WWE Cruiserweight Classic
August 24th, 2016 | Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida
The show began by showing the reveal of the CWC trophy that we saw during TakeOve this past weekend.
That was followed by recaps of Akira Tozawa, Noam Dar and The Brian Kendrick advancing to the second round.
Rich Swann def. Lince Dorado in 8:12
Super fast paced start with both guys showcasing their athleticism. Lince stopped Swann from dancing to bust his own move, doing a little Alex Wright. Things got more serious as the match progressed and they began throwing harder shots. The crowd was firmly behind Swann. He went for his very impressive standing 450 splash but Dorado got his knees up. Commentary hammered home these guys knowing each other well and having to pull out something new to win. Dorado missed a shooting star press and Swann won with a fantastic phoenix splash. Really fun, high impact opener. Considering Gulak/Sabre is on this card, something fast paced like this is a great idea. This was a ton of fun. ***1/2
Footage from Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa losing at TakeOver airs. Gargano is interviewed and knows that he's a favorite to win it all and doesn't want to let anyone down. He's going to pour his heart out tonight and do whatever it takes to come one step closer to winning. Ciampa was there with him.
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Drew Gulak in 8:26
No handshake from Gulak who chose to slap Zack's hand instead. These two guys just chose to torture each other with various vicious submissions that bent the arms and body in ways they shouldn't. Gulak started to target the leg with an ankle lock and body slam into the ropes that particularly hurt Sabre's ankle. Sabre went after the arm with his signature submissions.They graduated up to some very hard slaps and strikes. In the end, counter after counter led to Sabre applying a fancy pinning combination that got him the win. He meets Noam Dar in the quarter finals. A really good battle of two guys doing great mat work. ***3/4
TJ Perkins def. Johnny Gargano in 12:19
This is easily the match I'm most excited for in this tournament outside of Ibushi/Alexander. This ruled. The crowd was into both guys despite Gargano being more established. Commentary talked about Gargano's knee being banged up from TakeOver even though this was recorded way earlier. Cool points for that though. Gargano had the knee taped up and banged it in a spot here to make it not only play off of the Brooklyn match but make sense with this as a stand alone match. Gargano sold the hell out of the leg, failing on the lawn dart on his first try before connecting on his second, in brutal fashion. Perkins went for his knee bar a few times and finally got it latched in. Gargano nearly reached the ropes but Perkins fully locked it in to advance. I dug the surprise result and Gargano continues to play one of the best resilient babyfaces in all of wrestling. I might rate this higher than some but I'm a big fan of both guys and really enjoyed this, so screw it. ****
The quarterfinals are set. Akira Tozawa vs. Gran Metalik, Brian Kendrick vs. Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Noam Dar and TJ Perkins vs. Rich Swann.
Overall: 9/10. Another standout episode. Three good to great matches and the hour of wrestling just completely flew by. You get a good, fun spot fest opener, a technical battle in the middle and then a great mixture of both to close things out. This tournament continues to be awesome.