Title: WITH THE CRUISERWEIGHT CLASSIC, WWE IS GETTING OUTSIDE ITS COMFORT ZONE
Date: July 13, 2016
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: For my latest at Vice, I previewed WWE’s latest new undertaking: The Cruiserweight Classic, a 32-man tournament with a feel and presentation style mostly foreign to WWE that wrestling fans should be excited about.
Kota Ibushi will step into a WWE ring for the first time on Wednesday night, and for wrestling heads that means it’s appointment viewing. The three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion will go toe-to-toe with Sean Maluta in the first of 31 unique and completely original-to-WWE matches as part of The Cruiserweight Classic, the WWE’s latest grand digital content experiment. It’s one of the most exciting developments in recent wrestling history, and not just because it will allow Ibushi to kick the hell out of someone where everyone can see it.
The Classic, a 32-man, single-elimination tournament that will air on the WWE Network over 10 episodes, with a two-hour live finale on September 14, will pit some of the most heralded up-and-coming wrestlers under 205 pounds—a limit WWE will enforce, in reality, at every taping—against some well-known veteran names. The field is a terrific mix of different styles, nationalities, experience levels, and characters. It’s unlike anything WWE’s ever tried before and, if only for that reason, it’s worth getting excited about.
Continue reading at Vice.