Hey, wrestling fans, and welcome back to another week of the Cruiserweight Classic. This week is the final of round two action, featuring three more matches, so without further fanfare, let’s get stuck right in.
The show starts with a video package from last week and a small clip from NXT TakeOver Brooklyn II, where HHH revealed the trophy that our cruiserweights will be fighting for. Following this is our typical video package before the first match.
MATCH: Lince Dorado (Puerto Rico) vs. Rich Swann (USA)
- The match starts with your typical collar and elbow tie up, with the first advantage going to Dorado with a side headlock. Swann gets a separation by sending Dorado into the ropes, but Dorado comes back with the shoulder block.
- Both men share a series of go overs and float unders off the ropes, before Dorado gets a roll up and a quick – you guessed it guys – two count. Swann reverses and gets one of his own.
- Match resets and both men with a cartwheel counter to the others attempted hurricanrana.
- Side-headlock by Swann and Dorado sends him into the rop..s Float over from Dorado, and Swann, on the return, scores beautiful dropkick that sends Dorado to the outside.
- Swann, with a full head of steam, is met with a swift kick by Dorado on the apron, Dorado hits a springboard dropkick, and now Swann to the outside. So far, I have to say this match is disjointed, and feels like just a back and forth of the exact same thing over and over.
- Springboard Plancha by Dorado and the crowd goes nuts.Dorado brings Swann back in and gets two count on the cover.
- Dorado sends Swann into the turnbuckle and misses with a dropkick, but is able to land on his feet just in time to be caught by Swann’s neckbreaker. And the crowd start chanting can you handle this.
- Swann with a very unique submission on Dorado that Ranallo calls a modified stretch muffler.
- However, Dorado is able to escape and get in his own offense with a very showy pinning combo, earning him a two count.
- Both men back to their feet and start exchanging blows, with Dorado getting the better of the situation with a big slap to the chest of Swann that sends him into the turnbuckle. Dorado, with the Irish whip, sends Swann into the opposite turnbuckle and hits a jumping forearm. However, an attempted repeat is met with Swann hitting his own turnbuckle forearm, and he is able to capitalize with a thrust kick to the stomach. Swann sets up Dorado on the top turnbuckle and attempts a frankensteiner but Dorado able to hold onto the ropes. Both men take a running start and both hit big boots right to each other’s skulls, both men down.
- Both men on their knees, battling back and forth with strikes as they make it to their feet. Both men looking exhausted, but Dorado is the one who, in the end, takes advantage with a high knee lift connecting to the jaw, followed up by a cross-body off the top rope and a two count.
- Dorado goes for a German suplex, but Swann lands on his feet and is able to connect with a DDT, and get a two count of his own.
- Swann goes for his standing 450 splash, but Dorado gets the knees up and turns it into a small package and a two count .
- Dorado with a series of strikes, misses an attempted springboard move, and is met with stiff kicks by Swann. Dorado, however, is not on the back foot for long, hitting a reverse hurricanrana, and Swann’s eyes look glazed over. Dorado, however, somehow only gets another two count.
- Dorado to the top rope, looking to hit his shooting star press, but Swann moves out of the way and goes to the top himself, scoring (just) with a phoenix splash and picking up the three count.
Not one of the best for the CWC, but still not all bad. I personally, just as I said before, felt the match lacked a typical nice flow, as both men seemed more intent in doing what the other had done, but just slightly better than actually having a game plan. Still. Rich Swann with the victory moves on to the quarter finals, and we will see how that goes next week.
So we get something a little bit different; rather than the same old same old video package, we get a short one showing the match at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn II showing the unfortunate losing effort of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, when they challenged The Revival for the NXT Tag Team Championships. We then get an interview with Gargano, and the image of his knee being taped up. The long and short of the interview is that Gargano thinks he’s going to win tonight.
Steph here to fill in for the rest of the CWC, as Jordan’s off sick! Shorter recapping for the rest of this, as I don’t have the eye for chain wrestling that he does.
