Since he started training with WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy, Tony Nese has turned his fortunes around, as The Premier Athlete has showcased the full range of his abilities, most recently in an incredible No Disqualification Match against Noam Dar. Now he sets his sights on the Cruiserweight division's ultimate prize, but first he had to face former champion Kalisto in the first round of the Cruiserweight Championship tournament.
Targeting Kalisto's back and ribs, The Premier Athlete took the fight to Kalisto on the outside of the ring and unleashed his aggression on his opponent, even countering a hurricanrana by tossing Kalisto into the barricade. Nese maintained the pressure on Kalisto's back, but the Lucha Dragon fed off the energy of the WWE Universe and fought back with aerial wizardry, nearly securing a pinfall on two consecutive occasions.
Kalisto attempted a Super Salida del Sol from the corner, but Nese countered into a German Suplex, only to miss a 450 splash. With victory potentially in sight, Kalisto executed his own 450 Splash, but Nese got a foot on the bottom rope just in time to break the pinfall.
Working to keep their WrestleMania dreams alive, both Superstars continued to fight back and forth. Kalisto attempted multiple pinfalls before Nese countered into a pinfall of his own. Instead of trying to secure the win, however, Nese picked up his opponent and flipped him back into the corner before executing his patented Running Nese for the win.
There is certainly no love lost between former friends turned bitter enemies The Brian Kendrick and Drew Gulak, and the stakes of a WrestleMania opportunity looming in their latest clash only deepens the animosity. A seasoned veteran, Kendrick hopes to finally achieve a WrestleMania match while Gulak sees another opportunity to build a better WWE 205 Live.
Gulak showcased his impressive technical expertise, countering all of Kendrick's attempts to apply submission holds. As a result, Kendrick changed his strategy to a more aggressive offensive focused on high-impact strikes. Despite a counter after an initial flurry, The Man With a Plan pressed forward doing his best to advance to the next round. The resilience and relentlessness of The Philadelphia Stretcher never allowed Kendrick to maintain control long enough to secure victory. As Gulak got back on the attack, he found himself caught in the Captain's Hook after Kendrick reversed the Gulock.
Refusing to quit, Gulak broke the hold by pulling on Kendrick's mouth and dropping his rival with a savage powerbomb. Kendrick taunted Gulak as each Superstar got to his feet, they exchanged strikes and Kendrick attempted Sliced Bread No. 2. Following a counter from Gulak, Kendrick attempted to roll up his opponent, but Gulak again countered and applied the Gulock, finally winning the match when Kendrick passed out in the hold.
Next week on WWE 205 Live, the first round of the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament continues with two high-stakes contests. Fresh off an impressive victory against inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP, Humberto Carrillo will face NXT Superstar Oney Lorcan.
Plus, in a blockbuster collision of former WWE Cruiserweight Champions, Akira Tozawa and Cedric Alexander will face off in an effort to keep their WrestleMania dreams alive.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Tony Nese defeated Kalisto in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contendership Tournament First Round Match
- Drew Gulak defeated The Brian Kendrick in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contendership Tournament First Round Match
Other on-screen talent
- 205 Live #118 at CAGEMATCH.net
- [ 205 Live #118 at WWE.com]
- [ 205 Live #118 on WWE Network]