TJ Perkins vs Kota Ibushi
September 14, 2016
Full Sail Live in Winter Park, FL
WWE Cruiserweight Classic Finals
Cruiserweight Classic Quarterfinal
This was the first of two ****+ matches TJ Perkins had on the same night of the Cruiserweight Classic live finale, and in my opinion, probably the best match in WWE all year.
Kota Ibushi was there to lose, as the company couldn’t crown him the champ after he declined to sign an exclusive contract. The crowd didn’t know this, and neither did anyone at home, because there was always the chance he could’ve signed before the show aired. The fans badly wanted him to win, but this match was so good, and Perkins was so impressive, that nobody was complaining when it was over.
This wasn’t just a bunch of flashy moves, although this match had those too. There were nuances like the attempt at submissions, the near countout, the leg kicks that Perkins would block, and the expertly done near falls. Heat was through the roof, and while this match may not have worked on Raw, it was perfect for this audience. Without question this is a must-see match.
This classic is only available on the WWE Network, but here’s a clip: