|Excellent choice, WWE. Son't fuck this up.|
We start right away with the first semi-final match, Gran Metalik vs.Zack Sabre Jr., and Gran Metalik starts right away too, with a series of high speed high flying moves that gets the crowd pumped off the bat. Sabre switches things to a slower pace, with his usual striking and grappling. This dynamic plays out for the full 15 minutes of the match. Non-stop back and forth, never letting up, until Gran Metalik hits the Metalik Driver for the win.
Our other semifinal is next, TJ Perkins vs. Kota Ibushi. The commentary story is that Perkins is an incredible underdog and Ibushi is the favorite of the tournament. That story doesn't play out though the first half of the match, but it builds in the second half, leading to TJ Perkins kicking out of the Golden Star Powerbomb in a moment that made Full Sail fucking explode. Perkins counters a second GSP attempt into a kneebar submission, which turned into a knee and crossface submission that caused Ibushi to tap. It's not super surprising that the finals include the two guys that signed with WWE and not the two that didn't, but it was still a hell of a match, especially in the back half.
Before our final, we get Gargano and Ciampa, now calling themselves D.I.Y., against Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar, in an exhibition match that ties into D.I.Y.'s quest for a rematch with The Revival on NXT. It's fast-paced, hard-hitting, acrobatic, and without a real story behind it, a bit... I hate to say pointless, because it's way more entertaining than a lot of the pointless stuff we see, but it's there to fill time and to show off. D.I.Y. win, of course.
And now it's time for the finale, and in what comes as a complete fucking shock to me, HHH comes out and announces that, sure, this match is for the CWC final, and sure, it's for that ugly-ass trophy, but it's also for the RAW CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP. Damn. Sorry, Neville. I thought it was gonna be you. Certainly explains why the signees are in the finals.
TJ Perkins vs. Gran Metalik - we get off to a somewhat slow, tactical start, indicator of a long match ahead. Lots of submissions, and lots of TJ Perkins dominance up front. The pace varies, some high speed spots mixed with striking and grappling segments. The key point of the match happens when, after two TJ Perkins kneebars, Metalik can't hit the Driver 100% because of the knee, and Perkins kicks out of it. Shortly thereafter, Perkins reverses a second-rope Metalik Driver into the kneebar, Metalik taps, and TJ Perkins is the first ever Cruiserweight Champion. And I called it last week, too.
It makes sense, especially given Metalik's limited English, to put the belt on Perkins, but they;re going to have to establish some face-heel dynamics while they decide how the division will shake out and who Perkins' first opponent will be, presumably at Clash of Champions.
Samoa Joe is out, continuing his contrition from last week. He regrets what happened, but doesn't apologize for any of it, because he wanted to be the champ. He calls out Nakamura, calls him a worthy champion, asks for a rematch, gets it, and leaves the ring to Nakamura.
But when Nakamura starts to head backstage, Joe attacks and destroys him, slamming him on the steel steps! Super Angry Joe is back, and I hope their second match is better than their first. Nakamura is stretchered out as Regal looks on, so hooray for the skip forward function on Apple TV because this takes forever, especially when you add in Sad Announcers, a recap, and Sad Regal in the parking lot.
Women's Midcard Developmental TV Time continues, as Liv Morgan gets a submission win over Rachel Fazio to a relative lack of interest, then grabs a microphone. She offers up a challenge for the NXT Women's Championship, which is somewhat ludicrous at this point, and Full Sail agrees. Still, it'll be good for her and be a fun weekly NXT match if it happens.
And speaking of recurring themes, it's Cruiserweight Classic Guy As Jobber To The Stars time, as Drew Gulak takes on Hideo Itami. This goes exactly how you'd expect, with Itami dominating early, Gulak briefly recovering, and Itami hiting his finishing sequence, including the GTS for the win.
Authors of Pain over Already In The Ring via Yes They're Monsters Remember Squash.
Our main event is the battle between the current #2 and #3 intros in NXT, as No Way Jose and Bobby Roode have their upper midcard temporary feud. After all the dancing and gloriousing, there's less than 10 minutes left in the show for the actual match, but that's OK, because Full Sail refuses to be on board with Bobby Roode being a heel, in one of those weird perverse streaks the wrestling nerds develop sometimes. Roode wins with either a tweaked version of his shitty Takeover finisher or a botched version of it.
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