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Sunday, May 19 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT


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Sunday, May 19 | 7 PMET/4 PMPT

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese def. Ariya Daivari

WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese def. Ariya Daivari

HARTFORD, Conn. — In their WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match at WWE Money in the Bank, challenger Ariya Daivari rolled into the arena in a fancy car, white pants and a chain befitting the self-styled “Daivari Dinero,” while champion Tony Nese mounted a no-frills, no-nonsense defense of his championship, fighting all the way from underneath to cement himself as the man to beat in the Cruiserweight division. There is often a debate as to whether championship status is something inherent or earned; this match will likely not be enough to settle it, but there was little doubt about which comes first and foremost for this particular titleholder.

Tony Nese rebounds to take down Ariya Daivari: WWE Money in the Bank 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Tony Nese puts his WWE Cruiserweight Championship pedigree on full display at WWE Money in the Bank 2019 by battling back against Ariya Daivari. Courtesy of WWE Network.

Though Daivari certainly strolled into WWE Money in the Bank with the air of foregone conclusion about him, he certainly put together a smart match, picking The Premier Athlete apart piece by piece in the hopes of taking all of Nese’s physical attributes away from him. That’s a tall order, but by blinding Nese, targeting his leg and wrenching him into a reverse Boston Crab, The Persian Lion did indeed bring Nese to the brink of defeat.

That the champion didn’t succumb to a blistering hammerlock lariat was a sign of desire more than anything, but Daivari’s failure to convert on his brutal maneuver left him a little shaken, and perhaps, a little desperate. Nese, who had spent the whole time fighting an uphill battle, had an air of last-resort about him, yet when he got his opportunity, he took it, blasting Daivari with the Running Nese the first second he got the chance. It proved to be enough to retain the title, hand Daivari his first defeat of 2019, and keep his reign going — and, perhaps, reframe the conversation about what makes Tony Nese such a worthy champion in the first place. Talk about his abs all you want; it was his heart that won the day here.

Money in the Bank
Money in the Bank
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Money in the Bank
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HARTFORD, Conn. — In their WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match at WWE Money in the Bank, challenger Ariya Daivari rolled into the arena in a fancy car, white pants and a chain befitting the self-styled “Daivari Dinero,” while champion Tony Nese mounted a no-frills, no-nonsense defense of his championship, fighting all the way from underneath to cement himself as the man to beat in the Cruiserweight division. There is often a debate as to whether championship status is something inherent or earned; this match will likely not be enough to settle it, but there was little doubt about which comes first and foremost for this particular titleholder.

Tony Nese rebounds to take down Ariya Daivari: WWE Money in the Bank 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Tony Nese puts his WWE Cruiserweight Championship pedigree on full display at WWE Money in the Bank 2019 by battling back against Ariya Daivari. Courtesy of WWE Network.

Though Daivari certainly strolled into WWE Money in the Bank with the air of foregone conclusion about him, he certainly put together a smart match, picking The Premier Athlete apart piece by piece in the hopes of taking all of Nese’s physical attributes away from him. That’s a tall order, but by blinding Nese, targeting his leg and wrenching him into a reverse Boston Crab, The Persian Lion did indeed bring Nese to the brink of defeat.

That the champion didn’t succumb to a blistering hammerlock lariat was a sign of desire more than anything, but Daivari’s failure to convert on his brutal maneuver left him a little shaken, and perhaps, a little desperate. Nese, who had spent the whole time fighting an uphill battle, had an air of last-resort about him, yet when he got his opportunity, he took it, blasting Daivari with the Running Nese the first second he got the chance. It proved to be enough to retain the title, hand Daivari his first defeat of 2019, and keep his reign going — and, perhaps, reframe the conversation about what makes Tony Nese such a worthy champion in the first place. Talk about his abs all you want; it was his heart that won the day here.