Along with the imminent arrival of Shinsuke Nakamura, the announcement of WWE’s Global Cruiserweight Series is one of 2016’s “what a time to be alive” wrestling moments. Set to launch this summer, the tournament will be a summit for the non-WWE standouts of the world. Other than the fact that we know it’s actually going to happen and we didn’t just collectively dream it into existence, details were kind of scarce until recently. Fortunately, a pair of announcements have become public that are starting to shape the state of things to come.
Back on March 19, NXT general manager William Regal was a special guest at EVOLVE 56 in Brooklyn. During his time there, he announced that the American qualifying round of the Global Cruiserweight Series would be contested under the EVOLVE banner. Among the independent scene, EVOLVE is probably the closest ally of the WWE/NXT brand. If you’ll remember, last year they had an entire feature on the WWE website, which was surreal enough to me at the time to convince me that my roommates had slipped something in my coffee. But hey, as long as “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams is getting good press, I’m not complaining.
Much more recently, we’ve received word on the European end of the cruiserweight tournament. Announced live on Periscope, it was revealed that British promotion PROGRESS Wrestling will host two qualifying matches on April 24. This could be great news for some of PROGRESS’ international standouts such as Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr., and reigning PROGRESS champion Marty Scurll. (Side note: Scurll might have one of the coolest looks in wrestling right now. If they make another Kingsman movie, he should be the antagonist.) As of now, it looks like the tournament is beginning to live up to its world-spanning title, and it probably won’t stop at EVOLVE and PROGRESS. You can’t really have a global cruiserweight summit without talent from Japan and Mexico, so I wouldn’t be surprised if announcements representing those countries came soon. Just give me Akira Tozawa at Full Sail and we’ll get along fine.