The WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament opened Wednesday night with four first-round matches, and the hour-long show was one of the best hours of wrestling on the WWE Network all year. You may have never heard of many of the participants before, but nearly everyone who entered the ring on opening night made a strong case that they should be a part of WWE or NXT. Here were 14 of the best moments:
1. Daniel Bryan on commentary
Bryan might already be the WWE’s best color commentator. He’s enthusiastic, extremely knowledgable, and a great partner for Mauro Ranallo. It remains to be seen what role Bryan will play with the main roster (he’s rumored to be a possible Raw or SmackDown GM), but he’d make a great eventual replacement for Jerry Lawler.
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2. Kota Ibushi selling this huge codebreaker
Ibushi was the clear standout Wednesday, and he made his competitor Sean Maluta look great.
3. Cedric Alexander’s reverse rana
Alexander came to the ring with a stellar theme, and proceeded to blow everyone away with his athleticism and ring presence.
4. Gran Metalik walking the ropes
5. Clement Petiot’s discus clothesline
6. Ibushi kicking Sean Maluta off the turnbuckle
7. Alexander’s flying elbow
8. Gran Metalik’s flip off the middle rope
9. Alejandro Saez’s shooting star press
10. Ariya Daivari’s reverse RKO
Daivari lost, but he put in a great performance as a heel and it’d be a big surprise if he’s not a part of WWE’s future plans.
11. HoHo Lun’s kick to the face
HoHo Lun quickly became a fan favorite, though it was clear he’s not nearly as experienced as some of the other cruiserweights in the tournament. In a few years, Lun could be a great babyface.