After making it to the main card last PPV, the Cruiserweight Championship once again found itself being defended on the pre-show at WWE Stomping Grounds. However, its placement on the kickoff show didn’t mean the match or the talent involved was any less promising than anything the main card.
After both Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak scored a pinfall in a fatal four-way match to determine his next challenger, champion Tony Nese found himself defending against both fan-favorites. The PPV match allowed each wrestler to shine, featuring athletic high flying from Nese, risk-taking by Tozawa, technical and strategic wrestling by Gulak, and more.
It was Gulak who ultimately won the match to become Cruiserweight Championship for the first time after being one of the division’s brightest and most consistent stars since its current era began. After going for a torture rack neckbreaker to the champ, Gulak hit Tozawa with the move for the win.
Nese and Gulak wrestled one-on-one recently, but this result leaves the door open for them to do it again. It’ll also be interesting to see what’s next for perpetual underdog Tozawa, with a more direct feud with Gulak certainly possible. The most disappointing thing about this win is that it didn’t happen during the “For a better 205 Live,” era when we could have expected a celebratory PowerPoint presentation.