WWE

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville def. Akira Tozawa

DALLAS — Akira Tozawa’s night ended in painful fashion in more ways than one as Neville denied him to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at WWE Great Balls of Fire Kickoff. The Stamina Monster is the latest in a long line of Superstars to come at the King and miss, even if he came closer than most.

Blame Neville’s arrogance for landing him in a hole he had trouble climbing out of. Although Tozawa landed a few early shots on Neville, the champion cut the challenger’s momentum off in savage fashion, landing several kicks to the head and tossing his opponent into the barricade. But just when things looked most dire for Tozawa, he channeled his pain into The Powa of Tozawa, using a series of chops, a side suplex and a pair of suicide headbutts to reduce Neville to a heap. When Neville attempted to rally by hoisting Tozawa on his shoulders, the challenger maneuvered his way into an Octopus to further weaken the champion.

Getting desperate fast, Neville rallied and went big with a second-rope Phoenix Splash, but Tozawa dodged the maneuver and administered his top-rope senton for what seemed like a surefire win — until Neville rolled out of the ring. Tozawa tossed The King of the Cruiserweights back in, and that’s when Neville decided to win by any means necessary.

Thanks to some quick maneuvering, Neville managed to land Tozawa crotch-first on the ropes. The champion delivered a swinging boot to maximize the impact of the injury, then simply kicked Tozawa in the gut to take the last of the fight out of The Stamina Monster.

Controversial? Perhaps. But the King can rule his land as he sees fit.