WWE Cruiserweight Classic
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: August 24, 2016
Report by: Jason Namako of WrestleView.com
CWC results, Aug. 24, 2016: Perkins pulls off shocking victory over Gargano to close out Second Round
An injury suffered at the hands of The Revival at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II was too much for Johnny Gargano to overcome, as he was eliminated from the CWC by T.J. Perkins.
Rich Swann def. Lince Dorado (Second Round Match)
ORLANDO, Fla. — The action was hot and heavy this week, as the Second Round of the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Classic came to a close. The final three spots in the Quarterfinals were up for grabs in three matches, the first of which featured incredible high-flyers Lince Dorado and Rich Swann.
The two popular competitors wasted no time in going right after each other, engaging in an exchange that showed off their speed, agility and acrobatic skill. Though neither man was able to get the upper hand, Full Sail University was amazed by their incredible ability.
Following a brief dance break, Dorado gained an advantage and took flight, crashing onto Swann at ringside after a daredevil dive. The mood of the bout turned serious as both men, realizing what was at stake in this match, took to trading blows. Dorado had his opponent well-scouted; as he was able to counter Swann’s Standing 450 Splash and plant him with a reverse hurricanrana.
The luchador attempted the Shooting Star Splash that had gotten him this far in the competition, but he crashed and burned as Swann rolled out of the way, showing he had done his homework, too. Swann capitalized, scaling the ropes and executing a breathtaking Phoenix Splash for the victory and a spot in the Quarterfinals!
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Drew Gulak (Second Round Match)
The second match of the evening was a total departure from the first, as mat wrestling mavens Zack Sabre Jr. and Drew Gulak squared off in a highly anticipated battle. Gulak, seeming to take offense at Sabre Jr. being considered the premier technical wrestler in the tournament, slapped the Brit’s hand away when Sabre offered a handshake before the opening bell.
The slight appeared to infuriate Sabre, who went right after Gulak, emerging with the upper hand from an intense grappling exchange that brought the crowd to its feet. Sabre Jr. controlled Gulak with a straightjacket hold, only letting go when the Philadelphia native rolled through and booted him in the jaw.
That allowed Gulak to work over the “technical wizard,” smothering Sabre on the canvas before hoisting him up and trying to destroy his shoulders with a brutal Gory Guerrero Special. For every counter Sabre had, Gulak had a vicious answer of his own. When the Englishman nearly snapped his wrist with the Jim Breaks Special, Gulak responded by slamming Sabre leg-first into the ring ropes.
Fed up with the technicality of the bout, both men stood and traded devastating palm strikes that echoed throughout the arena. Gulak nearly knocked Sabre out with a strike and saw an opening to lock on his Dragon Sleeper. However, Sabre used leverage to his advantage, trapping Gulak in a prawn hold to get the three count and secure his place in the next round of the CWC, where he will face his longtime friend, Noam Dar.
T.J. Perkins def. Johnny Gargano (Second Round Match)
The last spot in the Quarterfinals was up for grabs as Johnny Gargano took on T.J. Perkins. In the locker room before the match, Johnny Wrestling was seen having his knee taped up by trainers, a painful reminder of the loss he and Tommaso Ciampa’s suffered to The Revival at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II just four days prior … and a target for his opponent.
Perkins was quick in going after Gargano’s injured knee, stretching it with a Muta Lock early on in the match. Despite the injury, Gargano didn’t hold back, going after Perkins on the floor with a tope suicida and locking on a surfboard hold back in the ring. TJP’s confidence in his counter-wrestling never wavered; he eventually took back control of the match with a snug headscissors, followed by a dab to add insult to injury. Gargano turned the tables with a diving spear through the ropes, but each high-impact move he executed seemed to hurt his injured knee as much as it did Perkins.
Gargano’s fate may have been sealed while diving onto Perkins at ringside, when his injured leg slammed into the timekeeper’s table with a sickening thud. Johnny Wrestling fought valiantly, attempting to pick up TJP and launch him like a lawn dart into the turnbuckles, but his knee couldn’t support the weight at first. Gargano eventually succeeded, but the injury was too much to overcome. Perkins locked on a kneebar, and before the resilient Gargano could reach the ropes, he crossed his leg over, turning the submission into a hold he calls the TJP Clutch. The pain was too much for Gargano to bear; he had no choice but to submit.
The heartbreak was evident on Gargano’s face after the match, just as the elation was plastered over Perkins’. With the victory, the flashy Filipino moves on to face Rich Swann in the Cruiserweight Classic Quarterfinals, which start next Wednesday at 9/8 C, only on WWE Network.