Kota Ibushi vs. T.J. Perkins (Semifinal Match)
We’re down to the final four competitors in the Cruiserweight Classic as Japan’s Kota Ibushi battles the Philippines’ T.J. Perkins in a must-see Semifinal showdown taking place at the Cruiserweight Classic Live Finale on WWE Network.
Ibushi was labeled as one of the tournament favorites from the get-go and, thus far, has done nothing to diminish that branding. The Golden Star has more than lived up to the hype – he followed up defeating Sean Maluta in a hard-fought First Round matchup with a Second Round victory over Cedric Alexander that will go down as one of the year’s best matches. Then he earned a grueling win over Brian Kendrick in the Quarterfinal Round that left both men emotionally and physically drained.
Though no competitor can expect to be 100 percent at this point in the 32-man tournament, Ibushi certainly has pushed himself to the limit, appearing to be in a great deal of physical pain following his marathon battle against Kendrick. Can Ibushi’s body hold up through what is sure to be another demanding matchup against one of the most well-rounded wrestlers in the world in Perkins?
While others have come close to knocking the renowned Ibushi from the tournament, Perkins has a very real opportunity to pull off the upset. Just don’t tell the flashy Filipino that his potential victory would be an upset. The 18-year veteran is arguably the Cruiserweight Classic’s most self-assured competitor, and why not? He did, after all, triumph over some of the CWC’s most talented wrestlers – Da Mack in the First Round, Johnny Gargano in the Second Round and Rich Swann in the Quarterfinals – by forcing all of them to tap out. Perkins has the experience, counter-wrestling expertise and confidence to knock Ibushi out of the tournament en route to the Finals, but can he put it all together to take out the CWC favorite?
Witness this huge Semifinal matchup on the Cruiserweight Classic Live Finale, tonight at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, only on the award-winning WWE Network.