WWE Cruiserweight Classic
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: August 31, 2016
Report by: Jason Namako of WrestleView.com
Quarterfinal results: Daniel Bryan moved to tears following sensational Kendrick-Ibushi showdown
Kota Ibushi clashed with Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa battled Gran Metalik in the first two matches of the Cruiserweight Classic’s Quarterfinal Round. See who survived these grueling contests to fight another day in the Final Four.
Gran Metalik def. Akira Tozawa
Two of the tournament’s quickest competitors faced off in the opening battle of the Great 8, as Mexico’s Gran Metalik battled Japan’s Akira Tozawa. And if this matchup is any indication of how the rest of the Cruiserweight Classic’s Quarterfinals Round will go, we’re in for some spectacular showdowns.
Somewhat surprisingly, these two speedsters started off by trading submission holds as the feeling-out process began. The first competitor to gain an advantage was Metalik whose dropkick left Tozawa in noticeable pain. Things didn’t get any better for the graduate of Japan’s Dragon Gate dojo, as Metalik took to the skies with a suicide dive onto Tozawa outside the ring.
The masked marvel from Mexico then utilized the ground game to further weaken his opponent with a modified Figure-Four Leglock. However, Tozawa soon found his stride behind a series of suicide dives to Metalik on the outside.
Despite Tozawa being in control of the contest, frustration was perhaps setting in for the Japanese competitor as he was unable to put away his opponent. “The King of the Ropes” would capitalize, pulling out his aerial assault to turn the tables on Tozawa.
This contest started to resemble a free-for-all, with both competitors going to their trademark offense to try and pick up the victory. Metalik bounced around the ropes like an Olympic gymnast on the balance beam, knocking his foe around the ring. Meanwhile, the feisty Tozawa answered with stinging kicks to the body of the masked cruiserweight.
With the crowd on their feet in awe of this Quarterfinals Round opener, Metalik would do the unthinkable and kick out of Tozawa’s trademark deadlift German Suplex – which Daniel Bryan has affectionately proclaimed the most beautiful German Suplex in the world.
Shocked by what just happened, Tozawa went for another German Suplex, but this time, Metalik escaped en route to delivering the Metalik Driver for the victory.
Kota Ibushi def. Brian Kendrick
Kota Ibushi came into the Cruiserweight Classic as the favorite to win it all, but if there is one man who could play spoiler, it’s WWE Alumni Brian Kendrick. The veteran competitor showed in his second-round matchup that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win, including scratch and claw his way to having his hand raised.
Kendrick – representing the United States – showed early on that he also is willing to play mind games to try and gain an advantage over his opponent. However, Ibushi showed Kendrick why they call him The Golden Star. The Japanese competitor flew across the ring with supreme grace as he had his veteran adversary reeling in the early goings.
Kendrick’s scrappy offense would know no bounds though, as he tangled Ibushi’s foot up in the guardrail outside the ring, nearly getting the high-flyer counted out. The Post-Apocalyptic Scavenger continued his rabid attack, focusing on Ibushi’s neck. The grizzled veteran threw everything but the kitchen sink at Ibushi, including his trademark Sliced Bread #2.
This grueling battle would finally come to a dramatic end after Ibushi delivered an emphatic kick to his seasoned foe, then hit his Last Ride Powerbomb for the victory. Following the contest, Daniel Bryan left his position at commentary to join a visibly saddened Kendrick in the middle of the ring and share an emotional embrace with his close friend.