WWE Cruiserweight Classic: A Casual Fans Retrospective Part 9
Joshhausen is once again riding the cosmic turtle that carries the world in which the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic was made!
Happy Saturdayhausen! We're back with another leap through The Scary Door! ..Just kidding! It's time for another installment of a Casual Fans' coverage of the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic! (I'd say Inaugural like they do but there hasn't been another since so why perpetuate their lies?)
This week I'll be clipping my ticket for the rollercoaster that is Episode 9!
Episode 9 was taped on August 26th 2016 at Full Sails University in Winter Park, Florida. (Winter in Summer? I'm confused..) this is the 9th episode of the CWC and the 2nd episode of the Quarterfinals.
We are informed of the matches we have lined up tonight (I'm sure this will also be covered by Corey "please make me relevant" Graves too..) and then they hit the entrance music and theme. (I still love the music.)
The Beginning of the Show:
Our beautiful announcement duo of Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan set up the hype for the show to come and also remind us of previous results.
The Opening Match: Zack Sabre Jr Vs Noam Dar:
First Entrant: ZSJ comes out to applause and cheering, one guy going mad with a UK Flag. They show a video of his win from the last match.
Second Entrant: Noam Dar comes out to near silence from the crowd, some minor applause. They obviously don't know how cool Dar is, the fools. They also show a clip of his previous match win.
The ref touches them up, they get undressed and they begin by shaking hands and start by dancing around with tie ups and failed grabs for quite a while.
ZSJ manages to lock up Noam Dar in a couple of locks, one on the mat, the other a headlock then turns it into a Japanese Strangle Hold trying hard to wear down Dar. Dar pushes him back into the turnbuckle and breaks out following up by elbowing him in the gut.
Dar taunts ZSJ and he rushes at him, Dar manages to trip ZSJ up and gets him in an Armlock but ZSJ reverses it. Dar counters by grabbing ZSJ's leg but gets caught into a Crossface which he breaks out of and works on ZSJ's leg.
ZSJ counters Dar's assault and hits a Big Stomp on his arm. Dar forces ZSJ into the turnbuckle and ends up running into a Back Elbow, ZSJ sits on the turnbuckle but gets knocked down by Dar with a Dropkick. He gets ZSJ's leg into a lock and the two start fighting like two kids in a paddle pool.
ZSJ misses a kick to the head but knocks Dar to the ground by wrenching his arm. He pushes Dar into the ropes and hits two European Uppercuts followed by a series of failed pin attempts by the pair.
Dar hits a very impressive looking snap assault and taunts ZSJ but his taunt rewarded by taking a Bridge Suplex. ZSJ tries a Penalty Kick but dodges and knocks him to the ground, ZSJ kips up but is hit by a Enzuigiri and a Fisherman Suplex followed by a failed pin. (WHO'D HAVE THOUGHT!?!?!?)
Dar seems to be getting frustrated as ZSJ takes a quick power nap. Dar is back to his feet first and grab's ZSJ's leg, they trade kicks and Dar steps on ZSJ's throat but is then knocked off ZSJ with a big ol slap to the face. (Ooh, you bitch!)
ZSJ tried a Full Nelson but it's countered then he hits a Penalty Kick followed by, that's right! You guessed it! ANOTHER FAILED PIN!
ZSJ back to his feet first and is up on the turnbuckle. He gets a Guillotine Bodyscissors on Dar but he breaks out by dropping ZSJ to the other side of the apron. ZSJ gets kicked to the mat and receives a Bicycle Kick to the face from Dar who capitalizes with a Topé Suicida.
He pulls ZSJ back into the ring and waits for him to get up as ZSJ nurses his knee and Dar nurses his right arm (You know what he's been doing!) Dar knocks ZSJ to the floor with a Dropkick and follows with a successful pin from a Dropkick!!! Nah.. I'm just kidding.. It was another failed pin attempt from an average move..
