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Cruiserweight Classic: Who is Akira Tozawa?

With WWE's Cruiserweight Classic coming soon, RealSport takes a look at one of the men involved, Akira Tozawa.


As we draw closer to WWE’s much anticipated “Cruiserweight Classic” we here at Real Sport are taking a look at some of the competitors that WWE have handpicked from around the world.

Today the man in the spotlight is Akira Tozawa.

Where He Wrestles

Tozawa came up through the Dragon Gate dojo in Japan 2005 and wrestled there for a while before heading off to America in 2010. In his time criss-crossing the States Tozawa wrestled a lot of current WWE guys like Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and even the current Champ Dean Ambrose. He has also had terrific matches with fellow Cruiserweight Classic competitors Zack Sabre Jr and Johnny Gargano during his travels to PWG, EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA.

 

Style

Tozawa wonderfully blends fast acrobatics with technical mat wrestling. He is happy to go leaping through the ropes but also capable of locking in arm bars. His suplexes can be stiff as hell and in one match with Kevin Owens it looked like he might kill him with some of them. Still, Tozawa is a fantastic entertainer with far more charisma and charm than your average Japanese wrestler. A lot of that is thanks to his exposure to the American independent scene and the western style of wrestling. He can work a crowd very well and is more than happy to blend some comedy in with his strikes and holds.

 

Expectations

Tozawa is the current Open the Triangle Gate Champion in Dragon Gate (a trios tag team title) so he is unlikely to be signing long-term with WWE. As a result I wouldn’t exect him to go that far in the tournament. He should get a win or two and will put on a quality show but at the end of  the day the tournament win is likely to allude him.

Toby Durant

A passionate and opinionated writer, I am currently the NFL editor for RealSport. However, I also contribute to F1, WWE, Football, and other sections of the site, and I have covered the NFL International Series for RealSport and previously contributed to SB Nation.

 

I also have 10 years playing and coaching experience in American football, starting at the University of Nottingham and including a stint as defensive coordinator at Oxford Brookes University. I may be a Patriots fan but all aspects of the sport interest me, from guard play to special teams.

Cruiserweight Classic: Who is Akira Tozawa?

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