All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service.
- First WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarterfinals match: Cedric Alexander VS TJP; Alexander wins and advances to the semifinals.
- Second WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarterfinals match: Kalisto VS Roderick Strong; Strong wins and advances to the semifinals.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Cruiserweight Championship Tournament’s second round begins!
As the brackets show, tonight’s matches will determine the entire left side of the bracket! The Carolina Kid and the “Cruiser-Great” will battle to see if TJP was right about Cedric Alexander being a choke artist. Once a winner is decided, the Lucha Dragon and the Messiah of the Backbreaker will immediately know who they face in the next round. What will the semifinals shape up to be once this hour of exciting action wraps up?
First WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarterfinals match: Cedric Alexander VS TJP!
Alexander has had his struggles getting to the title, but he takes it all in stride. Meanwhile, the man formerly known as TJ Perkins lives and dies by his win-loss record. TJP tried getting in Alexander’s head with trash talk, but the FilAm Gamer can’t play him. The only thing Alexander has on his mind is going to Wrestlemania to finally become champion.
As for TJP, he has a quick interview before coming out. How does he feel going into this match? “This is absolutely ridiculous”! He is practically a living legend and the inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion! TJP shouldn’t have to participate in an entire tournament just to get his opportunity. But if that’s what “they” are going to do, then fine. Champions rise to the occasion, and as the (New Era) original champion, he’ll walk through Alexander to become the next Cruiserweight Champion.
The bell rings and as we’re in Los Angeles, the fans actually cheer for TJP. He soaks it all in as he circles with Alexander. They tie up, TJP gets the waistlock, but Alexander gets the standing switch. TJP brings things down and standing switches back, then floats to a facelock. Alexander slips out to get another waistlock, but TJP stands up and turns into a headlock. Alexander powers out but things speed up. TJP bends down but Alexander rolls off his back, then speeds it up again, Alexander counters the headscissors with a powerbomb! Cover, TWO!
Alexander keeps on TJP with a headlock, but the fans rally for “T! J P!” TJP gets up and reverses the hold, then gets Alexander in a side-winding headscissors. He keeps Alexander down, and dabs on ’em. TJP grabs an arm but Alexander pops out. Alexander reverses the wristlock into one of his own, but TJP rolls and breaks to snapmare. Alexander reverses the headlock back into the wristlock. TJP cartwheels and snapmares but still gets reversed. Alexander wrings TJP down and pulls on that arm, giving him a taste of his own technical medicine. TJP rolls but Alexander wrangles him back down. TJP tries again, slips to a headlock, but again Alexander reverses it back to bring TJP down.
Alexander continues to pull on that arm, but TJP endures. TJP reaches for ropes with his legs, but can’t, so he rolls back over. TJP turns Alexander and ties up those legs, and gets a modified Cloverleaf!
Alexander endures and reaches, but TJP floats around to try an STF. Alexander denies it and turns it into a small package, TWO! TJP runs in, but Alexander spins him around to whip him at a corner. TJP slides and stops himself, Alexander runs in, but into a kick! A dazed Alexander wobbles back, TJP rolls back to headscissors him, but Alexander manages to handspring through and land on his feet. The fans applaud while TJP runs in, Alexander ducks and rolls to headscissor TJP in return, and drops him with a dropkick.
TJP rolls out of the ring, so Alexander builds speed, but TJP returns to hit a flying armbar takedown! Alexander clasps hands to hold off the hold, but TJP spins around to sit on the hammerlock. TJP reaches out and grabs Alexander’s free arm, as well as a leg, for a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow stretch.
Alexander endures again, and uses that one free leg to get the ropebreak. TJP lets go and brings Alexander over to a corner. The fans keep cheering for TJP as he rocks Alexander with European Uppercuts. Alexander turns things around and chops TJP, then chops again. He snapmares TJP, but TJP gets up to snapmare Alexander then hit him with the dragon sleeper backbreaker. TJP scrapes his sole on Alexander’s face, then backs off to catch his breath. He returns to elbow Alexander in the head and drop a knee, cover, TWO.
