WWE Global Cruiserweight Series: Progess Wrestling Qualifying Matches
The entire WWE Global Cruiserweight series seems like something fantasy booked by RSPW-F in 1998. Really weird that is something that is actually happening. Since Segunda Caida are 90's Kids at heart we will review it all.
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Flash Morgan Webster
PAS: I am not 100% sold on Sabre Jr. yet, but he has been in some of my favorite matches of 2016. In those matches he mostly plays game underdog who takes a beating and uses his guile and craft to sneak advantages. This however was Sabre working on top as a Fuchish torturer of a young game kid. He was really nasty here, he threw a Tiger suplex which looked like it dislocated Webster's shoulder, he had some neck cranks which looked like he was trying to twist the kids head off. Webster showed some spunk, and had some ok highspots, although he didn't have the vertical leap to really make them look great. I liked heelish Sabre Jr. a bunch, and hope we get to see more of that from him.
ER: I think I am totally sold on Sabre at this point. Maybe an older version of him wasn't as good, but now I'm pretty sure he's legit. And as things start this whole thing is just tremendously British. Webster looks like Jay from the Inbetweeners, and the ref looks like Neil. Made me want to snack on some jammie dodgers while watching. Or some pickled onion meanies. Mmmmmmmm. Sabre was an awesome dick here, and Flash had plenty of cool stuff of his own (although Phil is right in that he doesn't totally have the leaps to make all his highspots look good, but it kinda adds to his charm). That tiger suplex spot is devastating, set up perfectly and I really kind of wish was the finish, but damn what a spot. Even not being familiar with Webster's offense it looked the whole time like he was going for a rolling cradle and not just setting up a spot for Sabre, and I like how that brutal move grew from that. Sabre cranking on limbs and contorting Webster's spine made my body ache. I have no clue how Webster's arms weren't just hanging limply from two dislocated shoulder sockets by the end. This whole thing was really fun.
Pete Dunne vs. Jack Gallagher
ER: We're fast becoming big Gallagher fans at SC, and this was another great performance. Even though I thought the whole match could have added up to more, I really liked both guys in this. Dunne I had never seen before and he had some cool things (really liked him using his own leg to yank his leg out of Gallagher's grasp, or digging his knuckles into the back of Gentleman Jack's neck), and Gallagher did great little spots of selling that were so well done and so natural that they easily could have gone unnoticed. Him rubbing out his neck the same spot where Dunne was digging in his knuckles, minutes after that was done; him locking on a gorgeous rolling half crab and sucking teeth while shaking out his left hand that had moments before been worked over; he has just so many nice attention to detail moments that make you really want to focus on all sorts of stuff, as you know your focus will be rewarded. I'm really loving this "new" wave of UK indy guys, it's the most I've been actively interested in present day UK wrestling ever, at least since 2001ish when I first saw guys like James Mason and Doug Williams. It's a shame Dunne is eliminated as I know there's going to be people in the tournament who won't be nearly as fun, but I loved that I didn't actually know who was advancing while watching it. I *assumed* it would be Gallagher, but didn't know, so when Dunne got a couple really great nearfalls I totally bought them. That one with him grabbing the ropes totally got me, which is a testament to how nicely these two let things play out. Fun stuff.
PAS: I am totally in the bag for Jack Gallagher he is the best grappler in the world right now and really delivers some awesome little touches, countering a suplex by slipping into an guillotine choke, delivering a kneecap kick float into an ankle lock, he is just doing things on the mat no one else is pulling off. I do want to give some love to Pete Dunne though, what a marvelous dickbag. His meathead faces, his little ponytail, his Bruiserweight nickname, his nasty cheap shots like digging his knuckles into Jack's neck or twisting his fingers, just a complete asshole. I thought his bar brawl bullshit melded really nicely with all of Gallaghers mastery.
PAS: It will be really interesting to see how these guys do on WWE TV, they are both such idiosyncratic wrestlers, and I am curious to see how they look against guys like Sombra or Busick. Gallagher I imagine will be first round cannon fodder, but I just hope he makes a stop off at EVOLVE when he is the US, Gallagher vs. the Catch Point guys would be amazing
ER: I'm really excited for both guys going over, excited at all the potential match-ups. This really does feel like a tournament that 17 yr old me would be booking, and it still doesn't totally seem like a real thing. It's surreal to see clips from a tiny British indy show on WWE's website and youtube channel, but I am loving that this is a thing.