WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic aired the first round of it’s tournament on the ‘WWE Network’ on Wednesday and left quite the impression.
After a handful of 1st round matchups one can already tell that the CWC has a lot of potential to be something special and yet another draw for the ‘WWE Network. The show looks and feels different from any other WWE production such as RAW, SmackDown and NXT.
CWC’s purple and silver ring color scheme, unique lighting and different style superstar entrances make the CWC stand out as it’s own entity. It helps separate the show from any other and gives CWC it’s own personality.
And while WWE’s main shows, RAW, SmackDown & NXT, have 3-man commentating teams the CWC sticks with the traditional 2-man team. With Mauro Ranallo and fan-favorite Daniel Bryan, CWC’s commentators add to the show instead of distracting the viewer from the on-screen content. Bryan stands out and seems like a natural for future commentating gigs and both commentators have solid chemistry and avoid the cliche heel/face roles of commentators.
As for the in-ring content itself, it’s exciting. Void of dirty tactics, excessive talking or tired angles, CWC is great due to it’s simplistic approach; put 2 competitors in the ring and sound the bell. The fans aren’t told who to root for or boo, CWC presents each superstar in a very straightfoward manner allowing the fans to decide who they want to back when the bell rings.
In a way, it’s similar to NXT in that it focuses almost entirely on in-ring action and prides itself on a high-quality in-ring product, steering away from the over-saturation of gimmicks and comedy that often times turn fans away.
This is a show for pro-wrestling fans.
While many of the CWC superstars may be brand new names to anyone watching or anyone in attendance, these superstars are quickly making a name for themselves in the WWE arena.
Cedric Alexander is one superstar in particular who came in to the tournament rather unknown to the WWE Universe but left the first round both victorious and with the crowd behind him.
Kota Ibushi came out to a solid reaction as he is one of a handful of competitors in the tournament that fans are likely to have heard of or have seen perform in the past. Ibushi lived up to the hype and seemed like a natural draw for the WWE Universe and that says a lot for him and other CWC superstars who can do the same.
Getting over in CWC will require elite in-ring performances and an ability to connect with the crowd despite a heavy reliance on promos and video-packages. This challenges the cream of the CWC to rise to the top and creates an incredible talent resource for WWE.
Daniel Bryan recently spoke with The Fan Garage and was asked about the possibility of a Cruiserweight title returning to WWE:
“You know that’s a fascinating question because so many of the top guys now would be considered Cruiserweights back when WCW had the first Cruiserweight matches those many years ago. The Cruiserweight Championship I remember was for 225 lbs and under (102 kgs) and the Cruiserweight Classic is 205 lbs and under.
“But if you look at the WWE roster today, everybody is a bit smaller because now, fans want more action which requires more mobility, which requires you to be a bit lighter.
“One of the things that I think we will see is that some of these guys who are say only 160 lbs., which might be 75 kgs, they are amazing and people want to see them. So, I wouldn’t be surprised, especially with the brand extension set to come, that the WWE does restart the Cruiserweight Championship.”
As for the CWC, it offers an exciting Wednesday viewing option and when Smackdown debuts on Tuesday nights, WWE will be providing fans a week full of great content with RAW, SmackDown, NXT and CWC, most of which airing on consecutive days.
Here are the rest of the CWC results from Wednesday night:
- Gran Metalik defeated Alejandro Saez
- HoHo Lun defeated Ariya Davairi
- Cedric Alexander defeated Clement Petiot
- Kota Ibushi defeated Sean Maluta