Posted July 16, 2016 by LJ Zenarosa in Entertainment

High Flyers and Heavy Hitters: The Lowdown on the WWE Cruiserweight Classic

CWC Cover

Ever since the WWE announced plans for the Cruiserweight Classic (CWC), fans eagerly waited for what the series had in store, from the concept of the 32-man tournament all the way to the participants competing against each other for a WWE contract. With that in mind, the debut episode of the CWC was greeted with much fanfare. Let’s get an idea of the look and feel of the CWC’s uniqueness compared to its WWE programming counterparts.

Calling the action from Full Sail University are Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan. Ranallo’s play-by-play commentary always gave every match a big fight feel, but with Bryan next to him at the announce table, they manage to kick it up a notch with their energy and natural chemistry, keeping fans at the edge of their seats from start to finish. Corey Graves balances out the action in the ring with updates on the series bracket and information about the tournament from the CWC Control Center.

Another unique aspect for the series is how the referees are mic’d up while giving last-minute reminders to the competitors before the opening bell. And at the end of the match, both competitors are on their feet before the winner is announced and gets his hand raised. This is very reminiscent of MMA fights, which Ranallo has previously referenced on more than one occasion. And it also adds a sense of legitimacy to the competition for a sport that is already perceived as scripted in nature.

Of course, the biggest factor that makes the CWC stand out is the fast-paced in-ring action from the first match of the series between Mexico’s Gran Metalik and Chile’s Alejandro Saez to the final match of the night between Samoan striker Sean Maluta of the Anoa’i wrestling clan and the “Golden Star” Kota Ibushi, one of the favorites to win the entire series. Gimmicks took a back seat in favor of highlighting the clash between wrestling styles, immediately setting the tone for what fans should expect as the series rolls on.

Overall, the first episode of the Cruiserweight Classic is a breath of fresh air for the WWE Universe. It doesn’t try to be a grand spectacle like WrestleMania (the minimalistic set design of the arena is an indication) but they make up for it with matches worthy to be the main event of any pay-per-view. Older fans get the chance to once again experience the same feeling they had while watching classic (no pun intended) cruiserweight matches in WCW and even the early years of SmackDown. On the other hand, the younger demographic gets to see matches that they wouldn’t usually get to watch on other WWE shows. We can only hope that they can maintain that momentum all the way to the finals.


Rating: 5/5

All photos credited to WWE.com

LJ Zenarosa

Nurse by day but a geek 24/7. Cat Lady who loves wrestling. And can eat lots of sweets -- like a LOT.