Back on their feet, ZSJ hits an Octopus Stretch but it doesn't last long as he breaks out but then ZSJ hits a Jumping Triangle which is countered by Dar into a Kneebar, ZSJ reverses into a pin which Dar ain't taking and they just go back and forth between submissions ending in ZSJ very nearly getting the pin but fails (no shit..)
Both competitors take a moment to try and recover their injuries and the crowd starts getting hyped. Dar charges into ZSJ and meets his fist in a European Uppercut, he then charges at Dar but he reverses the charge into a failed pin attempt.
They trade strikes, Dar with punches, ZSJ with slaps and some lightning quick reversals on both sides into even more reversals and a rope break from ZSJ's submission.
ZSJ climbs to the top turnbuckle and missed a Double Knee Drop right to the mat! ZSJ then misses yet another Kick and is hit by two quick strikes from Dar who follows up with a Double Stomp from the turnbuckle onto ZSJ's injured leg, he follows up with a rolling Knee Bar. ZSJ reaches for the rope as Dar kicks him in the back, he releases the submission and delivers kicks to ZSJ's leg into another submission but it gets countered by ZSJ rolling them out of the ring.
It seems ZSJ may have an injury on his elbow, the ref checks him over but he wants to continue. His elbow does seem injured. The count out gets to 9 and both competitors get back in the ring just before 10.
Dar exploits ZSJ's injured arm by wrenching his arm and then hitting a Double Knee Drop. His assault has now switched to his arm with stomps. ZSJ gets back up and hits a couple of kicks and counters a charge by Dar by locking him into a version of the Rings of Saturn using his legs rather than his arms. Dar can't take it and taps out almost instantly.
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr
I've made it known that I'm not a fan of slow burning technical matches but this one was different. This one had style, grace and speed. It was in my opinion ZSJ's best technical match I've seen in this entire tournament and I would love to see more like this.
The star of this match for me was Dar. While I am growing to appreciate ZSJ's style of wrestling even more, Dar brought a sense of brutality to the match that really made the match come alive.
This match impressed me more than I thought it would, so I'll give this match a 7.5/10
The "Keep Corey Graves relevant" Segment:
We're back in the "Control Center".... (It was called Command Center before. Make up your mind you useless trout.) He proceeds, to no ones surprise, tell us about the match that's coming next. Which was already covered both before the title video of the show and after the title video of the show. Isn't he useful? He's like an alarm clock in a coma ward or a spare prick at an orgy.
Is it coming across that I really don't like him? (If your answer is "Yes", then good, I'm doing my job right.)
The Main Event: Rich Swann Vs T.J, Perkins:
First Entrant: Rich Swann enters with an uproar from the crowd, hyping me up for the match as he always does with his energetic, eccentric persona. We are shown a clip of his win from his previous match with Lince Dorado, we end his entrance with him dancing back into the turnbuckle.
Second Entrant: TJP enters to applause from the crowd but nothing like the energy Swann got. We are shown the video of his win against Johnny Gargano.
The two competitors go to the middle of the ring, shake hands but go back to their respective corners as Swann hypes up the crowd by composing his chant to them.
The two perform some lightning fast grapples ending with them kipping up in sync. They circle each other and lock up. TJP rolls out of it and sweeps Swann to the ground. He puts Swann in a Wristlock but he rolls out of it and bounces on the mat like a Magikarp.
They trade submission holds by rolling out of each others holds and Daniel Bryan shows his age. The match while having a lot of impressive agility, has been fairly slow until TJP breaks out by showing off and then dabs. (Remember when dabbing was cool? Yeah... Me neither...)
They eye each other up and lock up as TJP gets in a headlock but gets fired into the ropes, they both take turns in avoiding each other as they both bounce off the ropes, then they both hit different arm drags followed by Swann taunting TJP with a dab. (This is fucking cringe but I love it.)
TJP hits a swift offense into a submission but gets no purchase as Swann grabs the ropes almost immediately. TJP hits two European Uppercuts and Irish Whips Swann into the ropes but gets met by a Kick to the face from Swann followed by a very swift offense knocking TJP out of the ring. Swann tries to capitalise but misses the hit and seems to have hurt his knee.
