The WWE continue to add new ideas and programming to the WWE Network to keep things fresh and entertaining and last week the latest high-profile announcement was made.
Last week, Triple H announced that 32 cruiserweights from ‘every corner of the world’ will be competing in the competition-based series; they might be well-known to the most dedicated of wrestling fans but we could also expect to see some lesser-known names involved.
The WWE will want to make sure this series goes down as a huge success and it means they could create new relations with different companies. We know they work well with EVOLVE considering guys like Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa have competed on NXT while Sami Zayn appeared on EVOLVE not too long ago.
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However, we shouldn’t expect to see contracted guys from New Japan Pro Wrestling feature in this tournament as Triple H highlighted it would be difficult for them to take part but we could expect stars who have appeared on Rev Pro and Progress to feature.
The WWE will also look to feature some of their own stars, perhaps not the huge names we all know but perhaps some of the guys they have in NXT who haven’t featured much on television yet.
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Regardless of who the WWE are looking at right now, fans will agree that there are a handful of stars they need to try their best to sign. It will be difficult, but if they can pull off some of these signings we could be in for a fantastic tournament.
There was a lot of excitement surrounding the arrival of Rich Swann to the WWE and the reason he signed with the company comes down to the rapper, Wale. His thoughts on Swann caught the attention of Mark Henry and the WWE and after a successful try-out, the high-flier is on NXT.
He hasn’t made much of an impact on NXT yet as he made his televised debut earlier in the year where he lost to Baron Corbin. However, the future is bright for Swann as he’s still so young and has already established himself as one of the top indie stars.
Swann would be a huge addition to the series; he has an innovative offence, great on the microphone and an entertaining athlete in general. The good thing is he’s at a place where he can continue to learn and perfect his skills at the Performance Center before the potential opportunity comes knocking.
ZACK SABRE JR
Zack Sabre Jr. is one of the finest wrestlers on the planet today and you can be sure the WWE will be looking to scoop him up for this series. Sabre is not like your typical Cruiserweight; he isn’t flying around all over the ring or through the ropes as he’s more of a technician like Daniel Bryan.
That’s unique for a Cruiserweight now, many believe he will be on NXT sooner or later anyway but the Cruiserweight series would be the perfect way to introduce him to the WWE fans especially since he competes for EVOLVE and the WWE have a great relationship with them.
He's already competed against some huge names making a wave in the sports entertainment industry, ranging from Prince Devitt to El Generico as well as Bryan himself back in 2008. He’s young, hungry and he could play a big role in this series.
Will Ospreay is a tricky one. He’s recently appeared on TNA while he’s also signed a deal with NJPW and based on Triple H’s comments the NJPW stars are a no-go. If the WWE can overcome this stumbling block, then Ospreay will be another bright, young addition to the series as his stock continues to rise.
He’s only 22-years-old, he has the charisma, a good luck and he’s one of the most innovative British stars around. He has the technical and high flying ability to succeed and stand out more than most unknowns in the series and at such a young age he’s already had great matches with stars such as AJ Styles, Jimmy Havoc, Matt Sydal and Roderick Strong.
If there’s one match which put him on the map and got him well-known – and it’s something the WWE should look at when recruiting – is his match with Kazuchika Okada.
Manny Andrade is my pick to go all the way; I know it’s an early stage to predict something so bold but with Andrade – formerly known as La Sombra – being a part of the NXT roster, I find it hard to believe the victory would be given to somebody outside of the WWE.
Andrade made his name in Mexico under his mask with CMLL, as well as NJPW and it’s no wonder why fans who have seen him in action are raving about what he has to offer. He’s also a young star being only 26-years-old and it’s startling to see him as a master of his craft already, and he has a long career ahead of him also. I feel like excelling in this tournament would be a huge way for him to make an impact.
He’s technically sound, he’s a great high-flyer and he has a fantastic look about him as well. He should not only take part in this tournament; he should go on to become the face of NXT.
Ricochet, Prince Puma, call him what you want but the fact is he’s probably up there with one of the best wrestlers in the world today. Every wrestling report you read about who is impressing you’re guaranteed to find his name because he’s simply that good. He’s not exclusive to one company and it’s no secret that promotions like Lucha Underground, NJPW and PWG bring him in.
He’s a reliable star; he’s always entertaining the audience with his unique offence, his incredible agility, his incredible look and the charisma. You won’t find anybody doing high spots smoothly and as regularly as him and he looks like he belongs in the business.
With his high-flying ability and the technical aspect, he should be somebody the WWE are looking at. It will be a huge surprise if they snub him; he’s freelancing so it should be easier to snap him up and if Andrade doesn’t go all the way; this would be a great way to introduce Ricochet to the WWE Universe.
Along with Ricochet, Kota Ibushi is considered the greatest wrestler on the planet and rightfully so. Nobody can match his aerial offence; it’s simply incredible and he’s consistently putting those types of performances on the show for the paying fans.
The good thing about Ibushi is that he can make his opponents look fantastic, despite how bad they may be in the ring and it takes a special sort of talent to do something like that. He’s a standout star who has a great move-set and with plenty of experience, he could add a lot of value and star appeal to the series.
This past week Ibushi officially became a freelancer which comes at an interesting time, as he’s no longer under contract with NJPW. Not only that, new WWE signing Shinsuke Nakamura – who has had an incredible match with Ibushi – recommended him for the series. It looks as if the WWE could be monitoring him as they look to fill up the 32 spots.
WWE FANS – ARE THERE ANY OTHER STARS YOU’D LIKE TO SEE COMPETE IN THE CRUISERWEIGHT SERIES? LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.