WWE Cruiserweight Classic 1st Round Eliminations Ranked from Worst to Best Performance

downloadI still feel like absolute ass fighting my head cold. But luckily this thing was already mostly written. Either way, after writing a list of the competitors ranked least likely to win to most likely to win the WWE Cruiserweight Classic, I decided to also rank their performances from worst to best as they are eliminated. So this is the first round list of all the wrestlers who were eliminated, after the second round is finished, I will write one for them, and then we will see how we combine them from there. Ultimately this will all lead to a list of all the competitors ranked from worst to best.

bennett2--b11e5e9af0c4af5be6264cebba1a29a8Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett booked a one way ticket to Jobber City and he fucking set up shop there and decided to never fucking leave. While the other people eliminated in the first round of the tournament were made to look somewhat competitive, Bennett looked like pure jobber as he was out offensed easily by Tony Nese. He got some okay offense in here and there. But the match was all Nese. Not to mention, he received an injury that had to delay the finishing blow which didn’t look good for any party involved. While Mendoza, which happened the same night, at least looked competitive, Bennett had to lay motionless until the thing was over.

Nese and Bennett were not a good match up. They didn’t gel at all and it would be better if Dux and Bennett switched places for a much better result.

Match 1: 1/5


LiuKungLunJasonLee--b39b180b1f5240339d188d438f2994b4Jason Lee

Just as I predicted, Jason Lee did next to nothing in this tournament. In a similar sense to Anthony Bennett and Tyson Dux, Jason Lee was less of a viable candidate for Rich Swann and more of a jobber there to get some offense in, but primarily to make his opponent look good.

Lee had a few decent spots, but he was completely overshadowed by the amazingly charismatic Swann who beat him in a quick contest.

Match 1: 1.5/5


IMG_3807--3e922249e18c6971a8ad0e802afa47d4Sean Maluta

Sean Maluta was not good in his match and he stunk up most of the match between him and Kota Ibushi for it. Not only did Ibushi dominate most of the match up as far as offense was concerned, but the offense that Maluta got in during the match was not first rate. He even botched his high impact spot to the outside of the ring and as a result kicked Kota Ibushi square in the face. Maybe it was just a poor match, but Maluta was certainly one of the weak links of the tournament.

Match 1: 1.5/5


Credit---Bang3r-Photography(1)--ead33e83b67913fe180af62a4cce000bDamien Slater

Oh Damien Slater, your poor guy. The thing is that I can say little bad about Slater. He was… Okay. He executed moves well, he had great mechanics, and he worked a decent match. But everything about him was just generic and boring. I feel like, during his match with Tajiri, they just photo copied the generic wrestler from the WWE build a superstar section and gave him some green tights.

I mean, the guy was fine, do not get me wrong. But whenever you leave absolutely no impression except. Eh, he was good. Bring on the next one, you quickly get lost in the shuffle.

Match 1: 2/5


FB_IMG_1424825536502--9763ccc39c1ae458c588033a06110fceKenneth Johnson

I do want to give Kenneth Johnson higher marks. I do want to. The guy clearly is a success story and has overcome a lot in his life to get to the Cruiserweight Classic. I have to admit that his attitude and chipper demeanor was quite endearing. But for everything he did right in his match against Akira Tozawa, he messed up something along the way to earn him middle of the road marks. The guy had good chain wrestling mechanics and hit some great spots. But whoever decided to make a slow paced chain wrestling match carry on for several minutes should be fired because the only thing I could say about the chain wrestling after the third minute wasn’t “evenly matched” it was “boring.”

Kenneth was also somewhat inconsistent. He would hit BIG impact moves with finesse and precision… And then botch a sunset flip and a simple counter. He would also unintentionally no sell Tozawa’s offense by not having the ring presence to notice that Tozawa was getting up slower than him after a powerhouse hit or immediately get up after a pinfall. The guy really was an anomaly. He simultaneously was amazing and terrible all at once. Tragically some of his inexperience is what pushed him slightly into the lower tier of the ratings.

