Week 8 of the Cruiserweight Classic opens with video package featuring the remaining 8 competitors in the competition. The “Great 8” as Corey Graves labels them.
ROUND 3 MATCHES
Akira Tozawa vs Gran Metalik
BigFreaky: A mix of styles opens up the show this week. Hard hitting strong style vs. High flying Lucha Libre style. Tozawa seems to be a little frazzled by Metalik as Gran speeds around the ring and flips and flies all over the place. Akira with a never give up attitude hangs in there, with what appears to be some sort of rib injury. Tozawa tries to keep the pace slow, but Metalik doesn’t want to halt his progress. Tozawa finally finds his chance landing his own suicide dive, with a 2nd for good measure.
In the words of Mauro Ranallo, this is a war of attrition. As the match continues, both men start landing their signature moves with the intensity increasing sharply. Striking and flying like there is no tomorrow. Both men are going all out, because if they don’t, this may be the last time they see a WWE ring. A classic for the ages, both men landing incredible moves and even more incredible counters. Akira slams Gran on the back of his neck for a couple of German Suplexes, which has finished off his last 2 opponents but they don’t prove to be enough, as Metalik strong arms Tozawa into the Metalik Driver for a 3 count to advance.
Greg: The first quarter final match of the tournament is the stamina monster Akira Tozawa versus the king of the ropes Gran Metalik. The match starts with an exchange of mat wrestling holds leading to a standoff. After that the pace quickens with the competitors exchanging arm drags and drop kicks leading to another stand off. Shoulder tackle attempts by Metalik leads to forearm exchanges. Tozawa gets thrown to the ropes and gets hit with a hard drop kick. Metallik starts to take control old the match forcing Tozawa to the outside, finishing the sequence with a suicide dive from between the middle ropes.
Tozawa rolls into the ring and gets nearly pinned by a cross body. Modified figure 4 leg lock by Metallic that has Tozawa screaming in pain (and some fans screaming with him). The hold is broken when Tozawa makes it to the ropes. Further attacks by Metalik until he tries a handspring back elbow and instead gets drop kicked in the back. Bicycle kick by Tozawa sends Metallik to the outside and he does 2 suicide dives at the urging of the crowd.
Tozawa gets Metalik back into the ring and begins wearing him down. Chop battle ensues until Tozawa fakes out and blasts Metalik with a punch to the face. Screaming in the corner which the crowd begins to chant along with until Tozawa tells them all to be quiet. Metalik regains control with some flippy shit maneuvers for several near falls. He goes for the finish but is countered and kicked in the face for a near fall. Toazwa tries to finish him off with corner bicycle kick and back suplex but can’t get the job done. He gets frustrated and screams.
More flippy shit from Metalik to take back control including a failed moonsault where he eats boots. Tozawa pushes Metallic into the corner for a top rope move but gets crotched. Huranranrana by Metalik for a near fall. Counter wrestling leads to a snap German suplex by Tozawa and then his dead lift German suplex. Near fall, Tozawa can’t finish. Package German suplex attempt but it gets countered by Metalik into his finisher for the win.
Great match. Both men were very equally matched. Metalik barely squeaks by into the semi finals.
Brian Kendrick vs. Kota Ibushi
BigFreaky: The Brian starts off the match with head games on Ibushi, leaving the ring and trying to trick him, but it doesn’t work. Ibushi lands a kick barely a minute into the match. Kendrick continues to try and escape, but Ibushi hits a Super Golden Triangle Moonsault to the outside. Ibushi continues the onslaught with a dazzling top rope missile dropkick, followed by very stiff kicks. Kendrick nails a neck breaker on the turnbuckle and it seems the match starts shifting to his favor. The Brian continues his attack on Ibushi for some time, landing some offence and even a Slice Bread No 2.
But Ibushi fights out and hits a crazy second rope out of the ring into the ring German Suplex, but Kendrick kicks out. Both men are feeling gassed at this point, fatigue is visual. Kendrick tries a few times to land the Bully Choke but Ibushi escaped. The Brian absolutely drills Kota with a burning hammer, but Ibushi still escapes again. The power moves really ramp up in this final minutes of this contest. Kendrick locks in another Bully Choke, but Ibushi rolls him over for a pin. The Brian escapes only to eat Kota’s foot, followed by the Last Ride Powerbomb, Ibushi advances to the semi finals.
Greg: The favourite to win the tournament versus the man with the last shot at glory. Daniel Bryan shows heavy favouritism towards Kendrick in the pre-match commentary with Ranallo stating that this is the match of his life. Early mind games by Kendrick gets him a beat down and roundhouse kick to the face. Kendrick rolls to the floor and gets hit with the golden triangle moonsault. Kendrick appears to be injured after holding his arm.
Kendrick rolls out of the ring luring Ibushi to the outside. He locks Ibushi’s leg in the guard rail for a count out attempt. He pays for it by taking a springboard drop kick for a near fall. Ibushi continues his attack with stiff kicks. He sends Kendrick to the corner but gets countered into a neck breaker into the turnbuckle. Kendrick starts to take advantage attacking Ibushi’s surgically repaired neck. A drop kick briefly stops Kendrick’s momentum and buys Ibushi time to recover. Powerlsam/moonsault combo by Ibushi for a near fall. Standing moonsault attempt after but knees to the gut and a super kick to the face by Kendrick snapping Ibushi’s neck back.
Continued attacks to the neck and a Sliced Bread #2 for a near fall. Kendrick gets Ibushi into the corner and locks on a rear naked choke. The hold is broken and Ibushi kicks Kendrick in the face dropping him to the apron. Ibushi pulls Kendrick up and his a german release suplex from the second ropebringing him back into the ring the hard way. Near fall. Kendrick looks like he’s done. Ibushi goes for the golden star power bomb but gets countered in to the bully choke. Ibushi gets to his feet and elbows out.
Kendrick lifts Ibushi up ands hits a sick Burning Hammer for a near fall. He follows up with clubbing blows but is countered. Ibushi knocks him down and goes for a phoenix splash and misses. Bully choke again but no go. Both men get to their feet and Kendrick eats a kick and the the golden star power bomb. Ibushi wins.
Fantastic match with Kendrick attacking Ibushi’s neck mercilessly. He tried everything he had in his arsenal but still lost.
After the match Kendrick breaks down and he and Ibushi embrace. The crowd chants his name as the show comes to an end. The post show footage shows Daniel Bryan coming to the ring to share the manly emotions with Kendrick as the crowd chants “Thank You Brian”. The show fades to black with both men crying in the ring in a manly embrace.
Kendrick just made a case to be signed after this tournament ends. He would make a great addition to the fledgling cruiserweight division.