When Humberto Carrillo made his WWE 205 Live debut, it was to answer an Open Challenge from WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy. Despite a losing effort, he immediately impressed the WWE Universe, and has since become a rising force in the Cruiserweight division. However, in search for the best Cruiserweights in the world, WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick invited NXT Superstar Oney Lorcan to compete in the WWE Cruiserweight Title Tournament.
As the match got underway, both Lorcan and Carrillo approached each other cautiously before an agile exchange that left neither with a clear advantage. As Carrillo relied on his speed, Lorcan maintained his aggressiveness to keep the Mexican Superstar grounded. Following a push from Carrillo, the NXT Superstar unleashed on his opponent, dropping him with a suplex on the outside before unloading precision strikes in the center of the ring.
Lorcan kept the pressure on Carrillo, but the resilience and speed of the Mexican highflier kicked into high gear and he soon battled back, resetting the pace of the match and managing to flatten Lorcan on the outside on two occasions. However, as Carrillo went for another high-flying maneuver, Lorcan leveled him with a European uppercut before an exchange of strikes on the ring apron ended with a fisherman’s suplex at Carrillo’s expense.
The two continued to battle back-and-forth, trading near-falls and high-impact strikes, knowing that an opportunity for a match at WrestleMania was at stake. As Carrillo seized the opportunity to secure victory with a moonsault, Lorcan countered before leveling his opponent with a clothesline, and then executed his patented Half and Half suplex for the win.
Irate that the match 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick made for him was not in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Mike Kanellis entered the ring prepared to battle a young local competitor named Colby Corino. However, Kanellis’ anger took over and he immediately attacked his prospective opponent, dismantling him before the opening bell could officially start the match.
With encouragement from his wife Maria at ringside, Kanellis completely decimated Corino, forcing the official to rule the match a No Contest.
Ever since forging an alliance and training with his past rival, The Brian Kendrick, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa has been within reach of the Cruiserweight division’s greatest prize. However, fellow former titleholder Cedric Alexander is determined to return to The Grandest Stage of Them All and once again capture the championship.
Thus, the stage was set for the former champions to collide in the opening round of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament in their first-ever one-on-one encounter. Shaking hands before the match began, both Superstars were hell-bent on proving they were the best. The Stamina Monster worked to keep Alexander grounded, and The Soul of WWE 205 Live started to grow frustrated with Tozawa’s ability to keep his momentum at bay.
Alexander finally turned the tide by countering a dive to the outside with a strike to the stomach before dropping Tozawa with a gut-buster. After a series of calculated strikes, Alexander used his technical ability to apply pressure to his opponent’s midsection, hoping to wear him down. Despite a flurry of offense from The Stamina Monster, Alexander countered a Senton by getting his knees up and inflicting more damage on Tozawa’s lower body. Continuing to dish out punishment, Alexander slammed Tozawa into the apron on the outside before once again locking his arms around the back and midsection.
As the WWE Universe began to chant in favor of Tozawa, the Japanese Superstar broke free with a series of elbow strikes before unleashing on Alexander, eventually dropping him first with a dive to the outside, followed by a missile dropkick for a near-fall.
Despite Tozawa’s impressive offense, the damage was done and he struggled to capitalize as he battled through the pain of his lower back. With Tozawa unable to maintain his offense, Alexander seized the opportunity to execute a high-impact maneuver but still could not secure victory.
The former WWE Cruiserweight Champions exchanged blows, counters and near-falls in the center of the ring, with Tozawa taking control after a series of kicks and countering a Lumbar Check into a DDT. Proving their mettle with WrestleMania on the line, they continued to battle, with The Stamina Monster nearly securing victory after spiking his opponent into the mat.
Again exchanging blows, Tozawa managed to apply the Octopus Stretch, but Alexander refused to give up even as Tozawa turned the hold into a modified fujiwara armbar. With Alexander exhausted and reeling, The Stamina Monster painfully climbed to the top and prepared to execute the Senton, but Alexander stopped him momentarily. Knocking Alexander back down to the canvas, Tozawa again prepared for the Senton, but The Soul of WWE 205 Live pulled his opponent off the top rope, caught him and executed the Lumbar Check for a hard-fought victory.
After the captivating match, Alexander helped Tozawa to his feet and the two Superstars embraced in the center of the ring, showing what WWE 205 Live is truly all about.
Former allies and tag team partners Tony Nese and Drew Gulak will face off in the semifinals of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament next week. Nese defeated former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kalisto in an impressive showing, while Gulak defeated his former ally The Brian Kendrick to advance.
Additionally, Cedric Alexander – hoping to return to The Grandest Stage of Them All – will battle NXT Superstar Oney Lorcan in the semifinals. Alexander defeated fellow former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa, while Lorcan earned a shocking victory against Humberto Carrillo.
See who will advance in the tournament and move one step closer to facing WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy at WrestleMania 35.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Oney Lorcan defeated Humberto Carrillo in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contendership Tournament First Round Match
- Cedric Alexander defeated Akira Tozawa in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contendership Tournament First Round Match
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