Hello, wrestling fans, and welcome to the weekly recap of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic. We have round two action coming at you this week, with three more exciting high-flying matches. Now, I would like to apologise for this going up late, but life does get in the way and I wrote this is as soon as I was able. Anyway, enough about that, let’s get on with the show.
We get a brief video package of what happened last week, and what’s going to happen this week, and then we are onto the matches.
MATCH: Akira Tozawa (Japan) vs. Jack Gallagher (England)
- Before this one even starts, the crowd are chanting ‘thank you both’, and I can’t say I blame them, when in round one these two put on what I feel were two of the better performances.
- Typical start to the match with the collar and elbow tie up that, by now, I think WWE have told the cruiserweights is the only way to start a match unless you’re in the main event slot. Tozawa with a go behind and a waistlock takedown, transitioned into a front facelock. Gallagher, with a very unique escape, is able to apply a wristlock, before Tozawa counters with a single leg takedown into a kneebar. Gallagher, looking like a man made out of rubber, is able to maneuver into a indian deathlock to finish the first exchange.
- Both men jockey for position, with Tozawa proving the stronger of the two, able to cinch in the side headlock. But Gallagher again, proving a spine is something you don’t need, is able to escape the hold with a handstand.
- Gallagher now with a single leg tie, turning Tozawa into a ball, Tozawa is unable to escape from the bundle he’s been made into, and is left screaming impotently in the middle of the ring. Gallagher argues with the ref that this means he’s won the match. The ref tells him no, so Gallagher releases Tozawa with a running kick to the backside.
- Both men back to their feet, and Tozawa lands some stiff forearms to the side of Gallagher’s head, but Gallagher is able to answer with a European uppercut that sends Tozawa reeling. Gallagher attempts a sunset flip pinning combination, but Tozawa’s legs are too strong, and Gallagher eats a boot to the face for his trouble.
- Tozawa taking control of the match now with a snapmare into a rear chin lock, wearing the Englishman down, following it up with a scoop slam and standing senton splash, getting a cover and a two count.
- Both men exchange strikes, with Tozawa winning out, faking a knife edge chop and actually hitting a right hand right to the jaw. Gallagher looks like the lights are on but nobody’s home.
- Tozawa sent into the corner by Gallagher. Both men avoid each other’s offense before Tozawa lands a double leg takedown that Gallagher counters, hitting a twisting monkey flip.
- Gallagher with a single leg takedown begins to take apart Tozawa’s left leg with a series of kicks and grapevine drops, attempting to hyperextend the knee joint, but Tozawa’s able to get the rope break.
- Gallagher continues to work on both Tozawa’s legs, attempting to take out the Japanese wrestler’s lethal kicks, applying a compression kneelock, but Tozawa again makes the rope break.
- Tozawa back to his feet and both men again try and get the better of each other with a series of strikes and counters. Tozawa, showing life, hits a running big boot; however, the pain in his leg makes the pin attempt too slow, and Gallagher kicks out at two.
- Tozawa sends Gallagher into the turnbuckle and hits a running forearm that he moves into an attempted vertical suplex, but Gallagher proves to be on point tonight when he counters into a heel hook, leaving Tozawa screaming in the middle of the ring. Tozawa shows off his amazing fortitude and strength by crawling across the ring and getting the eventual rope break.
- Gallagher with an Irish whip, but Tozawa’s leg has so much damange done that he collapses in the ring. Somehow the ref does not call this the match, and Tozawa, back to his feet, lands a spinning back kick with his right leg to the stomach of Gallagher, but misses with the follow up jumping enziguri and lands face first on the mat spinning back to his feet only to be met by a vicious headbut by Gallagher who gets a two count.
- Gallagher attempts a figure four leglock, but Tozawa counters with a small package and gets a two count. Both men to their feet and Tozawa, ducking under a clothesline, hits a snap German suplex, following it up with the stalled bridging german suplex for the three count and the win.
I liked this match an awful lot – the storytelling was great, and the match managed not to feel at all repetitive. I do feel the ending wasn’t all that good; with the work that had been done to Tozawa’s leg in the end meaning nothing, as he hit his German. Personally, I would also liked to have seen Gallagher go over here, but that’s just a preference. Great match, and a good way to start the show .
MATCH: Noam Dar (Scotland & Israel) vs. Ho Ho Lun (Hong Kong & China)
- Collar and elbow tie up to start this one, but only very briefly before Dar is able to turn it into a side headlock. Lun sends Dar into the ropes and on the rebound Dar with a shoulder block hit with authority.
