Following a shocking victory against former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa in the first round of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, Welsh Superstar Mark Andrews set his sights on Drew Gulak. However, Gulak’s newfound aggression was on full display when he decimated his friend and frequent tag team partner Tony Nese in the first round.
Gulak wasted no time showing off his aggressive style, using his size advantage to take control early in the contest. However, the high-fiving and stage-diving Andrews leveraged Gulak’s advances with agility and fast-paced strikes.
Andrews struggled to find an answer for Gulak’s technical prowess, and any attempts to mount an offense were met with powerful counters. Still, Andrews pressed forward and gained control of the bout by taking down Gulak with a moonsault off the announce table.
Andrews unleashed a series of strikes and a jaw-dropping hurricanrana from the top rope that sent Gulak from the ring apron to the arena floor. Not backing down, Andrews dropped Gulak with a moonsault to the outside before nearly scoring the pinfall with an innovative crucifix slam.
Taking to the skies once more, Andrews set his sights on finishing the battle. However, Gulak clotheslines his opponent out of mid-air. Despite a series of clotheslines from Gulak, Andrews recovered with the Stundog Millionaire before taking to the air once more with a Shooting Star Press. Unfortunately for the Welsh competitor, Gulak countered the high-risk move before applying the excruciating Dragon Sleeper for the tapout win. The irate Gulak, however, refused to release the hold, forcing the official to intervene.
Encouraged to team up by WWE 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick, Hideo Itami and former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Akira Tozawa – both eliminated from the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament in the first round – did just that, forging a hard-hitting tag team against local competitors Nemeth Alexander and Scott James.
Tozawa and Itami proved relentless, using their respective hard-hitting styles to keep their opponents on the defensive throughout the bout. The Japanese duo proved to be on the same wavelength and displayed incredible teamwork that resulted in Tozawa scoring a pinfall with his patented Senton.
In the first round of the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, NXT Superstar Buddy Murphy impressed in his first cruiserweight contest against Ariya Daivari. Despite Mustafa Ali claiming victory against Gentleman Jack Gallagher, the British Superstar inflicted an extraordinary amount of punishment on the Chicago native. Showing his dedication and conditioning, Murphy weighed in at 197 pounds before his battle with Ali.
Brimming with confidence, Murphy used his size and strength advantage to force Ali to recalibrate his strategy. Growing frustrated with the Australian Superstar, Ali attempted to outmaneuver his opponent, but continued to struggle against Murphy’s speed and physical advantage.
Fed up with Murphy’s taunting, Ali delivered a hard-hitting kick to the face before the two exchanged harsh words in the center of the ring. As the jawing continued, Murphy responded with a massive clothesline, allowing him to take control of the contest and start to methodically dismantle Ali.
However, if the Chicago native proved anything against Gentleman Jack Gallagher, it’s that he is incredibly resilient. Keeping Murphy at bay, Ali turned the table with an incredible 450 Splash onto his opponent’s arm. Wasting little time, Ali capitalized by targeting Murphy’s arm.
Regaining control by dropping Ali to the outside, Murphy battled through the pain to sail over the top rope. Despite the advantage, Murphy could not secure a victory, and Ali struck back, nearly claiming the win following a reverse hurricanrana and a tornado DDT.
As Ali dished out punishment, a defiant Daredevil from Down Under called for more, and the two exchanged blows. Unfortunately for Murphy, his injured arm became a major detriment, as he couldn’t execute Murphy’s Law or maintain a pin. Taking advantage of the injury, Ali rolled up his opponent and scored the victory to advance to the semifinals.
For the final four Superstars in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, the opportunity to compete on The Grandest Stage of Them All is but one victory away. Next week on WWE 205 Live, the first semifinal contest will feature Cedric Alexander against NXT Superstar Roderick Strong.
The stakes are higher than ever for both Superstars. Strong seized the opportunity to compete in the tournament, defeating Hideo Itami and former Cruiserweight Champion Kalisto to advance to the finals. Additionally, Strong has managed to compete on both WWE 205 Live and WWE NXT without skipping a beat, showing off his incredible endurance and versatility inside the ring.
Cedric Alexander is no stranger to the WWE Cruiserweight Championship being within reach. Before the title was held in abeyance, Alexander was scheduled to challenge for the title at Royal Rumble. Despite the change of plans, Alexander has remained laser-focused on his goal, and he defeated Gran Metalik and the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP to advance to the semifinals.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Drew Gulak defeated Mark Andrews in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarter Final Match
- Akira Tozawa & Hideo Itami defeated Nemeth Alexander & Scott James
- Mustafa Ali defeated Buddy Murphy in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarter Final Match
- Dark Match: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev by DQ
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