Hideo Itami def. Akira Tozawa
The animosity between former tag team partners Akira Tozawa and Hideo Itami finally came to a head in an ultimate battle for respect. Their issues as a unit came to fruition because of Itami, and Tozawa aimed to prove that Itami made a mistake crossing him and shoving him to the canvas after they lost a tag team match. As the opening bell sounded, both Superstars executed simultaneous kicks and traded strikes and counters, resulting in an early stalemate.
The Japanese Superstars stood in the center of the ring and dispensed fiery chops at one another that grew in intensity with each swing. Finally, Tozawa took control with a punch to the jaw and began to unleash an offensive burst that kept Itami reeling and struggling to recover.
As Tozawa pressed forward, Itami waited for the right moment to strike, countering his opponent’s advance and dropping him with a high-impact knee drop from the top rope. Demanding respect, Itami attacked with purpose and forced The Stamina Monster outside of the ring.
On the outside, Itami tossed his former partner into the barricade before returning to the ring and focusing his offense on Tozawa’s neck. Deliberate in his attacks, Itami maintained control of the match, even taking his opponent down in mid-air. Itami continued to methodically attack and taunt Tozawa and suppress any attempt at a recovery from the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
As the WWE Universe recited Tozawa’s patented chant, The Stamina Monster lived up to his moniker and battled back, taking down Itami on the outside. Tozawa attempted his snap German suplex, but Itami countered and managed to even the odds.
Continuing to battle back and forth, The Stamina Monster escaped The Rings of Saturn and took down Itami with a kick before preparing a Senton. Itami prevented Tozawa from executing his patented maneuver, and the two Superstars battled on the top rope with Itami eventually dropping his opponent to the canvas with a super falcon arrow.
Despite the high-risk attack, the battle raged on, and Tozawa remained in control and had victory in sight. As Tozawa soared through the air in an attempt to hit the Senton, Itami rolled away and quickly executed a series of brutal running dropkicks and a wicked knee strike for the win.