Mike Kanellis def. Akira Tozawa
Kanellis is looking like he did during his Ring of Honor days years ago with his newly-shaved head. I'm all for the change of appearance if it means he's on the verge of receiving a renewed push in WWE. This was a perfectly fine match from him and Tozawa, but despite a valiant effort from Tozawa, Kanellis was unable to impress me. I know he can go in the ring and I loved the hell out of his performance against Cedric Alexander several weeks back, but by and large, he has not been a great fit for 205 Live. We'll see if this victory amounts to anything for him or if it was merely a one-off.
Tony Nese def. Cedric Alexander to Win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship No. 1 Contender's Tournament
Nese and Alexander have had countless matches against each other since the dawn of the division in 2016, so it's clear they have chemistry together. By this point, they're almost incapable of having a bad match, so I was hardly surprised that this was such a strong conclusion to the Cruiserweight title tourney. Both guys gave it their all, but ultimately, Nese was the right choice to contend for the championship at WrestleMania. Not only have we seen Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy many times before, Nese has history with Murphy and WrestleMania will be taking place near where he calls home. I assume the post-match angle with Murphy blindsiding Nese was designed to officially turn Nese face.
I've really been digging the two-match format 205 Live has had lately, because it's such a simple 45 minutes to get through and both bouts almost always serve a purpose. It also gives the featured matches more time to breath and be as good as possible. Granted, Kanellis vs. Tozawa didn't light the world on fire, but it was a solid match, while Nese and Alexander really knocked it out of the park by producing an extremely exciting affair.
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