TWC’s own Carl Bennett recaps this episode of the CWC; The start of the Quarterfinals!
Opening the show we had Corey Graves narrating the names of the eight competitors left in the tournament: Gran Metalik, Noam Dar, TJ Perkins, Brian Kendrick, Zack Sabre Jr, Akira Tozawa, Kota Ibushi and Rich Swann.
Inside Full Sail Arena Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan welcomed us to the show and then threw it to Corey graves in front of the green screen, sorry I mean the CWC control room. There Graves announced that tonight’s main event would be Kota Ibushi (swoon) vs. Brian Kendrick but next up was Gran Metalik taking on Akira Tozawa.
The MMA style introduction videos played for each competitor as they have done in each of the earlier rounds. Nothing of real note in each video other than WWE seems to be going all out in saying Tozawa has the best German Suplex in all of wrestling. If you listened carefully you can hear the exact moment Brock Lesnar destroyed a tractor on his farm upon hearing that.
Tozawa was out first and again Bryan said Tozawa has the best German Suplex in wrestling. Seriously Daniel Brock will hear you, find you, then kill you! Metalik was out next and Mauro got in a line about Metalik getting his start in CMLL, the oldest professional wrestling promotion in the world. Who would have thought they hear that on WWE show.
Great match, I personally prefer the strong style of Tozowa but I understand why WWE will go with the high flying style of Metalik. Its well known WWE is desperate for a Latin American star and Metalik could definitely fill that void and he definitely will be very marketable and sell a lot of merchandise.
In terms of the match I would put it up there as one of the best in the tournament so far. I hope both guys get signed up and appear on the Raw Cruiser-weight division. It would appear that Metalik is signed as WWE filed 2 trademarks for the Gran Metalik name in mid August, one for clothing and the other for “wrestling exhibitions and performances by professional wrestlers and entertainers rendered live and through broadcast media including television and radio, and via the internet or commercial online service.”
The tournament Bracket was updated showing that Gran Metalik will face the winner of the Noam Dar vs. Zack Sabre Jr match. Back with Daniel Bryan and Mauro Rannallo they discussed how effective the Metalik Driver is and I can’t say I disagree, it looks pretty good. Bryan talked up his friendship with Brian Kendrick and said he will throw all objectivity out of the window in this next match.
Introduction videos were up next first with Brian Kendrick really playing up that this is probably last chance and that’s what makes him a threat. Kota Ibushi in his subtitled video said he will the tournament because wrestling is more than a job to him and loves wrestling more than anyone else.
Ring entrances took place with Kendrick carrying some random flag to ring with him (hit me up if you know what that is) next up Ibushi was out then we were off to the races.
Wow both guys totally brought it for this match, I am in total love with Ibushi’s ring style I hope WWE gets him to sign the deal they have offered him as he would be an absolute star in the Cruiserweight or World Title picture. I like the redemption story they are telling with Kendrick and I hope they continue to tell it on Raw.
At the taping the match suffered a pretty embarrassing botch during the spot where Kendrick ties Ibushi’s leg in the guard rail. I don’t know if Ibushi forgot that in the US its a 10 count outside the ring and not 20 like in Japan, the ref counted to 10 as they are ordered to call the match as if it were real. This led to Kendrick winning the match via count out, William Regal would come out and order the match to restart the match due to Kendrick tying Ibushi’s leg up. Props to WWE’s production team because they cut the sequence of the count out and Regal ordering the rematch.
Next weeks matches of Noam Dar taking on Zack Sabre Jr and Rich Swann going up against TJ Perkins should be great but it will take a lot to upstage the first two matches of the quarter-finals.
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