Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Friday, August 05, 2016

WWE Cruiserweight Classic 8/3/16

1. Jason Lee v. Rich Swann

ER: I suppose WWE must have really wanted one of the Chinese guys to advance to the 2nd round, but after this few minutes I wish we would have gotten another Jason Lee match. Ho Ho Lun was arguably the greenest guy in the tourney, Lee had some presence and personality (loved him telling Swann to bring it while Swann was dicking around), had some real cool kicks (that snapped off mule kick to Swann's temple!) and a weird uppercut, and had no problem running into Swann's kicks. Swann can do some crazy things with his body, and he doesn't have that same problem that afflicts Petey Williams style flippers: His stuff actually hits with impact. His standing splash and *standing* (crazy) 450 hit with a thud (well, as much thud as a 165 pounder can thud...), he doesn't look like he's covered in flubber and just bounce off everything. Ending felt a little sudden, but I liked what we got.

PAS: This was fun stuff, I thought Swann might have been a little overacty with his charisma faces, but overall I liked his shtick, he really has crazy agility that leap into the rana may have been even nuttier then the standing 450. Swann being this crisp and athletic and being this over kind of makes guys like Tony Neese and Lince Dorado kind of obsolete, if Swann can do the same stuff but land with impact and not wrestle like a robot, why do we need those dudes.

2. Noam Dar v. Gurv Sihra

PAS: Not good, both guys seemed like they were on different pages, and while parts looked OK, most of it looked kind of weak sauce. I get why they want to push Dar, but he seems like he needs some more seasoning to get a push on TV, I am assuming he is out next round and should just hang around the training center for a while. Bollywood Boys should use their TV time to get more random indy bookings, but they don't seem ready for prime time.

ER: Yeah, they got lost a couple minutes in and looked like they spent the next 3 recovering. They would just kind of stand there filling time until you'd see a lightbulb go off like "oh right, the spin kick!" I thought Mauro and Bryan covered nicely on a couple of the noticeably clunky spots, and sadly before things stumbled I was enjoying Sihra, especially that nasty back elbow he busted out. Dar is a bit too muggy for me, for what he's trying to do, something I didn't care for in his qualifying match either. Bryan was good at pointing that out, even reasoning that he's so young that he's just excited to be there. This was the first match that the commentary was more interesting to me than the match itself. I was much more interested in hearing about Sihra's proud, blind grandfather listening to the CWC, than I was watching Dar throw another thigh slap dropkick.

3. Jack Gallagher vs. Fabian Aichner

PAS: YEAH!! Segunda Caida favorite Jack Gallagher makes his big show debut. Gallagher has been sporadically available over the last couple of years but every time he showed up he looked awesome. I think Gallagher is the best mat worker in the world right now, incredibly slick at the kind of WOS tribute stuff he does here, as well as really awesome fast and violent shootstyle matwork. It is funny how much better Gallagher is at the counter wrestling British stuff then Sabre Jr., kind of exposes ZSJ the same way Swann exposes dudes like Neese, and man alive was that dropkick finish amazing looking. Aichner was really fun too, his suplex throw into a powerbomb was totally nuts and the double jump moonsault was one of the bigger highspots of the tourney (although it was totally numbnuts to show him practicing that move during the preview video, took a lot of the surprise out the move). Think they should keep him around after this tourney. Gallagher however was at another level and looks like one of the best guys in the world, we have been saying it for a while, glad to see everyone else get a chance to see it too.

ER: This was too much fun and it was amusing hearing Bryan clearly marking out on commentary for every single movement Gallagher made. We all saw that moment in the early 2000s when indy workers started seeing WOS tapes, we all saw moments where guys would awkwardly shoehorn lady in the lake spots into their matches after they saw a Johnny Saint match for the first time, and gradually have seen a lot of WOS elements bleed into indy wrestling. But Gallagher is really the first one to actually feel transported from the early 80s and not just doing a tribute act. He does things so seamlessly and naturally that it feels like he was raised in a box with only WOS tapes to watch, and he just thinks that this is genuinely how people fight. I had never heard of Aichner before and came away impressed. If Swann and others hadn't already exposed Nese then here's a guy with the exact same 200ish lb. muscular build doing the same cool shit as Nese, but throwing in more interesting power spots and also able to hang with cool mat reversals, but also doing basic stuff like locking on a chinlock that actually looks painful. Gentleman Jack has such a wonderful quirky personality, like when Conan O'Brien's "Gentleman Masher" boxing character or Conan playing 1800s throwback baseball. His reversal teases, his astonished facials at Aichner's reversals, the ability to look silly one second while blasting a stiff dropkick the next, all great stuff. Loved Aichner's vertical suplex into a powerbomb, just a real great showoff spot, and Gallagher plants himself brutally on the landing. Gallagher's finishing dropkick seemingly broke physics, as he was able to plant the dropkick and then basically land a cannonball all in one motion. Man, among Kendrick, Gallagher and Gulak I have no idea who I'll be pulling for (but they damn well better make Gulak/Gallagher happen).

4. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa

PAS: Pretty impressed by this match. I came into this match not liking Gargano and having no real opinion of Ciampa and they really sucked me with the story they were telling. These two were given some advantages that other guys in this tourney didn't have, the emotional background is a gimmick the same way blood or weapons shots are, they also got the kind of big dramatic near falls that the other tourney matches really didn't have. Still they took those advantages and used them well, Ciampa really laid into Gargano including some truly nasty back elbows and huge bombs. Gargano's offense is pretty indy, but he did a good job milking the 2 counts and I did like how he pulled out the win at the end. The finish with Ciampa devastated that he couldn't pull of the victory but still hugging his friend had real pathos. Probably the second best match of the first round and it wasn't a match I was particularly looking forward too.

ER: I'm with Phil on this one, I wasn't coming in expecting much but the simple story worked for me, and both guys familiarity with each other added to this. Ciampa laid it in the whole match and Gargano was right there to take it. That back elbow to kick of the striking was really something, and Gargano had a great spit take and tumble to the floor. And the familiarity was great as it kept revealing itself throughout the match, giving nice built in transitions to both guys. Gargano catches a punch to hit one of the more believable trapped arm superkicks with Ciampa's head against the buckle, later after getting hit with a dive Ciampa catches Gargano with a brutal knee when Johnny was coming in for his slingshot spear. Ciampa's knees looked great throughout which made the kill shot moment of truth have a bit more heft, as he knows his knees have been great and he hesitates before the kill shot. The ending flash roll up sequence was good and a nice surprise, as the match sucked me in enough that I wasn't sure who would win. I figured Gargano was the favorite, but also figured they didn't really have any 1st round upsets, so maybe we were due. I did think Gargano took a bit too much offense without giving back, but I loved the post match hug, with Ciampa plopping down next to his friend. Reminded me of the Baba/Rusher hug in my favorite tag match (them vs. Hansen/Tenryu from '89). Great end to the 1st round.


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Blogger discotortoise said...

These aren't spoilers because they openly showed the bracket and even had that wild CWC Bracketology show, but it's Gallagher-Tozawa & Gulak-Sabre in the round of 16. So, yeah. I think that the bracket will do what it's supposed to do just fine, but it's not conducive to producing the best matches. Who thinks that Dar-Ho Ho is a good booking idea?

8:13 PM  
Blogger EricR said...

Dar/Lun could be a right mess, but at least they're stacking the mess into one match. Although it might be interesting to see what Gulak or someone else could get out of them. Hmmmm...I guess I don't know what I want, outside of wanting Gulak/Gallagher :)

8:26 PM  

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