Match 1: 2/5


DSC_0846(1)--15158dbb6b37c4d2b99ec59d422aaf3eTyson Dux

Tyson Dux is similar to Damien Slater in that he seemed somewhat generic in his match. The guy seemed to be a “plug wrestler X” into the ring to eat pin or take a submission. The difference between Slater and Dux is that while Slater had an also generic story of traveling across the world to compete, Dux wrestled in the WWE as a jobber and blew out his ACL. That little added motivation pushed Dux to a higher level than some of the others in the tournament. The match was clearly a show off party for Zack Sabre, Jr. who got most of the offense in to showcase his “escapeology.” But he still did a decent job doing it.

Match 1: 2.5/5


Gurv-and-Harv-action-shot--20a99058f2df6aacd318875ce54faab5Harv Sihra

The wrong person won in the match between Harv Sihra and Drew Gulak. While the match, easily, was one of the worst of the first round as the crowd was dead and the action was generic, Harv Sihra did easily over stage his opponent in offense and style. While Gulak may have been a good technical wrestler, Sihra had more charisma, more technical skill, and dominated most of the match before submitting to Gulak’s hold.

Match 1: 2.5/5


Gurv-and-Harv-action-shot--20a99058f2df6aacd318875ce54faab5Gurv Sihra

The tandem of Gurv Sihra and Noam Dar was a great combination of good chemistry in the ring. They had a decent back and forth match with only a few peppered botches in the match. Probably the worst culprit was on Gurv Sihra when he lost his footing trying to execute a backbreaker on Dar. He tripped and his a nasty version of the move that looked like it legitimately gave Dar a bit of a sting throughout the match. The two looked good and bad at the same time and ultimately had a more fluid match that pushed it above average to just above.

Match 1: 3/5


DaMack05--c4c4ee3eb9d289cae9a983baec0b1f99Da Mack

Da Mack is a man who absolutely exudes charisma. His in ring action is great and he was able to put on a show for the crowd who was won over by his chipper attitude and Michael Jackson style moves. He and Perkins put on a great match seeing his high charisma offense clash with TJ Perkins high flying technical submission.

Ultimately, I did have a few complaints, mainly the fact that Da Mack did tend to no sell some offense for the sake of show boating and a lot of his gimmick is somewhat blatantly ripped off the late King of Pop. But he still did put on a good show so I’ll give him credit where credit is due.

Match 1: 3/5


IMG_8979--e16d4a2be5f684fe299510ed4ddd632bRaul Mendoza

What a match he and Kendrick put on. That match was stiff from start to finish. It even saw Mendoza bleeding excessively from the mouth. I am not sure if the blood was from a blood capsule or if it was from the fact that Mendoza got something in his mouth tore up, but it certainly looked absolutely brutal. Mendoza put on quite a shot in his match against Kendrick with some high flying lucha libre style maneuvers. It made Kendrick look good and Mendoza looked great as well.

Match 1: 3.5/5


_MG_8796--40c44b262dca23d91852291f387a84aaAlejandro Saez

I was pleasantly surprised by Alejandro Saez. After ranking him dead last in my list 32 most likely to win candidates, I wasn’t expecting much from him. But boy was I wrong about expectations. I did call it that he didn’t win the tournament, drawing Gran Metalik first. However, the match that Saez and Gran Metalik put on made an astonishing first contest.

While Saez did oversell some of Gran Metalik’s moves, looking more like he was being comedically beaten down then anything, the rest of him was top notch. His offense was stellar, he worked great with Gran Metalik and was even able to upstage the CMLL wrestler on a few instances.