TJP jumps over the top rope to a Rebound Dropkick but seems to hurt his lower back on the landing.
TJP throws Swann back into the ring and hits a Slingshot Senton but he now seems to be in quite a bit of pain. He follows up by hitting some Back Suplexes to a failed pin attempt. (Not even gonna go there.)
TJP locks Swann into a Hammerlock but Swann breaks out, TJP tries to hit a Suplex but Swann lands on his feet and hits a Spinning Hook Kick. Swann tries to hit a move from the top turnbuckle but TJP evades and starts working on Swann's injured leg.
He locks Swann into a Heel Hook and rolls him over. Swann kicks TJP off him but TJP is swift back to his feet and begins working on the leg once again. Swann slaps TJP in the face but it doesn't work. TJP drags him to his feet and fires him into the turnbuckle. He tries to start an offensive on Swann but it doesn't work as Swann reverses and hits his own offense.
Swann hits a Running Knee to a DDT on TJP and fails a pin attempt. Swann charges at TJP in the turnbuckle but he avoids. TJP hits a Neckbreaker to a Underhook Double Knees. TJP is back up to his feet first, he puts Swann onto the top turnbuckle and fails whatever he was doing as Swann delivers some Back Elbows and throws TJP to the outside of the ring. Swann tries to tend to his knee and rest but TJP jumps up and hits a Frankensteiner off the turnbuckle.
TJP climbs onto the top turnbuckle again but Swann jumps up and hits his own Frankensteiner to a Rolling Thunder finishing with a Standing Moonsault to a failed pin attempt. TJP gets up, he kicks him in the head, grabs his gooch and plants him into the dirt, he gets a 2 count for this effort but this assault really could've ended the match so I'll forgive the two pin attempts. (You're welcome, Swann.)
TJP looks like me on a Friday night after a few too many mineral waters, (I'm a good boy! Stay in school, kids!), and Swann seems to be hyping himself up for an attack but TJP locks in a Kneebar, it could end it here if Swann wasn't so close to the ropes.
TJP is back to his feet delivering some brutal leg kicks but gets reversed by a roll up pin attempt by Swann that fails. Swann hits a Powerbomb to a Jack-knife cover, but this also fails. (Bad, Swann! Bad! No Dairylea for you.)
Both are back up to their feet, Swann hits a few blows to TJP before he counters with a Spinning Hook Kick to a kick to the head and fires himself off the ropes into a Superkick from Swann. It knocks TJP to the ground but he loses momentum as his knee buckles under him.
He tries a jump onto TJP but he hits a Detonation Kick to a Kneebar. Swann tries furiously to reach the ropes but he's nowhere near and he taps out.
Immediately TJP releases the lock and jumps to his friends aid. He wanted this over as quickly as possible.
Winner: T.J. Perkins
Both Rich Swann and T.J. Perkins are ALWAYS a pleasure to watch. Their offensive styles are incredible and so entertaining to watch. Their persona's in the ring are quirky and so entertaining that they go far outside of your generic wrestler.
The star of this match for me was easily T.J. Perkins. From the start he seemed to be in control of the entire match. Swann had some good spots but TJP was firmly in control of this match. His in ring presence, offensive style and the way that as soon as the match was over he went to comfort and care for his friend really made him stand out in this match for me.
This was a hell of a match, one of the best in the tournament so far and I'm happy to give it a 9/10.
So this brings us to the end of this weeks rollercoaster ride and by god was it a good one. Thorpe Park must be jealous by now!
The matches were incredible and have setup the Semi-finals and Finals to follow next week. We are SO close to the end but the upcoming matches look incredible. We have the Semi-finals and the Finals left in one show along with some other surprises! (Good surprises. Not Bodybags. F@#& off, James.)
I hope you'll join me again for the next installment and as always, I encourage any comments and feedback.
I'll see you next time for the FINAL of the tournament and the penultimate article in this series!