Kota Ibushi def. Brian Kendrick
Kota Ibushi came into the Cruiserweight Classic as the favorite to win it all, but if there is one man who could play spoiler, it’s WWE Alumni Brian Kendrick. The veteran competitor showed in his second-round matchup that he is willing to do whatever it takes to win, including scratch and claw his way to having his hand raised.
Kendrick – representing the United States – showed early on that he also is willing to play mind games to try and gain an advantage over his opponent. However, Ibushi showed Kendrick why they call him The Golden Star. The Japanese competitor flew across the ring with supreme grace as he had his veteran adversary reeling in the early goings.
Kendrick’s scrappy offense would know no bounds though, as he tangled Ibushi’s foot up in the guardrail outside the ring, nearly getting the high-flyer counted out. The Post-Apocalyptic Scavenger continued his rabid attack, focusing on Ibushi's neck. The grizzled veteran threw everything but the kitchen sink at Ibushi, including his trademark Sliced Bread #2.
This grueling battle would finally come to a dramatic end after Ibushi delivered an emphatic kick to his seasoned foe, then hit his Last Ride Powerbomb for the victory. Following the contest, Daniel Bryan left his position at commentary to join a visibly saddened Kendrick in the middle of the ring and share an emotional embrace with his close friend.