You may have heard something about the upcoming WWE Cruiserweight Classic, a 32-man tournament that will be taking place on the WWE Network, with hopes that it might be an annual thing going forward. However, if you’re not someone who obsessively follows every independent wrestling organization on the planet, you might have looked at the list of participants for the Classic and wondered who most of them were. Well, we decided to come up with some introductions for a few of the bigger names in the tournament. Some of them you might recognize, some of them you probably won’t, but in our opinion, these are the names to watch when the Cruiserweight Classic gets underway!
The oldest competitor in the Cruiserweight Classic at 45, Yoshihiro Tajiri is someone who should be easily recognizable to WWE fans. After first building up his career in Japan and Mexico, Tajiri burst onto the scene in Extreme Championship Wrestling and became one of its most recognizable stars, thanks to a memorable feud with Super Crazy, and a tag team with ECW favorite Mikey Whipwreck. When ECW was on the way down, Tajiri found his way to WWE. After debuting in a non-wrestling role as GM William Regal’s assistant, Tajiri moved into the ring and quickly found success, having several reigns as WWE Cruiserweight Champion and WWE Tag Team Champion (although in one of those reigns, he was a replacement on a championship team for an injured Chavo Guerrero). After leaving WWE in 2005, Tajiri went back to Japan, where he appeared in both All Japan and NJPW, then found himself in charge of upstart promotion SMASH, which became Wrestling New Classic, before the Japanese Buzzsaw finally settled into a wrestling contract with Wrestle-1, where he remains active on a part-time basis.