Cruiserweight Classic – September 7, 2016: That’s Not Fandango

Cruiserweight Classic
Date: September 7, 2016
Location: Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentators: Daniel Bryan, Maruo Ranallo

It’s the second half of the semifinals tonight with the other two names getting set for next week’s live two hour finale. This show somehow keeps getting better despite already being one of the most entertaining hours of wrestling every week. Tonight we get to see Zack Sabre Jr. in action again and there’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s get to it.

Preview of tonight’s matches.

Opening sequence.

Zack Sabre Jr. isn’t worried about the billions of people he’s performing in front of because there’s only one opponent in the ring with him at a time.

Noam Dar is the youngest entrant in the tournament but he’s fought around the world and knows how to adapt.

Quarterfinals: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Noam Dar

England vs. Scotland. Sabre rides him on the mat to start and grabs a rather rough looking headlock. A dropkick to the knee has Zack in a bit of trouble as Mauro tells us about Dar being a bit jealous of Zack’s success and the publicity that comes with it. Dar goes after the leg a bit too much and it’s Zack getting in a stomp to the arm to take over. The standing armbar doesn’t work yet and it’s a pinfall reversal sequence for some near falls.

Zack gets punched in the face so he grabs a half nelson suplex for another near fall. Dar goes after the leg again but gets kicked in the arm, only to have the Penalty Kick mess up Sabre’s leg even worse. Dar gets two more off a running dropkick to the back and there’s the kneebar to put Sabre in trouble. That’s reversed into a cross armbreaker and a rollup for two on Dar.

They strike it out again until Dar gets caught in the armbreaker, sending him straight to the ropes. Sabre shows off his lack of common sense by trying a top rope knee drop, only to bang it up again. Dar comes off the top with a double stomp to the leg and there’s the kneebar. Sabre can’t reach the ropes so he rolls outside to put both guys down in a crash. Zack has to dive back in at nine but he seems to have injured his shoulder. A bunch of stomps to the arm have Zack in trouble but he pulls Dar down and puts on the Rings of Saturn with his legs, bending Dar’s arms so far back that I cringe as Dar gives up at 15:48.

Rating: B+. Really good chess match here as they spent the whole time working on the limbs until one of them had to give up. There’s a story in the end with Dar switching gears to go after the arm instead of the already injured leg but Sabre stuck with his guns to win with what he had set up all night. This was great stuff and that’s all you can expect from Sabre. Dar more than held his own though and that’s a positive sign for his future on Raw.

Dar can barely stand for the official decision so they hug from the mat.

TJ Perkins knows he’s one of the best in the world because you have to think that in this business.

Rich Swann says you’ll see the best of him when the pressure is on.

Quarterfinals: TJ Perkins vs. Rich Swann

Philippines vs. America. The fans sing Rich’s theme song in the ultimate sign of respect. They trade near falls to start and it’s an early standoff. It’s off to the battle over the wristlock as we hear about how Eddie Guerrero both influenced them. Perkins dances out of a headscissors and does that bicep kissing thing (yes I know what it’s called). Mauro talks about rap lyrics until Swann stops to dance. Mauro: “It’s a dab duel at the Cruiserweight Classic.”

Rich sends him outside but tweaks his knee on a moonsault attempt. Perkins isn’t about to let that go and dropkicks him down before going with a belly to back suplex. There’s a chance he didn’t see the knee injury so this isn’t necessarily bad psychology. Perkins starts in on the leg until Rich hits him in the face a few times. Simple yet effective. A jumping DDT gets two on TJ but Rich’s leg gives out on a hurricanrana attempt.

The second attempt works a bit better though as Perkins is put down, setting up a kick to the head for two. Perkins grabs a quick kneebar but Rich is right next to the ropes. A tiger driver out of nowhere gets two on Perkins and Rich kicks him square in the head. Perkins comes right back with a fireman’s carry into a kick to the head (think a GTS but with a kick instead of a knee), followed by the kneebar to make Swann submit at 17:01.

Rating: B-. This got better once they cut out the dancing stuff and got down to a serious match. Swann is really growing on me and I’m very surprised that they went with Perkins here. That being said, I can’t imagine they’ll go with him over Ibushi next week. Still though, good match here and it got a lot better as they started getting serious.

Perkins immediately checks on Swann and seems almost sad that he had to beat him.

A video on next week’s final three matches wrap us up.

Overall Rating: A-. Yeah what else were you expecting here? Of course this was awesome as the Cruiserweight division has the potential to be something great once they finally get to Raw, though I have a bad feeling they’re going to just have random matches without the storylines to make everything work. Still though, really good show here as the quality wrestling continues.

Results

Zack Sabre Jr. b. Noam Dar – Rings of Saturn

TJ Perkins b. Rich Swann – Kneebar

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book, KB’s WWE Grab Bag at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IH7O904


And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:


http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

4 comments

  1. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    I liked both matches this week and even Dar is still a little sloppy he acquitted himself nicely in a match that suited him. Probably would have preferred a twenty minute version of Gulak vs ZSJ instead but oh well.

    Perkins and Swann started real hot with speed and playing to the crowd and the hard strikes. Then the actual yeoman’s work of a guy accidentally hurting his knee and Perkins slowly realizing it and grinding to a pulp reluctantly begins. TJP maybe the most reluctant technical wrestler ever but he is really good at it. I always hate the high flier vs the technical wrestler matches because unless it’s Mysterio vs Malenko/Angle it always ends up with the technical guy grounding the high flyer which is just not what the crowd wants to see.

    Can’t wait for next week with the semis and WWE’s choice of producing an indie dream match in Ibushi vs ZSJ or looking out for their marketability with Metalik vs TJP. They will probably hedge with Metalik vs Ibushi but we will see. Plus Gargano and Ciampa vs The Revival III oh this show is gonna be awesome.

  2. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    I liked both matches this week and even Dar is still a little sloppy he acquitted himself nicely in a match that suited him. Probably would have preferred a twenty minute version of Gulak vs ZSJ instead but oh well.

    Perkins and Swann started real hot with speed and playing to the crowd and the hard strikes. Then the actual yeoman’s work of a guy accidentally hurting his knee and Perkins slowly realizing it and grinding the knee to a pulp reluctantly begins. TJP maybe the most reluctant technical wrestler ever but he is really good at it. I always hate the high flier vs the technical wrestler matches because unless it’s Mysterio vs Malenko/Angle it always ends up with the technical guy grounding the high flyer which is just not what the crowd wants to see.

    Can’t wait for next week with the semis and WWE’s choice of producing an indie dream match in Ibushi vs ZSJ or looking out for their marketability with Metalik vs TJP. They will probably hedge with Metalik vs Ibushi but we will see. Plus Gargano and Ciampa vs The Revival III oh this show is gonna be awesome.

  3. Ted says:

    Is gargano ciampa vs the revival 3 happening at the final?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I don’t think so but the way they talked about it on NXT was confusing.