TJP keeps his cool as he grabs Alexander’s arm. He spins around to a hammerlock and chinlock, but Alexander won’t give up. The fans slowly build to a rally, and Alexander feeds off it to get free. The fans duel but Alexander fights out. TJP throws him to ropes but Alexander kicks him away. Alexander walks over and rocks TJP with a EuroUpper, then whips him. TJP goes Spider-Man, then slips under to sunset Alexander, high stack leads to another tying of the legs! But this isn’t for a Sharpshooter, it’s for a deathlock. TJP stands on the hold, and on the back of Alexander’s head, just to grind his face into the mat. TJP then sits down and grabs the arms, and rolls Alexander over for a surfboard pin! TWO, and Alexander gets to a corner.
Alexander chops TJP, so TJP elbows him down. TJP grinds a boot into Alexander’s throat, then backs off at the count. The fans cheer TJP on as he snapmares Alexander again. He goes to the outside and slingshot sentons in, TWO. TJP goes after the arms again, trapping them behind Alexander as he puts on a chinlock. Alexander works his way out of the hold while the fans build to a rally. He stands up and fights back with body shots, then a forearm. Alexander runs, but into a back elbow! Cover, TWO, and TJP grows annoyed.
TJP toys with Alexander at the ropes, choking him against the ropes. He backs off, but Alexander grows angry. Alexander htis back, but TJP still bends him around to attempt the Octopus. TJP pries that arm out, but the fans rally again. Alexander fights back with elbows, then a stiff forearm. TJP kicks back, and hits a suplex! Roll, to the back suplex, but Alexander spins to crossbody counter! TWO, and Alexander gets back to a corner. TJP gets up and runs over, but Alexander boots him away. Alexander knocks TJP away again with a EuroUpper, then runs out to rally with forearms. TJP kicks but Alexander blocks to counter with the back elbow. Alexander handsprings and enziguris for the Neuralizer! Cover, TWO!
TJP gets to a corner now while Alexander takes off the elbow pads. He runs in at TJP but is put on the apron. Alexander swing kicks TJP away, then says, “I got you now!” as he steps in for the tornado complete shot! Cover, TWO, and Alexander is a bit surprised. Alexander points to the title that he wants, then brings TJP up. TJP resists, then slips out, double chicken wing for the Dodon Buster!
TWO, and TJP is growing frustrated. He gets up and stalks Alexander. The fans get louder, TJP drags Alexander up into the fireman’s carry. Alexander slips out and lifts TJP, but TJP knees the suplex dead. They both stagger, but Alexander runs in and dodges the clothesline, only for TJP to dropkick his legs out on the return! Alexander gets to ropes, TJP springboards for the wrecking ball dropkick, but Alexander evades. Alexander mule kicks TJP off the apron! Then he builds sped, and now Alexander FLIES!
Down goes TJP! But Alexander isn’t faring too well, given that bad knee. The fans are fired up but a ring count begins. Alexander gets up and brings TJP back in. Alexander aims from a corner, springboards but TJP gets under. TJP gets behind but Alexander fights him off. The leg is bothering him, though, so Alexander is slow to going after TJP. He throws a forearm, then a EuroUpper. Alexander handsprings, but TJP catches the enziguri into the Kneebar!
TJP has Alexander grapevine’d! Alexander endures as he drags himself towards ropes, but that’s a lot of dead weight. He reaches, but TJP drags him away. Alexander rolls but TJP sits on the reversal. TJP grabs tights with the cover, TWO! TJP watches Alexander clutching that leg. He drags Alexander up to kick away, then runs but into an uppercut. Alexander ducks a kick but double clotheslines take them both down.
The fans applaud while both men slowly stir. Alexander and TJP get to opposite sides while the fans duel. Alexander swings but TJP dodges to springboard double forearm. TJP lifts Alexander but Alexander slips out, Alexander lifts but TJP rolls! Cover, TWO, back to the Kneebar! TJP deathlocks it in, and Alexander again must drag himself to ropes. Alexander reaches, draws very close, but TJP rolls him. Alexander uses that roll to get to other ropes, and gets the ropebreak!
TJP holds on until the count of 4, bending the rules to do extra damage. He watches Alexander slowly getting up, and goes after the leg with more kicks. Alexander catches, counters, but TJP rocks him with the rolling sabat! TJP comes back and ducks the forearm to kick the bad leg again. TJP kicks but Alexander catches it again to retaliate with a forearm. More kicks come in and Alexander can’t block them. TJP lifts into the fireman’s carry but Alexander slips down again, LUMBAR CHECK!