Match 1: 3.5/5


AriyaDaivari--3107dee8ee7346b986f3b5e04a2e6c27Ariya Daivari

This is a man who was quite impressive in his one match in the tournament. Daivari worked an excellent heel gimmick and it was a heel gimmick that was so simplistic, yet so good. In a tournament like this, you have to sell yourself with your style and Daivari sold himself well. He did not shake Ho Ho Lun’s at the beginning of the match which was the custom at this tournament. Plus, he would give different strikes to Lun such as smacking him behind the head and generally disrespecting him. It is little things like this that sell a great heel and Daivari came across as certainly a great heel.

His in ring style was pure finesse as well. His moves were fluid and at many instances he upstaged the eventual winner, Lun. Excellent work from Daivari.

Match: 3.5/5


SevereII--b957656e6b0856c7fa40d79b6a3c6dacFabian Aichner

I was not expecting this match from Gallagher and Aichner. No disrespect to them, I was just expecting it to be a good match and not one of the best fucking things I have watched in recent memory. It is a shame because this match is going to get overlooked for some of the more flashier matches, but I refuse to let these two miss out on one of the best matches of the entire tournament.

Aichner does not look like a cruiserweight. My god, this man looks like he ways a solid 250 lbs of pure muscle. But I guess he is small enough to make it into the tournament. His move set though was less heavy hitting and more surprisingly arial maneuvers and great mat based mechanics. The two were a great juxtaposition for each other with Aichner clearly having the size advantage that complemented Gallagher’s smart mechanics over size. Both men had stellar charisma that complemented each other and played up to the crowd, had stellar counter wrestling maneuvers, and was just a joy to watch. Overall, Aichner is only deducted a little bit for two botched moves in the match. But those botches seemed like nothing to the joy of wrestling that was in the ring.

Match 1: 4/5


Tristan-42--3e16edfccd4a40412021e800a865b94eClement Petiot

Alexander v. Petiot was the perfect match up. It was a classic down and dirty hard hitting alpha male type of fight from start to finish. It was an excellent match that showcased the fact that these athletes do not have to be high flyers, luchadors, or even so much of a catch wrestling style. Petiot and Alexander had a hard hitting match up that was sold from the start from their violent alpha handshake that saw them only inches away from giving the most passionate kiss.

Petiot showed great hard hitting style in his match with Alexander and it certainly looked as if anyone could take the match. Ultimately it was Alexander that they awarded the win to, but Petiot looked great in the process.

Match: 4/5


downloadMustafa Ali

Wow… Just… Wow. I was initially quite put off when I heard the wrestler, Zumbi, would not be making it into the tournament. But now that I see who we got in his place. I am not so sad. Mustafa Ali was an amazing competitor and his match with Lince Dorado may very well be the best in the match. I have nothing bad to say about it. I have nothing bad to say about Ali, Dorado, the moves, the spots, the pins, the referee: NOTHING!!! The only problem that I am having is the fact that Dorado v. Ali may be buried underneath some of the stronger competitors in the tournament.

Mustafa Ali had an excellent blend of technical mechanics and high flying maneuvers. He and Dorado blended so well and it made for one hell of a match. I don’t know if this is typical Ali or if he just gave it the match of his life. But it earns him top marks in my book.

Match: 4.5/5


Tommaso_pro--e054957149fcd85b6d2d221d8eb99c33Tommaso Ciampa

One of the most underrated matches that can happen in wrestling is when two tag team wrestlers are forced to go against each other in a match that is not intended to split up the tag team. For some reason, all the moves seem to hit harder and the action seems so much more personal.

It was smart to make Gargano and Ciampa face each other as the first round “main event.” The two men were easily winning material, but having them meet first gave much more weight to the proceedings. Ciampa and Gargano had great chemistry, truly let loose an all-out warfare, the story writing told itself, and it all culminated in a heartfelt ending that saw Ciampa return after losing the contest to hug his best friend. While Ciampa is way more stiff with his opponents then I would like from my wrestlers, he was easily the best loser of the first round.

Match 1: 4.5/5


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