As part of their strategy to keep the lead against Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan of SmackDown Live, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley announced that Monday Night Raw would be bringing back the WWE cruiserweight division. This announcement came soon after the beginning of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament, featuring 32 of the world’s greatest lightweight wrestlers. The WWE Draft and brand extension also opened up some spots on the NXT roster, as wrestlers from Full Sail University are being called up to the main roster.
The open spots give the CWC competitors even more motivation to win over the WWE Universe and impress the people who make hiring decisions. While there’s no doubt some of these men will be on Monday Night Raw very soon, guys like Kota Ibushi and Sean Maluta have already found themselves wrestling on WWE NXT. On this week’s episode of WWE CWC, one of NXT’s hottest tag teams goes one-on-one in the main event, while guys like Rich Swann, Jack Gallagher and Fabian Aichner really turned some heads as part of the under card.
Note: The following contains the full results and spoilers for the episode of WWE CWC that first aired on the WWE Network on August 4.
WWE Cruiserweight Classic Round 1 Results: 8/4/16
The following matches and segments for the fourth episode of WWE CWC were taped at Full Sail University on Wednesday, June 22. A strong emphasis is being placed on each competitor’s country of origin. Countries represented on this episode include China, England, India, Italy, Scotland, and the USA. Daniel Bryan and Mauro Ranallo provided commentary.
Rich Swann (USA) Defeated Jason Lee (China)
While the crowd appreciated Jason Lee and his unique kung fu-infused style, Rich Swann was the clear favorite. According to Daniel Bryan, this was Swann’s first match back after a shoulder injury. He got the pinfall victory after hitting Lee with a Standing 450 Splash.
Noam Dar (Scotland) Defeated Gurv Sihra (India)
The youngest competitor in the CWC tournament got a victory over one half of the “Bollywood Brothers” with a mat-based ankle lock submission. India will not be represented in the second round, as Gurv’s brother Harv Sihra lost to Drew Gulak in the first round.
Jack Gallagher (England) Defeated Fabian Aichner (Italy)
Daniel Bryan repeatedly confessed his love of Jack Gallagher throughout this match, as the English gentleman displayed the most scientific style of wrestling in the tournament so far. Fabian Aichner was no pushover, however, captivating the live audience with a double-springboard moonsault. In the end, the crowd chanted “Thank-you-both!” as Gallagher was officially declared the winner.
Johnny Gargano (USA) Defeated Tomasso Ciampa (USA)
The very last match of the first round featured the tag team of Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa going at each other’s throats instead of watching each other’s backs. While the match was as intense as it was brutal, the guys showed no hard feelings when things were all said and done. With NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II just around the corner, we’re likely to see these two guys challenging The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championship at the Barclays Center on August 20.
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Preview: WWE CWC Round 2, August 11
As Round 2 begins to air next week, Corey Graves only announced two matches for the August 11 edition of WWE CWC. The “Japanese Buzzsaw” Tajiri — a former WWF Light Heavyweight Champion and WWE Cruiserweight Champion — takes on Gran Metalik out of Mexico. Then, in the main event, Kota Ibushi (another Japanese superstar) takes on America’s own Cedric Alexander.
Where to Watch
Immediately following new episodes of WWE NXT, the WWE Network airs new episodes of WWE CWC on Wednesdays at 9/8c. The Cruiserweight Classic tournament is then available for streaming on-demand immediately. The entire tournament is scheduled to air over 10 episodes, putting the finale at September 14.
[Image via WWE]