Time and location
Wednesday, Jul 20 | 9/8 PMC
Where to watch
CWC results: Could Johnson's heart extinguish the fiery Tozawa?
Kenneth Johnson may be the most determined competitor in the Cruiserweight Classic, but found himself the underdog taking on international star Akira Tozawa of Japan. Could Johnson's heart will him to victory over the highly skilled Japanese competitor and a spot in the second round?
Cruiserweight Classic Results : Quick Hits
Cruiserweight Classic Results : Full Details
Tajiri def. Damian Slater (First Round Match)
ORLANDO, Fla. — The first round of the inaugural WWE Cruiserweight Classic continued this week, kicking off with the return of Tajiri. After a decade away from WWE, The Japanese Buzzsaw is back with a vengeance, which Damian Slater learned quickly in their battle.
Slater calls himself “World-Beater,” as he thrives in being the underdog, which he certainly was against the former three-time Cruiserweight Champion. The Australian tried to take control of the match early on, but found himself on the receiving ends of Tajiri’s devastating kicks. Slater did all he could to slow down Tajiri, including a breathtaking corkscrew pescado to the arena floor. In the end, however, Tajiri ensnared Slater in the Tarantula before clobbering the Australian with the Buzzsaw Kick to cement his place in the second round of the CWC, where he will face Gran Metalik.
T.J. Perkins def. Da Mack (First Round Match)
There was plenty of charisma on display in this battle, as flashy Filipino flyer T.J. Perkins clashed with the breakdancing “Urban German,” Da Mack. Perkins, a versatile 18-year veteran of the ring, demonstrated his technical ability just after the opening bell, rapidly taking Da Mack to the canvas. Mack tried his best to escape a head-scissors applied by his rival, but TJP kept the hold locked on tight, and dabbed on Da Mack for good measure.
The “Urban German” eventually matched speed with Perkins and slowed his rival down with a dropkick, then got in a few dancing chops of his own. Da Mack caught Perkins on the ring apron, slamming him down to the arena floor before following up with a highlight reel-worthy dive and a huge dropkick that nearly got the three-count.
However, the veteran Perkins had one too many tricks up his sleeve for Da Mack to counter. After tossing Da Mack out from a fireman’s carry into a vicious head kick, TJP locked on a flying kneebar in the middle of the ring, leaving Da Mack no choice but to tap out. With the victory, Perkins moves on to the sweet 16, where he will meet the winner of the upcoming battle between Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.
Akira Tozawa def. Kenneth Johnson (First Round Match)
Kenneth Johnson may be the most determined competitor in the Cruiserweight Classic. To break into the ring game, he moved from his home in Detroit to Atlanta to train with Mr. Hughes. He then headed to San Antonio, where he swept theater floors before walking across town to sharpen his skills with former Cruiserweight Champion Funaki. Then, after attending a WWE tryout and realizing a speech impediment might hinder his chances of making it, Johnson worked and worked, eventually being able to speak for minutes at a time without a single stutter.
Yet, for all his hard work and determination, Johnson found himself standing across the ring from an absolute prodigy in Akira Tozawa. The Japanese dynamo, a graduate of the Dragon Gate dojo, is one of the CWC’s quickest competitors. However, despite being in the ring against someone whose full-time career is wrestling, Johnson hung hold-for-hold with the world-travelled Tozawa.
Tozawa seemed to be equally parts frustrated and inspired by Johnson’s resolution, challenging the Detroit native to a chop exchangebefore eventually catching Johnson off-guard with a hard right hand to the jaw. Tozawa stayed on top of the determined Motor City competitor, but Johnson fought on, eventually hitting the Done Deal. Yet, even that wasn’t enough to put Tozawa away.
Johnson attempted to connect with a Phoenix Splash off the second ropes, but Tozawa evaded and caught Johnson with a lightning-quick German Suplex, then a deadlift bridging German Suplex to win the battle and advance in the CWC.