Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tyson Dux (First Round Match)
ORLANDO, Fla. — With the news that the Cruiserweight Division is returning to Monday Night Raw, the Cruiserweight Classic takes on a whole new meaning. Not only are the competitors in the tournament battling for glory, but they’ll now be out to impress Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley in hopes of earning a place in Raw’s newest division.
One man looking to ply his craft on the world’s biggest stage is Zack Sabre Jr. The “technical wizard” made his tournament debut against crafty veteran Tyson Dux, and showed why he is often regarded as the best wrestler on the planet from the get-go, taking Dux down to the canvas. The wily Canadian, no slouch on the canvas himself, reversed and took control, but Sabre showed off one of his biggest assets in the ring, the science he calls escapology, which allows him to find a way out of nearly any situation.
Sabre turned, twisted and contorted his body to slip out of Dux’s clutches, frustrating the Canadian to no end. The Englishman targeted Dux’s left arm, connecting with precise kicks. However, Sabre may have gone a little too far when he slapped Dux in the face. That sent the Canadian off the handle, as Dux took the Brit to the ground in a flash and locked on a Fujiwara armbar. But for all his efforts, Dux still found himself at the mercy of Sabre’s superior submission skills.
After Dux nearly took his head off with a lariat, Sabre trapped Dux in a double wristlock before effortlessly transitioning into a Jim Breaks Special, into an omoplata on the mat, then pulling back on Dux’s free arm, yanking on his fingers for extra punishment. With no escape, Dux had no choice but to verbally submit, ensuring that Sabre would advance to the second round.