On his usual TakeOver-week conference call with the media, Paul "Triple H" Levesque revealed a couple of details which will have NXT and independent wrestling fans salivating, and folks in the United Kingdom losing their minds.
First up was an announcement about the first official names for Global Cruiserweight Series (GCS) , the WWE Network show built around a 32 man tournament for wrestlers under 205 pounds. We learned earlier this week that filming will occur in the Orlando area in June, and now we have the identities of the first seven competitors.
Rich Swann, who's contracted to WWE and works out of the Performance Center, and Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano, who work with NXT on a per-appearance basis, were expected.
Guys like British star Zack Sabre Jr. and Israeli-Scot Noam Dar aren't huge surprises, but it's good to hear them confirmed. And names like Hong Kong independent Ho Ho Lun and especially Dragon Gate's Akira Tozawa (a former Kevin Owens' tag partner) are really exciting, both for what they bring to the table, and for being the first signs of Pacific partners for WWE Developmental.
Perhaps not surprising considering that Progress and Rev Pro will be hosting GCS qualifiers, Triple H also stated that NXT will return for another tour of the U.K. in June. That month is shaping up to a busy one, as Wrestling Observer also indicated it would include the next TakeOver live event after Dallas, but an international tour may be a good way to get out of Florida while they're filming the tournament, anyway.
During the Q & A portion of his call, Trips addressed several questions fans have about the future of NXT, but not with answers which differed much from his usual answers. He's careful about growing the brand too quickly, but feels it can stand on its own, is excited about bringing in new established talents and finding new stars, etc.
He did state that there are no plans for a cruiserweight title as of now, for NXT or the main roster. He's hopeful the GCS can become an annual event, but that depends on how its received. For this inaugural edition, it's a standalone concept without specific ties to NXT or WWE proper.
Who else do you want to see in the remaining 25 slots, Cagesiders?