MATCH: Zack Sabre Jr (England) vs. Drew Gulak (USA)
- A different start from the usual, with no handshake, and the two men charging at each other and into lightning quick chain wrestling. Double leg takedown from Sabre, then a grapple around to a holding pattern.
- Waist lock from Gulak, reversed into a wristlock by Sabre, which he transitions into a straightjacket hold. Two springboard flying stomps to Sabre’s head, followed up by a knife edge chop and a northern lights suplex, ending in a two count for Gulak.
- Headbutt from Gulak to Sabre’s middle, then an armbar and slaps to the head, with Sabre getting free with a kick to Gulak’s head. Gulak’s double axe handle is caught in a fujiwara armbar from Sabre, but he powers out and gets him into the Gory Special submission hold, which he then transitions into a Boston crab.
- Roll up from Sabre for a two count, then a fireman’s carry takeover for a two count for Gulak, keeping Sabre on the ground with a rear chinlock, which Sabre turns into an octopus submissions. Gulak escapes by grabbing the leg.
- Ankle lock from Gulak, then into the electric chair position, but is stopped by a kimura lock from Sabre. Gulak slams Sabre into the ropes, and he retaliates with a kick for a two count pin.
- Another two count for Sabre, rolling up Gulak, and then it’s back and forth palm strikes, culminating in a sunset flip into a pin for two.
- Gulak tries for the Dragon Sleeper, but Sabre comes back with a rollup, bridging the pin for the three count.
A pretty steady match, with both men showcasing their talent, and while we’ll be sad to see Gulak go, as an Englishwoman, I’m proud to see Sabre taking a further step into the competition.
MATCH: TJ Perkins (Philippines) vs. Johnny Gargano (USA)
- Both men shake hands before the bell, and then it’s straight into the action, Perkins with a leg scissors takedown for a very early two count, then a further two count. Gargano monkey flips Perkins across the ring, then a reverse Indian deathlock from Perkins is locked in, Gargano forcing a rope break.
- Huge kick from Gargano, Perkins sent to the outside, and that’s Gargano’s cue for a suicide dive, then a knife edge chop.
- Back in the ring, Gargano gets Perkins into a surfboard hold, which Perkins counters with one of his own. Leg scissors takeover from Perkins. Gargano ducks a clothesline, and then hits a big kick to Perkins’ head.
- Flying spear through the middle rope from Gargano, who then takes Perkins to the corner and delivers knife edge chops before putting him on the top turnbuckle. Perkins is back on his feet quickly, however, connecting with a spinning heel kick, which Gargano follows with a running enzuigiri – both men connect with each other at the same time!
- Perkins blocks another kick from Gargano, following it with a sitout powerbomb for a two count. There’s a thrust kick from Gargano that sends Perkins to the outside, and then Gargano hits a rolling cannonball off the apron.
- Getting Perkins back into the ring, Gargano leaves himself vulnerable for the Detonation Kick, and takes a double knees for his trouble as well, in for a two count.
- Forearms to Perkins, who retaliates with a drop toe hold, sending Gargano into the second rope. Springboard wrecking ball dropkick from Perkins, who then climbs to the top rope where he eats an enzuigiri to the face.
- Knee bar from Perkins, countered with a cross-face. Up to the top rope for Perkins, but Gargano gets him face first into the turnbuckle, twice over. Enzuigiri attempt from Perkins, Gargano ducking out of the way.
- Superkick from Gargano, followed by a dragon suplex attempt. Perkins counters with a knee bar, and Gargano is forced to tap out.
It’s nice to see a match end in submission instead of by pin, it’s a change, and it makes the finish more interesting. Sad to see Gargano go, but we know he’s got his place in WWE, and therefore it’s good to see Perkins move forward in the competition.
Well, that was the Classic! Jordan will be back with you next week for what will surely be a better recap than I gave you – we’ll see you then.