WWE Cruiserweight Classic 2016 (July 13, 2016) is the 1st episode of WWE Cruiserweight Classic 2016.
The first match of a tournament often has the distinction of setting the pace for the rest of the field. Mexico’s Gran Metalik and Alejandro Saez of Chile set the bar ridiculously high, throwing all caution to the wind in the opening battle of the Cruiserweight Classic.
Though he cut 30 pounds to make the 205-lb. weight limit, Saez still had the size advantage over Metalik, using his strength to overpower the masked marvel. The Chilean grappler did his best to keep his rival grounded, but there was no stopping Metalik from taking off. The luchador stunned Saez with a superkick, then walked up and across the ropes to deliver a diving dropkick that sent Saez to the floor. Gran Metalik capped off his offensive burst with a daredevil springboard dive over the ropes that brought the crowd to its feet.
Regrouping back in the ring, Saez sent Metalik to the floor with a vicious strike, then showed he could fly too, shocking the WWE Universe with a shooting star press from the ring apron to the floor. However, when Saez tried to capitalize with a spiral tap off the top rope, Metalik evaded the high-risk maneuver. Driving his opponent into the canvas with a fireman’s carry fisherman buster, the masked marvel cemented his place in the second round.
Ariya Daivari, brother of WWE Alumni Daivari, was supremely confident heading into the Cruiserweight Classic. Not only did he believe that he was the best wrestler in the tournament, but he showed no respect for his opponent, HoHo Lun, refusing to shake the Hong Kong, China native’s hand before the start of their match.
Daivari quickly learned that Lun was not to be underestimated, as the plucky competitor stunned him with a big dropkick. The Iranian soon realized that he would need to get ruthless to if he wanted to advance, grabbing Lun by the hair and slamming him to the canvas. Daivari continued the disrespect and repeatedly slapped Lun in the face. That only fueled Lun, who battled back to his feet and staggered Daivari. After the Iranian missed on a frog splash, connected with a German Suplex to win the match and advance to the CWC’s round of 16.
Heading into the CWC, France’s Clement Petiot felt his strength, mat wrestling ability and willingness to bend the rules gave him the advantage over the rest of the field, while Cedric Alexander was determined to make the most of the huge opportunity the tournament presented him. Alexander used his agility to frustrate the Frenchman early on, landing a backflip into a headscissors takeover before hitting a picture-perfect dropkick.
Putting a stop to Alexander’s theatrics with a hard knee to the face, Petiot took control of the bout. The Frenchman muscled Alexander around the ring, but could not keep the American down. Despite being turned inside out by a discus lariat, Alexander rallied and put Petiot down for the three count with the Lumbar Check to move on in the CWC.
As the nephew of WWE Hall of Famer Afa, and the cousin of Roman Reigns and The Usos, Sean Maluta certainly has a pedigree worthy of the CWC. Unfortunately, he may have also had the toughest match in the first round, as he squared off against “The Golden Star” Kota Ibushi, one of the early favorites to take home the Cruiserweight Classic trophy.
Ibushi immediately showed why he’s favored, knocking Maluta off-kilter with a hard leg kick. The Samoan tried his best to wear Ibushi down and avoid those devastating strikes, but he soon found himself gasping for air after the Japanese star connected with a roundhouse kick to the chest. Gaining the upper hand with a Codebreaker-like move off the ropes, Maluta realized that if he was going to defeat Ibushi, he would have to throw everything he had at the “Golden Star.”
Maluta did just that, executing a somersault dive over the ropes that nearly backfired. However, the kicks with which he clobbered the Japanese star only fired Ibushi up. Maluta regained control after shoving the Japanese star off the ropes, but Ibushi bounced back with a backflipping kick and the Golden Triangle Moonsault to the arena floor. Back in the ring, a Savate Kick nearly scored a huge upset for Maluta, but Ibushi recovered and connected with a kick of his own. “The Golden Star” then immediately hit a Last Ride Powerbomb to end the match, and earn a spot in the round of 16, where he will face Cedric Alexander.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- Gran Metalik defeated Alejandro Saez in a Cruiserweight Classic First Round Match (4:04)
- Hoho Lun defeated Ariya Daivari in a Cruiserweight Classic First Round Match (5:04)
- Cedric Alexander defeated Clement Petiot in a Cruiserweight Classic First Round Match (5:59)
- Sean Maluta defeated Kota Ibushi in a Cruiserweight Classic First Round Match (9:40)
Other on-screen talent
|WWE Cruiserweight Classic 2016 episodes|