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Full spoilers from WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic taping at Full Sail (June 23, 2016)

Cruiserweight Classic on Facebook

WWE filmed something other than NXT at Full Sail Live tonight, as the upcoming Network-exclusive tournament show Cruiserweight Classic (CWC) welcomed 32 competitors from around the world to Winter Park, Florida. You can watch the introductory video, where you’ll meet all the wrestlers and get a sample of the dream announce team of Daniel Bryan & Mauro Ranallo, on our Facebook page.

Here’s a look at the set-up, which features wider turnbuckle pads and Tapout logos on the canvas:

Matches are announced with a twenty-minute time limit, and decisions are made official by having both competitors stand in the center where the referee raises the winners hand.

The 205 pound weight limit was strictly enforced, at least before these first tapings. Mustafa Ali replaced the originally announced Zumbi, who legitimately did not make weight.

The arena was said to be only about half-full, and officials re-arranged fans to make it look packed. There was an announcement about the event starting late due to a traffic accident on the Interstate which leads to Full Sail, but reports (including one from our own GuyNamedJason’s Squared Circle Radio co-host Brandon Haghany) don’t indicate the house filled up later, either.

Four episodes were taped, consisting of four matches each - so, the first round of the elimination tournament.

Episode One

  • Gran Metalik (CMLL’s Mascara Dorado) def. Alejandro Saez via pinfall following a Michinoku Driver. Short match which included Saez hitting a running shooting star off the apron.

  • Ho Ho Lun def. Ariya Daivari via pinfall. Daivari missed a frog splash, which lead to Lun winning following a German Suplex.

  • Cedric Alexander def. Clement Petiot via pinfall following Lumbar Check.

  • Brian Kendrick def. Raul Mendoza by submission. Mendoza got high marks and had a ton of fan support as Kendrick worked old-school heel. Great nearfall following Van Terminator/Coast-to-Coast while Spanky was in a Tree of Woe, but Kendrick got his foot on the ropes.

Episode Two

  • Tajiri def. Damian Slater via pinfall following a Buzzsaw kick. He also got the Tarantula in, but (unsurprisingly) no mist.

  • TJ Perkins def. Da Mack vis submission with a knee bar. Good, back-and-forth match. Mack got a nearfall from a springboard kick; TJP answered with one while Mack was hung in the ropes, but missed the follow up 450 Splash.

  • Lince Dorado def. Mustafa Ali via pinfall following a Shooting Star Press. Lots of high spots, and Ali was checked by trainers for a neck injury after the finish. Dorado connected with a springboard leap frog reverse hurricanrana for a near fall, and the end came after Ali missed a reverse 450.

  • Akira Tozawa def. Kenneth Johnson via pinfall following a bridging suplex. Lots of Tozawa interacting with the crowd early, and featured a badly missed moonsault by Johnson late.

Episode Three

  • Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tyson Dux via submission. Good match which will be familiar to those who’ve seen Sabre before. The usual SPLX logos on his gear were covered with “ZSJ” ones.

  • Drew Gulak def. Harv Sihra via submission with a rear naked choke. Brief, basic match. Shira looked good on a springboard dive to the floor and a Superplex.

  • Tony Nese def. Anthony Bennett via pinfall following a 450. Bennett may have suffered a knee injury; he was helped to the back.

  • Kota Ibushi def. Sean Maluta via pinfall following a sit-out powerbomb. Ibushi made his opponent look great with big sells of a Codebreaker from the second rope and a Superkick.

Episode Four

  • Rich Swann def. Jason Lee via pinfall following a standing 450.

  • Noam Dar def. Gurv Shira via submission following a leg lock. This one was apparently panned by the live crowd, who were seriously losing steam at this point.

  • Jack Gallagher def. Fabian Archer via pinfall following a running corner drop kick.

  • Johnny Gargano def. Tommaso Ciampa via pinfall in a match described as as stiff as you’d expect. At one point, Ciampa hesitates before doing his running knee strike, was caught by a Superkick from Johnny Wrestling and answered with Powerbomb onto his knees. Tommaso had an armbar locked in, but Gargano reversed into a crucifix for the pin. The Sicilian Psychopath refuses a handshake after the match, but returned to sit next to his tag match in the ring and gave him a hug to close the show.

No real surprises, except for maybe that last one. But NXT watchers have kind of been waiting for that feud to start for a while, and I’m sure that’s a key building block.

We still haven’t seen a bracket, so even though we know who’s through, it’s impossible to tell what the second round match-ups will be. If it’s not leaked sooner, the pairings will be revealed on July 6 during the Bracketology special on WWE Network.

The series premieres the following week on July 13, part of a big night which includes Finn Bálor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura on NXT.

Excited? What do you make of these first round results?

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