Date: February 26, 2019
Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Aiden English, Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph
It’s tournament time again and that’s not the biggest surprise in the world. WWE certainly loves to run these things over and over again and that’s the case for the second years in a row with the Cruiserweight Title match at Wrestlemania being decided by a tournament. Right now we only know half of the field but that is being cut in half again tonight. Let’s get to it.
The opening video looks at tonight’s two tournament matches.
#1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Kalisto vs. Tony Nese
Nese starts in with the trash talk before taking Kalisto down with a waistlock. An armbar keeps Kalisto in trouble until he nips up, avoids a moonsault, and kicks Nese in the head. That means the suicide dive but Nese kicks him in the ribs to take over again. Nese sends him to the apron so Kalisto backflips down to the floor with Nese cartwheeling off the same apron to keep things even. A backdrop over the steps drops Kalisto again as Nese is mostly dominating so far.
The back is sent into the barricade for two and we hit the waistlock. Kalisto gets up again and snaps off a headscissors, setting up a nice top rope seated senton. A slow motion LUCHA chant is cut off with a hot shot into the corner so Nese puts him on top for a release German superplex. Nese’s 450 misses but Kalisto’s connects for two more as Nese gets a boot on the rope in a good false finish. The Salida Del Sol is countered so Kalisto settles for the rolling kick to the head.
A superkick knocks Nese down but he tries a monkey flip into the corne. Kalisto lands in the near vicinity of the corner so it didn’t quite work but they tried. Nese’s pumphandle driver is countered into a hurricanrana for two as they keep countering each other. A wheelbarrow suplex sends Kalisto near the corner again, though this time he’s nice enough to pull himself into position for the running knee to send Tony to the next round at 14:22.
Result: Tony Nese b. Kalisto – Running knee in the corner (14:22)
Power vs. speed works every time:
We look at Mike Kanellis possibly getting cheated out of a win against Cedric Alexander last week.
Drake isn’t changing the decision but tells Mike that he can have a match next week. Mike and Maria seem to think it’s a tournament match, but that’s not what Maverick said.
#1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Drew Gulak vs. Brian Kendrick
The announcers start talking about how Kendrick’s goal is to have a match at Wrestlemania after watching eight from the locker room. Feeling out process to start as Kendrick is actually able to hang with Gulak in a technical match early on. Gulak takes him down by the leg while also trapping the arm but gets reversed into a knuckle lock on the mat with Kendrick getting some near falls. Back up and Gulak ducks a clothesline to hit a hard German suplex into a modified bow and arrow hold.
Something close to a Texas Cloverleaf keeps Kendrick in trouble and Gulak clotheslines him hard for two. Kendrick actually armdrags him into a cross armbreaker for a change of pace but can’t get it anywhere near on full. That’s broken up, as is Kendrick’s bulldog attempt as Gulak shoves him off for a crash. A backdrop seems to have Gulak favoring his wrist so Kendrick grabs a headlock to let them call some spots.
Gulak mixes things up by trapping the leg on a German suplex for two more, only to walk into a dragon suplex. Since neither guy is going to stay down long, Gulak snaps off a clothesline for the double knockdown. Both finishers are countered so Kendrick rolls into the Captain’s Hook and even flips it back into the middle. Gulak actually fishhooks the jaw for the escape and gets two off a hard powerbomb. Kendrick says bring it on and kicks him in the face….but gets pulled down into the Gulock for the knockout at 13:46.
Result: Drew Gulak b. Brian Kendrick – Gulock (13:46)
The wrestling match:
Next week in the other first round matches: Humberto Carrillo vs. Oney Lorcan and Cedric Alexander vs. Akira Tozawa, meaning no Kanellis.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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