Last week on WWE 205 Live, Hideo Itami and Akira Tozawa defeated Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik in tag team action. Following the victory, Itami stood over Metalik, and that did not sit well with Lince Dorado. The two exchanged unpleasantries before being separated, the tension did not subside, and The Golden Lynx and Itami squared off on WWE 205 Live.
Known for his hard-hitting and aggressive style, Itami immediately took the fight to his opponent, leveraging early momentum to keep Dorado on the defensive. The Puerto Rican luchador eventually countered by tossing Itami from the ring, giving him the opening needed to take control.
With an offensive onslaught in full swing, The Golden Lynx relied on his incredible agility and high-flying ability to maintain the edge against his Japanese opponent. However, Itami battled back, stopping Dorado in his track with a perfectly timed knee strike and a boot to the face. Despite the shift in momentum, the two competitors exchanged slaps before engaging in a sequence of back-and-forth attacks that left both Cruiserweights reeling.
Once again dumped to the outside, Itami jawed with Kalisto and Gran Metalik before shoving The King of the Ropes. Metalik responded by driving Itami into the ring, forcing the official to throw out the match.Back inside the ring, Dorado and Itami again exchanged words before being separated by Kalisto and Tozawa, as the animosity nearly boiled over.
Even though TJP was eliminated from the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament by Cedric Alexander, he remains focused on reclaiming his place at the top of the Cruiserweight division. Looking to reclaim his success after becoming the first-ever WWE Cruiserweight Champion by winning the Cruiserweight Classic, The Duke of Dab squared off with the incredibly agile Kenneth Johnson.
Showing off his trademark arrogance, TJP took control, but it nearly got the best of him, as Johnson fought back, lunging his entire body at his opponent, no doubt to impress WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick.
Fending off Johnson’s offensive flurry, The Duke of Dab targeted his opponent’s knee, allowing him to regain control and execute his patented Detonation Kick. However, rather than securing a pinfall, The Fil-Am Flash applied his trademark kneebar, forcing Johnson to tap out. Victorious, TJP continued to add insult to injury by refusing to release the hold, despite pleas from the official. When he finally relinquished, TJP made sure to take a bow for the WWE Universe.
The battle between Mustafa Ali and Drew Gulak in the semifinals of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship was more than just the last step to competing at WrestleMania; it was also the latest chapter in the longtime – and bitter – rivalry between the two Superstars. Both Cruiserweights were focused on the task at hand, knowing the high stakes and implications of their battle.
With the ring of the opening bell, both competitors locked up and exchanged in a dual showcase of technical prowess. Advantages shifted, but Ali maintained leverage by using his agility. The clash of styles continued as Gulak utilized high-impact blows while Ali tried his hand at quick strikes with the objective of keeping his opponent’s aggression at bay.
Taking down Ali with a huge clothesline and countering a high-flying maneuver from the top-rope, Gulak managed to channel his rage, stomping on Ali in the corner and keeping him grounded. However, the more that the Philadelphia native unleashed his aggression, the more Ali seemed to feed off of it and begin showing signs of his own anger. Using that to his advantage, Ali moved for more powerful strikes that kept Gulak on defense.
Gulak’s ring awareness proved crucial, as he drove his opponent face-first into the turnbuckle before laying him out with a huge spinning clothesline. Continuing to press forward, Gulak laid out Ali a second time before attempting a pinfall. Amazingly, Ali reversed the pin into an innovative submission hold that Gulak barely escaped.
With his opponent recovering outside the ring, Ali threw caution to the wind with a high-risk move, taking down Gulak. After unloading fists on his opponent, Ali threw him back in the ring and prepared the 054. Unfortunately for the Chicago native, Gulak knocked him off the top rope, crashing to the floor below. Remaining aggressive, Gulak threw Ali into the barricade and then the ring, but Ali rolled back out.
Keeping the battle outside of the ring, Ali countered a charge from Gulak, first tossing him over the announce table before leaping over and unloading a flurry of strikes on his opponent.
Refusing to win by count-out, Mustafa prepared to put Gulak through the announce table, but Gulak countered and launched Ali over his head onto the arena floor. With no love lost for his longtime rival, Gulak threw Ali face-first into the ring post before dumping him into the timekeeper’s area. Although Gulak tried to win by count-out, Ali showed his resilience, narrowly beating the 10-count.
With his opponent still stunned, Gulak attempted the Dragon Sleeper, but Ali managed to counter the hold into a rolling DDT. Seizing the opening, Ali quickly ascended the ropes and executed the 054 and secured his place on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
After the match, Ali told the WWE Universe that he wasn’t going to WrestleMania, but “we” were going, gesturing to the WWE Universe, and that no matter who you are, all that matters is what’s in your heart.
Ali will take on his friend Cedric Alexander for the vacant WWE Cruiserweight Championship in what is sure to be a thrilling title bout at The Show of Shows.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Hideo Itami (w/ Akira Tozawa) defeated Lince Dorado (w/ Gran Metalik & Kalisto) by disqualification
- TJP defeated Kenneth Johnson by submission
- Mustafa Ali defeated Drew Gulak in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Semi Final Match
Other on-screen talent