Alexander wins! The Carolina Kid is moving on to the Cruiserweight Championship tournament semifinals! His dream still lives, can it take him all the way to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Drake Maverick shares his vision for 205 Live.
“Cruiserweight Wrestling is for competition. The best grapplers, the best strikers, the highest flyers, we have some of the best athletes in the world on 205 Live.” All the Cruiserweight Division needs is someone to lead them in the right direction. He already told superstars like TJP, Drew Gulak and Tony Nese what he thought about their current runs and motivated them to turn things around. What exactly is the vision of Maverick for 205 Live? “If you’ve been living under a rock recently, you probably haven’t heard.” The last few weeks have undeniably shown that Maverick wants “the best Cruiserweight competition in the entire world”. How will Maverick’s vision continue to shape and form the reality of 205 Live?
Mustafa Ali speaks.
“Last week, I had the fight of my life.” The Ungentle Gentleman, Jack Gallagher, made him feel pain like never before. But even so, Ali kept his eyes locked onto the Wrestlemania sign, and held on long enough to win. And now he’s set to face the #BestKeptSecret, Buddy Murphy. Buddy’s bigger, stronger, faster, but he’s not bad enough to break Ali.
Buddy Murphy responds.
Though he’s on his way out, Buddy still has time to say that this is a moment he’s been waiting for for a long time. And if Ali thinks his match with Gallagher was rough, “he’s got another thing coming when it comes to Buddy Murphy.” Murphy vows to go to Wrestlemania and win the Cruiserweight Championship. Can Murphy bring the Thunder From Down Under to ground Ali? Or will Ali take flight all the way to New Orleans?
Second WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarterfinals match: Kalisto VS Roderick Strong!
Both the Lucha Dragon and NXT’s Messiah of the Backbreaker know Cedric Alexander awaits them in the next round. Can #SpeedKill the crossover superstar’s run in the tournament? Or will Kalisto find himself heartbroken after taking one too many backbreakers?
The bell rings, and the fans are strongly behind Roddy. He and Kalisto circle, they spin around and Strong gets the wristlock and arm-drag takedown. Strong has Kalisto’s arm in a keylock, but Kalisto slips around. Strong shifts to a hammerlock, but Kalisto rolls out and reverses to his own wristlock. Kalisto wrenches but Strong reverses back. Strong brings Kalisto to the mat, but Kalisto works his way up to his feet. Alexander watches as Kalisto springboards back to arm-drag Strong. Clearly Alexander has vested interest in seeing who his future opponent will be.
Strong swings but Kalisto speeds things up to then handstand walk over Strong. Kalisto handsprings back to headscissors Strong, then keeps moving to tilt-o-whirl headscissor Strong. Kalisto dropkicks Strong down, covers, TWO. Strong gets to a corner and shoves Kalisto away. Kalisto runs in at Strong in another corner but Strong puts him on the apron. Kalisto shoulders back in, slingshots over, but into a backbreaker!
Cover, ONE, but Strong keeps his cool. He drags Kalisto up and chops him to ropes. Strong whips Kalisto to a corner, but Kalisto boots back. Kalisto hops up, Strong yanks him off but Kalisto huricanranas Strong all the way out of the ring. Kalisto builds speed, and DIVES!
Direct hit! The fans fire up and chant, “Lucha! Lucha!” with Kalisto. Strong staggers away and around the corner, but Kalisto runs to dropkick Strong through the corner! Kalisto keeps his eyes on Strong, climbing on top of the barriers to tightrope walk them. He leaps for headscissors, but Strong blocks with strength! Strong brings Kalisto back up, but Kalisto fights to keep going, he huricanranas Strong into the timekeeper barriers! Strong is folded up from the impact, but both men are down on the outside while a ring count begins. Kalisto pursues Strong, but quickly refreshes the count, and Strong pounces! He bounces Kalisto off the apron, then practically X-Plexes Kalisto onto the announce desk!
Kalisto bounces off the cover and down to the floor, and the referee comes out to check on him. The fans chant for “205! 205!” while Kalisto is cleared to continue. Strong gets up and brings Kalisto back into the ring. He stalks and stomps Kalisto at the ropes before putting him in a corner. Strong then rams shoulders in before sitting Kalisto up for a chop. Kalisto tumbles down, Strong drags him out for the cover, ONE. Strong keeps his cool, and deadlifts Kalisto right into a backbreaker! Another cover, TWO, and now Strong might be feeling frustration. He weaves Kalisto between the ropes and throws forearms into the lower back. The ref counts and Strong backs off, but then comes back with kicks. Then he drags Kalisto out for a gutbuster! Cover, TWO.
