We’re into the penultimate week of the Cruiserweight Classic, with the last pair of quarter-finals.

#TLDR: Noam Dar and Zack Sabre Jr. put on a classic as friends battled each other in both of this week’s quarter finals, as the final four were set ahead of next week’s two-hour live finale.

The Full Review: With next week’s live finals including three tournament matches – the semis and the final – plus other matches, this is our last set of taped bouts, and they look to be a good one.

The show opens with Corey Graves plugging the two quarter finals: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Noam Dar, and Rich Swann vs. TJ Perkins. Three of those have been announced already for Raw’s Cruiserweight division…

We get a new sit-down interview with Zack Sabre Jr. He’s saying he’s not here to try pretty submissions, but to try and win the tournament. Noam Dar’s acknowledging that he’s fought guys from all over the world in this tournament alone, and he’s looking to not only make an impression, but win.

Was it me, or did Daniel Bryan sound really awkward as he tried to acknowledge Mauro Ranallo’s line about Dar being a big fan of Oasis?

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Noam Dar
Mauro Ranallo puts over the history between these two, although oddly, Cagematch only lists four matches between these two. That can’t be right – there’s got to be a load of “undocumented” matches…

After shrugging off some early tie-ups from Sabre, Dar spent a while on the mat as Sabre caught him in a grounded headlock, then a Japanese stranglehold. Dar mocks Sabre, which leads to a low dropkick from the Scot as he took an advantage, before Sabre freed himself for long enough to stomp on Dar’s arm.

Sabre goes for an armbar, before levelling Dar with a back elbow, but the Scot cuts off Sabre on the middle rope with a dropkick to the shin. Dar grapevines Sabre’s leg, but an armbreaker again cuts off the offence as Sabre went for a sunset flip that led to a series of back and forth near falls.

Dar rocks Sabre with a trio of strikes, but he takes too long to posture to the crowd, and falls to a half-nelson suplex for a near-fall. A PK is countered with a leg sweep by Dar, who follows with an enziguiri, then a Fisherman’s buster for a two-count. Sabre tries to counter a leg grapevine with some upward kicks, before a palm strike finally breaks him free.

Dar rolls through a full nelson for a near-fall, but quickly takes a PK for a near-fall – a PK that nearly looked like a Shining Wizard as Sabre fell on contact. Sabre goes for another armbar, but he gets dumped on the apron by Dar, and then takes another leg sweep before a bicycle kick knocks him to the floor. A tope takes out Sabre in the aisleway, and Dar rolls him back in… but doesn’t go for the pin, instead, waiting for Sabre to get into the corner, and drills him with a dropkick to the back.

Out of nowhere, Sabre surprised Dar with an Octopus stretch, before a leaping triangle was countered into the Champagne Super-Knee-Bar, which was reversed into a pinfall, then back into the knee-bar again. Sabre rolls out to an armbar, before switching it up into a bridging prawn hold for another two-count. Sabre drills Dar with an European uppercut, before a second uppercut is blocked and turned into a backslide driver for a near-fall.

Sabre blocks a Dragon screw with some slaps, before Dar counters an armbar into a roll-up… but Sabre keeps hold of the armbar, only for Dar to immediately make the ropes. A double knee drop misses from Sabre, as does a bicycle kick as Sabre gets caught in the ropes. Dar connects with a double stomp onto the knee, then goes for the Champagne Super-Knee-Bar once more.

Dar releases the hold to kick away at the leg of Sabre, but another kneebar attempt sees the pair log-roll out of the ring, with Sabre crashing elbow-first on the floor. They narrowly beat the referee’s ten count, and Dar instantly goes for the left arm with an armwhip, then a knee drop.

The pair trade kicks, before Sabre catches Dar with an impressive bulldog-like move that spun out into a crossface, as Sabre wrenched back with a double armbar, folding Dar’s arms behind his back with the legs to force an instant tap out. That was an insane submission to finish what had been Dar’s most impressive showing in the tournament so far. A good technical outing, and Sabre will face Gran Metalik in next week’s semi-finals. ****

Corey Graves is back in the 3D studio with yet another floral shirt… and he throws to a video package on TJ Perkins… and another for Rich Swann.

Rich Swann vs. TJ Perkins
The pair start with some mat wrestling back and forth, with Perkins grabbing a wrist and bending it, before Swann uses some see-saw kip ups to free himself. Perkins and Swann trade headscissors, before Perkins flips out of it and angers Swann with a dab.

Swann flips over a leapfrog avoidance, and breaks into dance himself as dabbing apparently is the new “lets smash each other with forearms”. It’s certainly less painful…

Perkins sweeps a leg and rolls through into a knee-bar, as Swann instantly grabs the rope, before he’s met with a stiff European uppercut. Swann rebounds off the ropes in a hiptoss, then counters with a dropkick that sends Perkins to the outside, before a back kick on the apron leads to a moonsault that Swann landed awkardly on. A springboard dropkick from the ring to the floor takes down Swann, but Perkins crashed onto the apron whilst giving the move.

A slingshot senton from Perkins leaves Swann down, before Perkins goes for a vertical suplex and rolls into a back suplex for a near-fall. Perkins grabs a hammerlock/chinlock combination, before Swann flips out of the move and kicks Perkins into the corner. A missile dropkick from Swann misses and Perkins follows up with a DDT onto the leg, and we’re going for more selling here as Swann’s left leg and Perkins’ back seem to be causing them issues.

Perkins gets a heel hook, and holds on after rolling through, before he segues it into an Indian deathlock. Perkins goes for a double underhook to complete a sugar hold, and then throws Swann into the corner, only to miss with a leaping forearm. Swann makes a comeback with a swinging neckbreaker, then a DDT for a near-fall.

A chickenwing facebuster from Perkins gets him a near-fall, before he sets up Swann for a Tiger superplex, only to be shoved off the top and to the floor. Swann takes too long to readjust his footing, and gets caught with a springboard ‘rana off the top. He replies with one of his own after pulling back to his feet, and then lands a rolling thunder and a cartwheel into a standing moonsault for a near-fall over Perkins.

Swann keeps up the momentum with a Falcon Arrow for a two-count, then slowly sets him up for the standing 450 Splash, only for Perkins to catch him during the set-up and grab the knee-bar, but Swann was way too close to the ropes and easily forces a break. Perkins aims for the knee again, before another gutbuster is countered as Swann gets a near-fall. A powerbomb from Swann gets another two-count, before the pair trade kicks, with Swann again collapsing as his knee gives way.

Perkins lands a fireman’s carry into an overhead kick, before going once more for the knee-bar, but with Swann caught in the middle of the ring, he’s forced to tap. TJ Perkins goes on to face Kota Ibushi in next week’s live finale. Good match, with Swann’s knee being a consistent target throughout before it eventually cost him. ***¾

The crowd heavily booed Perkins after the submission, but again Perkins and Swann hugged in the middle of the ring as a show of respect. We see a video package that calls the tournament as something “sewn from the seeds of the underground”, and showing some of the more memorable moments to date. Next week is a two-hour long live special, featuring the tournament semis, the final, and other matches, including the return of Johnny Gargano. We’ll have live coverage of next week’s finale next Wednesday night!