By Nolan P. Smith
One of the hands down best professional wrestling programing to date has to be the Cruiserweight Classic. The tournament, which takes place on the WWE Network every Wednesday until it reaches its conclusion, took 32 of the greatest cruiserweight wrestlers across the globe and put them toe to toe in battle. From the initial 32, we are now down to the Great 8. We break down each superstar and predict the final four and a winner.
Ready? Let’s go.
The explosive Japanese superstar from Dragon Gate and Dragon Gate USA has been amazing thus far in the tournament. His smash mouth style, versus many competitors calm and calculating style, is a joy to see. Having defeated Kenneth Johnson in the first round and fan favorite Jack Gallagher, which came to the surprise to many. His German Suplexes have shaken up the competition enough to get him to the final 8.
From the very first match in the CWC, Gran Metalik has stole the show. The masked luchadore brings his highflying, innovative style stateside, much to the delight of fans everywhere. An early favorite to win, Metalik has defeated Alejandro Saez in the first round and WWE mainstay Tajiri in the second. From CMLL to New Japan to word being the WWE, Metalik has an excellent chance of winning it all.
Zack Sabre Jr.
One of the biggest names going into this tournament, Sabre Jr. is in a league of his own when it comes to submissions. Representing England, Sabre Jr has fought around the globe against names like Sami Zayn, Finn Balor and former WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. The methodical submission master defeated Tyson Dux in the first round and had an amazing match with Drew Gulak, where Sabre Jr. took the V. This young man has a real shot at the trophy, and the WWE for that matter.
The man representing Scotland and Israel has been impressive in his first two matches between the purple ropes. Having competed in TNA and Global Force Wrestling in the past among more, Dar is one of the underdogs to make it this far. Dar defeated Harv Sihra in the first round and Ho Ho Lun in the second, Dar looks to make both countries he represents proud.
The Brian Kendrick, best known for his tag team championship run with Paul London in the WWE, is back on a path to redemption. One of the veterans to enter this tournament, Kendrick has choked out the competition, like Anthony Bennett and Tony Nese. Can the WWE veteran make a return and reclaim his time in the spotlight?
Easily the favorite to win, watch one match with Ibushi and you will see why. With massive success around the globe, including New Japan and IWGP, Ibushi has shined so far in this tournament. Having knocked off Sean Mulata and Cedric Alexander in two amazing matches, Ibushi looks to become the first Cruiserweight Classic winner.
One of the surprises of the tournament comes from T.J. Perkins, who constantly shows off moves unseen in the WWE and shows what the definition of high energy is. Having competed in numerous organizations including TNA, Perkins almost makes it look easy. Perkins won his first two matches by submission, defeating Da Mack and NXT favorite Johnny Gargano and looks to dab his way into the finals.
The only surviving NXT superstar, Swan’s high flying style and presence with the fans is unmistakable. Swan has went toe to toe with current WWE superstars Finn Balor and Baron Corbin, and now looks to go for the gold. Having defeated Jason Lee and Lince Dorado, Swan could snatch victory after a very impressive ground level 450 degree splash.
So here are my predictions:
Akira Tozawa V Gran Metalik- Winner: Gran Metalik
Zack Sabre Jr. V Noam Dar- Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
Brian Kendrick V Kota Ibushi-Winner: Kota Ibushi
T.J. Perkins V Rich Swan- Winner: T.J. Perkins
Gran Metalik V Zack Sabre Jr.- Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
Kota Ibushi V. T.J. Perkins- Winner: Kota Ibushi
Zack Sabre Jr. V Kota Ibushi: Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
There you have it. The finals could really go either way, as both are amazing wrestlers. I give the edge to Sabre Jr., as he has proven his ability to pull out a victory from the jaws of defeat. Who do you think wins it all? Let us know on our Facebook page! Remember, this tournament is only available on the WWE Network, so check it out today!