The Cruiserweight Classic: The Final Review

Following a truly exhilarating 10 weeks of thrilling wrestling action, the CWC finally came to an incredible end but who walked out as the final victor?

The Cruiserweight Classic: The Final Review
What happened on the final episode of The Cruiserweight Classic? (image: Joel Lampkin)

The original announcement of The Cruiserweight Classic was met with confusion with the belief being that WWE could never pull an event of such grand expectations.

Now 10 weeks later, not only has the CWC shattered all expectation it has created and developed a new breed of superstars for the company to thrust into their audience during next week's Monday Night Raw.

One of these four men would walk away as victor, but who? (image: Joel Lampkin)
One of these four men would walk away as the victor, but who? (image: Joel Lampkin)

While futures were secured on the red brand, there was still the ultimate question surrounding who would actually walk away as the winner of the tournament and bare the title of the world's best cruiserweight.

The Opening match

Zack Sabre Jr. battle Gran Metalik to earn a place in the CWC final (image: joel lampkin)
Zack Sabre Jr. battle Gran Metalik to earn a place in the CWC final (image: joel lampkin)

Starting the night's action was a match that several weeks ago would typically be viewed as a mid-card match on an independent show, but following the platform presented by the CWC both men would not look out of place headlining IPPV's in any promotion.

Zack Sabre Junior took on Gran Metalik with the winner sealing a place in the final, The Technical Wizard was the expected favorite heading into the bout but the Lucha Libre performer would be tough opposition.

The Mexican kicked things off early and within three seconds sent the Britton tumbling out of the ring prompting the first "Mamma Mia" off the night from the ecstatic Mauro Ranallo, before following it up with a springboard front flip, earning a two count to get the crowd's blood pumping.

ZSJ quickly regained himself and took the match to his opponent twisting and turning his body in disturbing ways in an effort to ground the unpredictable Luchador.

The match continued back and forth and just when it looked as if The British Master would be earning a much-predicted victory, he made the fatal error with his eyes set on a European Uppercut allowing Metalik to scoop him into his patented Screwdriver to pick up the pinfall victory.

The final spot

T.J. Perkins battled Kota Ibushi for a place in the CWC final (image: joel lampkin)
T.J. Perkins battled Kota Ibushi for a place in the CWC final (image: joel lampkin)

With the first place in the CWC final secured, it was now between Kota Ibushi or T.J. Perkins to occupy the final position with the victor meeting Gran Metalik for the right to call themselves the best cruiserweight in the world.

The Golden Star began this match with a clear chip on his shoulder but TJP refused to be in awe of the Japanese performer and shown how he can be as dangerous as anyone as he just missed out on locking in the kneebar submission.

The usually cocky Filipino performer had his eyes on the prize tonight as the typical 'dab' which became so symbolic of the 32-year-old was gone and replaced with an intent game-plan to weaken the legs of his opponent.

Ibushi however, quickly found his rhythm and began to wear down his younger opponent, with a number of stiff kicks to the chest of Perkins before hitting a Golden Star power bomb but the shock of the Full Sail crowd and those watching around the world, he kicked out.

A stunned arena collectively gasped in awe of the sheer determination of Perkins, but Ibushi decided to end things fast with a second powerbomb but it was beautifully countered by TJP who locked in the Kneebar forcing the former NJPW man to tap out.

The look of relief on the face of the young man that has just done the unthinkable and defeated Ibushi was magical with his fate now in his own hands as he prepared to take on Metalik in the final.

Taking a pause

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa took on the pairing of Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander (image: feeds.insanejournal.com)
Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa took on the pairing of Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander (image: feeds.insanejournal.com)

With Perkins performing just moments earlier, thrusting him back into the squared circle to battle in the most important match of his and Metalik's career would be poor planning and the CWC continued its tradition of exceptional matches and booking.

The duo of Noam Dar and Cedric Alexander took on the NXT tag-team of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, four men who stole the hearts of the audience throughout this competition and four men who will be a part of Monday Night Raw's Cruiserweight Division.

The Scot and the American began really well taking a part DIY, Dar went to work on Gargano taking out the leg of the former Open the Freedom Gate Champion. However, the tag to Ciampa halts the momentum of Dar with The Sicilian Psychopath attacking the youngster.

Alexander who had largely been a bit part player up until this point made an immediate impact as he dropkicked Gargano off the apron before hitting a pelee kick to Ciampa knocking him out of the ring.

The teamwork of DIY, however, began to show as Ciampa got Dar in the electric chair position before Gargano followed up with a dropkick to the face of the young Scot.

With both men finding their groove they worked together to dropkick Alexander out of the ring before brutally working together once more to double kick Dar to knock out the former PCW Heavyweight Champion as DIY picked up the pinfall victory.

The crowning of the World's best cruiserweight

Triple H announced that the winner of the final would be crowned Cruiserweight Champion (image: wwe network)
Triple H announced that the winner of the final would be crowned Cruiserweight Champion (image: wwe network)

With both men now set and ready, they entered the ring with the knowledge that one of them will be crowned the world's best cruiserweight with glory set to follow, while heartbreak inevitably shall follow the loser.

Just before the bell is rung, however, Triple H's music hit prompting a huge reaction from the crowd at Full Sail University, while no pedigrees would accompany him something even grander did.

The Game donning a suit announced that the winner of the match would not only acquire the label of world's best cruiserweight but they would enter Monday Night Raw as the brand new Cruiserweight Champion.

With the stakes now raised, both men were now ready to give it all to win as the bell rang, the patented head scissors from Perkins makes early trouble for Metalik who decides to go to work on the unpredictable performer with a submission but it backfires massively as he locks in the reverse pendulum.

Always expect the unexpected when witnessing The Mexican and TJP clearly forgot this when he took a breather on the apron allowing Metalik to hit a hurricanrana over the top rope hurling his opponent onto the floor.

The Mexican followed up with a springboard front flip and this match looked to be approaching its final stages, Perkins, however, played possum and following a kick out from a pinfall was hit with the Metalik Driver but again kicked out at two following a knee injury sustained by the Luchador.

Sensing the end, Metalik went for his signature move a second time but it is countered by Perkins into a Kneebar and following the injury suffered earlier, the sheer pain is enough for The Mexican to tap out, as Perkins drops to the mat in emotional fashion.

Both men shocked the world and produced a truly amazing series of matches throughout this tournament and raised their stock in the wrestling world to never before seen heights.