Hey, remember that other awesome tournament that happened to be taking place during the last two months? Somehow, I’ve only seen the first two nights, and that is changing immediately. So here we go. Let’s catch up on the CWC.
Zack Sabre Jr (England, technical) vs Tyson Dux (Canada, technical): Zack Sabre Jr is one of the four or five guys that could realistically win this tournament, and is my pick to advance to the final four from his corner of the bracket. He has the same buzz about him that Bryan Danielson used to have. Tyson Dux is… a guy. I know the name, but have never watched him. He’s probably fine. The real star here is ZSJ though.
Mauro drops a World of Sports reference in describing ZSJ, which is pretty cool. Bryan meanwhile sounds like he’s orgasming every time ZSJ counters a hold. While both are labeled technical wrestlers, they are extremely different in the ring. Dux is labeled as master of the basics, and keeps it simple but effective with things like a fireman’s carry. ZSJ though is twirling around limbs, going from hold to hold, attacking almost casually. Dux is getting frustrated, and plants Sabre with an awesome Fisherman’s Buster. It’s hard to describe ZSJ’s offense. He transitions from one hold to another so smoothly. Sabre wins with a unique omoplata armbar. ***
Drew Gulak (United States, submission) vs Harv Sihra (India, technical): Gulak is a big name in EVOLVE wrestling, and one of the better examples of the grappling style so popular in that promotion. Sihra and his brother got a profile on the Bracketology special, so while I would normally disregard him as someone I’ve never heard of, it would make sense for at least one of them to advance.
Listening to Bryan describe the different hold and submissions is great. If there is one person who can make a basic hold sound dangerous, it’s Daniel Bryan. Gulak grabs a Dragon Sleeper out of nowhere for the win. I love the Dragon Sleeper, and Bryan puts it over huge. This match wasn’t much, but was fine. **1/2
Anthony Bennett (United States, technical) vs Tony Nese (United States, technical): This night is really about the technical wrestlers apparently. Both these guys are popular US Indy guys. Bennett is tiny, and his hair has his own pair of sunglasses. Not real sure what to make of that. Nese meanwhile is in great shape, kinda like Neville actually, in that he’s a “cruiserweight” who looks like he could lift a car.
Both these guys look really impressive here. Bennett keeps scrambling to avoid Nese’s holds, but couldn’t anticipate a great looking springboard moonsault. Bennett, despite being 50 lbs smaller than Nese, is going at him like a pitbull. There’s some miscommunication between the two before Nese hits a pump handle slam. Then there’s a weird moment where Nese climbs the top rope, but the ref stops him, checks on Bennett, then let’s Nese continue. Nese wins with a 450 splash, but that disjointed ending really hurt the match. **
Raul Mendoza (Mexico, lucha libre) vs Brian Kendrick (United States, high-flying): Finally, some flippy guys doing flippy shit. I don’t know Mendoza, but Kendrick should be familiar to just about everyone. He was a staple of the 00’s WWE undercard, and has always been a fun wrestler to watch. Kendrick has a lot to prove, as he feels this is his swan song. Raul’s idol is Eddie Guerrero. He’s, like, the third or fourth guy to say that this episode alone.
Mendoza is quick, as one would expect. He ties up Kendrick in a reverse cloverleaf, then swings him around in a swing in a really cool spot. Kendrick works heel relatively simple, but busts open Mendoza’s mouth with a rope spot. Mendoza starts flying around, diving outside the ring. Mendoza’s offense gets the crowd behind the relatively unknown luchador, and he hits a Coast to Coast dropkick. Kendrick wins with a choke, but didn’t really prove himself. Mendoza was very impressive though, and I hope he sticks around. **1/2