Strong taunts Kalisto and the “Lucha! Lucha!” dance. He stomps on Kalisto, toying with him. Kalisto gets mad and fires off body shots and kicks. Kalisto runs but into a BIG dropkick. Cover, TWO, and Strong grows further frustrated. Strong drags Kalisto up, then lifts him up dominator style for a take on the Stu Hart Special, perhaps the Gory Especial. Strong bends Kalisto, but Kalisto endures. Kalisto fights his way out, elbows Strong, then spins for the arm-drag. Strong comes back to club Kalisto, Kalisto hits back. Strong shoves Kalisto, Kalisto uses the pop-up to headscissor Strong down face first!
Both men are down from exhaustion, but the fans are still making noise. They chant “Si se puedes!” for the luchador as he gets to the apron. Strong walks over but Kalisto kicks him away, then swing kicks him away. Kalisto springboards, hits the seated senton, but keeps moving to hit the springboard corkscrew crossbody! He kicks Strong, runs for the spike-rana, TWO! Kalisto keeps his cool while the fans keep cheering. He starts up “Lucha! Lucha!” as Strong stands up. Kalisto uses the ropes to help with Salida but Strong hangs him up on the top rope! Strong then runs for the forearm smash, and Olympic Slam! Cover, TWO!
The frustration is growing but Strong brings Kalisto up. He suplexes but Kalisto slips out to roll and Listo kick! Kalisto runs at Strong but Strong boots back, then enziguris before the tigerbomb– No, Kalisto slips up and over to sunset flip! TWO! Both men move, Strong heading for a corner. Kalisto pursues, but Strong elbows him away. Strong has Kalisto in a corner and hoists him up top. He chops Kalisto before hopping up to join him, bringing Kalisto into a fireman’s carry. Kalisto slips out and hits back before climbing up. Strong fights him off and then shoves him down, but another swing kick rocks Strong on the top rope.
Kalisto slowly climbs back up and brings Strong over. He positions Strong as he reaches the very top, but Strong fights back again. They both throw body shots, Strong scoops but Kalisto spins it around into some sort of SUPER Driver!
Cover, TWO!! Kalisto can’t believe he hasn’t finished this. However, Strong does clutch his shoulder, which took the biggest part of that avalanche impact. He still stands up with Kalisto, but Kalisto throws hands first. Strong fires back with strikes of his own, but Kalisto catches him with a back heel kick then SUPERKICK! Kalisto wants Salida, but Strong spins him around for a jumping knee! Strong hits another backbreaker, but without stopping, Strong lifts Kalisto into End of Heartache!!
Strong wins! The crossover continues and now we have our first semifinal match-up made: Alexander VS Strong! It will be a brutal battle of backbreaking styles! Who will stand tall on the Road to Wrestlemania? Who will be able to stand up at all?
Thanks to this tournament, 205 Live is on a roll. While I still feel Alexander VS TJP happened too soon, they gave us a great performance on a level comparative to the Cruiserweight Classic. I’m a little surprised, and maybe disappointed, TJP didn’t throw another tantrum, but maybe there will be a WWE YouTube exclusive for that. At the same time, the match-up made of Alexander VS Strong is going to be great given how hard they can hit and how they both have a form of the falling backbreaker as their finisher. Strong VS Kalisto was also great, shorter but faster paced because of the lucha libre high-flying. This is really big for Strong that Strong is still in the tournament while still technically signed to NXT. If he were to become Cruiserweight Champion, that would more than likely give Strong an automatic call-up to main roster.
Drake Maverick’s video promo about his vision for 205 Live was good, simple but effective. However, with the “WWE.com exclusive” right there the whole time, I don’t know if they really needed to give this to us this week. It might’ve taken away time from Strong-Kalisto, though that still worked out pretty well. Ali’s sit-down promo and Murphy’s response were also good, and both guys have their own personal motivations driving them since this will be their first interaction. The best thing may be that I can’t be sure who they’ll go with for the win. Same goes for Gulak-Andrews the same night. All four superstars could match up pretty well with each other, but Ali-Gulak has history so that could be both a reason for and against a rematch.
My Score: 8.5/10