Time for one of my favorite wrestling programs of the week, the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament! How great has this thing been? When they move these guys up to the main roster it can only help boost ratings. The Cruiserweight Division, and subsequent Cruiserweight Championship, is really going to help breathe some life into the limp Raw programming. If you missed last week’s episode, check out our review HERE. The quarter-finals start tonight. Let’s watch some brilliance.
They upped the time limits in the quarter-finals from 20 mins to 30. The first match of the night is Akira Tozawa (Japan) taking on Gran Metalik (Mexico). Tozawa has some pretty cool entrance music. Stiff grappling to start, followed by some submissions and reversals. This tournament makes you not be able to take your eyes off the screen because you might miss something. Crowd is fired up. The two take turns shoving each other against the ropes. Running dropkick against the ropes by Metalik slows this one down. Wow. He whips Tozawa into the corner and roundhouse kicks him followed by a springboard dropkick. Tozawa tries to roll out and catch a breath, but Metalik just leaps out after him and takes him down.
Both men barely get back before the ten count. Crossbody off the ropes into a cover by Metalik. Tozawa kicks out at two. Leg submission by Metalik, using his own legs as leverage. Tozawa crawls to the rope and breaks the hold. He sits up and Metalik kicks the beejesus out of the side of his head. Huge chop against the ropes by Metalik. Tozawa dropkicks him in the back and then kicks him out of the ring. Tozawa’s turn to fly, he leaps out and takes down Metalik. Crowd in a frenzy. Tozawa goes back in the ring as the crowd chants one more time. He bounces off the ropes and leaps out, hitting Metalik again. Back in the ring, Tozawa slams Metalik down and hits a standing senton. Cover, but kick out at two. Metalik is reeling now.
Massive chops by both men in the center of the ring. On the last one, Tozawa fakes a chop and instead punches Metalik in the jaw. Cover, but kick out at two. Tozawa visibly frustrated now. He puts Metalik in the corner and basement dropkicks him. Metalik hits a dropkick out of nowhere and then a standing Shooting Star Press. Cover, but Tozawa kicks out. The action at this point is just insanity. Man, these guys can go. Several false finishes. Bicycle kick and suplex by Tozawa. Metalik narrowly kicks out. Tozawa gets the crowd fired up. This one is so good the crowd starts a “fight forever” chant, followed by “C-dub-C” and “this is awesome” chants. Metalik Driver puts Tozawa away! Gran Metalik is the first man in the semi-finals. What. A. Match. That was amazing. Seems like each week I say “Best match of the tournament so far!” and it’s true again tonight. Incredible. Two thumbs up, four stars, whatever high rating you want to give it. This one was exceptional. After the match Tozawa hugs Metalik and then raises his arm in victory. Good sportsmanship.
The “main event” is Brian Kendrick (United States) aka Daniel Bryan’s B.F.F. taking on Kota Ibushi (Japan). This one could get pretty brutal. Going to be on the edge of my seat. The bell rings and Kendrick rolls out of the ring trying to goad Ibushi outside. Kendrick comes back in and gets a huge roundhouse kick to the face. Golden triangle moonsault by Ibushi makes the crowd go wild. Kendrick wraps Ibushi’s ankle in the metal guardrail and tries to get a countout victory. Ibushi recovers and gets back in the ring, once again planting Kendrick. He recovers, however, and starts working on Ibushi’s neck. Ibushi hits a dropkick and both men are down.
Power slam and then a moonsault by Ibushi. He covers, but Kendrick kicks out at two. This one goes back and forth for a few minutes until Ibushi suplexes Kendrick off and over the ropes into the ring. “Holy Shit!” chant from the crowd. Kendrick still somehow manages to kick out at two! Kendrick hits a Bully Choke and the crowd starts a “Tap! Tap! Tap!” chant. Ibushi stands to take the pressure off and gets Kendrick off him. Devastating Burning Hammer buries Ibushi on his neck! Cover by Kendrick but only a two count! This match is absolutely bonkers. What is happening!? Several forearm shots by Kendrick to the back of Ibushi’s neck. But he recovers and gets another near fall on Kendrick. Golden Star Powerbomb by Ibushi and he plants Kendrick for the three count! Kota Ibushi advances. Brian Kendrick is done. Daniel Bryan sounds like he is about to cry. Haha. He is obsessed with that guy.
After the match Kendrick is crying in the ring as the crowd chants “Thank you, Bryan!” Daniel Bryan runs in and hugs him. Great show. Terrific, amazing action. No flaws, no complaints. That was just straight up wrestling at its best. Can’t wait to see the conclusion of this tournament. What did you think of the broadcast? Did the right men advance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Article by Jamie Curtis Baker