WWE may have struck gold with the Cruiserweight Classic. Not only will the series be the chance for WWE to showcase some of the most talented wrestlers from around the globe in the same tournament on the WWE Network, but the series is essentially a huge scouting opportunity for the company to bring in a ton of fresh talent to the WWE product.
Every talent in the series may not get signed by WWE, but they’ll all have the opportunity to show the world their skills and make a name for themselves in the industry, which is something only thirty-two wrestlers in the world will be able to say.
It’s a shame there can only be one winner. However, WWE may have already shown their hand as to who the last man standing will be at the end of the Cruiserweight Classic. Kota Ibushi has been one of the favorites to win the tournament since his name was first announced for the series, but he’s already received a prize from WWE that most of the other men are trying to win.
According to a report from WrestlingInc.com, the former New Japan Pro Wrestling IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, and current Cruiserweight Classic participant has officially signed an NXT deal with WWE. Ibushi is one of the first to be signed by WWE from the tournament. It only took one match for WWE to sign the dotted line with “The Golden Star” of Japan.
During the first episode of the Cruiserweight Classic, Kota Ibushi faced Sean Maluta in the first round. The two men had the match of the night with Ibushi coming out with the victory to move onto the next round. As the match aired on the WWE Network, Ibushi was also performing at an NXT live event making his in-ring debut for NXT against Buddy Murphy for a win.
WWE has already gone all in on Ibushi, which must make him the odds-on favorite to win the Cruiserweight Classic. He has already been signed by WWE and made his debut in NXT, which means winning the tournament on the WWE Network will be his calling card. It’ll make him a force to be reckoned with in NXT and give him an identity with members of the WWE Universe who may not be familiar with his work in New Japan or outside of WWE.
Kota Ibushi will be a fantastic addition to the NXT roster, which is expected to lose a lot of talent during the WWE Draft next Tuesday on SmackDown. Ibushi is one of the most technically skilled wrestlers in the world. The NXT Universe will know him, and he’ll be a top star for the brand immediately if WWE books him as the first winner of the Cruiserweight Classic.
The NXT roster will also be pleased to have Ibushi because of the history he has with many other current NXT stars such as Hideo Itami and Shinsuke Nakamura. Ibushi’s history with Itami, who wrestled as Kenta in New Japan, is well documented, and they will be able to continue that rivalry in NXT.
However, Ibushi vs. Nakamura is on another level. Last year at Wrestle Kingdom 9, Ibushi vs. Nakamura stole the show on New Japan’s biggest show of the year. Roughly a year and a half later, both men have signed with WWE and are in NXT together. It is only a matter of time before WWE brings back this match-up for a Takeover special to give many within the WWE Universe something they’ve never seen before.
Kota Ibushi already stole the show during his first night on WWE programming. WWE signed him very quickly, and he may win the Cruiserweight Classic in a number of weeks. WWE clearly has big plans for Kota Ibushi. He’s “The Golden Star” of Japan for a reason, and he’s destined for greatness in WWE. The only question is how long it will take Ibushi to set WWE on fire?
[Image via WWE.com]