The Cruiserweight Classic continued on Wednesday with more heart-pounding action! If you missed it, want an idea of what you’ll get when you go watch it, or simply want to know who came out on top, this is the RealSport Recap of Round One, Night Two! Keep coming back to RealSport throughout the tournament for the ultimate home in Cruiserweight Classic coverage!
Cruiserweight Classic: Round One, Night Three
Match One: Zack Sabre Jr. vs Tyson Dux
This contest was billed as the “Master of Escapology” Zack Sabre Jr. taking on “Textbook” Tyson Dux, and it lived up to the monikers of both men. If you haven’t seen Zack in action, this was but a brief glimpse of what he’s capable of. As for Dux, he’s a 20-year veteran who got this opportunity to shine, but he found himself severely overshadowed by the sensational skill of Zack Sabre Jr. Dux was no slouch, as he kept pace with ZSJ for most of the early part of the match. Tyson is most known for his execution of basics, and he had that on display with several crisp maneuvers, but once Zack really got on a roll there was no doubting how things would turn out.
Despite a few big moments from Dux, including a devastating fisherman buster about halfway through the match, it was Sabre’s targeting of Tyson’s arm and shoulder that ultimately did Dux in. In the end, Sabre showed his ability to transition between holds as he floated from a double wristlock with a body scissors into an omoplata shoulder lock. While he had the omoplata on, he then grabbed Dux’s free arm and applied an armbar and wristlock simultaneously. The combo was simply too much for the worn down Dux, who shouted that he gave up to the referee. Zack Sabre Jr. advances.
Match Two: Harv Sihra vs. Drew Gulak
Drew Gulak was billed as a technician with a chip on his shoulder, and he absolutely wrestled like it. Expectations were low for tag team specialist Harv Sihra, who has spent most of his career as one half of The Bollywood Boyz with his brother Gurv Sihra. It was unclear if Gulak underestimated his opponent or Sihra simply kept more in the fight than expected, but Gulak was not able to get a huge advantage at any point throughout the match.
Sihra was able to counter plenty of maneuvers and transitioned into quick pinning combinations on multiple occasions. Most impressive, Sihra countered a body scissors more than once by wrenching an ankle lock on the crossed legs of Gulak. Sihra hit a few big moves to the outside and managed a superplex on Gulak, but once Drew put on the Dragon Sleeper, it was all over. Sihra tried to power out with the ankle lock counter again, but Gulak repositioned and magnified the torque giving Sihra no choice but to tap out. Drew Gulak advances.
Match Three: Tony Nese vs. Anthony Bennett
Sure, technically these were both cruiserweights. Not really, though. Anthony Bennett is about a buck fifty, sopping wet, while Tony Nese is an extremely lean and powerfully built man who comes in just shy of 200 pounds. Nese fought with a mean streak, but Bennett put up a good challenge despite his youth. At one point when Bennett was on the outside, Nese faked a dive to the outside and floated over to the apron. He then did a cartwheel off the apron onto the floor, and while Bennett was still confused, superkicked him so hard that I’m surprised Bennett’s hair didn’t fly into the third row.
Bennett managed to turn the tide for a bit later in the match with a big dropkick and a powerful tornado ddt, but it didn’t last for long. After some more back and forth, Nese suddenly planted Bennett into the mat with a pumphandle powerslam. Anthony Bennett looked almost unconscious, and was even checked briefly by the referee, as Nese climbed the turnbuckle and looked to go to the air. He paused for a moment until the referee signalled that Bennett was good to go, though I doubt Bennett enjoyed being hit with a huge 450 Splash seconds later. The impact was more than enough for the pinfall win. Tony Nese advances.
Match Four: Raul Mendoza vs. The Brian Kendrick (Match of the Night)
Finally it was time for the main event and the in-ring return of The Brian Kendrick. This was truly a clash of styles, as the crafty veteran was up against the lucha libre skill of a young Raul Mendoza. The crowd was behind Kendrick in the early going, but Mendoza won them over throughout the match as he showed exactly what he could do. Kendrick took control early and remained calm and calculated, but Mendoza managed to land a headscissors takeover to send Brian to the outside. Mendoza then appeared to be going for a dive, but did a handspring off the ropes instead. As Kendrick got back in, Mendoza showed some innovative offense as he crossed Kendrick’s legs almost as if he was going for a Cloverleaf.
Instead of rolling over, he tightened his grip and began to spin Kendrick around in a Cesaro-style swing, but with the submission applied the whole time until he dropped Kendrick to the mat and applied a body scissors. Unfortunately, his edge didn’t last lock. Kendrick’s mean streak showed as he later had Mendoza face first on the middle rope and kicked the rope, causing it to hit Mendoza in the mouth and bust him open. Mendoza didn’t give up though, as he hit a springboard dropkick and corkscrew plancha in quick succession. Mendoza then went for a Springboard 450 after Kendrick got back in the ring. Brian was able to dodge it, but Mendoza rolled through and hit a swift Enziguri to the back of the head and a near fall.
Kendrick went high risk, but was knocked into a tree of woe by Mendoza, who then wowed the crowd with an amazing coast to coast springboard dropkick from across the ring. He followed it up with a suplex into a double-knee backbreaker, but somehow Kendrick got his foot on the rope to stop the pinfall. Kendrick feigned an injury a few moments later, suddenly grabbing Mendoza in that moment and slinging him into the ropes. Mendoza bounced off and then was whipped backwards with a headlock takedown into a bully choke. The torque on the choke was too much, and Mendoza was forced to tap out. The Brian Kendrick advances.