By Zack Zimmerman
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WWE Cruiserweight Classic on WWE Network
Taped July 14 in Winter Park, Florida at Full Sail University
Corey Graves narrated a lengthy video saying that the perilous journey began with 32 competitors. 16 remain who will forge themselves through sweat and determination. He welcomed everyone to round two of the Cruiserweight Classic… The opening video played…
Inside the arena, Mauro Ranallo and Daniel Bryan checked in on commentary. They discussed the different styles they’d seen and Bryan noted that Gargano vs. Ciampa from last week was his favorite moment of the opening round. They threw over to Corey Graves in the control center who briefly recapped some of the sweet sixteen. He presented Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander for later in the show, but first it’s Gran Metallic vs. Tajiri…
An updated spotlight package aired on Metalik. It was updated with highlights of his opening round win and he said he dedicates that win to Mexico. Tajiri was up next. He said that he’s been competing for almost 23 years, which is older than a few guys in the tournament. Highlights of his opening round win were shown and he said that he wants to accomplish this great task of winning the CWC before he retires.
Back in the arena, Tajiri made his entrance. Gran Metalik was out next. Both guys were brought to the center and shook hands.
1. Gran Metalik vs. Tajiri in a second-round match. The two went back and forth with a nice sequence blending some lucha to a stand-off in the opening couple of minutes. The two traded some good looking submissions and counters on the mat. Metalik cleared Tajiri from the ring with a running ‘rana and then caught him with a superkick at ringside. Metalik rolled Tajiri back in the ring and looked to capitalize, but Tajiri rolled through to ringside again and caught a pursuing Metalik with a kick to the face to take control.
Tajiri worked Metalik over before Metalik fought back with a series of forearms and a springboard dropkick. Tajiri rolled to ringside, but Metalik went right after him with a rope-walk flipping senton to wipe out Tajri, as well as himself. Once again, Tajiri caught Metalik with a kick upon re-entering the ring, but this time Metalik came right back with a dragon screw in the ropes and a rope-walk elbow drop for two.
Metalik hit a springboard back-elbow for another two-count and then looked for his finish, but Tajiri fought out. Tajiri caught Metalik out of nowhere with a wild back kick to the chin and rocked him. Tajiri hung him in the tree of woe and charged with his signature sliding dropkick for a two-count of his own. Metalik created some separation and looked for something off the ropes, but Tajiri caught him and planted him with a kneeling power bomb for another two.
Metalik ducked the Buzzsaw kick, but found himself locked in a butterfly neck crank. He struggled and managed to escape with stomps to the head with his free legs. Tajiri hit a kick to the head, but Metalik ducked a second and connected with a much safer version of the Metalik Screwdriver for the pinfall.
Gran Metalik pinned Tajiri in about 10:50 to advance to the quarterfinals of the CWC.
Replays aired, Metalik’s hand was raised, and the updated bracket revealed that Metalik will challenge the winner of Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher. The two shook hands and Tajiri raised Metalik’s hand before leaving the ring to him to close the segment… Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander was hyped up next…
Zim Says: Fun match. Ultimately nothing too memorable, but the guys like Tajiri and Brian Kendrick are there to have solid matches with guys before using their name value to put over the next stars in these later rounds, and that’s just what this was. Effectively done and entertaining while it lasted. Good stuff.
Back in the control center, Corey Graves checked in and threw to the main event. A tale of the tape displayed for Kota Ibushi vs. Cedric Alexander before Cedric was featured in his spotlight video. He said that in his mind he’d reached the apex of the industry by arriving in CWC. Kota Ibushi was up next. He said he wants to continue to bring joy to people around the world through his wrestling.
Back in the arena, Kota Ibushi made his entrance to a good reaction from the crowd. Replays from his first-round win aired. Cedric Alexander was out next and his highlights were shown as well. The two men shook hands and the bell was rung.
2. Cedric Alexander vs. Kota Ibushi in a second-round match. The two opened at a relatively slow pace through the opening couple of minutes. The first-gear action continued until the two broke out in a very impressive sequence of counters into a stalemate which was met with a big pop and applause from the crowd. Alexander slowed things back down with a headlock, but back on their feet, Ibushi fired off a super stiff kick to the chest which grounded Alexander.
Ibushi hit a dropkick that cleared Cedric from the ring, but Cedric avoided the Golden Triangle moonsault and connected with a huge dive over the ropes to wipe out Ibushi. Back in the ring, Alexander hit a sky-high springboard clothesline for a good two-count. Cedric remained in control for the time being, countering a kick attempt from Ibushi with a wicked slap to the face which was good for a near-fall.
Cedric hit the ropes, but Ibushi caught him with a high dropkick to the face and both guys were down as the crowd rose to their feet in applause. Back on their feet, the two traded shots. Suddenly, Ibushi rattled off a rapid series of strikes and then busted out a standing corkscrew moonsault for two. Ibushi hit an exploder suplex and Alexander rolled to ringside before Ibushi connected on the second attempt at the Golden Triangle moonsault.
Ibushi looked for a pin in the ring, but Alexander kicked out at two. Ibushi looked to follow up, but Alexander tossed him up and planted him with a wicked Michinoku Driver for two. Alexander went up top and flipped through a Frankensteiner attempt by Ibushi, landing on his feet, and the two rocked each other with a forearm and flip kick respectively. Ibushi looked for the powerbomb, but Alexander flipped out and hit a kick before spiking Ibushi with a spike brainbuster for a wicked near-fall.
Without missing a beat, Cedric connected with a spinning back kick to the chin and Ibushi looked to be out. Ced made the cover, but Ibushi just managed to kick out and the Full Sail crowd went completely bananas. Cedric sold desperation before going to the top rope. He leapt off, but Ibushi avoided it and spiked him with the snap German. Ibushi hit a kick to the head and then planted Ced with the sit-out Last Ride for the win.
Kota Ibushi defeated Cedric Alexander in about 15:00 to advance to the quarterfinals of the CWC.
The crowd applauded big and the commentators put the match over huge. A lengthy series of replays aired. Ibushi’s hand was raised, and Cedric covered his face selling the loss like he was near tears. An updated bracket showed that Ibushi will face the winner of Brian Kendrick vs. Tony Nese. Ibushi celebrated his win while Cedric sold the despair of loss…
Corey Graves hyped the continuation of round two next week, with Akira Tozawa vs. Jack Gallagher, Noam Dar vs. Ho Ho Lun, and The Brian Kendrick vs. Tony Nese…
In the arena again, Cedric was backing out of the arena in tears while the crowd thanked and applauded him. They even chanted “please sign Cedric.” As Ced took a bow in front of the curtain, Papa Trips came through and patted him on the back of the head and sending him to the back. He gave the crowd a big thumbs up and followed Cedric backstage to close the show as the crowd chanted “Yes!”
Zim Says: Very cool way to close the show. Excellent match from two excellent wrestlers who both need to be prominent featured players in the Cruiserweight division when it kicks off on Raw. This show was a completely splendid hour of wrestling, and I’m not really sure that I need to even explain it further. What wasn’t to like about this show? Next week however might be a different story, as Ho Ho Lun vs. Noam Dar looms on the horizon. Oh boy. I’ll be back in audio form tomorrow, so many of you will be hearing from me then. For everyone else, talk to you again next week!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the DotNet CWC Audio Recap.
Throw comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @DotNetZim or DotNetZim@gmail.com; always happy to discuss.