- Dar off the ropes and a drop down leap from by Lun, Dar catches himself on the ropes, avoiding Lun’s attempted roundhouse – however Dar shows his inexperience and walks right into a spinning heel kick.
- Snapmare and attempted chin lock by Lun, but Dar up and applies a wristlock. Lun manages to break the hold, hit another snapmare, and follow it up with a dropkick to the back of Dar’s skull.
- Lun covers and gets a count of one.
- Dar right back on the offense, hitting a dragon screw leg whip that sends Lun out to the apron Lun attempts to set up a springboard move, but Dar hits a dropkick to the knee that bounces Lun’s face off of the ring apron. Lun answers the ref’s count at four and is met with a savage kick to the knee and European uppercut by Dar that sends Lun into the corner. Dar follows up with another uppercut and a backdrop suplex, covering Lun for a two count.
- Dar sets up a reverse Indian death lock, wrenching Lun’s knee. Dar attempts a follow up figure four but this is countered into a roll up by Lun for a two count.
- Dar up and charging, but his over zealousness costs him, as he walks right into a roundhouse kick from Lun – cover and a two count.
- Dar quickly takes control again with a leg sweep, and follows it up with a clothesline in the corner to a reeling Lun. Dar takes total control of the match, shrugging off attempted kicks from a grounded Lun, and continues to work the knee, keeping Lun from gaining any momentum.
- Dar applies an achilles lock, standing on Lun’s head to prevent Lun getting the rope break.
- However Lun, ever the fighter, manages to unbalance Dar just for a moment and get the separation via the rope break.
- As both men make it back to their feet, Dar again shows his inexperience, attempting to charge Lun, and running right into a boot to the face. Lun to the second rope, scores with a missile dropkick, following it up with a running knee, a scoop slam and finally a Michinoku driver all in very quick succession, and scores a two count as commentary tells us that a lot of what happened seemed, at best, half the strength that we would expect from Lun.
- Lun back to his feet, with a fire in his eyes, hits a bridging fisherman and gets a two count. Lun hits the running knee to the back of the head, followed by the thrust kick that got him so close to victory last round, but not moving as fast goes for the cover, rather than the follow up German suplex, and gets a two count.
- Lun now calls for that self-same German, and Dar looks groggy as he makes it back to his feet. Lun attempts to hit it, but Dar able to roll Lun over and lock in his kneebar, getting the submission victory.
Wow, that one was fast, and it seemed almost like a squash with how little offense Lun really got in. Still, a good showing by these two men, and I look forward to seeing Dar next round.
MATCH: Brian Kendrick (USA) vs. Tony Nese (USA)
- A different start to this one as Kendrick attempts to rush Nese, but runs right into a high knee to the jaw. Kendrick tries to use the turnbuckle to make it to his feet, and is met by a splash from Nese and a running knee that knocks Kendrick to the outside.
- Nese brings Kendrick back into the ring, refusing to give him any time to regroup. Nese attempts a springboard moonsault and Kendrick moves out of the way, Nese landing on his feet. Kendrick showing off veteran ring awareness, rolls to the outside, making Nese chase him and use more energy.
- Nese hits two chops to the chest outside and leaps to the ring apron. Kendrick tries for a chop block, but Nese cartwheels out of the way and follows up with a superkick, and Kendrick looks like he may struggle to even get into this match. Nese sends Kendrick into the ring and earns a two count.
- Nese slows the pace right down with some stiff shots to the jaw and another two count cover. Nese, with a fireman’s carry, allows Kendrick his first bit of offense when he fishhooks Nese, following it up with clubbing blows to the chest and running Nese into the turnbuckle while holding a waistlock.
- Kendrick, showing that he will use any tactic to win, stuffs Nese’s hand into the turnbuckle padding so that Nese is defenceless as Kendrick starts in with stomps to the chest, and stands on Nese’s throat before the ref takes control and separates the wrestlers.
- Kendrick, ever the showman, bows to the crowd while the ref frees Nese’s arm. Nese, with a push, makes the separation and retreats to the corner, but Kendrick, like a rabid dog, runs in with a forearm smash to the face. Second attempt is met by a back elbow from Nese, who tries for another moonsault and again misses, but manages to land on his feet. Nese leapfrogs an attempted spear by Kendrick, and uses a kip up to duck under the follow up clothesline. Then Nese, with a flurry of knees and kicks to the head and body of Kendrick, takes him down and scores another two count.
