Official WWE Results Here: http://www.wwe.com/shows/cruiserweightclassic/2016-08-03
We're still in that awkward phase of the CWC where it feels like the first round matches are givens for me as to who will win and who won't. This week we have the last four matches in the first round and so far there haven't been any upsets that have kicked someone I know out of the tournament in favor of someone that I don't really know. But, we did get the match up of Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa this week, which was an odd pairing, and next week we'll move into matches where I'm not quite as certain who the winner will be, so yeah, it's getting so much better next week.
Match One: Rich Swann vs. Jason Lee
Rich Swann has been on a few episodes of NXT and he is under contract, which it is nice that the commentators pointed that fact out. Jason Lee is fast and they've said he's trained with HoHo Lun, which should have gave away right there that he wasn't advancing since HoHo Lun advanced. I don't know. I like Rich Swann but he's also kind of like Cedric Alexander to me as he has that "He could win me over eventually but he hasn't quite yet" quality to him. Rich Swann was obvious to go into the next round here but he won't be my pick with whoever he is facing in the next round. I just looked it up (because they did tell us during the show as well) and it will be Rich Swann vs. Lince Dorado, which will likely be the end of Rich Swann in this tournament. So, he had a nice showing here though with a standing 450 splash in the corner that I have no idea how he pulled off. Can we see Rich Swann vs. Neville now??
Match Two: Noam Dar vs. Gurv Sihra
Third verse, same as the first. During this match I was actually trying to think of a tag team that WWE could have brought into this tournament that I would have given a chance to going onto the next round because, you know, I could see The Bollywood Boyz advancing if this was a tag team tournament but by themselves I just never thought it possible and obviously Noam Dar moves on here as well. The only tag team which I could think of was American Wolves as Davey Richards is a force to be reckoned with, but hey, maybe next year depending upon their TNA status. (I still say Davey Richards will return to EVOLVE one day and thus be one step closer to NXT and WWE) This actually puts Noam Dar in a most interesting match for the next round against HoHo Lun as I could see either of these guys winning as they are about even for me but perhaps a slight advantage to Noam Dar. I don't know. I'm really excited for Noam Dar vs. HoHo Lun now. That should be an edge-of-your-seat type of match for sure.
Match Three: Jack Gallagher vs. Fabian Aichner
I know I've made this comparison with Drew Gulak, but really, Jack Gallagher is like what the Vaudevillains gimmick is trying to accomplish only more realistic. I just don't know how Jack Gallagher doesn't get a WWE contract out of this match because he is just that good-- not just in the ring but as a character. If Raw wants me to take their Cruiserweight Division seriously, then they need to sign Jack Gallagher. He is among the best in the world today. Also, Fabian Aichner hit this moonsault where he went from one part of the ropes to another and Daniel Bryan was really excited about a guy of his size being able to do it, but it was pretty average if you've ever seen someone like RVD wrestle and for my money RVD did it much better. Aichner reminded me a lot of Clement Petiot in terms of how little I was impressed with him-- and, yes, I had to look at the brackets to remind myself of Petiot's name. Gallagher will have some stiff competition in the next round against Dragon Gate's Akira Tozawa but wow that could be a match of the year contender easily. (And then imagine the winner of the Tajiri-Gran Metalik match going on to face either Gallagher or Tozawa. Tajiri vs. Tozawa, Tajiri vs. Gallagher, Gran Metalik vs. Tozawa, Gran Metalik vs. Gallagher are all great match ups. I'm hoping for Metalik-Gallagher though, personally)
Match Four: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano
In the main event, Ciampa and Gargano left it all in the ring. I actually feel like Ciampa should have won this match as he out-powered Gargano and seemed to get in more offense than Gargano, but then Gargano won with a quick roll up. It's been said before though and I'll say it again here: Gargano is the best complete wrestler alive today. He can mix it up with any style and inevitably win. Gargano is a dark horse to win this whole tournament and I'm looking forward to Gargano vs. TJP in the next round- a real showcase of EVOLVE- and then hopefully, eventually, Gargano vs. Ibushi in the Final 4. Still, while it looks like Gargano and Ciampa could be going for the NXT Tag Titles, do you think that Raw could call Gargano up for their Cruiserweight Division? I feel like they'd make a Cruiserweight Championship eventually and then why not add Gargano to the division (or build it around him)? This CWC tournament is just that good though. I was surprised to see these two paired up in the first round but this was a great match.
Announced for next week is Tajiri vs. Gran Metalik and Cedric Alexander vs. Kota Ibushi. So, of course we can predict that Cedric Alexander will lose to Ibushi as he won't be knocked out in the second round and likely will go to the finals, but will Cedric Alexander win me over? Johnny Gargano is down in the bottom of the right side of the brackets so it could be Gargano vs. Ibushi in the Final 4, which is one of the only ways I think Ibushi could be eliminated. But yeah, that's a pretty solid match for Ibushi and with Tajiri vs. Gran Metalik I don't know what to think. Both are supposedly under WWE deals now. I didn't think Tajiri would make it past the first round because you can always say "Well, he's just here to put new talent over" but at what point does he do that? Tajiri won in the first round so does he also defeat Gran Metalik or does Gran Metalik get the bragging rights of defeating Tajiri? Gran Metalik might be the dark horse in this tournament as well and based upon the brackets he could be Final 4 with Zack Sabre Jr. So next week will start some rather interesting pairings that will likely be much harder to predict than anything we've seen thus far and I'm just so excited and so ready to watch these matches. These are going to be the types of things legends are made of.
In terms of action figures, I feel like all of the CWC competitors in the Sweet Sixteen round should have action figures made by Mattel eventually. From those eliminated of the original 32 I'd only hope for Alejandro Saez, Raul Mendoza and it seems likely we might Sean Maluta at this point.
The Sweet 16 breaks down like this though:
- Akira Tozawa: rumored to be offered WWE deal
- Jack Gallagher: rumored to be offered WWE deal, should sign
- Tajiri: has signed new deal with WWE, action figure only a matter of time
- Gran Metalik: has signed with WWE, action figure only a matter of time
- Drew Gulak: WWE should sign but no rumors on contract offer yet
- Zack Sabre Jr.: rumored to be offered WWE deal, should sign
- Noam Dar: WWE should sign but no rumors on contract offer yet
- HoHo Lun: Tricky because he might not want to leave Hong Kong, but I could see him in WWE and feel he should be signed by WWE
- Brian Kendrick: Works with WWE enough an action figure should be possible
- Tony Nese: WWE should sign but no rumors on contract offer yet
- Kota Ibushi: has signed with WWE, action figure only a matter of time
- Cedric Alexander: I'm not sure if he'll eventually sign with WWE or not but I feel like that's why he left ROH
- TJ Perkins: WWE should sign but no rumors on contract offer yet
- Johnny Gargano and first round opponent Tommaso Ciampa are both under WWE contract, so that's only a matter of time for action figures
- Lince Dorado: either has signed with WWE or been offered a deal at least-- I think/hope
- Rich Swann: under WWE contract so an action figure is only a matter of time