Kalisto won the Gauntlet Match featuring Drew Gulak, TJP, Mustafa Ali and Tony Nese
Before the Gauntlet Match to determine who will face Cedric Alexander for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble event, General Manager Drake Maverick revealed the participants in the contest: Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, TJP, Mustafa Ali and Kalisto.
A random drawing earlier in the evening determined the order of the gauntlet, and the first two contenders were Mustafa Ali and the first-ever WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP. As the contest got underway, The Duke of Dab was quick to show off his confidence and dabbing in front of his opponent. Ali quickly silenced TJP, and they engaged in a fast-paced series of technical prowess, counters and near-falls.
Unable to muster an offense, TJP retreated to the outside to recalibrate. As Ali gave chase, The Fil-Am Flash struck, using the ropes to his advantage and taking control of the contest. TJP began methodically executing precision strikes and holds to keep Ali grounded. However, The Heart of 205 Live displayed his incredible resilience, remaining in the battle and refusing to tap out to a slew of TJP’s innovative submissions.
Ali struck back, putting TJP back on defense and nearly scored a pinfall on multiple occasions. However, TJP took Ali down with an incredible dropkick to the knee from the top rope and immediately applied his patented kneebar. Ali refused to quit and barely made his way to the ropes for relief. As TJP targeted his opponent’s knee, Ali mustered the strength to execute a jaw-dropping DDT followed by the 054 for the win.
Unfortunately for Ali, his celebration was short-lived as he faced his next opponent – his longtime rival Drew Gulak. The submission specialist smelled blood in the water as Ali still favored his knee and began taunting his opponent. Ali attempted to fight off Gulak’s advances but was quickly stopped with Gulak dropped him knees-first into the ropes.
Ali fended off Gulak with incredible agility and resilience, but he was completely leveled by a spinning clothesline. Gulak began targeting Ali’s knee with his unique technical ability, countering any of his opponents attempts to strike with greater pressure to his knee. Ali continued to fight, showing why he is The Heart of WWE 205 Live, but the damage was certainly done. Moving at a fraction of his usual speed and agility, Ali was unable to effectively attack Gulak and instead continually fell victim to the relentless submissions of Gulak.
Remaining in the fight, Ali continued to attack, fending off Gulak long enough to execute a high-risk move from the top rope. Despite its effectiveness, the high-flying maneuver further damaged Ali’s knee and nearly cost him the match. However, after countering the Gulock, Ali managed to execute his spinning DDT and prepared to execute the 054, but Gulak pushed Ali off the top and to the outside. Ali hit the steel steps on his way down and was seemingly knocked out cold. The sadistic Gulak then brought Ali back into the ring and locked in the Gulock, forcing the official to end the match.
With Ali eliminated, Gulak faced his next opponent – his former best friend Tony Nese. The Premier Athlete charged into the ring and unleashed all his fury on Gulak. Visibly irate, Nese maintained his aggression, forcing his former tag team partner to the outside. The Premier Athlete didn’t allow Gulak to catch his breath, launching himself over the ropes on top of his opponent before tossing him into the barricade with ruthless force.
Nese’s rage was palpable as he tossed Gulak over the announce table and answered the WWE Universe’s request for another by throwing Gulak into the table a second time. The Premier Athlete remained dominant, refusing to allow his opponent to build any momentum. In full control of the contest, Nese executed his running knee strike and had victory well within his grasp. However, instead of securing a pinfall, Nese attempted a second knee strike, but Gulak rolled away.
As Nese approached Gulak, the Philadelphia Stretcher quickly locked in the Gulock and forced The Premier Athlete to tap out.
As Gulak basked in the spoils of victory, the final participant in the Gauntlet Match made his way to the ring – former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Kalisto. As the lucha dragon entered the ring, Gulak retreated for a much-needed recoup of stamina.
Kalisto grew frustrated as Gulak continually retreated, but following a high-impact dropkick and another rollout by his opponent, Kalisto followed suit. Striking with purpose, the former champion built momentum and attempted a dive to the outside, only to be caught by his opponent and tossed into the barricade.
Barely making the official’s 10-count, Kalisto found himself vulnerable to Gulak’s aggression. Rejuvenated, Gulak used his technical prowess and precision strikes to keep Kalisto at bay. Countering his opponent’s offense, the Philadelphia native applied the Gulock and nearly scored a victory. However, Kalisto broke free and drove Gulak face-first into the turnbuckle, leaving him stunned. Wasting no time, Kalisto executed Salida del Sol for the victory, securing his opportunity to challenge Cedric Alexander.
As Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik celebrated with Kalisto in the ring, Alexander showed his respect for his upcoming opponent by making his way into the arena and applauding Kalisto for his victory.