- Nese, with two leaping leg drops, scores another two count. Bringing Kendrick back to his feet, Nese attempts a vertical suplex, but Kendrick is able to grab the hair and scores with a trio of elbow shots. Kendrick attempts to come off the ropes for one big shot, but Nese is right there with a shoulder block to meet Kendrick and stop the offense dead. Nese with a bit of showmanship of his own, misses with the running boot and Kendrick is able to take advantage, pulling the leg and knee down over the top rope.
- Kendrick sits on Nese’s shoulder and applies an armbar, Nese showing his pure power as he escapes with some brutal ground and pound. Nese tries to get a moment to breathe by throwing Kendrick to the outside – Kendrick manages to keep hold of the ropes and tries for a slingshot sunset flip. Nese is too close to the ropes, though, and uses them to keep his vertical base and scores with a kick to the temple.
- Nese with a third attempted moonsault, this time Chris Jericho Lionsault style, misses again and is unable to land on his feet, earning Kendrick some much needed time to get his breath.
- Kendrick with a cross-armbreaker, locked in deep as this time, Nese’s ground and pound unable to free him. Nese does make it to his feet, still with Kendrick wrenching at the the arm .Kendrick manages to turn it into a pin, and scores two count, before going right back to the arm and locking in a fujiwara armbar, but Neses is able to power out with more clubbing ground and pound to break the hold.
- Both men on their feet, where an over enthusiastic Kendrick is sent over the top rope to the apron. and a quick thinking leg sweep from Nese sends Kendrick crashing to the floor.
- Nese hits a corkscrew senton on Kendrick on the outside. He rolls Kendrick back in and walks right into a forearm smash. Both men trade blows back and forth before Nese rams Kendrick’s face down into his knee. Nese follows up with a thrust kick to the side of the head, and a spinning heel kick to take Kendrick back down to the mat.
- Nese lifts Kendrick up for a vertical suplex again, but Brian, ever the wily veteran, is able to counter with a series of knees to the top of Nese’s head. Nese is able to show what a powerhouse he is, able to keep Brian off his feet and turn the attempted vertical into a falcons arrow, earning Nese the closest of two counts.
- Nese to the top rope looking for, most likely, his 450 splash, but Kendrick rolls to the other side of the ring. Nese, down and chasing, walks right into Kendrick’s boot. Kendrick, attempting to capitalize, runs head first into a lariat from Nese – and somehow Kendrick is still able to kick out at two.
- Nese back to the top rope, but Kendrick there to meet him, ripping his foot out from under him, so Nese crashes down with the back of his head into the top turnbuckle – Kendrick picking up a two count of his own. Both men up briefly, before a mule kick from Kendrick earns him a two count. Nese does not allow for the separation, bringing Kendrick into a roll up and earning himself a two count.
- Kendrick right back to the cross arm breaker, but Nese is able to turn it into a cover, then deadlifting Kendrick up and hitting a turnbuckle powerbomb. Kendrick kicks out at a count of two.
- Nese rushes into the corner to attack Kendrick, but Kendrick, up and over, locks in the bully choke. Nese attempts to power out, but the dogged pitbull-like Kendrick is able to keep the hold applied in the center of the ring. Nese rolls over onto his back, creating a pin and forcing Kendrick to break the hold.
- Kendrick goes for an Irish whip, but Nese is able to go under and devastate Kendrick with a pumphandle driver for yet another near fall. The crowd are almost in stunned silence at this point.
- Both men on their knees, trading forearm strikes all the way back to vertical base; Kendrick able to get the better of the exchange for a moment, hitting three vicious headbutts and following it up with forearm shots and a big boot that does not take Nese off his feet. One super kick and leg lariat later, and Nese is finally brought down.
- Kendrick to the top rope, but before he can mount an offense, Nese is up and charging in, hitting a huge uppercut followed with a pair of leaping kick to the side of Kendrick’s skull that sends Brian to the mat in perfect position for a 450 splash. Nese goes for it, but Kendrick sits up. Nese misses and Kendrick locks in the bully choke, leaving Nese with no choice but to tap out, securing the match and the win for Brian Kendrick.
Well I have to say that, going into this match, I was not a Brian Kendrick fan – after this, consider me made one! This was fantastic from start to finish, and if both men dont end up with contracts, I think a travesty will have been delivered upon them.
Well wrestling fans, that’s it for another week – again, I’m sorry this is going up so late, on a weekend so full of wrestling! I’m Jordan, this has been the Cruiserweight Classic, and I will see you all next week.