Notes In Observance – WWE CWC 7/13/16: Kota’s Gonna Kill You
Posted by Nicholas Jason Lopez
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Kota’s Gonna Kill You
– Nothing goes better together than cruiserweight action and Summer weather. The wrestling community was eager for something like this, since it’d been a long time since cruiserweights had been highlighted. Arguably, TNA was the last company to do something similar with their World X Cup back in 2008, but their semi-yearly tradition ended that year. WWE picked up that slack, as it was announced months back that 32 competitors no more than 205 pounds would compete in a tournament. This has the sounds of a Triple H idea and we were pumped, as this was likely a cool new way to introduce world-caliber talent to the WWE faithful. The opening video explained the significance of cruiserwrights in wrestling history as footage of Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio hit our screen. The goal of this was explained as “unique and exciting competitors step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.” Ya damn right. Some familiar faces like Johnny Gargano and Cedric Alexander were also shown. Sweetness. It was 32 men, 16 countries and 1 prize. Let the fun begin.
– A commentary team of Mauro Ranallo/Daniel Bryan and a Full Sail University arena? This must’ve been hand-crafted for the IWC. Either way, this was an awesome pairing in many ways. Bryan explained how he had taken on many of these tournament competitors and could attest to that in-ring style, while Ranallo had overseas credibility when he did commentary for New Japan Pro Wrestling so he could keep up with that style on play-by-play.
– The First Round match between Gran Metalik and Alejandro Saez started with respective video packages for both men. Metalik (who some fans might recognize from CMLL) put over his Mexican heritage and mask, even if he resembled a Power Ranger to some extent. On the other side, Saez came from Chile and wanted to show his “Warrior” side, as it was explained by Bryan that he cut 30 pounds just to make the tournament. We had some great action, as Metalik stood out with his aerials, particularly with a middle-rope springboard senton to the outside. Saez’s best highlight was his shooting star press off the apron to the floor. By the end, Metalik won with his Dorada Screwdriver finisher.
– The First Round match between Ho Ho Lun and Ariya Daivari was less of a high-fly match and took it more to the ground, but was a nice counterpart to the opener. There was a clearer heel-face dynamic here as well. Daivari’s video package revealed him to be the brother of Shawn Daivari of past WWE fame. After all, he shared a resemblance to his brother too. Lun was put over for how he became a wrestler to disprove the notion that men in China could only work in offices and never branch out. Daivari showed great heel charisma in the way he walked around and refused to shake hands before the match. The Full Sail faithful amused themselves as they chanted for Ho Ho a la the “iOle!” chant. Daivari maintained control early on while Lun hung in there and kept his babyface smile rampant. Eventually, Lun battled back to win it with a German suplex bridge pin. An odd choice for a finisher, but Lun’s got an “electric” way about him that you can’t help but love. We initially thought that Daivari’s tie to his brother would get him over, but they went with Lun instead, which was better for the tourney anyway.
– The First Round match between Alexander and Clement Petiot was similar to the previous match but had a lot more crowd input due to Alexander’s involvement. Petiot was put over as a burly Frenchman who bragged he was bigger than most high-flyers. Alexander came off as humbled in his video package as he aspired to be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Ric Flair, especially since he also came from North Carolina. On top of being Mr. America and the crowd’s indy darling, all eyes were on Alexander here. We were also told that Alexander cut 25 pounds to make the tourney, even though he looked the same as usual. Good heel-face dynamic here, as an early highlight was Alexander’s backflip head scissors. Nice action that portrayed both men as equals before it built a foundation for Alexander to make a babyface comeback and overcame a Petiot discus clothesline to hit his Lumbar Check finisher to win. An obviously recognized name, we expect Alexander to make it far.
– The First Round match between Kota Ibushi and Sean Maluta was probably the longest match of this bunch, but that wasn’t a bad thing at all. Ibushi was highly praised by Bryan for his stiff kicks and called one of the legit best in the world. Ibushi’s video package portrayed him as someone who was eager to please a new audience. On the other side was Maluta, a blend of old-school and new-school, who put over his Samoan heritage and how he came from Staten Island and trained at the Wild Samoan Training Center and was in the same family as The Usos and Roman Reigns. As you’d expect, the Full Sail crowd loved Ibushi and were respectful towards Maluta. Dangerous spot early when Maluta nearly landed on his neck when he lost his footing on the rope as he attempted a springboard somersault, yet he still hit the move, just rolled an extra time. It was hard for Maluta to recover the crowd’s trust from that point, but as the match went on, he slowly got them back. Ibushi was simply unstoppable here with the fans, as he stood out with a sick Pele kick that knocked Maluta off the top rope and to the floor. Maluta had one upset tease when he nearly won with a superkick to the head, but after that close near-fall, Ibushi hit his Last Ride Powerbomb to win. How could Ibushi not win this? The fact that the next round bracket would have Alexander and Ibushi face off was nearly orgasm-worthy.
– Next week’s show promised to feature talent like Taijiri, Lince Dorado, TJ Perkins and Akira Tozawa. Well, holy crap.
- First Round – Gran Metalik def. Alejandro Saez via pinfall to advance to next round
- First Round – Hoho Lun def. Ariya Daivari via pinfall to advance to next round
- First Round – Cedric Alexander def. Clement Petiot via pinfall to advance to next round
- First Round – Kota Ibushi def. Sean Maluta via pinfall to advance to next round
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on August 13, 2016, in WWE and tagged Alejandro Saez, Ariya Daivari, Cedric Alexander, Clement Petiot, Corey Graves, Cruiserweight Classic, Daniel Bryan, Gran Metalik, Ho Ho Lun, Kota Ibushi, Mauro Ranallo, Sean Maluta. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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