WWE Cruiserweight Classic for August 3, 2016
Watch: WWE Network
Full Sail University/Full Sail Arena – Winter Park, Florida
Rich Swann vs. Jason Lee
This is the final night of first-round matches in the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic. Of all the competitors I’d been unfamiliar with prior to the CWC, Lee was one of the most polished wrestlers. He and Swann had a solid opener, in which Swann won with a standing 450 Splash.
Gurv Sihra vs. Noam Dar
Gurv Sihra is one-half of the charismatic duo known as Bollywood Boys. His brother, Harv Sihra, lost in a first-round match against Drew Gulak last week. Dar, on the other hand, is a well-traveled independent wrestler, most notably known for competing in Scotland’s ICW. Dar is also the youngest competitor in the tournament at the age of twenty-two. I wasn’t fond of this, as it looked like they were often on different pages. Dar looked good here, repeatedly targeting Sihra’s legs. This would play into the finish, as Dar submitted Sihra with a knee bar.
Jack Gallagher vs. Fabian Aichner
This was a really fun match showcasing the technical prowess of Gallagher and the power of Aichner. One of the highlights of this match saw Aichner deadlift Gallagher out of a sleeper hold, into a powerbomb for a near-fall. Aichner also pulled off some incredible high-flying maneuvers, such as a frog splash and a springboard moonsault. Eventually, Gallagher picked up the win with a corner dropkick. Really good match and one of the best in the tournament to this point.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano
Prior to the match, Andrea D’Marco interviews both competitors backstage. Gargano and Ciampa say that it doesn’t matter if they’re tag team partners in NXT, because tonight, they’re both in it to win the tournament. I’ve been looking forward to this since the brackets were announced.There were some really cool moments, one of which saw Ciampa take out Gargano with an Air-Raid Crash on the apron. Ciampa’s hesistance to take out his best friend with a knee strike cost him for a brief period of time, but he immediately fired back with a vicious lariat and a subsequent lung blower for a near-fall, which I bit on. Gargano would end up getting a surprise roll-up pin on Ciampa to advance.
Next week, second-round matches kick off, pitting Tajiri against Gran Metalik and Cedric Alexander against Kota Ibushi. Half-way through, I was down on this show, but the final two matches saved it. Come for an exciting match between Jack Gallagher and Fabian Aichner, stay for a hard-hitting main event between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.