WWE is doing something very unique with their company. They have put together a tournament that will air on the WWE Network that they are calling the Cruiserweight Classic. It will put some of the best cruiserweight wrestlers up against each other. WWE has done an amazing job at finding some great workers to take part in the event. WWE is sort of copying New Japan Pro Wrestling and their Super Juniors Tournament, but the fact that WWE is doing this has to be considered a big deal.
One thing WWE is doing that Japan is not may be that they have only one contracted star in the tournament of 32. That means 31 people are not under a deal with WWE — or are they? We know that Rich Swann is the only one in the tournament that WWE has under a deal, at least that was the thought before something big came out. It appears that WWE may have already signed New Japan and DDT star Kota Ibushi, a man considered a favorite to win the classic.
According to a story out of the very reliable Japanese outlet Enuhito, Ibushi told the Weekly Pro Wrestling Magazine a story regarding how he signed with the WWE. After Koti left NJPW and DDT earlier this year, WWE NXT star Finn Balor contacted him. He asked if he can give his phone number to Giant Bernard (Matt Bloom) and Ibushi agreed. WWE then ended up making an offer to Ibushi but he refused it because he wanted to focus on his new project, the Ibushi Wrestling Research Institute.
A little while later, Triple H himself called Ibushi. Kota says he got a call from an unknown number which happened to be The Game. Triple H would say “Moshi Moshi” or “Hello” in Japanese. Triple H then spoke to Ibushi about coming in and was said to have been very passionate about it. Kota then accepted the offer.
Kota Ibushi was expected to do well in the Cruiserweight Classic, but knowing this, it could mean that WWE has had the plan in place all along to get fans excited about Kota coming in as they watch him do great things in the tournament. Once he wins it, which he most likely will, WWE would most likely then offer him something official. While he could always start on WWE NXT, he could very well end up on the main roster instead.
WWE is in need of several talented people due to the upcoming WWE Draft and brand split. WWE will then be gutting the NXT roster to help the brands fill up on the main roster, which is good for Kota Ibusi as he could end up anywhere with the WWE. He would most likely work with NXT for a while as it would allow him to take a starring role with the brand when others depart for the main roster. He along with Bobby Roode and Eric Young are expected to be the stars to replace the top stars leaving.
There is a good shot Zack Sabre, Jr. ends up on the NXT roster with them, but it is unknown if WWE wants to sign him now or have him remain with Evolve for a bit longer. The theory is that Sabre could get signed with the big September class later this year, which is most likely going to include ROH stand-out Moose.
WWE clearly has a lot of talented people on their radar and many are going to be with the company very soon. However, the man at the top of the list has to be Kota Ibushi. The fact that he has signed, according to the report, means a great deal for WWE. Not only can they say they have four of the top Japanese wrestlers on the planet with them, but they can also say that they are being used well.
Despite the report coming out of Japan, The Wrestling Observer claims Ibushi still feels he has things left to do in Japan and is not ready to sign with the WWE. That said, we may not see anything official until after the tournament.
Signing Kota could help them lure away other top names out of New Japan and other organizations, which is always a good thing. The Ibushi signing may be a catalyst to many great things for the WWE, in particular amazing wrestling. The man wrestled a doll and made it amazing; can we really think he won’t work well with anyone at this point?
[Image via WWE]