One of the most exciting current developments for wrestling fans is the WWE Network's upcoming Cruiserweight Classic set to kick off this summer. This tournament looks like it's going to be a treat for fans of independent wrestling, fans of quick-paced/high-flying grappling, or longtime wrestling fans with fond memories of WCW's innovative cruiserweight division back in the 1990s.World Wrestling Entertainment is tapping 32 of the best wrestlers from around the world to compete and showcase their various styles to the WWE Network audience. Many of the participants aren't even signed by WWE! Let's have a look at everyone participating in this summer-long tournament.
"Johnny Wrestling" has been a veteran grappler for over a decade, performing in top indies such as Chikara, Evolve, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and Dragon Gate USA. Gargano has a hybrid American independent style, incorporating mat-based maneuvers with the occasional high-flying move. Gargano has been the DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate Champion twice, with one title reign lasting an impressive 873 days. He is currently signed with NXT.
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Zack Sabre Jr.
The British Zack Sabre Jr. has been a hot act in the U.S. independent wrestling scene in recent years, but he got his start all the way back in 2004. Sabre's lean build is deceiving, as he has taken down heavier and stronger men at Westside Xtreme Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Noah, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla with his impressive assortment of joint locks, submissions, and strong-style kicks. He is the current reigning PWG Champion.
"The Sicilian Psychopath" is best known as a former Ring of Honor Television Champion, but few know that before that he was signed to a WWE developmental deal back in 2007. Ciampa has an aggressive striking style and implements a number of power moves, which is atypical of most cruiserweights. While he has inflicted pain on his opponents at ROH, PWG, and other independents, he is currently signed with NXT.
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The Scottish-Israeli sensation has been a stalwart in the UK wrestling scene, but gained more global attention as a contestant in the second season of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's British Boot Camp. Dar has been dazzling fans of PROGRESS Wrestling and Preston City Wrestling among other indies with his fisherman buster and Champagne Super Knee Bar finisher. A great technical wrestler focused on holds with the occasional hard strike thrown in.