WWE Cruiserweight Classic Finals – September 14th 2016
Full Sail University: Winter Park, FL.
The Cruiserweight Classic is the best thing WWE have done in years. Decades even. The company does not have a stellar record when it comes to producing tournaments, however it would be hard to argue that the 10 weeks of the CWC produced some of the most enjoyable TV of the year and overall was unquestionably the best tourney the WWE has ever produced.
TJ Perkins ended up the last man standing out of the field of 32 when he submitted Gran Metalik in the final match. He was presented with the CWC trophy and crowed the new Cruiserweight Champion with a title belt presented by Caesar himself, HHH. Perkins was really the only logical choice out of the final four guys left heading into the final night, as Kota Ibushi & Zack Sabre Jr have not signed contracts and will not be a part of the Cruiserweight division on RAW. Metalik has signed and will be one of the guys up on the main roster, however he still has to finish up his Mexico dates before he comes in full-time. The quality of the entire tournament, particularly the final night, almost made the winner somewhat irrelevant, as they really couldn’t make a bad choice out of the final four guys. It just so happened that TJP was the right choice on the night for reasons already noted.
Show opened with the almighty creator HHH narrating a video package hyping up the final four guys in the tourney. Mauro Ranallo & Daniel Bryan checked in on commentary and they talked about Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite and the Super J-Cup as being the forerunner to the CWC.
CWC Semi-Final: Gran Metalik vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – Metalik over in 13:00. Great opener. Super hot start with Metalik hitting a big Tope con Giro and a Springboard Senton for a quick near-fall. Sabre cut him off and used his trademark holds to ground the luchador. Metalik used a wacky lucha submission of his own and got a couple of hope spots in but Sabre caught him with a Dragon Sleeper to regain control. Metalik landed a twisting Bulldog and they traded some near-falls. They did a fighting spirit spot while on their knees then Sabre hit the PK for a huge near-fall. Second fighting spirit spot. Sabre hooked his Octopus but Metalik got to the ropes. Metalik delivered a massive Frankensteiner off the top then went for another Springboard move, however Sabre caught him in a Triangle. Finish saw Metalik counter the hold, avoid a Lariat and hit the Metalik Driver to get the pin. They brought in Andrea & Charly to interview Metalik afterwards, however they didn’t translate the majority of what he said into English. William Regal showed up and presented Metalik with a winner’s medal too. (*** ¾).
CWC Semi-Final: TJ Perkins vs. Kota Ibushi. – Perkins over in 14:55. Fantastic match, one of the best of the entire tournament. TJP went for the Kneebar early but Ibushi avoided it. Ibushi went for the Golden Triangle Moonsault but TJP kicked out his knee and Ibushi spilled to the floor. Ibushi teased getting counted-out then TJP delivered a Dragon Screw. Ibushi came back with a nice Frankensteiner and hit the Golden Triangle at the second attempt. They had a nice series of counters then TJP hooked the Kneebar but Ibushi made the ropes. Ibushi dumped TJP with a German and landed a barrage of strong style kicks then went for the monster German from the apron which he used to beat Brain Kendrick. TJP countered, but ate a beautiful Pele kick. Great near-falls with the Dodon from TJP and the Last Ride from Ibushi; the fans went insane for the latter. Ibushi missed the Phoenix Splash and they exchanged some fighting spirit strikes. TJP landed a Benadryller and Ibushi came back with an inverted Omori Driver. Finish saw TJP counter another Last Ride into the Kneebar; Ibushi held on, so Perkins transitioned into an STF to force the tap. Perkins said he only had one more match to go and Regal gave him his medal. (**** ¼).
DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Cedric lexander & Noam Dar. – DIY over in 9:40. Good match. It was essentially an indie tag match on a WWE show. They did all kinds of moves and spots. Cedric landed a dive over the top on Ciampa early. DIY took out Dar with a Doomsday Superkick on the floor. There was a super sequence of MOVEZ which resulted in a quadruple-down and the fans went crazy. Finish saw DIY use a bunch of tandem offense and they nailed Dar with a Running Knee/Superkick combo to get the pin. Everyone looked really good here. (*** ½).
They stalled for time and had Regal talk with Mauro & Bryan. Regal said he remembered seeing the original Tiger Mask in the UK when he was known as Sammy Lee. Corey Graves showed up and gloated that the Cruiserweights would be on RAW and not SmackDown.
After the entrances and ring intros, just as the bell was about to ring for the main event, HHH showed up and made everything about himself for a change. Uncle Paul did his usual rah-rah speech then unveiled the new Cruiserwight Championship belt which he said would be presented to the one and only winner.
CWC Final: TJ Perkins vs. Gran Metalik. – TJ Perkins became the Cruiserweight Classic Champion in 17:47. Great match. They traded holds early. Metalik scored an early Tope to take control, but Perkins came back with a quasi-Dragonrana over the top to the floor. Perkins used his holds and Metalik came back with a huge RanaSomersault Plancha then landed a Springboard Elbow drop. Perkins got the Kneebar aboout 10 minutes in, but Metalik got to the ropes. Perkins went to work with some leg-kicks. They did a fighting spirit spot and Metalik threw some stupidly stiff chops which busted up TJP’s chest. Metalik landed a nice DDT and went for a Moonsault but TJP got his knees up and delivered the Dodon before hooking the Kneebar. Metalik countered into a roll-up then hit the Metalik Driver but delayed making the cover due to the damage done to his leg. Finish came when Metalik delivered some more insane chops then went for a Super Metalik Driver. TJP countered in mid-air and caught the Kneebar to get the submission. HHH put the Cruiserweight title around TJP’s waist then whispered something in his ear like the final scene in Lost in Translation. Perkins cut a nice promo about how he kept the key from his last home before he ended up on the streets. (*** ¾).