Date: March 19, 2019
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, Aiden English
The tournament concludes tonight and we’re going to have a new Wrestlemania match set. This wee will see Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese for the right to challenge Buddy Murphy for the Cruiserweight Title in a match that totally won’t be on the Kickoff Show. Other than that, Mike Kanellis is running out of chances to prove himself worthy of being on the 205 Live roster. Let’s get to it.
Drake Maverick recaps the tournament before tonight’s final.
Here are the Kanellises for a chat before Mike’s (now with no hair) match. Maria says he’s the greatest wrestler in the world and better than the best. Mike is about to prove everyone wrong, including whoever his opponent is.
Mike Kanellis vs. Akira Tozawa
Tozawa is a mystery opponent. Mike grabs the arm and is immediately driven into a rope for the break. An aggressive fight over a lockup gives us a standoff as the announcers talk about whether Maria is a benefit or a problem. Tozawa misses a kick to the head so he settles for one to the chest into a backsplash for two. Back up and Kanellis nails a superkick for a delayed one, followed by a suplex into a chinlock. Tozawa slips out and hits a Shining Wizard into a missile dropkick for two. The Octopus stretch has Maria pacing and screaming but a side slam gets Mike out of trouble.
A spinebuster gives Mike two of his own and a super Samoan driver is good for the same. Mike grabs his head and screams a lot but Maria tells him to calm down and put Tozawa in his place. Tozawa nails a spinning kick to the face and goes up but Maria offers a distraction. That’s enough for Mike to roll over and the raised knees block the top rope backsplash. Mike Rolls the Dice for the pin at 9:28.
Result: Mike Kanellis b. Akira Tozawa – Roll the Dice (9:28)
It took long enough:
Cedric Alexander says he’s confident because he punched his ticket to winning a tournament like this last year. Tony Nese and Buddy Murphy come in with Tony saying he and Cedric have won and lost against each other before. Cedric says that’s true but he’s won the title before and never had to be a sidekick to be close to the title.
Murphy doesn’t mind and talks about all the times he’s beaten Cedric, which he’ll do again at Wrestlemania. That gets a laugh from Cedric, who says there’s a chance Tony will win. Nese says he knows he’ll be champion one day, with Murphy looking a little nervous.
#1 Contenders Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese
The winner faces Murphy at Wrestlemania. Nese takes him down by the arm to start and armdrags him into an armbar to keep control. Alexander can’t quite headscissor his way out as they have a lot of time here. A sunset flip gives Nese two and Alexander bails to the ropesn. We get a quick standoff with Nese going right back to the arm.
Back up and Alexander goes with the speed, including a flip over Nese, but a leg lariat gives Nese two more. We’re in the armbar again though this one doesn’t last as long as Alexander snaps off a dropkick. A chinlock slows Nese down a bit but he’s right back up with a trip, only to miss a Lionsault. The fans are loudly behind Cedric here so Nese kicks him in the head twice to calm them down.
With Cedric trying to go a bit too fast, Nese takes the knee out and Alexander is down on the floor. Back in and Nese gets two off a jumping legdrop before going to another chinlock. Cedric throws that off as well and nails a pair of dropkicks for a breather. The Neuralizer knocks Nese silly and the springboard Downward Spiral gets two. Nese blocks the Lumbar Check and a sitout pumphandle powerslam gives him two of his own.
Cedric gets caught in the ropes and a double springboard moonsault knocks him out of them for another near fall. The running knee misses in the corner and Cedric goes up, only to take a running shot to the face. Tony loads up a superplex to the floor but Alexander hits him back for a double knockdown to avoid a bad case of crashing. They both dive back in at nine and it’s a slugout with neither being able to get the better of it. Both try superkicks but get their legs intertwined for a different kind of visual.
Alexander’s second superkick connects for two and he loads up a superplex, which is broken up in a hurry. Nese sends him outside for the Fosbury Flop and it’s the 450 for….two. That one surprised me a bit. Alexander’s Spanish Fly gets two more and so does the Lumbar Check. A second attempt is countered and Nese knees him in the head. The running knee in the corner sends Nese to Wrestlemania at 22:21.
Result: Tony Nese b. Cedric Alexander – Running knee (22:21)
And that’s how you go to WrestleMania:
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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