Following an impressive WWE 205 Live debut against Humberto Carrillo, NXT Superstar Oney Lorcan was determined to defeat Cedric Alexander and get one step closer to competing for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania. However, The Soul of WWE 205 Live is laser-focused on returning to The Grandest Stage of Them All and reclaiming the title.
Lorcan presented a unique challenge for Alexander, as the hard-hitting striker has a reputation for his sometimes wild demeanor. The Soul of WWE 205 Live had to find the right strategy balancing speed and striking, all the while absorbing brutal chops from his opponent.
After a skirmish on the top rope, Lorcan fended off a potential superplex and took down his opponent with a perfectly executed blockbuster. Unable to capitalize, Lorcan nearly fell victim to Alexander’s patented Lumbar Check, but The Soul of WWE 205 Live’s back gave out – a testament to Lorcan’s ability to dismantle his opponent.
Seizing the moment, Lorcan executed the Half and Half but was unable to secure the win. Alexander responded by dropping Lorcan on the ring apron before nailing a perfect Michinoku driver. Frustrated that Lorcan was still not defeated, anger overwhelmed Alexander, and he unleashed on Lorcan, only to be leveled by a European uppercut.
Once again taking advantage of the opening, Lorcan hit a Half and Half from the top rope, but Alexander miraculously kicked out. Irate, Lorcan began slapping the former champion, and just as he turned to the ropes, Alexander grabbed him and hit the Lumbar Check to advance to the finals.
Drew Gulak kicked off WWE 205 Live by making a prediction that Tony Nese would collapse under the pressure of the tournament semifinals – claiming that’s what he always does. The history between Nese and Gulak is certainly rich – they are former tag team partners turned rivals – but Gulak has historically defeated The Premier Athlete.
Knowing the stakes of the bout, Nese fought through tremendous pain, but Gulak’s masterful strategy of targeting specific body parts allowed him to apply another submission hold and demand Nese tap out. The Premier Athlete’s incredible conditioning was on full display, as he showed off his incredible athleticism to dominate Gulak with an incredible sequence culminating with a near-fall following a split-legged moonsault.
Desperate, Gulak took down Nese with a rare dropkick before executing a double powerbomb but was still unable to secure the pinfall. Gulak looked primed to attempt another powerbomb, but Nese struck back and had victory in his grasp until Gulak rolled away from a 450 splash. Gulak continued to turn up the pressure but was unable to lock in the Gulock. After breaking free from Gulak’s grasp, Nese drove his opponent into the corner with a German suplex but was unable to hit the Running Nese.
Leveling The Premier Athlete with a clothesline, Gulak finally applied his patented submission hold. Fighting for his WrestleMania opportunity, Nese refused to tap out and somehow rolled on top of Gulak to score a shocking pinfall victory and advance to the finals against Cedric Alexander.
Next week on WWE 205 Live, Tony Nese and Cedric Alexander will collide in the finals of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. The winner of the match will go on to challenge Buddy Murphy for the title at WrestleMania. The stakes are already high with the chance to compete on The Grandest Stage of Them All on the line, but the contest is also a culmination of a rivalry that began after Alexander first lost the WWE Cruiserweight Title to Murphy.
The Soul of WWE 205 Live immediately jumped back into competition following his title loss, but he was unable to defeat Nese on multiple occasions, leaving him to return to the WWE Performance Center to hone his abilities. Now, The Premier Athlete is all that stands in Alexander’s way of returning to WrestleMania and reclaiming the title.
However, Nese is determined to prove the naysayers wrong and show that his focus and dedication in recent months has earned him the opportunity to capture the Cruiserweight division’s top prize. The Premier Athlete is also the champion’s training partner, and he has the opportunity to prove that he is the same caliber competitor as Murphy.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Cedric Alexander defeated Oney Lorcan in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contendership Tournament Semi Final Match
- Tony Nese defeated Drew Gulak in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contendership Tournament Semi Final Match
Other on-screen talent