Hello and welcome to Cruiserweight Classic for this week! Jess is recapping because Jordan doesn’t appear to have slept this week. Or this year, for that matter.
We start with a brief rundown of what’s going on tonight, before we launch into the opening titles. I actually kind of like the theme music, now that I think about it.
Video package for Tyson Dux and Zack Sabre Jr. Basically, Dux is recovering from a knee injury, and Sabre Jr is a better wizard than Harry Potter is my takeaway from that segment.
MATCH: Tyson Dux vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Sabre Jr makes his way down to the ring first. Daniel Bryan describes him as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world, so we’re off to a good start! Dux comes out next, also billed as a technical wrestler. Both men shake hands.
- Collar and elbow tie-up, which is broken almost immediately, then a second. This time Sabre Jr grabs the arm and takes him down with a single leg.
- Sabre with an ankle lock, which Dux reverses with a drop toe-hold into an ankle lock of his own.
- Sabre manages to get a wheelbarrow into a side headlock takedown, reversed into a headscissors by Dux.
- Sabre struggling, bridging into a flip into a vertical position, transitioning into a wristlock.
- Sabre steps over into a cravat, Dux breaks the hold into a fireman’s carry takedown.
- Two men circle each other, then another collar and elbow into a cravat from Dux. Sabre counters by dropping to the ground and bridging, then reverses into a wristlock.
- Snapmare takeover from Dux, countered into an armbar.
- Sabre gets to his feet, wrenching the arm with a spin.
- Wristlock from Sabre, Dux counters into a scoop slam, then kicks Sabre.
- Sabre still on his knees, Dux gets him to his feet and sends him to the corner for a series of strikes.
- Reversal by Sabre with a back elbow, then European uppercut from the second rope.
- Sabre runs with another European uppercut to Dux in the opposite corner, then a series of kicks to the shoulder.
- Dux grabs him the leg and Sabre slaps him; fisherman’s brainbuster from Dux for a two-count.
- Fujiwari armbar by Dux; Sabre counters into a crucifix rollup for a two-count. Dux clotheslines a sitting Sabre for another two-count.
- Dux taunting Sabre before coming into with an elbow then a shove off the ropes. Dux bounces off the ropes but Sabre avoids the move and comes in from behind with an Octopus Stretch.
- Thrust kick to the jaw from Sabre, but he misses with a roundhouse to the head. Follows it up with a sweep taking Dux to the mat.
- Running knee to a seated Dux for a two count.
- Atomic drop into a DDT from Dux into a sidepress for another two-count.
- Dux attempts to lock in a Texas cloverleaf into a bridged victory roll for another nearfall.
- Lariat from Dux, up into a fireman’s carry which is reversed into a bodyscissors hammerlock on a standing Dux, which becomes an uma-plana from Sabre.
- Dux trying to reach for the ropes, but Sabre bends his fingers back and Dux verbally submits.
Zack Sabre Jr celebrates in his exhaustion. The two men shake hands and hug after the match before Dux limps off. Daniel Bryan is very effusive about the match, claiming he would steal moves from Sabre if he was still actively wrestling.
Up next is a video package for the next match, with a submission wrestler in Drew Gulak. HIs opponent is one member of the Bollywood Boyz, Harv Sihra.
MATCH: Drew Gulak vs. Harv Sihra
Gulak makes his way to the ring first, his ring gear making him look sort of like an alumni of the Cobra Kai dojo. While I’m commenting on ring gear, Sihra has some very fabulous tights that would make Breezango proud.
- Collar and elbow tieup, go behind into a waistlock from Gulak. Reversed into another waistlock from Sihra.
- Front facelock into a small package from Gulak; Sihra kicks out.
- Greco-Roman knuckllock, then Gulak on the ground for a one count which he easily gets back up from to a vertical base.
- Monkeyflip from Sihra into a bodyscissors from Gulak; Sihra locks Gulak’s ankles and Gulak goes for a rope break.
- Side headlock takeover from Gulak, back to a vertical base, and Gulak goes back into the ropes.
- Gulak takes Sihra down to the mat with a shoulder block, for a one-count.
- Sihra goes for a crossbody but caught by Gulak, transitioned into a fireman’s carry. Sihra counters with a sunset flip pinning combination for a one-count.
- Series of pin attempts from Sihra, none for more than a one-count, then Gulak onto the middle rope for a diving clothesline. Lateral press for a two-count.
- Hard Irish whip into the corner from Gulak for a two-count, then strikes back and forth into a vicious scoop slam onto the top rope.
- Sihra out of the ring, clutching his head, then a back body drop from Sihra taking Gulak to the outside as well.
- Sihra hits a springboard crossbody to the outside, then rolls Gulak back into the ring for a one-count.
- Sihra raining down right hands on Gulak, then a neckbreaker for a two-count.
- Gulak makes distance with a headbutt, then onto the top rope where he is met by Sihra who takes him down with a superplex.
- Sihra looks to be going for some sort of leg-based submission, but Gulak fights out and reverses into a dragon sleeper. This is countered momentarily into an ankle lock, but Gulak is able to reverse back into the dragon sleeper, for a quick tap-out.
Gulak celebrates his victory, but nothing very much of interest happens after the match.
MATCH: Anthony Bennett vs. Tony Nese
Both men in this match are also billed as technical wrestlers. Anthony Bennett is very small, even for a cruiserweight, standing at only 5’6” (or 5’5”, according to his video package). He makes his way to the ring first, with two pairs of glasses – one for his eyes, and one for his hair. Nese joins him next, and he absolutely makes Bennett look tiny by comparison.
- Nese starts us off with a go-behind waistlock into a waistlock takedown. Bennett reverses into a hammerlock.
