Featuring the best athletes under 205 lbs, and coming in from all across the globe, the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic Tournament comes to and end live from the home of NXT, from Full Sail University in Orlando Florida. From a pool of 32 we are down to four, with one double episode featuring both semi finals, the grand final and more in tag team action. There will be two semi-finals, the first between the technical wizard of England, Zack Sabre Jr. versus the high-flying Mexican luchador Gran Metalik (fka Mascara Dorada) which will prove to be a battle of technical knowledge against speed while the second between the Golden Star of Japan, arguably favourite to win Kota Ibushi against the Filipino T.J. Perkins could be a show stealer. It’s a clash of countries as much a clash of styles, but there can be only one winner of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic.
+ Tournament Final: hot damn, this was simply incredible. In a tournament full of amazing matches, this was another standout, despite some at times frustrating selling from one of the competitors. Back and forth action was never boring, and the theme of hard slaps and chops continued amazingly here. Great match, a well deserved winner, and very well deserved first cruiserweight classic champion
+ Zack Sabre Jr. vs Gran Metalik (Semi Final): hot damn, this match was violent. Both competitors hit each other with uppercuts and forearms, as well as vicious full on slaps to the face and chest. As much as I am not a huge fan of ZSJ, this was probably his most enjoyable match of the tournament, thanks in no small part to Gran Metalik’s very impressive abilities. A quick start went to a more nuanced finish
+ Kota Ibushi vs. T.J. Perkins (Semi Final): after a relatively slow start this turned into an absolutely phenomenal match. So many times I was certain the match was over only for one to counter the other and keep it going. Entirely opposite to the first semi final, this match started relatively slowly but was absolute hectic at it’s end
+ Team D.I.Y. (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs Noam Dar & Cedric Alexander: after Alexander and Dar’s magnificent showing in the tournament, it was only a matter of time until they came back to Full Sail. putting them against the newly formed Team D.I.Y. was a classic waiting to happen, and this certainly did not disappoint. Very hard strikes were the go-to for this one, with only very minor moments of perhaps inexperience between the twosomes
Should you watch this event: Over the last ten weeks, this tournament has showcased some of the best (and perhaps not best) of the independent wrestling scene, and shown WWE fans what else is out there. This was a fantastic tournament, from start to finish, and with the cruiserweights heading to Raw as of next week, hopefully they can continue to shine. Definitely set out some time to watch this, from beginning to satisfying end.