Ricky Knight Jr (8th ranked) versus Jimmy Ocean (13th ranked)
Arguably one of the best British light heavyweight wrestlers of all time faces a future contender to make a similar claim as veteran Jimmy Ocean looks to teach a lesson to his Superflys tag team partner’s grandson, Ricky Knight Jr. RKJ has been climbing up the ranks rapidly over the last 18 months, including capturing the Open Light Heavyweight Championship and defending the World Tag Team titles as part of Old School. But now the third generation Knight is flying the flag for the new school once again and will be looking to continue his career’s upward momentum into the second round by eliminating Ocean.
Ivan Trevors (23rd ranked) versus Sonny Smasher (17th ranked)
Another clash pitting Old School against the new school will see Ivan Trevors take on former Academy Champion Sonny Smasher. Trevors’ progression would increase the odds of Old School being able to control the tournament’s later rounds but the fiery passion of his opponent will be tough to stamp out. Though may have taken Smasher’s adoptive father, Zak Knight, several years to finally claim the World title after also receiving his first opportunity at a similar age, the prospect of being listed amongst the list of the Knight Dynasty’s former World Champions will be a major motivator for the teenager.
Peter Nixon (9th ranked) versus Brad O’Brien (16th ranked)
Friends. Partners. Rivals. Enemies. These two top light heavyweights have seen their relationship take on a number of forms over the last few years. Neither man has seen eye to eye ever since O’Brien turned his back on his former friend in pursuit of the Open Light Heavyweight title, a title which Nixon himself currently holds. O’Brien was able to briefly capture that title a year ago but has since been unable to reclaim it. With O’Brien currently also holding the contract from the most recent Sky’s The Limit ladder match, 2017 could become a great year for the King of Couture. Nixon’s ninth-placed rating of the tournament’s 32 entrants will undoubtedly please his many fans and a win over his former friend would set the stage for an attempt to hold two of WAW’s top singles titles at the end of the year.
Mr Hanmudo (29th ranked) versus Malky Taggart (26th ranked)
The lowest combined ranking wrestlers guarantees an underdog in the second round but what a pair to determine who that underdog will be chosen from. Malky Taggart captured his first singles title when he defeated Sonny Smasher for the Academy Championship back in January and appears to be having the most successful year of his career so far. Standing in his way, however, is the deadly martial arts expert known as Mr Hanmudo. Hanmudo has proven himself capable of taking down much larger opponents with his lethal strikes, and is also a known submission expert, giving him the perfect arsenal to take on any opponent in the tournament.
By Dan Nash