By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tyson Dux in a First Round Match
I have heard plenty about Sabre through the grapevine and specifically through an article written by JJF earlier this year. That said, I had yet to see any match of his in its entirety. He may be a cruiserweight, but he doesn't wrestle the same style as everyone else, which makes him stand out from the get-go. Rather, he is one of the best mat-based wrestlers in the game today, and had a stellar showing versus an equally excellent Dux. This was properly placed in the opener and as much experience as Dux has, it was a no-brainer that Sabre would go over.
Drew Gulak def. Harv Sihra in a First Round Match
Gulax are one and the same in terms of their wrestling styles, and Sihra had an infectious personality, but this match just didn't do anything for me for whatever reason. The crowd wasn't all that engaged in the action and didn't seem to take as kindly to the contets as they did the previous match. Perhaps they knew that neither would advance far in the tournament considering they would have to go up against Sabre in the next round.
Tony Nese def. Anthony Bennett in a First Round Match
Similar to Gulak, I was already familiar with Nese's work from his time in TNA (a short stint, mind you), and although he's a talented dude, this match didn't lit the world on fire for me, either. It was a well-wrestled match without a sense of urgency. Nese is a notable name but not nearly as big as some of the others in the tournament. I'm not sure what was up with Bennett at the end there (I assume the injury was a shoot), but hopefully he's okay.
Brian Kendrick def. Raul Mendoza in a First Round Match
While I highly doubt Kendrick will end up winning the entire tournament, he better go far. He has a stellar story going for him, and with that in mind, I thought it was strange he played the heel at the end and elicited a negative reaction because people want to get behind him. At the same time, he excels at being a heel, so perhaps that's where he is most comfortable. I couldn't have cared less about Mendoza coming into this contest, but he impressed me more than I thought he would and looked like he had gone through a war when the matchup concluded.
This was easily my least favorite edition of the Cruiserweight Classic thus far, but it was still a solid show on the whole. The middle two matches were decent at best, but that's not to say they were bad by any means. The opening and closing matches, on the other hand, were well worth watching and I'm pulling for Sabre and Kendrick in the tourney. The hour continues to fly by and isn't a chore to watch as some of WWE's other shows tend to be at times.
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