to the outside. He also spiked Ali with a crazy springboard reverse rana for a near fall. Ali got in an impressive springboard Spanish fly for two. He also busted out an imploding 450 splash but missed and lost to a shooting star press. A big time spotfest but a fun one. The tournament isn't just spotfests so at least one every week is fine. ***1/4
Akira Tozawa def. Kenneth Johnson in 9:44
Tozawa represents Japan, while Johnson is competing for America. Johnson is Gumby thin. We get mat work and Johnson does a good job of staying with the bigger star throughout. They exchanged chops and strikes until Tozawa just laid him out with a vicious right hand. Johnson popped up after eating a German and they did the old school double clothesline spot. He doesn't get up quick from a lightning release German though. Tozawa followed that with another German to seal the deal. Tozawa looked good and kudos to Johnson, who more than held his own. ***
Next week, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tyson Dux, Drew Gulak vs. Harv Shira, Anthony Bennett vs. Tony Nese and Raul Mendoza vs. Brian Kendrick.
Overall: 7/10. I enjoyed the first episode more but this was still a very enjoyable hour of wrestling. The matches fly by and the presentation is still top notch. If you are pressed for time, the Dorado and Perkins matches are the ones to check out. Perkins looked like he belonged in a WWE ring and should get signed. Two for two in really easy to watch episodes.