CWC Episode 5:
Here it is, Round 2 of the Cruiserweight classic and with it, comes increased expectations. With round 1 ending with such a bang the bar was set high for the next round. This feeling of raising the stakes was driven home by an opening promo package from Corey Graves who did his thing and gave it some gravitas. The promo got me excited for the matches to come and it clearly worked for the crowd too as they were finally alive. Having the crowd being invested will do wonders for the rest of the tournament and it will bring another layer to the matches.
Match 1: Tajiri vs Gran Metalik.
From the off the crowd were loud and excited which brought some excitement to things before it even got started. Now everybody is getting used to the characters they are getting invested which will only help the show going forward but enough about the crowd. After the showing Gran Metalik put in during round 1 I was excited to see what else he could do and he did not disappoint. He brought some new offense to things showing that these wrestlers have a lot more to offer than what we have already seen which will keep interest up in the coming weeks. The match started with a nice trip counter/pin sequence that got things off to a good start. Tajiri impressed too in this opening switching up his style to work better with Gran Metalik and it really showed, with both men shining in the match.
Tajiri was really showing his veteran experience in this match and he seemed to guide things at points. This match is evidence is that everyone is stepping things up for round 2 and it makes for good matches with duelling pin sequences and a nice bridging headscissors from Tajiri reminding me why I liked him growing up.
Something that stuck out to me in this match was the commentary, previously it was all about enthusiasm which was nice but it did leaves lulls, now we see that Daniel Bryan is settling into his role as a commentator and he is really improving which in turn improves the matches we see. Everything about round 2 is just great.
As the match continues we see a few good sequences. Metalik continuing to put in a good show with his athleticism doing his signature plancha we saw in round 1. Something that I found interesting through was that a Dragon Screw spot he performed through the ropes got a much bigger reaction than the plancha. This shows that a slower style of wrestling is appreciated in the CWC and it lead to some really nice submission spots by both guys. It was here I was reminded how different countries really do have differing wrestling styles especially the UK, USA, Mexico and Japan.
A nice basement dropkick from Tajiri followed by a Metalik Driver to close the match got round 2 off too a really good start. Tajiri put in a much better showing than last time and the whole experience is much better than round 1 already making me really happy with this show.
Gran Metalik wins.
Match 2: Cedric Alexander vs Kota Ibushi.
Before the match even starts, the excitement is through the roof for these guys. The crowd is loud and the commentary is building it up to be great and as soon as Ibushi’s music hits things get intense. The match starts strong with some solid catch wrestling. Sequences like this always impress me because they are so fluid and allow the wrestlers to show their creativity in an interesting way. The crowd seem to enjoy this sequence as well as duelling chants for Ibushi and Alexander break out early on. The two men go move for move with some really strong strikes making the match really hard to predict which makes the show so much better.
The crowd were eating out of the wrestler’s hands in this match with the ever impressive Triangle moonsault being evaded causing the crowd to erupt and get hyped up beyond belief. By this point the crowd is already firmly behind Alexander which is really a testament to the storytelling going on in the match as Ibushi has long been a favourite even before the tournament started. As the match continues the crowd only gets more and more behind him and invested in the match prompting another chant to break out with “This is Awesome” and they’re right. This match is incredible, from the catch wrestling to big moves and the insanely strong strikes. Strong style doesn’t begin to explain how strong these kicks are. Ibushi and Alexander both look like they want to kick the living daylights out of one another until Alexander starts to take the lead seemingly having an answer for everything Ibushi can dish out. Eventually Ibushi turns the tables with a huge dropkick evening things out and bringing about some duelling strikes. These duelling strikes really get Ibushi back in control and they let him build to some great moves with a corkscrew moonsault and a triangle moonsault that actually hits. Moves like this really bring up the pace of the match and things end up going back and forth once again. This match is so damn fast and intense, my heart is in my mouth at this point as the fight forever chants start to break out.
From here Alexander gets so many near falls it’s scary, he can see the win and desperation is clear, he goes in hard but he just can’t get the 3 count eventually Ibushi reverses the hit and manages to pull off his golden star powerbomb allowing him to pick up the win.
Kota Ibushi wins.
Something the CWC is doing well so far is protecting the finishers it really makes them important. The entire show was incredible and I’m sure there is much left to see but the second match was something else. Everyone in attendance seemed to think so too with “please sign Cedric” chants breaking out after the match. The emotion was real and it made the match special with triple H coming out and giving his approval. I look forward to next week’s offering with the stars left in the tournament.