Tha Sports Junkies 101

Gran Metalik, Kota Ibushi among the highlights of the CWC quarterfinalists

Through two weeks, eight participants in the WWE’s inaugural Cruiserweight Classic had punched their tickets to the tournaments quarterfinals.

While each of the eight quarterfinalists are world renowned cruiserweights, many of the winners (and overall contestants) are possibly unknown to the WWE audience.

So who are these guys? And why should the fans care about them? Well, not only are these guys some of the finest cruiserweights (or junior heavyweights for the Japanese wrestling fans out there) but also with the WWE announcing that the cruiserweight division will be getting a revival on Monday Night Raw, what better way to beef up the roster than by adding some of these fine workers?=

Photo credit: Gran Metalik on Twitter,

The first of the eight competetors to advance, during the premeire episode of the show was the luchador Gran Metalik.

Before entering the Cruiserweight Classic, he was most famous for a decade long stint in the Mexican lucha libre promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) under the ring name Mascara Dorada.  While a member of the CMLL he carried a number of championships including the CMLL World Welterweight Championship on four different occasions.

Along with CMLL he has spent some time working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) over the last few years entering the Best of Super Juniors Tournament on a number of different occasions.

Metalik has a great opportunity to not only advance pretty far in the tournament, but he also may have a shot at sticking with the WWE long after the tournament ends. With Mexico being among the WWE’s biggest markets outside of the United States and if history is any indication, the lucha libre style can resonate with WWE fans in a big way. Don’t be surprised if he ends up making the jump from the Cruiserweight Classic to NXT in the next few weeks.

The next quarterfinalist, joining Metalik is China’s HoHo Lun.

Lun, a professional since 2007 is one of the cofounders of the Hong Kong Pro Wrestling Federation.

He has also spent time with the United Kingdom’s 4 Front Wrestling (4FW) promotion. He has also spent time touring Asia during his nine year career.

While he isn’t as decorated as Metalik, he was impressive in his opening round victory he could very well continue to impress as the tournament continues.

Cedric Alexander is the third quarterfinalist and the first American to advance past the first round.

Alexander is perhaps most famous for his time in Ring of Honor Wrestling (ROH).

While in ROH he competed as both a singles wrestler and in a tag team, Alexander’s most high profile matches may have been as a member of the C&C Wrestle Factory with Caprice Coleman. During that time he had matches with former-WWE tag team champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin and had a number of matches against the members of the S.C.U.M stable. He also had matches with current-ROH World Champion Jay Lethal and Christopher Daniels.

Alexander is among the younger participants in the tournament at 26 years old but has wowed fans for years. Expect that to continue as he prepares for his quarterfinal match up with odds on favorite, Kota Ibushi.

Ibushi may very well be the most decorated of all of the particuipants.

Perhaps most famous for his matches with Prince Devitt (currently Finn Balor) and Shinsuke Nakamura, has wrestled all over the world. Including Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Big Japan Pro Wrestling.

Ibushi has won a number of championships over his career including the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship on three different occasions. He also won the 2015 New Japan Cup and followed that up by challenging AJ Styles for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, in a losing effort.

With his world renowned hybrid of high flying and striking he’s considered one of the best wrestlers in the world and ever since he was announced to be a member of the Cruiserweight Classic, fans everywhere have been anticipating the announcement that Ibushi will be joining the WWE on a full time basis.

However that hasn’t happened as of yet but hes been impressive in the tournament and regardless of what does or doesn’t happen with a WWE contract, fans should be expected to get a good, long look at Ibushi as he’s expected to be among the favorites in the tournament.

The next quarterfinalist was former-WWE Tag Team and Cruiserweight champion, Tajiri.

Along with his time with the WWE, Tajiri also had famous feuds with the likes of Super Crazy and Tommy Dreamer in ECW.

After leaving the WWE in 2005, Tajiri spent much of the last decade wrestling for various promotions in Japan, including New Japan Pro Wrestling and All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Along with the WWE, Tajiri has held championships for a number of promotions including ECW, CMLL and Combat Zone Wrestling

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After Tajiri, the Puerto Rican Lince Dorado advanced to the quarter finals.

Before entering into the Cruiserweight Classic, Dorado spent much of his time as a professional with the American independent wrestling promotion CHIKARA as well as a number of smaller wrestling promotions in North America.

T.J Perkins, the next quarterfinalist also spent some time with Impact Wrestling, whereas Manik he is a former X Divison Champion. While with Impact he was also a member of the short-lived stable led by James Storm called The Revolution.

Along with Impact Wrestling, Perkins has spent time with Pro Wrestling Guerrlia, CMLL, ROH and Full Impact Pro Wrestling during his career.

Perkins is expected by many to be held over after the CWC on the WWE roster. With experience with Imapct, ROH and PW—perhaps the three biggest wrestling promotions in the United States besides the WWE he should adapt just find to the WWE audience and style. He could very well be added to the upcoming Cruiserweight division.

The final of the first eight quarterfinalist is Akira Tozawa.

Tozawka spent much of his early career with the Japanese promotion Dragon Gate before coming to the United States to compete for a number of American promotions such as CHIKARA, and PWG.