The Global Cruiserweight Series is coming soon, and of the names already announced for the tournament, here’s what you need to know
With WWE announcing their new tournament – the Global Cruiserweight Series – it shines even more of a light on the fact that in order to play in the land of the giants these days, you don’t have to be the size of the Big Show, or have the muscular definition of John Cena; sometimes it’s okay if you’re just an absolutely fantastic technical wrestler.
More and more these days, we are seeing smaller guys take over the biggest professional wrestling company in the world. CM Punk paved the way back in 2006 and since then we’ve been graced with the presence of Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Neville, AJ Styles and Sami Zayn, to name a few. It cannot be argued however that this was not always the way in WWE.
Back when the WWE Cruiserweight Championship was a thing, it was almost treated like a joke title belt – something the likes of Santino could have held because why not. It was passed around at house shows, thrown back and forth between Velocity and Smackdown and the last holder of the title was Vince’s illegitimate son Hornswoggle. Despite Rey Mysterio holding the title a combined eight times between WCW (where it was considered a legitimate championship) and WWE, it was also held by the likes of Nunzio and Funaki, along with Gillberg if you count it being unified with the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, so both belts for lighter weight classes were largely considered a filler part of a show.
However, as seen on NXT, people who weigh less than 240lbs can also cut the mustard. Finn Bálor, Chad Gable, Hideo Itami, Austin Aries and Enzo Amore have shown that it is possible to just be amazing in your own way and your path will make itself. There are some current members of the NXT roster that you will be seeing in the Global Cruiserweight Series upon it’s airing on the WWE Network starting July 13. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, who have been featured heavily over the last few months on NXT, will feature along with Rich Swann.
International standouts Zack Sabre Jr., Noam Dar, Ho Ho Lun, Lince Dorado and Akira Tozawa have been announced, with Sabre Jr. already having his qualifying match in place – right here in London, England – at Progress 29 in Camden. Those of you who have not got tickets to this event, check out their website for tickets that might become available. You won’t want to miss it as on the show there will also be another qualifier between Jack Gallagher and Pete Dunne.
Assuming that Gargano, Ciampa and Swann have already been seen by anybody who would be watching the Global Cruiserweight Series, let’s have a look at the people who haven’t yet featured on WWE TV.
Noam is a stalwart of UK and European wrestling, featuring for promotions across the country such as ICW, PCW and Progress Wrestling. He has also appeared in TNA as part of their British Boot Camp, and even wrestled former champion Austin Aries during his time there. He has competed with some of the best – AJ Styles, Finn Bálor, Rob Van Dam, John Morrison and Chris Hero, to name a few. Noam is a huge Oasis fan, coming out to entrance music of Morning Glory and even naming his finishing move the Champagne Superkneebar; a play on the popular hit Champagne Supernova. To give you a taste of Dar, here is his match with Aries in TNA:
Zack Sabre Jr.
Another British wrestler joining the Global Cruiserweight Series is Zack Sabre Jr. aka Becky Lynch’s favourite wrestler. Undoubtedly a favourite of many fans of the independent circuit, Zack has fought all over the world and like Dar, has wrestled the best of the best. In an effort not to wax lyrical about Sabre Jr. for too long, just watch some of his moves and look forward to seeing him on WWE TV.
Akira Tozawa has predominantly featured for Dragon Gate during his decade long career, although his trips to America have seen him fight for PWG and Chikara. In said career he has fought in many different tag teams whilst still being an active singles competitor. While forming duos, he has teamed with the likes of long term WWE rivals Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, along with Dean Ambrose, all at separate times. An innovative striker and very quick in the ring, Tozawa could upset some of the bigger names in the tournament and could give anybody a fight.
The Golden Lynx of Lucha Libre has been wrestled for the best part of the last ten years and is really starting to hone his craft, as evidenced by his inclusion in the Global Cruiserweight Series. Trained by the Kings of Wrestling Chris Hero and Cesaro, Dorado is as hard to pin down as a whippet and will fly around the ring confusing his opponents. It would be hard to imagine Dorado winning the entire tournament, but with fellow Lucha Libre fighters Kalisto and Sin Cara willing him on, who knows what Dorado could do?
Ho Ho Lun
Ho Ho Lun is the least experienced of the announced participants in the tournament. After debuting in 2009, he has largely competed in Asia and Europe, but hasn’t been seen on any of the bigger promotions in either continent. Lun is definitely a character you cannot take your eyes off, what with him looking like an extra from the Party Rock Anthem video, in brightly coloured tights and glasses. Definitely the underdog out of the announced participants so far, Lun would do well to progress far in the tournament.
Of course, these are just the current announced participants to the tournament, so with 24 spaces still to fill before the competition starts, it will be interesting to see who will be joining the ranks. One person heavily touted to participate is Kota Ibushi, who was spotted in the crowd at NXT Takeover Dallas, but for any other news on the Global Cruiserweight Series, keep it locked on TWM News.
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