I have been mulling this around for a few weeks now, the 10 week program is about to hit its culmination, and I finally wanted to put down my thoughts about CWC. The Cruiserweight Classic, is simply put, the best example of pure wrestling and showmanship that I have ever seen with a WWE program. Never have I seen the tremendous amount risk taking, and such well thought out and designed matches as I have enjoyed with this program. Now, I am going to get more in depth as to why these matches are so important, but just as an example, let’s take a look at the highlights from last weeks episode and our first match, Gran Metalik vs. Akira Tozawa *SPOILER ALERT* *DON’T WATCH IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE*
Now this is just a small cut from the full match, but even with this short video, you can tell there is a completely different feel to the nature of these matches in the CWC. This match, from start to finish was virtually flawless. Rest assured, fans of wrestling know this and when the match got to the halfway point I was instantly sure this would be a classic. I was not disappointed. It honestly reminded me of this Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero match:
I think what makes CWC so fun to watch is one common theme: hunger. Every wrestler is willing to prove something in the ring. To give you a general idea, most of these wrestlers have either been working in the industry for 10+ years, are relative new comers, or are those looking for a final chance at stardom. There is something so important about this for the WWE. CWC is incredibly fun to watch because we know each performer is trying to entertain the crowd to the best of their ability.
It’s also amazing with such a wide variety of athletes from all over the globe (Mexico, China, Japan, Chile, UK, Germany…) that we get the most simplified forms of each match. We can’t infer much into these matches unless we’ve followed the careers of most of these individuals, so what we are left with is simply what they doing in the ring. This is a little at odds with other WWE programs, considering that NXT usually has some drum up (with a new video package) for new wrestlers joining the promotion. And while we get some promos with each wrestler (usually them stating that they just want to win the tournament) there is really not much of an introduction to each competitor. So ultimately, we get less of the good guy / bad guy stuff, and simply get the distillation of pure wrestling. No long drawn out setups, no super long promos, just wrestling.
We also get truly wonderful moments, like when Cedric Alexander left the arena after losing to Kota Ibushi, quite possibly, one of the most important matches up to this point in Cedric’s career:
I have never seen a crowd be as appreciative to a relative newcomer like this. Seriously, hearing the crowd chant ‘PLEASE SIGN CEDRIC’ and then having Triple H (the head of talent) make an appearance was truly something to behold. As a grown man, I am willing to admit that this got me a little teary. This is a prime example of how the WWE is turning a new leaf. A future of more openness with the talent and the fans, and all the way to the top with Triple H.
CWC also is giving the wrestlers free range, in a way that I haven’t seen in a WWE program in a LONG TIME. For one, I have never seen the wide variety of moves like I have seen in this program. Standing 450 splashes, hurricanrana’s from the middle rope, suicide dives that’ll make you scream, and…a FUCKING BURNING HAMMER?!?!?
Yes, legitimately, there is a reason why the inventor of this move only did this 7 times in his career and each time he won the match. In this case, Brian didn’t fair too well, even with this tremendous move, but it speaks volumes to CWC and the trust that the WWE seems to be putting into this new crop of wrestlers.
Keep in mind though, it isn’t all about risky moves or dangerous finishers. What I believe the WWE and Triple H are trying to do here is to return the Cruiserweight’s to a place where they can demonstrate more than one style or ability. Personally speaking, I think the creative grappling style of Jack Gallagher (who got robbed) and others in the CWC highlighted that entertaining matches do not simply need to be about hurting your opponent but also, outsmarting them.
So ultimately, if you are looking for something different with your wrestling, if you are looking for a good introduction to friends who are not wrestling fans, or if want to experience more of the athleticism associated to wrestling, do yourself a favor and watch CWC and support the Cruiserweight’s. Personally speaking, I think the CWC is the most original program the WWE has produced since NXT and think that this brand is far more important to introducing new fans than any other. You don’t need any further setup other than both wrestlers stating their intention to win and then a quality match; simplicity at its finest. I sincerely hope that this continues when the Cruiserweight division makes its debut on RAW this month.
E_HUFFY and I will be sure to talk more CWC in the future and will have a wrap up show on the G&G podcast once the tournament has completed. As always, thanks for reading!