7/13 WWE Cruiserweight Classic Review: Great start from WWE, treated like a sport the entire way through

WWE Cruiserweight Classic Review
July 13, 2016
By: Josh Boutwell of Wrestleview.com

I think most of us have been unbelievably excited about the Cruiserweight Classic and they did not disappoint with the opening night. They have treated this like a sport the entire way through, much like an MMA Tournament, which is so un-WWE like that is hard to believe it. They did the MMA style introductions and MMA style referee talks at the beginning of the matches and even the MMA style winner announcements.

Daniel Bryan and Mauro were incredible on commentary too. The little nuances that Daniel adds to the match (like pointing out how Maluta kept going after Ibushi’s previously injured neck over and over) and Mauro is always excellent. They really didn’t show a ton of excitement on commentary until the finish of the Main Event where both got really hot. Neither of them had a problem mentioning a wrestlers background and even talking about other promotions like New Japan and ROH which adds so much to a guys background in my opinion. The show was very wrestling heavy with very brief personality profiles before each match which really added to the sports feel. We didn’t get any typical wrestling promos either which added to that as well. I think that I kind of feel about this like I did about the “Final Deletion” match (bare with me) as something that is presenting wrestling completely different than everything else we see every week on TV wrestling wise. It was presented as and felt like a sporting event which is a nice change of pace from the usual.

The opening match between Metalik and Saez was exciting and fast paced like you would expect with two luchadors and Metalik looked great. He will look better in longer matches though and Saez was very impressive as well.

There was nothing about HoHo Lun that impressed me while I really enjoyed Daivari’s heel antics. He was really the only one that heeled it up tonight (which made him stand out more because no one else was doing it though Petiot did heel it up some too but was more intense than anything). HoHo Lun came off as timid and unsure of himself as well as continuously making goofy faces and smiling constantly. It’s obvious that he was just brought in so they would have a Chinese representative but he stood out as someone far weaker than the other guys on the show tonight.

Alexaner-Petiot was an awesome clash of styles that we are going to see throughout this tournament. Petiot spent the whole match wearing down Alexander with power moves and some submissions while Alexander kept trying to fly. Alexander is great and I can’t wait to see more of him in this tournament, the match with Ibushi in the second round should be excellent.

The Main Event was the best match of the show, which it should be, and Ibushi looked stellar in it. I have only seen Ibushi in one match since his return from injury so I was a little concerned that he wouldn’t look as good as he previously had, but man he looked great. He pulled out many of his big spots while also making Maluta look great as well. They only had the one botch with Maluta’s dive, which was unfortunate, but Maluta still actually landed on Ibushi so they were able to play it off and Maluta was good enough that it really didn’t hurt him. Maluta is still relatively young and obviously much, much smaller than his cousins but there is definitely a lot of potential there.

All in all it was a great start to what should be a highlight of the year for WWE with this tournament and I can’t wait for next week.

– Gran Metalik def. Alejandro Saez
– HoHo Lun def. Ariya Daivari
– Cedric Alexander def. Clement Petiot
– Kota Ibushi def. Sean Maluta

– Brian Kendrick vs. Raul Mendoza
– Tajiri vs. Damian Slater
– TJ Perkins vs. Da Mack
– Lince Dorado vs. Mustafa Ali
– Akira Tozawa vs. Kenneth Johnson
– Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tyson Dux
– Drew Gulak vs. Harv Shira
– Tony Nese vs. Anthony Bennett
– Rich Swann vs. Jason Lee
– Noam Dar vs. Gurv Shira
– Jack Gallagher vs. Fabian Aichner
– Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa