In wrestling across the world you’ve had many different tournament formats. In WWE you had the King of the Ring which over the years had died down however the more recent tournaments, the WWE Cruiserweight Classic and WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament have proved to be huge successes, the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic has also been something enjoyable in NXT. Over in New Japan you have plenty of tournaments, my two favourites would be the G1 Climax and the Best of the Super Juniors. There’s plenty more great tournaments that I enjoy that are provided by companies on the independent scene such as PWG Battle of Los Angeles, WXW 16 Carat Gold. I even enjoyed TNA’s original platform of the Bound for Glory Series. I could be here all day announcing all the great tournaments that are hosted across the world.
Recently wrestling tournaments have witnessed some special monents, with Kenny Omega making history in NJPW when he won the 2016 G1 Climax becoming the first non japanese winner under its G1 Climax name. He then went on to headline Wrestle Kingdom 11 at the Tokyo Dome with Kazuchika Okada in what is being defined by many as the greatest match of all time. More history was made in NJPW with the 2016 Best of the Super Juniors which saw UK standout, Will Ospreay not only became the first ever English Best of the Super Juniors winner but also became the youngest ever winner.
WWE also found success with the WWE with the CWC and United Kingdom Championship Tournaments introducing new wrestlers from around the world to the WWE Universe. CWC has helped introduce the WWE Universe to wrestlers such as Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr, Gran Metalik, Jack Gallagher, Noam Dar and eventual winner TJ Perkins. The UKCT showcased talent such as Trent Seven, Mark Andrews, Pete Dunne, Wolfgang and the winner, the first ever WWE United Kingdom Championship, 19 year old Tyler Bate. I imagine this is something WWE are going to continue producing for content on the WWE Network, with rumours of a women’s tournament being put together for WWE it will be another great way for WWE to introduce new women to the WWE Universe and give opportunities for them to get in front of WWE crowd and impress to get a contract. In my opinion, I like this structure and whether or not it will be a yearly thing for WWE will remain to be seen however would like them to build some tournaments with the prestige of NJPW’s G1 and BOSJ.
However with all the good, comes the bad. Now I’m not writing them off but with What Culture Pro Wrestling announcement of the Pro Wrestling World Cup which is hosted by Matt Striker and will consist of 64 wrestlers from round the world. At first, I thought this is going to be overkill! 64 man tournament to follow is going to take a lot of time and could easily be a victim to overkill and the fans losing interest. However, What Culture pulled it back a little for me. With more details on the tournament, it could be great to further their brand worldwide which is great for British Wrestling, more eyes from across the world looking at British Wrestling is always going to be a good thing. The tournament is going to be held across ten separate days with eight preliminary tournaments to be held across several countries.
Each preliminary tournament will consist of 8 wrestlers from a single country. The countries are: Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Scotland and USA with a final preliminary will be a Rest Of The World which will have a further eight countries represented. Two wrestlers from each preliminary will advance to a two night 16-man tournament that will be held in the United Kingdom in the summer. As mentioned at first I thought this could be overkill, 64 man tournament sounds way too much. However with the 8 preliminary tournaments it gives WCPW an opportunity to showcase talent from across the world and cap it off with a big finale that could prove to be exciting for wrestling.
Enter 5 Star Wrestling who on their debut show of Dominant Wrestling on Spike UK TV on 28th January 2017 showed that they must really like tournaments. The whole show turned into a tournament for John Morrison’s 5 Star Wrestling Championship. Turns out if your the champion in 5 Star Wrestling, you can go from just opening the show with a title defence to booking the entire show as a tournament for your title, but we wont get into that. So following his eight man tournament for his championship which he successfully won, he announces that they are going to do something that has never been done before, a 128 man tournament. That isn’t a typo, 128 men in one tournament, over 30 events in the UK this summer.
I believe 5 Star Wrestling are trying to use some of the attention from the British Wrestling Scene and use that to gain attention for their ridiculous tournament. 128 men in a single elimination tournament over 30 shows. Is their tournament going to be able to keep the attention of their fans?
So again I ask, are tournaments going to become overkill in wrestling? Will tournaments start to lose the excitement that they can provide. I would love to hear your thoughts on whether or not tournaments are becoming overkill, if you are looking at the Pro Wrestling World Cup hosted by WCPW, what are your thoughts on a 124 man tournament with 5 Star Wrestling and finally what are your favourite tournaments and why?