- Side headlock takeover from Nese, into another hammerlock. Bennett transitions into another side headlock, but is just shoved aside by the much larger Nese.
- Bennett dancing in the corner, then takes a run at Nese, who leapfrogs, then goes for a clothesline on Bennett, who bridges under.
- Thrust kick from Nese to Bennett into a lateral press; Bennett kicks out at one.
- Front facelock from Nese to bring Bennett to his feet, then a few strikes back and forth before Nese throws Bennett to the apron.
- Nese goes for an elbow, then feints a roundhouse kick, then sweeps Bennett’s legs out from under him, sending him to the floor.
- Nese jumps the ropes to the apron, then cartwheels into a superkick.
- Nese lifts Bennett, who lands on the ropes and makes space with kicks before hitting a rolling senton off the apron onto Bennett.
- Both men back into the ring for a two-count cover by Bennett.
- Bennett applies a double underhook submission hold, but reversal by Nese, hanging Bennett on the ropes, then a chop block.
- Nese hits a springboard moonsault off the second rope, for a two count.
- Both men back to their feet, and Nese throws Bennett into the corner, then up for a vertical suplex; Bennett tries to counter with knees, but is kept in the air for a stalling vertical suplex.
- Nese locks in a bodyscissors on Bennett, transitioned into a headlock, Bennett escapes with an arm drag.
- Strikes stagger Nese, and Bennett hits a pair of leaping clotheslines. Nese appears to attempt a pop-up powerbomb, but this is countered with a dropkick to the chest.
- Bennett onto the second rope and goes for a tornado DDT, but Nese uses his power to stall the move, planting Bennett back on the rope. Bennett hits the tornado DDT on the second attempt, for a two count.
- Strikes back and forth, which Nese comes out the better of, then into a waistlock. Standing switch by Bennett, but Nese slides through into a pumphandle powerslam.
- Nese to the top rope, but the referee stops him. A moment later, the referee gives the okay and Nese hits a 450 splash for a successful pinfall. Bennett could possibly be legitimately hurt; that was an odd finish, if not.
The referee goes immediately to Bennett after the match to check on him again. Nese motions like he wants to shake Bennett’s hand, but the referee motions to him to keep his distance. Nese raises his hands in victory, while Bennett gets to the corner under his own volition. A medic is in the corner checking on him, while Nese celebrates his victory, and we cut away.
MATCH: Raul Mendoza vs. Brian Kendrick
Kendrick – sorry, The Brian Kendrick – makes his way to the ring first, and Daniel Bryan is already singing his praises. Mendoza enters shortly afterwards, posing on the ropes. They tell us that he doesn’t wear a mask because he doesn’t want to hide his pretty face, which I think tells us everything we need to know. The two men shake hands before the match begins.
- We start with a “Brian Kendrick” chant from the crowd, and Kendrick starts us off with a wristlock, taking Mendoza down with a kick to the thigh.
- Mendoza rolls out with a drop toehold takedown, rolls Kendrick to his feet, snapmare, chinlock applied.
- Kendrick fights out, applying a side headlock. Mendoza bounces off the ropes, taken to the ground with a shoulder block. Kip-up, then a stiff kick to the stomach as Mendoza looks proud of himself.
- Mendoza with a front flip over an attempted monkey flip from Kendrick, then a headscissors takedown from Mendoza sending Kendrick to the outside. Mendoza fakes a dive after him, then flips through the ring, showboating.
- Kendrick climbs back into the ring, and takes a kick from Mendoza. Kendrick misses with his dropkick, and is lifted into an inverted swing, which transitions into a leglock.
- Kendrick makes it to the ropes, and Mendoza is still showing off for the crowd. Kendrick on the ropes, and the referee keeps Mendoza away; Kendrick hits a big boot to Mendoza’s face.
- Kendrick pushes Mendoza’s mouth into the ropes, then kicks the ropes and pulls back for a two-count.
- Kendrick applies a double armbar, Mendoza gets a rope break.
- Rollup by Mendoza for a two-count as Kendrick tries to move in too hastily.
- Mendoza in the corner, bleeding from the mouth and the referee asks if he wants to continue. As soon as he gives the okay, Kendrick comes in with a corner clothesline.
- Mendoza thrown into the corner, but slides out as Kendrick follows; Kendrick hits the turnbuckle.
- Springboard dropkick from Mendoza sends Kendrick to the outside, then follows with a corkscrew plancha.
- Kendrick thrown back into the ring; Mendoza tries to follow with a 450 splash but misses, rolling to his feet and following with a standing enzuigiri for a two-count.
- “Brian Kendrick!” “Mendoza!” dueling chants, as Mendoza sets Kendrick up in the corner; he takes a boot as he goes after Kendrick and Kendrick follows up with a single legged dropkick – I’m not sure what Ranallo called it but he might just be making things up now.
- Kendrick to the top rope, but is knocked down with a kick and ends up in tree of woe position, taking another kick.
- Mendoza climbing up onto the turnbuckle opposite Kendrick, going coast to coast with a dropkick to Kendrick’s head.
- Mendoza follows up with a double-knee backbreaker, but Kendrick gets his foot on the ropes for the pin.
- Kendrick dragged to his feet for a series of strikes, and just drops when Mendoza rebounds at him.
- Kendrick back up on his feet, catching Mendoza and pulling him down throat-first onto the second rope.
- Kendrick locks in a bully choke, and Mendoza taps out.
Kendrick climbs onto the turnbuckle to show off the crowd, while Mendoza recovers. The crowd is still chanting “Mendoza!” as Kendrick’s arm is raised in victory.